As we come to terms with the reality that the COVID-19 pandemic will be canceling all large group gatherings for the majority of 2020, I’d like to try and provide some helpful suggestions to couples who will need to postpone the big celebration but would still like to tie the knot privately on the original date that they intended on getting married.
Here’s some sage advice, it’s always a good idea to ask for permission but as long as you are in a public place, don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. Just book an officiant (and maybe a photographer) and go get married. It will probably take 5 minutes total. Carpe Diem!
1. Blish Point – Barnstable Harbor – This breathtaking nook is truly a special place and typically only know by locals. Technically, it’s just a boat ramp but as you venture down the wooden stairs you’ll be delighted by the striking view of Sandy Neck in the distance and the phragmites swaying against the soft sand dunes in the breeze. Stay at the Lamb & Lion Inn, they’re offering special elopement packages.
2. Cape Cod Lavender Farm – Harwich – Locally owned and operated, this quaint farm is New England at it’s finest. Schedule your private photo session for a small fee but make sure it’s in late June/early July so you can catch the lavender in its peak.
3. Grays Beach – Yarmouth Port – A favorite landmark for visitors and locals alike. The boardwalk can be your own private aisle then exchange vows in front of the expansive Salt Marsh with Chapin’s Beach in the distance
4. Kelley Chapel – Historical Society of Old Yarmouth – Formal weddings with up to 60 guests can be held here but why not exchange vows right out front. What a perfect backdrop?
5. Crowes Pasture Conservation Area in Dennis – Accessing this area might be a little tricky if you don’t have an ORV permit but if you are willing to walk a little, the stunning flats at low tide are worth it. You can bring your pup to this dog-friendly spot too.
6. The Knob, Woods Hole – The Cornelia Carey Sanctuary in Quissett Harbor is a popular engagement session spot also but it also makes for a great wedding venue too. I happened upon this couple’s impromptu ceremony on a walk one afternoon and just had to take a picture myself.
7. Cranberry Bog – There’s quite a few to choose from on the Cape and many have accessible walking trails. PJs Cranberries in Sandwich formally hosts tented weddings. Take a hike along the Pamet Cranberry Bog Trail in Truro, enjoy the view from Bearberry Hill summit and check out the remnants of a former bog house.
8. Red Maple Swamp Trail – Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham – This is probably the prettiest swamp you’ll ever meet. Explore the winding and recently renovated boardwalk in this enchanted forest of beech trees and pitch pines. You’ll find a “scenic point” that would make a lovely spot to say “I do.” Hemenway Landing is a beautiful spot too and it’s right around the corner!
9. Scorton Creek – East Sandwich – Take in the peaceful marsh views and the unique shapes that form at low tide. If you explore the Marshside Trail you’ll find a lovely bridge with a stunning view. There’s also a “Nature’s Classroom” with benches overlooking a peaceful scene–perfect for an intimate wedding. Want something different? Get married on a kayak excursion. If it’s just the two of you, you might as well do something special.
10. Craigville Retreat Center – Eggers Chapel in the Pines – Nestled in the woods behind the Tabernacle Church, this humble cross and rows of benches is quaint and idyllic. Imagine how lovely this will be when summer sets in and the birds are chirping!