My husband and I just got married at the Hartness House yesterday, July 23, 2011. We chose to do the Deluxe Elopement package with the elopement plus add-on and had 20 guests at our wedding. I believe there were two other weddings this weekend, and one was also the same day as ours, but that did not interfere at all with our ceremony/reception at all. The only problem was that those weddings were booked first, so we were not able to get either of the best available suites. We ended up staying in Lena's Room -- which was very lovely.
Of course it was the hottest weekend of the year, and the building is old -- it does have window A/C units, but it was still very warm. That was probably the worst part of the whole experience.
We arrived Friday afternoon. We were able to choose what time we wanted our breakfast in bed served Saturday morning during check-in and were giving a menu to make our breakfast selection and hang on the outside of our door later Friday evening. There was a bottle of Merlot and a bag of Lindt truffles awaiting us in the room -- yum!! We also got to choose what day & time we wanted our cheese and cracker platter to be delivered to the room (we picked Sat at 3:30 to have something to munch on while getting ready for the wedding ceremony). We did not eat dinner at the Inn Friday night. Our breakfast in bed arrived right at scheduled Saturday morning. We chose the graham & cinnamon french toast -- delicious! It was also served with a basket of blueberry muffins, french pressed coffee, orange juice, whipped cream & strawberries, tons of bacon, and a bottle of champagne. Plenty of food for two.
Saturday afternoon I met with Alla and chose how I wanted the ceremony to be set up in the Library. We chose to stand infront of the fireplace (since there was a big A/C unit in the bay window) and we had chairs from the dining room set up for guest to sit and an aisle for me to walk down the middle. That worked out best also because then I walked down the grand staircase and straight into the Library (if we had stood in front of the bay window it would have been more akward). She also showed me how the dining room would be set up -- basically one long table in the middle of the room (I think it was two or three rectangular tables in a row, with two round tables at each end). It looked very nice and made for a nice intimate setting. They had long white table linens, and very nice tablewear.
Everything to do with the ceremony was very organized. The ceremony was scheduled for 6pm. My flowers were brought up to the room around 5:30. I chose to do white flowers and they were very nice. The photographer came up to the room to take some pictures and he also was in charge of telling me when to come downstairs. The ceremony itself was very quick. The justice of the peace (Ernest) did a wonderful job. The only thing we thought was odd is that he had us do our vows twice -- not a big deal, lol. And we didn't have to the the whole "repeat after me" deal. He just read, and we said "I do/I will". Super easy! It probably took 5-10 mins total.
Dinner was scheduled for 7:30, so all the time between was for pictures and coctails. They opened the tavern so guests could have drinks while we were doing photos. The photographer took lots of pictures, and probably would have taken more, but we were so hot and miserable because of the temperature outside that we had him stop early.
Dinner was delicious. My only complaint is that we paid $49 per guest, and in multiple spots on their website it says that it's for a five course dinner -- it definitely was not five courses. There was salad, the entrees and cake. So I feel like we were a bit ripped off in that aspect -- but it wasn't too big of a deal, I didn't say anything to the inn about it. The salad was a wedge of romaine lettuce with garlic soaked tomatoes (so good) and carmelized onions, with a raspberry vinegarette dressing. We chose chicken and beef as the two entree selections. The chicken was Chicken Cordon Bleu and it was really good. The beef was NY Strip Steak, it was good too, but the chicken was better. Both came with really good mashed potatoes, broccolli, and delicious carrots. The cake I was really worried about, because they have some pictures of cakes in their wedding planner and they are very tacky, but our cake was very nice. Just enough to feed all of the guests too. It was a two tier yellow cake with plain white frosting, decorated with simple frosting flowers. Not tacky at all. I was very pleased. The taste of the cake was fine. Nothing spectacular, but still good. We did get a champagne toast and guests were offered champagne or gingerale. The waitstaff was great during dinner.
We did not get a disc of our pictures before we left, as I've read people did in other reviews. It wasn't Alex taking our pictures, they had a real photographer do it, and he'll be mailing us a disc in a week or so with all the pictures. Alex took some pictures as well, but they did not give us those. Maybe they'll send them to us, I don't know. We forgot to ask.
Sunday morning we decided to have breakfast in the restaurant at the inn. I had eggs benedict -- very yummy. And my husband had an omlet. Again you get a basket of blueberry muffins, orange juice and coffee. And we were pleasantly surprised to find out that breakfast was included when we got the bill. We thought we'd be charged the $9.50 per person, but the bill showed a "B&B package breakfast credit" of $19.00 -- very cool.
Overall, it was a great experience. The inn is beautiful -- especially if you appreciate and love that age of arcitecture. The entire staff is wonderful and very helpful. I highly recommend having a wedding at the Hartness House. They do pretty much everything for you -- and they do it tastefully -- at a very reasonable price. We will definitely go back for another stay.
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- Also Known As:
- Hartness House Hotel Springfield
- Hartness House Springfield, Vermont