Northshore Magazine

January / February 2016

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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38 | JANUARY + FEBRUARY 2016 nshoremag.com tecturally impressive setting casts over a wedding. The good news is that you don't have to have a relative with a mansion in order to get married in one. The North Shore has lots of beautiful survivors of a storied past. Whether they are museums or private properties, many are avail- able as rented wedding venues. We have whittled the possibili- ties down to a short list of five sites. Variously, they provide amenities no function hall can, including extensive landscaped grounds, jaw-dropping views, unique and beautiful rooms, and fascinating histories. Because they have pri- mary functions other than as rental properties, their schedules can be surprisingly flexible, despite the heavy demand. Do keep in mind that historic architectural elements demand respect: no push pins in linenfold paneling or ancient beams, glit- ter can be the enemy of intricately carved old surfaces, and deeply colored floral petals can stain woodwork. Historic house curators tend to frown on wax dripping on old stone works. Getting married in any of these historic houses will make for beau- tiful photographs. Can wedded bliss be far behind? WILLOWDALE ESTATE Built in 1901 and surrounded by the 721-acre Bradley Palmer State Park, Willowdale is a romantic stone Arts & Crafts-meets-Tudor Revival house in Topsfield with its original red slate roof, leaded photograph by Dan Aguirre The best possible place to get married, of course, is at the family estate. Lush with emerald lawns and ancient clipped yew hedges, it has distant, glorious vistas, a sweeping circular drive to welcome guests, a grand staircase lined with ances- tral portraits to bless the bride's descent, and sparkling crystal chandeliers that illuminate acres of parquet flooring, installed for dancing hundreds of years ago. That would be ideal. But most of us make do with something else: a hotel ballroom, a pretty piece of park or stretch of beach, a favorite restaurant. Still, there is no denying the spell that an atmospheric, archi- BY REGINA COLE Host your wedding reception in one of these historically significant North Shore houses. Venerable Venues Willowdale Estate is surrounded by more than 700 acres of woodlands.

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