Refined lakeside: The Lake House on Canandaigua
Lake life is irresistibly lovely all around this sparkling lakes region, but perhaps especially from the nine waterfront acres of The Lake House on Canandaigua. While the property is always dreamy in itself, it’s an exceptionally perfect Finger Lakes wedding venue thanks to its suave design, 124 spacious guest rooms, and versatile group hangout areas—from the handsome library and Rose Tavern restaurant, to the heated outdoor pool (open year-round) and Adirondack loungers set up around the fire pits. The event barn, however, is the main attraction; a lofty setting with rustic charm and a giant window wall, where up to 200 guests can celebrate and dine in any weather. The resort offers group activities for wedding guests, including group morning yoga, check-in cocktails, bachelorette day at the spa, and a custom mimosa cart for pre-gaming. Bonus: The private bridal suite is seamless for dressing, hair, and makeup, and leads directly to the event barn via the heated sidewalk.
Classic sophistication: Belhurst Castle, Geneva
On the shores of Seneca Lake, Belhurst Castle is a more traditional wedding venue that’s considered one of the country’s top wine-country resorts. Its stately Romanesque Revival architecture dates back to 1889 and earned Belhurst historic-landmark status (and a reputation for possibly being haunted), but it’s the castle’s romantic atmosphere that enchants couples to marry in its Castle Ballroom or along its 23 landscaped, waterfront acres. Belhurst weddings can accommodate up to 250 guests, with inspiring locations for photos, customized dining menus, an on-site winery and craft-beer tasting room, plus the on-site spa and salon (and no separate venue fee).
Waterfall views: Inn at Taughannock Falls, Trumansburg
Few wedding venues can claim such a marvelous location as the Inn at Taughannock Falls, a boutique hotel located inside Taughannock Falls State Park, near Ithaca. (Pronounced “Taug-hanick,” it rhymes with “don’t panic.”) Perched on the hillside overlooking Cayuga Lake, the inn comes with its own path leading directly to a mellow waterfall trail. On site, nuptials and wedding-party events can take place on the grand, tented outdoor terrace (for up to 300 guests); in the historic Jones Room (for up to 32 guests) with an adjacent pocket bar; in the fine-dining Victorian Inn; and at the freestanding Hillside Residence. Essentially, this historic mansion-turned-inn nestled in New York’s wine country encapsulates all that a dreamy Finger Lakes wedding should be.
A shorefront fairy tale: Inns of Aurora Resort & Spa
Any wedding can feel like a true storybook ending at the Inns of Aurora Resort & Spa, the premier venue of historic Aurora. Comprised of five freestanding, neighboring inns, the luxurious resort is nestled on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, making it a dream location for larger al fresco ceremonies (in season, with tents) or more intimate indoor nuptials (November through April). Capacity for ceremonies, rehearsals, and receptions with sit-down dinners range from 20 up to 200 guests, either inside the main Aurora Inn, or on the lakeside lawn of Rowland House, whose 10 rooms are reserved with each wedding package. The Inns’ venue fee includes the getting-ready Gratitude space, unique china and table arrangements, and a champagne toast.
Hilltop splendor: Crispin Hill, Penn Yan
Romance with a view has made Crispin Hill one of Keuka Lake’s top wedding destinations. Located at the north end in the historic town of Penn Yan (think “Pennsylvania Yankee”), the venue features three unique settings, signature cocktails, a climate-controlled lounge, designer furnishings, a wedding suite, and an in-house executive chef. Owners and life partners Chelsey Madia and Chef Heather Tompkins curate unforgettable newlywed experiences here, led by hospitality, precision, and inclusivity for up to 170 guests. And with the owners’ firsthand connections to local farmers and other wedding specialists, Crispin Hill is one of the Finger Lakes true hidden gems.
Uncommon charm: New Park Event Venue & Suites, Ithaca
Between Ithaca and Taughannock Falls State Park is New Park Event Venue & Suites, an unexpected retreat that feels like its own romantic hamlet. The private, 18-acre venue features seven cottage-suites (sleeping up to 24 guests), each with unique stonework, woodwork, and stained glass. Weddings are held on the bank of a babbling creek or in the main lodge, where dinners and receptions take place. The Wish Room doubles as a family gathering/brunch space or bridal prep room, and there’s plenty of lush lawn for lounging or games—great for New Park’s pet-friendly policy. For weekend buyouts with fewer than 50 people, guests are welcome to bring their own alcohol, a delight for travelers enjoying the Cayuga Lake wine, brewery, and cider trails.