When a large venue seems impersonal and a home wedding is impractical, consider a bed and breakfast or a small inn. “It feels very intimate for the guests,” says Ashley Reynolds, owner of Make My Day Event Planning in Lewes. “It adds an element of coziness, and it usually becomes a weekend experience as opposed to a one-night event, which allows family and friends to interact with each other for a longer period of time.”
Here, in alphabetical order by state, are some small inns and B&Bs to consider in the Southern Chester County and Delaware area.
99 Ocean View Parkway, Bethany Beach, (302) 539-3707, (800) 418-6764.
Once the home of an original Bethany Beach settler, the Addy, an example of late Victorian architecture, is right on the beach. For weddings from 60 to 125 guests, couples rent the entire house, which has 13 guestrooms.
67 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach, (302) 226-3900.
Weddings and receptions for up to 30 guests are held on the 4,000-square-foot deck between the two buildings that make up this B&B. One has a “Bewitched” TV show theme; the other salutes old Hollywood. Sharon Marquart, one of the innkeepers, is also an ordained minister if an officiate is needed.
1202 Nottingham Road, Newark, (302) 737-9504.
The B&B, located in a home that dates to everything: shower, rehearsal dinner, accommodations, ceremony, reception and bridal brunch,” she says.
18 The Circle, Georgetown, (302) 855-5800.
Located 15 miles from the beaches on the county seat’s historic circle, The Brick Hotel is in the National Register of Historic Places. It’s best known as a restaurant and tavern, yet it also has 14 well-appointed guestrooms. Owner Lynn Leister is licensed to perform weddings, and the hotel offers complete wedding coordination for up to 85 guests.
2 Causey Ave., Milford, (302) 422-0979.
New owners Joe Phillips and Jan Broulik, who purchased the Greek Revival-Georgian-style home in spring 2014, host weddings and receptions on the 3-acre grounds. Ceremonies are often held in the boxwood garden, which was planted in the 1900s, and a tent for the reception can be put up on the side of the inn, the former home of governors and shipbuilders. There are four guestrooms.
16061 Willow Creek Road, Lewes, (302) 644-7220.
Owner Deborah Estes can officiate at the service, which many couples hold in a gazebo with views of the salt marsh. Tents are allowed on the 8-acre site. Events are limited to 70 guests at the pet-friendly B&B, which has five guestrooms, a two-room cottage, a heated swimming pool, a hot tub and a fenced area for pet play.
146 S. Whitford Road, Exton, (610) 524-1830.
This 13-room inn and restaurant, located on property once owned by William Penn, accommodates 55 guests comfortably. Ceremonies are often held in the gazebo or on a picturesque bridge. Cocktails can be served outside with dining inside.
699 W. Rosedale Ave., West Chester, (610) 436-5788, (800) 505-3233.
Built in 1860, the Victorian mansion offers a covered veranda, stone patio and beautiful grounds, complete with a waterfall, as a backdrop for weddings and receptions for up to 100. Couples often marry on the patio or porch, and dinner is served on the first floor. There are six guestrooms, and the B&B works with nearby Fairville Inn for overflow.
9 Old Lancaster Road, Malvern, (610) 296-3637.
Many know this historic site, which dates to 1745, for its restaurant. It also has eight guest suites with private bathrooms.
Receptions for up to 120 are held in the afternoons on the weekends when the restaurant is closed. Smaller weddings—less than 60—can book a private dining room.
115 Indian Springs Road, Chester Heights, (610) 459-3000.
This B&B holds a limited number of events a year for up to 15 people—including the couple. Ceremony spots and photo ops on the 7-acre site include a waterfall, koi pond, stone terrace with a fountain and a garden path flanked by English roses and lavender. The B&B offers packages with options from the cake to the photography. There are seven guestrooms and two cottages.
370 Valley Road, West Chester, (610) 388-2013.
Located behind and adjacent to Longwood Gardens, the luxurious inn, touted in Glamour magazine for its romantic ambiance, has seven rooms and suites set apart from the main house in the former carriage house, stables and barn. The inn has a Har-Tru tennis court and stocked pond, and it can handle rehearsal dinners and weddings.
883 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-1435.
The inn can host receptions of up to 150 guests outside in a tent, and about 50 people inside. Most wedding couples opt for a ceremony in the award-winning gardens. “That’s the single biggest reason why people want to marry here,” says Chip Grono, who owns the inn with his wife, Cheryl. The inn, which sleeps 12 “elegantly,” Grono says, uses Fairville Inn for overflow.
50 Sweetwater Road, Glen Mills, (610) 459–4711.
The 50-acre property is home to both a B&B and the 5-acre Grace Winery. Some couples elect to marry with the woods as a backdrop, and then they move to the event facility, a renovated 1750s bank barn. The farm can handle up to 140 guests in warm weather and 100 guests from December to March. There are 15 guestrooms, a swimming pool and hot tub, a fitness center and walking trails.