The first thing you see as you approach the event venue sight known as Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, Vermont is the small covered bridge with a large American flag on the side of it. First thought that ran through my mind: How great is that? Their own covered bridge! And then, as a photographer, I run through all of the great photo ops that fact presents for an engagement couple or bride & groom.
The tale of Riverside Farm is really a love story …one which I surely won’t do justice to. The bones of the story follow the usual path of boy meets girl, they fall in love and get married. This love story took a slight veer when the couple decided to relocate to a small town in Vermont called Pittsfield (population 546) where they fell in love with a very special property. Wanting to renovate the barn and move in before their wedding, they worked hard to achieve that goal. Timing being what it was, the barn wasn’t finished before their wedding date and so they moved into the adjacent field stone house, hosting their own wedding in a huge tent on the grounds. That’s when the love story blossomed. Once you visit Riverside Farm or Amee Farm Lodge, do ask to hear the full recounting of how one couple’s passion to make a better life for themselves became a dream that resulted in the reality of this fantastic event property.
There are now two barns, a stable, a groom’s cabin, and a bride’s cottage all available for the bride & groom to make use of, enabling them to have the New England wedding of their dreams. The antique barns are all post and beam construction and are nothing short of amazing. They can easily host rehearsal dinners or large wedding receptions. Many ceremonies take place outside in the large field at what is affectionately known as “the kissing tree”, a lone tree standing beside a large rock. But make no mistake, there are several wonderful spots where the actual ceremony could take place. Both barns offer the opportunity to throw open the doors, essentially marrying the warmth of the rustic wood barns with the beauty of the outdoors.
The red barn (closest to the field stone house) is not only perfect for a rehearsal dinner, but also for the bride to make a long, dramatic walk out to the kissing tree to exchange vows. With the bridal cottage in close proximity, it works really well. A baby grand piano looks very small in the expansive spaciousness of the interior of the barn. Plenty of antique cabinets abound with counter tops just ideal for buffets. This barn includes a large seating area with three red and white gingham checked sofas where folks can relax. Downstairs in the barn are two more rooms, one set up with a bar.
The second barn is located further back on the Riverside Farm property. Its large doors opening at both the front and back make for a truly inviting reception space. It can easily seat 180 guests with plenty of room set aside for a band and a dance floor. Antique wagon wheels line the covered walk way into the barn. A large, lone hanging bell with a long rope pull is situated outside the walkway entrance. The ring bearer or a young groomsman often receives the honor of ringing the bell to call guests into the reception area for dinner. No doubt this antique barn with its golden wood floors would have many wonderful tales to tell if it could speak.
The bridal cottage is a bride’s dream. This adorable little red barn/cottage style building is so sweet I dream of living there. (Even without a closet!) As you enter, there is a little upholstered bench and a welcome sign in a small vestibule. Open that inner door and step into a bridal fantasy world. Yes, Welcome! The first thing you see straight ahead is a wood sugar-shack type of building inside the cottage which houses the bathroom with the single most fantastic tiled and river stone circular shower I have ever seen. The rainfall shower head has to be a good twenty feet above the ground. The shower is capped with a copper roof, turret style, which can be seen from everywhere else in the bridal cottage.
Back in the main cottage area, to the immediate right is a seating area with a comfortable sofa. Across from the sofa is a large dressing table and mirror, perfect for getting ready for the big day. Beside the dressing table area is a hook perfect for hanging the bridal gown: perfect for photos.
A full working kitchen is done in a most appealing cottage style. Seating at the large kitchen island works well. A second seating area with another sofa is off to the side of the kitchen. Climb the circular staircase, around the copper-topped shower turret, to arrive at the bride’s bedroom: the bed is centered beneath the peak of the roof and a sofa lines one of the walls. Ladies, this cottage is a bride-to-be’s dream come true.
And gentlemen….don’t think they have forgotten about you! On the opposite side of the property, nestled amongst the trees, is the Groom’s cabin. That’s right. A place just for you guys to hang out. This two-story building has an open front porch. Inside a large tiled table beckons a deck of playing cards, or maybe even a game of beer pong. The kitchen area is more like a glorified manly wet-bar. There’s a grand country sink, a microwave, refrigerator, and a coffee maker. A good sized seating area with a sofa, two leather chairs, three hassocks, and a television will keep you occupied once the card games end. Upstairs is a groom’s bed flanked by a couple of twin beds so the best man and groomsmen may stay there as well. Large windows offer you woodland views of the mountain behind the cabin.
The off-white stable barn not only houses a couple of antique vehicles (again, perfect for photo ops around the property) but it’s second floor has sleeping quarters for up to 24 people (3 per room). Each room has a bunk bed: a double on the bottom and a twin up top. Not overly roomy but if the bride and groom want their entire bridal party on property with them, this is a perfect solution.
Throughout the properties, tree trunks from their fallen trees have been utilized as the starting posts for staircases. You will find that many of the staircases, railings, and benches are all hand-hewn as well. Little touches abound throughout both Riverside Farm and Amee Farm Lodge (see previous post). Owners, Courtney & Joe, have gone above and beyond to create the perfect New England country event space. But then, theirs is born out of love…love for each other, love of people, friends, and love of the earth. The perfect place to begin your own love story, or to photograph one if you are a photographer.
To reserve a date, book a room, or find out more about Riverside Farm or Amee Farm Lodge, visit their website at http://www.riversidefarmweddings.com