We could occupy a million minutes talking about the cultural differences between the East and West Coast: the Atlantic and the Pacific, the suits and sneakers, the Yankees and the Giants, the pizza and the In-and-Out, New York and Los Angeles. The list could go on forever, and it makes you wonder: Are the costs ever on the same page? Eh, not really.
But that’s what’s beautiful about the United States — and beautiful about its wedding venues. Look closely, and you’ll see that the finer details of some coastal spots mirror one another, but as far as traditions and ambience are concerned, little aligns. And that should be embraced. So, we decided, what better way to attempt to make sense of their varying different aspects by bringing it back to what we do best: weddings, and comparing their venues side by side.
At a first glance, Maine and Oregon seem quite similar, both with bordering coastlines and located in one of the uppermost areas of the United States. Maine, or Vacationland as it is known, has a rocky, jagged coastline with a densely wooded mainland, plus rolling mountains; in fact, nearly 83 percent of the state is covered in pine trees. And our Maine wedding venues, such as The Inn on Peaks Island, The Barn on Walnut Hill, and French’s Point Estate, reflect this splendor of its geography.
Conversely, Oregon has more diverse terrain, plus the volcanic studded Cascade Mountains, waterfalls, deserts, and diverse forests made of both pine, redwood, and juniper trees. Interestingly enough, the state also boasts great vineyards (Maysara Winery is a Hitch favorite). Portland has also become a hipster paradise, and with venues like UNION/PINE, we couldn’t be more thrilled. Both these states are built upon their geography, and not just literally. Lucky for us, mother nature has graced both these lands and provided us with some truly remarkable venues.
Below, we’ve picked out two of our favorites from each.
Home to some of the richest, most wine-friendly soil on the planet, Vista Hills Vineyard is located in the Dundee Hills, one of Oregon’s most famed and photogenic sites. This climate is extremely similar to — gasp — the Burgundy region of France, yet it embodies its own distinct taste at the most sought after caliber of wine excellence. And with that, their 42-acre vineyard is right in the middle of it all. LIVE-certified and Salmon Safe (meaning that it produces premium fruit without harming its environment), the vineyard strives to always keep their key morals of treating people fairly, appreciating nature, and giving back to society. These values are intertwined in everything that they do, creating the most pleasant atmosphere for a wedding.
The Treehouse is the main attraction for all things wedding-related. Looking west over the beautiful Willamette Valley, the room boasts sweeping views of their estate vines and the gorgeous mountains beyond. Or choose between their other three spaces — the Tasting Room, the Great Room, or their quaint, expansive deck — or any combination for your ceremony and reception. Combine these cozy spaces beneath the trees with lit candles, live music, exceptional food, and hand-crafted wines right from their home vineyard. You are in for a truly unforgettable experience.
Between the White Mountains and the Atlantic, Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake is located in the heart of Maine’s Lakes Region, which is the primary reason why Maine is called Vacationland. And with the options to swim, boat, fish, sail, skate, snowshoe, ski, snowboard, snowmobile, sled dog race, waterski, canoe, kayak, hike, golf, camp, and bicycle —how could it not? Right in the middle of it all, the Migis Lodge is nestled on 125 acres of pine forest and 3,500 feet of Sebago Lake shoreline, making the description “outdoor oasis” an understatement.
According to legend, there lived four sons of a Native American chief on the far prairie. In search of a new home, the sons all parted ways to follow their desires. One of the young Indian sons went to the Northland, and beneath the pine forest that bordered the crystalline, great lake he found peace, happiness and pleasure. That very Maine land he named, ‘Migis’ meaning “place to steal away to rest.” Whether you believe it or not, the truth remains: this venue holds true to its name.
Arrive in style on their classic 1936 Chris Craft, then exchange vows under the pine trees with Sebago Lake and Western Maine’s mountains in the background, and then retreat to the Lakeside Lodge, where your guests can enjoy cocktails, dinner, and dancing. Then, why not round out your night around the bonfire at the Migis’ front terrace? The Lodge makes sure you and your guests are taken care of by providing a special bed and breakfast rate while enjoying overnight accommodations in their 35 cottages and 6 lodge rooms, all equipped with fieldstone fireplaces, handmade quilts and fine linens, and private porches overlooking the lake.
Round Two: Los Angeles Versus New York
I don’t think anyone in this great nation has seen two cities compared more than New York and Los Angeles, but the City of Angels and the Big Apple really couldn’t be more different. New York is filled with extreme vertical height and a very cosmopolitan culture, and Los Angeles is more sprawling and horizontal and prefers a more laid-back casual sense of being. Both are cultural havens, and continue to fight to be named as the number one attraction for all things entertainment, arts, fashion, and cuisine. But if there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that nothing represents the true colors of each city better than its wedding venues.
Below, we’ve picked out two our favorites from each.
loftSEVEN Penthouse is located in the historic, vivacious area that is downtown Los Angeles. Situated on the infamous Broadway — which is home to a hustling-and-bustling multicultural marketplace and the largest concentration of historic movie venues in the world — loftSEVEN is just steps away from the Fashion District, Walt Disney Concert Hall, L.A. Live, and Clifton’s Cafeteria. In short, it’s perfectly in the middle of the most renowned places that L.A. has to offer.
After undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, the HAAS Building, where loftSEVEN is located, has been given a fresh breath of air to its 11 floors, all designed to attract only the finest artists and entrepreneurs. Claiming its 12th floor is this prestigious penthouse and rooftop venue, which spans over 16,000 feet across its 2 levels. The whole venue has the satisfying feeling of a modern boutique hotel with splashes of its impressive 95-year history throughout, creating a relaxing ambiance that makes you forget that you are still in the middle of one of the most prominent cities in the Western hemisphere.
On the contrary to the ballroom environment, this venue attracts the modern day couple that seeks a unique space that will have a sophisticated, contemporary backdrop for their special day, one that mirrors their personalities, tailoring their wedding to feel more like a representation of themselves. Versatile, this venue can either hold an intimate gathering or an over-the-top, grand wedding fit for press. Whichever you choose, their professional team of coordinators will tailor every last detail to you and your future spouses personalities, so you are free to mingle and enjoy every minute of your special day.
Picture what you imagine a New York wedding to be: all the elegance, sophistication, and everything that makes New York, well, New York. Now add an industrial warehouse vibe and lots of candles and you have PUBLIC. This trendy spot boasts one of the most unique spaces in the Nolita neighborhood of downtown Manhattan, and it’s the perfect venue to combine good food, good wine, and good people.
PUBLIC is owned by the critically acclaimed AvroKo Restaurant Group, an award-winning multidisciplinary New York City firm. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star five years in a row, and chef Brad Farmerie was victorious in his maple syrup battle on Food Network’s Iron Chef America.
A combination of ceremony, reception, and dancing can be had within the space. PUBLIC offers two main options for your wedding. First: a reception, dinner, and then dancing. The reception will take place in the lounge area, complete with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and wine. Your event will then continue with a seated dinner with space available for up to 120 guests. Following dinner, the celebration continues in the lounge and bar where you and your guests can dance until your feet fall off.
The second option is a cocktail party and dancing, with room for 200 guests. A new fad, having a massive cocktail party in place of the original seated dinner, seems to be on the rise, and rightfully so. The food will progress from light appetizers to heavier, main course dishes and then to sweets. Included with your package would be use of the Daily, a lounge adjacent to PUBLIC, perfect for couples to use as a waiting room before or after their ceremony.
Round Three: Santa Monica Versus Martha's Vineyard
Two of the most desired relaxation destinations also appear to be on opposite coasts. For ages, people from all over both the Pacific and the Atlantic have been flocking to the seaside oasis of Santa Monica and Martha’s Vineyard (respectively) for a much needed break from the real world. Known for being a strictly summer getaway, Martha’s Vineyard's permanent population of 16,500 jumps to a whopping 100,000 during the summer months and is home to another one of our best venues, the Atria. On the complete contrary, although Santa Monica is a famed resort town (and home to another Hitch favorite, the Viceroy Santa Monica), many choose to make it their permanent place of residency, enjoying the sweet smell of the sea year round. So, it seems fitting here that both our favorite seaside venues on each coast, wholeheartedly represent the wonders and traditions of their hometowns.
Below, we’ve picked out two our favorites from each.
This 1920’s luxurious beach club has what you need for a reception and ceremony that will take your breath away. A ballroom with two-story high ceilings? Check. A staircase that allows you to make a grander than grand entrance? Check. Sweeping panoramic views of the Pacific coastline and Santa Monica Ferris Wheel? Double check. Whether your guests want relaxation or action, Casa Del Mar makes either/or happen. Surf lessons, yoga on the sand, pike rides, pools, spas, beach — everything needed to immerse yourself in the ultimate California lifestyle.
Elegant but easy, serious but fun, traditional but also contemporary, Casa Del Mar is all of this and more. A lot of beach, a little club, and an extra something magical is how they like to describe themselves, and we couldn’t agree more. Dream of your wedding, no matter how intimate or grand your dream is, and it can be accomplished. Choose from the Casa Del Mar’s seven wedding spaces — Colonnade Ballroom, the Colonnade Foyer, the Colonnade Terrace, the Bow, the Library, the Private Dining Room, and the Crimson Room — each can be fit to whatever you envision, no matter the size or theme.
Edgartown is situated on Martha’s Vineyard, an island located just south of of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and has the reputation of being an affluent summer colony. Since 1891, the Harbor View Hotel has been a staple destination of Martha’s Vineyard. The rise of the whaling industry in the 1830’s and 1840’s credited Edgartown to becoming the Vineyard’s wealthiest town. However, with the nation on the brink of civil war, the town had to make a paradigm shift from a place of permanent residency to becoming a resort destination. With the town making a massive push to becoming an important summer resort, a railroad was built across the island and the Harbor View Hotel was built on Starbuck’s Neck, overlooking the harbor entrance. Today, the hotel intertwines their history and tradition in every aspect of their resort, while at the same time creating a relaxing, contemporary and timeless ambiance.
Your storybook wedding begins at the Harbor View. They offer the Vineyard’s largest selection of indoor and outdoor locations with harbor and garden views. Have your ceremony at the gazebo, with views of the harbor and the historic Edgartown lighthouse. The site encompasses all the bells and whistles of a classic New England ceremony. Afterward, join your guests in Edgartown Room, Menemsha Room, or the Chilmark Room.The Edgartown Room is the largest on the Vineyard and doesn’t fall short on New England charm. Prefer the outdoors? Have your reception on the lawn surrounded by beautiful flowers and under the stars. The venue doesn’t fall short on activities for your guests: golfing along the Atlantic, sailing on a wooden schooner, sunset wine cruise, or just simply beaching are all just a select view of what they offer.