I’m a Salem local, (and no, not a witch!) and I think I looked at EVERY possible place to have my wedding. Oh, and been to friends weddings pretty much everywhere too. Here are the few that I would recommend having been to events there (and talked to the friends about their experiences working with the staff)
-Hawthorne Hotel: been to loads of amazing functions here, the only reason we didn’t do our wedding here is that their ballroom is enormous, too big for our 90 person wedding. But a great space and great to work with (friends highly recommend).
-Hellenic Center: nice space, yummy food (they use Vinwood Catering, which is delicious!! I’ve been to a ton of events catered by them). Would have seriously considered this but my fiance had it in his head that he wanted super high ceilings for our wedding and this place didn’t have them. Gorgeous landscaping too!
-Ipswich Country Club: This was my runner up. gorgeous space, great to work with, but a friend of ours had just gotten married here!
-Smith Barn: I actually haven’t been here, but I’ve heard its great. We would have used it, but we’re not “barn” type people!
-Lyceum: wonderful, wonderful wonderful, but it is two smaller rooms and that didn’t work for us.
-Peabody Essex Museum: Amazing a space, but $$$$$$$$
I would NOT recommend the following, due to personal experience: Sheraton Ferncroft, Hamilton Hall. I don’t want to badmouth publicly, but if you want to know why, PM me and I’ll happily tell you why.
So what did we go with? Newburyport! There are two FANTASTIC AMAZING WONDERFUL venues that I would recommend over anything else. The first is the Phoenix Room, which I used for my wedding. It is a reception space owned by Harborside Catering, which owns 10 Center Street (upscale) and Michael’s Harborside (casual). They were amazing, definitely unique (call it a federalist style loft space) and the food was spectacular (custom menu!!). Plus the wedding coordinator took care of everything – was basically a DOC for free!! I cannot recommend them enough!!! I would also recommend the Mission Oak Grill – an amazing space just around the corner that a good friend of mine got married at. I know she was very happy with her experience and it was a gorgeous wedding. Also a very unique space (restaurant in an old church)
Ok, that’s long enough! So yeah, the girl that loves Salem ended up getting married in Newburyport. Hope this helps, Feel free to PM me with any questions…