It’s no surprise that Martha’s Vineyard plays hosts to hundreds of weddings a year. With its unparalleled natural beauty, unique Island allure, and Old World charm your hard pressed to find a more romantic location. While the Island makes for a beautiful backdrop it can also be a logistically challenging location to host a special event, but with the help of some extra considerations you can plan the perfect Martha’s Vineyard wedding. Here’s some local insider tips to help guarantee a memorable celebration for you and your guests.
Over-communicate the details
Chances are many of your guests may be new to the Island and have limited knowledge of the logistics involved in getting here, getting around and their available travel options. You’ll want to thoroughly communicate the steps involved in getting here and what your guests can do in advance to be prepared. Make sure to have a detailed wedding website or information card in your invitation that breaks down available travel options as soon as possible. Travelling to the Vineyard isn’t hard but it does require pre planning, especially for big groups.
Ferry and plane service are available year round but schedules depend on the season. Cape Air offers year round air travel from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Delta, JetBlue, and American Airlines offer seasonal service from various locations including New York and Washington D.C. For additional details visit the Martha’s Vineyard airport website here.
The Steamship Authority offers year round ferry service from Woods Hole, MA and is the only way to get your car to the Island. There are also several seasonal ferries available including the Island Queen from Falmouth, Hyline Cruises from Hyannis, Seastreak from New York and New Bedford and the Rhode Island Fast Ferry from North Kingston.
Plan in advance
Be sure to provide clear instructions for your guests so they allot enough lead time for travel. For example if your guests plan to take a car over to the Island for your summer wedding they should make that reservation with the Steamship Authority months in advance. Visit our Getting Here page for a breakdown of the various travel options year round.
You’ll also want to help your guests secure lodging as far in advance as possible, especially if your event is taking place in the summer. The summer is the busiest time on Martha’s Vineyard and hotels, inns and rental homes also book up months in advance. Consider a spring or fall wedding when the weather is a little cooler, rates are lower and the crowds have lessened. Also keep in mind the spring and fall can also bring more rain and wind, which can complicate your travel arrangements. Ferries are regularly cancelled because of bad weather and high winds which may affect your timeline so be aware that these types of scenarios are possible and plan accordingly.
Whenever you decide to tie the knot on Martha’s Vineyard make sure to reach out to local wedding vendors as soon as you’ve locked in a date, as there are limited resources and a high demand for their services.
When it comes to lodging keep in mind that there are is not an endless selection of large hotel options like there may be on the mainland. The hotels that can accomodate the most guests include The Winnetu Oceanside Resort, the Clarion Inn and the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown; the Mansion House in Vineyard Haven and Summer Camp in Oak Bluffs. Other smaller hotels, like the Hob Knob Hotel, provide a more intimate setting and can be bought out exclusively for your guests. Another popular option for housing big groups is to rent a private home. AirBnb, VRBO and homeaway.com all offer several listings on the Island, as well as local real estate companies like Point B Realty, Sandpiper Realty and Tea Lane Associates.
Hire a wedding planner
Given the nuances of the Island and the special considerations involved in planning a Martha’s Vineyard wedding, you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner to help you navigate through the logistics and available vendors. Martha’s Vineyard is home to some incredibly organized and well connected wedding planners including KG Events & Design, Plan It MV, Timeless Events, With Grace and others. Their expertise, local knowledge and widespread resources will help ensure your wedding goes off without a hitch and will leave you to focus on more important things.
Visit Martha's Vineyard
Loving Martha's Vineyard is the easiest thing in the world to do.