outdoor Ithaca wedding ceremony

My Guide to the Top 10 Ithaca Wedding and Event Venues

Planning a wedding in Ithaca, NY, offers a plethora of beautiful and unique venues, each with its own charm and special features. As a musician who has lived in the area for 12 years and performed at numerous weddings, parties, and corporate events, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing each of these venues firsthand. While this may not be the most comprehensive guide, it reflects my personal favorites based on the atmosphere, facilities, and overall experience that each venues seems to deliver for the hosts and their guests.

The list is presented in alphabetical order, not by preference, to ensure fair representation of each venue. I’ve included links to each venue for your convenience. While I don’t have videos of all the places where I’ve performed, I do have recordings from many of them, which can give you a taste of the ambiance and musical experience each venue offers.

Here are my top 10 favorite wedding venues in Ithaca:

  1. Buttermilk Falls Pavilion
  2. Cayuga Shoreline
  3. Downtown Marriott
  4. Greek Peak / Hope Lake Lodge
  5. Ithaca Yacht Club
  6. La Tourelle
  7. New Park
  8. RaNic Golf Club
  9. Statler Hotel
  10. Treman Center

Each venue offers something unique, whether it’s breathtaking views, historical charm, versatile facilities, or exceptional service. I hope this guide helps you find the perfect spot for your special day.

 

 


Buttermilk Falls Pavilion


A Nature-Lover’s Wedding Haven

Buttermilk Falls Pavilion, located in Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, NY, is an exceptional venue for couples seeking a wedding surrounded by natural beauty. Known for itsview of falls at Buttermilk Falls picturesque landscapes and serene atmosphere, the pavilion offers a unique and memorable setting for a wedding celebration.

Scenic Natural Beauty

The Buttermilk Falls Pavilion is nestled within Buttermilk Falls State Park, which is renowned for its stunning natural features. The park takes its name from the frothy cascade created by Buttermilk Creek as it flows down a steep valley towards Cayuga Lake. The venue offers breathtaking views of the park’s centerpiece, a 165-foot waterfall, which serves as a spectacular backdrop for wedding ceremonies and photographs. The lush greenery and tranquil setting provide a romantic and peaceful environment that enhances the overall wedding experience.

When I first moved to Ithaca, I had the pleasure of playing at Buttermilk Falls Pavilion on solo guitar and voice. It was a beautiful Saturday evening in June, perfect for an outdoor scenic wedding. The melodies of my guitar intertwined with the natural sounds of the park, creating a harmonious and serene atmosphere for the guests. The setting sun cast a golden glow over the waterfall, making the evening truly magical.

Versatile Outdoor Spaces

wedding couple at Buttermilk FallsThe pavilion is well-suited for outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions. It can accommodate up to 73 guests, making it ideal for intimate gatherings. The surrounding picnic areas and playing fields provide additional space for larger celebrations, allowing couples to tailor the event to their specific needs. The natural setting also offers numerous opportunities for beautiful wedding photos, with trails and scenic spots scattered throughout the park.

Comprehensive Amenities and Services

Buttermilk Falls Pavilion offers essential amenities to ensure a comfortable and convenient wedding experience. The pavilion includes picnic tables, grills, and restrooms, providing a practical setup for an outdoor wedding. Additionally, the park’s management team is available to assist with reservations and event planning, ensuring that all details are taken care of. The pavilion is available for rent from May through October, making it an excellent choice for spring, summer, and fall weddings.

Activities and Attractions

Hosting a wedding at Buttermilk Falls Pavilion allows guests to enjoy the numerous activities and attractions available in the park. The state park features several hiking trails, includingwedding party at Buttermilk Falls the popular Gorge Trail and Rim Trail, which offer stunning views of waterfalls, deep pools, and sculpted rock formations. Guests can also take advantage of the park’s swimming areas, picnic spots, and scenic viewpoints, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to the wedding festivities.

Pavillion Rental Information

To rent the pavilion at Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, NY, you need to go through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Visit the New York State Parks website: Go to parks.ny.gov.
  2. Navigate to Reservations: On the homepage, click on the “Make a Reservation” link. This will take you to the Reserve America website, which handles park reservations.
  3. Search for Buttermilk Falls State Park: Use the search bar to find Buttermilk Falls State Park.
  4. Select the Pavilion: Once you find the park, look for options to reserve a pavilion or shelter. Select the date and time you wish to reserve.
  5. Complete the Reservation: Follow the prompts to complete your reservation, including entering your personal information and payment details.

seating for wedding at Buttermilk FallsIf you prefer to speak to someone directly, you can contact the park office at Buttermilk Falls State Park. The phone number for the park office is (607) 273-5761.

You can also visit the park office in person. The address is: Buttermilk Falls State Park 112 E. Buttermilk Falls Road Ithaca, NY 14850

Unique Appeal

What sets Buttermilk Falls Pavilion apart is its unique blend of natural beauty and intimate setting. The sound of the waterfall, the fresh scentwedding ceremony at Buttermilk Falls of the forest, and the sight of wildlife make this venue a haven for nature lovers. The pavilion’s rustic charm, combined with the convenience of modern amenities, offers couples the best of both worlds. The ability to have an outdoor wedding with such a stunning natural backdrop, while still enjoying the comforts of a well-equipped venue, makes Buttermilk Falls Pavilion a standout choice for weddings.

In summary, Buttermilk Falls Pavilion in Ithaca, NY, is an ideal wedding venue for couples who appreciate natural beauty and a serene outdoor setting. With its picturesque landscapes, versatile spaces, and comprehensive amenities, it provides a unique and memorable backdrop for wedding celebrations. Whether you are planning an intimate ceremony or a larger gathering, Buttermilk Falls Pavilion offers a charming and peaceful environment that will make your special day truly unforgettable.

 

 


Cayuga Shoreline


A Premier Wedding Venue on Cayuga Lake

Nestled on the western shore of Cayuga Lake in Interlaken, NY, Cayuga Shoreline is anfront entrance of Cayuga Shoreline exceptional venue that combines natural beauty, historical charm, and modern amenities to create an ideal setting for weddings. As a musician who has performed at numerous venues, I can attest to the unique appeal of Cayuga Shoreline for hosting unforgettable wedding celebrations.

Scenic Lakeside Setting

One of the most compelling reasons to choose Cayuga Shoreline for your wedding is its breathtaking lakeside setting. With over 300 feet of frontage on Cayuga Lake, the venue offers stunning panoramic views that provide a perfect backdrop for both ceremonies and receptions. The serene environment enhances the romantic ambiance, making it an ideal location for couples looking to celebrate their love amidst nature’s beauty.

Versatile Event Spaces

Cayuga Shoreline features a newly renovated event center that seamlessly integrates indoorinside of Cayuga Shoreline and outdoor spaces. This flexibility allows for various wedding setups, accommodating different themes and guest counts. The facility includes luxury lodging options such as a farmhouse, apartments, and lakeside cottages, ensuring that your guests can stay comfortably onsite. This integration of event and lodging spaces makes planning and logistics much simpler for couples and their guests.

Historical Charm and Modern Amenities

The venue’s rich history adds a unique charm to the wedding experience. Originally known as the Busy Bee Market, the property dates back to the early 1800s and has housed various businesses over the years, including a ferry boat service and several restaurants. Artifacts from this storied past, such as the gear from the historic Busy Bee ferry boat, add an interesting and nostalgic touch to the venue. Despite its historical roots, Cayuga Shoreline boasts modern amenities that ensure a comfortable and memorable experience for allguitarist near wedding couple during ceremony attendees.

A Musician’s Perspective

From my experience as a musician, performing at Cayuga Shoreline offers a unique opportunity to enhance the wedding atmosphere with live music. I recently had the pleasure of performing an all-bossa nova wedding at this venue, and the setting significantly complemented the smooth, rhythmic tunes of bossa nova. The bride and groom, both enthusiasts of the genre, selected classics like “Agua De Beber,” “Blue Bossa,” and “Girl from Ipanema.” These tunes, along with other favorites, created an intimate and sophisticated atmosphere that resonated with the guests.  Here is a video montage I took of the event from my phone on my music stand.

Performing a wide array of bossa nova songs required adapting to the evening’s evolving atmosphere, ensuring that the music remained engaging and unobtrusive. Despite a technical mishap with the audio recorder during the first set, the remaining recordings captured the essence of the evening, preserving the special moments created by the music.view of lake from deck of Cayuga Shoreline

Enhancing the Wedding Experience

Music plays a crucial role in transforming wedding spaces and creating lasting memories. At Cayuga Shoreline, the combination of a beautiful venue and carefully curated music can elevate the celebration, adding an extra layer of charm and sophistication. The positive feedback from guests and the joy expressed by the bride and groom at the bossa nova wedding reinforced my belief in the power of music to enhance special events.

guitarist playing bossa nova weddingFor couples looking to add a similar musical experience to their wedding, I offer various live music options, from bossa nova to other genres, to suit different tastes and preferences. My goal is to create a memorable and personalized musical experience that complements the unique setting of Cayuga Shoreline.

In conclusion, Cayuga Shoreline stands out as a premier wedding venue in the Ithaca area, combining scenic beauty, versatile event spaces, historical charm, and modern amenities. Whether you are planning an intimate gathering or a grand celebration, this venue offers everything needed to make your wedding day truly special. If you are interested in exploring live music options for your wedding at Cayuga Shoreline, feel free to contact me or visit my website to learn more about how we can create a magical musical experience for your special day.

 

 


Downtown Ithaca Marriott / Monks on the Commons


A Sophisticated Urban Venue

The Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons is an exceptional choice for a wedding venue, combining modern elegance withfront of Ithaca Downtown Marriott hotel convenient amenities in the heart of downtown Ithaca. Here are several reasons why this venue stands out as a top wedding destination:

Prime Downtown Location

Situated on the vibrant Ithaca Commons, the Marriott offers a central location that provides easy access to local attractions, restaurants, and entertainment. This urban setting is perfect for couples who want to incorporate the lively atmosphere of downtown Ithaca into their wedding celebrations. The convenience of being close to hotels, shops, and other amenities ensures that guests have everything they need within walking distance.

Versatile Event Spaces

The Marriott features 2,300 square feet of event space, including the elegant Gorges Ballroom, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking downtown Ithaca. This sleek and modern venue can host Dennis Winge solo at Monksup to 130 guests, making it suitable for both intimate ceremonies and larger receptions. Additional spaces like the Falls Boardroom and Salon B provide versatile options for different parts of the wedding day, from the ceremony to cocktail hour and dinner.

Comprehensive Wedding Services

One of the highlights of hosting a wedding at the Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons is the range of comprehensive services offered. The venue provides event planners, decorators, photographers, and catering services to ensure that every detail of your wedding is meticulously planned and executed. Modern amenities such as microphones, stages, and custom lighting setups are available to enhance the wedding experience. Overnight accommodations are also available for guests, adding to the convenience of hosting your wedding here.

Culinary Excellence

The Marriott’s catering team offers a variety of menu options tailored to your preferences, ensuring that your guests enjoy a memorable dining experience. From cocktail hour appetizers to multi-course dinners, the culinary offerings are designed to delightlounge seating at Ithaca Downtown Marriott hotel and satisfy. The venue’s commitment to quality and service ensures that the food complements the elegance and sophistication of your wedding celebration.

 

Monks on the Commons: A Unique and Intimate Setting

Monks on the Commons, located within the Ithaca Marriott, is another fantastic option for weddings. This modern tavern offers a unique blend of contemporary style and cozy charm, making it an ideal setting for intimate weddings and receptions. The locavore pub grub and creative cocktails provide a relaxed yet upscale dining experience, perfect for couples looking for a more casual yet refined wedding atmosphere.

Dennis Winge trio at MonksI have played at Monks fairly regularly over the years, performing in various configurations, including solo guitar, a Latin jazz trio, and a regular jazz trio. Whether indoors near the bar area of the restaurant or outdoors on the patio, the atmosphere has always been vibrant and welcoming. The flexibility of the venue to host different types of music and events makes it a great choice for wedding celebrations.

Here are some videos from performances at Monks: outdoor jazz trio, outdoor Latin jazz, Indoor Trio 1, Indoors Trio 2, Solo Indoors.

 

 

ballroom at Ithaca Downtown Marriott hotelWhy Choose the Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons?

  1. Prime Location: Central downtown setting with easy access to local attractions and amenities.
  2. Versatile Spaces: Multiple event spaces to accommodate various wedding sizes and styles.
  3. Comprehensive Services: Full range of wedding planning and execution services, ensuring a seamless experience.
  4. Culinary Excellence: High-quality catering options tailored to your event.
  5. Modern Amenities: State-of-the-art facilities and accommodations for guests.
  6. Musical Flexibility: Proven ability to host a variety of musical acts, enhancing the overall ambiance.

In summary, the Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons offers a sophisticated urban venue with versatile spaces, comprehensive services, and a prime location. Whether you choose the elegant Gorges Ballroom or the intimate Monks on the Commons, this venue provides everything you need for a memorable and seamless wedding celebration.

 

 


Greek Peak Resort / Hope Lake Lodge


A Versatile and Picturesque Wedding Venue

While not in Ithaca, Greek Peak Mountain Resort and Hope Lake Lodge in Cortland, NY, are close enough to be included in this guide. These venues offer a unique blend of natural beauty, versatile event spaces, and comprehensive amenities, making them exceptionalfront of greek peak choices for weddings.

Scenic and Accessible Location

Nestled in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region, Greek Peak is conveniently accessible from major cities like Syracuse, Ithaca, and Binghamton. Its location offers picturesque views of mountains, forests, and Hope Lake, providing a stunning backdrop for wedding ceremonies and photos. The natural surroundings add a touch of serenity and elegance to any event, making it a memorable setting for your special day.

Diverse and Versatile Event Spaces

Greek Peak Mountain Resort and Hope Lake Lodge offer a variety of event spaces to accommodate weddings of all sizes and styles:

  1. The Lookout: Built in 2021, this venue features 4,500 square feet of indoor space with a large outdoor covered patio, accommodating up to 310 guests. The Lookout boasts farmhouse elegance with wooden tables and chairs, wrought iron chandeliers, and a spacious dance floor. The venue also includes bridal suites with salon-style stations.
  2. Acropolis Ballroom: Located at the base of the mountain, this formal setting can host up to 240 guests and includes anwedding ceremony at Greek Peak attached veranda with breathtaking views of the Greek Peak ski mountains. The ballroom also provides access to a 6,000 sq. ft. two-tier deck, perfect for cocktail hours.
  3. Meteora Center: This 4,000 sq. ft. venue can accommodate up to 200 guests and features dimmable chandeliers, composite flooring, and Chiavari chairs. It also includes an attached lighted patio with optional fire pits.
  4. Mountaintop Ceremonies: For a truly unique experience, couples can arrive via chairlift to a mountaintop ceremony, available from May to October.
  5. Adirondack Room: Ideal for smaller gatherings, this intimate space within Hope Lake Lodge accommodates up to 87 guests.

Comprehensive Amenities and Services

Greek Peak Mountain Resort and Hope Lake Lodge provide a full range of amenities and services to ensure a seamless wedding experience:

  • Accommodation Options: The resort offers luxurious accommodations, including Hope Lake Lodge’s 41,000 sq. ft. indoor waterpark, a world-class spa, and various lodging options for guests.
  • Catering Services: The on-site catering team provides customizable menus to suit any wedding style, from formal dinners to casual receptions.
  • Event Planning: The resort’s experienced event planners assist with every detail, ensuring that your wedding day is stress-free and perfectly executed.
  • Activities for Guests: Guests can enjoy a range of activities, including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and zip-lining, making it a destination where everyone can find something to enjoy.

My Personal Experience

Last October, I had the pleasure of performing at a beautiful wedding set against the scenic backdrop of Greek Peak / Hope Lake

The Way Band at wedding reception

Lodge. The entire day was filled with music, from the emotional ceremony to a lively reception, creating memories that both the bride and groom, and their guests, will cherish forever.  Here is a video montage of the reception.

A Perfectly Timed Processional: The ceremony was a highlight in itself. I performed “Sleep on the Floor” by The Lumineers, timing the song so that the chorus coincided perfectly with the bride’s processional. As she walked down the aisle, the song’s chorus swelled, enhancing the emotional impact of the moment. It was beautiful to see everything come together so seamlessly, adding a magical touch to their special day.

Cocktail Hour Tunes: Following the ceremony, I moved to the tented facility where I entertained the guests during the cocktail hour. Armed with my guitar and voice, I performed a range of popular requests including “Crash” by Dave Matthews, “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, and “I Will Wait” by Mumford and Sons. The variety of songs catered to the diverse tastes of the guests, setting a relaxed yet upbeat tone for the evening.

guests dancing at Greek Peak weddingThe Reception: A Night of Dancing: As the evening progressed, The Way Band quartet—comprising the usual trio plus keyboards—took the stage. We played a mix of the bride and groom’s special requests and popular hits. From “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield to “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John, and even the Buffalo Bills Shout Song, the dance floor was never empty. The crowd also enjoyed singing along to “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton, “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks, and “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars, dancing up a storm throughout the night.

A Touching Moment Post-Wedding: One of my favorite moments came a day or two after the wedding. I had posted a highlight reel on Instagram, and the bride contacted me, hoping to find any video of her father on the dance floor—a rare sight. Fortunately, I was able to locate and send her four minutes of footage showing her dad dancing with the family. Her response, saying she was in tears of joy watching it, was incredibly moving.

Gratitude for the Gift of Music: It’s moments like these that make me truly grateful for what I do. Being able to add to the joy of someone’s wedding day and then extend that joy with lasting memories is why I love playing at these events. Greek Peak / Hope Lake Lodge provided a beautiful setting for a wonderful celebration of love, music, and dancing that none of us will soon forget.Hope Lake Lodge at Greek Peak

Playing at such events underscores the power of music to connect us, to elevate special occasions, and to create memories that not only last a lifetime but also reach deeply into our hearts. I look forward to many more weddings where music plays a central role in celebrating love and family.

In summary, Greek Peak Mountain Resort and Hope Lake Lodge offer a comprehensive and versatile setting for weddings, combining natural beauty with modern amenities. Whether you envision a grand celebration or an intimate gathering, this venue provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable wedding day.

 

 


Ithaca Yacht Club


A Lakeside Gem for Weddings

The Ithaca Yacht Club (IYC), nestled on the west shore of Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, NY, is a premier choice for a wedding venue. guests dancing at Ithaca Yacht Club wedding to The Way Band  Established in 1907, the club boasts a rich history, stunning scenic views, versatile facilities, and a vibrant community atmosphere, making it an ideal location for couples looking to tie the knot. Here’s why the Ithaca Yacht Club stands out as a top wedding destination.

Scenic Location

The IYC is renowned for its picturesque setting on Cayuga Lake. The serene waters and beautifully maintained grounds provide a breathtaking backdrop for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Couples can exchange vows against the stunning natural scenery, offering numerous opportunities for memorable wedding photos. Whether it’s the lush greenery in spring and summer or the vibrant foliage in fall, the club’s location offers seasonal beauty that enhances the overall ambiance of any wedding.

Versatile Facilities

The club features a variety of spaces to accommodate different sizes and styles of weddings. The large clubhouse, with its elegantindoor seating at Ithaca Yacht Club dining room, is perfect for indoor receptions and can be tailored to suit both intimate gatherings and larger celebrations. The grassy shoreline and outdoor spaces are ideal for ceremonies, cocktail hours, and receptions, allowing couples to enjoy the natural beauty of the lakeside setting. The versatility of these spaces ensures that couples can have their dream wedding, regardless of the weather or their specific preferences.

Comprehensive Services

One of the standout features of the IYC is its comprehensive range of services designed to support wedding events. The club offers catering through its on-site restaurant and pub, providing a variety of menu options that can be customized to suit any event. The experienced staff at the IYC are also available to assist with event planning, ensuring that every detail is taken care of, from decorations to logistics. This level of support helps to alleviate the stress of wedding planning, allowing couples to focus on enjoying their special day.

Exclusive and Private

As a members-only club, the IYC offers a sense of exclusivity and privacy that is perfect for weddings. The private grounds ensure that the event is secluded from the public, allowing guests to celebrate in a personal and intimate setting. This exclusivity adds to the overall charm and appeal of the venue, making it a truly unique location for a wedding.

Amenities for Guests

In addition to the beautiful event spaces, the IYC provides a range of amenities that guests can enjoy. The club features a marina,outdoor tent at Ithaca Yacht Club swimming area, and offers kayaks and paddleboards for member use. These amenities can enhance the overall wedding experience, providing guests with additional recreational options during their stay. Whether it’s a leisurely paddle on the lake or a relaxing swim, these activities add an extra layer of enjoyment to the wedding festivities.

A Memorable Wedding with The Way Band

Last year, The Way Band had the pleasure of performing at a wedding held at the Ithaca Yacht Club, and it was an

unforgettable experience. The event began with a solo performance during the cocktail hour, where I played classic tunes that perfectly complemented the serene lakeside setting. The melodies mixed with the gentle breeze, creating a classy and relaxed atmosphere for the guests.

dennis solo at Ithaca Yacht Club weddingAs the sun began to set, the rest of the band joined in, and the energy of the evening soared. For three hours, we played a variety of songs that had the dance floor packed. One of the standout moments was when the bride’s dad took the spotlight, grabbing the wireless mic and singing “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen with us. The crowd’s reaction was electric, reflecting the family’s love for Springsteen.

Towards the end of the night, the entire wedding party formed a big circle and sang “Piano Man” by Billy Joel along with the band. This moment, steeped in the bride and her friends’ college tradition, was a highlight of the evening. The sense of camaraderie and joy was palpable, and it was a privilege to be a part of such a special memory.

One aspect of our performance that received particular praise was our ability to manage the volume perfectly. One of the staff members complimented us, noting that many bands tend to play too loudly for the venue. Over the years, we’ve learned to read the room and adjust our volume accordingly, ensuring that the music enhances the atmosphere without overwhelming the guests.

At the end of the night, the bride and groom expressed their gratitude, describing the evening as “perfect.” Their heartfelt appreciation and the positive feedback from the guests underscored the magical role that live music plays in creating memorable celebrations. It’s moments like these that remind us of the power of music to bring people together and create lasting memories.  Here is a video montage of the event.

Why Choose Ithaca Yacht Club for Your Wedding?

    1. Scenic Location: The club’s prime lakeside position offers unparalleled views and a romantic setting.
    2. Versatile Facilities: With options for both intimate and large-scale weddings, the venue can be customized to fit yourThe Way Band at Ithaca Yacht Club vision.
    3. Exceptional Catering: Catering by Luna ensures top-quality food and service for your special day.
    4. Exclusive and Private: The members-only nature of the club offers a secluded and intimate environment.
    5. Rich History and Community Atmosphere: The club’s longstanding tradition and welcoming community enhance its charm.

In conclusion, the Ithaca Yacht Club is an exceptional venue for weddings, offering a blend of scenic beauty, versatile facilities, comprehensive services, and exclusive privacy. The club’s rich history and vibrant community atmosphere add to its charm, making it a standout choice for couples looking to celebrate their special day in a unique and memorable setting.

 

 


La Tourelle


A Romantic and Scenic Wedding Venue in Ithaca

La Tourelle Hotel, Bistro & Spa, located in Ithaca, NY, is a renowned wedding venue that offers a blend of rusticfront of La Tourelle charm and modern amenities. Here are several reasons why La Tourelle stands out as an exceptional choice for weddings:

Scenic and Serene Location

Nestled on 70 acres of lawns, ponds, gardens, fields, and forests, La Tourelle provides a multitude of scenic spots for wedding ceremonies. The beautiful grounds, complete with ponds and gazebos, offer the perfect backdrop for your wedding photos, making it an idyllic setting for a romantic ceremony.

Versatile Event Spaces

La Tourelle features a multi-level banquet room that can accommodate up to 135 guests for a banquet-style reception or 150 guests for a cocktail-style event. The room is designed with high ceilings, mirrored walls, and large windows that allow natural light to flood the space. It also includes a mahogany bar and a spacious dance floor, with French doors that open to a private terrace, perfect for toasting, coffee, and dessert.gazebo and pond at La Tourelle

Comprehensive Services

La Tourelle offers a range of services to ensure a seamless wedding experience. Their wedding concierge assists with planning and coordination, taking care of setup and cleanup to allow you to focus on enjoying your day. The on-site catering team, led by an executive chef, provides personalized menus featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from the Finger Lakes region. Whether you prefer an elegant plated dinner or a buffet, La Tourelle can create a dining experience that suits your preferences.

Accommodations for Guests

The hotel offers 54 rooms and suites, providing comfortable accommodations for your wedding guests. They offer various room types,outdoor patio at La Tourelle including spacious suites that are perfect for bridal parties and romantic rooms for newlyweds, complete with amenities like jacuzzi tubs and cozy gas fireplaces. Special discounts are available for wedding guests, ensuring a memorable and convenient stay.

My Personal Experience

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of performing solo instrumental guitar at a beautiful winter wedding at La Tourelle on Valentine’s Day. The first dance was “All of Me” by John Legend, and the intimate indoor setting provided a warm and romantic atmosphere despite the chilly weather outside.

In addition to the winter wedding, I hosted a summer party for the Ithaca Jazz and Blues Jam, which I used to run. This event was held outdoors on the back patio, where I played with a trio. Various Ithaca musicians joined in to jam with the band, creating a lively and enjoyable summer evening. These experiences allowed me to appreciate La Tourelle’s versatility as a venue for both indoorwedding ceremony at La Tourelle and outdoor events, in different seasons.

Why La Tourelle is Great for Weddings

  1. Scenic Location: The venue’s extensive grounds with ponds, gardens, and gazebos offer multiple picturesque spots for ceremonies and photos.
  2. Versatile Event Spaces: The multi-level banquet room and outdoor terraces provide flexible options for both intimate and larger weddings.
  3. Comprehensive Services: From wedding planning to catering, La Tourelle offers a full suite of services to ensure a stress-free wedding day.
  4. Accommodations: With 54 rooms and suites, the hotel can comfortably host your wedding party and guests, offering special rates for wedding bookings.
  5. Seasonal Versatility: The venue’s ability to host beautiful events both indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summerindoor seating at La Tourellemakes it a year-round choice for weddings.

La Tourelle‘s combination of stunning scenery, versatile event spaces, comprehensive services, and comfortable accommodations makes it an ideal venue for weddings in the Finger Lakes region. Whether you envision an intimate ceremony or a grand celebration, La Tourelle provides the perfect setting for a memorable and romantic wedding day.

 


New Park


A Unique and Inspirational Wedding Venue

New Park Event Venue & Suites, located just north of Ithaca and south of Taughannock Falls, offers anwedding ceremony at new park exceptional setting for weddings in the Finger Lakes region. Here’s why New Park stands out as an ideal choice for weddings:

Scenic and Serene Location

New Park is situated in a beautiful, natural setting, providing a serene and picturesque backdrop for weddings. The venue features a forested ceremony spot on the bank of a babbling creek, creating a tranquil and romantic atmosphere. This proximity to nature adds a unique charm to the wedding experience, making it a memorable place to exchange vows.

courtyard at New Park

Versatile Event Spaces

New Park offers a range of event spaces that cater to different aspects of a wedding celebration:

    1. Forested Ceremony Spot: This outdoor space can accommodate up to 215 guests and offers a beautiful natural setting for the ceremony.
    2. Pavilion/Lodge: Equipped with temperature control, this space serves as a backup for ceremonies in case of rain and is ideal for receptions with a dance floor and tented areas for dining and lounging.
    3. The Wish Room: Perfect for hosting rehearsal dinners, late-night parties, and brunches, this space allows for an extended celebration throughout the weekend.

Comprehensive Amenities and Services

New Park provides a variety of services to ensure a seamless and enjoyable wedding experience:

  • On-Site Accommodations: With seven suites, New Park can host up to 24 guests on-site, offering unique and beautifully designed accommodations with stained glass, artisanal woodwork, and stonework. This allowsseating for wedding ceremony at New Park the wedding party to stay together and enjoy the venue’s amenities throughout the weekend.
  • Beverage Services: Provided in-house by Cedarwood Bar Catering, New Park offers a range of beer, wine, and liquor options for your event.
  • Venue Coordination: A dedicated venue coordinator is available to assist with all on-site vendors and ensure everything runs smoothly.

Unique Features

  1. Pet-Friendly: All event spaces and accommodations at New Park are pet-friendly, making it an inclusive venue for couples who want to include their furry friends in their celebration.
  2. Full Weekend Weddings: New Park specializes in weekend weddings, allowing couples to extend their celebration over multiple days with rehearsal dinners, late-night parties, and brunches.
  3. Personalized Experience: With customizable packages and the ability to individually invoice accommodations and services, New Park offers a flexible and personalized wedding experience.

My Personal Experience

Dennis playing at New Park

I’ve had the pleasure of performing at New Park on multiple occasions of the Sweet Bough Collective Wedding Expos. Here is a video of my first performance at New Park in the main building.  Nestled in nature, this expo was the perfect setting for acoustic vibes and personal connections. My performance aimed to blend seamlessly with the tranquil surroundings, providing a soundtrack that echoed the couples’ dreams and aspirations.  Here’s a video of my performance in the “Wish Room” at New Park.

In a previous blog, I wrote about my site visit to New Park. Despite the snow during the Sweet Bough CollectiveDennis performing at New Park Wedding Expo, I later had the chance to tour the venue in better weather. The unique architecture, natural beauty, and thoughtful amenities make New Park a standout choice for weddings.

Highlights from My Blog

  • Architectural Marvels: New Park isn’t just a venue—it’s a canvas of creativity where each room tells a unique story. The Wish Room’s unique clock and wine-bottle-shaped wall add a touch of magic to the venue.
  • Nuptials in Nature’s Embrace: For those seeking the allure of nature in their ceremony, New Park provides a charming wooded area near a serene stream. The tranquility of the woods sets the tone for a picturesque outdoor ceremony.
  • Dance in Every Weather: New Park ensures your celebrations are weather-proof with its innovative dance floor area. Abundant outdoor seating covered by elegant tents allows you to dance the night away in comfort, whether under the stars or shielded from the elements.
  • Parking Made Easy: Convenience is key, and New Park offers ample parking spaces to accommodate your guests without hassle.
  • Stay Where the Magic Happens: With the ability to accommodate up to 24 guests on-site, you can extend the celebration with a wedding party sleepover, creating cherished memories throughout the entire stay.inside a cottage at New Park

In summary, New Park Event Venue & Suites offers a unique and flexible setting for weddings, combining natural beauty, versatile event spaces, comprehensive services, and comfortable accommodations. Whether you envision a grand celebration or an intimate gathering, New Park provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable wedding day.

 

 


RaNic Golf Club


A Premier Wedding and Event Venue in Ithaca

RaNic Golf Club, located in Ithaca, NY, offers a sophisticated and versatile setting forview of main building at RaNic Golf Club weddings, corporate events, and private parties. Here are several reasons why RaNic stands out as an exceptional choice for your special occasion:

Scenic and Serene Location

RaNic Golf Club is set amidst the picturesque landscapes of Cayuga Heights, providing a tranquil and beautiful backdrop for weddings. The 20,000-square-foot clubhouse offers sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, enhancing the overall aesthetic of the event.

Versatile Event Spaces

banquet at RaNic Golf ClubRaNic Golf Club features several beautifully appointed private banquet rooms ideal for hosting events of all sizes. These spaces are designed to accommodate both intimate gatherings and larger celebrations, offering flexibility to suit various wedding styles and guest lists. The elegant interiors and outdoor views create a refined and inviting atmosphere for your wedding or event.

Recently, my jazz trio played at RaNic for a Red Dress Gala fundraiser for Cornell, and we will also be performing there in December for another Cornell event. The bar area, where we played for the fundraiser, is perfect for creating a lively and engaging atmosphere.  Here is a video of one song we played at the event.

During a recent tour with the manager, I reacquainted myself with the venue’s various options, including a backballroom at RaNic Golf Club patio, a new front patio under construction, and a multi-function room in the back with a giant projector screen. These versatile spaces make RaNic ideal for a wide range of events.

Comprehensive Services and Amenities

  1. Professional Coordination: The RaNic staff is committed to providing professional service, ensuring that every detail of your event is meticulously planned and executed. This includes coordination with on-site vendors and managing the flow of the event to guarantee a flawless experience.
  2. Culinary Excellence: RaNic offers top-notch catering services through its in-house team, which can customize menus to fit your preferences and dietary requirements. The RaNic Bar & Grill also provides a variety of beverage options to complement your dining experience.
  3. Recreational Facilities: For guests who enjoy golf, RaNic offers an 18-hole golf course designed by Geoffrey Cornish, providing an excellent recreational option for your wedding weekend or corporate retreat. The club also features a driving range, short game area, and putting green.
  4. Modern Amenities: The clubhouse is equipped with modern amenities to ensurelounge at RaNic Golf Club comfort and convenience for all guests. This includes temperature-controlled banquet rooms, ample parking, and accessible facilities.

Unique Features

  1. Personalized Experience: RaNic Golf Club provides a personalized approach to event planning, allowing couples and event organizers to tailor their experience to their specific needs and preferences. This flexibility ensures that each event at RaNic is unique and memorable.
  2. Stunning Views: The club’s location offers breathtaking views of the Cayuga Heights countryside, which can be enjoyed from the banquet rooms and outdoor areas. These scenic vistas provide a perfect backdrop for wedding photos and outdoor ceremonies.
  3. Golfing Amenities: The club’s semi-private golf course and practice facilities offer a fun and engaging activity for guests, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to the wedding festivities or corporate events.patio at RaNic Golf Club

Summary

RaNic Golf Club combines scenic beauty, versatile event spaces, comprehensive services, and modern amenities to provide an ideal setting for weddings, corporate events, and private parties in Ithaca. Whether you are planning an intimate ceremony, a grand celebration, or a professional gathering, RaNic offers the perfect venue to make your special day unforgettable.

 


The Statler Hotel


Elegance and Tradition at Cornell University

Recently, my jazz quartet had the pleasure of performing at a wedding held at The Statlerfront of Statler Hotel Hotel in Ithaca, NY. Known for its elegance and exceptional service, The Statler Hotel provided a perfect setting for a first-class wedding. This experience was truly memorable, from the grandeur of the venue to the joy of contributing to such a special occasion.

Background on The Statler Hotel

Located on the picturesque Cornell University campus, The Statler Hotel is a premier destination for weddings and events. Managed by Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, the hotel combines luxury and educational excellence. The hotel’s scenic location offers stunning views of the campus and surrounding natural beauty, making it an ideal backdrop for wedding photos and outdoor ceremonies.

The Statler Hotel boasts luxurious accommodations and modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and various dining options such as Taverna Banfi and the Regent Lounge. These features, coupled with the exceptional service provided by both professional staff and students, ensure a memorable stay for all guests.

A Classy Wedding

The wedding we performed at was nothingguests seated in ballroom at Statler Hotel wedding short of spectacular. The bride and groom had chosen The Statler Hotel for its elegance and reputation for excellence, and the venue did not disappoint. The ballroom, with its high ceilings and exquisite décor, provided a perfect setting for the celebration. The space was ample enough to accommodate over 230 guests comfortably, with plenty of room for dining and dancing.

As the guests arrived, they were greeted by the beautiful strains of mellow jazz standards. Our set began with classics such as “Embraceable You” and “Secret Love,” setting a sophisticated and relaxed tone for the evening. The acoustics in the ballroom were excellent, allowing the music to flow effortlessly throughout the space.  Here is a video montage of the event.

The First Dance and More

jazz band at Statler Hotel weddingOne of the highlights of the evening was the couple’s first dance. They had chosen “Moon River,” a timeless piece that we were delighted to perform. As we played, the couple gracefully took to the dance floor, creating a magical moment that was both intimate and elegant. The soft, melodic notes of the song perfectly complemented the romantic ambiance of the ballroom.

Transition to Dance Numbers

As the evening progressed, the energy in the room began to shift. After the dinner service, which included an impressive array of dishes reflecting The Statler Hotel’s commitment to culinary excellence, it was time to get the party started. We transitioned to more upbeat numbers, playing classics like “In the Mood” and “Take the A Train.” The dance floor quickly filled up, with guests of all ages joining in the celebration. The joy and enthusiasm were palpable, and it was clear that everyone was having a fantastic time.

The Experience

people dancing to live jazz band at Statler Hotel weddingPlaying at such a prestigious venue was an incredible experience for our jazz quartet. The elegance of the surroundings, combined with the enthusiastic response from the guests, made for an unforgettable evening. Dressing up in tuxedos added an extra layer of sophistication, and we felt honored to be part of such a special occasion.

The Statler Hotel’s attention to detail and commitment to excellence were evident in every aspect of the event. The staff were professional and attentive, ensuring that everything ran smoothly from start to finish. Their expertise in event planning and execution was apparent, and it was a pleasure to work with such a dedicated team.

Why The Statler Hotel is Ideal for Weddings

The Statler Hotel is an ideal venue for weddings for several reasons:

  1. Scenic Location: The hotel’s location on Cornell University’s campus offers stunning views and a beautiful backdrop for wedding photos.
  2. Versatile Event Spaces: With its large ballroom and various other indoor and outdoor spaces, The Statler Hotel can accommodate weddings of all sizes.
  3. Luxurious Accommodations: Guests can enjoy comfortable and well-appointed rooms, ensuring a pleasant stay.
  4. Culinary Excellence: The hotel’s dining options provide high-quality, delicious meals that can be customized to suit any event.
  5. Professional Event Planning: The experienced staff at The Statler Hotel are adept at handling all aspects of wedding planning, ensuring a seamless and memorable event.
  6. Historic Charm and Modern Amenities: The combination of historic charm and modern amenities makes The Statler Hotel a unique and appealing choice for couples.lobby of Statler Hotel

In conclusion, our performance at The Statler Hotel was a testament to the venue’s excellence and the joy of live music. The wedding was a beautiful celebration, enhanced by the elegance of the surroundings and the enthusiastic participation of the guests. We look forward to many more opportunities to perform at The Statler Hotel, bringing the magic of jazz to even more special occasions.

 


The Treman Center


A Unique and Enchanting Wedding Venue

Located just a short drive from Ithaca, NY, The Treman Center is an enchanting venue thatfront sign at Treman Center seamlessly blends rustic charm with modern elegance. Its proximity to the stunning Robert H. Treman State Park makes it an ideal setting for weddings and other special events. Here’s why The Treman Center stands out as a premier wedding venue, along with a glimpse into the unforgettable experience my jazz trio had while performing there recently.

Scenic Beauty and Natural Integration

The Treman Center is nestled within the breathtaking landscapes of Robert H. Treman State Park, which spans 1,250 acres and features gorges, waterfalls, and lush greenery. This natural beauty provides an exquisite backdrop for wedding ceremonies and photos. The venue itself is designed from local stone and salvaged wood from an 1870s hay barn, giving it a timeless, rustic appeal that harmoniously integrates with its surroundings.

When you arrive at The Treman Center, you’re greeted by a Tuscan-inspired stonecourtyard at Treman Center courtyard that exudes old-world charm. The courtyard, with its reflecting pools and beautiful gardens, is perfect for cocktail hours and intimate gatherings. Adjacent to this space is a serene inner sanctuary, a walled-in area with a pond, chairs, and vines climbing up the stone walls. This peaceful spot offers a lovely retreat from the main event, allowing guests to relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

Versatile Event Spaces

One of The Treman Center’s greatest strengths is its versatility. The three-story barn features a spacious main hall, cozy fireplaces, and multiple indoor and outdoor spaces that can be customized to suit various wedding styles and sizes. Whether you’re planning an intimate ceremony or a large celebration, the venue’s flexible layout can accommodate your vision.

The main building houses a welcoming lobby area, perfect for greeting guests and serving refreshments. Upstairs, a multi-function room can host ceremonies, receptions, or other activities, offering a versatile space that can be tailored to your needs. Additionally, the venue boasts an expansive outdoor area with a large tented seating space, ideal for dining and dancing under the stars. The surrounding open spaces provide ample room for lawn games and other outdoor activities, ensuring a fun and engaging experience for all guests.

Historic and Rustic Charm with Modern Amenities

courtyard at Treman CenterThe Treman Center’s design, which incorporates elements from the 1870s hay barn, creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. The rustic interiors, complemented by the Tuscan-inspired courtyards, add a unique charm that appeals to many couples. Despite its historic appearance, the venue is equipped with modern amenities to ensure the comfort and convenience of guests. State-of-the-art kitchen facilities, restrooms, and audiovisual equipment are all available to support seamless event planning and execution.

Privacy and Exclusivity

Situated within the expansive Robert H. Treman State Park, The Treman Center offers a sense of privacy and exclusivity that is perfect for weddings. The venue’s secluded location allows couples to celebrate their special day in a personal and intimate setting, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This exclusivity, combined with the natural beauty of the surroundings, creates a magical atmosphere that is truly unforgettable.

A Memorable Performance by My Jazz Trio

Last week, my jazz trio had the pleasure of performing at a Cornell event held at The Tremanjazz trio at Treman Center Center, and it was an experience to remember. As someone who lives just eight minutes away, I had been eager to visit the venue, especially after hearing so much about it from a mutual friend of the owner, Leslie. Despite its proximity, The Treman Center’s secluded location off a side road made it feel like a hidden gem.

Here are two videos from our performance that day: Like Someone In Love and Blues for Alice.

Upon arrival, I was immediately struck by the venue’s beauty and the way it seamlessly blends with its natural surroundings. We played during the cocktail hour in the charming courtyard, where guests mingled and enjoyed the serene atmosphere. The courtyard, with its stonework and lush gardens, provided a perfect setting for our jazz tunes. Here is a video of us performing a Charlie Parker tune that evening.

Inside, the main building offered a cozy and inviting space for the event. Guests enjoyed refreshments in the lobby area, while upstairs, a multi-function room hosted an awards ceremony. One of my favorite spots was the inner sanctuary, a walled-in area with a pond and climbing vines, where I found a moment of peace to enjoy my dinner away from the hustle and bustle.

The evening concluded with guests gathering around the impressive fire pit, surrounded by trails that lead into the wooded area. The entire venue, with its historic charm and modern amenities, created a unique and memorable experience for everyone in attendance.

Conclusion

Cornell event at Treman CenterHaving experienced The Treman Center’s charm firsthand, I am eagerly looking forward to performing there again. The venue’s unique blend of historic charm, modern amenities, and natural beauty makes it an ideal setting for creating unforgettable memories. Whether it’s a wedding, corporate event, or private celebration, The Treman Center offers a versatile and enchanting backdrop for any occasion.

The Treman Center is a standout wedding venue that combines rustic charm with modern elegance, set against the stunning natural beauty of Robert H. Treman State Park. Its versatile spaces, historic design, and comprehensive amenities make it an ideal choice for couples looking to celebrate their special day in a unique and memorable setting. If you’re planning a wedding and want to explore your options for live music, book a free music consultation with me or write to me on the contact page. We look forward to creating magical moments with you at The Treman Center.

 

 


 

Compiling this guide to the top 10 wedding and event venues in Ithaca has been a rewarding experience, reflecting on the numerous places where I have had the privilege to perform. Each venue offers something unique, from the scenic beauty of outdoor locations like Buttermilk Falls Pavilion and New Park to the sophisticated elegance of The Statler Hotel and the versatile spaces at RaNic Golf Club. These venues are more than just places; they are the settings where countless memories are made, celebrations come to life, and love stories unfold.

Having performed at these venues, I can attest to their exceptional qualities firsthand. Whether it’s the historic charm of La Tourelle, the modern elegance of the Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons, or the enchanting ambiance of The Treman Center, each location provides a distinct atmosphere that enhances the overall experience of any event. My journey as a musician in Ithaca has allowed me to witness the joy and magic that live music brings to these occasions, making each performance a cherished memory.

If you are planning a wedding or special event in Ithaca, I hope this guide helps you find the perfect venue that resonates with your vision. Each of these venues offers a unique backdrop for creating unforgettable moments. As you embark on planning your special day, consider the ambiance, amenities, and unique features of each venue to ensure your celebration is everything you’ve dreamed of. And if you’re looking for live music to add that extra touch of magic, I would be honored to be part of your special day.  For more information, book a free music consultation with me or simply write to me on the contact page.