New Hampshire is a great place for a unique, meaningful small wedding. The scenery is perfect for an outdoor ceremony, and there are plenty of venues that have options for indoor ceremonies and receptions as well. From historic locations to scenic waterfronts, New Hampshire’s small wedding venues have everything you’re looking for.
As a NH wedding photographer who LOVES small weddings, couples often ask me for recommendations for small wedding venues in New Hampshire for elopements, micro weddings, and intimate celebrations. These are a few of my favorites!
Here’s my usual disclaimer: some of these locations aren’t in New Hampshire but are very close by. New England is a cozy bunch of states, and you can drive through many of them in a few hours. So don’t be fooled by the address if you are looking to get married in New Hampshire, but the venue is in Maine! I promise, they’re close.
Because it’s important to me and the couples I serve, all of these small wedding venues in New Hampshire are LBGTQ+ friendly.
10 Wedding Venues to Consider for Your New Hampshire Small Wedding
This beautiful Inn located right along the coast is everything you imagine when you think, “I’d like to get married at a quaint New England venue.” The property is set right on the ocean and is about as picturesque as you can get. The Inn is just an hour from Logan International Airport, but you sure feel a world away when you are here.
Your guests can stay on-site in one of the 7 different Inns on the property. They all have different looks and feels, from charming rooms filled with antiques to rooms with updated amenities like jacuzzi tubs and oceanview decks. Right on site is the Ship’s Cellar Pub, a great place for cocktails and is built to recreate a ship’s “down below.”
Get married oceanside on the shores of the Hartley-Mason Nature Preserve and take in the views. If the weather is a challenge, then you can get married indoors in the Ballroom with gorgeous skylights, or for a smaller guest list you can use the main dining room and you’ll still have that amazing ocean view. They have a lot of all-inclusive wedding packages, and their staff is definitely top-notch.
The Inn is steps from the beach and a short walk to York Harbor, with endless photo opportunities. It’s just a beautiful property; you cannot go wrong having your wedding there!
Location: York, Maine
Guest Capacity: 25-150. Hillcroft Room: 25 guests. Main Dining Room: 120 guests. Yorkshire Ballroom: 150 guests.
What’s Cool: If you book an all-inclusive package, they give you a gift certificate for an anniversary dinner. Also, their Harbor Crest Inn is pet-friendly!
See how lovely a summer seaside ceremony at the York Harbor Inn is!
The Exeter Inn manages to look charming and historic while still being a very contemporary space for a wedding in New Hampshire. Built in the 1930s, it has a classic Georgian brick facade and was known for its “attractive rooms, comfort, and great taste”. That legacy lives on today in the Inn.
The Exeter Inn is built for smaller and more intimate weddings up to 100 guests, and it’s also an excellent choice for a rehearsal dinner or day-after brunch. The outdoor courtyard is the perfect spot for wedding and family portraits, and they have a lovely gazebo area for the focal point for your ceremony. The site is available to be tented if you wish, and you can dance under the New England stars at night!
If you are getting married during the holiday season, The Exeter Inn goes all out on decor, and it’s just the prettiest in the evening when the sun sets and the twinkle lights on the property are lit. You can host your reception in the beautiful Daniel Webster room, with lovely architectural touches like arched windows and columns.
Staying on-site is always a great perk for out-of-town wedding guests; no worries about parking or finding their way around town if they stay at The Exeter Inn. The Inn has a popular gastropub called Epoch and is within walking distance of downtown Exeter.
Location: Exeter, New Hampshire
Guest Capacity: 100
What’s Cool: Their service is impeccable here, a little 5-star gem! If you love being pampered but like to support local businesses, this is a great choice for you.
See an outdoor microwedding at the Exeter Inn.
Nestled on the coast of southern Maine but still within less than 2 hours driving distance of Concord and Boston, this upscale resort is one of my favorite locations for weddings and family photos. It’s just got it all, from the spectacular view of the water to the rocky and rugged coastline that has hardly changed in centuries.
If you’re going to do Cliff House, then my suggestion is to do it right and take a few days before or after the wedding (Or you know… do both! Life is short.) for a getaway, and encourage your guests to do the same.
The rooms are lovely and spacious, the food divine. They also have a world-class spa to pamper you and your wedding party! Their attention to detail is fantastic, and yet it still feels like a comfortable place to stay.
Have your wedding ceremony on the lawn overlooking Cape Neddick, then the reception indoors in their bright and airy ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows with that VIEW!! The whole property is set off to show off the coastline, and that’s why it’s a big favorite for weddings.
Location: Cape Neddick (Ogunquit), Maine
Guest Capacity: 75-100
What’s Cool: The black, rocky coast here is volcanic rock and is one of the big attractions in the area. For photos, it makes a dramatic background that you just don’t see anywhere else!
My love of Cliff House weddings is well documented; Vicki & Stephen’s late summer ceremony was incredible.
Tucked away at the end of a street in Portsmouth along the shore of Piscataqua River is a happy yellow building that makes me smile every time I see it. It’s a bit of a tiny treasure, a historic bait shop turned into a place perfect for small weddings, elopements, or micro weddings.
Locals call it one of the best-kept secrets because the food and the views are some of the best in the area. You do have to be a member to hold an event there, and rates vary from season to season, so be sure to check into the cost and availability before you fall in love with this place; it’s easy to do with its sunny yellow clapboard and charming waterfront porch.
The inside space is small and intimate, but if you get married when the weather is agreeable, it feels larger because of the spacious porch and access to the piers outside. And, of course, those river views just don’t quit.
If you’re looking for a quirky venue that is beautiful and oh-so New England, this is an excellent choice.
Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Guest Capacity: 45 people
What’s Cool: For photos, the late afternoon sun sparkles over the river, and the sunsets turn everything pastel and serene. Ah, it’s just so pretty!
Check out Garlande and David’s Southend Yacht Club wedding, and you’ll see what I mean!
This garden wedding venue is just a slice of paradise on the ocean. This botanical garden is perfect for small weddings, elopements, or vow renewals if your guest list is less than 50 people and you want both sea and garden views.
The Japanese garden is in a riot of blooms in May and transitions into a more English garden feel until fall, when the mums and dahlias begin to bloom. The various perennials and a spectacular rose garden also hold impressively sculpted hedges, water features, and stone paths around the property.
This place is just gorgeous in the late afternoon when the sun starts setting. While meticulously maintained, the staff here works with nature and not against it, and the gardens are beautiful but not overly formal.
Location: North Hampton, New Hampshire
Guest Capacity: 25 for a semi-private ceremony, 50 for a private ceremony. They do not have an inside or covered area and do not allow tenting, so they suggest an alternate location or plans in inclement weather.
What’s Cool: While they do limit the amount of time for your ceremony to 90 minutes, you can take advantage of taking photos on the property for as long as you would like.
Check out the splendor of Fuller Gardens at Rhiannon & Justin’s NH microwedding.
Charm and history abound at the Three Chimneys Inn, a historic home built in 1649! Situated right on the Oyster River and Mill Falls, this place is just so pretty and filled with history.
If you want to get married outdoors, they have a little area in their gardens ready for you, complete with arbors, reflection pools, water features, and a ton of pretty stone walkways. We can stroll around the gardens, then hit the river for more views! Something is blooming all through the spring and winter months, so outdoor photos opportunities are awesome right there on site.
Location-wise, it’s great for guests because it’s within walking distance of the University of New Hampshire, so there are many places to eat and shop nearby. No matter what the season, there are a ton of things to do in this area, including hiking, paddling, fishing, and skiing.
The Inn itself has 23 rooms, which, with a small wedding, may fit all of your wedding guests! Even though the Inn maintains that old New England charm, they have a ton of nice amenities and updates to the property, including King Jacuzzi rooms with your own private fireplace.
Location: Durham, New Hampshire
Guest Capacity: The website indicates 25-200, but I’ll be honest and say that I think this venue is better suited for smaller weddings of 50-75 people.
What’s Cool: If you’re a foodie, they are passionate about seasonal, homegrown, farm-to-table cuisine here. Most of their food is caught, fished, or farmed nearby, and they slay it with the craft cocktail selection, too.
Check out Nate & Acacia’s spring Three Chimneys Inn wedding!
As soon as you see the steel grey Inn with shaker shingles set back from the road on a tree-lined drive, you know you’re in a special place. When you walk inside, prepare to be amazed at how the owners have updated this beautiful 1776 home. Purchased from the University of New Hampshire, the owners have spent more than two decades lovingly restoring this place, and it’s one of the prettiest event spaces in the area.
You can gather and get married under the huge maple trees on the property and take in the beauty of this place! You can elect to tent the area if you want to keep the party outdoors all night which is a great option in our good weather months.
A wide porch allows for your guests to mingle both indoors and outdoors during cocktail hour, and you don’t need to step a foot off the property to get great photos.
The Cyderhouse is the indoor area that hosts receptions. It is absolutely beautiful with its big windows, high beam ceilings, and updated touches like wrought chandeliers and a large stone fireplace. Little side rooms and the wide porch allow your guests to move around your party to have conversations and then dance the night away.
If you want to stay at the Thompson Inn, each room is charmingly named after apples and features an ensuite bath and a walk-in shower/tub. You can tell that every piece of furniture and decor has been picked with care; the place feels upscale but homey.
Location: Durham, New Hampshire
Guest Capacity: 150 for wedding, 10 guest rooms on the property.
What’s Cool: They only host one event per weekend, so you feel like you own the place! Rent all the rooms and the Cyderhouse, and all your favorite people will be on hand from the rehearsal dinner to the after-wedding brunch.
Check out Anna and Jessica’s outdoor wedding full of love and laughter at the Thompson Inn.
Coastline Wedding At A Marina or Yacht Club
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine may be smaller states, but their coastlines live big and bold. You don’t have to go very far to find a spot for a beautiful, picturesque wedding here. The coast offers endless opportunities- from serene beaches with soft waves lapping at your toes to awe-inspiring views of crashing breakers.
There are countless yacht clubs and marinas in New England to offer an authentic “seaside” experience for your wedding. While some cater to weddings, you can also look for smaller venues and contact them to see if they allow weddings on the property.
You’d be surprised at who will say yes, especially true if you have a small wedding or a microwedding, and you’re willing to get married during the off-season or on a day other than Saturday. With a bit of legwork, you can find what suits your taste best and find out what you need to do to have a fantastic coastal wedding there.
Location: Start at one end of the coast, get to Googling and find what you love!
Guest Capacity: Make sure to have an idea of your guest list before you begin your search; it makes narrowing down much easier.
What’s Cool: The ocean. It doesn’t matter if it’s calm and serene or stormy and rough; it’s always so powerful and beautiful in photos.
Speaking of love, Elarna & Rosalie had a yacht club Memorial Day weekend wedding you are going to want to see.
A Private Residence
Okay, so technically, a private property is not a wedding venue, but I’m going to include it in my top 10. I think it’s something you should consider if you are interested in a New Hampshire wedding and you have access to a home or property that would be a great place to get married.
Many people shy away from private home weddings because of the overwhelm of planning a large gathering where there’s never been one before. But that’s why I recommend hiring a wedding planner (specifically Nicole Mower Weddings and Events)!
A wedding planner will save your sanity, soul, and pocketbook when it comes to planning a wedding at home. They can help you mire through permits, parking, and the logistics of how many porta potties you need.
Now, from a photographer’s perspective, a small wedding in a residence is a dream. It’s warm, welcoming, and if it’s a place that you’ve grown up in or a vacation residence, every nook and cranny has meaning and memories. It makes for personal photos that can be special for you and extended family members, and I love that so very, very much.
Location: You tell me, and I am there for it.
Guest Capacity: Depends on the size of the residence, but most are in the 50-75 ish guest range.
What’s Cool: This amazing person. Nicole Mower Weddings and Events. Her help and insight into planning a residential wedding is *chefs kiss*.
To be inspired, check out Tessa and Luke’s NH backyard wedding.
Airbnb’s In New Hampshire for Small Weddings
An Airbnb or rental house can be an excellent option for smaller, intimate weddings. This is definitely a growing trend for hosting a unique small wedding at a beautiful location.
A word of caution — To find the right property that will host your special day, check first and make sure it’s allowed by their terms of service. Some rental properties don’t allow events due to owner preference, local laws, or zoning restrictions.
The best part about using Airbnb is that many properties are already styled by professional designers, so you can look for something that fits your wedding aesthetic without having to do a ton of decorating.
You can get really creative with the space you have. You can use an outdoor area for one aspect, the dining room for an intimate dinner, or maybe just let everyone kick back on the deck after the wedding ceremony.
Working with a wedding coordinator can also be a big advantage. Even though it’s a smaller event, it still may have moving parts! A coordinator can help you with logistics, vendor recommendations and help you form a Plan B if you have weather concerns for the day.
Location: Everywhere! So many cool places have turned into Airbnb’s, including houseboats, yurts, log cabins, and even treehouses!
Guest Capacity: Varies by location. Make sure you decide in advance if you want to stay there that your guests have a place nearby to stay. Very often, they will allow small gatherings, but not more than the registered users to sleep in the property.
What’s Cool: If you love the spot, you can come back for vacations or anniversaries!
Need inspiration? Check out this amazing Airbnb lake house wedding in the White Mountains.
Small venues are ideal for couples looking for an intimate setting in New Hampshire for their wedding.
When it comes to weddings, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, smaller events can be more personal and intimate than a larger wedding with hundreds of guests that often get lost in the shuffle.
Many New Hampshire wedding locations offer everything you need, from catering to accommodations at very competitive prices—all while providing a personalized experience.
If you have questions on the venues or just want some advice about locations in New Hampshire for your microwedding or small wedding, then get in touch. I’m always happy to help you find your perfect spot!
And if you are looking for a local New England photographer who LOVES small weddings, definitely contact me here or email me directly at Melissa@Melissakoren.com.