Some places resonate deep within you the second you arrive. That was the case with me and historic Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, MA.
As you approach Salem Cross Inn, you can’t help but be impressed by the massive 1700’s era farmhouse built by the White Family.
This historic home is nestled on 600 acres of working New England farmland and was restored in the 1950’s by the Salem family who opened it as a restaurant in 1961.
(**FACT** The Salem Cross Inn is named for the witch-mark found on the front door-latch of the inn. This mark was used to protect inhabitants against “ye evils of witchcraft and diverse other manifestations of deviltry.”
I first discovered Salem Cross Inn back in 2011 when I did a review for Gay Travel Information (which you could read here – Salem Cross Inn Restaurant & Tavern).
It was love at first sight! I remember thinking that THIS would be the place I would someday get married at, little did I know that “someday” would end up being December 30, 2012, but more on that in a bit! 😉
Salem Cross Inn has been covered in magazines and television for its remarkable food, service and history. You can read all the accolades HERE.
Guests are provided with a colonial experience throughout their dining room, Hexmark Tavern, various function rooms for weddings, family gatherings, parties up to 225 people, and through their special dining events, such as Fireplace Feasts, Drover’s Roasts, and Christmas Memories.
One of the things I love most about Salem Cross Inn is the FEELING it provides the second you step inside. You FEEL the history. It is almost as if you are stepping into a time capsule, feeling that energetic swoosh from present day to the 1700’s as the door closes behind you.
As I mentioned in my review from 2011, these words and photos will not do Salem Cross Inn justice. You must experience the smells, the sound of the creaking floors and that mysterious “ghostly” presence for yourself.
Oh, and lets not forget about the most important thing — THE DELICIOUS FOOD.
Now let’s talk weddings.
After meeting the love of my life (my now wife, Jennifer) in September 2011, I knew she was “my forever person” and the woman I wanted to marry.
We had looked into other venues but one, well, WON above all the others. The place I had literally daydreamed about getting married at — Salem Cross Inn.
Jennifer and I both knew this was the place for us to celebrate our special day.
We worked with Donna Bennett and Martha Salem, who put together the most magical event of our lives!
It started with a face-to-face consultation with Donna who walked us through each step of the wedding planning process.
She went over menu options (which, of course, could be customized), ceremony location, lighting details, time of ceremony/reception, DJ and photographer recommendations etc.,
Donna made us feel at ease and assured us everything would turn out exactly as we planned.
Since I had proposed to Jennifer at The Ice Palace in Quebec City in NEGATIVE 30 degree temps (ahem), we figured it would be very appropriate to get married in the winter.
We settled on the date of December 30, 2012. A perfect date nestled between Christmas and New Year’s and, although we were taking a gamble with weather, we were sold on thoughts of the gorgeous backdrop of Salem Cross Inn during the holidays. Twinkling lights. Christmas trees. Red bows. Maybe (a little) snow on the ground. Ahh. Perfection.
Let me emphasize how STRESS FREE the entire wedding planning process was. The coordinators took care of everything (as far as food, location, ambiance — the DJ and photographer were friends of ours).
Salem Cross Inn even has a private room for you to retreat to and prepare for the ceremony (complete with shower/bathroom)! This room also comes in handy for those moments you need to escape the crowd for a quick breather! 😉 They truly go out of their way to make everything as stress-free as possible.
Salem Cross Inn has a number of banquet rooms and even an outside gazebo which overlooks gorgeous rolling meadows.
We chose to have our ceremony by the fireplace downstairs in the Hexmark Tavern and the reception in their beautiful Barn & Loft room (which has a capacity of 225 people).
The Barn & Loft room oozes with rustic charm. Between the immense hanging chandelier and soft glow of lantern lights, this room was absolute perfection! You can find a complete selection of banquet rooms here – Salem Cross Inn Banquet Rooms.
Now, as the case with ANY winter wedding, Jennifer and I had to keep our eyes on the WEATHER. And yes, of course, there was a HUGE (huuuuuuge) snowstorm the day before our wedding! :: LE SIGH:: And breathe……
Most of our guests were from Rhode Island and South Coastal Massachusetts. FORTUNATELY the storm completely cleared out for that Sunday and the sun was shining on the blanket (err, mountain) of beautiful, fresh fallen snow.
Yes, it WAS beautiful, but ultimately over a dozen of our guests could not make the trek (which was over an hour for most people). We were blessed however to have close to 50 guests show up!
The staff at Salem Cross Inn didn’t even flinch. The show must go on, and boy did it! 🙂
Upon arriving at Salem Cross Inn Jennifer and I (along with our parents) went upstairs to the private room to get dressed and relax.
Our parents later went downstairs to set up the reception room as we wanted, which included our wintery red & white flowers mixed with holly & cranberry twigs, birch place card holders, candles and wedding favors (engraved luggage tags). Rustic simplicity.
Salem Cross Inn provided the linens, dishes, cutlery and glasses extras like candles and table decor was separate and set up by our family.
Before we knew it Jennifer and I found ourselves downstairs in front of the roaring fireplace, saying our vows in front of our family & friends.
Our wedding officiant (and DJ no less – lol), Kendall Sisson (of Southcoast Entertainment), was fantastic! What was even MORE fantastic (and surreal) was reading our vows to each other.
There I was…..at the Salem Cross Inn…..getting married.
A dream come true.
Luckily our photographer, Carol Mainelli of “cam.i.am studios” – captured the magic of the entire evening!
Salem Cross Inn offers so many great photo opportunities as the entire location oozes with charm.
While Jennifer and I were having our photos taken, our guests were enjoying a cocktail hour in the Small Tap Room.
We then all moved upstairs to the Barn & Loft room for the reception and all I can say is, WOW!
The room looked as magical as we had envisioned!
Soft lighting. Twinkling lights. Flickering candles and winter decor all mixed with the moonlight illuminating the frosty white snow outside.
Our dinner consisted of Salem Cross Inn’s famous home made cheese spread with assorted crackers and fruit garnish, tossed garden salad, (choice of) Rustic Chicken (boneless breast of chicken with homemade herb bread stuffing & supreme sauce) or Classic Yankee Pot Roast (served with pan gravy), garden fresh vegetables, potato, homemade rolls and coffee or tea (we had a bar that you could purchase soda or cocktails from).
The food, as always, did NOT disappoint! Salem Cross Inn knows COMFORT FOOD and prepares it to perfection. Everything was absolutely delicious!
For dessert we chose the cupcake tier instead of a standard wedding cake. We figured it would be “something different” and it was.
The chocolate cupcakes were the most moist we ever had and the frosting super creamy.
In between dinner courses we danced, took photos, laughed, cried and just had an absolutely amazing time!
Donna and the staff of Salem Cross Inn made each detail seem effortless.
Even owner, Nancy Salem, Stopped by to say hello! It was so telling of the type woman she is and the type venue Salem Cross Inn is.
This goes BEYOND “gay friendly”. Salem Cross Inn is TRULY GAY WELCOMING and ENCOURAGING.
Mine and Jennifer’s was NOT the first gay wedding. They have hosted many!
SALEM CROSS INN WEDDING INFO:
- For more details on hosting your wedding at Salem Cross Inn please click here – Salem Cross Inn Weddings.
- For the “Special” Wedding Menu click here – Salem Cross Inn “SPECIAL” Wedding Menu.
- For the standard Wedding Menu click here – Salem Cross Inn Wedding Menu.
- For a listing of available banquet rooms to host your wedding and / or special event in click here – Salem Cross Inn Banquet Rooms.
I fell in love with Salem Cross Inn the first time we met, just like I did when I met my wife, Jennifer.
Hey, when you know….you know.
The Salem Cross Inn will always be my # 1 recommendation when it comes to wedding venues in Massachusetts to host your Gay & Lesbian Wedding (or any wedding/event for that matter!)
The thing is, although the LGBT community has made huge strides in the past few years in regard to gay marriage and LGBT rights in general, there is still SO MUCH homophobia in the world (Russia, anyone?)
It is critical we support the businesses that show GENUINE interest in providing the LGBT community the SAME services as it’s non-gay clientele.
Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Unfortunately it isn’t. Homophobia still exists.
Some may say I am biased because Salem Cross Inn is where my wife and I got married, but that is not the case.
It is because Salem Cross Inn knows WEDDINGS. They know how to do them well. REALLY well.
It is because Salem Cross Inn is GAY FRIENDLY. Like Kathy Griffin Gay Friendly.
It is because Salem Cross Inn is run by GOOD, KIND people. Like (gulp) GENUINE and all!
Trust me. If you want an enchanting setting, superb service and delicious food, then Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, MA is the spot for you.
I could think of no better place to have celebrated one of the best days of my life.
I send a heartfelt THANK YOU to the staff at Salem Cross Inn and hope they receive the support from the LGBT community they so deserve.
Owner / Editor in Chief
Out & About Travel / Gay Travel Information / We Are Gay Friendly Directory