When a place has as much history as the Old Lyme Inn, there are bound to be some lovely memories. “This past weekend, we had a couple return that was married here 25 years ago,” said the inn’s events planner, Teri Arias. “They said it was just as lovely as when they were here 25 years ago.”
It’s hard to say how many “I dos” have been uttered at the Old Lyme Inn since the property—originally a 300-acre working farm—became an inn in the 1950s (back then, it was the Barbizon Oak Inn). But it’s safe to say that the handsome, 300-year-old oak tree on the property’s back hill has born witness to many beautiful beginnings.
Located in the charming town of Old Lyme, the inn sits graciously along a quiet, tree-lined thoroughfare across the street from the venerable Florence Griswold Museum. This picturesque country setting once served as the inspiration for famous Impressionist painters who, in the early 1900s, hauled painting wagons out into the fields behind the inn. While idyllic, the location is also convenient, situated midway between Boston and New York City with easy freeway access and the amenities of the town of Old Lyme nearby. And then there’s the additional bonus of on-site lodging—the inn has 13 well-appointed rooms to accommodate guests and family.
The Old Lyme Inn’s quaint location and size lend themselves best to smaller, more intimate affairs. “The perfect size wedding for the inn is 50 to 60 people,” said Arias. Plus, the benefits of having a smaller wedding are many—and not just because you don’t have to invite long lists of acquaintances. “Smaller weddings are becoming quite in fashion,” said Arias. “It improves the quality of the wedding because there’s more room in the budget for things like a band or specialty add-ons. It affords you more flexibility as a bride.”
Wedding receptions and ceremonies are typically held in the inn’s main dining room, which accommodates up to 65 people. But the options are limitless, said Arias, who recently organized a wedding in the inn’s cozy library. “We moved out the furniture and they stood in front of the fireplace,” she explained. “There were candles on the mantel and guests gathered around the couple. It was lovely.” But if you’re longing for a historic, pastoral setting and your guest list is running long, tents can be set up on the front patio or lawn to accommodate larger nuptials. “For me, there is no ‘inside the box,’” she said. “I’m always looking to do things outside the box and be creative.”
The inn’s restaurant is known for its fresh, contemporary cuisine, and brides can expect the same quality, farm-to-table fare. While a special events menu lays out pre-set selections of appetizers, entrees and desserts, smaller parties could certainly order off the regular restaurant menu, said Arias. For wedding-reception libations, Old Lyme Inn offers a fantastic wine list and creative cocktails. Brides can even choose to have the inn create a specialty drink expressly for their occasion.
Beyond wedding ceremonies, the Old Lyme Inn has become a special destination for many area families, having hosted everything from engagement parties and bridal send-off brunches to rehearsal dinners. Above all, the inn values its relationships with clientele, said Arias. “We want this to be their go-to place for their special events, whether that’s a bridal shower, baby shower or their mother’s 50th birthday.”
The Old Lyme Inn is located at 85 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT 06371. For more information, call 860-434-2600 or visit oldlymeinn.com. You can follow the inn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.