🤵MVacay's Big Wedding Planning Guide: Resources for getting married on Martha's Vineyard
roundups of vendors, venues, caterers, photographers and links to helpful guides
Welcome to our BIG wedding planning guide! We have an entire tab on our website that aggregates all of our wedding planning resources, but we wanted to make ONE GIANT GUIDE that you can refer to in order to check everything off your list. Send this to your recently engaged friend, or bookmark it for “one day” ❤️
Some background: my husband and I were fortunate enough to get married on MV in September 2020 (details here), and in October 2023 my brother and now sister-in-law got married here as well. When working with vendors over the years we encountered lots of valuable information and I’ll do my best to share it with you.
Step 1: Find your Venue and Planner!
The first step is definitely to decide if you’re going to use a planner. I personally had a micro-wedding of 30 people at a venue, and my brother had 90 people at a private estate. He used a planner, and I didn’t. It really depends on your familiarity with the island, your venue choice and desired size. One thing you’ll quickly realize is that there are very few traditional wedding venues on the island and most weddings are tented weddings at private estates that require you to bring everything in and out on a tight timeline. I would suggest getting a planner if it’s in your budget because they have a great understanding of all that goes into this and relationships with the vendors.
Next - finding your venue. We have a guide for that! The MVacay venue post is linked here... Expect slow responses from island vendors during certain times of the year. Below is a snapshot of a few options:
Step 2: Share Travel Info with Guests
Martha’s Vineyard is notoriously difficult to get to, and challenging with transportation and lodging. Therefore, when you’re sending out your Save the Dates, depending on the time of year of getting married, you should probably provide travel support and resources well in advanced of the traditional timeline.
We can help with that! Many weddings link to our travel guides in their wedding websites. Here are a few Guides we suggest providing to guests on your website:
MVacay also is open to making custom guides for your guests or partnering with wedding planners to create white-labeled travel guides to integrate into wedding websites. Just shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the process started.
One note: very few hotels allow for traditional room blocks to be reserved at hotels. If you have this in mind, do so early. Or, consider renting a larger home on AirBnB/from rental agencies to ensure close family and friends can gather easily.
Step 3: Book the Fun Vendors
Now that everyone knows where and when the big day is, it’s time to book the vendors and create the weekend itinerary. Here are some guides to help you out:
📷 Roundup: Photographers on MV - this guide lists over 30 photographers, we’ve previewed a few below:
We’ve picked a few vendors below that aren’t yet on any of our other guides to round out the BIG guide. There are absolutely more options than pictured in each category, and we plan to expand on those one day.
Ahhh the food. Definitely a fun part to pick the menu! MV doesn’t do traditional tastings, but these vendors are skilled at what they do.
Check out a variety of them here: 🍽️ Roundup: Caterers on MV
Rounding out the Vendor section, we’ve also highlighted music, bar and planning choices below. Again, more than pictured below DO exist, this is just a few to get you started!
We’re constantly making better guides. Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss any of them :) It’s free!
Step 4: Plan the Surrounding Details
Okay, okay! The big day is all planned…but when you’re having a “destination wedding” you’re likely planning more than just the wedding day.
Most celebrations now include a rehearsal dinner, welcome party, farewell brunch, and catered food for guests (getting ready food for the bridal party, etc).
Here is a sample itinerary:
Thursday Night: Rehearsal Dinner for Bridal Party Only
Friday Night: Welcome Party for All Guests
Saturday Morning: Catered Breakfast + Lunch
Saturday Afternoon: Wedding, of course
Sunday Morning: Farewell Brunch
Our 🍽️ Roundup: Caterers on MV also shares private chefs, food trucks, and restaurants with catering where you can fill in the remainder of these meals.
Vendors We Love for Wedding Celebration Festivities :
Catering Breakfast + Lunch: Mo’s, Tigerhawk, Black Sheep, Waterside, Scottish Bakehouse
Other Venues: Pawnee House, Atria, S+S Kitchenette, The Attic, Sweet Life
Food Trucks/Chefs for Private Estates: Goldie’s, El Gato Grande, Stoney Hill Pizza, Lori Edmonds Gregory, Black Joy
Lastly, our 🍔 Prepared Food Options on Martha's Vineyard guide may be helpful as well for those who rent a home - the “Options for a Group (10-30)” section is helpful!
Step 5: Welcome Your Guests with Ease
I’m sure you will want to share your personal island favorites with guests in your welcome bag on on your wedding website. Some of our personal welcome bag favorites are Murdick’s Fudge, Salt Rock Chocolates and Morning Glory Zucchini Bread.
Don’t feel too overwhelmed with writing your welcome guide from scratch - you can use the two bucket lists below to get you started. Please link to our posts, or contact us to create a custom welcome guide for you:
Another way to highlight local events and happenings is by sending specific guides to guests - got a family with kids coming? Send them our kids guide. Got someone with a food allergy coming? Someone who loves nightlife?
Search MVacay.com to find guides that fit your guests' needs and FAQs
Step 6: Get Married!
Congratulations on your wedding! Please always reach out to us, we’re happy to share our unfiltered experiences and create new guides that support you and your guests.