Throughout their four-year courtship, Keri Ellrodt and Kieran Campbell Dunn fielded countless predictions that they would one day marry each other. “Outright, we said it was ridiculous,” says Ellrodt, “but I think we knew, too.” When Dunn finally proposed during a vacation in Vermont, the pair set out searching for a spot near the bride’s old Putnam Valley stomping ground.
They wanted something unique and personable that fit their budget without too many constraints. After more than a few disappointments, Kelsey O’Connor of Kelsey O Events pointed them toward ElmRock Inn. Nestled between Shawangunk Ridge and the panoramic Catskill Mountains, ElmRock Inn is a registered 1770 brick Dutch Colonial farmhouse on five green acres. In addition to the home’s original wide-plank floors, fireplaces, staircase, and Dutch front door, the owners tout its “kings and queens board” panels, which cover the upper floor walls and were reserved for the more prominent homes of the era.
After visiting the property and meeting Mark Suszczynski, a four-star chef and co-founder of Harvest Real Food Catering and Events (the inn’s exclusive caterer), they were sold. “They were incredibly accommodating, from a late-night fire pit complete with snacks to making shishito peppers to allowing us to use their extensive collection of mason jars,” says Ellrodt. As a bonus, the inn allowed the entire bridal party to stay on site and plan events for multiple days.
What makes venues like this unique, says O’Connor, is that newlyweds have almost free rein to make of it what they will. “The only limitations are the couples’ imagination and budget.”
In addition to the meadow, which can hold tented events for up to 250 people, the inn has a number of indoor and smaller spaces that can be mixed and matched for various activities. These include gardens, a fire pit, a bluestone patio, a loft lounge in the farmhouse, and a great room with farm-table seating for 50. Per-person packages start at $45. There are no site fees when booking the entire inn for a two-night stay (there are five guestrooms and a family- and pet-friendly carriage house), but tents, trailers, and other rentals fall to the bridal party.