IH Blog

Independence Harbor Blog

Sunday Weddings in 2021

Brian Dunning - Thursday, December 10, 2020

A great option to consider for your Wedding is a Sunday Wedding at Independence Harbor! Sundays ore offered at a lower guest minimum and a lower pricing structure than a Saturday Night Wedding. AND! You get to choose any 5 1/2 hours from 10AM to Midnight!

Our grounds are spectacular and Sunday Weddings give you flexibility with timing (think twilight photos, fabulous garden photos), and of course more of an opportunity to really share our grounds with your guests.

Give us a call and set up a private tour to find out more. 1-800-287-8300 or info@ihweddings.com

Brunch Wedding

Brian Dunning - Saturday, December 05, 2020

One of our favorite wedding packages is our Wedding Brunch Ceremony and Reception Package.

Included with our package is your choice of a complimentary "Garden" Wedding Ceremony amidst Independence Harbor's glorious garden landscape, or a Fireside Wedding Ceremony in front of the Harbor's grand stone fireplace in the main reception room.

And, following your ceremony, your guests will be treated to an elegantly presented cheese and cracker and fruit buffet and your selection of passed hors d'oeuvres, passed beverages and a champagne toast. Our sumptuous brunch buffet follows with your choice of a Baked Ham or Roast Beef Carving Station, an abundant assortment of fruits and salads and breakfast and luncheon entrees. An amazing Dessert Bar follows the Wedding Brunch and perfectly compliments your wedding cake. 

Beautifully decorated and presented, your Brunch Wedding will long be remembered.

"I.H." Update "Looking Forward"

Brian Dunning - Monday, November 23, 2020

Dear Friends,

The year 2020 has been devastating for so many of us. Our business has ridden a roller coaster for months and months, never certain what the next week would bring. Would we be allowed to reopen? What restrictions would reopening demand of us? Would we even be able to operate under the new restrictions? The most difficult aspect of our roller coaster ride has been the Commonwealth’s lack of response to our endless pleas for dialog. We just never knew what to expect.

Despite the Commonwealth’s communication blackout of the wedding industry, we continued to fight everyday in every way possible to accommodate our wedding couples, to take care of our “I.H.” team, and to preserve the viability of Independence Harbor.

Anne and Connie have been amazing these past eight months. They have managed our sales office every day, answering the many calls and emails from our wedding couples. I’m sure you can appreciate that some of those calls and emails were difficult to hear and to read and to answer. Although some of our 2020 weddings were cancelled, the vast majority of our wedding couples opted to reschedule their weddings to 2021.

As the end of 2020 approaches, we look forward to 2021 with optimism and enthusiasm. With the imminent approval and distribution of vaccines, we look forward to a gradual easing of restrictions over the coming months, and a return to a much more normal life certainly by winter’s end. Our team is ready, willing and eager to get back to work. Matt, Ethan and Aaron have taken great care of the “Harbor’s” lawns and gardens over these past months. We all look so forward to a Spring 2021 renewal of our gardens…. and of our weddings!

Our chefs, Dale and Ed will be fine tuning our menus over the coming months, with added emphasis on our vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free offerings. We also hope to re-start our monthly Sunday Brunch program before long. No one will be happier than Ed and Dale when they can get back into the “I.H.” kitchen and create their amazing brunches.

We can’t wait until our doors are open again to all of you, and to our wonderful team of chefs, servers, bartenders, kitchen workers and groundskeepers, as well as our suppliers, sales reps and support system workers.We continue to stay on top of all things “pandemic related”. We will be ready to jump back into business as soon as we get the word!

In the meantime, Anne and Connie are available to assist you with your wedding planning. They are accepting “in person” appointments. And, as always, they are available by phone and email. Office hours are Monday through Friday 10AM to 3PM and on weekends from 10AM until 4PM. If you do wish to visit “I.H.”, appointments are required.

We wish you all good health and happier days ahead.


Brian R. Dunning

General Manager

"Faith and Hope"

Brian Dunning - Friday, October 30, 2020

Yesterday while walking to the office, we noticed a perfect White Iris in full bloom amongst the late October garden Mums. Iris generally bloom in June and sometimes rebloom in later summer, but reblooming in late October somehow felt like a "sign". We looked up White Iris in our trusty garden guide and found that White Iris symbolizes Faith and Hope. What a perfect and welcome symbol for all of us right now and certainly a perfect addition to any bridal bouquet.

Perfect Planning

Brian Dunning - Monday, October 26, 2020

This is the perfect time to plan, plan, plan. As we spend more time at home in the winter months, why not get as much wedding planning behind you as possible. Work on fine tuning your list, your décor ideas and color selections. Why not create a simple wedding web site so that you can easily communicate with your guests about any questions they may have about your wedding.

You can also start to work on your "I.H." wedding questionnaires. Go to:

www.ihweddings.com/mywedding/index  to get started. Fill in and save as you make decisions.

Anne or Connie are available by phone and email daily and are happy to answer questions or to help in any way.

Happy Planning!





A Challenging Year!

Brian Dunning - Thursday, October 22, 2020


October 22, 2020

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a challenging year... to say the least!

But, regardless of these crazy times, our dining room has been beautifully appointed for fall and our gardens are resplendent with hundreds of magnificent fall mums and the trees have turned to gold, orange and red as always at this time of year. Life goes on! We so look forward to getting back to doing what we do best...hosting your perfect wedding!


Stay at Home Advisory Update

Brian Dunning - Wednesday, April 01, 2020

April 1, 2020

Friends of Independence Harbor

Anne, Connie, Matt and I send our best regards to all. Anne and Connie are staying in touch with our wedding couples, responding quickly to all questions and concerns. They have been alternating coverage of the office seven days a week. Their understanding and compassion combined with their wedding planning expertise is a blessing to Independence Harbor and to our clients. They have been successful in rescheduling weddings that have been interrupted by the Massachusetts Stay at Home Advisory. And, now as I am sure you are aware of Governor Baker’s announcement of the “Stay at Home” extension to May 4th, Anne and Connie are continuing with that effort. Our April couples have all been accommodated with alternate dates later this season. Some of our May couples have opted to postpone to later this season as well. We are doing all that we can to ease the transition to alternate dates, and we cannot thank you enough for your patience, cooperation and understanding.

Matt and I will be taking care of the “I.H.” physical plant including the grounds for the next several weeks. Matt has been in the greenhouse diligently transplanting thousands of tiny summer annual plant plugs. I’ve been readying our mowers and trimmers and blowers etc. Before long, we will be mowing and weeding! All will be in top notch shape as soon as we receive the “All Clear”! The gardens are exploding in beautiful yellow daffodils and pink hyacinths! Wish you could see it for yourselves.I will take plenty of pictures and post them soon.

Our facilities have been closed to the public for more than two weeks now, and will be until May 4th. We can’t wait until our doors are open again to all of you and to our wonderful team of chefs, servers, bartenders, kitchen workers and groundskeepers, as well as our suppliers, sales reps and support system workers. Each of us is severely impacted by this horrible virus. Please follow “social distancing” protocols carefully and religiously. It is our best defense against a longer-lasting and wider spread pandemic. Be safe, be well, take care of yourselves, each other, your loved ones and your communities.


Warm Regards,

Brian Dunning

Owner, General Manager

Covid-19 Update

Brian Dunning - Sunday, March 22, 2020

Friends of Independence Harbor

Connie, Anne, Matthew and I have been keeping up with all office related activities, as well as doing all that we can to prepare for the re-opening of our facilities. As I’m sure you are aware, we are currently under government mandate to be closed through April 6, 2020. We have been working closely with couples whose events have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 crisis. Thankfully, these events have been successfully re-scheduled to dates later this season. It is our fervent hope that further closing of our facilities will not be necessary. We will continue to closely monitor all matters related to this virus outbreak, and will continue to work diligently toward resolving any further interruptions. Please accept our sincere appreciation for your patience and understanding throughout these difficult days. We are truly all in this together, and together is the way we will overcome this crisis.

Our office is open for business every day. We are practicing appropriate and responsible “social distancing” measures with visitors to our facilities. We are scheduling private tours and meetings so as to allow for only one meeting at a time. We are maintaining the highest level of cleanliness and disinfection of our facilities at all times. Do not hesitate to contact us directly with any questions or concerns you have about your upcoming weddings.

The health, safety and welfare of our customers, our employees and our families are of the greatest importance. and continue to be our primary focus. We pray for a speedy return to life as it was before Covid-19.

On a bright note, our perennial gardens seem to be jumping out of the ground. Everyday more daffodils and crocus burst into blossom. It is such a welcome sight!

We are also in the process of applying beautiful new clapboard siding to our entire building. It looks amazing! The project is expected to be completed by the end of this coming week.

And, we are expecting our first shipment of thousands of summer annuals this upcoming week, which we will be nursing in our greenhouse toward ground planting readiness in May.Speaking of “expecting”, we just got word that one of our chefs became the proud father of a beautiful baby boy last night! Congratulations Ed and family!



Warm Regards,

Brian Dunning

Owner, General Manager

Spring is Just Around the Corner

Brian Dunning - Monday, February 17, 2020

The groundhog has projected that Spring will arrive early this year. We eagerly anticipate this time of year as we watch the gardens "Spring" to life. Already we see a few daffodills peeking up in anticipation. 

Our gardens are spectacular in the Spring. April offers thousands of trumpeting yellow daffodills to greet your guests. May is tulip season along with flowering shrubs and trees sure to impress.

Spring weddings are generally well attended without major holidays or vacations to conflict. And, your guests love the opportunity to toast you and the beginning of a most beautiful season.

Why not consider gorgeous floral dresses for your girls (let them choose their favorite with a common color scheme) or have them choose a dress they love in a pastel of your choosing. Guys will love the option of a light colored suit that they can wear again with complimentary ties.

Bouquets of daffodills with whites and herb greens or tulip bouquets in a multitude of colors offer a gorgeous and affordable look, or use Spring branches such as cherry blossoms or dogwoods for a "WOW" factor.





Best of Weddings

Brian Dunning - Sunday, December 15, 2019



Fourteenth Annual Best of Weddings Awards
Honor the Top Wedding Vendors Across America


Independence Harbor is pleased to announce that it has once again been selected as a winner of The Knot Best of Weddings, an accolade representing the highest- and most-rated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples, their families and wedding guests on The Knot, a leading wedding planning brand and app.


In 2020, only five percent of hundreds of thousands of local wedding professionals listed on The Knot received this distinguished award. In its fourteenth annual year, The Knot continues its longstanding tradition of supporting local wedding vendors with The Knot Best of Weddings 2020, an annual by-couples, for-couples guide to the top wedding professionals across the country. To determine the winners, The Knot analyzed its millions of user reviews across various vendor categories, including venues, musicians, florists, photographers, caterers and more, to find the highest rated vendors of the year. These winners represent the best of the best wedding professionals that engaged couples should consider booking for their own unique wedding.