Our Nantucket Wedding Venue + House: 4 Old Mill Court

ALL RIGHT, let's talk about the story of our house. I'll go into a little bit of some background on why we decided to do a backyard wedding, how we ended up with the house we picked, and a link to the property (plus a house tour when I find my SD card!)

(the above was shot on our disposable cameras! The first and last photos are from our photographer Michael.)

Andrew and I actually first started thinking about and planning for our wedding before we officially got engaged. We knew it was coming (I mean, we were designing the ring together!) so we didn't see any harm in talking about it and getting some bigger things out of the way: like the venue.

My sister got married two years ago in Saint Lucia and Andrew, and I just had the best time. She had a wedding similar to ours (more on that below) where it was just immediate family (two sets of parents, and two sets of siblings + SO) on the beach, with the trip being close to a week long which made it feel like a beautiful vacation. We loved how intimate it was, and we really loved how the entire wedding stayed in the same house during our trip.

I just remember how easy and unique it was having everyone together in the house. We were able to feel like a real family, spend more time together, enjoy the fantastic house, and truly make some amazing memories! And ever since, Andrew and I agreed that we'd love to do the same for our wedding one day.

When we started talking about the actual wedding day, we were pretty much on the same page: we wanted it in Nantucket, we wanted it small (with a larger party after), we wanted to rent a house, and we wanted to get married on property of said house. Andrew and I were just never one for a super traditional wedding, and I'm so very grateful that our visions aligned (and to my sister for the inspiration)!

Especially in Nantucket, if we were to find a house big enough to host everyone, the venue would lend itself to a wedding. These estates are just so picturesque! So in May of 2018, when we were there for my birthday trip, we decided to just start researching and reaching out to different houses on the island. 

Our search started with the traditional sites like VRBO and Airbnb and at the time we were guessing for around 20 people (unsure of the actual total by this point) but stayed away from any kind of dates since we were VERY uncertain at that time (we knew we liked September since it is the best month to be on the island and it was right after their peak season). Most of the houses at first said things like "no large parties" and "no events" but there were some that didn't list that as an issue, so those were the ones we started contacting. 

We had extra time on that trip to mosey around town looking at places, so we just started reaching out telling them loosely the plan and seeing if we could stop by for a visit. Not expecting much, a few people got back to me that day, and one even said we could stop by! It was walking distance from town, so we decided why not and went to go see it. 

The house was excellent, brand new and internally everything we were looking for. But it didn't really have much of a yard (it had a pool instead), it was seriously out of our budget, and it had a minimum night stay that required you to be there a week (Saturday to Saturday), which we weren't so sure about at the time. On the flip side, the owner was really communicative, helpful and super kind, the house was HUGE, new and had a great covered porch (which could be beneficial in the rain) and it was close to town. 

I personally loved it, but Andrew didn't as much (remember we were thinking a massive estate with a lot of land to get married on) so we parted ways and kept looking. The search was steady for the next couple of months and really kicked up after getting engaged. The hard thing was when I was still house searching, we didn't know our timeline of events, a date, how many people would be coming/staying, and what our budget was for housing. So it made it a little #stressful. 

I think it was around this time I started crying and begging Andrew to move it back a year to Italy so we could just have someone plan it for us and be done with it all. Thankfully he said no because I think I would have been more stressed and I believe the next week, we nailed down a timeline of events

So now that we had our week plan and a date (Thursday), that helped us figure out who was able to make it and not. My step-siblings weren't able to swing a week, so it was parents on both sides, my grandma, sisters on both sides (+ two kids), and one friend each (with their SO). So in total, we were working with 15 and two kids. And while this is all very helpful, finding a house that sleeps a minimum of 17 people, for a week, in Nantucket, that would also let us have a wedding and a welcome party... proved to be difficult. 

But we kept the search on. Checking VRBO, Airbnb, local real estate sites, really anything that had listings for houses to rent. Then the skies opened, and we found this listing in Sconset. It was everything we had imagined with a SICK yard perfect for parties, a pool, and even a bocce ball court! We started talking to the owner, and everything was going great. 

We talked about how we wanted to have a wedding there, but it would be super small -- more like a large family dinner + small party and how we were all responsible adults that wouldn't trash the place. We kept talking and moving forward with plans over the following weeks -- many emails, texts, and phone calls to nail everything down.

While he was really nice and supportive, he would always seem a bit hesitant about our plans, and that made me hesitant about the house. We didn't want to be walking on eggshells during the week worrying about what we could and could not do. I think it was like three weeks into talking that after a phone call we left it open-ended and I just had a bad pit in my stomach, and neither one of us ever reached back out. It was strange, but it was OK with me.

There were some negatives about the house -- the main one being that it's very far out from the center of town. It would have been great for our family photos but anything outside of that, not so much. So it was a little inconvenient. The other big thing was the room situations -- they had enough room for everyone, but it could be a bit of an awkward room set up. Some people would be double rooming, and some would get smaller beds. It just wasn't the best fit!

And I was OK with that because soon after I found the MOST amazing three house estate in Tom Nevers. It was like the house of our dreams -- a HUGE lawn, steps to the beach, enough room for everyone plus more... AND (this is the best part) it was the cheapest house we found in our search! I just started dreaming of our wedding there, and I couldn't get it out of my mind. Andrew could get ready in one house, myself in the other. Plus they have done a ton of weddings on site, so it was kind of a no brainer!

I reached out to the owner, and we started getting the ball rolling right away. We went through pricing and house options (you can rent one, two or all three houses; BUT you have to rent the two large houses to keep the lawn private) in late July, went through first rounds of the contract in August. 

It took about two weeks (on our side) to go through the lengthy contract and finalize our budget, but we had stayed in contact with the owner the entire time. And around the same time, Andrew and I had booked a trip to Nantucket to do some year-out wedding stuff. We thought it would be a good time to stop by and see the house too!

So in mid-August, we asked for some changes to the contract (my dad being a lawyer and all, this is par the course) and didn't hear back. We then followed up saying we can talk it over in person, drop off the deposit, and see the house during our visit. No word from the owner. We followed up consistently leading up to our weekend there -- texted, emailed, called. Not. A. Word. 

It was kind of crazy because he had been so on top of everything and responsive. He literally was ghosting us. And one random night I kind of got fed up with it and tried calling -- no answer. I then called from Andrew's phone and GUESS WHAT?! He picks up. When he realized it was me, he said he was hopping on a plane and would call later. Of course, you know how that story ends. 

We were literally trying to find him to drop off a large check and he wouldn't answer our calls. I talked it over with Andrew and our parents, and we were finally like F it and stopped trying.

So now we're a year out, and I'm starting to panic. I know houses get booked quickly and without a house, there is no wedding. Like none of it. So Andrew and I sit back down and go over our options. I just kept going back to the first (and ironically only) house we saw and saying how perfect it would be. How we didn't need a large yard -- we could get married on the steps. How the covered porch would be perfect for bad weather. It just felt like the right house!

BUT there was a big issue -- it was only Saturday to Saturday rental, and it was way out of our price range with that requirement. So on a whim, I reached back out to the property manager Mike (who I adore btw) and tried to see what we could do. I told him our plans for the week -- how we wanted to get married in the back yard on a Thursday, how we wanted to host a welcome party on Friday and how we needed the house only Tuesday to Sunday. I also mentioned that if we could make this schedule work, he could rent the house for Labor Day without any issue. He thought that was a great idea. He needed to run it by the owner to see.

Within the hour he came back and said it was good to go! That we could not only a Tuesday-Sunday rental but that we would also get the "offseason" rate since it was after Labor Day. Bonus points are they were looking to book more weddings and loved all of our plans (without any hesitation!). AKA the stars aligned and we booked it right then and there. 

OH but here's a good tidbit -- it's November and the guy from the Whales Watch estate sends an (OUT OF NOWHERE) random text asking if I was still interested in renting the house -- acting like we were just picking up where we left off. I left him on read. Then about two more weeks go by and he emails our chain asking the same ("Hi Krista and Steven! Just checking in....how are we doing here?"). I was like YO DUDE GTFO (not really, but you get it). Like WHAT?? How could he possibly think we were still good to go after he literally ghosted us for two months? Really dodged a bullet with that one!

So back to our beautiful, amazing, perfect house. Upon booking, we were also offered a free offseason weekend stay at the house, so Andrews' family and I drove up to the ferry on a Friday in October, and stayed at this house for a really fun weekend. I mean (and I'm biased, but I'm also not) it's just the best house. It's so happy and welcoming. We each got our own room, we snuggled up in the living room watching the postseason under the fireplace, we watched like 10 movies in the theatre, we made smores outside at the fire pit. The weather was pretty bad, but we just had the most fantastic time. I was so excited to get married there. 

Everyone had a great time, we planned out the wedding ceremony and the dinner and took measurements. We planned out rooms and mapped out how close it was to town -- everything! And every time I was in Nantucket from that moment to the wedding week, I'd drive by and say hi to the house. It's a perfect house.

What was even more great about it was how every bedroom was a master bedroom. No one would get the bad room, and every single room had it's own his and hers closet AND a full bath. You wanna talk about house goals... this is it! What was so crazy about this house was how small it seemed from the street and then how massive it is once you're inside. 

Everything about the house was, down to a tee, perfect. Even looking at the photos now I'm like here's where we got married, and here's where I walked down the aisle, and this bench is where I sat waiting for the ceremony, and here's where I hid from Andrew with my stye. Just so much of this house hosts these amazing memories for us. If I had a billion dollars, I'd buy it without a doubt. For now, I'll just save my money and pray I can go back one day!

I'll definitely be sharing more photos from the house when we get them in -- I mean you guys haven't even seen our wedding day really at all!!! Ugh, I'm so excited to share... 

Here are two listing and booking sites for the house -- the second has more photos, but both share the same details! If anyone is looking to book, I cannot say enough amazing things about the house and the property manager Mike! If you're looking for a wedding or just a fun family rental, this is your place!!

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