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Friendly Crossways Retreat Center

Harvard , MA
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

247 Littleton County Road
Harvard, MA 01451 US (map)

PHONE

978-456-9386

WEBSITE

View website
Please let this vendor know that you found them on the WeddingWire Network.

ABOUT US

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and celebration! If you're looking for a relaxed, country wedding venue (but only 30 miles outside of Boston) we encourage you to consider... Read more
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and celebration! If you're looking for a relaxed, country wedding venue (but only 30 miles outside of Boston) we encourage you to consider Friendly Crossways Retreat Center. With 25-acres of lawn, woods and fields, there's plenty of space for your family members to reunite and for your guests to meet, mingle and make your wedding ceremony and celebration a truly memorable one. There have been "do-it-yourself" and "green" weddings at Friendly Crossways for over 60 years!

You can reserve exclusive use of our 25-acre property for up to 48 hours for a flat fee. This gives you access to the grounds with lots of options for unique, romantic wedding settings including in a wooded glade surrounded by towering pine trees, on a lovely green lawn, bordered by stone walls and perennial flower beds, or under a maple tree in full fall foliage. You also get to use the dining hall, meeting space, and the kitchen for non-reception meals. Up to 72 guests can be seated indoors for a sit-down meal, and as many as 150 guests under a beautiful, romantic tent which can be provided by an outside vendor. Bonus: you get to decorate the tent to fit your wedding fantasies. And, to wind down after the rehearsal dinner or reception, we have a fabulous fire circle!

The base fee also includes accommodations for up to 35 people. We can accommodate as many as 60 guests overnight.

We also provide on-site catering and our chef will work closely with you to select and prepare a menu that reflects your favorite dishes. We provide fresh, beautifully presented, delicious food from champagne brunches to buffets to bbqs for all eating preferences from omnivores to vegetarians to vegans. We use local produce as much as possible. How local? The chef's organic garden is about 300 yards from the kitchen, and she has won 'Best of Show' and blue ribbons for her vegetables, frut, herbs and honey for many years at a local agricultural fair.

If you prefer, your friends and family may use our commercial kitchen to prepare the reception food for you, or you may also provide your own outside caterer if you wish.

We look forward to meeting with you and helping to make your wedding celebration a memorable one. Read less
Wedding Venue

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR WEDDING VENUE

When was your venue built?
1898
When was your venue last renovated?
2014
Describe your venue:
Farm / Barn, Inn / Bed & Breakfast, Park / Zoo / Natural Space
Describe the style of your venue
Country, Garden / Romantic, Rustic
What wedding services does your venue provide?
Ceremony, Reception
What is the maximum capacity of your venue?
150
How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?
4
Does your venue offer an indoor space?
Yes
Does your venue offer a covered outdoor space?
No
Does your venue offer an uncovered outdoor space?
Yes
Does your venue have on-site accommodations?
Yes
Number of guest rooms
15
Number of suites
0
What is the minimum rental fee for your venue?
4498
Bar Service
Outside vendors welcome
Beverage Service
Outside vendors welcome
Catering
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Is catering included in the minimum rental fee?
No
What is the average catering price per person at your venue?
40
Event Coordination
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Is event coordination included in the minimum rental fee?
Yes
Event Rentals
Outside vendors welcome
Lighting and Sound
Outside vendors welcome
Linens
Offered in-house
Are linens included in the minimum rental fee?
Yes
Seating
Outside vendors welcome
Shuttle / Transportation
Outside vendors welcome
Wedding Cake
Outside vendors welcome

REVIEWS

4.8
out of 5.0
4.9/5.0
4.8/5.0
4.8/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.8/5.0
Sort by
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Adrianne
Wedding:
10/11/2014
5.0/5.0
Friendly Crossways is absolute perfection. We had the most glorious wedding weekend that we could have possibly imagined. Everything about everything was perfect. Our wedding was in October and the colors in Massachusetts were gorgeous. The space was accommodating and comfortable, the owners are flexible and are delightful to work with, the outdoor space is beautiful, and we were able to plan everything to our liking. I can't imagine getting married anywhere else.
Friendly Crossways is absolute perfection. We had the most glorious wedding weekend that we could have possibly imagined. Read more...
Friendly Crossways is absolute perfection. We had the most glorious wedding weekend that we could have possibly imagined. Everything about everything was perfect. Our wedding was in October and the colors in Massachusetts were gorgeous. The space was accommodating and comfortable, the owners are flexible and are delightful to work with, the outdoor space is beautiful, and we were able to plan everything to our liking. I can't imagine getting married anywhere else. Read less
Services Used: Catering, Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Venue
Friendly Crossways Retreat Center responded with the following comments:

Thank you, Adrianne, for your fantastic review, and for bringing you, your fiance, family and friends to Friendly Crossways. It was our first intimate indoor reception, and it was great to work with you all. We enjoyed the unique touches that took advantage of the barn interior, and so cool to have our first homemade Whoopie Pie wedding cake!
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Vero
Wedding:
9/13/2014
5.0/5.0
Mary and all her staff made our wedding weekend unforgettable! She went above and beyond; she even cooked a Venezuelan meal (first time ever and it was delicious!!!). The venue is definitely unique. Our family and frineds from out-of-state/country had a wonderful stayed at the hostel. This venue gives you a whole weekend event not just couple hours. We couldn't have picked a better place to have a dream wedding (rain or shine :-) Thank you!
Mary and all her staff made our wedding weekend unforgettable! She went above and beyond; she even cooked a Venezuelan Read more...
Mary and all her staff made our wedding weekend unforgettable! She went above and beyond; she even cooked a Venezuelan meal (first time ever and it was delicious!!!). The venue is definitely unique. Our family and frineds from out-of-state/country had a wonderful stayed at the hostel. This venue gives you a whole weekend event not just couple hours. We couldn't have picked a better place to have a dream wedding (rain or shine :-) Thank you! Read less
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
Friendly Crossways Retreat Center responded with the following comments:

Thank you, Vero, for your lovely review, and especially for bringing your multi-cultural event to Friendly Crossways. It was great learning to make new dishes which I can now add to my catering menus, and everyone enjoyed the way Latin American & US customs were incorporated throughout the evening. Brava!
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
5.0/5.0
Planning our wedding at Friendly Crossways was easy and fun, and the weekend itself was relaxed, beautiful, and delicious! Much of the food came from the host's garden and tasted great. We were also allowed to use the kitchen and dining hall for more casual family gatherings. The host of the venue is professional and experienced with a quirky sense of humor that made the entire event lots of fun. And...a fantastic fire pit!
Planning our wedding at Friendly Crossways was easy and fun, and the weekend itself was relaxed, beautiful, and delicious! Read more...
Planning our wedding at Friendly Crossways was easy and fun, and the weekend itself was relaxed, beautiful, and delicious! Much of the food came from the host's garden and tasted great. We were also allowed to use the kitchen and dining hall for more casual family gatherings. The host of the venue is professional and experienced with a quirky sense of humor that made the entire event lots of fun. And...a fantastic fire pit! Read less
Services Used: Catering, Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Venue, Unique Services
Friendly Crossways Retreat Center responded with the following comments:

Thank you for your great review, and sharing another unique wedding weekend at Friendly Crossways: a live bluegrass jam around the fire circle was a first for us! So much fun! We are very happy to be offering our Farm to Table food to so many couples this year and glad you enjoyed it all.
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Colleen
Wedding:
6/14/2014
5.0/5.0
Our wedding weekend at Friendly Crossways was truly blissful! Having friends and family with us onsite from Friday night until Sunday afternoon left us with lasting memories we couldn't have gotten elsewhere. It felt like we were all staying at a big family house, complete with the smells and sounds of our family and friends making breakfast together when we woke up on Sunday, we all got to relax with coffee overlooking the countryside and chat about the night before. And what a night! We had the space and flexibility to create just what we wanted, with lots of beautiful lawn for games, a big bonfire and candlelit cocktail tables outside. Plenty of room for a huge tent, with an oversized dance floor and stage for the band. Mary Helen did the food which was amazing, she knows her stuff and everything ran smoothly. The steak tips are seriously good. And the view of the surrounding fields and countryside really make the perfect backdrop for a fun, private event to let loose. I've had several friends tell me it's the best wedding they've been to and I'm lucky to have found it, and I agree :) Thanks Mary Helen!
Our wedding weekend at Friendly Crossways was truly blissful! Having friends and family with us onsite from Friday night Read more...
Our wedding weekend at Friendly Crossways was truly blissful! Having friends and family with us onsite from Friday night until Sunday afternoon left us with lasting memories we couldn't have gotten elsewhere. It felt like we were all staying at a big family house, complete with the smells and sounds of our family and friends making breakfast together when we woke up on Sunday, we all got to relax with coffee overlooking the countryside and chat about the night before. And what a night! We had the space and flexibility to create just what we wanted, with lots of beautiful lawn for games, a big bonfire and candlelit cocktail tables outside. Plenty of room for a huge tent, with an oversized dance floor and stage for the band. Mary Helen did the food which was amazing, she knows her stuff and everything ran smoothly. The steak tips are seriously good. And the view of the surrounding fields and countryside really make the perfect backdrop for a fun, private event to let loose. I've had several friends tell me it's the best wedding they've been to and I'm lucky to have found it, and I agree :) Thanks Mary Helen! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Friendly Crossways Retreat Center responded with the following comments:

Thank you so much, Colleen, for your marvelous review. We are so glad your family and friends enjoyed all the special things that can happen on our property when a couple brings folks together who have one thing in mind: celebrating you and your best beloved!
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Susannah
Wedding:
10/5/2013
5.0/5.0
Friendly Crossways is a truly fantastic and wonderful place for a wedding. It was really important to us to have a place that we could call home for the entire weekend and Mary Helan and Keith definitely made us feel like family. They and their entire staff were amazing. Our guests raved about the food (Mary Helan's catering is fabulous - try the steak tips!), the beautiful setting, and how much we were able to make the whole event feel unique and special (bonfire and smore's after the reception was a huge hit). Many of them joked that they thoroughly enjoyed spending a weekend at our "country home". We loved being able to play lawn games during cocktail hour and serve our own homebrew at the reception. You can make the event as DIY as you like and if not, Mary Helan can recommend vendors to fill just about any need. The whole weekend exceeded anything we could have imagined and feel very lucky to have found such a special place for our wedding.
Friendly Crossways is a truly fantastic and wonderful place for a wedding. It was really important to us to have a place Read more...
Friendly Crossways is a truly fantastic and wonderful place for a wedding. It was really important to us to have a place that we could call home for the entire weekend and Mary Helan and Keith definitely made us feel like family. They and their entire staff were amazing. Our guests raved about the food (Mary Helan's catering is fabulous - try the steak tips!), the beautiful setting, and how much we were able to make the whole event feel unique and special (bonfire and smore's after the reception was a huge hit). Many of them joked that they thoroughly enjoyed spending a weekend at our "country home". We loved being able to play lawn games during cocktail hour and serve our own homebrew at the reception. You can make the event as DIY as you like and if not, Mary Helan can recommend vendors to fill just about any need. The whole weekend exceeded anything we could have imagined and feel very lucky to have found such a special place for our wedding. Read less
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
Friendly Crossways Retreat Center responded with the following comments:

Thank you, Susannah, for the review, and most important, for honoring us by bringing your and your husband's families together from across the seas to meet at Friendly Crossways! A beautiful wedding, a fun reception, and lots of fabulous Irish accents: wow!
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Marissa
Wedding:
9/14/2013
5.0/5.0
We recently hosted a "vintage carnival" themed wedding at Friendly Crossways. When I came up with this theme I realized that it required a very specific type of venue - one that would allow us to keep such a fun theme classy, one that would still have a beautiful location for our ceremony, and one that would allow us plenty of time for set up! Friendly Crossways provided this and MUCH more. My family lives all over the country, and my husband and my families had never met prior to the wedding. Being able to rent the grounds for the entire weekend allowed for the most beautiful part of our wedding, which was being able to spend time with those we don't see often enough and watching our two families blend. We truly had a beautiful wedding. Our rehearsal dinner (a BBQ on the porch) was absolutely delicious and we immediately started to feel like Friendly Crossways was our home and the staff was our family. Having sleeping arrangements on site was so wonderful, it allowed us all to spend more time together and also not worry about anyone drinking and driving. The grounds were spectacular for our ceremony, the tent was gorgeous, and it was so fun to leave our reception and go to a bonfire with our friends and family for continued fun. After the bonfire we went back into the basement and continued the fun with our friends playing games, and some of the staff even joined us! It was so much fun, the entire weekend truly was magical. Mary Helan was incredibly helpful and responsive during the year or so that I spent planning, and her food was so great, I definitely recommend using her as your caterer. This is the perfect site for anyone who wants a green, DIY wedding where they can relax, connect with family and friends, and just have a beautiful time. My guests haven't stopped raving!!
We recently hosted a "vintage carnival" themed wedding at Friendly Crossways. When I came up with this theme I realized Read more...
We recently hosted a "vintage carnival" themed wedding at Friendly Crossways. When I came up with this theme I realized that it required a very specific type of venue - one that would allow us to keep such a fun theme classy, one that would still have a beautiful location for our ceremony, and one that would allow us plenty of time for set up! Friendly Crossways provided this and MUCH more. My family lives all over the country, and my husband and my families had never met prior to the wedding. Being able to rent the grounds for the entire weekend allowed for the most beautiful part of our wedding, which was being able to spend time with those we don't see often enough and watching our two families blend. We truly had a beautiful wedding. Our rehearsal dinner (a BBQ on the porch) was absolutely delicious and we immediately started to feel like Friendly Crossways was our home and the staff was our family. Having sleeping arrangements on site was so wonderful, it allowed us all to spend more time together and also not worry about anyone drinking and driving. The grounds were spectacular for our ceremony, the tent was gorgeous, and it was so fun to leave our reception and go to a bonfire with our friends and family for continued fun. After the bonfire we went back into the basement and continued the fun with our friends playing games, and some of the staff even joined us! It was so much fun, the entire weekend truly was magical. Mary Helan was incredibly helpful and responsive during the year or so that I spent planning, and her food was so great, I definitely recommend using her as your caterer. This is the perfect site for anyone who wants a green, DIY wedding where they can relax, connect with family and friends, and just have a beautiful time. My guests haven't stopped raving!! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Friendly Crossways Retreat Center responded with the following comments:

Thank you, Marissa, for your kind words, and for bringing your uniquely themed weekend to Friendly Crossways. I wasn't exactly sure how it would be pulled off, but you and your groom and your very special friends and family did it! Your actual wedding ceremony was elegant and sacred and the transition to the fun of the vintage carnival theme decorations and games was smooth and delightful!
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Laura
Wedding:
8/24/2013
5.0/5.0
I cannot thank Mary Helan and Keith enough for a beautiful wedding weekend. Patrick and I wanted a casual, laid-back setting where people could stay over and relax for the weekend with us. Mary Helan and Keith were always very quick in responding to any questions we had during the planning process. The house is beautiful and cozy and the backyard was a stunning setting for our wedding. The food was delicious (we had lime-marinated grilled chicken and tomato corn pie) and people throughout the night were commenting on how great it was. I could not be happier with the experience I had working with Mary Helan and Keith and I highly recommend them as a wedding venue and caterer.
I cannot thank Mary Helan and Keith enough for a beautiful wedding weekend. Patrick and I wanted a casual, laid-back Read more...
I cannot thank Mary Helan and Keith enough for a beautiful wedding weekend. Patrick and I wanted a casual, laid-back setting where people could stay over and relax for the weekend with us. Mary Helan and Keith were always very quick in responding to any questions we had during the planning process. The house is beautiful and cozy and the backyard was a stunning setting for our wedding. The food was delicious (we had lime-marinated grilled chicken and tomato corn pie) and people throughout the night were commenting on how great it was. I could not be happier with the experience I had working with Mary Helan and Keith and I highly recommend them as a wedding venue and caterer. Read less
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
Friendly Crossways Retreat Center responded with the following comments:

Thank you, Laura, for the great review, and for holding your really beautiful wedding and really fun reception at Friendly Crossways. I don't think anyone stopped dancing until the DJ finally turned the music off!
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Naomi
Wedding:
7/6/2013
5.0/5.0
Everything you will read in these reviews about Friendly Crossways is true—it is a magical place to be married. The grounds are stunning, peaceful, and romantic. Our guests described the setting and the feel as “idyllic,” a “sylvan paradise,” and “elegantly simple, simply elegant.” In the two nights and three days we spent there, we felt our families blending in a way we could not have achieved with a single evening event or even by staying several nights at the same hotel. While we were excited to find Friendly Crossways from the very beginning, we were completely sold when we met Mary Helan and her gracious family and tasted her delicious food. For the wedding we had sea bass, couscous, vegetable pie, and asparagus and everything was fresh, flavorful, and hearty but light all at the same time. A friend who was at her fourth of four weddings this summer, including one at a very upscale hotel, said this was the best food she’d had at any of them (and she shared this as she filled up on her second plate!). Mary Helan is incredibly helpful and accommodating, and although she hosts many weddings, she made me feel like her only bride. She welcomed information about our guests to ensure that she accommodated allergies and dietary preferences and even made a special effort to have peppermint stick ice cream from a specific local vendor on hand for my grandmother. The lack of central air on an unusually hot weekend in July was challenging, but the rooms have window fans and the living room/conference area has an excellent a/c unit. The ceremony space was also shaded enough by the start of our 4:30 pm wedding ceremony that our guests were comfortable, and the evening cooled significantly. The weekend was even lovelier than we had imagined it would be, and we couldn’t be happier that we chose to spend this special time at Friendly Crossways.
Everything you will read in these reviews about Friendly Crossways is true—it is a magical place to be married. The Read more...
Everything you will read in these reviews about Friendly Crossways is true—it is a magical place to be married. The grounds are stunning, peaceful, and romantic. Our guests described the setting and the feel as “idyllic,” a “sylvan paradise,” and “elegantly simple, simply elegant.” In the two nights and three days we spent there, we felt our families blending in a way we could not have achieved with a single evening event or even by staying several nights at the same hotel. While we were excited to find Friendly Crossways from the very beginning, we were completely sold when we met Mary Helan and her gracious family and tasted her delicious food. For the wedding we had sea bass, couscous, vegetable pie, and asparagus and everything was fresh, flavorful, and hearty but light all at the same time. A friend who was at her fourth of four weddings this summer, including one at a very upscale hotel, said this was the best food she’d had at any of them (and she shared this as she filled up on her second plate!). Mary Helan is incredibly helpful and accommodating, and although she hosts many weddings, she made me feel like her only bride. She welcomed information about our guests to ensure that she accommodated allergies and dietary preferences and even made a special effort to have peppermint stick ice cream from a specific local vendor on hand for my grandmother. The lack of central air on an unusually hot weekend in July was challenging, but the rooms have window fans and the living room/conference area has an excellent a/c unit. The ceremony space was also shaded enough by the start of our 4:30 pm wedding ceremony that our guests were comfortable, and the evening cooled significantly. The weekend was even lovelier than we had imagined it would be, and we couldn’t be happier that we chose to spend this special time at Friendly Crossways. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Friendly Crossways Retreat Center responded with the following comments:

Wow! Thank you so much, Naomi, for sharing this lovely review, and most especially for honoring us by holding your very special celebration here at Friendly Crossways.
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Seth
Wedding:
6/8/2013
5.0/5.0
We had a fabulous time at Friendly Crossways for our wedding. We rented the place for the whole weekend so that our closest friends and family could spend time together building community, and it all came together better than we could have hoped for. We also had Mary Helan, one of the co-owners, be our caterer, and the food was fabulous. The sea bass and the strawberry shortcake received the highest praise from folks, but the food was universally praised, as actually tasting really good, and not just being your typical wedding fare. Mary Helan and Keith were super helpful all weekend (helping us set up a tarp so we could still grill for our rehearsal dinner, for example, even though it was pouring rain on Friday night), and the weekend was as close to perfect as you can get. We held the ceremony itself onsite outdoors, and the pictures we have so far are just gorgeous. If you can't tell already, we had a fantastic experience.
We had a fabulous time at Friendly Crossways for our wedding. We rented the place for the whole weekend so that our Read more...
We had a fabulous time at Friendly Crossways for our wedding. We rented the place for the whole weekend so that our closest friends and family could spend time together building community, and it all came together better than we could have hoped for. We also had Mary Helan, one of the co-owners, be our caterer, and the food was fabulous. The sea bass and the strawberry shortcake received the highest praise from folks, but the food was universally praised, as actually tasting really good, and not just being your typical wedding fare. Mary Helan and Keith were super helpful all weekend (helping us set up a tarp so we could still grill for our rehearsal dinner, for example, even though it was pouring rain on Friday night), and the weekend was as close to perfect as you can get. We held the ceremony itself onsite outdoors, and the pictures we have so far are just gorgeous. If you can't tell already, we had a fantastic experience. Read less
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
Friendly Crossways Retreat Center responded with the following comments:

Thank you Seth, for your wonderful comments, and thank you especially for bringing your beautiful bride and fabulous friends and family to Friendly Crossways for this very special weekend.
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Jim
Wedding:
10/6/2012
5.0/5.0
After looking at 5 or 6 places we finally found Friendly Crossways! Mary Helan and Keith were extremely friendly, helpful and courteous. Our guests drank and danced their buns off in the tent and then walked 45 feet to their beds! I almost wish we had another wedding to throw just so we could go back and do it all over again.
After looking at 5 or 6 places we finally found Friendly Crossways! Mary Helan and Keith were extremely friendly, helpful Read more...
After looking at 5 or 6 places we finally found Friendly Crossways! Mary Helan and Keith were extremely friendly, helpful and courteous. Our guests drank and danced their buns off in the tent and then walked 45 feet to their beds! I almost wish we had another wedding to throw just so we could go back and do it all over again. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Friendly Crossways Retreat Center responded with the following comments:

Thank you! You and your bride, family and friends were the epitome of fun! fabulous! fantastic!

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247 Littleton County Road, Harvard, MA 01451 See On Map
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