With prime dates at premier wedding venues on Cape Cod booking well advance – typically more than 12 months out – there really is no such thing as “too soon” when it comes to planning your own big day. And with venues on the Cape ranging from beach-chic to period-appropriate perfection, winnowing down the possibilities can get overwhelming.

Here’s a quick breakdown of just a few of the options to help you decide:

For fans of The Crown:
If you just can’t get enough of Claire Foy, or the real-life fairytale of Harry and Meghan, consider these turn-of-the-century landmarks which work as well for white-tie-and-tails formal as they do laidback luxury:

Highfield Hall & Gardens – Falmouth: Built in 1878 as the summer home for the Beebes, a well-to-do Boston family, Highfield Hall & Gardens has been painstakingly restored. The West Garden is a popular option for an outdoor ceremony, and the Sunken Garden is the perfect place to pose for portraits. Follow cocktail hour on the veranda with dinner inside or under a tent in the gardens, and then dancing inside the mansion. (Dinner and dancing for up to 80 inside or up to 200 – with tent – outside.)

The Cultural Center of Cape Cod – South Yarmouth: Originally a post-Depression-era regional bank, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod now lives on as a bustling arts’ center. An extensive renovation restored the grand lobby’s ornate woodwork and a glistening floor awaits an evening of dancing. The vintage bank vault is at the ready for playful photo ops. (Dinner and dancing for up to 125.)

For those looking for something unexpected:
If you and your betrothed are looking for a unique Cape Cod wedding venue, one filled with art and cultural icons set among beautiful grounds, perhaps you’d like:

Heritage Museums & Gardens – Sandwich: Exchange your vows in front of the Flume Fountain. Pose for a romantic portrait in the labyrinth, or go for more playful photos in the treehouse of Hidden Hollow or atop one of the horses on the restored antique carousel. Enjoy cocktail hour among the famed classic car collection. (Dinner and dancing for up to 150 in the Heald Center or up to 250 with a tent.)

Cape Cod Museum of Art – Dennis: Six galleries filled with Cape Cod art, both modern and historic, and a stunning sculpture garden and award-winning landscaping make this the perfect choice for the art-loving couple. An on-site 90-seat auditorium can be used for an intimate indoor ceremony. (Dinner and dancing for up 125.)

When you want water, water everywhere:
If you’ve chosen the Cape for your wedding because you want a waterfront venue with a major “wow” factor, consider:

The Winslow Estate – South Orleans: This century-old, 17-room Mediterranean-style home situated on a private three-acre peninsula includes sleeping accommodations for up to 19 people, making it the perfect place to gather with family for the entire weekend. A sprawling lawn offers 180-degree ocean views. (Dinner and dancing – with tent – for up to 175.)

Nauticus Marina – Osterville: Set in one of the Cape’s prettiest villages, this venue is the epitome of beach chic. The sight of yachts sailing in and out of the harbor is almost as breathtaking as the view of the water. (Dinner and dancing – with tent – for up to 200.)

Because you’re all about Cape Cod casual:
Those who are much more inclined to don flip flops than sky-high heels may like:

Kalmar Village – North Truro: Patti Page may well have written “Old Cape Cod” at Kalmar Village. It is such a classic! Rows of vintage cottages frame a sprawling green lawn. The private beach provides incredible views of the Provincetown skyline. (Dinner and dancing – with tent – for up to 250.)

Chequessett Yacht & Country Club – Wellfleet: The name of this waterfront venue belies its approachable, rustic appeal. Choose the clubhouse, with a wall of windows overlooking the bay, or the boathouse which sits right on the beach for your reception. Exchange your vows in the sand.

Pamet Harbor Yacht and Tennis Club – Truro: A clubhouse with a wrap-around deck with killer water views is the centerpiece of this Outer Cape venue. Exchange “I dos” on the beach before moving to the clubhouse for your reception. (Dinner and dancing for up to 125 – add a tent for larger groups.)

It’s a natural:
If you envision an organic appeal for your big day, these venues are surrounded by acres of lush green fields:

Overbrook Farm – Buzzards Bay: An antique farmhouse onsite has been repurposed into a charming dance hall that is spacious enough for groups of up to 50 for dinner and dancing. For larger groups, the barn proves the perfect dancefloor. (Dinner and dancing – with tent – for up to 175.)

Bourne Farm - Bourne: A small, vintage barn is the photo-op-perfect heart of this nature sanctuary that includes acres and acres of conservation land. (Dinner and dancing – with tent – for up to 400.)

For a wedding of “historic proportions”:
It was Cape Cod where the Mayflower first landed, before moving on to Plymouth, and there are a number of historic wedding venues that celebrate the Cape’s lengthy history, including:

Pilgrim Monument – Provincetown: Built in the early 1900s to commemorate the Pilgrim’s landing is a stunning 252-tall granite tower set high atop a hill with all of Provincetown and the surrounding ocean at its feet. (Dinner and dancing – with tent – for up to 175.)

Holden Inn – Wellfleet: Once the home of a sea captain, the 1840-built original home was expanded in 1924. Gardens surround the historic compound, providing a beautiful backdrop for outdoor receptions. (Dinner and dancing – with tent – for up to 175.) 

About the blogger: Olive Chase is owner of The Casual Gourmet, a locally owned and operated diversified food service company specializing in Cape Cod weddings.