Venue Spotlight: Willowdale Estate

Willowdale Estate

RyanKennerPhotography - House at Dusk_CMYK

Photo Credit: Ryan Kenner Photography

The Willowdale Estate is located in beautiful Topsfield, Massachusetts and it is the perfect place for a wedding, shower or any type of party. We were there recently for their Entertaining 101 series and had a blast learning how the be the best host while checking out the gorgeous venue! Below you’ll find all the information you need on hosting your next event at the charming Willowdale Estate.


Willowdale Estate is an Arts and Crafts Stone Mansion; the property today is about 4 acres of the 720-acre Bradley Palmer State Park. In 1901, construction of the mansion was under way with owner Bradley Palmer and architect Charles Amos Cummings. The home was host of many grand parties with guests such as President Taft, Prince of Wales and General Patton. A preservationist and equestrian Bradley Palmer was committed to nature and conservation which is partly why in 1944 upon his death, he left the Mansion and Land to the State to be turned into a park for all to enjoy! Upon being awarded the 50 year lease to Willowdale in 1999, the Forsythe-Fandetti family renovated the mansion for the next eight years—carefully balancing historic accuracy with modern building codes.

Briar Rose Forsythe, their daughter, created her own company at Willowdale Estate providing catering services within the historic estate. Utilizing her decades of hospitality experience with her family’s businesses and her fundamental love of good, wholesome food, Briar has built an organization that leverages the beauty of this historic residence as backdrop for wonderful party experiences throughout the year.


The property includes a tented pavilion during the months of May-October which can hold up to 240 guests, with a minimum of 125. The typical flow of Tent Season weddings would be to host your ceremony in the lovely butterfly courtyard, cocktail hour throughout the mansion, and dinner and dancing under the custom built Sperry Tent. Willowdale only holds one wedding a day, so you’ll have exclusive access to the property for your event.

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Photo Credit: Dani Fine Photography

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Photo Credit: Nate Creamer Photography

Many couples with smaller guest counts (70-125 guests) often consider a more intimate indoor wedding held November through April. The Arts and Crafts style Mansion includes: exposed beams, detailed woodwork, an oversized skylight, French Windows and cozy fireplaces. The Mansion provides the comforts of home and an intimate setting that brings everyone together.

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Photo Credit: Adriano Batti Photography

Vendor Information

Willowdale Estate has a list of preferred vendors to recommend to clients. If a client wants to book a vendor that is not on the list, they work with the client to make sure that they are hiring an experienced, licensed wedding professional and to ensure they get the best service possible.

Willowdale Estate has an in-house catering team which adds to the convenience of hosting your next event here. The catering packages range from $99-$119 per person based on the season and day of the week. These packages include a large selection of food choices, linens, flatware, glassware and all of the service staff for the event.

Rental Information

Willowdale Estate has a range of site rental rates for 2015 that starts at $3,200 through $7,500 depending on the season and day of the week. The cost for adding a ceremony is $750 and covers all of the chairs, setup, extra time including 2 hours of getting ready and a full hour for parking, seating and the ceremony.

Contact the Wedding Sales Managers, Belinda and Kaitlin for more detailed information and to book your next event: or 978-887-8211.

Happy Planning!

The Swank Team