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Great Lakes

What is it about a lake that inspires such happy thoughts? Sure, the peacefulness of the water and the pristine natural setting are appealing, but perhaps the sentiment goes deeper. Lakes speak of simpler times, evoking childhood memories of summer vacations and carefree days spent skipping stones and swimming with friends. Small wonder so many brides are choosing lakeside resorts for their wedding venues. We found six spots across North America where you can take full advantage of the glorious waterfront opportunities.

The Point -- Lake Saranac, New York

When people mention The Point, it's almost in reverence. This secluded lodge, once owned by the Rockefeller family, is one of the country's most exclusive retreats. Nestled in the Adirondacks on Upper Saranac Lake, it's just right for couples craving an intimate wedding with a homey atmosphere.

LAY OF THE LAND

The 11 antique-filled rooms, many named after Native American tribes, are spread among four notched log cabins; the resort's small size makes it ideal for intimate gatherings or buyouts of up to 22 people. Guests mingle over communal dinners in the inviting Great Hall (black tie is suggested on select nights). Most weddings occur in summer months when guests can indulge in hiking, fly-fishing and canoeing to uninhabited islands for picnics of lobster salad and homemade cookies.

THE BIG DAY

Favored ceremony spots include a rocky peninsula that juts into the lake, the boathouse lawn and the main lodge's deck. For receptions, the staff works with each couple to create customized menus incorporating luxe ingredients such as Maine lobster, venison, caviar and foie gras. After dinner, guests can gather around the blazing bonfire for cognac and s'mores. Rooms from $1,350, all-inclusive; buyouts from $21,500 per night.

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