At the heart of it all, weddings are about love, and the declaration of that love between two people. For many prospective brides and grooms, loving their wedding venue is also crucial, since the memories of their special day will be intricately tied to the location. In fact, choosing the right location for a wedding and reception can end up being one of the most important decisions for an engaged couple.
Columbia & Montour Counties have long been known for great outdoor recreation, covered bridges, quaint towns, and attractions like Knoebels Amusement Resort & Ricketts Glen State Park. More recently however, the counties have also become a popular destination for weddings. The area offers the perfect blend of rustic and elegant, and is centrally located for many East Coast travelers. Many wedding parties look to find a convenient location that provides reasonable travel times for relatives up and down the Mid-Atlantic and New England states. Columbia & Montour Counties fit the bill, as they are only a few hours from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York, Baltimore, and the Washington D.C. area. The counties have several magnificent wedding venues for couples looking to host their dream wedding.
The Pump House Weddings and B&B is tucked into a valley beside the Catawissa Creek and provides the complete, serene country wedding experience. At the Pump House, couples can be married in a quiet forest clearing under a wisteria arch. Afterward, the party will kick off in a historic brick barn. The barn and property were painstakingly restored by owner Doug Hopkins, and now exude stylish industrial ambiance. There is also plenty of outdoor space on the grounds to set up tents and liven up the party with yard games or a campfire.
The Barn at Greenwood, LLC is a family owned and operated rustic wedding venue located in Millville. Nestled among the Appalachian Mountains, the Barn offers breathtaking mountain scenery, fantastic fall foliage, a four-acre wildflower meadow consisting of 32 varieties of wildflowers, a covered bridge, and plenty of outdoor space. While the Barn at Greenwood does not offer on-site accommodations, it is conveniently located near local lodging for all guests coming into town for the wedding. “If you want the most amazing venue, this is it! The owners were so helpful and made my wedding carefree. The wildflower field was spectacular and the barn twinkled into the evening,” said Anna, a recent bride at the Barn.
One Pine Barn Place at the Pine Barn Inn in Danville is another fantastic wedding venue in Central Pennsylvania. The location received recognition on WeddingWire’s “Couple’s Choice Awards” for 2017. A spacious and elegant ballroom can accommodate up to 225 guests for an evening of dining and dancing. Outside, a tented patio is ideal for a relaxing cocktail hour. All bookings come with complimentary assistance by the Pine Barn Inn’s onsite wedding manager. For more info about the Pine Barn Inn, check out this Q & A session from Susquehanna Life Magazine.
The Lodge at Raven Creek is situated on seven acres of beautiful countryside in northern Columbia County. The venue can accommodate up to 250 guests, but the owners also love hosting smaller, intimate weddings. At the Lodge, couples have access to all five rooms for the weekend, including Friday evening. From full morning breakfasts for wedding party guests, to an on-site rehearsal dinner and a special after-wedding campfire, the Lodge at Raven Creek is a great example of an all-inclusive Central Pennsylvania wedding experience.
Brooke Nickles, who manages the Lodge at Raven Creek along with her husband Corey, realized just how unique the area was for potential wedding parties. “When we first opened, I couldn’t help but wonder why a bride from Philadelphia, Maryland, New Jersey or New York would ever travel all the way to our small town for their wedding. However, talking with out-of-town guests made me realize that our area is incredibly special. Guests were in awe of the beautiful scenery and history of the area; they love our quaint restaurants with delicious and reasonably priced food, and they are taken by how friendly and accommodating everyone is.”
Thorne Haven at Laporte is another great wedding venue in neighboring Sullivan County. The property sits on 12.5 acres and includes a 5,200 square foot estate home with plentiful amenities. Thorne Haven is perfect for weddings and special events, as the whole property is available to be rented. During weddings, an enormous outside space (which includes a small pond) can accommodate a large tent and plenty of parking. The house has plenty of room for the whole wedding party to spend a week or extended weekend before and after their big day.
At the same time, the area offers more than just a place to exchange vows and host a memorable reception. Many wedding parties stay for an entire weekend or even the whole week in the area leading up to their big day. Most of the more popular venues in the counties offer lodging, making it easy to arrive early and settle in with friends and family. When guests book a wedding at the Pump House Bed & Breakfast or the Lodge at Raven Creek, the entire grounds are automatically reserved for the wedding group from Friday until noon on Sunday. Additional days and lodging can be booked at each venue as well, depending on availability. This flexibility allows for the wedding party to arrive several days early to decorate and prepare for the ceremony.
Magical local locations like Ricketts Glen State Park, the Montour Preserve, or any of the historic covered bridges make prime photoshoot spots to showcase the wedding party. Finding local photographers who know the area is a bonus, as they can recommend a diverse number of locations and capture amazing photographs to commemorate the special occasion. The Columbia-Montour County area is also home to many budget-friendly vendor options, including caterers, DJ’s, wedding planners, rental companies and more. This array of services allows couples to maintain a budget while still fulfilling their creative wishes.
Wedding groups looking for a more adventurous and ambitious experience have plenty of choices for a pre or post wedding hike, bike, or kayak. Even more unique plans are available here, and are specifically crafted for bachelor or bachelorette parties. Regardless of whether you are looking for a single-day location to host your dream wedding and reception, or a full-out weekend retreat full of wedding festivities, this area is one of the premier destination wedding hotspots on the east coast!