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Pennsylvania-Central

Ceremony at Formal Gardens at Masonic Village

Someone sent me a private message asking me about our ceremony, which was held in the formal gardens at the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, PA.  I seem to be unable to respond to the private message, so I'll respond here for anyone who may be interested.

The formal gardens are absolutely stunning, with varied plantings, flowers, reflecting pools and beautiful pergolas.  Anyone may visit the formal gardens at any time to walk, take photos or just sit around and enjoy the view.  Unfortunately, however, having a wedding ceremony there is a bit more difficult.

Here is all of the good news:

You are allowed the use of the lovely indoor Sell Chapel should there be inclement weather.  In addition, before the ceremony (and, for us, after we took our pre-ceremony photos), you are permitted the use of several air conditioned rooms with private bathrooms right near Sell Chapel in order to get ready with family, bridal party, etc. 

You can be of any religious denomination, but there is a requirement that you believe in G-d.  You must use an ordained priest/minister/rabbi, etc. to perform your ceremony. 

The cost to use the facility was only about $350 (if I recall correctly), and an additinoal $400 (again, if I recall correctly) security deposit is returned promptly afterwards, assuming that you leave things as you found them.  You must also rent chairs through a preferred company recommended by Masonic Village, though we paid less than $1/chair including drop off, pick up, set up and break down.  I thought that was a great deal.

You may bring flowers of your choosing and place them wherever you would like (so long as they are removed afterwards).  Among other things, we used fabric, ribbons and flowers that were woven through and placed on top of the pergola under which we were married.

Here is the rub.  You must either be a mason or have an immediate family member who is a mason in order to use the formal gardens for your wedding ceremony. 

Please let me know if you think of any other questions.
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