Please help an out-of-towner!

Hello, everyone! As a bit of background, I want to say first that I am a native Missourian who has never lived out of state (except for 2 years of grad school in which I lived 40 minutes from the Missouri border...) My fiance has accepted a job in central Pennsylvania, and we will be moving there this summer. I have been to PA before, but not at length and not recently.

That said, we are planning a September wedding. I really had my heart set on a beach wedding, but after we talked about it further, we've decided to try to find a venue somewhere in PA (for convenience and budget). This is where I need some serious help. Because though we will be living there soon, we have no familiarity with the area at all.

I think we can pull off what we want to do in the amount of time we have, as we just want a small, simple ceremony. We will only have ~10 guests. Ideally, I would love to find a picturesque outdoor setting for the ceremony and then take our guests out to a nice dinner afterwards. We don't plan to have an actual reception - just dinner together at a nice restaurant. 

Does anyone have any ideas? I've been researching B&B's online and have found some that look intriguing. But realistically, we'll have to book something before seeing it in person. We will be making a trip there to secure living arrangements for the move, but we're not sure when yet. Probably around June. I would love to hear personal experience/recommendations for those of you who are familiar with the area! 

I really appreciate any help you can give me. 

Re: Please help an out-of-towner!

  • MeganBMMeganBM member
    100 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    will it be this september?  Alot of places may e booked already :(  There is a gorgeous estate in Mt Joy- Cameron estate.  Do you guys have a budget? Maybe you can all stay at the estate?
    There is also Limespring Farm
    Have you guys thought about where you want to move in Lancaster? There are so many beautiful places!
    Good luck :)
  • edited December 2011
    where in Central PA are you moving/looking to have the wedding?

    PP said Lancaster, but I didnt see that anywhere in your post so I was unsure. Central PA is pretty large.
  • edited December 2011
    pheasent run is where we are getting married the couple that owns are super nice
  • edited December 2011
    Yes, we are talking about this September. I know it's late to book a wedding, but I feel like it's do-able since we're not having a traditional reception or anything. We really just need a place to have a ceremony (with about 10 guests)  and lodging and a nice restaurant nearby! We're not picky when it comes to anything but the basics.

    The job is in Lewisburg, but we're not certain where we'll be moving (we're kind of waiting to see what the job prospects for me will be out there). But I'm sure we'll be living within an hour radius of there. In terms of location for the ceremony, it doesn't need to be right nearby. We were originally planning even a cross-country DW, so anything in the PA area is probably fine. All of our guests will be traveling there anyway.

    We don't have a particular budget, but we'd love to keep it as low as possible, as we are paying for it ourselves. It seems like so many places are geared toward larger events (I really don't want to rent out an entire venue for us and 10 guests). 

    Thanks, everyone! I have a list of bookmarked B&B's, so I think this is where we'll be starting. 

    If anyone knows of any places that have pretty outdoor areas and fit the bill, I'd love to hear them!
  • edited December 2011

    Here is a link to renting a gazebo at a lake. It is a pretty area and usually quiet. It might be nice for a small ceremony. It is located in Boiling Springs so I'm not sure if that is the right area, but I thought I would mention it. :)
  • edited December 2011
    What about Hershey Hotel!  Totally picturesque and you can have a small reception upstairs at the Harvest Restaurant which is gorgeous!
  • djoann958djoann958 member
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My recommendations would be:
    1. The Mercersburg Inn. Gorgeous B&B and you can also have dinner there.
    2. Hotel Hershey
    3. The grounds at the Milton Hershey School and then dinner at What If Cafe or Devon's Seafood Grill.
    4. Allenberry Resort Inn and Playhouse in Boiling Springs

    Hope this helps.
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you! I really like your ideas and I'm going to look into every one of them! My goal is to narrow down a list this weekend and try to start getting in touch with some possible venues early in the week. 
  • slpankuchslpankuch member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    There is a restaurant called the John Wright restaurant in Columbia, Pa that has large windows that look out onto the Susquehanna River. They are thinking of doing very small wedding ceremonies by the river. There are also lots of small parks near by that you could have ceremonies at. The restaurant host small to large receptions. The view is beautiful and the food is very good. You can request specials for your wedding too. They let you decorate your table if you want to. It would be perfect for the amount of people you are having. Columbia is about 15 mins from Lancaster city. They have several b&b in town too. Like one called susquhanna manor which sits on the river as well. They do wedding ceremonies too. Welcome to the area!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker

  • edited December 2011
    I want to thank everyone again for the help and give an update! 

    We did call one B&B today (The Beechmont) -

    I've been looking at online reviews & your recommendations, and this place had a lot of good reviews. Anyway, only one of the rooms is booked the weekend we want, but of course, they're having a wedding. The innkeeper said they could maybe accomodate us if we let them know ASAP and don't have more than 6 guests. So we might considerate trying to make that work or changing weekends. But we've already cut our list down to around 10, so I don't know if we can cut it anymore. Changing the weekend might be a better possibility. But we're going to call a couple more places first.

    I've got a couple of the venues you guys recommended on my list!

    Has anyone heard anything about The Inn at White Oak in Gettysburg? Here's their website:

    It looks really nice, but I can't find any reviews of it anywhere. I did read that it's new. Thanks everyone! You've all be so helpful!
  • EmmaT683EmmaT683 member
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    The Harrisburg Capitol? It's beautiful and they don't charge you to rent it for your ceremony! Not sure if it would be available this September.. But it's worth checking out. There are plenty of restaurants in Harrisburg as well for the reception.
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