Before we even got engaged, I was checking out different venues online just to get an idea of what was available.. you know, just in case. 🙂 So, once the time came to start looking (for real!), I had narrowed it down to 2 places based on what I had found online. The first we planned to visit was Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Stroudsburg, PA and the other was Mountain Springs Lake Resort in Reeders, PA.
Thankfully, they are very close to each other, so we were able to visit both in one day. Our first stop was Stroudsmoor. They were having a menu tasting the day we went (bonus!). What we liked about Stroudsmoor was that they had five venue options based on how many guest you’re having, awesome views of the mountains, and the cake tasting wasn’t too bad either. 😉 What we didn’t like about Stroudsmoor is that, because they had five venues, they could have five weddings in one day. And the date we had our hearts set on, September 24, 2016, was already booked (in March of 2015)! Eek-that shows you had quickly dates fill up!
In case you’re in PA, here are some pictures & the link to Stroudsmoor Country Inn
Our next stop was Mountain Springs Lake Resort. From the second we walked in, I knew this was it. Just when I thought the windows sold me, they gave us raspberry champagne and cookies. Seriously sold. The owners were so nice, they had an on-site ceremony area, and the package includes a day-of-coordinator, a bridal suite, a groom’s suite, plus a honeymoon cottage. They even have cottages surrounding the lake for all of our out-of-town guests. Dream come true! You may not need all of these things for your wedding and I certainly didn’t go in expecting them, but it was wonderful to hear that the package would include so much!
Needless to say, this is our venue and I couldn’t be happier! Of course, everyone has different priorities for their big day, but here are the things that we considered when deciding on our venue that I think are most important:
- Size (we have big families)
- Style (we really wanted a garden-like theme.) Of course, if you want a rustic theme, a ballroom probably wouldn’t be the best place and vice versa.
- On-site ceremony area with indoor site for bad weather
- Date Availability (since we really wanted 9/24)
- Food -Is it included in the package? Will you need a caterer? Can they bake your cake? Are they able to accommodate food allergies, vegans, vegetarians, etc.?
- Good space for a band or DJ
- On-site coordinator for the day of (this isn’t necessary, but will make your day so much easier!)
- Guest accommodations- Do they have rooms for your guests to stay in overnight? If not, what are some nearby hotels?
- Activities for out of town guests-mini golfing, winery tours, hiking, restaurants, etc. Our venue provided us with little pamphlets that we were able to put in our guests’ welcome bags with ideas.
- And of course, price. As well all know, this will vary greatly based on location, size of the venue and the style wedding you’re going for. But it is best to ask this early and make sure to ask if the package price includes taxes and gratuities. Those can seriously add up quickly!
I remember wishing I had taken a notebook and paper so I could write things down because you’re getting so much information at one time. Be prepared to be asked lots of questions when you’re there, like what your overall vision is, color scheme, if you want a band or DJ,and if you want buffet style or plated meals. The venue will want to get just as much of an idea of your style as you will of theirs! It is an overwhelming but incredibly exciting time!
Good luck finding your venue! Wherever it may be, I hope your day is perfect!
Thanks so much for reading!
Update: If you would like to see more from our wedding, please head to this post!