Over the course of wedding planning, there are hundreds of big decisions you will need to make. The attire, the florals, the decor, and more! One of the first (and possibly most important) big decisions you make during wedding planning, however, is the venue.
Wedding Venue History
Being in the wedding industry, I had done my fair share of research on wedding venues prior to getting engaged. It was important for me to know the venues our brides were choosing so that we could get the best grasp on their wedding day vision. Over the years, some of the venues I had toured personally and researched stood out to me for one reason or another, and I kept them in the back of my head for when that day – my day – would finally come!
It’s here! I am recently engaged and our planning is in the works! So, cue the first big decision, the venue.
My mom asked me what kind of venues interested me and while I had two in mind already I was not necessarily sold on anything since I had not yet toured them. The one thing they both had in common were big stone columns outside. I absolutely love the look of buildings with those big columns, so I half-jokingly told her that a venue with columns was a must.
Narrowing down what else I wanted in a venue was fairly easy but quite specific! Aside from the columns, I definitely wanted a venue that:
- was unique
- had great food
- had an indoor ceremony space I loved equally as much as the outdoor space
How To Choose A Wedding Venue
Knowing myself, I would be driving myself crazy checking the weather every 30 minutes the week of the wedding. One final criteria I had for the venue was that there be separate rooms for mingling that were away from the loud music. Some of our relatives will want to be able to socialize with people they have not seen in a while, and that would be impossible for them to do in the same room with the DJ.
With only the columns in mind, my mom sent me a link to a venue I had never even heard of that was right around the corner from my house: Elkins Estate.
We immediately set up two venue tours with a third venue in the works. The first venue was very pretty with columns and a gorgeous interior, but was not quite what I was looking for. Then we drove over to Elkins Estate.
It. Was. PERFECT.
Elkins Estate Wedding Venue
When we drove through the gates, I audibly gasped and my mom immediately started crying. We knew right then and there that this was the venue despite not having stepped foot inside.
The building is incredible and speaks for itself! I could already see the photos of Jeff and I on the steps outside with the building in the background. As if the front had not already taken my breath away, around the side of the building is the most incredible outdoor ceremony space. You could choose to have your ceremony under the Willow tree or in front of the stone staircase, both providing the most perfect backdrop.
Elkins Estate Wedding Venue | Venue Options
Remember how I said it was important to have a good weather contingency plan? The indoor ceremony space is the most incredible room reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel. White walls with gold accents contrast against the chestnut colored hardwood floors, and a gorgeous fresco on the ceiling draws you in to make you feel like you are standing in the middle of an old-time European dream.
Spoiler: we loved it so much that we chose a New Years Eve wedding date, completely foregoing the outdoor ceremony!
Elkins Estate Wedding Venue Details
The dream continues when you walk into the main lobby with another incredible mural and a second story balcony surrounding the main entrance. There really is no way to put into words how breathtaking it is walking through this building.
Some other highlights include a dramatic grand staircase, a gorgeous ballroom, a full library, 75 on-site hotel rooms (important for NYE), and access to all of the rooms during the entire wedding day. As if Elkins Estate was not enough of a dream, it is owned by Landmark Hospitality, a group who got their start in the restaurant business!
And there we had it: a unique venue with great food, ceremony spaces, mingling spaces, and big Grecian columns!
We signed our contract and never even finished setting up the tour for the third venue. When you know, you know. I cannot wait to marry my perfect man at the Elkins Estate wedding venue! One big wedding decision down, plenty more to go!
Daria Capaldi is the store manager for Darianna® Bridal & Tuxedo. After graduating from James Madison University, she completed a two-year program at the Walt Disney Company learning from the absolute leaders of the customer service experience. From there, she returned to the family business to further elevate the company, focused on providing that same experience. Recently engaged to her fiancé, Jeff, they are now beginning their own wedding planning journey! Daria resides in Huntington Valley, PA with Jeff and their two pups, Eva and Ollie.