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Susquehanna Life

Susquehanna Life's 2017 Wedding Guide

Oct 04, 2017 08:41PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
In the Susquehanna Valley, every season is wedding season. If you're looking to plan a wedding, we've put together a few tips and places for your consideration. Presented by Pine Barn Inn.

9 Hottest Trends in Weddings Today

Pine Barn Inn chipped in and gave us a few trends, as well as a few things that they provide on site. 

1)     Trending Décor:

Lanterns- rustic/country and elegant styles, all sizes, both hung and placed on tables in our ballroom and out on our covered patio.

Twinkle/fairy lights- placed inside lanterns, on tables, hung or draped w/ food displays and buffets, used w/various centerpieces, and/or used to light up bar-signage and photos at our venue.

Polaroid photo guest books- an interesting twist on the traditional guest book using polaroid photos with a short written note from each guest…the polaroids are often placed in a photo book or hung on a clothesline style rope for guests to look at throughout the reception. It is cost effective and adds a vintage feel to weddings. All items are typically purchased or supplied by the bride and groom themselves, requires no vendor, easy set up, and fun! We typically have a table for this set up at the main entrance where guests come in so they see it right away and take a picture or two. We even have fun Polaroid Guest Book signage on site incase our couples don’t buy/make any of their own. 

Floating candles- used alone or in combination with non-floating candles. Simple and elegant looking, rather cost effective décor item compared to other centerpieces and wedding décor. We’ve done many weddings using these, especially this year (2017). The large floating candles can typically burn for up to 6 or 7 hours so they last through an entire reception, that is the size we recommend our couple buy.  

2)     Cupcake tables instead of a traditional wedding cake:

This is when couples will have a sweets table with cookies, cupcakes, fudge, etc instead of a wedding cake. Couples can add a personal touch if the their family members are the ones bringing the baked goods in (something we are more than happy to allow). Otherwise, if an outside baker is bringing in the individual cupcakes and sweets, it is just lot quicker than cutting a cake for 150-225 guests…guests often don’t even eat the wedding cake because they’re not cake fans or they’re too busy dancing and mingling.

Some couples will also have a small wedding cake just do have a formal “cake-cutting” for photo-ops, and the cupcakes and sweets table is what acts as the guest’s desserts. We have done multiple weddings using this method and it goes over very well. 

3)     On-site ceremony:

Pine Barn Inn and most wedding venues provide multiple different ways for couples to have an on-site ceremony if that is something they’re looking to do. Most will have space available for small ceremonies and space for larger ceremonies based on each wedding’s count.

4)     Wedding Party Trends:

Non-matching suits and bridesmaids dresses. At Pine Barn Inn we are seeing a decrease in the amount of full rental tuxes worn by groomsmen. They are taking a slightly more casual approach by wearing suits and/or non-traditional suite colors (non-black). They might not even wear jackets, they may just wear their shirts, vests, ties, and boutonnieres. For bridesmaids we are seeing a lot more miss matched style bridesmaids dresses and colors. For example at one of our 2017 weddings, all of the bridesmaids chose a dress style that appealed to them; The only requirement by the bride was that they had to find a dress that was a shade of purple. All of the dresses did not have to be the same purple. The bridesmaids were comfortable all night because they chose dresses that made them look and feel their best! The variation in dresses and suits make for more colorful/unique photos.

5)     Late night/post-reception options:

Pine Barn Inn has various customizable post-reception packages on site. We can provide snacks and additional bar options for guests who aren’t ready to go to bed or find themselves hungry for a late-night snack. It also gives our couples and their wedding guests a chance to continue catching up with friends and family that they may or may not have seen in a while.

6)     Live Band/DJ combination:

We are seeing a trend where couples want some live entertainment while still having a DJ for a portion of the evening. Pine Barn Inn has done this a handful of times for couples that want both. For instance we might have a small live 2-piece band playing soft music on our covered patio during cocktail hour, and the DJ is set up in the ballroom playing the reception/dance music and making the announcements throughout the evening. We have also had live bands or string quartets play during on-site ceremonies and then a DJ sets up after ceremony and plays the music for the remainder of the evening.

7)     Year Round Wedding Receptions:


“Wedding season” is no longer just the warmer months. More and more couples are looking to book late fall, winter, and early spring weddings. Pine Barn Inn offers wedding packages year round that cater to each season. For example, we might put together a wedding package for a couple getting married in December, and part of their package might include a self-serve hot-chocolate bar with candy cane stirrers and marshmallows.

For cooler months in Fall and Spring we also have the ability to rent heat-lamps for use on our covered patio so that couples can still use this space for their reception. We can also do New Years Eve weddings for couples wanting a New Year theme and a toast that occurs at the end of their reception (midnight) to ring in the New Year.

8)     Next-Day Brunches:

Couples and their family members are now asking about options for family/guest brunches the morning after their receptions. We have several options for morning-after brunches, from the hotel’s public breakfast buffet, to private breakfast buffets in our ballroom (only for weddings guests). We have special omelet stations and other a la carte breakfast items that can be added to the private brunches as well. We make sure to allow our couples to customize their menus based on their needs and desires. These next-morning brunches allow the couple, their family, and friends one last opportunity to get together and celebrate the newly weds before heading home.

9)     Themed Food (specific to the couple’s relationship):

Our wedding package menus act as guidelines for our couples, they aren’t set in stone. For instance, if we have a couple getting married that loves world-travel and they want to theme their wedding food around that, we will help them come up with various dishes from countries and cultures of their choosing (either ones they’ve been to or places that have to do with their heritage, etc…).

As another example, if a couples first date was at a movie theater and they want to highlight that in some way during their reception, we could customize their wedding package to include a deluxe popcorn station that includes classic theater candies. These are just 2 examples, there are so many ways to create themed food and menus based on what is special to each couple.
We wondered if Pine Barn Inn had any wedding packages, and they said, "Yes, we have a booklet that includes all of our wedding package menus. However, they merely act as guidelines and suggestions for our couples. We work with the brides and grooms to personalize their special day to help create a dream wedding experience."

all of our packages, whether original or customized, come with everything you could need (dance floor, serve wear, complimentary bridal suite, floor length linens, napkins, glassware, champagne toast, etc)."

Top 10 Event Booking Questions From Brides & Grooms

1)    What is your max capacity?

Pine Barn Inn: 225 with a dance floor

2)    Is the bar included?

Pine Barn Inn: Yes, the bar is included in all wedding packages/pricing

3)    How do I know what my timeline should look like?

Pine Barn Inn: We understand that many brides and grooms are new to this. We get a feel for what they think they might like for a timeline, and then we also work with their DJ’s to provide a stress-free timeline of the day’s events. We do this because DJs act as the “MC of the night” and really help to keep things flowing from start to finish. In addition, if we have a couple that really wants to know our thoughts or needs additional assistance, we will give them a couple example timelines from past weddings so they can see what others have done. There is no wrong timeline and we make sure to tell our couples that! In the end, it’s all about them and how they want their special day to go.

4)    Is there a Room Rental Fee to use your venue?

Pine Barn Inn: No, we do not require a room rental fee with wedding packages

5)    Do you accommodate various dietary needs and/or restrictions?

Pine Barn Inn: Yes, all kinds! Vegetarian, vegan, guests with celiac disease, gluten free, and so on…

6)    Can you work with our budget of  $________??

Pine Barn Inn: We are willing to work with any size budget. We will make it work even if it means customizing outside of our normal wedding package offerings

7)    Where will our out of town guests stay?

Pine Barn Inn: Pine Barn Inn offers discounted room blocks for on-site wedding receptions. We have 99 rooms right on site to accommodate your out of town guests and family; this eliminates the worry about getting shuttle service to an off-site hotel because we are also a hotel! Guests can simply walk to their cozy hotel rooms after the reception.

8)    Do you have a list of local vendors we could look at? We aren’t from this area and would love some assistance finding a florist, DJ, baker, Photographer, etc...

Pine Barn Inn: Yes, we actually have a list of preferred local vendors. They are the best of the best at what they do and we have had done numerous weddings at our venue.

9)    This all seems so overwhelming. How am I going to get everything done?

Pine Barn Inn: That’s why I’m (Megan) here! I will walk you through the wedding planning process step-by-step and answer any questions you may have along the way. I will also help to make sure we stay on track with each area of planning and perfecting your dream wedding.

10) What does a standard wedding look like?

Pine Barn Inn: There is no standard wedding. This is YOUR wedding. We want to work with you to help execute your vision of a dream-wedding. I (Megan) also am here if you want to bounce ideas or questions off of me. I am passionate about weddings and can help you come up with all the ways to bring your vision to life.

Pine Barn Inn offers Group Wedding Tastings for anyone interested in experiencing our venue and tasting various menu items off of our wedding packages. We also have many of our preferred vendors at the tastings for our couples to chat with and get info from!! Those interested can contact Megan Willie (Wedding Sales Manager) for more information on upcoming tastings. Currently we hold two a year and we advertise them on various platforms.  

Sponsored by the Pine Barn Inn.

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