Personalized Weddings Welcome at the Pine Barn Inn
Rain on a wedding day is rarely considered a “gift” to most brides, but in some cultures rain can actually be considered good luck, symbolizing fertility and cleansing. Rain was indeed in the forecast for Shawna Sturdevant and Andrew Damon’s wedding in May 2018 at the Pine Barn Inn in Danville, Pennsylvania, but that didn’t dampen their spirits or the energy of their 110 guests. The Pine Barn Inn was chosen by the bride and groom for its amenities, reputation, and proximity to Scranton and Harrisburg, where the bride and groom reside.
That was a theme throughout the day’s festivities – unique and personalized touches lovingly created by the bride for her guests. On a more pleasant day, ceremonies can be held on the outdoor patio with room for 115 guests. But on this day, the generously-timed wedding festivities began with an intimate ceremony in a spacious room featuring oversized formal chairs in neat rows; the focal point of which was an arch designed and decorated by the bride.
It was refreshing to see a professional venue like the Pine Barn Inn allowing brides to personalize their weddings in these small but impactful ways. As guests waited for the ceremony to begin, they could view their seating assignments for the reception or write their name on a wooden heart that was then dropped into a glass frame, but they also had the opportunity to reflect on a lovingly-placed memory table with framed pictures of remembered loved ones, a very special and personal gift from the bride and groom.
As guests eagerly filed into the ballroom, behind-the-scenes the bride and groom and their wedding parties busily prepared in a nearby Premier Suite, located just steps from the ceremony and reception venue. Guests also enjoyed a room block and special rate for the event, giving them the option to come and go during the festivities (for more comfortable dancing shoes, perhaps?).
The evening’s festivities were orchestrated beautifully and flawlessly thanks to the keen guidance of the venue’s wedding coordinator, Megan Willie. Megan’s energy is steady and calm, but also efficient and task-oriented keeping the wedding party, guests and the venue’s staff on schedule throughout the day, from lining up the flower child and ring bearer for the ceremony, to the couple’s first dance to “Tangled Up in You,” and finally winding down the night with the guests’ sparkler send-off.
Megan’s previous experience working in the Poconos at Ledges Hotel and for Angelica Waltman Wedding and Event Planning lends itself beautifully to the high expectations of the Pine Barn Inn and its nearly 40 weddings each season. Megan exudes confidence as she attends to small details, like making sure candles are lit, as well as larger details, such as ensuring that a very special smash cake for the maid-of-honor’s one-year-old daughter is given ample time in the wedding day’s schedule.It is easy to see why the Pine Barn Inn and its team have received a 4.8 out of 5 star rating on Wedding Wire, earning the Couples’ Choice Awards in 2018 and in all previous years, with equally impressive online reviews on The Knot.
Walking into the Pine Barn Inn’s banquet facility after the cocktail hour on the patio, which featured a classic open bar and signature drink made specifically for the wedding, reception guests were greeted into the banquet room with well-appointed round dining tables draped in floor-length off-white linens, warm candlelight, uplifting wedding music, a generous wooden dance floor, and the wafting smells of a delicious hot meal located just steps from the main dining room.
Lovely touches of the theme colors – plum, purple and silver – were incorporated into every detail in the reception space, from the vases and flowers to the wedding favors and cake table. Shawna and Andrew were able to plan a personalized menu with Megan's assistance to include a beautiful hot hors-d'oeuvres display along with fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit. For the main course, they were able to choose between a plated meal and a buffet, both featuring a wide variety of entrée choices. Options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-sensitivities were evident in their selections, as the Pine Barn Inn prides itself on easily accommodating these requests.
The large banquet room, which can easily accommodate up to 225 seated guests, was perfectly spaced for the Sturdevant-Damon wedding, offering ample room between tables for conversations and casual photos.
An optional multi-media package offers guests a unique and personalized hashtag and Snapchat filter for the event so they can post, in real time, pictures and videos, which are instantly displayed on two large screens for all guests to see. A slight delay in posting allows Pine Barn Inn staff the ability to preview photos. The large screens also lend themselves perfectly to family slideshows during the meal or during a special father-daughter dance, for example.
Speaking of photos, the bride and groom’s decision to host a photo booth directly outside of the reception room was a hit with the guests throughout the evening. This particular vendor provided hundreds of hats, glasses, boas, masks, and costumes plus instant as-you-waited photo printing. This allowed guests to snap a picture and write a note in a special wedding scrapbook – precious memories for months and years ahead.
For more information about planning your special event at the Pine Barn Inn, contact Megan at 570-275-2071, extension 520 or visit PineBarnInn.com for additional details.
By Lisa Z. Leighton
Photographs by Katie Ibberson, Katie Ibberson Photography