Weddings in Nature Settings
Mother Nature provides an amazing array of options for your big day! From public parks to former mansions, hunt clubs to farms, find the right outdoor space for your “I do!” moment.
This spacious 93-acre Westtown Township-operated park boasts an elegant 18-room 1880s Victorian mansion with dark paneling and stained glass windows, but is best known for its towering water tower, the perfect backdrop for wedding ceremonies and memorable photos. Ample outdoor space in the arboretum, under large trees—including majestic London plane trees—provides a variety of sites for the ceremony and a reception under a tent (250p). Indoor space for 100p with dancing, 125 seated. 10-hour rentals. Choice of vendors. 10 p.m. for last call and DJ. 1014 S. Concord Rd., Westtown, 610-692-1930; OakbourneMansion.org.
Parque at Ridley Creek
Nothing says a wedding in nature like a venue in 2600-acre Ridley Creek State Park. Anchored by an impressive stone Tudor mansion (Hunting Hill, a wedding gift built in the early 1900s) and surrounded by Olmsted-designed gardens filled with picturesque features—gazebo, stone walls, reflecting pond, fountain, patios—this serene setting offers indoor and outdoor options galore. With its landscape renovated last year, the formal yet romantic gardens afford a variety of backdrops for the ceremony and reception. April – third week in November; 150p; last call at 9 p.m. Peachtree Catering (exclusive). 351 Gradyville Rd., Newtown Square. 484-580-8260; Parque-Peachtree.com.
Philander Chase Knox Estate
For some history in a nature setting, The Philander Chase Knox Estate provides an oasis of natural beauty for your rustic, elegant event amid 3500 acres of rolling meadows and towering trees just over the Knox Covered Bridge in Valley Forge National Historic Park. The only venue in the Park, this restored estate includes views of the covered bridge, plus the greenhouse ruins, spring house, root cellar, covered bridge and Valley Creek. A state-of-the-art fabric-lined, backlit, carpeted tent set with reclaimed-barn-wood tables and cross-back chairs is another setting with more views of the manicured lawn and wildflowers. 200p. Robert Ryan Caterers (exclusive). 151 Library Ln., Malvern. 610-647-4711; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radnor Hunt Club
Capture the elegance and tradition of hunt country at a setting that embodies a sense of place and history. With spectacular views of the rolling Chester County countryside, dotted with grazing horses, crisscrossed with stone walls and alongside a working stable, the Radnor Hunt Club’s 100-acre property is surrounded by 6000 preserved acres in beautiful Willistown Township. The historic brick clubhouse has two ballrooms and spacious covered and uncovered patios plus open lawn leading to the stunning “wedding tree,” a towering Kentucky coffee tree. Perfect for vintage, equestrian themes. 175p seated, 160p buffet. J. Scott Catering (exclusive for non-members). 826 Providence Rd., Malvern. 610-644-4439; RadnorHunt.org/Weddings.
The Carriage House at Rockwood Park
The restored and expanded 150-year-old Carriage House on the original 19th-century Gothic Revival Rockwood estate enjoys a secluded spot in 162-acre Rockwood Park (well-known for its summer ice cream festival), just north of Wilmington. Five areas of various sizes are available for weddings and receptions, including the popular Walled Garden. Beautifully maintained garden spaces—typical of an English garden estate—provide picture-perfect settings highlighted by antiques pink roses and lush foliage, while stone walls and rustic wood beams enhance the indoor options. 225p. BYOB. The Greenery Caterers (exclusive). 610 Shipley Rd., Wilmington. 302-472-2433; GreeneryCaterers.com.
Be one with nature at 180-acre Thornbury Farm, a working farm and CSA with roots dating back to a 1600s log cabin, 1709 stone house and the historic Battle of the Brandywine. Ceremonies take place under the pergola or post and beam wooden “chapel” near the tent with dance floor. There’s a covered patio with beehive oven, partially restored 1740s barn with pipe organ, picturesque stonewalls, a covered space for Plan B-weather changes, a decked-out she-shed bridal suite, and farm animals happy to join the fun. Open space for lawn games and good times. 200p+; Approved caterers. 1256 Thornbury Rd., West Chester. 610-793-2933; ThornburyFarmCSA.com.
Terrain Gardens at Devon Yards
Celebrate nature as only Terrain Gardens can at the newest venue on the Main Line—“a bespoke location that will be the Anthropologie girl’s dream”—booking for fall 2018. With its distinctive pairing of a horticultural setting with farm-to-table cuisine, seasonally decorated spaces, and in-house floral and design services, this venue will feel like a dream garden. Four unique event spaces—bridal suite, covered garden porch, reception room and a ceremony space in a secluded garden hideaway with covered pergola, surrounded by manicured lawns, espalier trees, and porches. Mother Nature, done by Terrain. 150p. On-site caterers. 138 Lancaster Ave., Devon. ShopTerrain.com/Devon.
More Unique Places for Weddings
By the Water
Thousand Acre Farm
Waterfront views, a barn and a convenient location in Delaware by Thousand Acre Marsh with a view of Reedy Point Bridge and the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. 80p inside (more in tents outside). 260 S. Reedy Point Rd., Middletown, DE. 443-922-6637; ThousandAcreFarm.com.
The Inn at Osprey Point
In the village of Rock Hall on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is 30 acres of landscapes and water views for weddings and receptions along the Chesapeake Bay. The Inn features 18 rooms. 20786 Rock Hall Ave., Rock Hall, MD. 410-639-2194; OspreyPoint.com.
Independence Seaport Museum
A backdrop of shimmering water from the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge. Max outdoor: 225p; max indoor reception: 270p. 211 S. Columbus Blvd. & Walnut St. Philadelphia. 215-413-8655; PhillySeaport.org.
The Ballroom at Vickers Restaurant
Adjacent to a 1820s farmhouse sits a ballroom perfect for weddings and rehearsal dinners, with brass chandeliers, custom millwork, French doors and a garden patio. 50–130p; private rooms for 15–40p. 192 E. Welsh Pool Rd., Exton. 610-363-7998; VickersRestaurant.com.
The Washington at Historic Yellow Springs
Indoor reception space at The Washington and three outdoor ceremony locations in this historic town– fit any unique wedding. 150p. I/O. 1701 Art School Rd., Chester Springs. 610-827-7414; Washington.YellowSprings.org.
West Laurel Hill
Choose the spacious, sun-filled Conservatory (120p) with outside porch or the more intimate Atrium (40p) on the rolling hills of this unique historic site. 225 Belmont Ave., Bala Cynwyd. 610-668-9900; WestLaurelHill.com.
Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast
Perfect for intimate weddings or receptions with the option of exclusive use of all seven guestrooms in this charming Victorian mansion. Up to 100 p. 699 W. Rosedale Ave., West Chester. 610-436-5788; Faunbrook.com.
Historic 1745 country inn, known for its custom service, with lawn and gardens for outdoor ceremonies and receptions. 15–125p, rehearsal dinners for 75p, private dining rooms, guests suites. 9 Old Lancaster Rd., Malvern. 610-296-3637; GeneralWarren.com.
The Inn at Swarthmore
Say “I do” in the Amphitheatre—a top 10 Most Beautiful College Campus Wedding Venues—or the Gathering Room at Swarthmore College, then invite guests to stay the night in one of the 40 guestrooms or suites. 10 S. Chester Rd., Swarthmore. 610-543-7500; TheInnAtSwat.com.
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Our Favorite Resources
- Berkshire Hathaway Holly Gross
- Cecil County Tourism
- Chester County Community Foundation
- Chester County Hospital, Penn Med
- Delaware Museum of Natural History
- Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast
- Five Star Senior Living DE
- Hicks Brothers Farming
- Key Financial, Inc.
- King Construction
- Sage Life
- Sugarbridge Kitchen & Bath
- SV Dental
- Thorncroft Equestrian Center
- Tim Vaughan
- Welcome Neighbor
- West Chester BID
- Walter J. Cook