Post # 1
Here’s some background info:
- We both live in NYC but, FI’s originally from PA and has a lot of family there. A lot of my family lives in NY but, overall, we will also have guests from NC and CO as well.
- We decided that getting married in PA would be a nice central location for everyone and a more affordable option than NYC or Long Island.
- We are thinking of renting a bus for our NY guests to travel to and from PA safely without worrying about driving themselves, especially if they drink, however, it’s more for their convenience so they don’t feel overwhelmed about the travelling and not attend because of it.
- We would want a place that’s about a 2 hour drive or less from NY.
Getting married in NYC or Long Island is extremely expensive. All my cousins have done so or done a destination wedding that was just as expensive anyway. I have no interest in topping anyone’s wedding or anything like that. Unfortunately, most places in NYC start around $120pp and that’s just with the very very basics and no tax (almost 9%) or no service charges included yet. For multiple reasons, my FI and I have decided to get married in PA. We have been thinking of what we want for our wedding.
We would like:
- Ideally, a fall wedding and venue where the fall foliage can seen (So, I’m thinking early OCT but, honestly, what matters most to us is that we’re getting married so, I’m okay even with a wedding in NOV without the foliage should it mean that it’s significantly less expensive)
- A place with outdoor views or areas, be it trees or gardens or lakes, etc. for pictures (We’re getting married in PA and I’d like to enjoy the beauty of PA, not a place where you could be in any city and have the same indoor view regardless.)
- Somewhere where we can have the ceremony and reception at the same site (to reduce travel for our out-of-state guests) and includes everything in the same place like the food and cake
- Most importantly, a place that’s friendly and accepting of interracial couples (FI is Caucasian, I am Hispanic. My major concern has been looking at the websites for some venues in PA and seeing only Caucasian couples in all the pictures. NYC is more diverse than some places in PA and I don’t know how some coordinators at some venues may react once we show up. Although I am multilingual, I have been told I sound “white” so, I have experienced varying degrees of racism in my life. I don’t like comments like that and as someone with degrees in linguistics and speech-language pathology, I disagree with the comment but, I provide it as an example. I am concerned that they will talk to us on the phone and everything will be fine but, once we show up and they see us, they might treat us differently. That’s one of my worries. So, a place that has been known to cater to diverse clientele would be great.)
We are only inviting family at this point and will probably have a guest list of about 120. So, ideally, it’d be great if the venue were less than $100pp (although a little over that for the right place might be worth it if it’s stunning and included absolutely everything and then some). I found the Woodloch Resort in Hawley, PA which seems nice and fits everything we want but, again, I’m concerned about any racial issues considering their pictures.
So, my question is: Does anyone have any suggestions for interracial-friendly venues in PA?
Post # 3
@MusicalSLP: I don’t think there’s any way to know if a venue is interracial friendly until you go for a meeting and see how you are treated. I will preface this by saying I am white and married to a white man so I don’t have the experiences you do so take what I say with a grain of salt. I wouldn’t discount a venue because the pictures only have white couples in them. It could be the area is predominantly white and they just happen to have mostly white couples to use in their marketing materials. It doesn’t mean they aren’t interracial friendly (though it of course could, but again I don’t think you will know that until you visit).
Best of luck in finding a venue!
Post # 4
Most venue pictures almost always only have white couples. just find one you like and go for a meeting
Post # 5
@MusicalSLP: Riveredge in Reading, PA. We weren’t an interracial couple but our officiant is black, we are white.
Post # 6
My FI grew up in PA and his area was and still is predominantly white. If you’re searching in an area like his, chances are there just isn’t as much demand from non-white couples. This isn’t a knock on the region or the venues, it’s just demographics. I’d just speak with and visit the venues, because I think you’ll find that they’re just as welcoming to you as to the next couple that walks in. Although I’m white and can only speak from this perspective, in the many times I’ve visited PA I’ve never heard any negative racial commentary from residents.
Post # 7
Thanks for your replies so far. It’s a bit comforting.
That’s what my FI was thinking (because the areas are predominantly white). I guess I’m just a bit paranoid about driving out somewhere and then finding myself in an awkward and tense situation like that. I would hope it’s not the case but, I agree that I think we will just have to go and see how we are treated. Hopefully, well.
That aside, are there any suggestions for venues overall?
Post # 8
I would not worry about the fact that many of the photos that you’re seeing on the website depict Caucasian couples. I say this not because intentionally showing diversity in an organization’s marketing materials is not important, because, as a communicator, I know it is very important, and it’s something for which I always strived in the materials I was responsible for creating.
However, I suspect that what you’re seeing is based primarily on the fact that these venues are located in areas with less diverse poulations — as well as a general “cluelessness” on the part of whoever is choosing photos for the organization’s marketing materials. I doubt that most of these venues would actually be resistant to serving more diverse populations.
ETA: Oops! I just noticed that the link I shared that popped up in my Google search for weddings and Pocono resorts actually was from Colorado! Sorry about that!
Post # 9
I’m from Philadephia, Pa (Chestnut Hill) and I’m black/Latina. My family is intercultural, but everyone’s some shade of brown so it isn’t a racial split. I will say I’d never really seen an interracial couple growing up in my area…or very much diversity period (very homegenously white community). I know things are a’changin’ lol and I haven’t lived there in a decade but I’m not that old (28) and I will say definitely in the more Main Line/outer city/suburban areas interracial couples and diversity are rare. If I were you, I’d go into downtown Philly. My cousin had a beautiful wedding at the Westin, it was metropolitan, sophisticated and everyone was extremely friendly…and I think it might just be at your price point!
Post # 10
@MusicalSLP: ANOTHER SLP! YAY!
We were married here.
We got married in November and I have some amazing outdoor shots from our wedding. Our wedding was fall themed too. As far as your concerns about racially friendly venues, you’d have to go to speak with the venue. Larrissa was wonderful at Stokesay. We were not an interracial couple but we got the recommendation from an interracial couple if that helps.
Post # 11
I’m African American and my family lives in Bucks County,PA. We are originally from NYC ( I still live there part time for work). The area is predominately white but I’ve met some of the nicest people here. Not everyone is, just like anywhere, but I really do not believe you will find the old-timey mentality on interracial couples here. In fact, I see more interracial couples here and in Philadelphia than I do in NYC. Regarding the marketing used on the sites- I wouldn’t let that determine the attitude towards couples. I will say though that while weddings here are cheaper than NYC and LI, it’s not by much. If a place is significantly cheaper, it is because it is excluding a lot (like say tax and gratuity)
Anyway, I’d suggest the Aldie Mansion with all the criteria you have.
Good luck and hope you have a wonderful time here!
Post # 13
I LOVED my wedding venue – the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. I can’t speak to whether or not they’d be inter-racial friendly, but honestly I can’t imagine they wouldn’t. The venue holds the amount of people you need, the caterers are super awesome to work with and should have no trouble staying within your price range, you provide your own alcohol, it’s right outside Valley Forge National Park and the two long walls in the reception venue are all glass, so you’ll have gorgeous foliage views!
Post # 14
@MusicalSLP: I went to a wedding at the Morris Arboretum in Philly. The couple had arranged it so guests could come early and tour the grounds before the wedding. Unfortunately, it poured rain with thunder and lightening that day, so we were under a tent, but it seemed like a pretty place for a wedding!
Don’t get turned off by the lack of diversity in pics. FI and I are inter-ethnic, and the place we’re getting married in Maine didn’t have diverse pictures up, but they’ve been totally normal. It helps that I have a name that makes it obvious that I’m not Caucasian, so I can get a read on people before I have to meet them!
Post # 15
I have been to many a wedding at Woodloch Pines which is essentially “The Poconos”
And FI and I were considering getting married at Settler’s Inn in Hawley, PA
Post # 16
Oh sorry I didn’t see you had mentioned Woodloch! I’m white myself so I can’t say that I’ve personally experienced any strife there but I can attest to going for dinners there the groups/families are a lot less whitewashed!