Destination Weddings in Gettysburg
“No one can come to Gettysburg unstirred by the thoughts of those who fought here, and of him who spoke here”. A profound quote by Dwight Eisenhower in 1946 as he spoke at the 114th commencement exercises of Gettysburg College.
Gettysburg College has now graduated their 2021 class and the students have gone off to start the rest of their adult lives. This past year was quite challenging for schools. Locals know that The Gettysburg Hotel, owned by the college, was used for dormitories this past school year. With things starting to return to a new normal, we’re excited that The Gettysburg Hotel will be open to the public for business as usual on July 1st. Not only does the hotel serve as beautiful accommodations for our guests traveling to Gettysburg, but also as a meeting and banquet facility.
Gettysburg has become a destination location for weddings. The Gettysburg Hotel has been a very popular destination to celebrate that special day. The hotel has five inside event spaces that can be utilized for rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, smaller informal weddings and events in addition to their newly remodeled Grand Ballroom. For those of us who were born and raised here, you may remember that The Grand Ballroom was originally The Gettysburg National Bank (built in 1814). Who remembers calling and hearing “Gettysburg National Bank time is….”? The Bank was our source for finding out the correct time if we had to reset our clocks when the power went out and, for kids – at least me, it was the one phone number I could call and not get in trouble because it was free.
Gettysburg has many hotels and venues to offer for any kind of event or theme. In the last 5-6 years, barn weddings have become very popular. The Inn at Herr Ridge has expanded upon their regular business of casual/fine dining and accommodations with the addition of The Herr Ridge Farm Wedding and Events venue.
Backyard weddings are still very popular even with all the venue options available. When I’m not wearing my GARMA hat, I’m working my full time job at Gettysburg Rental Center as the Events Coordinator. We are supporting about 100 weddings for 2021 with tent rentals, tables, chairs or linens. That’s not including the graduations, retirement and birthday parties, etc. We’re not just an equipment rental store anymore.
Weddings are vital to our area as another source of income for hotels, restaurants, venues and all other services needed. When a bride is planning a wedding she also has to think about salon services (Gettysburg Day Spa has a dedicated wedding coordinator who will schedule your salon services at the spa or onsite the day of the event), DJ’s, Photographers, Florists and so much more.
I am Gettysburg, born and raised. I grew up with a great appreciation of the history of this town. From the pivotal role Gettysburg has played in shaping our nation, to being the home of a 5-star General and President of the United States. I can certainly understand why someone would want to come here, to our beautiful town, to marry and start their happy ever after.
For a complete list of GARMA members visit www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com.
Jennie Dillon is the Vice President of GARMA and owner of Artworks, York St.