Christmas is my favorite holiday so you can imagine how happy I was to have Shannon & Ray book their December 28th wedding at our Ballroom. Their love for camping and the outdoors was reflected in their rustic outdoor theme.
The couple got married at St. Mark’s Church on Race Street. Very little deocrations were needed, as they were already set up with Christmas trees. It’s a beautiful church made even more beautiful by Christmas deocrations.
Josh and Amanda came to me via an email. Both were stationed in different locations somewhere in Afganistan. They were looking to get married in December, when both of them would be back in the U.S between deployments and they were looking to get married near family , that live in or around Pennsylvania. Needless to say, we would have to plan a wedding via email and so the planning began.
Teenage sweethearts Shaun & Tiffany have to be one of the most adorable couples I have worked with. The couple chose the anniversary of their 10 year relationship to start on their next chapter as husband and wife.
While the couple resides in Florda, both are originally from (and met) in the area and wanted to have their nuptials close to family and friends. I was honored that they chose the Ballroom. They had their ceremony at the gazebo at Josiah White Park, right in the bustling downtown area. As I consider all of the downtown area part of my venue, I was on hand to assist them in their rehearsal and ceremony. There wasn’t a dry eye in the park as they exchanged vows, professing just how much they mean to each other. It was truly a beautiful ceremony!
They took advantage of the many photo opportunties in Jim Thorpe, at the Train Station, in front of the ASA Packer mansion and even right in the middle of our busy downtown intersection.
And then it was time to party at the Ballroom!
Thank you Tiffany & Shaun for choosing the Ballroom to be a part of your special day. I wish you both a lifetime of love and happiness together!
Food at the Ballroom by Through the Looking Glass
Photography by Roxie Trainer Photography
As a wedding planner I meet many couples. For every couple I always seem to find a quality that is unique and memorable about them. But, Regan & Marie’s wedding really did move me in a way that no other had. Couples like this one face a long battle of acceptance, not only in the eyes of the law and society, but often even among their own family and loved ones.
Photo taken at the Gilded Cupid on Broadway directly across from the Ballroom
These woman (I referred to as my two Brides) reside in and were legally wed in a state that recognizes their union. And, even though Pennsylvania is not a state that does, because they are both originally from PA and have family and friends here, they decided to celebrate the joining together of their families in Jim Thorpe at the Mauch Chunk Ballroom.
I was excited for the opportunity to work with this couple. For me, as a wedding planner, it was the first time I had the opportunity to work with a same-sex couple. I was happy to be a part of it and I didn’t know what to expect. I can now tell you that it is no different than any other wedding I have had the privilege of working on. That is why I was so touched and moved by it. It was refreshing to see a room full of family and friends that were in full support of their non-traditional union celebrated as if it were no different than any other marriage (and rightfully so!). Throughout the ceremony and reception, family and friends clapped, hooted and hollered in joy for the couple, clanged their glasses to make them kiss, and watched and waited in anticipation of every single wedding tradition that straight couples partake in. One of the Brides even made sure she had something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. There were champagne toasts from guest praising them individually and recognizing how happy and good they were together as a couple.
The couple are very eco-friendly and it was important for them to have that element in their wedding. Equally important was to support local small business owners (thank you ladies!). They offered their guests beers made here in PA and nearby Delaware (Dog Fish Pale Ale and Yuengling) They chose local farm-to-table catering by 14 Acre Farms (the guests couldn’t stop raving about how delicious their food was!), assorted cakes by Alpine Bakery on 903 in Jim Thorpe, local photographer Amber & Josh from JFAB Photography , and DJ Bar None. Kevin, from 14 Acre even provided the Brides with local wildflowers from his farm that the Brides went and hand picked. They looked stunning on the tables and added just the right touch of color. Regan’s dress was purchased at a small dress shop near her mother’s home in PA that specializes in re-purposed and consigned dresses. The dress, by the way, is absolutely stunning!
Farm to Table Vegetarian Food from 14 Acre Farms
Food from 14 Acre Farm
The most touching moment for me was when the Brides danced with their fathers. They were as happy and as proud as any father of a straight couple I have ever witnessed. Indeed that moment will live in my top 10 most memorable as a wedding planner. This couple is truly blessed to have a family that love and accept them and I was so proud to have witnessed such acceptance. It fills me with hope for many who are still seeking that acceptance, understanding and recognition.
Tearful hug from a proud father to his daughter during their special dance – my most favorite moment from the evening
The night ended with a last dance to a very fitting song entitled “Same Love” by Macklemore. For those not familiar, it’s an upbeat hip-hop song written by a rapper who grew up with a gay uncle and is a song about acceptance. I’ll leave you with a few of the song’s powerful lyrics
“ When kids are walking ‘round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart. A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are. And a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all but it’s a damn good place to start. No law is gonna change us, we have to change us. Whatever God you believe in, we come from the same one. Underneath its all the same love. About time that we raised up”
Thank you Regan and Marie for choosing me and the Mauch Chunk Ballroom to be a part of your special day. I wish you many years of happiness and love!
A special thank you to the following vendors who are always a pleasure to work with:
Food by 14 Acre Farm
DJ Bar None
Photographer JF+AB Photography
Cake by Alpine Bakery
For more photos of this and our other weddings,please visit our Real Weddings Page
Photo compliments of Neusse Photograpy
It has been nearly one full year that I and my company, Jim Thorpe Weddings and Events, have become the exclusive event planner/manager of the Mauch Chunk Ballroom in Jim Thorpe. As with any business, you look and you evaluate, you grow and you change. It’s that time of year, and we have done just that. I’m proud and happy to announce some new changes and packages available at the Mauch Chunk Ballroom.
There are so many talented chefs and caterers in and around our area that I felt we needed to open the Ballroom up to allow couples to bring their favorite chef to our space for their wedding. We have compiled a list of our favorite (and approved caterers) including Chef Dorie of Through the Looking Glass, who has been catering in the area for the last 10 years to some rave reviews. We’ve also added local organic farm to table caterers, 14 Acre Farms. And, over the course of the next few weeks we will be adding other caterers to our list. Our wedding packages page lists them all along with their estimated per person price for the combined services of our Ballroom and their menus.
We are also offering you the ability to bring your own caterer. Of course, any caterer that provides food to guests at the Mauch Chunk Ballroom must be fully license and insured in the state of Pennsylvania. We will provide all the services provided with all the packages listed on our site, your caterer simply brings the food. We will work closely with your selected caterer to ensure that your wedding is an amazing experience for both you and your guests.
Some other changes includes the addition of our Economical Package ($46.75/person) , as well as a 3 hour dinner party package ($29.80) (perfect for birthday parties, anniversary parties, baby showers, bridal showers , and corporate holiday parties) and our corporate luncheon/breakfast meeting packages (starting at $8.20/person plus room fee). Parking & shuttle to take guest from the Jim Thorpe Train Station lot is now FREE with every wedding package.
Stay tuned, because I have some other amazing service options that we will be rolling out soon at the Ballroom, a truly elegant and intimate space where memories are made.
Want to learn more about the Ballroom and make an appointment to see the space? Contact our wedding planner, Tara Banninger, at 484-629-5070. Ballroom is shown by appointment at a time that is convenient for you.
Heather & Tom , like all the couples I have the privileged of working with, just love Jim Thorpe as much as I do. They chose the Ballroom because it sits right at the heart of everything they love about our quaint town. They couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful time of the year to get married here; the first day of Fall.
I love all the unique touches that each and every Bride brings to their own wedding and I encourage it. Heather and I had so much fun working together to plan her wedding. She even became topic of one of my wedding planning tip blogs on Music Selection ! I’m happy to say, she took my advice.
They decided to have their ceremony right here at the Ballroom in front of large stain glass window that looks out over Broadway . She even managed to get the Mayor of Jim Thorpe to do the honors of marrying them and was escorted down the aisle by her mother and her daughter. Local piano player David Westrip provided the ceremony music as guests entered and during the processional.
There were little personal touches that Heather and Tom put on their day with photos of the couple at various locations in town from their engagement session at each table. Heather wrote a beautiful poem for her dad who had passed in her wedding program. She shared it with me at a planning lunch and , as I read it, we both cried. To honor her father she had a photo of him at the entrance with a candle burning.
All the guests had an amazing time dancing the night away! I wish Heather, Tom and their daughter McKenna an amazing life together!
Through the Looking Glass Caterers
Garden of Eden Florist
DJ Slammin Jamz Entertainment
Ceremony Pianist David Westrip
Piece A Cake