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Frequently Asked Questions
We’re interested in one of the available wedding dates. Can we tentatively hold it while we make a final decision?
If your preferred wedding date is available, a tentative hold may be placed for up to two weeks at no cost or obligation. After two weeks, the hold will be released unless other arrangements have been made with your event planner. Should another interested party wish to sign a contract for your held date, you will be notified via phone and email that you have first right of refusal so long as you respond and sign a contract within two business days. Should the Inn not be contacted within that time frame, your date will be released.
How many people can you accommodate?
The Nature Inn is a unique destination wedding venue specializing in all-inclusive weekend wedding packages for up to 125 guests. Each of our destination wedding packages has been designed to allow up to a specific number of guests, although we encourage couples to reach out to our event coordinator if you are interested in a certain package and your estimated guest count exceeds the detailed guest counts below:
Destination Weekend Wedding Package – up to 125 guests
Destination Weekday Wedding Package – up to 90 guests
Destination Winter Wedding Package – up to 70 guests
Dinner Party Wedding Package – up to 50 guests
The majority of our wedding receptions are in the 75 to 100 guest range resulting in a comfortable, energized atmosphere utilizing indoor, outdoor and patio seating during the course of your ceremony and reception. For weddings receptions between 90 to 125, we take full advantage of the Inn’s outdoor spaces by erecting a supplemental tent for dinner service.
Your preferred menu, style of service and time of year are all factors that will be taken into account during preliminary discussions with your event planner in determining how the Inn can transform to reflect your vision for this very special day.
How long will I have use of the event space(s)? Is there an overtime fee if I stay longer?
You and your guests will have exclusive use of all our spaces, indoors and out, from the day of your arrival at 3:00 PM until 11:00 AM of your departure morning.
This includes use of the dining room, library, patio and fire pit and surrounding grounds along with multiple other indoor seating & gathering areas. With regards to your wedding reception, it is limited to a total of five (5) hours, excluding the ceremony. Extended service times, excluding bar service, may be arranged through your event planner and carry a $125.00 per hour fee for staffing. The staffed portion of your reception may not run later than 10:00 PM, although we encourage your onsite guests to continue the celebration by enjoying your late night pizza display as they gather, post-reception, around the lit fire pit.
What overnight accommodations do you provide? Will our guests receive a discount when booking their rooms? What are the nearest hotels to the venue for overflow guests?
As a two-night wedding destination, you and your guests will enjoy exclusive use of the entire lodge for your destination wedding package gathering and celebration. In order to take full advantage of this unique arrangement, we’ll ask that you and your guests commit to booking all sixteen (16) of our overnight guest rooms for both nights of your package. Our rooms range in size from singles, with one queen bed, up to large suites which comfortably sleep six in two separate queen bedrooms plus a sleeper sofa in the shared living area. We’ve found that wedding parties can plan to manageably sleep up to 45 – 50 guests onsite comfortably. We extend a 15% group lodging discount on all rooms booked in conjunction with your wedding package. If you have a need for additional accommodations, your event planner will be able to provide you with recommendations for suitable local lodging options for them as well.
Your event planner will provide you with lodging assignment worksheets which detail room configurations, sleeping capacities, views and pricing. These will be invaluable as you determine who will stay onsite, where to assign them and field questions about the cost. We’ll ask that you complete the room assignment worksheet prior to sending out your invitations. At that point, all that will be left is for your wedding guests to phone in their personal and payment information no later than six (6) weeks prior to your wedding arrival date. We’d also recommend that you let us know early in the process if you’ll need any rooms for longer than the two-night minimum stay requirement as our overnight rooms tend to fill up well in advance.
Does the Inn offer a complimentary bridal suite?
All three of our destination wedding packages include a complimentary small suite for the couple for both nights of your package. Your event planner can provide full details.
We see your Destination Wedding Packages, is this the only option for hosting a wedding at the Inn?
Our signature destination wedding packages were developed based on a decade’s worth of experience hosting weddings here at the Inn. We believe it to be the best paring of the Inn’s size and amenities with current trends and our staff’s expertise, reliably delivering outstanding value and service.
We have created three unique destination wedding package offerings to fit every couple’s needs and budget of their dream wedding, as well as offering a Dinner Party Wedding Package option for couples that live closer to the inn and are looking for a half day event. For more information about each of our wedding package options, click on the links below:
That said, the Nature Inn is a perfect venue for all sorts of social gatherings, ranging from baby & bridal showers to family reunions and of course wedding ceremonies and receptions. While these pages and FAQs are primarily geared to our destination wedding package audience, our event planners would be happy to discuss a wedding reception that might better suit your particular needs, vision and circumstances.
Keep in mind that dates are extremely limited and that these sorts of wedding receptions fall under the general guidelines, and constraints, that accompany any of our social gatherings. Specifically, these smaller wedding receptions are limited to fifty guests, occur exclusively in our Great Room and adjacent covered porch and preclude DJs and dancing.
I’m concerned I won’t have enough guests to fill all of the rooms, what happens in that instance?
In the event that you are unable to fill all sixteen of the guest rooms for both nights of your package, you will be responsible to pay the remaining room balance. In instances when this does occur, the balance is generally small, just one or two room nights. We find that as a destination wedding venue most couples have plenty of guests looking for lodging rooms and more likely need overflow accommodations.
Do the Destination Wedding Packages include holding our ceremony at The Inn? Are there additional charges?
Virtually all of our wedding couples do choose to have their ceremony either on-site or within Bald Eagle State Park.
Destination Weekend & Weekday Wedding Package Ceremonies:
Our peak season wedding packages utilize our lovely lawn area overlooking the lake that is perfectly suited for your wedding ceremony. The lawn is level and can easily accommodate up to 125 guests utilizing traditional white padded chairs that the Inn furnishes. The backdrop overlooking the lake is spectacular and the setting and experience are sure to be memorable for all.
Destination Winter Wedding Package Ceremonies:
Our off season, or off peak, wedding packages utilize our lobby area, overlooking the lake, which is perfectly suited for your indoor winter wedding ceremony. It can comfortably accommodate seating of up to 70 people with white padded chairs. The backdrop overlooking the lake is spectacular, and the setting and experience are sure to be memorable for all.
If weather allows, we are more than happy to host your off season ceremony on our lawn area that our peak season weddings utilize.
Dinner Party Wedding Package Ceremonies:
We do have two designated outdoor ceremony locations for our Dinner Party Wedding Package couples, which include the small lawn area outside of our lobby entrance doors or the traffic circle area at the back of our parking lot, that has beautiful lake and mountain views. If weather permits this option, couples can rent white padded ceremony chairs to be setup at either outdoor ceremony location for $2 per chair from the inn.
The indoor ceremony option is to have the couple married in front of the fireplace in the Great Room with wedding guests watching from their dining table seats.
Due to our lakeside lawn and patio areas being amenities to our overnight inn guests, we are unable to allow our single day social events to utilize these common areas.
There are also popular locations throughout the park that we’ve had couples use for their ceremonies. These do require coordination through the Bald Eagle State Park office and carry additional rental fees. Your event planner will be happy to present and discuss the full range of choices as part of the planning process.
Is the site ADA accessible?
Yes, the Nature Inn and surrounding grounds are all ADA compliant and accessible. There is an elevator that services the building’s three levels and provides step free access to the patio area and grounds. Our guest rooms and bathrooms all incorporate furnishings and fixtures that make them easy to navigate even for mobility impaired guests. And while we don’t have roll in showers, all our bathtub/shower units feature multiple support bars and we have transfer benches available to further assist with access.
What is your weather contingency plan for outdoor spaces?
Your event planner will work with you to develop an individualized contingency plan in the event of inclement weather. Our peak season destination wedding packages both include a freestanding 20’ X 30’ frame tent which will be erected over the patio or one of several grassy areas. If the weather forecast warrants, we’ll recommend that this tent be erected over the patio and be used specifically for your ceremony.
Alternatively, if the forecast looks clear for the celebration, we’ll erect this tent on the lawn to provide a comfortable area to gather with shaded seating and tables for the duration of your package. Be assured, our staff has the requisite experience and will work hard to ensure that inclement weather does not adversely impact your wedding ceremony and reception.
Our off peak destination winter wedding package has been designed to be a fully indoor celebration due to the unpredictability of Central Pennsylvania weather. That being said, the inn staff is happy to incorporate our beautiful outdoor settings if weather allows. This would include the possibility of an outdoor ceremony on the lawn area, use of the covered porch and patio for rehearsal dinner and cocktail hour and s’mores at the fire pit each evening of your package.
Is there parking onsite?
Yes, we have ample complimentary parking onsite. For larger weddings, or when the size of the wedding necessitates a tent erected in our lot, we take advantage of shoulder parking along Warbler Way leading to the Inn.
Do you provide shuttle service, if needed?
While we do not offer shuttle services, your event planner will be able to provide you with a list of trusted shuttle service providers and will be happy to assist you in booking a shuttle for your event.
Do you offer on-site coordination?
Absolutely! A dedicated event planner will work with you through the entire planning process and is always onsite the day of your wedding to handle any last minute questions and/or details that may arise. Additionally, the Innkeeper will be onsite during your entire celebration top ensure things run smoothly.
Does the venue have liability insurance?
Yes. The Inn’s management company, Walden Hospitality, carries Commercial Liability Insurance through Cincinnati Insurance. Additionally, any of the approved bartending service providers will be able to provide proof of coverage for their areas of responsibility during your reception.
Can I post signage in the park to direct my guests to the Inn & our wedding reception?
You absolutely may post signage to help direct your guests to the Inn and reception. Please be aware that the Park does have regulations when posting signs as follows: Do not affix signs to existing State Park signage. No nails are permitted in trees. And, anything you post must be removed at the conclusion of the event. For complete details, click Link to this info on their website.
Are other events scheduled on the same day?
You will have exclusive use of the Inn throughout your entire destination wedding package celebration. We feel your special day deserves our undivided attention and full use of our resources. For this reason, we do not host other events, conduct site visits or schedule public programming at the Inn between the day of your arrival from 3:00 PM and your departure day until 11:00 AM.
What are the deposit requirements?
The non-refundable wedding deposit for any of our destination wedding packages is $2,500.00, due upon booking and is applied towards your total weekend package price.
For dinner party weddings, a non-refundable facility fee of $106.50 is due at time of booking.
What’s the cancellation policy?
Event cancellation fees are calculated as a percentage of the second package payment installment, which is the package balance paid at the time of your menu tasting.
- Cancellations received between the payment date and up to ninety (90) days in advance of your wedding weekend date are subject to a cancellation fee of 50% of the second package payment installment
- Cancellations received 89 days or less in advance of your wedding weekend are subject to a cancellation fee of 100% of the second package payment installment
Refunds are issued back to the original form of payment tendered. If you paid your wedding package balance by personal check, your refund will be by check drawn on the Bureau of State Parks account and issued centrally from Harrisburg. Please allow 4 – 6 weeks for processing once we’ve been notified of your cancellation.
Do you have an in-house caterer or may I provide my own?
The Nature Inn is a full-service catering operation, able to provide your meals during your entire destination wedding package celebration. We have a full time chef on staff who is responsible for menu development, will personally conduct tastings and who will oversee all aspects of food preparation for your reception. As such, and due in part to commercial kitchen licensing, health department permitting and inspections, we do not permit the use of outside caterers at the Nature Inn.
The sole exception to the “no outside food or caterers” rule is that we do permit wedding cakes and specialty desserts to be brought in and served during your reception. Your event planner has a list of trusted partners that can create exceptional wedding cakes, cupcakes or other specialty desserts on your behalf.
What is the wedding reception food & beverage cost on a per person basis? What is the tax and service charge?
We currently offer two complete wedding reception menus, standard buffet or plated service or a social, action stations variation, priced at $63 and $68 per person respectively. These prices are all-inclusive and include the 6 % sales tax and 20% service charge. Reception budgeting is as simple as multiplying these prices by your anticipated guest count.
What does a typical destination wedding package and reception at the Inn cost?
We take pride in the transparency of our pricing structure with absolutely no hidden fees. We are aware that many wedding venues are not up front with the overall cost, making it difficult for couples to determine if they can stay within their budget or not. We decided to change that industry standard and make all of our pricing easily available to anyone interested in our venue. Our transparent pricing structure makes it simple for potential wedding couples to determine, to the penny, what their wedding at The Nature Inn will cost by using this simple equation:
Package Price + (Reception Menu Price x # of Guests) = Total Cost
Keep in mind that there will be additional costs for wedding cake, floral, DJ & music, photography, bartending service and alcohol, along with any supplemental equipment rentals you may choose to add. Your event planner can give some guidance on what these other expenses might run, but detailed quotes are the responsibility of the vendors selected.
All charges, including tax & gratuity, have been calculated and are included in our all-inclusive pricing structure for every wedding package that we offer. Likewise, our reception pricing is based on the menu selected, service style, and actual number of guests attending and is a straightforward, all-inclusive price per person. Please note that wedding receptions that exceed 90 guests, or choose to have tented reception seating, will require additional equipment rentals with corresponding charges.
Can we do a food tasting prior to finalizing our menu selection? If so, is there an additional charge?
Absolutely. In fact, we have included a menu tasting in all three of our destination wedding packages for our wedding couples to fully experience our Chef’s unique menu offerings and preparations. This can be arranged through your event planner once you’ve settled on your date and paid the wedding deposit. There is no additional charge for your personalized tasting.
Our Dinner Party Wedding Package does not include a menu tasting, due to being categorized similar to our half day social events.
Can you accommodate guests with special dietary needs?
Yes, our culinary staff is versed in the most common food allergies and dietary restrictions. They, in coordination with your event planner, will be able to suggest and prepare suitable alternatives for your guests who might have concerns. We can also help devise a strategy for faith based restrictions in instances where our kitchen facilities do not meet religious requirements. And, in those rare instances where your guests are just “more comfortable” bringing their own food, we’re more than happy to permit that as well.
Do you offer a discount for children? Is there a children’s menu we can offer?
We offer a couple options and pricing considerations for your younger guests. We can offer an entirely separate children’s menus for those under age 12 for $12.95 per child. This typically includes, chicken tenders, mac & cheese and applesauce and can be appropriate when there are 10 or more children that age attending the reception.
Alternatively, children can dine on the same menu as the adults with those under five eating at no charge, and ages 5 – 12 charged at 50% the regular menu price. Your event planner can provide full details upon request.
Are we able to take any leftover food?
Unfortunately, no. Due to health department regulations and general food safety and sanitation considerations we do not permit food that we’ve prepared for your event to be packed up and removed for later consumption. The exception is the cake topper, or leftover portions, of your wedding cake or specialty desserts.
Can I bring in a cake from an outside cake maker or do you provide them on the premises? Is there a cake-cutting fee? Do you provide special cake-cutting utensils?
Wedding cake, cupcakes, cookie displays, and specialty desserts usually are brought in from outside vendors and we’re fortunate to have multiple, quality resources available in the Centre region for custom designed wedding cakes. Your event planner will be sure to pass along a list of local bakers early in the planning process so that you can compare and make the perfect selection for your personalized cake or specialty dessert.
Cake cutting service is always provided and is included in your menu price, so no additional fees apply. You are welcome to use our tastefully appropriate cake cutting set or provide your own. Once you have made the initial cuts, the cake is typically moved to the kitchen where our trained staff will portion and plate the cake for your guests.
What is your alcohol policy? Can I bring my own wine, beer or champagne? Can I bring other alcohol?
The Nature Inn has a special exemption from the standard “no alcohol” policy for Pennsylvania State Parks. There are, however, some unique requirements and steps needed to be taken, which are outlined here.
What time can my vendors start setting up on the day of the wedding? Is it possible to start the set up the day before? How early can deliveries be made?
Your event planner will assist with a formal, day of timeline which will be finalized well before your wedding day. This timeline will detail deliveries, set-up times and specify when vendors should plan on arriving to set their stations and areas of responsibility. It also highlights important times through the reception. Examples would include serve times, toasts, cake cutting, and first dances.
Equipment deliveries can, and likely will, occur the day prior. Wedding cake, floral arrangements, etc. typically occur well in advance of the ceremony start time so that they can be properly distributed and displayed. Bartenders, DJs, and photographers will all have designated arrival times, and will be expected to arrive and fully set-up prior to the beginning of your ceremony.
Your event planner can also discuss strategies with you to facilitate your own decorating efforts based on your plan for your celebration. Some wedding parties do prefer to “front load” their portion of the decorating, which we accommodate by having as much of your reception day setup complete prior to the afternoon of your arrival day.
Are there decoration guidelines/restrictions? Can I use real candles?
We encourage you to be imaginative in developing a theme with corresponding decorations to truly personalize your wedding day. We like to think that we are providing the blank canvas, our nature inspired lakeside lodge, which you then transform through vision and decorations to provide the perfect backdrop to the day’s special celebration. Real candles are permitted if they’re housed in such a manner as not to transfer excess heat to table tops and are able to catch all dripping wax safely.
In fact, other than not permitting confetti or glitter, you’ll find that we don’t have much in the way of restrictions with regards to decorating. Your event planner will be able to answer any specific questions you might have and will also gladly discuss what’s included in the specialty lighting package that accompanies your weekend wedding package.
Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware, and glassware provided, or will we have to rent them ourselves?
All of our destination wedding packages and dinner party wedding package include china, silverware, water glasses, white table linens and ivory napkins for dinner service. The facility fee also covers service tables, seating tables and chairs and ceremony chairs for up to 100 guests.
Your event planner will work with you to develop an equipment rental list for weddings that exceed that threshold and for any other items, such as arbors or rustic benches for your ceremony, that may be useful or necessary to ensure a successful event.
What size tables and configurations do you offer?
Typically, we use either 30” wide, rectangular banquet tables with three seats per side or 5’ round banquet tables with 8 seats at each. Configurations vary by event, but one of our most popular arrangements is 3 rows of three rectangular tables, end to end, in the Great Room. This particular configuration maximizes seating in that space at a total of 54 seats.
Your event planner will work closely with you to determine the best configuration for the seated portion of your wedding reception. Once that’s settled, we’ll ask that you work out seating assignments and provide us with a chart representation of that information as well as details on how your guests will find their table and/or seat within the space.
One of the advantages in offering our social reception menu is that seating becomes a much less formal detail. Your event planner will be happy to discuss the differences between the two reception styles so that you can choose the format best suited to you, your guests and your vision for the day.
Can I hire my own vendors or must I select from a preferred vendor list?
Over the past serval years, we’ve assembled an extensive list of trusted vendors and service providers that we are comfortable recommending. Your event planner will share that information with you as a means to simplify the planning process for you. That said, with the exception of bartending service providers, you are welcome to use vendors not on our list.
Our Trusted Partners
Where does the wedding party get ready prior to the ceremony?
Often couples opt to assign either large or small suites to members of the wedding party. This provides convenient and ample space for day of preparations including hair styling, make up, dressing and final adjustments. The suites are all conveniently located on the first floor of the Inn. Your event planner can provide additional guidance and recommendations based on your unique needs and what has worked well for previous wedding parties.
We have a well behaved dog. Any chance that it can stay with us or at least be present for the ceremony?
Great question, and one that we get asked regularly. While pets, with the exception of qualified service animals performing a recognized task, are not permitted inside the Inn, they are welcome on the grounds and within the park generally. So, while your pet can’t stay with you in your room, it’s importance to you is recognized and it is certainly welcome to be a part of the ceremony.
There is a local kennel, Dog Dynasty (814)355-3534, that we’ve vetted and are comfortable recommending for boarding your pet for the celebration.
What about photographers? Do you have recommendations and can we set up a photo booth?
You’ll find referrals for photographers on our trusted vendor list and we’d encourage you to view their previous work before committing to one. We have sample wedding photos from multiple photographers available on our website, weddingwire.com, and by request. Again, we highly recommend that you “interview” multiple photographers to ensure that you are comfortable with their style, vision and inventory of equipment since they’ll be responsible for capturing and preserving memories from the entire day.
Photo booths are fun and can be a great addition to any reception. Your event planner can give you tips on how to arrange this service through one of our trusted vendors.
Can we rehearse on property?
Absolutely. Successful ceremonies are carefully planned and rehearsed. We encourage you to assemble the wedding party the late afternoon or early evening on your arrival day, for a run through of your ceremony. While you’ll likely have seen the property prior to this, members of your wedding party will be getting a first look. Couples will usually invite the officiant to participate as well. The rehearsal will tie seamlessly into your rehearsal dinner followed by a relaxed evening of visiting and celebrating with friends and family.
Are you a same sex wedding friendly property?
We’re not necessarily looking for a traditional or terribly formal wedding ceremony and reception. What do you have to offer?
This seems to be an emerging trend. In response, we have recently developed our “social” menu that foregoes the formal sit down meal in favor of an extended, casual reception which includes displays, passed appetizers, hearty salads and multiple action stations. Tapping into another enduring trend, we’ll source some of the ingredients locally, showcasing the bounty and ingenuity of Centre region farmers and entrepreneurs. Your event planner can give you complete details and will be able to discuss the menu options and service plans if you’re interested in learning more.
We’re looking to host a smaller wedding reception. Is there a minimum number of guests?
The Inn can host a limited number of smaller weddings, ranging in size from as few as a dozen guests and up to 50. We typically treat these as simple dinner receptions, held entirely within the confines of our dining room and adjacent covered porches.
We have created the Dinner Party Wedding Package for these smaller wedding celebrations. Follow the link to find out more information!
What types of activities can our guests plan on participating in during the weekend?
In choosing the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle for your destination wedding venue, you and your guests will have access to all the outdoor resources and amenities of Bald Eagle State Park.
This includes miles of hiking trails, a swimming beach, a seasonal, full service marina with boat rentals, fishing, birding and regularly scheduled interpretive programming. Back at the Inn, there are multiple areas, inside and out, to gather and visit.
Our peak season wedding packages also include popular yard games for use throughout the two-night package celebration including: Cornhole, Ladder Toss, Giant Jenga, Bocce, footballs, soccer balls and Frisbees. Off peak season wedding package parties are able to utilize our lawn games if weather permits.
How do we get in touch with the event planner to check availability and start the planning process?
Our event planning department can be reached by submitting an online inquiry. You can find our online request tool at the bottom of our weddings page. If you are unsure about the date, time or guest count don’t hesitate to provide estimates and submit as a general inquiry. We’ll be happy to work through those specifics at a later date.
You can also follow the link to the packages that you are interested in to see an updated list of available wedding package dates!
What is your next available date for a Destination Wedding Package at the inn?
Thank you for your interest in The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle as a potential wedding venue! Our facility has become incredibly popular with couples looking for a non-traditional venue that provides natural beauty paired with superior service, and an amenities package for the perfect destination wedding.
We have three unique destination wedding packages that currently have dates available between 2021 through 2023. Please click on the blue package links to check the available dates on that package webpage.
Our Dinner Party Wedding Packages are booked as a half day social event. Please reach out to our event coordinator directly with preferred dates and they will let you know if that date is available. If your preferred date is already being held by another event, they will provide you with a list of nearby available dates!
If you'd like to set up a site visit or receive our updated wedding package information, please contact our Event Coordinator for assistance by filling out the online inquiry form found at the bottom of our wedding page.
How many restrooms are there?
We have two public, unisex restrooms. Additionally, all your onsite guests will have their own private bathroom in their hotel room which will be just a short walk from the reception area. For our largest weddings there are also trailer restroom rental options available. Again, your event planner can provide you contact information and answer questions about any of our trusted vendor partners.
What’s the payment schedule?
We recognize the importance of having a predictable timeline for the purposes of budgeting and have developed the following to assist in planning your expenditures:
- Non-refundable wedding deposit, $2,500.00, due at the time of booking
- Remaining package balance is due at the time of chef’s tasting, and no later than six months prior to your wedding weekend
- Individual guest hotel room balances must be paid a minimum of one month prior to arrival date
- Reception cost, any incidental charges and unsecured guest room balances are due at the conclusion prior to departure
Do you offer a special rate for vendor meals?
Yes, we offer vendor meals for $25 per vendor employee (all-inclusive)
We understand DJ's are very important to the flow and energy of the event, do you have any suggestions for DJ's that you've worked with in the past?
Wedding film by Courtney Renae Films
get tips and answers from previous guests of the nature inn