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A Rustic Romance

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Area couples say “I do” to barn weddings

By Lisa Gregory
Photography by Kelsey Kinard

For her and her wife’s special day, Caitlyn Druktenis knew she wanted a wedding barn venue. “It has always spoken to me with its rustic, country theme,” says Caitlyn, who married her wife, Jacki, at the historic barn at the Battlefield Bed and Breakfast in Gettysburg last year. 

“It creates a more cozy, personal feel,” adds Jacki. “It has a charm to it.”

Much like Caitlyn and Jacki, more couples are choosing barns as their go-to wedding venues. And fortunately for them, the local area provides plenty of options for those seeking such a venue—each barn with its own unique history, story, and character. 

The Tannery Barn
61 Frederick St., Taneytown, Md.
410-756-0373  |  www.thetannerybarn.com

The Tannery Barn in Taneytown, Md., offers couples a sense of something old and something new.

“It’s a barn, but it’s been completely refinished on the inside,” says Owner Victoria Clausen. “It has a lot of history, but it’s been brought to a modern level.”  

The barn has its original exposed beams from more than 200 years ago as well as a brand-new pavilion, bringing together the past and the present seamlessly. The pavilion can seat up to 200 guests while allowing plenty of space for dining and dancing. The venue also offers high ceilings and an expansive balcony. And outside, the deck area—ideal for smaller, more intimate parties—can accommodate 60. 

The original barn burned down in the early 1900s and was replaced by new post and beam construction. At the end of the 20th century, the barn was converted into a residential home before becoming an events venue in 2018. 

The Inn at Herr Ridge
900 Chambersburg Road, Gettysburg
717-334-4332  |  www.innatherrridge.com 

The Inn at Herr Ridge’s more recently constructed barn solidifies the property as a complete wedding destination. “We provide a rustic barn experience with all the modern amenities,” says Michelle Haught, wedding and events coordinator. 

The wedding barn venue features high ceilings, rustic chandeliers, and an indoor second-floor balcony overlooking the main floor.  

And, while the barn is newer, the property itself, which includes a bed-and-breakfast as well as historic banquet room and wine cellar, is certainly not. Established in 1815, in its very early days, the property housed a tavern that provided lodging for travelers. In many ways, that tradition continues today, welcoming couples who are beginning the journey of their lives together.  

Rock Creek Farm
470 Solomon Road, Gettysburg
443-831-9694  |  www.rockcreekfarmpa.com

For Charlene and David O’Malley, it was a perfect match. The couple purchased the historic Rock Creek Farm in Gettysburg 20 years ago. “We quickly fell in love with the property, the town, and its people,” says Charlene. 

So much so that the couple decided to share their love of their beautiful barn with others, making it available for wedding celebrations. 

The 5,000-square-foot bank barn was built in the late 19th century after the original barn on the property burned. The farm itself dates back to 1740. Following an extensive renovation of the barn in 2016, the venue now features wide plank pine floors, a spectacular large bar with a hand-hammered copper top faced in stone, two large lofts with staircase access, and four hand-crafted wagon-wheel chandeliers. The exterior features a 20-by-30 feet Trex deck with a staircase leading to a large manicured lawn and overlooking a two-acre pond with a fountain. 

Wilson’s Bittersweet Barn
590 Dicks Dam Road, New Oxford
717-624-7116  |  www.facebook.com/WilsonsBittersweetBarn

Much like the hopes of the couples marrying there, Wilson’s Bittersweet Barn, built in 1817 and located in New Oxford, was built to stand the test of time. The structural integrity and original rustic interior have been maintained through careful preservation for more than 200 years. 

Wilson’s Bittersweet Barn, which can accommodate up to guests, is a majestic brick structure. Inside, the barn is made entirely of wood and with windows to let in light.
The rough, natural texture of the wood adds to the barn’s authenticity and sense of rustic romance desired by couples on their wedding day. And, when evening falls, the venue takes on the magic of fairy lights illuminating the room. 

The Looking Barn
1295 Frederick Pike, Littlestown
717-698-0885  |  www.thelookingbarn.wixsite.com/2019

Amanda Lookingbill grew up in Littlestown and remembers driving past the historic barn almost daily as a little girl. Now that barn, renamed The Looking Barn, is hers. And she is offering it as a memorable place for couples to have their special day. 

“Just that thought makes me emotional,” she says of the little girl and the barn. “It gives me chills just thinking about it.” 

Lookingbill describes The Looking Barn as a place “where big-city elegance meets small-town rustic charm.” 

The main reception room offers an open floor plan, exposed natural architectural features, and a simple color scheme of white with black accents. However, “as you move towards the original part of the barn, you will find exposed old beams and stonework, which [have]so much character,” she says. 

The barn, built in 1875, has a capacity for 200 to 250 guests.  

Historic Round Barn
298 Cashtown Road, Biglerville
717-334-1984  |  www.roundbarn.farm

For those using the Historic Round Barn for their wedding day, the circular structure of the building itself reflects a circle of love that engulfs couples.  

“The barn promotes a sense of togetherness,” says Jessica Knouse, site manager for the Historic Round Barn, located just outside of Gettysburg. “When guests come to our venue, they comment on how they always feel they are a part of the reception, no matter where they are in the building.”

One of only a handful of true round barns still surviving today, its unique circular floor plan accommodates a variety of intimate seating arrangements for up to 225 guests, space for a live band, and a large dance area. With 60-foot-high ceilings and a custom-made Edison bulb chandelier, couples can create a space as casual or as elegant as they like.  

Beech Springs Farm
784 Mt. Carmel Road, Orrtanna
717-642-5695  |  www.beechspringsfarm.com

Couples in the midst of exchanging vows within the bank barn at Beech Springs Farm have been known to get distracted at times. But it’s in the most delightful of ways. 

“The barn has two sets of double doors that overlook the gardens,” says Jayne Shord, owner of Beech Springs Farm, located 20 minutes southwest of Gettysburg. “We situate them so the bride and groom stand with the pastor in front of the doors. The gardens and outdoors are part of their backdrop. “

The view can be breathtaking. And sometimes lively.  

“We’ve had weddings where the bride and groom are standing there with the pastor, and there goes a little rabbit. There goes a deer. All this is happening right outside the doors of the barn,” Shord says. 

Built in 1867, the bank barn has been lovingly restored but still retains its rustic characteristics; it’s accented by natural stone, pine floors, and the original oak and chestnut beams. The tables within the barn were handcrafted from the original wood removed when the barn flooring was replaced, further adding to the barn’s unique character—inside and out. 

Battlefield Bed and Breakfast
2264 Emmitsburg Road, Gettysburg
717-334-8804  |  www.gettysburgbattlefield.com

Couples exchanging their vows on their wedding day are literally standing on a piece of history at the historic barn at the Battlefield Bed and Breakfast in Gettysburg.

“Both Yankees and Confederates were in that barn and stood on that floor,” says Debbi March, director of weddings and events at Battlefield Bed and Breakfast. The barn, which was used as a field hospital during the Civil War, retains its authentic style with few renovations. “We didn’t want to destroy the history,” says March. 

According to March, the venue, which can hold 160 people, has all the original beams and walls. “The boards down the center of the barn are original,” she says. “However, we did replace the boards of the right and left side of the barn to reinforce it and make it safe.”

The venue is neutral, March says, so that couples can add their own color and style. And a recent couple did exactly that with their “Lord of the Rings” theme. “They turned the barn into Middle-earth,” March says, complete with servers dressed as Hobbits. 

“It’s a rustic and magical place,” says March of the barn. 

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