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Written By Tara Banninger

It is estimated that 1 out of 10 U.S weddings are destination weddings.  Most of us think of Hawaii , Jamaica, or a European villa when we hear those words.  But, what if a unique, romantic, and truly memorable location could be found closer to home?

Weddings in Jim Thorpe PA

Jim Thorpe, PA – a town tucked away on the western edge of the Poconos, offers a unique backdrop.  The town’s Victorian architecture and rich history creates an air of romance not easily found or duplicated.

If a traditional church ceremony is not your thing, you can exchanged vows at the historic Mauch Chunk Opera House, among the art at the Anita Shapolsky Gallery, at the Train Station, on the train itself as it rides into Lehigh Gorge State Park and back, or in one of many local parks including Kemmerer Park on Front Hill.

The possibilities for a unique wedding here are endless.  The beauty of nature that surrounds it adds a rustic elegance and sense of outdoor adventure, while the many art galleries and unique local shops give just the right touch of sophistication.

Weddings in Jim Thorpe PAThere is no shortage of wedding photo opportunities with historic landmarks like the Old Jailhouse Museum that once held the Molly Maguires, the Asa Packer and Harry Packer Mansions, the Kemmerer Carriage House, and the train station all within walking distance.

And, who can forget the Inn at Jim Thorpe, the restored historical gem of Broadway that once played host to dignitaries like Ulysses S. Grant, US presidents William Taft and Teddy Roosevelt, and Thomas Edison. For an elegant and intimate reception, there is the meticulously restored Mauch Chunk Ballroom that features a wedding planner to assist with the many details involved in a destination wedding.

Whether you are looking for a unique, rustic, elegant, adventurous, or sophisticated affair, Jim Thorpe has it all. It’s your premiere destination wedding location close to home.

Tara Banninger is a local wedding planner and owner of Jim Thorpe Weddings & Events (www.jimthorpeweddings.net), the exclusive manager of the Mauch Chunk Ballroom space (www.mauchchunkballroom.com) and producer of the Jim Thorpe Wedding Expo (www.jtweddingexpo.com). For more information about weddings in Jim Thorpe & The Ballroom, you can contact her at info@jimthorpeweddings.net or by calling 484-629-5070. 

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By Tara Banninger-Kubas

Photographs Courtesy of Brokaw Photography

I’ll never forget the first time I stumbled upon Jim Thorpe.

Rounding the bend on  Route 209 on a hot August day in 2008, I caught a glimpse of the tops of the Victorian buildings and a view of the Asa Packer Mansion atop the front hill and I was instantly captivated.  As my family and I drove further into the town and passed the train station, I fell more and more in love.

We were in Pennsylvania to find a place to call our new home, and I knew instantly that Jim Thorpe, PA would be it. What appealed to me that day is what I believe appeals to all that enter our quaint and fair town nestled in the mountains.  Its charm bellows of the splendor of romance as only the Victorian era could deliver.

Jim Thorpe Wedding ExpoOn any given summer day or fall weekend you will find many couples walking hand in hand down our streets and staying at one of the many quaint, cozy B&B’s. You’ll find them enjoying a meal in one of our many fine restaurants, or taking an old-fashioned horse and buggy ride up Broadway and down Race Street.

If you are lucky enough, you may just catch one of the many proposals that occur in our romantic little town.

So, being the entrepreneur I am, I began thinking and my business Jim Thorpe Weddings & Events was born.   The idea was not just to plan weddings, but to promote Jim Thorpe as the premiere destination wedding location for the North East region of the United States. This town couldn’t be more perfect with the beauty of nature that surrounds it, its artistic vibe and sophistication.  It is the perfect backdrop to what is one of the most important days of your life.

I immediately sought out people who may have had the same idea or notions as I did and I found Dorie Perdie of Through the Looking Glass and John Drury, President of the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center, home of the beautiful Mauch Chunk Ballroom. Turns out that Dorie and John had been planning on putting together a wedding expo to showcase Jim Thorpe, the Ballroom, and Dorie’s culinary skills.

I joined their efforts and together we have been plotting Jim Thorpe’s rise to its former glory as a must have wedding destination.

Jim Thorpe Wedding ExpoAnd so, this November, Jim Thorpe will host its first Annual Bridal Expo showcasing the many local talented cake makers, dress shop owners, tux shops, DJ’s, videographers, photographers and many more businesses that offer up their talents to make wedding day dreams come true.  It’s a great event to remind those that may live nearby and take the gem next door for granted, while also opening the eyes of those that live in places like New York and Philadelphia to our beautiful town.

The Expo will be held at the Mauch Chunk Ballroom between 10 am – 4pm November 13th and will be broadcast live on Magic 105.5. There will be music, food and cake tasting, a bridal fashion show, special give-a-ways, and much more.

Admission is free but couples are encouraged to register at our website at www.jtweddingexpo.com for a chance to win a Day-of Wedding Planning package worth $500 from Jim Thorpe Weddings & Events.

For more information you can contact me, Tara Banninger-Kubas at 484-629-5070 or email info@jtweddingexpo.com. We hope to see you there.

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