Free Places to Have a Wedding in York, Pennsylvania

by Nicholas Nesler

The city of York is located in the south-central part of Pennsylvania near the capital of Harrisburg and has a population of almost 44,000 according to the 2010 census. The city is home to many popular attractions such as the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, the Capitol Theatre, the York Expo Center and Heritage Hills Golf Resort. There are also a number of places in the city which can be used for a wedding ceremony at no cost.This includes a variety of parks as well as Kiwanis Lake, locations on the York College of Pennsylvania's campus and several historic sites.

Codorus Boat Basin

Codorus Boat Basin inside the city of York was recently updated with a variety of new flowers, flowering plants and bushes. Codorus Creek also runs through the property and offers a beautiful setting with panoramic views for an outdoor wedding. Couples interested in this location should contact the city council in York (yorkcity.org) for more information on setting up a wedding at the basin regarding approved times and what type of decorations are allowed.

Kiwanis Lake

Kiwanis Lake in York offers another beautiful and free venue for an outdoor wedding with several places right by the water's edge which could be perfect for the ceremony. The lake provides stunning views and is a haven for wildlife such as Egrets, Blue Herons and a variety of birds and wild ducks. It is also home to a rookery. Couples should contact the York Audubon Society (yorkaudubon.org/kiwanislakeIBA/index.html) via the Web site to check on the best possible locations to hold a wedding ceremony and any restrictions that may be in place due to the wildlife.

Heritage Rail Trail Country Park

The Heritage Rail Trail County Park in York covers 176 acres and is home to several historic structures including the Hanover Junction and New Freedom Train Stations, as well as Howard Tunnel. These make for creative, old-fashioned back-drops for wedding pictures and a wedding ceremony. The beautiful tree-lined, paved running and biking trail also offers a variety of sites for a wedding ceremony. Couples can contact the park directly at (717) 840-7440 to check on the best possible locations and dates for their service.

York College of Pennsylvania

York College of Pennsylvania (ycp.edu) boasts a beautiful tree-lined campus with a bubbling stream right through the center that offers several free, picturesque locations for a wedding ceremony. Other locations on the campus that could be used include next to the large central fountain or in the outdoor courtyard of the Schmidt Library. A couple interested in holding their wedding at the college should contact the library directly if they are looking to hold the ceremony in the courtyard or they can contact the dean or the groundskeeper to discuss other areas they may use. All contact numbers and e-mail addresses are listed on the college Web site.

Historic Sites

York is often described as an architectural museum due to well-preserved historic structures such as the Golden Plough Tavern built in 1741, the house of General Horatio Gates built in 1751 and the Central Market House built in 1888. Some of these areas will allow weddings on the grounds for no fee if you go through the York County Heritage Society (yorkheritage.org).

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Nicholas Nesler has worked in journalism for over 10 years as a reporter, photo editor and sports editor. Nesler has written for "The Batesville Guard" and the "Paragould Daily Press." His awards include the '07 FOI award from the APME. He received his bachelor's degree in journalism at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro and his master's degree in education at the University of Central Arkansas.