The Ballroom at Carey Lake, beautiful upscale high end wedding venue in New York PA Pennsylvania. wedding photographer

Beautiful Wedding Venues Near Tioga County PA and the Twin Tiers.

I recently was ruing the fact that finding an upscale wedding venue in my area (Wellsboro, PA) is so difficult. There are barns galore, but what if rustic isn't really your vibe? I've seen many different venues as a photographer, and I know that a venue can truly change the vibe and ease of your wedding day photos - perhaps more even than most people realize.

Now, don't get me wrong, traditional barn venues can be super cute, and I've photographed weddings at a number of different ones throughout PA and NY. But as a photographer, perhaps we see things a little differently, and sometimes wish we could tell you our reasoning - but booking the venue often comes before the photographer.

However, in the off-chance that you're reading this post before you've found your dream venue...let me just share a couple of thoughts and sprinkle in some tips from a photography standpoint:

Barn venues with unpainted wood, while definitely rocking the rustic vibe, tend to throw orange tones onto everything and everyone as the natural light bounces off of the walls and floor, and it can be hard to get true-to-life colors in your indoor photos. They also are traditionally lacking in good sources of natural light, which enhance your day, and make photography a breeze...and even using flash becomes trickier when there is nothing white to bounce flash off of.

Here are some personal tips to look out for when you are venue hunting (and then I will get into my venue lists for you):

  • White walls and/or ceilings are a dream to photograph in! If there is natural light in the room, the white will make the daylight stretch that much further for photos during the day, and makes bouncing flash a dream for after dark. White also immediately upscales your wedding vibe, and gives it that higher-end wedding look.
  • Windows and Natural Light will bring out the natural colors of your decor, dresses, flowers, skin tones - all the things! When looking for a venue, look for getting ready areas with lots of natural light, as well as ceremony + reception spots that embrace the light!
  • If you want to get married outside (which I personally wholeheartedly adore), try not to cut it too close to winter when you're planning. I've seen some disappointed brides who cut it just a little too close to winter, and were too chilly to truly enjoy their special day and their photo time. May, June, August and September are typically beautiful months that aren't too terribly hot in this area, and your guests will be much more comfortable. If you're worried about the heat, make sure there's an area that will be shaded at the time of your ceremony that you can set up in. Also, look for a ceremony spot where you can have the sun at your back (behind and off to the left or right a bit is ideal), not shining right on you from the side of the guests and photographer. Your photos will turn out much more magical with a little backlighting - but make sure you take into account the season and time of day. ALSO, make sure there are multiple beautiful spots that can be used for photos, to switch things well as a backup plan for a drizzly day.
  • For outdoor ceremonies, you can upscale your wedding vibe just by picking the right venue without needing too much extra decor. But some statement flower pieces can take it to the next level.

outdoor wedding venues in Pennsylvania New York wedding photographer beautiful upscale

So, without further ado, I want to share a few lists I made for brides in this North Central area of PA, or South Central NY (the twin tiers) who are bemoaning the lack of more upscale venue choices. I did a bunch of research for you, to save you some time...and I hope you find this helpful! I have not shot weddings at all of these venues yet (the ones I have shot at are followed by an asterisk), but chose ones I would be delighted to photograph a wedding at as a photographer. I have linked to each venue to make things super smooth as you do your research. (Please let me know if any links become broken over time.)

All of these venues are within 2 hours of where I live in Wellsboro, PA (some are 2.5 which I have tried to notate), and travel is included to them in my photography packages.


For those who just can't get away from the cute barn idea, but want to take it to the next level.


For anyone looking for a venue that isn't a barn, and that has a more sophisticated look.


If you have dreams of an outdoor wedding, these are some magical venue spots for you to look into!


If you're having a small or micro-wedding, these venues are cute and cozy.


These venues may not have the same high-end look as some that are mentioned above, but are still nice and worth a look!


Here are some additional venues if you live in Wellsboro, and are looking for somewhere close-by.

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