Historic Shady Lane, a popular wedding venue tucked away in Central Pennsylvania (in Manchester to be specific – though it’s within the greater Lancaster area if you need a better point of reference), is described as a place “where rustic meets elegance”.
It has been on our “must photograph” wish list for the past few years, and in the fall of 2019, we had the opportunity to capture a beautiful wedding for one of our couples here. There are so many great photos that have seen taken here – enough to fill up entire Pinterest feeds (we checked!).
This is place that is so genuinely photogenic, but also mixes with the practical needs of couples, their family and friends, who are holding one of the biggest events of their lives here.
Historic Shady Lane is really a “one stop shop” when it comes to wedding venues – as couples can have their entire wedding day from start to finish on the grounds. There are houses designated for the guys and gals to get ready for the day. The ceremony spot is wholly unique. And the absolute standout for us is the cocktail hour and reception spaces to be found in the gorgeous glass greenhouse (this thing at night with string lights is incredible for photos) and the sleek white covered tent.
The actual property consists of 34 acres blending natural features with rustic architecture. We could photograph a dozen weddings and still come away with new and unique images based on the environment alone.
Why It’s Great for Weddings
We kind of feel like we just rambled on in our opening paragraphs – but that is the kind of effect Historic Shady Lane had on us. It’s hypnotizing!
It is easy enough to ramble about the photographic potential of this place, and a quick search online will show you pictures of the main features of the property (that I’ve just described).
Having been to a wedding here and loved it – we would say the two things that really stuck out to us about the quality of the wedding event here is the smooth flow of the day and the great atmosphere.
The Flow of the Day
We really love documenting weddings that take place from start-to-finish at a single location. It’s not only because this can make our job a little bit easier, but more importantly because it tends to reduce stress on the bride, groom, and literally everyone else involved.
Because Historic Shady Lane is so self-contained, yet every main feature is within a short walking distance (or golf cart ride if you need it – such as for the grandparents visiting), it makes for easy transitions from bride & groom prep in the morning, to a First Look (if the couple wants this of course), to the ceremony site, portraits throughout the property, cocktail hour, reception, until the last song plays on the dance floor.
Ultimately – we find that this “flow” helps couples to stay in the moment throughout their day more, and that’s something we really value in wedding days in general.
In our wedding photography career, we have been to many, many wedding venues. We have learned that wedding venues really set the tone for the day in a lot of ways.
Yes, the couples, family, and friends also play a role in this – but the venue is the first thing people see and are actively experiencing throughout the course of the day.
If the vibe of Historic Shady Lane is appealing to you just from looking at photos online, then you will really love it “in real life.”
You can see a full collection of wedding photos from Historic Shady Lane here!