Rodale Institute is an incredible rustic farm wedding venue found in Kutztown, PA. It’s a place that is really vast – with 300 acres of farmland, orchards, and gardens, that a single day cannot do it justice. Still, for weddings and other events, it serves as a wonderful backdrop.
Our attraction to Rodale Institute was immediate. Both of us went to school at Kutztown University, so we’ve always had an exposure to the place as it’s free to walk around on some of the walking paths. It is a place where people with a genuine affection for nature can feel right at home – as we did walking amongst the abundance of flowers and wildlife.
As wedding photographers, it felt like a playground for us to be as creative as we wanted to document the day for our amazing couple (more on them in a second!). From the bride & groom suites for prep to the reception held in the charming Pennsylvania Dutch bank barn featuring sky-high ceilings, exposed beams strung with lights, and hardwood floors – you’re sure to walk away with a great experience. Let us talk about that some more now!
Why It’s Great for Weddings
Having a wedding at Rodale Institute begins with a connection to what this location represents. Rodale is a non-profit committed to growing the organic movement through research, farmer training, and consumer education.
Earlier this year, we have the opportunity to photograph a beautiful couple – Joanna & Eric – for their wedding photos here. In our minds, this location resonated so strongly for this couple because they really matched up with the values and aesthetic of this place. In their initial inquiry when they reached out to us, they described themselves in two simple sentences:
We are outdoorsy-earthy modern homesteaders. We like the simple things with a touch of rustic!
Rodale Institute is a particularly great location to hold a wedding if you have a similar passion for nature, the organic movement, farming, and appreciate the nuance of the property.
The wedding day is self-contained on the property
We mentioned in our intro to this post that weddings at Rodale Institute can exclusively take place on the property – from getting ready to the end of the reception. In our experience documenting weddings for quite a few years now, we’ve come to really appreciate venues that make this available because it immediately reduces stress on the part of our couples (and by extension – their family, friends, and all the vendors involved).
The reason for this is because driving from one location to the next can add a lot more logistics to a wedding day. And logistics often = stress.
Being able to have the bridal parties get prepared on site makes for a good start to the day. When the ceremony rolls around, all guests will be directed to the selected ceremony spot (more on this in a second), and afterwards have a quick walk (or golf cart ride) to the cocktail hour and reception spaces. This makes navigating the day so much easier for everyone.
You have Options to make the day your own
A wedding at Rodale Institute offers a lot of opportunities to make it your own.
This begins by selecting the ceremony site! There are 5 options:
Historic Stone Bank Barn* (also serves as a rain location)
From there, you can bring your own decor to really make this a DIY wedding of your dreams. Seeing the space come to life with florals, antique accents, and more was amazing. Of course, if you’re not a huge “do it yourself” type of person, there are many amazing vendors that can help bring things to life – and, honestly, the spaces are really breathtaking on their own as well if you wanted to go a minimalistic route, too.
Who doesn’t love a barn reception?
Barn weddings have been the craze lately – but we stand behind this. They are consistently fun and feel like a rustic replacement for ballroom weddings.
At Rodale Institute, the Historic Stone Bank Barn has high ceilings, wooden floors, exposed beams, and string lights throughout. The space can accommodate up to 180 seated guests. It’s a perfect spot for a sit down dinner, dancing all night, and if a guest wants a breath of fresh air – they just have to step outside.
Check out wedding photos from Rodale Institute:
You are welcome to check out a full wedding gallery we documented at Rodale Institute. We also have included a selection of photos to show off this wedding venue for you here.