From zoos and museums to airplane hangars and alpaca farms, couples looking for wedding venues have a world of out-of-the-box options.
But a new destination for nuptials is promising something you won’t find anywhere else: adventure and elegance in an unforgettable setting.
The Summit Bechtel Reserve, the BSA’s high-adventure haven in wild and wonderful West Virginia, is now hosting weddings. When the base isn’t being used for high-adventure experiences, training sessions, national jamborees and Family Adventure Camp, couples can say “I do” at the ultimate mountainside destination.
Bethany Bryant says her wedding at the Summit, held in May, resulted in “the perfect day.”
“It was everything we could have hoped for — beautiful West Virginia scenery, helpful staff and modern design elements that are unique to this area,” she says. “Our family and friends all raved about their stay and experience. Some saw wildlife, others participated in activities on-site and the rest were just simply in awe of the view from our ceremony site.”
Offering weddings at the Summit is an ingenious way to ensure that the high-adventure base is in use as much as possible throughout the year. That keeps the base in top form when Scouts visit en masse each summer.
This same model could also work for BSA councils looking to attract members of the community to their camps during times when Scouts aren’t visiting.
Weddings also serve as a way to introduce a new crowd to the BSA’s newest national high-adventure base. Most wedding guests, whether driving in from a nearby state or flying in from across the country, will be visiting the Summit for the first time.
But like Scouts know, it’s tough to stay away. Once you experience the natural beauty, world-class activities and state-of-the-art facilities at the Summit, you’ll want to come back again and again.
Adventure meets elegance
The Summit team will work with the couple to plan the perfect day — from a simple ceremony with a handful of people, starting at $500, to the $10,000 Summit Premier Package that includes all of the Summit’s signature venues rolled into one unforgettable weekend.
For this top-of-the-line package, the experience begins before the big day with a chance for the wedding party to try two Summit adventure activities. Nothing will unite the happy couple and their wedding party quite like a day spent mountain biking, rock climbing, zip-lining or whitewater rafting.
The next day, the couple can exchange vows at Perry Point, a large deck overlooking a valley and mountains — a scene that’s stunning in all four seasons. Next to Perry Point is Fenneman Great Hall, one of the Summit’s many sustainably designed buildings used by Scouts and Scouters throughout the year. For weddings, the hall makes a great location for a wedding reception.
After the last dance is shared and slice of cake is eaten, the happy couple can stay the night in the Fenneman Lodge and the Yamagata Presidential Suite.
Venue choices don’t end there. Couples can also have a daytime wedding ceremony on the three-tiered, 570-foot Consol Energy Bridge, followed by a reception on the bridge’s upper deck and dancing on the lower deck. What a fitting location to celebrate crossing over into a new chapter of life.
For another option, couples can choose an outdoor ceremony on Brownsea Island, modeled after the camp where Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell first tested some of his methods for Scouting. This last venue seems especially appropriate for a bride or groom with a passion for Scouting history.
Wherever the couple chooses, the Summit is sure to deliver a location that will have guests talking for years to come.
Planning a Summit Bechtel Reserve wedding
For details about booking a wedding (or other event) at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, email bill (at) summitevents (dot) com.
The photos in the gallery below are courtesy of Sarah Irvin Photography.
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