How about Natural Bridge as a Venue for YOUR wedding?

Posted by on Sep 2, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How about Natural Bridge as a Venue for YOUR wedding?
Bride with her two sister/maids of honor
I know, I know.  I am always giving you information about great venues for your wedding.  The problem is there are so many great venue options out there; and the more weddings at which I officiate, the more opportunities I have to check them out.   So here’s one more.  Natural Bridge.  Actually there is a Natural Bridge in Kentucky, but I am talking about the one in Virginia, not too very far from Virginia Tech, which I add in case you happen to be a Hokie fan.   
Even though I live about an hour’s drive from Natural Bridge, I have always whizzed by the Natural Bridge exit on 81— in a hurry to make the nine hour trek to visit family in Nashville, or another family member who used to attend Tech.  But Friday I turned from 81 onto Route 11 intentionally, to meet a bride and groom and their families at the Natural Bridge Hotel.  From there we would be taking the shuttle to the Bridge. 
Natural Bridge Hotel, site for
 wedding reception?
I should probably start off by telling you something about the hotel.  It is lovely.  The staff was accommodating, and it was not overly crowded—of course we met in the lobby at 10 a.m. on a Friday morning.  My feeling is that activity picked up Friday afternoon for the Labor Day Weekend.   I have included a few pics of the lobby and front of the Hotel.  I did not get to visit any of the hotel rooms.  Note:  there is a bust of Thomas Jefferson in the lobby since he once owned the Natural Bridge.  There is also a bust of George Washington.  Before he became a general in the War of Independence, he was a surveyor and he actually surveyed the Natural Bridge!
Natural Bridge Hotel lobby–note busts of
George Washington and
Thomas Jefferson on back wall
This was an elopement so the thirteen of us, who represented the guests and wedding party (minus the bride and her dad who would be coming on a separate shuttle) took our seats and made the short trip to the Bridge.  Then we took a not-too-rugged,  seven minute hike to the place about which Thomas Jefferson said, “It is impossible for the emotions arising from the sublime to be felt beyond what they are here.”  That is exactly right. That magnificent arch hewn,  by a stream that is still there, actually,  touches a chord with people—standing under that bridge and looking up IS INDEED a spiritual experience.  It made me feel small, that is, it gave perspective to my life.  A line from Psalm Eight came immediately to my mind,  “What are human beings that You are mindful of them, mortals that You care for them… ”
I speculate that the wedding was carried out with minimum expense.  Of course, I have no idea how much the wedding gown cost, but I do know that the couple did not rent the Natural Bridge.  We each had a ticket, that is all.  We came as visitors, although in our case, visitors with a special purpose.    
We did not have a roped off area for the service, but it really didn’t seem to be a problem for anyone that we took over a corner area of the underpass for ten minutes or so.  Passersby were courteous.  They sat and watched until we were done.  They even clapped and took pictures when I pronounced that the couple were man and wife. 
Natural Bridge, note benches
As far as logistics, the Bride’s dad had brought an I-Tunes on which he had recorded Trumpet Voluntary and the Wedding March. The music was fed through a battery operated, portable speaker  (JBL Charge)  which carried surprisingly well in that large space.  I understand that comparable battery operated portable speakers sell for about $100 at Best Buy. 
There was no need to rent chairs for the service.   There are benches under the arch for guests’ sitting pleasure.  Again, this was not your $30,000 wedding. 
So, keep Natural Bridge under your hat, err veil, if you are looking for a magnificent venue with minimum cost.  For more information go to

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