Everything you need to know for your wedding or elopement in Letchworth State Park.
Letchworth State Park is a dream of a place for a wedding or elopement. It is effortlessly one of the most beautiful, scenic, and epic places in New York. Even better for intimate and adventurous elopements in the Spring, Summer, Fall, and for the most adventurous – in the wintry snow.
Lovingly known as the Grand Canyon of the East and voted best State Park in the USA in 2015, Letchworth is simply an awe-inspiring place to have a wedding or elopement. A gorge over 600ft deep, cut by the Genesee River, the state park is 14,000+ acres of stunning beauty. It offers many places to hold a ceremony; starting with the Glen Iris Inn, the premier and only traditional wedding venue in Letchworth. But if you want to be a little more non-traditional or a little more intimate, there are many options for you as well. The best part is holding a wedding within the park (outside of the Glen Iris Inn) is free!
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to get married here in Letchworth. So read on and let me know if you have any questions!
- When To Get Married in Letchworth
- Glen Iris Inn Weddings
- Letchworth State Park Wedding Venues and Ideas
- Wedding Vendors for Letchworth State Park
- Places to Stay in Letchworth
- Letchworth State Park Wedding Packages
- General Letchworth Questions
When To Get Married in Letchworth
Summer and Fall are the most popular seasons, with fall being the most iconic as the fall colors line the trees of the gorge walls. Really though, each season is unique. If you don’t mind the cold of the winter, the snowy and icy look of the park is absolutely gorgeous. Worth the extra layers needed.
If you want to avoid the crowds, consider a midweek and/or a sunrise ceremony. The park opens at dawn and is absolutely beautiful in the mornings before fog and mist burn off.
Glen Iris Inn Weddings
Weddings at the Glen Iris Inn are simply iconic to Letchworth State Park. It gets it’s own section here because of its prominence for weddings in the park. The Glen Iris Inn was formally the country estate of William Prior Letchworth and is situated perfectly above the Middle Falls. The view and roar of Middle Falls from the landing as the backdrop for your wedding can’t be beaten. More so, if you want to hold a medium or large wedding in the park, the Glen Iris Inn is the ideal best place to do it. With onsite catering, an outdoor tent with tables and chairs to rent for your reception, they are as close as you can get to a one-stop-shop for your day. You can find out lots more information on the wedding page of their website, but here’s the quick rundown for you:
Rental for the ceremony site is $200 for up to 50 guests or $400 for more than 50 up to potentially 250 guests with the rental of a second tent for your reception. The rental fee for the outdoor tent starts at $800 with options to add a dance floor, tables, chairs, sidewalls, heaters, fans, and power. You may use their library as your getting ready space. And lastly, they offer a delicious catering menu for hors-doeurves, dinner, and dessert, as well as rehearsals and brunches.
Letchworth State Park Wedding Venues and Ideas
Aside from when you want to hold your wedding in Letchworth, the primary thing you are most likely thinking about is where within Letchworth you can hold your wedding. I’ve broken this section up into ceremony and reception locations because there are many places in the park that are amazing for an intimate ceremony but maybe not for a reception, or vice versa.
Best Ceremony Locations in Letchworth
The Three Falls
Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls really are the hallmark of Letchworth State Park. And any of them would be beautiful for a small, intimate ceremony. (For a larger ceremony, the landing via the Glen Iris Inn is the way to go. Each of the Falls have landings with terrific views of the falls which make for perfect ceremony sites. Moreover, there are shelters and grassy areas for tents nearby each of the falls, giving you options for your reception.
The Scenic Overlooks
There are many amazing scenic overlooks through the park that would provide an epic backdrop for a ceremony. Some of the more popular ones include Inspiration Point (pictured above), Tea Table Overlook, Archery Field Overlook, and Hogsback Overlook.
Any custom location you can hike to would be amazing! I am happy to act as your guide and come up with some unique ideas for you! The Park Rangers simply ask that you let them know when and where you will be having your elopement!.
Hot Air Balloon Elopement Ceremony
Eloping in a hot air balloon over Letchworth State Park might be the most epic way to elope in the Park. Balloons Over Letchworth flies hot air balloons in the park, which would make for an amazing way to say “I Do.” Private flights can accommodate 4-8 people, and start at $995 per couple for a private flight: Perfect for you, your love, the officiant, and photographer. Flights are offered in the morning and evening and launch from within Letchworth. One very important thing to note: Flights are extremely weather and wind dependent, so some flexibility will be needed.
Best Places for Receptions
Letchworth Park Shelters
The shelters within Letchworth are a great option for your reception for your wedding. There are close to a dozen throughout the park to choose from. They are available to rent from April 1 through October 31 with rates ranging from $57.25 to $107.25, and reservations typically open up around the first of each year. Lastly, if you decide to go the park shelter route, keep in mind that you will have to pay an extra $25 permit fee for alcohol, catering, and amplified music. The Shelter Reservation Application with more details can be right here.
Rent A Tent
If you want to have a sizeable reception but do not want to book the Glen Iris Inn or the Park Shelters, renting an event tent is the way to go. You will need Park Managers approval for your location within the park, but renting a tent opens up more possibilities of locations within Letchworth! The permit for a tent is $25 and may be applied for through the Shelter Reservation Application. I love this option because it frees you up to hold your reception anywhere of your choice within the park, so long as you can receive approval.
Wedding Venues Outside of Letchworth
Though the area around Letchworth is generally rural, there are a few options for venues outside of the park within a short drive. They are:
Wedding Vendors for Letchworth State Park
There are many wedding vendors within an hour of Letchworth State Park who would love to work with you to make your wedding or elopement amazing. You can look more locally in Portageville or Castile for florists, officiants, and makeup and hair. Rochester also has many vendors like Pistil and Pollen – the florists who put together the amazing bouquet seen in many of these photos – who will gladly travel, deliver, or offer local pickup. Lastly, you may bring in your own catering with a permit from the Park, or the Glen Iris Inn caters weddings throughout the park and has a great menu.
Places to Stay in Letchworth
There are many options for you and/or your guests to stay while near the park at various price points. Perfect for any type of traveler needing lodging.
Letchworth Campground and Cabins
The park operates and maintains several campgrounds and cabins within the park with various amenities, including the Maplewood Lodge, for larger parties up to 8 people. Camping season is typically from May through the middle of October and cabins are available from April through November. Reservations can be made through the New York State Parks Reserve America Site. Campsites range from $24-$26 per night, and cabins are $132-$512 per week or ¼ the weekly charge per night. See the Letchworth State Park site for more general info, and NYfalls.com for great info on the Cabins and Lodges within the park.
Rooms at the Glen Iris Inn
The Glen Iris Inn has many types of rooms a various price points for guests. They have guestrooms and suites within the Inn, rooms in their Pinewood Lodge, and several houses and a cottage within the park to rent. You can find their rooms and rates here. They start at $125 a night. Cottages and the Houses are available to rent year-round, while the suites and guestrooms are only available April-November. There is a food on-site, but no wifi or cell service, which isn’t the worst thing, if you ask me.
Letchworth Parkside Lodge
The Letchworth Parkside Lodge is a small lodge just a mile outside the park on 6773 Halvorsen Road, Portageville NY, offering two cabins for couples. Each cabin is 650-750 square feet and decorated a rustic Adirondack style. Availability is offered May through October, is for couples only, and rates are $195 per night.
Letchworth State Park Wedding Packages
There are few things I enjoy more than capturing the spirit of a wedding amidst the amazing scenery of the world. Letchworth State Park is a true gem and I would be honored to photograph your wedding or elopement there. Wedding photo packages begin at $3500 for weddings, Elopement photo packages begin $1200 for Elopements.
General Letchworth Questions
How much is it to enter Letchworth State Park?
Entry into Letchworth State Park is $10 per vehicle and is free after 5pm. Payments are taken at the entry station at each entrance and you can pay via cash, check, and now credit card.
What is there to do in Letchworth State Park?
Aside from getting married, of course, there are many things to do in Letchworth. 66 Miles of trails throughout the park, the Mt. Morris Dam, Hot Air Balloons, fishing, a playground and pool, the Humphrey Nature Center, the William Pryor Letchworth Museum
What is the best entrance into Letchworth State Park?
The South Entrance near Portageville is closest to the three falls and the Glen Iris Inn. The Castile Entrance is great as well and takes you by several look out points as you drive towards the falls.
Can you drive through Letchworth State Park?
Yes! Park Road takes you through the entire park and many of the amazing look out points and overlooks. It will take you approximately 30 minutes to drive from one end to the other, and park speed limit is 25mph.
Letchworth State Park Trail Maps and Hiking Information?
Letchworth State Park has over 66 miles of hiking trails with all ranges of difficulties and terrains. Here are the trail maps for the North Section and South Section. Take note that the trails 6 and 6A to Lower Falls are currently closed until further notice in order to repair the stairways down to the falls.