The largest barn wedding venue near Chambersburg PA.
The Goldfish Barn, like many wedding venues near Chambersburg PA, is still fairly new. I personally got married here in 2019 and it was on their second season hosting weddings. Even though I got married here, as a wedding photographer, it is hard for me to be biased about venues. It’s like entering your workplace – you’re very aware of what IS working and what ISN’T working.
The owners, Keith and Suzanne, bought the venue in 2017 and renovated it from a gift shop from 1975 to the incredible wedding and event center it is today. The Goldish Barn is named for its LIVE goldfish living their best life IN THE FLOOR of the bottom level. It’s pretty incredible to see for yourself and a huge talking piece for your guests waiting in line at the bar. Keith and Suzanne continue to grow the wedding barn venue every day to make it more and more functional for their couples. Let’s talk the highlights:
Three Hosting Spaces
The major perk of the Goldfish Barn vs. other wedding venues in Chambersburg’s area is its versatility of multiple hosting areas. To be frank, the area is massive. Coming in at over 6,000ft of hosting space… this venue is MORE than versatile if you end up with rain on your wedding day. As a wedding photographer, we are watching the weather religiously. And though we have tons of experience on making it work no matter what – The Goldfish Barn gives us peace of mind that your guests and your events will dry.
Outdoor Space – The outdoor space (pictured below) in the rear of the building is partially covered by a roof and overlooks the wide Pennsylvania farm lands with incredible sunsets. The back pad has doubled in size since my wedding in 2019 to accommodate even more guests and hosting space. Keith and Suzzane have also thoughtfully added an additional outdoor bar IN THE SILO that sits on the pad. Like, what?! A huge chandelier hangs from the ceiling of it and all of your guests will wander in to get a good look at it. If it rains, your celebration can still comfortably sit under the roofed portion without feeling cramped.
Lower Indoor Space – In the lower indoor space (pictured below) that walks out to the pad, you have a large hosting area safe from the elements. Here is where you will find the famous goldfish in the floor! Covered by glass bar height tables, your guests can enjoy their beverages while watching the fish swim around below them. You’ll also find an additional bar set up here with large drink coolers for your convenience. This area also has many sections, making it a great area to have your event rentals set up some lounge-style seating for your guests. Pictured is an example by Peachy Keen Event Rentals & Design. You can also open the garage-style doors to extend this hosting space out onto the patio and make it an all-in-one large experience.
Upper Indoor Space – The upper indoor space (pictured below) is the traditional barn area. Keith and Suzanne have made the barn completely accessible by adding a handicapped elevator and walk-up outdoor access to accommodate guests of all abilities. The entire indoor space is temperature controlled, which is a HUGE win as far as barns go! If it’s a beautiful day and you want to let the air in, you can also open up the large outer doors of the upstairs space to let the party flow into the outdoors. There are also bathrooms on both the lower and upper levels to once again accommodate guests of all abilities, making the venue an extremely accessible option.
With these 3 spaces, you can really create the event experience of your dreams. Have your ceremony overlooking the Pennsylvania farmland, or spend your reception watching the sunset and under the stars. Tie the knot in the rustic barn area, or host your party in the indoor temperature controlled climate of the upper indoor area. Let your reception spill from the lower indoor space out to the patio, or use it for your cocktail hour. The space has so much versatility the options are really endless.
Getting Ready Space
This Chambersburg wedding barn venue is more than just hosting space. On the land sits the farmhouse original to the property. In this farmhouse, you will find four bedrooms, a living space, dining area, and operating kitchen. You and your wedding party can comfortably spend the night here, store your belongings here, and get ready here.
The upstairs (pictured below) is truly fit for a bride with one bedroom dedicated to getting ready with a salon chair, vanity, and high hooks for hanging dresses. Each bedroom is also fit with mirrors because we all know – ladies need the space! As a photographer – this getting ready room is a dream. Brightly colored with natural light on all sides. It was the perfect choice bedroom to house this space.
Pro Tip: Since this is one room dedicated to getting ready, try to keep it clean! Toss all of your bags and other stuff in the other bedrooms, but keep this room orderly so that you can do all of your getting ready portraits here without eyesore! This also helps your hair and make up artist stay organized!
The downstairs “hangout” area (pictured below) is fit for a groom and groomsmen. Again, outfitted with multiple hooks for hanging suits and jackets, mirrors for getting ready, and easy outdoor access for wandering groomsmen. If ya know, ya know!
If the idea of your groom wandering around in the same house as the bride doesn’t sound the greatest to you – no worries. Suzanne & Keith saw this trend too, and they fixed it. This season couples can enjoy the outdoor kitchen – AKA, the new grooms suite. Renovated from the houses original outdoor kitchen into a large getting ready space (pictured below), the building is temperature controlled and spacious allowing ample room for all the guys to get ready and still have easy access to the main house. To make it even more viable, the owners have also renovated the building directly next to it into a bathroom. Including a large vanity and walk in shower. This way the bridal party can roam easily throughout the house, while still keeping the grooms party in close proximity when it’s time to get married!
Experience & Accommodations
The Goldfish Barn works hard to make your experience easy and stress-free in many ways. Starting with early access to the venue the day before your wedding (sometimes sooner depending on their schedule). Because of this, you can prep all day before your wedding and you can sleep up to 10 people in the farmhouse the night before and even the night after! If you have out of town guests, you can even offer them the unique ability to be able to stay on the property free instead of renting a hotel room or Air BNB (psssst, The Goldfish Barn has some incredible accomodations being added in the coming years for your out of town guests). With the early access, you can easily host your rehearsal dinner right where you intend to tie the knot, making the ceremony practice easier for everyone involved.
To take some expense off of your plate, this rustic barn venue offers you tables and chairs to accommodate up to 250 guests! Want to bring your own tables and chairs? No problem! Theirs tuck away for easy storage so as to not be an eyesore for your guests.
The day of your event is easy with the many getting-ready area options, large parking lots and easy access to the barn. I’ve myself am often searching for venues down back roads and unfamiliar places, but your guests can easily locate The Goldfish Barn just outside of Chambersburg PA in the quaint town of Fort Loudon. The barn sits right along route 30 and has huge clear signage you can’t miss.
Additionally, this wedding venue has new electrical service for DJ’s or bands to set up AND a large private kitchen with it’s own entrance for your caterer to work out of, reheat food, and store cold items. The bathrooms are large and have multiple stalls in each (something you may think is a given at all wedding venues – but it’s not!) to better the experience of your guests.
I’m a wedding photographer – so OF COURSE we need to discuss whether or not the property is photogenic! Something I really love about this Pennsylvania wedding barn venue is the 360 degree usage. The owners have been very thoughtful in eliminating eyesores from your photos by strategically placing photo-op’s in specific places. It may vary from day-to-day or event-to-event, but it is no trouble for a photographer to find spots to capture their clients wedding day effectively. On bright and sunny days, your wedding photographer may hunt for shade, and The Goldish Barn has plenty of trees overlooking farmland to find it AND accommodate large group photography. As a photographer, this is a HUGE win for us. The property also features huge open landscapes completely eyesore free (despite the occasional powerline – an easy fix), willow trees, a signature swing, gazebo with hanging plants… and the venue itself is beautiful. The barn is well cared for and the property is gorgeously maintained. As a photographer you truly couldn’t ask for more than a WHITE barn to naturally reflect light and compliment the vibes of a wedding. To top it all off, this barn wedding venue gives us the MOST stellar sunsets. Truly, the cherry on top of the cake for any wedding photographer.
I speak truly when I say that The Goldfish Barn is a top tier wedding venue in the Chambersburg area. The venue was significantly different when I got married there, and I had troubles with some things, but it is clear that the owners learn more with every passing wedding season and fix the hiccups to better their clients’ experience. They continuously work to create a functional, safe, and accommodating space for all brides, grooms and guests in a way that is incredibly unique to the area. Additionally, the owners, Keith and Suzzanne are incredibly kind and welcome me back to the barn with open arms every time I visit. They are very open and helpful when it comes to planning your date and working with your vendors, and they truly care about getting to know their couples and making the experience perfect for you. You are definitely not speaking with a help desk when you reach out to The Goldfish Barn.
The Goldfish Barn may be YOUR perfect Chambersburg wedding venue if:
- You are needing to accommodate a large wedding. It is one of the largest venues I have experienced in the Chambersburg area.
- You are marrying during the rainy season or are worried about rain impeding on your wedding events.
- You are looking for a rustic style wedding, but don’t want to sacrifice versatility and temperature control for a traditional wedding barn venue.
- You need your venue to provide overnight and sufficient getting ready accommodations.
- You want to bring your own vendors and not work from the venues list or use a venue package.
- You want a venue that checks all the accommodation boxes, but don’t want an overly-rustic classic brown barn venue. I hear this a lot! If you are hesitant to wedding barn venues, I highly encourage you go tour the space and see what sets it apart from others.
- You want to create a fluid event with several hosting spaces.
Beyond that, this incredible venue speaks for itself. From the perspective of a vendor, I wish that I could give you a list of what WASN’T working here – but it is really difficult. This wedding venue checks all of the boxes on versatility, operation, and overall use. The views are truly the epitome of what it means to get married in Chambersburg, PA without sacrificing a 5 star experience.
You can learn more about The Goldfish Barn Event Center on their website at www.thegoldfishbarn.com.
A Brides Perspective
A unique perspective I can provide about this venue is my own experience as a bride. What I did, what I wish I would have done, and what has changed since then.
I got married June 8th, 2019. The Goldfish Barn opened its doors to brides August of 2018, meaning I got married in their second season. I did not revisit the venue again until my aunt got married there in July of 2020 and by then already so much had changed! My latest tour that this is written based upon took place in January of 2023.
At the time I was getting married, I did not know much about the wedding world. Now, from a wedding professionals perspective, I can now definitely see that 2019 me stumbled into a gem. We chose The Goldfish Barn because we loved the versatility it offered. We could do whatever layout we wanted, could stay the night, had 2 full days to decorate and set up, AND we could bring our own vendors. This was huge for us because our original venue we wanted would only let you choose from THEIR list of preferred vendors, which absolutely catapulted the venue out of our price range. Though The Goldfish Barn was a bit out of our price range at that point in our lives too, we decided to make it work because being able to bring our own vendors helped us land closer to our budget than if we booked the original venue. Thankfully, venues requiring you to use their vendor list is becoming an outdated practice, so you may be seeing this less as a couple in 2023!
Something we loved most about this barn venue was how much we could spread out. As I said, I wasn’t a wedding photographer when I got married, but I had dabbled in the world of videography and had been to many venues where I felt nearly claustrophobic. We loved that the barn has its own private kitchen completely kept separate from the hosting areas, especially because we had our family preparing the food and knew they’d appreciate the space. We loved that our guests could hang out downstairs, upstairs or outside during our reception. Really, we just loved that we could all fit comfortably. Beforehand we had plenty of time to decorate with our early access so we could completely focus on getting ready the morning of our wedding. My bridesmaids and I spent the night in the cozy farmhouse and enjoyed our wedding day breakfast at The Milky Way Restaurant just 3 minutes away… because have you even been to Fort Loudon if that’s not your go-to brunch spot?
We opted to have our ceremony on the back outdoor pad. Since our wedding day, the back pad has been extended significantly, lights have been hung, and an outdoor silo bar has been added. If I got married there today, I’d probably have my reception here instead! I love the idea of my guests being able to spill outside from the lower-indoor area onto the back pad and visit either bar space inside or in the silo. My reception was upstairs in the upper barn area, which was still amazing and my guests STILL naturally spread out to the downstairs and outdoor areas. The windows that overlook the pad from the upper indoor area let us interact with guests out back, and my guests regularly gathered at the bar area downstairs (which we used for our cocktail hour). It was so flexible, large and easy to have our reception up there, but I’d probably flip it if I had another chance just so that my guests could get the full use of the versatile downstairs, and we could dance the night away under the sunset.
Truthfully speaking, if I had to choose another Chambersburg are wedding venue, knowing all that I know… I can say that for my personal needs, I would choose The Goldfish Barn again.