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COVID-19: How does the global pandemic affect Promise Ridge ceremonies?

We're fortunate that Promise Ridge ceremonies are already restricted in guest count, between 2-20 depending on if couples are eloping or having a microwedding, and all out of doors, so many of our couples have not had to alter their original plans too much. For as long as the CDC is recommending gathering size to be limited, we will follow whatever that recommended restriction as our capacity as well.

Promise Ridge is primarily a ceremony space, and people can continue to have beautiful legal ceremonies here as long as they have a valid Pennsylvania marriage license. Several Pennsylvania counties are currently offering a pilot program to conduct the marriage license application process virtually (Bucks County is our FAVORITE!), but may limit the issuing of licenses on an emergency basis or to only residents of that county. Please check with your local Clerk of the Orphans’ Court office for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions:

01. Accessibility

My grandmother uses a cane, how accessible is Promise Ridge for someone with mobility challenges? 

Promise Ridge is accessed through a garden and then a slightly sloped path on a lawn. Guests witness ceremonies (and pose for family photos) from the vantage of the Infinity Deck, which is sturdy and level. We’ve had guests with prosthetic legs, those who use canes and walkers, as well as wheelchairs all enjoy a ceremony and celebration here. The ground-level guest bathroom is not ADA compliant however.

02. Capacity

I see that there is a 20-person capacity at Promise Ridge, does that count my fiancé/fiancée and me? What about infants and children, do they count toward the 20? 

Because of the limitations of the natural space along the edge of the ridge, there is a 20-person capacity to groups who gather here for ceremony and celebration. Every human who gathers for the ceremony counts toward that capacity. There is no wiggle room. 

We don’t, however, count the professional vendors working the event (i.e. celebrant, photographer, private chef, cinematographer, acoustic musician, etc.) toward that number.

03. Are there certain timeslots? 

We can conduct ceremonies any time of day, so there are not predetermined time slots per se.

The time the sun sets is the biggest factor in advising couples about when to start their event. Promise Ridge microwedding ceremonies include 90 minutes onsite, if a couple is intending to add reception-style catered features (like special dances, a sparkler exit, seated dinner, cake + bubbly, etc.) you can simply add up all of the corresponding time needed to accomplish your celebration goals, to figure out how much time you will need to extend after ceremony. The average couple extends 2.5 – 3 hours, making the total event time here 4-4.5 hours. When trying to determine the best time to plan your event here, type into google, “sunset stroudsburg {the date of your wedding}”. We recommend that 30 minutes after sunset is the latest you would be here. Take that hard end time (sunset time + 30 minutes) and subtract your total event time. That will give you a ball park idea of when your arrival will be and what time to tell your other vendors (photographer, florist, musician) to plan for.

04. Pets

Our puppy is part of our family, is Promise Ridge pet-friendly? 

Yes, leashed well-behaved dogs are welcome to join at Promise Ridge gatherings. Here on the Ridge, there are a multitude of stimulants (other wild animals, wind, potted plants) so you’ll want to have someone designated to be in charge of your furry friend for before and during the ceremony. The kindest way to include your pup in your wedding celebration, is to have them present for photos before the ceremony and then to have a dog sitter take your puppy back home or to your hotel. It is very exciting being on the ridge, so often even then most calm well-behaved dog, is higher strung in this environment.

05. Children

Do kids count toward the capacity? 

Yes every human counts toward the 20 person capacity limit. In order to have a truly magical ceremony experience, we recommend that all toddlers and rambunctious little ones have an adult designated with the responsibility of their safety along the edge of the ridge, so that the couple can focus and be present in the moment.

06. What Happens If It Rains?

We’re thrilled about all the protection our new beautiful pavilion provides from the elements.

If it is non-stop rain when you’re here for your ceremony, we’ll simply move the ceremony seating under cover of the overlook pavilion and let the mountain views be your ceremony back drop. Many couples who have been here during on/off rain, venture out along the ridge and in front of the Living Wall during breaks in the sprinkles for some pretty epic photographs.

07. Self-Uniting Marriage License

We have a self-uniting marriage license and want to have a friend officiate, is this something allowed? 

Promise Ridge is the at-home ceremony space of Celebrant Alisa Tongg, and is only available for couples whose ceremonies she officiates.

08. How do most people use their 90 minutes on site?

People usually use their time here like this:
  • 0:00 Couple arrives with photographer, first look, dress portraits in Mural Room
  • 0:30-:45 Guests arrive and make their way out to Infinity Deck for ceremony (whatever this time is, is the time you should put on your invitation)
  • 0:50 Ceremony (15 minutes for Elopements, 20 minutes for microweddings)
  • 1:10 Photos with family, groups etc.
  • 1:30 everyone heads out to dinner somewhere, or for couples extending their time here for a family style gathering, this is when cocktail hour, cake and bubbly and/or sit down dinner begins.

09. Is there a place for us and our families to get ready?

Most people come here camera ready (meaning hair and makeup are done) so that they don’t use a disproportionate amount of their 90 minutes onsite getting ready. Instead, they prefer to use their time here taking photographs, being in the moment and of course, getting married!!! Couples tend to use the Mural Room as their personal space to leave their belongings and take formal portraits. 

10. Tour

When can we come see the venue? 

Because Promise Ridge is my home, I don’t do tours—it would require extra expense/personnel to prepare the grounds for non-ceremony visitors and I want to keep Promise Ridge an easy and stress-free experience. I am happy, however, to schedule a consultation to speak on the phone, Skype or Facetime, to explain my process for creating a personalized ceremony and answer any questions that will help you feel comfortable with this as your ceremony location.

11. Music

We really want to have a first dance, is that possible? How does that work? 

Our number one recommendation is that couples hire a professional acoustic musician to provide the soundtrack and dreamy vibe of their big but micro day. Working with a professional musician adds one more layer of care and customer service because they will help orchestrate all those important moments so that you don’t have to be directing everyone. And don’t worry, we don’t count the professional musician working your event toward your 20 person capacity.

Our second choice recommendation is that couples prepare a playlist of the songs they want to be a part of their day (for walking up the aisle, first kiss, family photos, and important dances etc.) bring a Bluetooth speaker and designate your coolest friend to be music coordinator for the celebration.

DJs and other outside event-hosts, are not permitted.

12. Photographers 

Who do you recommend for photographer? Do we have to choose someone from your list?

We’re fortunate to be near so many talented, kind and skilled photographers. While you are free to hire whomever you want, we can absolutely recommend everyone listed below on account of their past performance making Promise Ridge couples gleeful.

13. Video/Film

Do you have recommendations for filmography?

14. Live Streaming / Virtual Wedding Capabilities 

For couples who want guests to be able to participate in the day, hear vows, witness a first dance and toasts – check out:

15. Florists

Are there recommended florists who can create bouquets, boutineers, and some other special arrangements for our gathering afterward?

16. Hair and Makeup

Is there anywhere nearby that I can have my hair and makeup done?

Of course, here is a list of salons that specialize in bridal styles.

17. Accommodations

I think we’ll make a holiday out of this, where should we stay? 

Promise Ridge is located in the Pocono Mountains in the town of Stroudsburg. Condé Nast Traveler Magazine recently designated the Delaware Water Gap as “the most beautiful place” in all of Pennsylvania, and we agree, there are several charming B and Bs, historic hotels and a ton of vacation rentals within minutes.

18. Nearby Restaurants

We want to meet up with a larger group of friends to celebrate after our intimate ceremony, is there a place nearby that is good for moving our celebration to?  

Absolutely, here is a list of our favorite establishments  that will be able to take care of a group.

These are our favorite and consistently dreamy filmmakers, *indicates photo and film packages are available.

19. More Info & Booking

All of this sounds great, how can I book a date and find out more about extending time after ceremony for a catered celebration?

We’d love to help you start planning your Promise Ridge microwedding or elopement! Please submit an inquiry through the form on our website when you are within a year’s time of the desired date. If you are flexible on the particular date, please include desired month, season and/or day of the week you are open to, and we will respond with all of the available dates that meet your criteria. Due to the volume of inquiries for Alisa Tongg’s Celebrant services and Promise Ridge availability, we only respond to inquires that meet our booking standards (ie: capacity and are not for more more than a year away.)