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Saying ‘I do’ at Kentucky State Parks

Remember your wedding day?  You probably do and in great detail. Most couples planning to get married want a beautiful experience they will always remember fondly—and that should include the location. For lovers who love the great outdoors, there’s no better place to tie the knot than our Kentucky state parks. 

State park weddings are becoming increasingly popular, and they are big business for the parks. “People want to get back in touch with the natural world and Kentucky is so diverse we can offer an incredible variety of settings, from mountains with stunning overlooks in the east to massive Kentucky and Barkley Lakes in the west,” says LaDonna Miller, sales and marketing director for the parks.   

With 44 parks, including 17 state resort parks, those settings are practically unlimited. One couple got married aboard a sailboat at Mill Creek Lake, part of Natural Bridge State Resort Park. 

Miller adds, “We can work with any budget. Some just want a small wedding with a few people and a scenic backdrop. Others like to go all out, and we can accommodate more than 300 people with our large conference centers, restaurants and lodging at the state resort parks.”  Many of the parks now offer locally grown food with top-notch chefs at the helm.  

Wedding parties can make their own special memories as well through outdoor activities that run the spectrum, such as golf, fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, group hikes and even rock climbing.      

Miller says group sales coordinators from her department are available to help plan the big day. You can also design your own wedding or bring your wedding planner with you.   

June may be the most popular wedding month, but couples get married in every season according to park officials. Imagine a backdrop like Cumberland Falls or Pine Mountain State Resort Parks in the peak of fall color. 

Even better, the state parks are undergoing a major renovation.

In a program called “Refreshing the Finest,” the Commonwealth invested $18 million in 2016 and another $20 million in 2019 for many needed facility repairs and upgrades including building repairs, new lodge roofs, campground and swimming pool repairs, new furniture and fresh paint for the rooms in all of the state resort parks. So, the old state park nickname,  “the nation’s finest,” which has been around for decades, rings true once again for that special wedding day.

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