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Northern Nevada Wedding Venues - 3 Historic Ceremony and Reception Locations

Updated on November 28, 2013

Prodigious Destination Wedding Sites

Extraordinary wedding locations are sought after by many brides and grooms in their quest to have a unique wedding experience. There are numerous venues in Northern Nevada that are quite unusual and afford a noticeably nontraditional setting for those seeking to marry in an atypical location. Three prominent small town wedding and reception sites with intriguing historical backgrounds endowed with uncommon surroundings yet perfect for an enchanting wedding are the Orchard House, Gold Hill Hotel, and St. Mary in the Mountains Catholic Church.

Orchard House

Beautifully situated in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range lies the sparsely populated town of Genoa, the oldest permanent settlement in Nevada. Genoa, previously named Mormon Station, was given its name in 1855 by Orson Hyde, an elder in the Mormon Church. Initially, explorers and trappers travelled through this area, but it wasn't until John Reese and his party built a trading post in 1851 that it began to attract settlers and become a permanent settlement. Genoa later became a commercial center during the "Territorial" days.

Located in the center of this oldest settlement of Nevada is the Orchard House, a Bed and Breakfast establishment with approximately two acres of lawn and garden area devoted to outdoor weddings. Carl and Hope Falcke were the founders of the Orchard House and, prior to the origination of this Bed and Breakfast lodge and wedding facility, the property served as a personal residence for the family for five generations.

Elegant Outdoor Setting

The Orchard House contains an attractive, open garden area intermingled with century old fruit trees, providing a tranquil wedding day setting. The ceremonial site is quite spacious, which allows for the accommodation of very large parties of up to 400 people. Because of its substantial size, the location is perfect for an optional horse and carriage entrance that will carry the bride to her waiting groom.

Having impressive views and positioned in a small town with an "Old West" heritage, the Orchard House is a great setting for a formal or informal wedding.

Gold Hill Hotel

You'll step back in time to the days of the Comstock Lode era of the 19th century when you arrive at the Gold Hill Hotel. This historic hotel is the oldest in Nevada and played an important role during the bustling gold mining boom days of its adjacent neighboring town, Virginia City, one of the largest cities in the west during the "Big Bonanza" years of the 1870's. Though the exact year of construction is uncertain, popular belief is that the Gold Hill Hotel was built in either the year 1859 or 1862.

Located one mile south of Virginia City on State Route 342 in the town of Gold Hill, this notable hotel of the "Old West" overlooks Gold Canyon and comprises several different wedding and reception areas. The Great Room is one of the hotel's indoor locations that engenders a romantic feel. The room's distinctive decor includes Victorian era furniture, a large fireplace, striking wooden floors and a very old winding staircase, an excellent means for the bride to make an elegant grand entrance. Once the vows are consummated, the Great Room is converted into a toasting stage and dance floor.

Gold Hill's Outdoor Venue Option

A second optional location is outdoors at the Gazebo. Located across the street near the Brewery Lodge, the gazebo area consists of scenic landscaping and displays beautiful views of the Sierra's. The Gazebo venue is able to function as both a ceremonial site and reception area that can accommodate sizable parties.

Another option the hotel has available for wedding receptions and an assortment of other events is the Gold Hill Hall. The hall was originally built in the 1870's but decayed over decades from natural weathering. Now fully restored, Gold Hill Hall serves as a reception hall that can accommodate up to approximately 50 guests. With a service kitchen and bar available, this newest addition can supply all your wedding celebration needs.

St. Mary in the Mountains Catholic Church

St. Mary in the Mountains is Nevada's oldest Catholic Church and lies in the heart of the legendary town of Virginia City, a once boisterous mining town in the 1800's that is now a well-preserved ghost town attracting millions of visitors each year. Setting the background to this historic town and church is Mt. Davidson, the highest peak in the Virginia Range.

Father Hugh Gallagher was responsible for the first Catholic Church built in Virginia City in 1860, but the constructed wooden edifice collapsed from heavy winds shortly after being built. Father Patrick Manogue built its successor following his arrival on the Comstock in 1862, and the completed structure was dedicated in 1864.

Virginia City's Growth Necessitates New Church

Because the Comstock Lode silver strike caused a population growth, a bigger structure became necessary, resulting in construction of a larger brick building. The new church included a spire measuring approximately 127 feet, a Gothic style interior consisting of pointed window and doorway arches, a twenty-one foot alter imported from France, and a church bell weighing 2,264 pounds with a 100-pound clapper. The bell rang for the first time when St. Mary formally opened for service in 1870. However, much of the structure was destroyed by the "Great Fire" in 1875, a disaster that devastated much of Virginia City.

The St. Mary in the Mountains Catholic Church that stands today was rebuilt in 1876 on the ruins of the previous church with more grandeur than before. The reconstruction included a choir loft and galleries in addition to a Gothic style wooden alter. The new construction was dedicated by Bishop O'Connell in September of 1877. Although Cistercians, a group of monks, took over management of the church in 1957 and stripped the ornate interior, a massive restoration and retrofit program occurred in 2009, returning the church to much of its former glory.

Present Day St. Mary in the Mountains

Today, a great deal of the interior you see within this beautiful structure dates back to 1876. The church spire is now approximately 140 feet tall, and the 2,264 pound bell that survived the "Great Fire" still rings on occasion to this day.

With unprecedented beauty in the midst of a town that embraces an exciting and enriching history of the legendary "Old West" existence, St. Mary in the Mountains Catholic Church provides an enticing setting for a very beautiful and sanctified wedding experience.

Weddings of the West

Wedding venues boasting a heritage of an unusual nature tend to have an allure for numerous brides and grooms looking to have a wedding day to remember. A great deal of Northern Nevada ceremony and reception locations available present extraordinary settings, many of which lend itself to the days of "Old West" settlements. The Orchard House, Gold Hill Hotel, and St. Mary in the Mountains Catholic Church are three particular sites that engender an atmosphere of distinction, each with its own enriching history that will vastly add an appreciating and enlivening ambiance to your wedding day experience.

Lake Tahoe Wedding Venues

There are many exciting wedding and reception locations in Lake Tahoe, a small historic town bordering Northern Nevada and California. Visit the website of Alpenglow Weddings in Lake Tahoe and view the largest alpine lake in North America. You'll also see Tahoe's famed wedding location, Emerald Bay, one of the most photographed places in the world.

Tell us about your upcoming wedding or simply leave us a comment.

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