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Philly venues

This is my first time posting. We’ve spent the last couple months doing what I feel like has been an exhaustive search of venues in the Philly/New Hope area. We will have about 125 people (though flexible) and are not on a super tight budget. We’ve seen a lot of very nice places, but nothing that is exactly what we’re looking for. Ideally, we’d like the ceremony and reception to be largely indoors but with some kind of outdoor elements (cocktail hour outside, some kind of terrace, big windows, etc.) though I would be ok with outdoors if it’s covered. Trying to avoid hotel ballrooms, country clubs, barns, and probably tents. The trickiest part is that we would like the venue itself to be in a location guests will enjoy so they can spend the weekend and have any easy time getting to and from everything, which is why we’ve been looking in more populated places. Ideally the ceremony, reception, after party, and hotels would all be within walking distance. We realize this is not completely feasible, but we’re seeing what we can find. So far our favorites are:

Morris House Hotel: Loved, but would be largely outside so very weather dependent. Also a rather small space, worried will be cramped

Glen Foerd: Beautiful, but a little out of the way and they are replacing their reception space with a tent

Holly Hedge: Again, beautiful but a little out of the way and also wasn’t a huge fan of their reception space

Lambertville Station Inn: Probably our front runner. Worried it may be a little too wedding-factory like, especially after their new renovations

We’ve also looked at Lemon Hill, Water Works, and Centre Bridge Inn, and have plans to see Morris Arboretum, Awbury, John James Audubon Center, Pomme, Colonial Dames, and Abington Art Center…told you we’ve done a lot of research!

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Re: Philly venues

  • You might want to think about looking in Phoenixville, although it is in Montgomery County, it's very close to the Audubon Center.  It is a town full of restaurants and little shops. Valley Forge National Park is 5 minutes away.  King of Prussia Mall is enormous for guests that like that.  Nearby are quaint little towns like Skippack - which is also filled with lots of cute shops and restaurants.  In Phoenixville itself is Columbia Station - a vintage, historical train station (with a train that still comes by)  They can do a ceremony inside or outside and have amazing food.  They also own a relatively newly restored place called the Barn on Bridge which has beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces in Collegeville - about 12 minutes from Phoenixville.  You can also check out the Foundry in Phoenixville.  It's a beautiful restored steel mill that is really unique and has wonderful spaces.  The nearby hotels run shuttles.  You'll have access to some B&B's.  There are some fun bars in Phoenixville and an old movie theater.  There really is a ton to do in the area.  There wouldn't be a parking problem at any of them. 
  • My wedding was at Columbia Station and it couldn't have been any better.  The food was outstanding.  The Ryans also cater at the Foundry.  If you think you want to check it out. my florist is doing a show at Columbia Station tomorrow at 1:30.  YOu can do some food tasting, learn about flowers, and tour the location plus the other two venues nearby.  Check out my florist's blog for the flyer.  whimsicalwelcomesflowers.blogspot.com   It should be worth the trip there.
  • We are getting married at the Belle Voir. It is part of the Pen Ryn mansion. You might like the mansion (smaller and more intimate). They are flexible with budget too. They are located in Bensalem along the river which is a nice backdrop. The inside of the mansion has a lot of character.
  • Belle Voir, Pen Ryn Mansion are near Glen Foerd and they are great prices and spaces. You could try partyspace.com they have unique venues. My fiance and I didn't want anything with carpet, or wallpaper so we went with a more lofty industrial venue that has brick walls and hardwood floors and we are having our ceremony and reception indoors and our cocktail hour outside on a deck. Finding a venue I found was the HARDEST part of planning. It sets the tone for the whole wedding.
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  • My fiance and I recently booked our ceremony/reception at the American Historical Swedish Museum in South Philly.  We found the location through Party Space, and I was intrigued because I've lived about five miles away for years and had never once heard of it.  Most of our site visits were more traditional locations- Old Mill, Glen Foerd, etc.- and we were looking for something different... the second we arrived we both absolutely fell in love.  Our ideal venue attributes were really diverse and seeminly impossible to find in one location- unique, local, on the water, and had something "different" to entertain the guests... The Swedish museum was surprisingly perfect!  You get the full venue- which includes an indoor "grand room", tons of galleries, and lots of outdoor space just steps from the lake in FDR Park.  We're planning on having our ceremony on the steps of the grand room (beautiful murals), an indoor/outdoor cocktail hour, and then outdoor dinner and dancing on the main entrance.  It's so different, I'm absolutely in love!  There's unique architecture, a skyline view of the city... I honestly don't know why it's such a secret!  Jeffrey Miller recently got the exclusive contract for catering, too, which was a huge plus.  Since they do the Lake House & Racquet Club, as well, I was shocked we were able to afford them.  It isn't exactly within walking distance of Center City- but it's only a couple of blocks from the Broad Street line so it would definitely be an easy commute for your guests.  I know the subway isn't for everyone (I think it's hilarious to picture my wedding guests and I all dolled up on it... so excited)- but it would also be like a 10 minute cab ride.  Might be worth checking out!
  • Have you checked out the Painted Bride, Top of the Tower, Entertainment Cruises, Atrium at Curtis Center? Oh my gosh, there are so many places between Philly and New Hope. 
  • mcm709mcm709 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    When we started planning our wedding, we went about it with precisely the same thought process.  As my fiancé always says, “We are having a destination wedding, without the destination.”  In other words, we love the idea of everything being in close proximity and easy for people to get around.  So let me suggest our venue, the Aldie Mansion in Doylestown.  After visiting a ton of places, including all of your favorites, we felt like the Aldie was our best option and Doylestown was a great place for people to come & stay.  We love it even more now that we have had the opportunity to experience Jeffrey Miller Catering (in house caterer) more closely and now realize how amazing their food is.  We rented out the entire Doylestown Inn for the whole bridal party which we are so excited about.  There are 11 rooms in total, so it is a perfect fit for the whole party.  We then blocked off rooms at 2 other nearby hotels to give some options to our guests.  We are providing transportation on the day of from the hotel to the Aldie & back but in the grand scheme of things, it is not that much of an expense to include.  
    Anyway, you should really give the Aldie a look & otherwise, would just highly recommend anywhere else that Jeffrey Miller is the caterer because they are fantastic & you cannot go wrong.  

    Best of Luck! 
  • cspolalescspolales member
    10 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited November 2014
    I second the two earlier posts! You should absolutely look at JAM (Jeffrey A Miller) Catering as they have exclusive contracts with amazing venues. They do weddings at the American Swedish Historical Museum (which is my venue) and are AMAZING to work with!  We recently had our tasting and it was all delicious!  Our particular venue is mostly outdoor space (but has an indoor option) and is beautiful! They also provide a tent at that location so you don't really have to worry about weather if you utilize the outdoor area (and honestly, why wouldn't you? The backdrop of the park and lake are amazing).  But, they do weddings at other venues as well, including the Philadelphia Racquet Club which is also a great space. My wedding is also going to be about 125 people so I also looked at a lot of the places on your list and the racquet club and museum were my favorite! The museum is not walking distance from center city (It's in FDR park) but is close enough to the broad street line to get back. The Racquet Club is in Rittenhouse, so it's highly walkable.

    Good luck with the search!
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