Reception Venues: Center City for under $80pp?

Hi ladies,

I have my heart set on a center city venue (Philadelphia) but haven't been able to find one that seats 200 people and ends up being less than $88pp (including site fee).  Must haves do include open bar and sit down meal.  I'm just starting my search and REALLY hoping my expectations are not too high.  Any ideas/good finds?  Cutting the list is not an option (big family).  HELP!

Re: Reception Venues: Center City for under $80pp?

  • edited December 2011
    I had a extremely difficult time finding a venue I liked at that price point on a Friday night in the 'bubs two years ago.  For center city, I am thinking you may find yourself needing to up the budget.  TO be truthful, I had to up the budget as well to get what I wanted outside the city. Not in CC, but still in Philly are halls owned by P&P Caterers, which a number of girls here(andat least one guy :) have used and liked.
  • edited December 2011
    Welcome to the group, Steele!

    I do however agree with LRM that you may need to reevaluate your budget if you can't cut the guest list (I hear you on that one.  Between the two of us, we have over 150 family members... we managed to get it down to 112 by not including children of cousins).  

    Could you look into Fridays or Sundays as an option?  I know some (not all) venues will offer a lower rate since those aren't peak days.  Also getting married not between June and October can help a bit as well. 

    Also... don't forget to include 21% for gratuities.  Most venues include that in their final contract, but it isn't included in the initial pp price.   It depends on the venue. 
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  • ev4149ev4149 member
    500 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I agree that you will likely need to reevaluate your budget.  Definitely look at Fridays and Sundays, esp Sunday afternoons.   Also look at the off season (i.e., January) to get price down.  Center City is VERY expensive - most of the Center City places I looked at were at least double your current budget, even on a Friday or Sunday.  Perhaps you can find a restaurant that can fit 200 who can do your budget, but most of the traditional wedding venues (hotels, etc.) will be out of range.
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  • CaitC21CaitC21 member
    edited December 2011
    I agree with PP

    Look at Fridays and Sundays

    Look into Nov-March weddings
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  • Stacylynn702Stacylynn702 member
    edited December 2011
    Not to be a downer but even on a Friday or Sunday, I'm not sure you'll be able to find what youre looking for.  Is there a way you can spend less money on other things in order to up your reception site budget?  What kind of venue are you looking for?  I actually started looking outside of the city (chester county) b/c I couldn't find a place I liked in my budget either.  Turned out, the places in Chester County weren't that much less so I just made sure to do my homework with other vendors and found a way to afford a wedding in the city.  Do you live/work in the city?
  • edited December 2011

    Total cost per person is around $100 but I'm taking the tax + gratuity into account.  I started negoiating (or trying to) with what specific caterers offer and am getting closer to where I wanted price wise- but definately not what I was hoping for.  I'm ok upping the budget to an extent, but for food/alchohol/rentals only I've been really surprised how expensive this is going to be!  My FAVORITE site so far (that is totally out of any budget fluffing) is PAFA on Broad St.  $4500 rental + about $180/pp BUT they leave the entire gallery open so you're guests are able to walk around the art through out the event (not to mention the amazing photo-ops).  My thought process was that this would "save" money on flowers :)  I need to get better at this planning bit.

  • Stacylynn702Stacylynn702 member
    edited December 2011
    a museum wedding will run you more than many hotel weddings.  If you're willing to check out some hotels, the Double Tree on Broad St. is closer to your budget.  It's a ballroom but the location is great.
  • Priya310Priya310 member
    edited December 2011
    try the Lowes.  we looked there and it ended up being about $85 a person.  the only problem is that parking is not included and their valet is $16 a car.
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