New Yorker planning wedding in Philadelphia - Please Help :)

Hi, I’m new to this site and this is my first time posting.  I’ve been browsing other posts to get some information but figured why not try and post my specific questions here!  My fiancé and I live in NYC and just booked our wedding at Front and Palmer on 09/19/15.  I have family in the area, plus a Manhattan or Brooklyn wedding was just outside of our budget.  If you can help me with any of these questions, it would be greatly appreciated:

1) Hotels – we want to stay near Rittenhouse Square for “first look” photos since F&P is not in the best neighborhood (sorry to any Kensington residents out there!).  I reached out to The Rittenhouse, who are not offering any room blocks for that weekend (09/18-20/15).  We know that the pope is expected to visit the following weekend, but was surprised to hear that it would have any effect on our weekend.  Anyway, can anyone recommend hotels for wedding room blocks that have nice bridal suites in or around that neighborhood?  We’d love to have both higher and lower priced options for our guests, so are looking to block rooms in 2 or more hotels.

2) Officiant – I’m Jewish and my fiancé is Catholic, so we are looking for a priest/rabbi combo who will not only do a wedding for us, but will do it on Saturday before sundown (during Shabbat – I’m an awful Jew).  If not, we are looking for a non-denominational officiant.

3) Music – Our budget for music is about $5K and while our preference is a band, we’d rather an amazing deejay over a crappy band.  If we go with a deejay, we’d like someone with more of a hipster or hip-hop vibe as opposed to spiky hair, neon lights, etc.  Any suggestions?

4) Rehearsal Dinner – We’d love to keep this low-key.  Maybe rent out a section of a small restaurant (one with a garden would be optimal!).  

5) Photographer – I came across Lauren Fair photography while venue searching, but she is sadly booked for that date.  I received a quote from Love Me Do, which will end up being upwards of $8K for the photogs, videographer (reel and highlights only), and open air photo booth.  This doesn’t include any albums.  Any feedback on them, and/or their pricing?  They've been awesome in our communication with them so far and are willing to come to NYC for our engagement shoot,.

Any feedback about Front and Palmer would be appreciated as well.  Thanks SO much in advance!!


Re: New Yorker planning wedding in Philadelphia - Please Help :)

  • Check out the Loews! We got a great deal and they were super helpful! We are using one of ebe's bands. Check out their website and they usually do showcases every minty on Sundays of their bands! We're using for our photographer. He was great for our engagement pics!
  • Hi Lauren-good choice on philly--close and fun weekend away. I'm not sure if you're flexible on location but I live in old city and would highly recommend it over rittenhouse any day. There are cute, quaint, cobblestone streets, great backdrops for pictures (google race street pier, the painted bride, elfreth's alley) and it's much more convenient to Kensington. There are a ton of hotels-- an omni on 4th and chestnut, a great new Monaco on 5th and chestnut, a nice best western on 3rd and chestnut, a Wyndham on 4th and race, the Penn's view on front and market, and some smaller hotels. They vary in cost and quality. Washington square park is nearby, as are tons of cool, historic buildings--all good options for first looks. If you're really stuck on rittenhouse, maybe look at the kimpton on 17th and sansom or the Sofitel across the street from there. But you'll get much more bang for the buck almost anywhere else. For music, we're using no Macarena dj--a woman-owned company, and whose owner used to dj at an alternative station in philly. Good luck!
  • Hi Lauren!  I used to work at the Sofitel in Rittenhouse- both that and the Kimpton across the street I can vouch for as lovely, affordable 4 star choices just a couple blocks off Rittenhouse Square Park.

    We booked Daniel Fugaciu for photography- he's a character with an interesting perspective and an affordable budget.  We booked Have Music Will Travel for our DJ- pros who have been working in the industry for years and years and didn't seem too... DJ-y?  I have been to weddings which used No Macarena, and they've been great, as well.
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