Philly -private venue and catering vs restaurant location

I've been looking at different venues to bring a caterer in... but now that I'm starting to look at prices for catering, it might be smarter to go with a restaurant. 

My top venue choices so far are fleshier art memorial and Crane arts- the icebox. Cool spaces but now to find a reasonable caterer. Since we will be suppling our own alcohol, I was hoping to get food for $50 head... is that unreasonable? 

Restaurants we started looking at for wedding... mosulu .. packages start at $110 person with lots of extra fees hidden. Any leads on a cool inclusive venue?



Re: Philly -private venue and catering vs restaurant location

  • I booked an all-inclusive with Jeffrey Miller, and that's around where their prices start- except there aren't really any hidden fees included.  I had looked at a ton of venues.  I'm super type A and had spreadsheets and lists of all the cool venues "in my budget"... when I quickly realized none of the initial quotes included taxes or 20% auto-grat.  This obviously totally blew all of my budgets and eliminated a lot of the venues I was interested in.  The last venue I saw was the Swedish Museum, where JAM is the exclusive caterer.  It was awesome, and I was prepared for the same let-down, but they are totally upfront with all costs.  When they say they have options for around $110, they mean it's for $110- not $110 PLUS all the other extras venues usually don't include in the listing.  Sure it's not $50/head, but they've been great so far with everything.  Flexible, communicative...  I'm even using their floral division since I trust them so much!  They have a lot of different venues around here, and I would definitely recommend checking them out if you're looking for something inclusive.
  • Try the Iaste Ballroom in South Philly. Its behind the Ikea. I was quoted starting at $105, that includes taxes and grat. plus 5 hours open bar. Its like a hidden gem! We are book for 2016.
  • I totally second the Jeffrey Miller Catering suggestion.  They have a bunch of different venues and allow you to bring in your own alcohol.  Although menus start around that price point they're really flexible and able to work with you to meet what you need to stay within your budget.  Their food is also delicious!
  • More on Jeffrey Miller Catering...the bistro menu for 2015 actually starts at $101.50/person, which is a more reasonable price per head than anywhere I looked. The only difference for the bistro/plated menu is that there are no butlered appetizers with the bistro menu. However, the bistro menu includes up to 4 appetizer stations, so who cares! JMC allows you to bring your own alcohol in, which is another huge savings, and they do NOT tack on gratuity; gratuity is up to your discretion. This is a big difference from everywhere else that I looked.
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