Post # 1
Newly engaged bee here just started the wedding planning process! FI and I have done some online research and our shortlist of venues to check out in person includes the following:
-The College of Physicians (Mutter Museum)
-Philadelphia Horticulture Center
-Front and Palmer
Obviously, these venues are pretty different from one another (as you can tell, we haven’t really narrowed in on what we want our wedding to “feel” like). But if anyone has had their wedding/been a guest at any of these venues, could you share some of your experiences? Just trying to get an idea of what’s out there. Any advice is welcome! Thanks 🙂
Post # 2
NurseAllie85: We looked at Tendenza when we were looking for venues. Tendenza is owned by Cescaphe, and while we ultimately picked a Cescaphe venue, we did not pick Tendenza. It was a little more modern than we were looking for. Any of the Cescaphe venues will be on the pricey side, but they include EVERYTHING (amazing food, taxes, gratuities, table cloths, tables, chivari chairs, 4 tier cake, etc.)
I can tell you that my experience thus far with Cesacphe has been wonderful! We are getting married at the Downtown Club in 2015. So basically, I’m really biased but I think any of the Cescaphe venues are wonderful.
I’ve also heard great things about Front and Palmer.
Do you have a budget in mind? The price range REALLY varies with the venues you have named!
Post # 3
Thanks for the tip on Cescaphe- I really like the idea of a wedding package that includes almost everything! Perhaps we’ll check out some of their venues other than Tendenza… Speaking of which, how far in advance did you book the Downtown Club? We want to get married in October 2015, and I’m not sure how fast venues book up in Philly. Thanks for your input!
Post # 4
NurseAllie85: Hey there, Im from right outside of Philly. You have a good variety of ideas there, and the more you explore and see places in person, the clearer and more specific your vision will become! My suggestions:
-The Mutter Museum is a really cool idea, and if I were a guest at your wedding, Id think it was awesome. HOWEVER. There are many, as we all know, overtly traditional and pearl clutching members in all families/groups of friends. If you dont care at all what other people think, go for it, but I guaruntee there will be at least a few people that are ‘offended’ youre holding your wedding in a museum with medical oddities and deformities on display.
-Suggestions: have you guys checked out the Camden Aquairium? They have a huge ballroom with an amazing view of Philly and the entire one side wall is the glass of the shark tank! Its an awesome venue.
Also, there are many wineries in the New Hope/Bucks County area, which is not far from Philly at all. And speaking of New Hope, theres a brewery/bar/restaurant there called Triumph that Ive been to many times, and always thought it would be an awesome place for a wedding reception.
Good luck in your search, keep us updated!
Post # 5
NurseAllie85: We are getting married at Front & Palmer this summer and our experience has been nothing short of amazing so far. The coordinator we are working with, Elisabeth, has been fantasitc. They do big tastings 4 times a year and the next one is in June I think, so that would be an amazing time to see the venue because they decorate the whole thing and serve their awesome food. We had looked at the Horticulture Center, but there’s no A/C so it wouldn’t work for our summer wedding. Another similar place you might like is the Kimmel Center. Either way, I can’t recommend F&P enough so far. And their food prices are crazy reasonable, and the food is delicious!!!!
Post # 6
NurseAllie85: We booked in December for a Saturday in June of 2015. We took the last Saturday in June that the venue had available. Cescaphe is known for booking up quickly.
Have you been to their website and looked at their menus, etc? I definitely think it’s a good idea to visit their venues in person! From the photos online, I didn’t think I would be crazy about the Downtown Club but I thought that I would LOVE Tendenza. As it turned out, it was the other way around. It’s hard to tell from photos, and they don’t do either place any justice!
Post # 7
Thanks, everyone! These were just the kind of responses I was hoping for- not crossing anything off the list yet, and adding some great ideas for other venues to check out. Since my FI lives in Toronto, my mom and I will be doing most of the in-person venue-scouting legwork. I’ll keep you posted on how it all turns out 🙂
Post # 8
NurseAllie85: If you’re going to make a day of it, there’s a few other nice venues in Philly I would highly recommend (other than, of course, the Downtown Club!), especially if you have the budget for it!
– If you want the cool look of a museum without the worry of freaking some guests out, I’d highly recommend you check out the Franklin Institute. It’s gorgeous for weddings.
– The Please Touch Museum is also very popular.
– The Ballroom at the Ben is another inclusive venue. It’s pretty but more traditional.
– The Hyatt at the Bellevue is very traditional, but gorgeous. Great if you have an enormous guest list.
– Also, not sure how far you want to travel but another Bee who is interested in more modern venues just booked at One Atlantic. It’s got floor to ceiling windows looking out over the ocean. It’s gorgeous!
Let us know what you decide 🙂
Post # 9
If you’re looking in the Philly area, check out the Camden Aquarium too. We wanted to book it, but it was out of our price range. We had a law prom there one year in law school and it was GORGEOUS, and the food was delicious.
Also, a friend of mine got married at the Constitution Center a couple years ago, and that was gorgeous too.
Although I must admit, I’d love a wedding at the Mutter Museum. It’s one of my favorite place in Philly.
Post # 10
Oh and to give an idea of when we booked Front & Palmer – we booked in May 2013 for a July 2014 wedding. Not sure about other venues, but F&P was just rated one of the top venues in the country in Brides magaize so our coordinator said they are getting a lot of inquiries. I don’t think you need to panic yet by any means, but good to start looking early (and lock down 2014 prices!!). The more popular spots in Philly will likely book earlier than others, so if you start early you’ll get your pick of dates and venues/vendors!
Post # 11
So we toured Tendenza and the Downtown Club this morning- I added it on your recommendation. I was absolutely blown away by the Downtown Club!!! It’s now my first choice. We have one more stop to make this afternoon (the Mutter Museum), but I’m feeling pretty sold on Cescaphe at the moment. Thanks for all your help!
Post # 12
NurseAllie85: Oh awesome — I’m so excited for you! That’s sort of what happened to us, too. We checked out the Downtown Club, not being overly impressed by their online photos, and the moment we stepped out of those elevators we knew we loved the place! So glad you liked it 🙂
Just an FYI: Cescaphe lets you place a 10 day no obligation hold on a date. Considering how quickly Cescaphe books up…I’d recommend this if you still aren’t sure but are leaning in that direction! We booked a day with the 10 day hold and at the end of 10 days, had them send us the contract! It was great because we got the last possible Saturday in June. If you’re serious about them, I’d ask about their hold and about dates they have available!
Let me know what you finally decide! Also, we’ve gotten pretty far in our planning process so if you need help with anything else, just let me know! Always nice to know some other Cescaphe brides 🙂