(Closed) Philly Venues

posted 10 years ago in Philadelphia
Post # 3
Member
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House

F.U.E.L. House!  (Of course, I’m biased, as this is where my reception in August ’09 will be.) 

Harrise has been very responsive to my emails, and Brandon is willing to assist by providing measurements of anything inside the venue (which could be really helpful planning from afar!).  Although the rental price is a bit steep, if you can (and are willing to) find more reasonably-priced vendors, it’s definitely worth it for such a beautiful and unique location, in my opinion!

My fiance and I didn’t look at the other venues you listed, since F.U.E.L. had everything we wanted — proximity to parks for pictures, smack-dab in the midst of our favorite park of Philly for the afterparty and a great contrast to our Main Line church ceremony location. 

Good luck in your search!

Post # 5
Member
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House

Feel free to!  When would your wedding be? 

We will be signing with Fleur De Lys catering — we decided to stick with one of F.U.E.L.’s "approved" caterers (like you said, to lessen the total cost by not paying to have an "outsider" come in). 

I’m happy to give you "the scoop" on our conversations (or lack thereof) with the other approved caterers. 

Post # 6
Member
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

well if you can pay fuel house’s RIDICULOUS rental fee (8000), then i say fuel house. but also keep in mind that you have to bring in all of the rentals (tables, chairs, linens, bars, etc.) so that rental fee skyrockets too. 

if you go with a caterer outside of center city, you’ll probably make up the extra $$ you have to pay for going with your own caterer (i did the math for a caterer we liked and it worked out this way). 

Post # 7
Member
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House

FDL catering — which I referenced in my above post — is keeping our costs (INCLUDING rental items) at close to $100 pp, which no other caterer (inside or outside the city) seemed able to do.  Given this, it’s not much more expensive (even including F.U.E.L.’s fee, which really is to help keep art up on the walls — so think of yourself as a patron of the arts!) than other locations (for example, Conroy Catering’s Glen Foerd or Knowlton mansions).

Post # 8
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

Skip the Doubletree – it is a bit run down and not nearly as unique as the others you mentioned!

Post # 9
Member
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I have heard that FUEL House is great, Fiance went to a wedding there when we were first dating and had a good time.  I also considered the Independence Ballroom and Top of the Tower but didn’t go to visit them for several reasons ($$).  I also didn’t love the layouts of Top of the Tower. 

Are you also having your ceremony at your reception venue?  That is another thing to keep in mind when you are looking at places.

Post # 10
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

I would totally go for the FUEL house, it’s a beautiful venue! How many guests are you having? It really depends on that and then you can make adjustements with your caterer to make the budget more reasonable.

 

Post # 12
Member
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House

Yogi:

Look into the Betsy Ross House courtyard for your outside cocktail hour space — it’s what Fiance and I hope to use! 

Post # 14
Member
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I really didn’t like all the stairs at Top of the Tower.  It’s kind of hard to explain what bugged me but I just didn’t love the vibe.  When we walked into the place that we are having our reception at, I just knew it was the right place.  I’m sure you’ll feel that way too when you go visit FUEL House.

Does anybody know if you can rent the Betsy Ross Courtyard for a ceremony?

Post # 15
Member
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

angie, you can rent the Betsy Ross courtyard for the ceremony (and for cocktails, if you wanted to). the only downside (it’s not a real downside, i guess, but for me it was) was that the gift shop would be open while we were using it (i didn’t want our guests to feel pressured to buy anything).  it’s a really cool space though, and we definitely would’ve used it had we gone with FUEL.

Post # 16
Member
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

if you have the $, FUEL is an awesome space in a great part of philly (ok so im biased since i live a few blocks away ;).  aka "the Real World House", i have been to lots of events there & altho i have never seen it set up for a wedding i can certainly picture it being fabulous. alas, we also eliminated it due to cost, altho for a larger (200+) event it may work out better.

top of tower- i was not impressed. first off, the new comcast building is going up on the southeast, cutting off the crucial view to center city from the ballroom, altho you still get great views to the parkway & north philly from other rooms. in my opinion, the location is just okay- it’s not the most attractive area of center city, the chairs were god awful teal that Fiance even commented about, and they basically give YOU the schedule of your event. if i remember correctly, cocktail hour is in a 8′-10′ (?) wide hallway, dinner is in a strangely angular room that gives a weird vibe, and then they shuffle you down the connecting "cocktail" hallway to the reception area. which is 2 levels. good things: your own private dressing area and you can get your pictures taken outside on the terrace (they close that for the rest of the event tho). i dont recall being wooed by the food options & they had 2 groups going at once to show potential clients so we waited around a lot. in my opinion, the view isnt great enough to look past the "meh" factor. Coulda just been the fact I thought you’d have a great view of the city.

Independence Mall Ballroom is great- outdoor terrace, decent decor, and the lady we worked with there was great as well. We were actually pretty set on the place & loved that you could have it all day to set up & what not.  Like many historical places in Philly, you have to hire security (some places include it). The problem we had was the single caterer. They were hard to get a hold of & didnt seem open to suggestions, altho I have to admit that we started looking at other places around the same time we were dealing w them & ended up somewhere else. You might be able to work things out w them & it would be cheaper than FUEL but in the same neighborhood.

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