Post # 1
I’ve recently begun planning for a 2014 wedding, and I’ve been searching for unique and affordable venues in or around Philadelphia where I can bring in my own caterer and alcohol.
So far the places I have come across that seem like they might fit the bill are: The Painted Bride Art Center, the Maas Buiding, and Awbury Arboretum. I was wondering if anyone who has looked at, booked, or held their wedding at any of these venues could provide me with some information about their experiences and impressions of them.
Or, if anyone has suggestions for other Philadelphia venues that are somewhat unique (no hotels/banquet halls!), affordable (under $2,000, ideally no more than $1,500 for a Saturday night), and where I can use a caterer of my choosing, I’d love to hear them!
Thank you in advance for any help and information you can provide!
Post # 3
Palmyra Harbour in New Jersey and Glenside Hall in Glenside are under $2000
Post # 4
For how many? Check out Colonial Dames. You can bring your own caterer and alcohol.
Post # 5
It is a little over $2,000 for a Saturday night, but Bolingbroke Mansion in Radnor is beautiful and allows outside catering and alcohol.
Post # 6
We aren’t in Philly, but the biggest thing we did that is saving us money is to find a restaurant of about the right size, and their “rental” is based on a minimum spend. That means you get something for every dollar. We moved it from a different venue, where we would have to pay $2000 for the venue, then bar and catering on top of that. We are now at a venue that is a $3000 minimum spend, so that first $2000 no longer goes into a black hole. $3000 is a STEAL on a Saturday night, and I can’t believe we got it, and at the venue we really wanted all along, but lost track of, couldn’t remember the name of, and couldn’t find for a long time. Everything ended up working out perfectly. Another place (that we like better) was a $10,000 minimum spend, but that’s way too much for us. Also, the decor is almost perfect already, so we won’t need to do much except add a few touches here and there.
The drawbacks are that there may be less open space for dancing, though that can be accomplished by moving tables if you go to a restaurant that seats more than the number of guests you have.
Just do some research, and start phoning around. Key questions are:
- What is the minimum spend for weekends, weeknights, holidays, etc. Use the phrase minimum spend, so no one tries to take advantage of you by saying “no no that was a rental fee”
- Will they bring in specific wine or other liquor for you
- Can their chef do a special menu
- Will they allow a band/dj (if you want one)
- What is their maximum capacity for both of a stand up and a sit down reception
- What type of liquor licence do they have? (Research the liquor laws in your state/city so you know what the different types are)
- IMPORTANT – What time would you be able to get into the venue to start setting up, and will they let you rearrange tables, etc.
That’s all I can think of at the moment.
Post # 7
Thanks everyone who has provided tips thus far! I’m still especially interested in any information anyone has about Awbury Abroteum.
Post # 8
Awbury Arboretum is nice but it doesn’t scream “wedding” to me. (And no, I do not necessarily need a banquet hall or some ritzy place to call it “wedding”). We visited it on a trip in the fall and they look like they’re staffed solely by volunteers. There are ample amounts of green space, but the main house is more like a historical home with exhibits than a home you can do a reception in. It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong…
Post # 9
We just went to a wedding at the Maas building on Friday night and it was wonderful. You’re in trouble if it rains, but it was great to have the wedding in the garden. There weren’t enough seats for all their guests though (approx. 100), so a lot of people had to stand and couldn’t see very well. It’s definitely cost effective though. They brought a food truck up right outside (Pitruco Pizza) and they made the pizzas and brought them into a table in the garden.