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Shopping & Style

Ask The Expert: The Most Stylish Places To Get Married In Philadelphia

March 12, 2013 7:00 AM

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Once she’s said “yes” to the ring, the next big step for a happy couple on the journey to the wedding of their dreams is to choose the perfect venue. Many couples today seek that ideal location where function blends with ambiance, where the bride and groom can receive their guests in a setting that reflects their unique sense of style and romance. Philadelphia holds many such jewels, explains wedding planner and event manager Renee Patrone, who shared some of her favorite locales.
Renee Patrone
Events by Renee
120 Bloomingdale Ave.
Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 688-3164
www.eventsbyrenee.net

Renee Patrone of Events by Renee provides a team of experienced, energetic, fast-thinking coordinators to ensure a flawless, stress-free wedding. As a trusted partner, Patrone and her team will help the happy couple sort through the options from the moment he asks to the moment they both say “I do,” or seamlessly manage the small and large details the day of and week of the wedding. In addition to coordinating weddings in the Philadelphia area since 2007, Renee has helmed numerous events and fundraisers and has seamlessly managed the National Constitution Center’s Glitter City Gala New Year’s Eve Party three years running.

Lemon Hill Mansion
Sedgeley & Lemon Hill Drives
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 232-4337
www.lemonhill.org

Guests will savor traditional Philadelphia as they toast the bride and groom at Lemon Hill Mansion. Among the finest examples of the Federalist style that’s so quintessentially Philadelphia, Lemon Hill Mansion is situated high in Fairmount Park, offering ambiance and romance inside and out. Whether hosting their guests inside the Mansion or under tents in the lush gardens outside, everyone enjoys breathtaking views of Philadelphia’s skyline – if they can take their eyes off the bride and groom!

“Guests love posing for photos in the gardens at Lemon Hill Mansion,” says Patrone, “especially at night with beautiful views of the city behind them.”

Tip 1: Think outside the box

Mansions, as with other historic buildings that have been converted to host special events, may not have the indoor capacity to seat large parties, and spaces where food and beverages (red wine, for example) may be served are sometimes restricted as a safeguard to protect antique or valuable carpets, rugs and furnishings. Additional seating and spaces with relaxed food and beverage policies can often be easily added by tenting lawns, patios or garden spaces.

The Arts Ballroom
1324 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 554-6808
www.artsballroom.com

Steeped in a traditional elegance, The Arts Ballroom will take your guests’ breaths away from the moment they step into the marble entry hall. Private dressing rooms are tucked away upstairs where the bridal party prepares to receive their guests, later watching the arrivals from the Juliet balconies before descending the stunning staircase to the ballroom. Sparkling crystal chandeliers reflect a muted gray and white pallet that signifies classic elegance. Couples will find the cuisine as well matched to the ambiance as they are to one another, with the exclusive caterer (Stephen of Starr Events) preparing food and beverages for guests in the Arts Ballroom.

Tip 2: Make a grand entrance

The venue and its surroundings, no matter how spectacular, should frame — but never upstage! — the bride as she makes her entrance into the ceremony or reception. Patrone recommends the Arts Ballroom as the backdrop for a fairytale entrance down the grandiose staircase into the huge ballroom below. The high ceilings, muted colors and the glow of candlelight are a compliment to any bridal color palette.

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Independence Seaport Museum
Penn’s Landing
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 413-8655
www.phillyseaport.org

Couples yearning for a waterfront wedding without going all the way to the beach can turn to the Ballroom and Ballroom Terrace at the Independence Seaport Museum. The impeccable staff of Brulee Catering, exclusive event staff to the Independence Seaport Museum, greets guests as they are whisked to the rooftop ballroom via an enormous elevator that doubles as a bar serving signature drinks. The time of day contributes to guest satisfaction, as they can enjoy maritime activities and views of the Delaware by day or watch the sunset’s glimmer against the river as dusk settles in. With the right timing and a bit of luck, guests can even be wooed by fireworks over the water.

Tip 3: The element of surprise

“Couples are always pleased to learn that they can have a spectacular waterfront wedding right in the heart of Philadelphia,” Patrone explains. “Guests enjoy the element of adventure from the moment they board the venue,” she shared, adding, “They always love the unexpected surprise as a bartender serves up signature wedding-color-themed drinks in the elevator on the ride up to the ballroom.”

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Racquet Club of Philadelphia
215 S. 16th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 735-1525
www.rcop.com

The Racquet Club of Philadelphia is the perfect wedding venue for any season. Winter, summer and anywhere in between, the venue has an aura that embraces couples and their guests. The rich colors and décor, marble floors, unique artwork and high ceilings reflect an understated elegance and the warmth and welcoming one would expect from such a beloved historical landmark. A favorite for fall and winter weddings, the decor works particularly well for brides hoping to integrate holiday decorations into their wedding theme. A baker’s dozen of beautifully appointed sleeping rooms can be booked by the bride and groom and their families, and for those couples hoping to extend the party, an after party in the more casual downstairs pub can be arranged as well.

Tip 4: Don’t forget the after party

It’s popular these days to extend the party past the reception, explains Patrone, who often arranges with venues like Racquet Club of Philadelphia to set up and cater after parties to follow the reception, usually in a more casual bar or pub-like setting.

Stotesbury Mansion
1923 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 567-2910
www.thestotesburymansion.com

The Stotesbury Mansion is just a stone’s throw from Rittenhouse Square, and this historic landmark has a story that is almost as intriguing as the tale of how the bride and groom met. The layout, décor and space are ornately adorned, leaving little for the couple to worry about when it comes to decorating. A variety of spaces and room combinations can facilitate any size wedding party, with each person made to feel like royalty. Feastivities Catering is the exclusive catering service provider at Stotesbury Mansion, giving even the most discerning couple creative, cutting-edge catering ideas that guests will rave about for years to come.

Tip 5: It’s all in the details

Couples want their special day to be unique, beautiful, intimate and memorable. Venues like the Stotesbury Mansion enchant couples, says Patrone, with their interesting history and intimate setting.

“It’s almost like inviting guests into your home,” explains Patrone, “but a home that just happens to be a mansion — charming beyond expectation, where special touches abound, such as an exclusive caterer, beautiful spaces and even a private pool table for your guests to enjoy.”

Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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