Top Spots To Host A Wedding Reception In Philadelphia

October 3, 2013 8:00 AM

(The Fairmount Water Works sits along the Schuylkill River, below the art museum. File photo by John Ostapkovich)

With its history and picturesque locations, Philadelphia is one of the best places to host a wedding reception. Whether you’re looking for a classy venue or one with a more relaxed vibe, Philadelphia has you covered. Look no further than the following spots to host your wedding reception.

Pen Ryn Estate
1601 State Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
(215) 633-0600

On the over 100-acre Pen Ryn Estate sits two potential reception venues: Pen Ryn Mansion and Belle Voir Manor. According to its website, the estate is “known as the premier Bucks County riverfront estate available for weddings, banquets, corporate meetings and group tours.” To reach the buildings, you must take a beautiful 2,000-foot drive, and once there, you’ll witness the fantastic views of the Delaware River and gardens. Guests at Pen Ryn Mansion have access to the entire place, with a cocktail hour set up in the library, parlour and dining room. Belle Voir Manor is complete with a private suite, grand staircase and tall ceilings supported by ionic columns. Both places boast baby grand pianos, and since the estate has been around for more than 250 years, remind us of the glamor of past times.

Reading Terminal Market
51 N. 12th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-2317

Why not host your reception in one of the most distinctive and unique places Philadelphia has to offer? Every day, the market sees thousands of visitors seeking locally grown food, fresh meat and seafood and baked goods. After the market closes to the public, Reading Terminal opens its doors to private events, including weddings. The market is an eco-friendly venue that uses organic and locally grown food for its menu and naturally made products for its table settings. Formal sit-down dinners can accommodate 50 to 300 people, and if you have a lot of friends and family, the market can hold up to 2,500 for a reception. Conveniently located in Center City, there are many hotel options nearby, making it easy for guests to find somewhere to stay.

Please Touch Museum 
4231 Avenue of the Republic
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(215) 578-5186

The Please Touch Museum at Memorial Hall is located near the Schuylkill River within Fairmount Park. The museum is a unique and interactive venue to host your wedding reception with the capacity to hold up to 3,000 guests. Choose from one of its many rooms and exhibits and enjoy a number of exquisite backdrops, including a SEPTA bus or the 1908 Dentzel Carousel. All catering at the Please Touch Museum is done by Brulee Catering, a company that works with you to create a customized menu and the perfect dining experience for your big day.

Related:  Top Wedding Bands In Philadelphia

Water Works
640 Water Works Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 236-9000

Water Works Restaurant and Lounge, a National Historic Landmark, is located directly on the Schuylkill River and behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art – a picturesque and beautiful location. This venue offers a customized menu, and if you want something specific that isn’t listed, just ask and the staff will be happy to assist. A beverage package is included, and it can be enhanced to suit your needs. Ice sculptures, fireworks and releasing doves are just a few of the extras that can be added to your wedding day. Water Works also offers the opportunity to have your ceremony in its gazebo or on any of its verandas.

The Down Town Club
600 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 238-5750

The Down Town Club is located in Old City and offers panoramic views of Philadelphia. Looking down at Independence Hall, this club was built in 1921 and recently underwent a renovation to obtain the feeling and energy of the Industrial Revolution. If you choose this venue as your place to have your wedding reception, you’ll be treated to an elaborate cocktail hour, with custom-made cocktails and an extensive selection of hors d’oeuvres, along with an elegant seated dinner. The Cescaphe Event Group, which owns the space, provides a complimentary four-tier wedding cake, which you can customize for your perfect day.

Related: Top Wedding Photographers In Philadelphia

Kelly Neilson is a freelance writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her work can be found on

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