Recent research indicates that the average cost of a traditional wedding in Philadelphia ranges from approximately $20,000 to $34,000. This is not to say that your budget should be anywhere near those numbers. Once you have determine a realistic budget, your next step would be to decide when and where. Home-based weddings can be intimate and lovely if organized properly, but there are several important things to consider before you make that commitment.

1. Space – Depending on the layout of your home, you may need to clear away some living space to make room for the reception. Removing furniture and filling the space with tables and chairs for your guests can be a lot of work, and costly for that matter. If the party is to be outdoors, how much manicuring is needed to make your yard wedding appropriate?

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2. Parking – Living in Philadelphia can sometimes create a parking dilemma. Parking is a big factor in the number of guests you plan to host. If there is a parking deck or lot near you, will it be able to handle the volume of cars on your big day? One option may be to hire a shuttle to bring your guests from a designated parking area to your home in order to alleviate the struggles of finding a spot.

3. Food and Beverage – Hosting an intimate wedding at home could very well offer a home-made meal. If you have a chef in your circle of friends and family willing to take on the task, customize your menu to serve a fabulous selection. Just keep in mind the clean up that home cooking requires. Caterers are ready and able to arrive with your selection and stay throughout the party to serve your guests and clean up after. If you plan properly and all guests have proper seating, you can offer buffet-style or homestyle serving with portions for each table. Beverages can be self-serve, unless you would like to offer mixed drinks in which case you may want to hire a bartender.

4. Decorations – If you are the crafty type, you could generate some beautiful centerpieces, favors and decor with your already existing skills. There are plenty of do-it-yourself resources at local craft stores and online that will aid in your decorating efforts. Bear in mind, if cost is a large factor, do-it-yourself projects can be equally as expensive as ready-made decorations, as well as time consuming. The level of transformation you wish to achieve will determine how much of your budget will go to decorating.

5. Entertainment – Your wedding should be everything you hoped for, and if that includes some of your favorite songs and a dance floor, your neighbors may not appreciate the extra noise. Your location will determine the type of entertainment that is appropriate. Soft romantic music playing throughout your reception may be exactly what you are looking for, in which case positioning a good quality stereo could be all you need.

You may need to hire various companies to complete some of the aforementioned tasks. Refer to these local companies during your planning process:

Day By Day Restaurant
2101 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 564-5540

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Day by Day offers caterers that specialize in weddings and private, in-home parties.

Miel Patisserie
204 S 17th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 731-9191

Miel Patisserie has a selection of both classic- and modern-style wedding cakes and desserts.

Parties And More
1241 Ford Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
(215) 245-6000

Parties and More provides party rentals with huge selections of wedding needs.

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Leslie Gerhart is an artist, photographer and social butterfly who hands her hands in every creative task she can. Having a young son, she is always on the prowl for an exciting adventure or new idea to try on a tight budget. She uses her unique perspective to seek out cost effective ways to change up the routine and break out of the normal day to day monotony. Her work can be found at