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March 31, 2017 / diamondsanddetails

“Let’s Start at the Very Beginning” – Picking the Perfect Venue

After you find the perfect guy or girl, put the perfect ring on the finger and set the perfect date, the next step is finding the perfect venue!

One of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process is the very beginning – finding the perfect place to host your wedding day.  Many of our planning clients specifically hire Diamonds and Details because the process to find a venue to fit their guest count, budget and needs can be very overwhelming.  Once you help a client find the right venue, putting the rest of the wedding planning pieces together generally flows very easily.   Thankfully, the Philadelphia area, especially Center City, offers many unique and beautiful venues for our clients to choose from.  I recently had the opportunity to tour some new venue spaces to the Diamonds and Details team – The Inn at Penn (a Hilton Hotel) and Houston Hall in Perelman Quadrangle at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Houston Hall – Bodek Lounge (photo from Perelman Quadrangle’s Facebook Page)

During the day, Houston Hall is buzzing with UPenn students and smells of insanely delicious Insomnia Cookies.  What doesn’t come across at first glance is the unique event space the building offers. With several different options for event space, Houston Hall offers Brides and Grooms the opportunity to have their ceremony, cocktail hour and reception all in the same location.  With several large rounded marble staircases in the building, the possibilities for a first look photo would make any photographer go photo crazy!  The venue has significant history to Philadelphia and UPenn as it dates back to the 1890s.  At one time the Hall even had a swimming pool and bowling alley in the bottom floor!  Rental pricing for Houston Hall starts around $6000 and includes rental of the entire event space and its facilities, linen rentals, banquet tables and chairs, uplighting for the banquet room and a private space for both the Bride and Groom to get ready.  (There is also options to upgrade your rental package with speciality linens and chairs, an outdoor ceremony, etc.)

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Houston Hall – Hall of Flags (photo from Perelman Quadrangle’s Facebook Page)

One of the most appealing aspects of having your wedding at Houston Hall is the opportunity to bring in a caterer of your choosing.  The venue also is a great option for larger weddings as it can host up to 250 guests comfortably and offers several hotels for guests to stay at within walking distance.  The venue even offers valet parking for an additional cost on the night of your event.  We had a great time touring with the Venue Manager Kate (she is actually getting married on site this year!) and can’t wait to explore all the options the venue offers with future clients!

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The Inn at Penn (a Hilton Hotel) – (photo from Inn at Penn’s Facebook page)

Located just a few blocks from Houston Hall and right next to the UPenn school store, is the Inn at Penn.  The Inn recently completed a renovation of all of its hotel rooms (wedding guests will love iPads in every room!) and its wedding and event space, The Woodlands Ballroom.

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(Photo from Inn at Penn’s Facebook Page)

The Ballroom offers Brides and Groom a modern, unique space to host their wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.  The recent renovation added stunning chandeliers and new flooring to the room, as well as a space on one end of the ballroom perfectly designed to feature a flower wall or custom designed chuppah.  Brides and Grooms can even choose the option to utilize the hotel’s outdoor space for their ceremony and cocktail hour and then come back into the Woodlands Ballroom for dinner and dancing later in the evening.  While the event space at the Inn at Penn sells itself, right now the hotel is offering three incentives if you book your wedding there: A complimentary rehearsal dinner for up to 30 guests, a complimentary post-wedding breakfast for up to 40 guests and 100,000 Hilton Honors points.  One of our most asked questions from clients is where should I host my rehearsal dinner, the Inn at Penn makes this easy for you!  Pricing for Inn at Penn weddings starts at around $150/person and their space would easily host a 150-200 guest wedding comfortably.  The hotel offers 245 guests rooms and valet parking can even be included in your wedding event package for those guests not staying at the hotel.  A highlight of our tour with the on site Wedding Specialist Michelle was dining in their award-winning Italian Restaurant Penne.  (The hotel would be a great choice for those wine-living Brides and Grooms!)  We look forward to working with Michelle in the future and presenting the Inn at Penn to future clients!

These two venue options are some of our new favorites in Center City but we also love working with many other hotels and unique spaces.   Email us today about planning your wedding and we can start exploring your options!

Stay tuned to the Diamonds and Details blog in the upcoming months as we feature more venues and wedding day professionals we love working with!

  • Amanda
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