While traditional wedding venues such as banquet halls, country clubs and hotels are still popular wedding locations, in the past several years, there’s been a noticeable shift in the locations couples are choosing to hold their weddings. Many couples are holding their weddings in more unique settings, venues which don’t usually come to mind when one thinks of a wedding day.
According to the last available annual wedding survey compiled by The Knot, only 28% of couples held their wedding ceremony in a house of worship in 2014. And 40% of couples searched specifically for unusual locations for their wedding event. Historic buildings and farms are top choices for couples wishing to tie the knot somewhere “outside the box”.
The internet and sites such as pinterest play a huge role in the venue shift. Before the internet, we knew to hold our weddings where our families and friends held their weddings. Now, photos and videos of all kinds of weddings posted on the internet show couples that there’s so much more out there to choose from. Plus, there’s more focus today on making your wedding unique, both to personalize your event to your own tastes and lifestyle and to make your wedding different than any other wedding your guests have attended.
We’ve filmed many weddings at these less traditional venues… and really enjoy having the opportunity to see so many of them in a completely different light “after hours”! We’ve spotlighted a few venues, such as The Please Touch Museum and the Franklin Institute in past posts as well. Here’s a few more Philadelphia area event locations that are definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a wedding venue that will have your guests talking!
1. The Philadelphia Zoo: After visiting the zoo just recently, we were reminded just how beautiful a setting this is! Mature tress provide a lush canopy of green overhead and winding trails lead to historic buildings housing exotic animal exhibits. The zoo offers your choice of six unique locations to hold your wedding event. From the intimacy of the McNeil Avian Center and Plaza, featuring colorful birds from around the world, to the larger two-story PECO Primate Reserve with unobstructed views of frolicking lemurs and squirrel monkeys and impressive great apes, the Philadelphia Zoo certainly delivers a unique wedding day alternative!
2. Eastern State Penitentiary: Recently, Eastern State Penitentiary decided to open its gates to couples seeking a very different wedding day experience. Once the most famous prisons in the world, Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829 and was known for revolutionizing the prison system… and for confining some of the most notorious criminals in the US. After ceasing operations in 1971, the abandoned castle-like neo-Gothic prison fell to into ruin. In 1994, the historic prison institution was reopened as a museum offering public tours and today, offers couples the opportunity to hold their wedding ceremony during much of the spring, summer and fall seasons. A specialist will help you plan your ceremony in the central rotunda and currently offers rentals of up to 100 guests for two hours in the evening, chairs, audio/visual equipment and staff assistance for you to recite your vows just steps from Al Capone’s one-time (rather lavish) prison cell.
3. The College of Physicians of Philadelphia: This historic building in the western part of Center City Philadelphia is home to the oldest medical society in the US. This stately venue features a columned Marble Rotunda highlighting a grand staircase, spacious banquet halls and a library-like parlor filled with dark wood panelling and opulent period furnishings. But most people know its slightly more disturbing (yet very interesting!) on-site museum, the Mütter Museum. This museum is renowned for its collection of historic medical instruments, anatomical specimens and medical oddities. Although the museum itself cannot be rented, guided tours can be arranged for your guests for an additional charge.
We were treated to a visit to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia when our clients Sarah and Nick held their wedding reception there. Their ultra unique wedding was made extra special with “blood themed” cocktails, a nod to the medical profession and the museum. Check out the film we created for Sarah and Nick’s wedding and the other unique Philadelphia area venues for some exciting wedding location alternatives!
February 9th, 2016
by Kristi Chapman
in Tips & Ideas