As a wedding photographer based in Philadelphia, I’ve seen and worked at so many unique non-traditional wedding venues in the city and surrounding areas. My documentary, true-to-life and organic style of photography works best for non-traditional, modern couples who choose venues that reflect their style and aesthetic. I want to share my knowledge of local venues and experience photographing couples who had their celebrations there.
Because there are so many great venues I wanted to feature, I broke my list down to 5 categories: INDUSTRIAL/URBAN/LOFT, ONE-OF-A -KIND/UNIQUE/ECLECTIC, RESTAURANT/BAR/COFFEE SHOP, OUTDOOR/BOTANICAL/ARBORETUM, HISTORIC/MUSEUM/ART GALLERY. They are listed in no particular order. I’ve photographed in most of them multiple times and truly enjoy coming back! Hope this is going to be helpful for Philly couples planning their upcoming celebrations. Feel free to comment or message me if you’d like more information or have questions.
1) POWER PLANT PRODUCTIONS (more info)
Location: Old City
Vibe: minimal, clean, white, modern
Special touches we love: huge camera-shaped Photo Supply neon sign and giant globe lights that create an intimate atmosphere
I’ve worked at Power Plant Productions many times and it’s always a joy to come back. Located in the heart of historic Old City, Power Plant Productions is in an ideal spot for great photo locations right around the corner (Race St. Pier, Elfreth’s Alley, etc). Besides being an event space, Power Plant has been a photography studio for many years. It features tall ceilings, white brick walls and massive industrial windows. Bonus point, you can get ready at the stylish Lokal Old City just blocks away.
Check out this modern stylish Power Plant Productions wedding.
2) FRONT AND PALMER (more info)
Vibe: industrial, intimate, low-light
Special touches we love: cool sign outside, unique light fixtures by local Fishtown artists, string lights for the ceremony area
Front and Palmer is another favorite of ours that we work at multiple times a year. We love that it’s located in the neighborhood our studio is in, Fishtown. The neighborhood has tons of character with its murals by local artists and multiple cool new bars and restaurants. Perfect vibe for modern, vibrant photos with an urban feel. The building was originally a former barrel factory that still has some of the original details (think exposed walls and vents). Bonus point: this pigeon mural a block away.
Check out this winter same-sex wedding at Front and Palmer.
3) FAME (more info)
Location: North Kensington
Vibe: industrial, cool, open
Capacity: up to 500
Special touches we love: huge windows and rooftop access for photos!
FAME is the newest Feast Your Eyes Catering venue in North Kensington. It’s on the top floor of a former textile factory and has a gorgeous view of Philly skyline. They can do flexible space layouts for different size events but can fit up to 500!
4) BOK (more info)
Location: South Philly
Vibe: hip, fun, different
Capacity: varies depending on the space
Special touches we love: their beautiful getting ready space, the rooftop (obviously!), all kinds of cool old details from the time it was a school
This South Philly event space is a former vocational school that has been transformed into a very cool multi-use space. Besides being a wedding and event venue, it also has artist and small business studios, a coffee shop, two restaurants (and probably something else by the time you’re reading this!) The best part is their huge rooftop that has an amazing panoramic view of Philly! They offer multiple spaces you can use for your ceremony and reception (Gym, Auditorium, Rooftop, Workshop, etc). BOK provides a beautiful getting ready space for their couples. We love that they make multiple spaces in the building available for couple photos, which makes it easy to create a variety of cool portraits without leaving the building.
Check out this DIY South Philly rooftop wedding at BOK.
5) THE HORTICULTURE CENTER (more info)
Location: Fairmount Park
Vibe: botanical, plant-filled, bright
Capacity: up to 300
Special touches we love: their variety of plants in the greenhouse, cherry blossoms right outside in the spring
This gorgeous botanical historic venue is located in Fairmount Park. The Horticulture Center (or The Hort) is the only greenhouse venue in the area, so it’s a must-see for plant lovers. The best part is that your event can be held indoors or outdoors and both options are beautiful. The outdoor part is versatile and has a long reflecting pool. There are cherry trees right outside of The Hort, which means cherry blossoms for spring weddings! You can also have a beautiful winter wedding in the greenhouse (which is heated and filled with natural light!)
6) TERRAIN (more info)
Location: Glen Mills, PA
Vibe: boho, intimate, stylish, modern rustic
Special touches we love: too many! the firepit at night, their food presentation, ever changing seasonal design displays that work perfectly for photos.
Terrain might just be the perfect place to get married! We love its modern rustic vibe with natural wood and an abundance of plants. It is located on the historic site of J. Franklin Styer’s nursery, a Philadelphia landmark for over 100 years. Every detail of the space is thoughtfully designed and provides a beautiful backdrop for wedding celebrations with a touch of boho. Your ceremony can be held both outside (in the garden in front of a wooden wedding temple) or inside (in the hothouse) and it’s a tough choice to make because both are stunning! You can get ready on the property in the beautifully restored Mushroom House filled with lovely rustic details. The main event space (Garden Shed) features rustic farmhouse tables and twinkling globe lights for an intimate setting for your reception. The food at Terrain is amazing and the presentation and attention to detail is truly impressive. Also, their staff is friendly and personable (and stylish!) and makes you feel at home. Their fire pit might be our favorite little touch. In short, Terrain takes care of everything from start to finish so that you can relax and have a stylish and memorable celebration!
Check out this fall Terrain wedding with some vintage touches.
7) MAAS BUILDING (more info)
Location: Olde Kensington
Vibe: urban garden, cool, intimate, original details
Special touches we love: the cool old blue entrance doors that can be a perfect ceremony backdrop, the trailing vines
The MAAS Building is truly a hidden gem in Olde Kensington area. The building itself used to be a brewery, a trolley car repair shop and an architectural salvage space before the new owners restored it to its former glory. The best part is their urban garden with a cobblestone path, trailing vines, concrete planters and a fire pit. Perfect for a smaller, intimate celebration. Bonus point: tons of cool murals and colorful garage doors nearby for photos.
Check out this rad boho wedding with pizza, donuts and beer on Philly Mag!
8) MATERIAL CULTURE (more info)
Location: East Falls
Vibe: eclectic, quirky, artistic, international
Special touches we love: the fact that your guests can browse the entire store, massive farmhouse tables they let you use for dinner, all of the art and decor items
Material Culture is technically a 60,000 square foot emporium specializing in antiques, art, crafts, rugs, furniture, architectural elements and decor from around the world. But you can also have your wedding there! It’s a truly one-of-a-kind space that is sure to impress your guests. The best part is that they allow your guests to browse the entire building and there is a lot to see. In-house catering is provided by a James Beard award-winning chef Aliza Green. Her Mediterranean meals, usually served buffet-style, are among my favorite wedding meals ever!
Check out this colorful same-sex wedding at Material Culture.
Celebrating at your favorite restaurant or bar has become a popular trend in modern weddings. First of all, you already know the food and drinks are fantastic (DUH!) Second, it makes for a more relaxed and non-traditional evening that feels more like an intimate dinner with your closest people without too many formalities. Third, most of these places have stylish design already and don’t need much in terms of decor. A WIN WIN situation!
9) MISSION TAQUERIA (more info)
Location: Center City
Vibe: bright, filled with natural light, colorful, neon signs, plant-filled
Special touches we love: neon signs, all the plants, how colorful and fresh their food and drinks are!
Mission Taqueria’s space is truly a dream! Think neon signs, plants everywhere, open floor plan with huge windows and tons of natural light, large communal tables and colorful furniture. The vibe is very Mexico City and we love it. Their menu has colorful Margaritas made with fresh juices, festive tacos with made-to-order tortillas, spicy salsas and more.
Besides weddings, they can host your rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch.
Check out this taco-filled wedding on Philly Mag!
10) OSTERIA (more info)
Location: N. Broad Street
Vibe: warm, inviting, intimate
Capacity: 60 for the glass-enclosed patio, 120 for the entire restaurant
Special touches we love: hanging plants on the patio, the food really is amazing!
Osteria is one of the country’s most critically acclaimed Italian restaurants. Their food is out of this world and they have an impressive wine list to match. The can host private events in the entire restaurant (120 people) or in the glass-enclosed patio with tons of natural light and hanging plants (for up to 60 people).
Check out this intimate wedding at Osteria on Philly in Love blog.
11) LA COLOMBE FISHTOWN (more info)
Vibe: cool, trendy, industrial, modern
Special touches we love: the best coffee ever at your wedding, their building is really cool
Imagine having your wedding at the coolest coffee shop in the heart of Fishtown! Well, La Colombe Fishtown Flagship location is now available for hosting wedding receptions for up to 100 people. Their huge space with high ceilings, exposed brick walls and a huge mural by ESPO (!!!!) is surely going to impress your guests. The food is fresh and delicious, their craft cocktails are great and you’re definitely going to have the BEST COFFEE at your wedding reception!!!
For an ultimate Fishtown wedding, get ready at the nearby Lokal Fishtown or WM Mulherin’s Son’s hotel. The area right outside of La Colombe is full of character and perfect for modern and vibrant photos.
Check out this cool Fishtown wedding at La Colombe on Philly Mag.
12) BARBUZZO (more info)
Location: Center City/Midtown Village
Vibe: intimate, clean, modern
Special touches we love: their massive collection of cookbooks as part of the decor, budino!
Barbuzzo is a Mediterranean kitchen and bar with a beautifully designed private event space on the 2nd floor. Their food is amazing (octopus! bronzino! and possibly the best dessert ever, salted caramel budino!) Events at Barbuzzo feel like an intimate dinner with your friends and family. Their event staff is the best! Barbuzzo can also host private rehearsal dinners.
Check out this intimate Barbuzzo restaurant wedding.
13) PHILADELPHIA DISTILLING (more info)
Vibe: modern, industrial, light-filled, minimal
Special touches we love: massive glass windows that let you see the inside of the distillery
Philadelphia Distilling is a working distillery with a huge, bright and open tasting room with a view of handmade copper pot stills and a 30-foot marble bar. Their craft cocktails are truly impressive and the staff is accommodating and friendly.
Check out this fall Fishtown wedding at Philadelphia Distilling.
14) MARTHA BAR (more info)
Vibe: cool, intimate, neighborhood-y
Special touches we love: awesome outdoor patio, fireplace, their selection of house made kombuchas
Martha is the closest bar to our studio in Kensington and we just really love this place. How cool is it to get married at an awesome local bar with excellent drinks and interesting local food?! We agree.
Check out this Fishtown wedding of a Philly Brewer on Philly Mag.
15) AWBURY ARBORETUM (more info)
Vibe: nature-y, Victorian, botanical
Special touches we love: their wrap-around porch!
With its 55 acres of green space in the historic Germantown section of Philadelphia, Awbury is a perfect spot for an outdoor wedding in nature. Their gorgeous Victorian stone mansion with floor-to-ceiling windows and a magnificent wrap-around porch is a perfect backdrop for photos. Dinner and dancing are held at a white large tent with catering by Peachtree.
16) BARTRAM’S GARDEN (more info)
Location: West Philadelphia
Vibe: green, garden, lush, outdoorsy
Capacity: up to 300
Special touches we love: their meadow with the gorgeous view of Philly skyline
Bartram’s Garden is a historic botanical garden on the riverfront in West Philadelphia that’s perfect for a garden wedding. There’s a stone barn on the property where you can get ready. Ceremonies and cocktail hours are usually held outdoors in the garden and there’s a pavilion overlooking the river for dinner and dancing. The garden paths, waterfront and the meadow with a view of Philly are perfect for couple photos. Fun fact: I live in West Philly and this is the closest wedding venue to my house. I also enjoy walking around Bartram’s in my free time and love watching the sunset by the river!
17) THE WOODLANDS (more info)
Location: West Philadelphia
Vibe: historic, nature-y, unique
Capacity: up to 125
Special touches we love: Hamilton Mansion’s covered porch
The Woodlands is another hidden gem of a venue in West Philadelphia. I might be biased because I live in West Philly and LOVE walking around Woodlands every week! An oasis of green with majestic old trees in the middle of West Philly, The Woodlands is technically a Victorian-era cemetery but don’t let that scare you away. Events at The Woodlands center around the historic Hamilton Mansion, which is a perfect backdrop for an outdoor ceremony and an indoor/outdoor reception. Victorian-era mausoleums can be a killer backdrop for photos for the right couple!
18) AMERICAN SWEDISH HISTORICAL MUSEUM (more info)
Location: South Philadelphia
Vibe: nature-y, relaxed, historic
Capacity: up to 200
Special touches we love: access to the pond and FDR skate park nearby for some cool photo ops.
ASHM is located in FDR park in South Philly. This unique venue is close to Center City but makes you feel like you’re surrounded by nature with its lovely park and access to a pond. The museum itself is really cool and available for your guests to browse through, as well as to hold indoor ceremonies in case of rain. The lawn in front of the museum and the tent with hanging garden lights are a perfect setting for your cocktail hour (with lawn games!) and reception.
Check out this colorful, creative wedding of 2 artists on Philly Mag.
19) MORRIS HOUSE HOTEL (more info)
Location: Washington Square/Old City
Vibe: secret garden, historic, quaint, intimate
Capacity: up to 100
Special touches we love: how intimate the courtyard celebration feels
Morris House Hotel, with its historic charm and breathtaking courtyard garden, is truly a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Washington Square. It’s a hotel, restaurant and event space all in one. Perfect for an intimate outdoor courtyard celebration! We love that their rent is see-through so it provides shelter from rain but lets in all the natural light.
20) COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS (more info)
Location: Center City West
Vibe: academic, quirky, historic, elegant
Capacity: up to 350
Special touches we love: the medical library on the second floor, medicinal herb garden outside
College of Physicians, founded in 1787, is one of the oldest professional medical organizations in the country. It’s well known in Philly for being home to the Mutter Museum. Located in Center City West, this gorgeous 1908 building is a wedding venue that’s historic and elegant. One of the perks is that your guests can tour the Mutter Museum during cocktail hour. Ceremonies can be held in the outdoor garden or inside the library and both locations are really cool.
21) PAFA (PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF FINE ART) (more info)
Location: Center City
Vibe: artistic, elegant, immersive
Capacity: up to 300
Special touches we love: being surrounded by amazing art!
PAFA’s landmark historic building is the oldest art museum and art academy in the country. Being able to browse PAFA’s multiple galleries during cocktail hour and reception provides your guests with a unique immersive experience. Also, being right on Broad Street and just blocks away from City Hall makes it a perfect location for a memorable Philadelphia celebration. Bonus point: David Lynch is one of the most famous PAFA alumnus!
22) BARNES FOUNDATION (more info)
Location: Center City/Art Museum
Vibe: elegant, modern
Capacity: multiple spaces with different capacity up to 320
The Barnes is conveniently located on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Its modern architecture and a legendary collection of post-impressionist and early modern art makes it an incredible and immersive wedding venue. The outdoor areas of the Barnes are perfect for photos with its modern reflective pool, marble and greenery.
23) BAHDEEBAHDU (more info)
Location: Old Kensington
Vibe: design-forward, industrial, intimate
Special touches we love: the really cool light fixtures made by Muller and Thornberg
Located in Old Kensington, Bahdeebahdu is an art gallery and workshop of two Philadelphia artists/designers, Warren Muller and RJ Thornberg. Their super cool industrial space is filled with their own work (unique light fixtures, cool furniture and art pieces). Bahdeebahdu is perfect for an intimate wedding for an artistic couple.