The Venue Hunt: Outdoor Ceremonies in Philadelphia

As wedding planners in this great city of Philadelphia, we’re constantly on the hunt for the perfect wedding reception venue.  However, sometimes a couple will have checked that off of their list already. What they’re missing is somewhere to actually get married. With church weddings seeming fewer and far between, the search is on for a lovely location to say I Do.  And if you’ve always dreamed of getting married outdoors, we’ve rounded up a few ideas for outdoor ceremony locations in Philadelphia proper.

Morris House Hotel: At the Morris House Hotel, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Their outdoor garden area is nestled between bustling city blocks and is surrounded by the boutique hotel’s rooms and restaurant. It certainly has that magic garden feel as you step away from the city and into the secluded courtyard. When we say the best of both worlds, we’re talking about the tent! The courtyard has a clear top tent permanently installed so that rain or shine, your outdoor ceremony plan is the same. When it’s raining, the tent makes for a fabulous greenhouse feeling and if it’s beautiful, the tent seems to fade away.  The location is perfect for walking to several wedding venues as well, including the Ballroom at the Ben, Union Trust and the Atrium at the Curtis Center.

photo by M2 Photography | Florals by Fresh Designs Florist

photo by M2 Photography | Florals by Fresh Designs Florist

The Independence Seaport Museum: We love the rotunda at the Seaport Museum for an outdoor ceremony because the beautiful white stone structure seems to sit atop the Delaware River in full view of the ships and the Ben Franklin Bridge. 360-degree city views make for incredible wedding photos! Before your ceremony starts, guests can explore the museum, which has a full display of Philadelphia maritime history, plus some fun exhibits that we know your guests will love. If it rains, you’ll have to move indoors but the museum has a room ready for you with a wall of windows facing the water.  If you’re a summer or winter bride, the nearby Spruce Street Harbor Park makes for more awesome photos and entertainment for your guests and the waterfront Hilton couldn’t be more convenient.

Race Street Pier: Right next door to the Seaport Museum is the Race Street Pier. With the impressive Ben Franklin Bridge overhead, your guests will stretch out down the pier over the water. 

photo by Shannon Collins

The Shambles at Headhouse Square: This full city-block long, covered structure is one of the most unique venues we’ve ever seen! Surrounded by cobblestone streets, this long narrow property will seat guests in small rows on either side of an impressive aisle. The open-air sides give you full view of the city around you while you’re covered in case it rains. The staff will block traffic a bit during your actual ceremony but you’re definitely right in the middle of things so expect the general public to be nearby!

Philadelphia Center City Parks: The city of Brotherly Love is all about sharing the Love…for a fee. Dilworth Park is right smack next to City Hall and is one of the newest spaces to host events.  Sister Cities Park is adjacent to picturesque Logan Square and it’s amazing fountains. John F. Collins Park is tucked away behind gates in a landscaped courtyard and would make for the most intimate of ceremonies. While beautiful, these outdoor locations don’t have alternate buildings to house your guests in inclement weather so you may have to reserve tents or find a Plan B locale.

Philadelphia Historic Grounds: If showing off Philadelphia’s best side is important to you, a historic venue might be your best bet. Besides boasting a beautiful carousel in the park, Franklin Square has a large lawn for your ceremony and can brag about being one of William Penn’s original parks. We also love the Betsy Ross house for events. The historic courtyard makes for such an interesting space and everyone will remember learning about our favorite flag maker.

Have you found any favorite places we can add to our list?? Even though Philly weather may not alway be conducive to outdoor weddings, it doesn't stop us from trying!