Philadelphia Wedding Venues: A Union of Past and Present

Philadelphia. City of brotherly love. It is as famous for its food and fictional characters as it is for its historical significance. It is also a city of firsts – We were the first American capital. We were the first American city to have a daily newspaper. We were also the first to have an art museum or a zoo. We were even the first major metropolis to have a hospital and medical school.  In fact, did you know that 1 in 6 doctors in the United States has had Medical Training in Philadelphia?! Not too shabby… 

 

One of the ways this historical city has maintained its prominence on a national and global stage is it’s ability to multi-task, to diversify. We are home to Rocky and The Rodin, the founding fathers and the Philly cheesesteak, The Museum of Art and the Mummers. It comes as no surprise then that some of the best wedding venues in Philly are ones that, like the city itself, also know how to multitask. Some of the most beautiful events spaces in the city started out as something else entirely, and/or function in more than one way. 

Here are a few of our favorites:

 

First up we have Union Trust. It was originally a bank, and now it is a gorgeous multi-story space with engraved ceilings and gilded historical touches.  

Image may contain: indoor  Petals Lane Inc Floral Design
Finley Catering

 

The Crystal Tea Room, with its detailed columns and magnificent chandeliers, was once a private dining room and restaurant in Wanamaker’s. Another fun fact – It was the first restaurant within a department store.

Image result for the crystal tea room wanamaker
 Petals Lane Inc Floral Design
Finley Catering

 

Front and Palmer was a barrel factory. It is now an incredible space that marries rustic, industrial, and traditional elements within one location.

Philip Gabriel Photography 
Petals Lane Inc Floral Design
Feast Your Eyes Catering

 

The Barnes, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The National Constitution Center, are just a few of the museums that also offer incredible venue experiences. The Constitution Center has floor to ceiling glass panels that overlook Independence Mall.

Faith West Photography 
Petals Lane Inc Floral Design
Brulee Catering

 

Last but not least is 2300 Arena. A boxing arena by day and runway by night, this venue has mastered the art of multitasking. Originally a freight warehouse, 2300 Arena has been host to wrestling matches and rock concerts, as well as political conventions and Philly Fashion Week. Industrial and open, it can be personalized to meet your aesthetic style.  

Grace Kelly and Meghan Markle: The Royal American Bride

Before there was Meghan Markle, before there was Kate Middleton, before there was even Princess Diana…there was Grace Kelly:

 

Photo by Silver Screen Production

          

A Philadelphia born movie starlet, this American superstar became a European princess when, in 1956,  she wed Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Deemed by the press ‘The Wedding of the Century’, their nuptials were an international sensation. Demand for coverage was so high in fact that MGM studios broadcast the wedding live to more than 30 million European households… in 1956!  To say her wedding style influenced an entire generation of brides would be, well, the understatement of the century. 

 

Monochromatic, tailored, natural – these were the signature elements of Grace Kelly’s iconic style. Some sixty years later, as the world watched another American actress join the ranks of European royalty, we saw a return to these elements. From their fashion choices to their floral style, both Grace Kelly and Meghan Markle showed the world that minimalism can be every bit as elegant and beautiful as opulence.

 

So, what influence might the royal wedding(s) have on this season’s bridal trends?  Here are Petal’s Lane’s 4 predictions:

 

 

1. Less is More: Delicate Bouquets

 

Despite the enormous popularity of cascading bouquets in the mid 20th century, Kelly, chose to carry a delicate bouquet of lilies the valley. Markle also chose to carry a very understated bouquet; hers included not only lily of the valley but also also sweet peas, astilbe, astrantia, and Diana’s favorite flower, the Forget-Me-Not. Markle’s bouquet also incorporated a sprig of myrtle, a royal tradition which dates back to the wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Victoria. Myrtle is known as a symbol of love and of hope, and it has been included in every British monarch’s wedding since the 19th century.

 

Getty Images

 

Getty Images

 

 

2  Bringing the Outside In: Foliage

Rather than wanting perfectly symmetrical bouquets and arrangements, Markle opted for a more casual look that favored seasonal and natural elements – vines, leaves, branches, etc. London-based florist Philippa Craddock worked with both Harry and Meghan on all the flowers for their wedding celebration, and according to Town and Country, she used “branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, along with white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves,” in her arrangements. We predict more brides will be less interested in perfect symmetry and more interested in capturing a plant or flower’s natural shape and form.

 

                                                                                                     

 

3 The Arch

Steeped in tradition, the wedding arch symbolizes the future home of the bride and groom. As if we didn’t already know Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will share a pretty incredible abode (The two will reside at Kensington Palace), the archway at Saint George’s chapel would have been a great hint! The incredible archway atop the doors of Saint George’s was made using pollinator friendly plants and were harvested from the monarchy’s royal parks.  We expect these round archways to make big headway this season. 

 

Getty Images

 

 

4  All White Wedding Decor 

In the words of Billy Idol, it’s a nice day for a white wedding. While royal tradition dictates that flowers should be white, bold colors and multi-hued flowers have long been a popular choice for American brides. As with any pendulum, we are seeing a swing in the other direction. According to The Knot, even Baby’s Breath, that inexpensive stem of tiny white flowers, is making a return in big and small ways. It pairs perfectly with on-trend greenery and works well for flower crowns and other small hairpieces. It seems bouquets, centerpieces, even dance floors are getting a new look. 

 

Sarah DiCicco Photography
MK Photography
Rachel Pearlman Photography
Andrew Graham Todes Photography

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