There is an abundance of unconventional Philadelphia wedding venues right in the city and as a wedding photographer, I have been to more than my fair share of these hidden gems. For those who are in the process of searching for a dynamic and unique venue to have their wedding, I wanted to offer you the inside scoop on some of my favorite non-traditional spaces to host your wedding. This post is for those couples who are looking for something a little different for their celebration. I hope you find this comprehensive list helpful in your wedding planning journey. It is your wedding day and there are so many out-of-the-box options that create a memorable experience, and here are just a few!
118-128 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
PAFA is one of my favorite wedding venues in Philadelphia. It is located right on Broad Street and The Historic Landmark Building offers a truly one-of-a-kind aesthetic. Your guests will be wowed as they sip their cocktails amongst the art collections. The grand staircase is stunning for ceremonies and wedding photos. You will also receive special entry into the lovely Cast Room downstairs which is a working art space full of busts, easels, and beautiful light. You can also step right out onto Broad Street to grab that iconic photo with Philadelphia City Hall in the background.
Browse this Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts wedding where the bride wore her grandmother’s dress!
1 Awbury Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19138
Portico is located at Awbury Arboretum, a 55-acre public park in Philadelphia. You are completely surrounded by the beauty of nature. The Francis Cope House is a historic building used for the couple to get ready and often cocktail hour is on the welcoming wrap-around porch. The unfussy and charming wedding venue has multiple outside ceremony locations including tucked in the trees, the adjacent meadow, or the arches of the back porch. For the reception, you and your guests will be celebrating under their lovely outside tented space. Of course, I also have to mention that Peachtree handles all of their catering so you can count on having seasonal, fresh, and creative options. This unconventional Philadelphia wedding venue is one to add to your list.
Enjoy this summer wedding at Portico to see the lush, natural grounds and wonderful gathering space.
140 N Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106
This Old City restaurant and bar is also home to the Finge Arts company and has a theater for live performances, a fabulous outside patio with a fire pit, and one of the best views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in the city. La Peg offers a contemporary and modern feel and excellent food! One of my favorite things about the venue’s location is that it is directly across the street from Race Street Pier, a favorite location for wedding day photos in Philadelphia(just be sure to get a permit!).
Click to see this sweet Leg Peg wedding reception I photographed.
222 N 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
The Franklin Institue is a well-known science museum and many who live in Philadelphia have visited, but did you know that you could have your wedding there? It is definitely a unique venue and offers various possibilities for couples including their infamous reception space with a huge statue of Benjamen Frankin overlooking the party. There are soaring ceilings with an impressive domed top. For cocktail hour your guests are invited to explore some of their always interesting exhibits. You could even have your ceremony in the planetarium or outside on their rooftop deck.
Have a look at this Franklin Institute Wedding Philadelphia and see how this couple put together their magical day.
1209 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Vaux Wedding Chapel and Studio is located right downtown in Philadelphia just a few blocks away from city hall. Its one-of-a-kind space is made for intimate gatherings and micro weddings and elopements with room for up to 24 guests. The owner, Monica, has poured her warmth and impeccable style into the space. Vaux is already flawlessly decorated, relieving you of having to worry about any of those details, just bring yourselves! There are charming, and quintessentially Philadelphia, narrow cobblestone streets just around the corner for lovely wedding day portraits. You can even get ready in the curated suite upstairs.
215 S 16th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
There is nothing understated about this Philadelphia venue! From the moment you step through the doors you are greeted by the iconic staircase and step into its historic grandeur. This impressive foyer is where the dancing is held and the sophisticated ballroom will hold the reception. One of my favorite features of the Racquet Club is that even with the formal atmosphere, there are so many quirky places for couples and wedding party photos that you just can’t get anywhere else. You are even able to hop onto the courts for a few photos. The venue location is also convenient with Rittenhouse Park close by, a popular stop.
Check out this Sophisticated Racquet Club of Philadelphia wedding to see some of the unexpected locations you can take wedding photos on your day.
225 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
This boutique hotel has an otherworldly atmosphere. Their intimate hidden courtyard is surrounded by historic buildings and exudes an alluring charm. The courtyard has a clear-roofed tent, giving the guests a protected place to celebrate while still allowing them to enjoy the surroundings. The Morris House Hotel also has 17 rooms for guests which makes it super convenient for the wedding couple and guests. Feast Your Eyes Catering is their exclusive caterer and always comes up with tasty dishes.
4100 Chamounix Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131
This historic mansion is located right in Philadelphia’s expansive Fairmount Park. The Ridgeland Mansion has quickly become one of my favorite venues. Joshua’s Catering is the exclusive caterer for the venue, taking the guesswork out of planning your day and putting you at ease knowing that you and your guests will have a delicious culinary experience and you will be supported in the planning process. The mansion is so pretty and the outside ceremony space has a beautiful hidden garden-style feel. There is a large outside tented area for the reception
2nd St &, Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
This open-air pavilion in Philadelphia’s Old City is said to be the nation’s oldest open-air marketplace and was also once a firehouse. It is still used today to host farmer markets and other local events. This gathering place could be your wedding venue. It is a blank canvas and you can create the wedding you like, whether it’s for a ceremony only or a full catered event. One helpful feature to note is that it is a covered space, which can be key in panning, as the weather is often unpredictable. The brick structure surrounded by cobblestone streets has character and simplicity. It is a versatile and unique space that couples may not have thought of.
You might like to view this easy-going Headhouse ceremony and pizza reception that was planned while this couple’s bigger wedding bash was postponed due to Covid.
Valley Green Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19128
Located right in the peaceful Wissahickon Valley Park, this Philadelphia venue is literally a breath of fresh air. I don’t know of another place where you can get married in the woods in front of a babbling creek surrounded by trails and trees and still be within the city limits. This should be top of the list for nature-lovers. The Valley Green Inn has tasty food and a low-key vibe. The waterfront Inn and tented reception make for a winning combination. Of course, with all the trails and greenery there are many places for nature-filled couples photos. Wissahickon Valley Park is a Philadelphia treasure and I always enjoy weddings at this sweet local unconventional Philadelphia wedding Venue.
You will want to see all the details from this lovely Valley Green Inn creekside wedding.
401 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106
This docked ship is an unexpected wedding location and can be an extraordinary destination right on the Delaware River. The Moshulu offers both ceremony and reception space and of course spectacular views from the water. Couples are able to go out on the deck for their wedding day photos. The Moshulu is also a restaurant and they do all their catering right in-house. With a cozy and romantic feel, they have the flexibility to accommodate from 25 to 1000 guests!
1400 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107
I have to say, I have a soft spot for a Philadelphia City Hall wedding. City Hall is majestic and stationed smack dab in the middle of downtown at the cross-section of two major streets, Broad Street and Market Street. The architecture and the stunning staircase make it ideal for wedding photos. I appreciate that couples can come here for a quick weekday ceremony and make it official. There are some steps you need to take to get an appointment for a city hall wedding. Here are 8 tips for planning your city hall wedding.
NOTE: Philadelphia City Hall Weddings have shut down due to Covid, hopefully, they start back up at some point. Until then, they are offering “Wedding Wednesdays“ in front of the Love Park statue across the street. Check out my blog post all about Wedding Wednesdays at Love Park in Philadelphia to get the inside scoop.
Absolutely check out this Philadelphia City Hall wedding and while you are at it, have a peek at the City Hall ceremony too. Here is one more Philly City Hall elopement in case that’s your thinking of going that way.
There really are so many awesome and dynamic spaces for a unique Philadelphia wedding. Here are a for more for you to browse.
This national landmark is a marketplace for foods, treats, and treasure by day and can be transformed into a wondrous space for your wedding day.
Modern and industrial, this versatile studio space is a beautiful blank canvas for your day.
This funky renovated school has a hip rooftop space with Philadelphia skyline views like nowhere else in the city.
This west Philadelphia Museum could be for you if breathtaking architecture and art and artifacts from around the world fascinate you. There are inside and outside spaces available including a rooftop terrace.
This massive imported home goods store also hosts weddings in its eclectic space full of hanging rugs, intricate lanterns, and mesmerizing decor.
This old factory has been renovated into a working artist space and the boiler room has been transformed into a unique venue that calls to the creative couples.
A Philadelphia Mediterranean kitchen with amazing food could be the location for your wedding of up to 55 seated guests.
This historic Philadelphia church was renovated and artfully transformed into a boutique hotel and event space. The Deacon is a modern, creative space that lends itself to gatherings and celebrations.
Yes, you heard correctly, this venue is in a cemetery. Although the location may not be for everyone, the historic mansion and event space could change your mind.
Perfect for the creative visionary, this raw industrial space can host up to 1,000 guests. If you are going big, the Armory might be an option. This historic space has endless possibilities and can be customized to bring your ideas to life.
Artsy and industrial, this space is ideal for smaller gatherings with creative indoor and outdoor spaces including a wonderful courtyard with an optional canopy.
Located in FDR Park with amazing inside museum space and outside tented reception, this appeals to a laidback, nature-loving couple.
With stylish indoor and outdoor spaces, this grand and alluring venue even has a rooftop terrace with exceptional panoramic views.
This award-winning museum space, full of architectural delight and stunning art, could be where you tie the knot!
Located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park the stunning grounds and modern botanical greenhouse could make all your cherry blossom wedding dream come true.
You could host your wedding at this unforgettable and amazingly vibrant gallery that is covered with colorful mosaics and folk art.