Philadelphia is one of the most iconic cities in the United States — and for good reason; located on the east coast of America, it has an incredible mix of history, culture, richness, and beauty. From its cobblestone streets to its many monuments and attractions, Philadelphia is a destination that thrills visitors from all over the world. While the city is known for its art, music, and entertainment, it also boasts stunning outdoor venues that offer the perfect backdrop for weddings and receptions.
With lush parks, vibrant gardens, and picturesque waterfront views — as well as plenty of venue options — Philadelphia has something to suit every taste or budget. From intimate outdoor ceremonies on the waterfront to grand receptions at luxury hotels, you can find everything from rustic charm to modern elegance in this incredible city. Whether you’re looking for a stunning backdrop, an unparalleled view, or an innovative spin on your celebration planning, Philadelphia will have an outdoor venue that can accommodate your needs.
Outdoor Wedding Reception Options in Philadelphia
Many caterers in Philadelphia specialize in outdoor wedding receptions; these services can include buffet-style dining, family-style meals, and more. Depending on the theme of the wedding, caterers can provide delicious dishes from a variety of cuisines that will impress guests and give them an unforgettable dining experience. They can also provide tables and chairs, linens, china, cutlery, glassware, and other necessary equipment for an outdoor reception.
Live music can be a great addition to an outdoor wedding reception, and Philadelphia has plenty of talented local musicians who are sure to provide the perfect accompaniment for your special day. Whether you’re looking for jazz, classical, or something more modern and upbeat — there are many options to choose from.
Professional photography services will capture precious moments during your outdoor wedding reception in Philadelphia. Excellent photographers understand how to work with the natural light outdoors and create beautiful photographs that will immortalize your day for years to come. These photographers will use high-quality cameras and lenses as well as various backdrops like trees or nearby buildings in order to capture stunning images of you and your guests during the festivities.
Outdoor Wedding Reception Vendors in Philadelphia
- Jeffrey Miller Catering
Jeffrey A. Miller Catering is dedicated to providing the freshest culinary experience for your event. The company's origin story dates back to 1980, when founder Jeff Miller first completed his brunch-in-bed school project; since then, he has used his summers traveling and training in some of the top kitchens around the world. Nowadays, not only does his company proudly use seasonal ingredients sourced from its very own organic garden, but also commits itself to applying sustainable practices like greensourced events and recycling. Jeffrey Miller Catering meticulously crafts each meal, right down to curing prosciutto in its cold room or baking artisanal pizzas in its ovens — all done with an eye towards treating your guests like they're one of their own.
- DJ Walt Breslin
With custom wedding DJ packages, Walt Breslin has been offering his services for 25 years as a wedding and event DJ in the Philadelphia area. His team strives to bring a true atmosphere of celebration through the perfect mix of sound and light. Equipped with multiple wireless microphone options, he ensures that the bride and groom are heard clearly during their special moment. In addition, Walt can transform any room with lights colored in each client’s preferred hue, ranging from Amber to Tiffany blue or anything in between for the evening’s entertainment. His expertise and skill can help create a fun and lively atmosphere for your wedding reception and get your guests up and dancing.
- Ginger Fox Photography
As a woman-owned and LGBTQ-owned local Philadelphia photography business, the team at Ginger Fox Photography puts pride in their services and the quality of the photos they create. Their work ranges from nuptials to headshots, holiday galas to musician shots, and much more. Lindsay Ladd, the visionary behind Ginger Fox Photography, is a skilled photographer who captures beautiful images with passion and creativity. Their team has the know-how to capture key moments of your wedding reception and they offer a range of packages to suit all budgets.
Pros and Cons of Outdoor Wedding Receptions in Philadelphia
Outdoor wedding receptions in Philadelphia are a charming way to exchange vows and celebrate the union of two hearts. While it allows couples to bask in the beauty of nature, there are also certain advantages and disadvantages associated with it. Here is a shortlist of some of the main pros and cons that should be taken into consideration before deciding upon this option:
- Philadelphia is known for its outdoor green spaces, parks, gardens, and riverside areas, as well as trees and shrubs that offer beautiful photo backdrops for wedding photos.
- Outdoor receptions provide guests with peace and serenity away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life. It also provides them with an opportunity to enjoy nature while celebrating a special occasion.
- If you’re planning a big wedding reception with lots of guests, having an outdoor venue can give you more space to accommodate everyone comfortably.
- Couples may have no control over weather conditions on their big day, which could lead to potential disasters if not planned for properly.
- Dealing with insects and animals that often inhabit these outside areas could ruin the whole atmosphere if not handled correctly ahead of time.
- Certain decorations may not work outdoors due to weather issues such as strong winds, which can make hanging banners difficult or storms which could destroy delicate items.
Tips on How to Organize Outdoor Wedding Receptions in Philadelphia
Organizing a wedding reception in any city is often stressful and time-consuming, but doing it in a large city like Philadelphia can be even more challenging. The following tips will help you ensure your outdoor wedding reception in Philadelphia goes off without a hitch.
Consider the weather: Philadelphia has a humid subtropical climate, with warm summers and cool winters. If you’re having an outdoor wedding reception, make sure to plan ahead and be prepared for any type of unexpected weather changes; make sure that there is enough indoor space or tents available should rain be an issue or if the temperature drops drastically. Also, take into consideration windy conditions if there are any open flames present such as tiki torches.
- Choose your theme and decorations carefully: An outdoor wedding reception in Philadelphia can go from modern and glamorous to quaint and rustic, depending on your theme and decor choices. If you want a more intimate setting, consider using potted plants and paper lanterns instead of bright lights or large installations; opting for vintage furniture like antique chairs will also give your setup an extra touch of charm.
- Select menu items based on seasonality: Incorporate fresh seasonal ingredients into your menu options so that they fit with the time of year when your wedding is taking place. For instance, some seasonal ingredients that could work well during summer include fruits like strawberries, melons, and blueberries, fresh salads with herbs such as basil, oregano or mint or seafood dishes that include clams or crabs.
- Set up a contingency plan for inclement weather: For safety reasons, it’s always wise to have some sort of alternate plan should bad weather threaten to disrupt your outdoor wedding reception. Moreover, you should have a few venues already scouted out and prepared just in case it becomes necessary to move your event indoors.
- Utilize multiple vendors if needed: Make sure everyone involved in organizing different aspects of your outdoor wedding reception receives clear instructions, particularly the vendors that will be part of your event. This ensures that everything runs smoothly on the day itself and that no unexpected surprises arise at the last minute.
Famous Locations in Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an iconic and must-visit destination for art lovers. You might recognize its famous staircase as the same one Sylvester Stallone was famously seen galloping up in the movie Rocky but don't forget to explore about the impressive permanent collection found inside the facility. The museum is one of the largest in the United States, with nearly 100 galleries showcasing some of the world's most priceless paintings and sculptures from Impressionist, American, Renaissance, and modern masters such as Degas, Monet, van Gogh, and Picasso.
- Rittenhouse Square
Rittenhouse Square is an oasis in the center of the bustling city; located in Philadelphia's posh Center City neighborhood, this beautiful public park is a spot that can't be missed. Framed by trees, flowers, and plants, along with plenty of open green space and fountains to admire, the park features diagonally and circularly paved walkways ready for you to explore. On sunny days, bring a snack and a book or take a seat on one of the many benches to people-watch — it’s the ideal place to find solace from your daily routine.
- Rail Park
Located in Philadelphia, Rail Park is an exciting combination of history and modernity. What used to be the Reading Railroad for almost a century has now been transformed into a unique urban greenway that features lush trees and interesting metalwork art, perfect for spending a sunny day in nature. Adventure seekers should definitely check out the huge swings, while those wanting to relax can find places to sit — or just meander along the quarter-mile stretch of abandoned tracks.