Bridal Affairs

Angel of Hearts Weddings offers unique and comprehensive assistance to the discerning bride in planning her wedding, with a full range of services tailored to her needs. Making magic is my passion.

Angel of Hearts Weddings--Watching Over Your Big Day!

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011


One of the first things you look for after you get engaged is the venue. There are countless choices depending on your vision, your budget and your guest count. Let's start with some ideas for a city wedding. If you are getting married in center city Philadelphia, then maybe you want to visit Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. There are two buildings to choose from, one an art deco beauty with marble stairs and dramatic color. The other is a sleek, modern gallery with a grand entrance lobby and a pillared gallery for dinner. Ceremony space is available in both buildings. The Historic Landmark Building can hold a wedding of up to about 120 for a seated dinner. The modern, Hamilton Building can accommodate up to about 250 for a seated dinner. Jimmy Duffy is the exclusive caterer for both and they will help you to plan every detail of your reception. These photos are of a reception set up at the Hamilton Building and a ceremony on the stairs of the Historic Building.

If you are planning a wedding for a larger group or a smashing black tie affair and have many out of town guests, The Ritz Carlton may be a choice for you. With it's elegantly appointed ballroom and the wonderful amenities for your guests, you will surely be impressed by the surroundings and the service.

If the outlying areas of the city are your destination for your wedding, you may want to visit these venues. Whether you are planning a large celebration for 300 or an intimate and lovely outdoor ceremony, here are three choices that are sure to get your attention. Cairnwood is a castle for a princess. The beautifully manicured grounds and the glorious estate, complete with a balcony for that special photo of you and your new husband are a fitting place for any princess on her wedding day. If a more country setting is your vision, then Appleford Estate is the place to be. Get married by the big willow tree and then entertain guests in the house or the garden. Dinner is elegantly served in the outdoor, tented terrace. Finally, if you want that beautiful ballroom Drexelbrook has a variety of ballrooms, all lovely in their own way to serve you and your guests with flair.

These are only a select few of the fabulous and unique places to say your "I Do's". I could list for days about the many others, both in the city and in the suburbs and the countryside of Pennsylvania. But, before you decide on the venue and the details, let me just give you some pointers.


* Make sure that the venue can accommodate the number of guests you are anticipating. Some of the more quaint and unique venues have a much more limited capacity than the bigger ballrooms.

* Ask about the caterers at the venue. Many venues have preferred or exclusive caterers that you must work with. If you have your heart set on a particular caterer, make sure they can work at the venue.

* What is included with the package? Is the gratuity part of the per person or is it another charge? What does the table linen and the place setting look like? Do you have options for upgrades and what are they? Is the cake included? Is the liquor included? If you decide on a venue with an off premise caterer, you may have to provide the liquor. This can be a money saver, but find out.

* Who are the preferred vendors that the venue works with. This may or may not be mandatory, but if you are not sure ask. The recommendations from the venue may be helpful in finding the right fit for your wedding. But, if you have your own ideas, make sure they are able to work at the venue you choose.

* Find out what limitations, policies, etc. exist at your chosen venue. Some venues don't allow open flame- so no candles. There are venues that put strict parameters on how late the band can play. Other venues have policies as to when vendor set up can begin and when guest may arrive and what time the event must be over. Beverages is also an issue in some places. Red wine and coca cola are not permitted in some venues- except at the table.

* What are the arrangements for keeping food warm, for prep, etc. Is there a kitchen area? How does the caterer plate the food if it is an off premise caterer?

* How much staff is provided? Is there valet parking available? Who is in charge at the venue during your wedding?

* Is there a ceremony location at the venue?

* Go see an event set up. When choosing a venue, it may make a difference to you when you see an event set up. It may also inspire questions about your event and the way it is set up.

* What is the lighting like for your event. Do you need pinspotting on the tables? Is there natural light or dimmers for evening? Are there drapes or shades to close out the light for atmosphere?

* The "on site" coordinator is not a replacement for a wedding planner. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't need a planner. That person doesn't want to hear about your dress woes, the seating chart, your future mother in law or ANYTHING else before the wedding day. Their sole purpose is running the event from the venue's standpoint.

These are some of the questions to ask the venue before you commit. With all the possibilities, you will be sure to find the perfect fit for your wedding. Have a question or need advice about a venue- ask me!

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