If you are one of the engaged couples who had a wedding booked at Peche, the Peachtree & Ward Philadelphia wedding venue that just announced its closing, then we know that you are feeling a bit displaced right now. According to the wedding planners and brides we’ve talked to, the notification letters and the refund checks, thankfully, have gone out to the affected couples, as well as the offer from Peachtree to use their Radnor venue, Pomme, as an alternative location. (Or to use their offsite catering services at a discount, should any of their couples find themselves next at a venue that requires an outside caterer.)
I know of planners who have already successfully booked their clients elsewhere—but I’ve also talked to a bride who spent upwards of 20 hours working to find a new venue for herself and her groom. (Which she did!) And so, if you are like her, and do not have a wedding planner to help out with some of this legwork, we thought we’d try and do a little of it for you.
We reached out to some of Philly's most talented wedding planners to get their recs on what Philly wedding venues were relatively similar to Peche, at least in size and aesthetic, to give you somewhere to start in your hunt for a new venue. Here are the ones we heard over and over again:
- Front + Palmer The aforementioned bride, Allie Harcharek, who was booked at Peche in September is now on for her wedding here in October. (Before she closed that deal, though, she posted about her situation on Reddit, and received some helpful responses, in case you'd like to take a look at those.) It's the one that came up the most among the planners' lists, because it's really got a similar vibe in that it's got that blank-slate, industrial, open space thing going on. It's even got beams on the ceiling that would let you drape and section off spaces like you could at Peche. Here's the wedding of Emily & George, which was featured in a past issue of PW.
- Crane Arts The Icebox room here is about as blank a palette as you can find in the city, and it's big. And it's cool. Here is the wedding of Brian & Carolyn, who got married there this spring. (Brian is my colleague here at the mag; he's the cool dude who edits news and opinion over at phillymag.com!)
- The Phoenixville Foundry It's out in the 'burbs, yes, so if that doesn't work for you, that's understandable—but if you're flexible about that, it's a huge, open industrial space with lots of big windows. Here is the wedding of Lindsay & Kevin from this past fall.
- The Horticulture Center Not the same type of building, but if you love a lot of light streaming into your space, it's definitely got that going for it. Plus it's just awesome. Here is the wedding of Sarah & Faiz from a past issue of PW.
- Skybox at 2424 It's got an open, urban feel. Same kind of idea. Here is the wedding of Carolyn & Corey.
- Pomme This is Peachtree's Radnor venue. It's not urban or industrial, but it's got a very neutral base palette and is really pretty. Here is the wedding of Alyse & Kevin—Alyse was one of PW's bridal bloggers during her wedding planning!
- Power Plant Productions It's white, so you can do what you want to it, decor-wise, and has that industrial-plant feel. Here is the summer wedding of Katherine & Neil.
- The Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts So this space isn't blank in a cement-wall kinda way—it doesn't exactly have walls, and the ceiling is glass. But it's just a really interesting Philadelphia space, and worth looking at if that's what you're into.
Two other things worth noting:
- Local wedding planner Sarah Morrison's company, All About Events, has just taken over managing all of the events and catering at Reading Terminal Market, and while that space is not really comparably aesthetically to Peche, it is an amazingly unique and iconic Philadelphia location, and she is offering a reduced venue fee to any displaced Peche couple whose wedding is planned for 2014. (She's met with a few already!) This past spring, one of my best friends attended the wedding of Shira & Ryan there, and thought it was super cool.
- Brian Kappra at Evantine had two really great tips that apply both to Peche couples and to wedding-planning couples in general: One is that for brides who do not have a wedding planner, your other vendors can still be extremely helpful in new-venue hunting. "Bands, florists, photographers—they are all great resources. They work all the spaces and know all the 'ins and outs.'" And concerning any vendor contract: "Make sure it says in all contracts that all deposits and payments are refunded if the vendor is not able to fulfill their role," he says. "Especially with catered venues where the caterer does not own the building."
If you're involved in this situation and have another tip to add, please do in the comments! We want to help all y'all get rebooked as soon as possible and with as little breathing into a paper bag as possible. It's going to be okay. We promise.