Tie the Knot in Gilded Age Decadence at This New Philly Wedding Venue

Marble, frescoes and golden touches galore at Elstowe Manor at Elkins Estate

elstowe manor

The music room in Elstowe Manor at Elkins Estate, seen here, features crystal chandeliers, a marble mantel, wall carvings and gilded touches, all of which were beautifully preserved. / Photography by Jillian Guyette / Florals by Creations by Coppola / Rentals by Landmark Hospitality

Historic wedding venues are always classic options for your Big Day. And luckily here in Philly, we have no shortage of these timeless destinations. But we’ll always welcome another new icon for you to consider for your festivities. The latest comes by way of the oh, so gorgeous Elstowe Manor at Elkins Estate in Elkins Park. You can read all about the restored property below, which just hosted its first wedding this month.

When Philly business magnate William Elkins built Elstowe Manor in 1898, he wanted it to be a lavish spot for entertaining. And with Landmark Hospitality’s recent renovation, the destination is returning to its roots.

“It’s a 70,000-square-foot party house,” says Jeanne Cretella, president and co-founder of the event management company. Elstowe Manor is the most prominent of the seven buildings that make up the 42-acre estate.

The property remained in the family till the 1950s, when the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de’ Ricci acquired it for use as a retreat center. We have them to thank for preserving the manor, from its Italian Renaissance-style architecture to its ornate interiors designed by French decorators Allard et Fils.

elstowe manor

Only one celebration occurs at a time. Cocktail hour is spread over the two-story marble-clad court (the frescoed ceiling depicts a mythological seascape), music room, dining room and outdoor terrace.

The house’s former smoking room — with its walls lined in ostrich leather — now serves as the billiard room and groom’s suite.

The reception takes place in the formal ballroom (capacity: 350). As for the ceremony? That’s held in the European-style garden. The mansion serves as a stunning backdrop.

Other perks include on-site accommodations as well as activities like a walking tour of the estate.­ “Our couples love that their guests can learn about the property’s history,” says Cretella. Prices upon request; click here for more information. 

Published as “Manor of Style” in the July 2023 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

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