19 Gorgeous Historic Wedding Venues Around Philadelphia

Discover estates dating back to the 1800s (and beyond!), glorious gardens, and more iconic destinations.

glen foerd indian wedding

Glen Foerd is among the historic wedding venues on this list. / Photograph by Love Me Do Photography

Saying “I do” in a beloved, time-honored spot is no problem at all here in Philly. There are countless historic wedding venues — not to mention street corners and squares — throughout the city and surrounding area. Whether you’re considering getting hitched in a historic garden or in a stately mansion circa the past, it’s not hard to find something old to go with your somethings new, blue and borrowed. This short list includes a few of our favorite historic wedding venues, and if you think there’s another destination we should know about, email kschott@phillymag.com.



historic wedding venues

Photograph by Pat Furey Photography

If you’ve been planning your Big Day since you were in diapers and know exactly how you want the shindig to go, then this historic wedding venue might just be the place for you. The centuries-old estate offers no sort of package, meaning that you can completely customize your soiree — no strings attached. Whether you want it to be a simple affair or an elaborate bash, the only requirements are that you like being outside (there is no indoor option, though guests are permitted to tour the house during cocktail hour, sans food and drink) and that you love beautiful gardens and river views. 1237 State Road.




Photograph by Asya Photography; florals by Fleurish

Start your happily-ever-after at Appleford, 24 acres of scenic beauty that was originally part of a land grant signed by William Penn. Both an arboretum and a bird sanctuary, Appleford is replete with crisp boxwood gardens, brick walkways, and classic Pennsylvania farmhouse architecture. On your Big Day, say your “I do’s” between two ponds, next to a waterfall, or under the branches of weeping willows. Afterward? Sip cocktails on the lawn and spend the night on the illuminated tented terrace.  Cuisine is provided by one of the eight exclusive caterers. 770 Mount Moro Road.

Bartram’s Garden

West Philly

Bartram's Garden

Photograph by Sweetwater Portraits

Love flowers? How about towering trees? Bartram’s Garden, the country’s oldest botanical garden, has myriad opportunities to frolic among both. After the ceremony — which can take place amid the historic landscaping or in Philadelphia County’s oldest barn, constructed in the late 1700s — direct your guests toward the Eastwick Pavilion for the reception. Between dinner courses and conversations, people can dance on the outdoor patio, which is made with granite from LOVE Park, play games on the lawn (cornhole, anyone?), explore the gardens, and walk along the boardwalk by the river. Catering is provided by Jamie Hollander Catering and Events. 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard.

BLDG39 at the Arsenal

Northeast Philly


Photograph by Cheryl Betances Photography; florals by XO Marigold; backdrop by Creamery Hill

Here’s one for food-loving history buffs: This industrial space was built in 1917 as a paint shop in the Frankford Arsenal, a former munitions plant. In 2021, it launched as a commissary kitchen for caterers and culinary trucks and an event venue perfect for your Big Day. There are two preferred caterers — Olive & Shae and Seedling and Sage — and couples are also encouraged to work with the food trucks that use the kitchen space. BLDG39 can host up to 120 for seated functions in its whitewashed-brick interior. The guest list expands to 175 with the outdoor area, which connects to the facade via two garage doors. See the full wedding (pictured) here. 5401 Tacony Street.

Cairnwood Estate

Bryn Athyn

historic wedding venues

Photograph by Afrik Armando Photography; florals by Robertson’s Flowers & Events

Talk about historic Big Day venues: It all began in the late 1800s, when John and Gertrude Pitcairn opened their European-inspired home for a wedding celebration. Flash-forward to today, and the estate hosts unions amid the elegance of its halls — terraces, a grand staircase, balconies, gardens. Cairnwood offers sit-down dinners of 200 guests or stations-style soirees of up to 275. Cocktail hour is typically held in the side garden and covered veranda, with its picturesque fountain, while dinners can be held under a tent on the blue-flagstone terrace or in one of the first-floor rooms. See the full wedding (pictured) here. 1005 Cathedral Road.

Elkins Estate

Elkins Park

elstowe manor

Photograph by Jillian Guyette; florals by Creations by Coppola; rentals by Landmark Hospitality

Once the 19th-century home of Philly business magnate William Elkins, Elkins Estate was made for lavish entertaining. Today, Landmark Hospitality is helping couples continue that tradition. Still fitted with Italian Renaissance-style architecture, the most prominent of the seven buildings on the 42-acre estate — Elstowe Manor — serves as the perfect backdrop for garden ceremonies. Cocktail hour spans various spaces, including the two-story marble-clad court, while receptions move inside to the formal ballroom. The house’s former smoking room — with its walls lined in ostrich leather — now serves as the billiard room and groom’s suite. Guests may even take a guided walking tour to learn more about the mansion’s history. Learn more here. 1750 Ashbourne Road.

General Warren


General Warren

Photograph by Erin Murphy Designs

The country inn dating back to 1745 sits on three acres of property replete with formal gardens for the ceremony and photos. There is both indoor and outdoor seating for ceremonies and receptions, and three private indoor rooms (plus one weather-covered outdoor terrace) for intimate weddings of between 15 to 50 people. (Full restaurant buyouts are available as well and require a guest minimum.) Capitalize on the charm by staying in one of the eight guest suites — perhaps a lovely way to start your honeymoon. There’s no cost for use of the facility (though there is a small ceremony fee); linens, candles, music and a coordinator are included at no extra charge. Other perks are food and beverage (sold by consumption), discounted suites for guests, and a dance floor and ceremony lawn-chair rental. 9 Old Lancaster Road.

Glen Foerd


Glen Foerd

Photograph by Love Me Do Photography; florals by From Blossoms

When it comes to throwing wedding parties, Glen Foerd is no rookie. The riverfront estate’s long history with newlyweds dates all the way back to the 1800s, starting with the marriage of Lily Macalester Laughton, the daughter of Glen Foerd’s first owner. Ceremonies can be held anywhere on the grounds, so whether your Pinterest board has pictures of rose gardens or river views, we guarantee that there will be a spot you’ll like. During cocktail hour and the reception, your guests will have time to explore the property, including all three levels of the mansion, the historic art gallery, the riverside terrace, the outdoor pavilion, and the boathouse. Catering is provided by Jamie Hollander Catering and Events. See full wedding (pictured) here. 5001 Grant Avenue.

Highlands Mansion and Gardens

Fort Washington

Highlands Mansion

Photograph by Madeline Isabella

It’s hard not to feel enchanted by this 18th-century mansion, which sits on 59 acres of preserved outdoor space. The gardens are a whimsical setting for ceremonies, cocktail hours, and dining and dancing amid nature. Receptions can also take place inside the Georgian-style mansion, complete with detailed crown molding, 15-foot ceilings, and bright spacious rooms. Indoor dinner and dancing are available for up to 120 guests, but for larger affairs, couples can opt for a tented area on the north lawn. The mansion is fitted with two upstairs bridal rooms and offers a list of preferred caterers for couples. 7001 Sheaff Lane.

Loch Aerie Mansion


historic wedding venues

Photograph by Hitched Productions

The breathtaking mansion’s provenance dates back to 1865, when architect Addison Hutton built the original four-story mansion using Pennsylvania blue marble and limestone for owner William E. Lockwood. Today, the property has been restored and updated with a spacious ballroom. It’s an obvious choice for your celebration, though various areas abound for every moment — the entry hall for photos, the parlor for small ceremonies or cocktail parties, the billiard and dining rooms (which are part of the 19th-century facade), and outdoor areas, among others. Cuisine is provided by Serock Catering, but note that it’s a BYOB venue. 700 Lancaster Avenue. 

Merion Tribute House

Merion Station

historic wedding venues

Photograph by Bartlett Pair Photography

Weddings at the Merion Tribute House are all about individuality. (Fun fact: They’ve seen everything from a socially distanced picnic wedding to a Harry Potter theme!) Ceremonies can take place anywhere on the grounds — think sweeping lawns or one of two interior rooms. Cocktail hour is spent on the terrace, while the reception is inside the ballroom of the castle-like building, which was built after WWI to act as a community center in honor of the men from Merion who served in the armed services. Full of spacious rooms, fireplaces, stained glass, and a dramatic balcony perfect for tossing bouquets, the estate has been hosting weddings since the 1920s. Cuisine is provided by Serock Catering. 625 Hazelhurst Avenue.

The Arches


The Arches

Photograph by Andrea Krout Photography

This destination is named for the more than 40 arches on the first floor of the former church, now transformed into an event space. Built in 1868 and bearing a Swiss Gothic facade, St. Cecilia’s can host 170 guests in its refinished main level, where a neutral palette of grays accents the white walls and dark wood arches. It’s designed to be a blank canvas for your wedding vision, though it’s hard to miss the organ and stained-glass windows. The exterior and porch have also been redone with elegant lattices, flowers, and lights. Mare of Easttown fans might like knowing that many scenes were filmed in Coatesville, and the cemetery in the first episode is St. Cecilia’s. 600 East Chestnut Street.


Penn’s Landing


Photograph by Martin Reardon

If you’ve always dreamed of re-creating a romantic Titanic moment on the bow of a ship, then we’ve found the perfect venue for you: the Moshulu. Built in 1904, the watercraft is the biggest and oldest square-rigged sailing vessel still afloat, as well as the only four-masted ship in the world that doubles as a restaurant. Moshulu can accommodate parties as small as 40 and as big as 600, so whether you’re looking to have an intimate gathering or a big blowout, your ceremony will be unforgettable — complete with views of the Philly skyline, quality cuisine, and plenty of space for dancing. 401 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard.

The Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia 


Mutter Museum

Photograph by DarpinoPhoto

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia (a.k.a. the home of the The Mütter Museum) may be one of the oldest medical societies in the country, but the weddings that it hosts are pretty timeless. Get married in the Medicinal Herb Garden, the marble Rotunda, or Ashhurst Reading Room — no matter which space, you’re sure to be impressed by the New Beaux Arts architecture and the unmistakable air of elegance. Cocktail hour gives guests plenty of time to tour the museum before heading up to the second floor for dinner and dancing. 19 South 22nd Street.

Philander Chase Knox Estate


Philander Chase Knox Estate

Photograph by Jessica Lynn Photography

For all you Jane Austen fans, the Philander Chase Knox Estate (an 18th-century mansion located in Valley Forge National Historical Park) is about as close as you can get to Mr. Darcy’s Pemberley without actually time-traveling, sailing to England, and entering a fictional universe. Picture grassy hills, bubbling creeks, covered bridges and wildflowers. With ceremonies in the garden (appropriately nicknamed “marrying meadow”), cocktails on the estate’s terrace, and the reception and dancing in a curtain-lined, carpeted, up-lit tent, weddings at the estate are straight out of your favorite Austen novel. 151 Library Lane.

Platform Thirty


Platform Thirty

Courtesy of Platform Thirty

There is a certain poetic beauty in starting the new chapter of your life in an old train station. Platform Thirty, a renovated Manayunk train station with a sort of vintage yet modern-chic vibe, offers you the chance to do just that. Its 1930s exterior is still intact, as is the outdoor train platform, except now the station is outfitted with with a big dance floor, a statement bar, and an outdoor cocktail area. 4401 Cresson Street.

Stotesbury Mansion


Stotesbury Mansion

Photograph by Heidi Roland Photography

Entering Stotesbury Mansion feels a bit like stepping into a scene from Alice in Wonderland. After you move from bustling Walnut Street into the 19th-century building, you can walk around the grand foyer, explore the Dolly Madison room (it has a fireplace that was once in the White House), or stroll into the Mirror Room (a maze of mirrors that was used during Prohibition to slow the police when they came looking for alcohol). The bridal suite is spacious and elegant, and the large ballroom is perfect for hosting ceremonies as well as after-parties. Catering is provided exclusively by Feastivities Inc. 1923 Walnut Street.

Switch House at the Battery



Photograph by Zach Pontz

Modern meets classic at Cescaphe’s new venue. Formerly a 1920s electricity plant that helped power Philadelphia, the transformed space sparks lively energy for weddings. Its historic elements juxtapose modern decor, including a floating cement staircase and Venetian-finished fireplace. Receptions of up to 325 are hosted in the ballroom among exposed concrete walls, three-tier chandeliers, and massive windows overlooking Penn Treaty Park. Read more here. 1325 Beach Street.

William Penn Inn


William Penn Inn

Photograph by Jessica Manns Photography

The inn was established in 1714 as a place for travelers (including William Penn himself) to sleep, eat and relax. Now, centuries later, this public house continues to be a place of hospitality as well as an amazing place for weddings. Along with a private bridal suite, the inn provides several options for where to host your ceremony, an elegant ballroom or outdoor space for cocktail hour, and an even larger ballroom complete with crystal chandeliers, a decorative marble fireplace, and a mahogany bar for your reception. The gorgeous 10 acres, with the twinkle-light-wrapped trees and the classic gazebo, look like something from a fairytale, and provide endless opportunities for photos. 1017 Dekalb Pike.

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