16 Enchanting Waterfront Wedding Venues Around Philadelphia
Think outside the beach.
Delivering the latest in style, inspiration, helpful tips and tricks, and everything else you need to know to plan the perfect Philly wedding.
Love the idea of waterfront wedding venues? Don’t stick to the beaches that you’re used to. Instead, get out and explore some of the region’s finest riverfront and lakefront options for setting the scene. We’ve compiled a varied list that takes you from your beloved Philly and its iconic facades to on-deck venues to estates perched along the banks of historic tides. But if you do want to check out some choices down the Shore, we have you covered there, too. Dive in!
[Editor’s Note: Events are subject to the latest COVID-19 and social distancing requirements per federal, state and county guidelines. For example, beginning May 7th, indoor catered events in Philly will be allowed for up to 25 percent occupancy of the entire space, with no more than 75 attendees. The figure could rise to 150 beginning May 21st, depending on case rates. Non-catered indoor events can increase to 25 percent of normal capacity, and outdoor events can increase to a max of 50 percent capacity. Click here for more details.]
The first gardens at this Delaware River spot were planted in the late 1700s by owner John Craig. As the years passed, different family members brought their own touches. Letitia Glenn Biddle, who moved to Andalusia in 1888 after marrying Charles Biddle, brought in ‘American Beauty’ roses, tulips, and six varieties of gladioli. There were further changes, most recently by Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd, creating a panoply of flora for your scenery. The Big House is an ode to Greek Revival architecture, and its interiors are appointed with period pieces; the library is stocked with 3,000 rare titles. Ceremonies and receptions take place outdoors; the site rental fee typically begins at $21,000. 1237 State Road, Andalusia.
The stretch of 19th-century boathouses on the Schuylkill River is an unforgettable Philly sight — as is a wedding in one of the trim facades. Want to say “I do” here? Connect with East Falls Events, which partnered with various clubs in March 2020 to lead the on-site fetes. The company was founded by Maria McDevitt and Lauren Brown after they realized the boathouses were open and available for rentals, but there was no central venue planner or manager to be had. Today, East Falls offers day-of coordination and full planning at Vesper, Penn AC, Crescent (shown here) and Sedgeley and is booking into 2022. Prices are available upon request. 1 Boathouse Row, Fairmount Park.
Sisters Paige Flowers and Betsy Montgomery, with Paige’s husband, John, own and operate the 150-acre property on the Conestoga River. Bucolic beauty abounds, from the 780-square-foot corn crib (for smaller occasions) and stone farmhouse (the abode offers getting-ready space) to the 3,200-square-foot barn, which dates back to 1820. Hold your ceremony dockside at one of the ponds; for the reception, head to the barn, where wide windows offer water views. The season runs year-round; an indoor ceremony site is available for inclement weather and winter weddings. Weekends are heavily booked through November 2022; the farm is scheduling into 2023. The starting venue fee is $7,000. 465 Long Lane, Lancaster.
With a wedding history that dates back to the 1800s — and the marriage of the founder’s daughter, Lily Macalester Laughton — plus exclusive caterer Jamie Hollander, this property is a fine choice. Guests can wander the mansion’s rooms, perusing the art in the second-floor gallery and the stained-glass skylights. Waterfront garden ceremonies put you in a serene setting, while the reception and dinner can be held in the event structure, which is outfitted with draping and lighting. The tent patio can also offer lounge seating and firepits. Winter weddings can be held inside the mansion at a discounted cost. A five-hour reception with a plated dinner typically starts at $170 per person; there’s also a $4,000 site fee, which supports the preservation and maintenance of Glen Foerd. 5001 Grant Avenue, Torresdale.
Located in front of Spruce Street Harbor Park, the hotel has a two-pronged approach to ceremonies. Nuptials can take place outdoors at nearby partner locations (such as Race Street Pier and the Independence Seaport Museum, below) or indoors in the destination’s event spaces. The ballroom’s max configuration is 7,412 square feet (for those future large parties you’re planning), with views of the Delaware, the waterfront and Penn’s Landing pier. (Options for smaller functions include the Admiral’s Quarters.) Dinner receptions start at $135 per guest, and special pricing is offered for off-peak months. Executive chef Matt Andrew oversees wedding menus and tastings; he and his team bring their taste for global cuisine to your soiree. 201 South Columbus Boulevard, Penn’s Landing.
Here’s one for a nautical soiree. Wedding ceremonies are held on the Outdoor Rotunda, which floats three stories above the Delaware — it looks out on quintessentially Philly structures like the Ben Franklin Bridge. (Ceremony pricing starts at $1,500.) For receptions, there’s a 5,000-square-foot rooftop ballroom (pricing begins at $2,900) or the expansive, open-air 2,400-square-foot Rooftop Balcony and Terrace. That space is accessible via the ballroom and provides panoramas of the city and the river. Couples can also celebrate aboard the USS Olympia, the oldest steel warship still afloat in the world. Rentals are based on a five-hour timeframe; the museum partners with caterers 12th Street and Brulée. 211 South Columbus Boulevard, Penn’s Landing.
Take a cue from Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and wife Madison Oberg, who got hitched here in 2018, and make this spot on Lake Nockamixon your wedding venue. There are 14 guest rooms and suites for 28 visitors (plus two additional third-party rental houses with a total of seven bedrooms) for a weekend affair. A ceremony in the garden sets you against a backdrop of the seven-mile lake. (A rain plan is included.) The ballroom has a 27-foot draped ceiling with Murano glass chandeliers. To cap it all off? A firepit (for post-party s’mores) and a farewell breakfast. Packages feature sommelier-led cellar tastings and an event coordinator. Pricing for 2022 ranges from $22,000 for winter weddings to $82,000 for October soirees. 1100 Old Bethlehem Road, Perkasie.
Choose from indoor and outdoor spaces for your ceremony and reception at this venue just over the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border on the Delaware. The open-air patio has modern furnishings and a tranquil vibe, while the Riverside Ballroom has floor-to-ceiling windows (for that natural lighting we all crave on our wedding days) and glowing chandeliers by night. The ballroom is located in the hotel and sits on the banks of the water; the restaurant is housed in a former 19th-century train station. Expect on-site planners, day-of coordinators, and cuisine (and a cake!) from the restaurant’s culinary team. Remember to explore the charming town between festivities, too. Prices are available upon request. 11 Bridge Street, Lambertville.
The only restaurant on a tall ship in the world — with a history dating back to the early 1900s — is docked on the Delaware and provides a one-of-a-kind setting for your Big Day aboard a vessel that’s 390 feet long. Celebrations can be held on the Bow Deck, which has a retractable roof and sides in case of less-than-ideal weather. Packages start at $95 per person, with the option of a ceremony as well. 401 Columbus Boulevard, Penn’s Landing.
Located in the 75-acre Billy Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve, this property houses the Friends of Princeton Open Space, and funds from private events (like your wedding) support the nonprofit’s conservation efforts. It’s only two miles from Princeton and is replete with footbridges, trails and greenery. Outdoor spaces include the lakeside lawn (for ceremonies and games) and the upper stone terrace, entered through the living room; it showcases waterfront scenes and is covered with a permanent canopy. (Exterior spaces are available April through October.) The interior allows for an intimate crowd and is open year-round. The venue partners with Emily’s Cafe & Catering, which serves up cuisine and planning; menus have included a whole roasted local pig. 57 Mountain Avenue, Princeton.
Historic stately opulence abounds at this Bucks County estate whose legacy began in the 1700s. A 2,000-foot tree-lined drive leads into the 100-acre property, which houses two mansions. Pen Ryn faces the Delaware, and its interior space is often used for cocktail hour; it has a sunken ballroom and courtyard as well. Belle Voir, the restored manor house, offers a private walled courtyard plus a ballroom that’s lit by crystal chandeliers and boasts views of the water. Another venue, River’s Edge Garden Pavilion, recently opened; it’s a secluded landscaped tent with amenities such as HVAC and decor that includes rope lighting. It can be booked for spring, summer and fall. And the pergola creates a pretty picture for ceremonies. Weddings get use of the property for five hours, and various enhancements (think: a cigar bar) are on offer. Package prices generally start at $140 per guest. 1601 State Road, Bensalem.
This venue on the Delaware is game for your Big Day. Those planning to host large affairs should check out the 10,000-square-foot ballroom: It has no columns, and floor-to-ceiling windows ensure a prime vista of the river and Ben Franklin Bridge. The destination’s culinary partner is Gibson’s Restaurant Group, which runs on-site eatery Hugo’s. Food and dessert are completely custom, as are the experiences. Want fog covering the floor? No big deal. Weddings typically range from $165 to $220 per person and include uplighting, staff, gratuity and tax. 1001 North Delaware Avenue, Fishtown.
Since opening in the fall of 2020, this 36-room hotel on the Delaware has become a must for romantic, glamorous wedding escapes. (Case in point: The recent Equal Dignity Pop-Up Nuptials event was held here.) The picturesque ceremony garden looks out on the spot where two canals meet — a lovely symbol of unity for a wedding. The Rhapsody Ballroom is decked out with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to a private veranda as well as custom antique wall coverings featuring embedded musical scores and love letters from former owner Odette Myrtil Logan, a French-American actress who once ran a cabaret on the property. Prices start from $179. 274 South River Road, New Hope.
Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers
Hop on a private picnic boat dating back to 1961 for a micro-wedding, elopement, engagement, or other celebratory soiree for two to six guests. Dubbed The Argonaut, the restored 27-foot mahogany vessel offers sunset and day cruises, nature outings and private events on the Delaware and Schuylkill. Bookings begin in May, with cruises starting July 1st. Pickups take place at the Independence Seaport Museum (above) in Penn’s Landing and Bartram’s Garden on the Schuylkill. Food is largely BYO, though catering can be arranged for larger events. Pricing is currently available upon request. For more information on Sea Philly, click here. 211 South Columbus Boulevard, Penn’s Landing; 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard, Southwest Philly.
Following a $1 million renovation in 2019, the Spirit of Philadelphia — part of the Hornblower Cruises family — has a remodeled bar; updated carpet, lighting and dining chairs; and a new coat of exterior paint on its three decks and window frames. You’ll float down the Delaware with skyline panoramas and views of the Ben Franklin Bridge as your backdrop. The vessel houses three private decks (the largest is the Walt Whitman, followed by the Ben Franklin and the Betsy Ross) and a rooftop lounge. A DJ, cocktails and games like giant Jenga can be arranged. Ceremonies are priced at $2,000; all-inclusive reception packages are $135 per person for lunch or $180 per person for dinner. 401 South Columbus Boulevard, Penn’s Landing.
The venue on the banks of the Schuylkill is recognized as the nation’s first public water system and is a National Historic Landmark. The facade’s neoclassical architecture is accented by the Philadelphia Art Museum perched above. There are three reception settings. The Engine House has a tented veranda for cocktail hour. The Grand Pavilion looks out on the city and the river cascading over the Fairmount Dam. And the Mill House Deck can host an outdoor reception under designer tenting. Cescaphe’s weddings are all-inclusive and include a six-hour event, an hour-and-a-half cocktail reception, an events team, and a three-course seated dinner, among other elements. If your ceremony is on-site, Cescaphe will add an extra 30 minutes to your celebration. Prices vary based on the season (fall and spring are most popular), guest count and booking window. 640 Waterworks Drive, Fairmount.