Broke-Ass Tag: elegant


Once the bling was on the finger and the bragging had commenced, it was time to get down to business and decide on a venue. I figured the most efficient way to git-r-done was to visit a bunch of venues in one whirlwind weekend. Mr. Officer wasn’t able to join us, but luckily the maid of honor and my parents were totally on board for my plan.

So without further ado, I present my options for Venue-Palooza!

Option 1: College of Physicians
Theme: Love in the Time of Cholera
Notes: Okay, this was definitely the quirkiest option but I kind of liked that it was so offbeat.   The neighborhood was sort of sketch-tastic, but the interior was beautiful and guests can peruse the Mutter Museum during the reception. If you’re not familiar with the Mutter Museum, it’s filled with medical oddities such as a replica of the world’s largest impacted colon, a wax cast of a horn growing out of a woman’s forehead and a cabinet full of things people have swallowed over the years. Yup, that’s how we do romance in the City of Brotherly Love.

College of Physicians: Main Reception Area

College of Physicians: Cocktail Reception Area

College of Physicians: Mutter Museum
Photo by B. Krist

Option 2: Racquet Club of Philadelphia
Theme: Roaring ’20s Speaking Easy
Notes: The Racquet Club of Philadelphia won points immediately because the event guy was really cute and we were hoping the maid of honor would score a date by the end of the tour. Cute guys aside though, the swanky interior reminded me of Winthorpe’s racquet club in Trading Places, but in a good way. However, I was really worried about making our non-city dwelling guests drive all the way into Center City Philadelphia and I didn’t like that our smallish party would be broken up into separate rooms.

Racquet Club of Philadelphia: Entrance/Dancing Area
Photo via

Racquet Club of Philadelphia: Dining Area
Photo via

Racquet Club of Philadelphia: Cigar Room
Photo via

Racquet Club of Philadelphia: Afterparty Room
Photo via

Option 3: Appleford Estate
Theme: Gatsby Garden Party
Notes: This one was my dad’s absolute favorite and for good reasons, the grounds were beautiful and the interior of the estate was pretty amazing. I loved the idea of playing Mainline diva for a night, but I hated that the main reception area would have to be tented. I mean what’s the point of all that beauty if you’re just going to cover it up with a drab tent anyway?

Appleford Estate: Exterior & Reception Patio
Note: the patio would be tented from the second row of windows down

Appleford Estate Cocktail Reception Room

Appleford Estate: Dessert Buffet Room

Option 4: Grace Winery at Sweetwater Farm Bed & Breakfast
Theme: Rustic Romance
Comments: We got engaged here, so the venue has sentimental value and I just love this place. It’s gorgeous and relaxing plus the wedding party & Mr. Officer’s family can stay there with us. However, this is the most expensive venue (of course) and we have to rent out the entire B&B for two nights as part of the contract.

Sweetwater Farm: Main Reception Area

Sweetwater Farm: Main Bar Area

Sweetwater Farm: Cocktail Reception Area

The decision was tough, but we finally decided on Sweetwater Farm because it is the best fit for our personalities and the type of wedding we’ve envisioned. Also, some of the other venues had exclusive catering contracts,  which meant less flexibility on catering cost/options.  As an added bonus, Sweetwater is so pretty that we can save money on the decorations/flowers budget.

In the end Venue-Palooza was a huge success. I picked a venue and I had a great time checking out the oddities and drinking wine between appointments with some of my favorite people!

  • 11/29

    Formal dinnerware is something broke-ass brides  like us sometimes leave off the wedding registry, but over the Thanksgiving holiday I was quietly reminded why wedding china is AWESOME – my mother has been serving up her holiday feasts (pulled straight from the pages of Southern Living) on her 1980’s wedding china for as long as I can remember. And then I took a gander at some of the beautiful and uber-modern china patterns from Noritake

    Whether you love classic, simple lines, or contemporary flourishes – there’s something for every bride at Noritake – even the type of bride that doesn’t consider herself to be the fancy-china-owning-type. For instance, check out this incredibly lovely Bone China “Alana Platinum” pattern – with its light platinum band of tiny starbursts around the edges. STUNNING.

    It’s hard to imagine right now, when you’re holding on to those little dollar bills as tightly as you possibly can, a time in the future when you might be able to relax and enjoy a sumptuous holiday meal served on beautiful bone china plates, and not stress over the cost of the food or the worth of your tableware, but would you believe us if we tell you it’s coming? And you’ll want to be prepared.

    Budget-savvy brides, take note!  Noritake is offering BAB readers an exclusive 10% discount on any products on their site – simply enter the code BABblog at checkout!