29 Reviews for Awbury Arboretum
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We absolutely loved our wedding at Awbury two weeks ago (May 2018)! Even with the late spring and the rainy week leading up to it, the grounds were stunning. Branda and her team have put a lot of work into spiffing up the grounds around the Cope house - with lovely new stone walkways, new wood chips, and blooming flower beds. There is also a semi-permanent tent now (which we didn't use but looks very nice). Our ceremony was on the freshly mown lawn in front of the house, and our brunch reception was inside in the parlor. The parlor has beautiful large windows that open up into doorways leading to the porch, and we were able to utilize the entire space. Our wedding was very small with 25 guests, and I couldn't imagine a more perfect setting.
Birchtree (their exclusive caterer) managed the entire set-up and clean-up, but all design and decor creations were our responsibility. If you are a DIY enthusiast, Awbury is the perfect place, the Cope house being very much a blank slate. With that being said, it is stunning in it's own right, and didn't require much more than a few flower vases along with our table decorations.
Branda was amazing to work with: so responsive and accommodating. Her coordination with the Birchtree team was so helpful and made planning so much easier.
I would recommend Awbury in a heartbeat, especially for the nature loving couple. The options for ceremony at Awbury are endless and every one equally stunning!
Thank you Stephanie! We loved celebrating with you!
Loved our wedding at Awbury! We had an outdoor ceremony on the last weekend of October and their trees were popping with color and gorgeous!
Branda was fantastic to work with throughout our wedding planning process and facilitated coordination between the different wedding parties for the weekend. She was very responsive and able to answer any questions we had. Day-of staff were also extremely helpful in coordinating the event and making sure things were moving along on schedule. We loved this space and it was everything we could have asked for.
We got married at Awbury on 10/7/17. We walked in and immediately knew it was the perfect venue. It has some indoor space, enough for about 60 guests, and ample area outside to cover with a tent in case of rain. It also has fantastic wraparound porches and great getting ready spaces, as well as a small kitchen for caterers.
Awbury is definitely a DIY venue. Though they provide some tables and chairs, you will need to rent more if you are having a larger wedding. Also, you are responsible for all setup and cleanup. This was not a problem for us at all. We had friends, family, and hired helpers who took care of setup/cleanup, but if you want a venue that does all that for you, this might not be a good fit.
Awbury seems to be doing more weddings and has changed some things since we first booked them. They have done a lot of improvements, such as building a beautiful blue stone patio out back which made a perfect area to set up a tent and dinner tables. We were able to bring in a buffet caterer, but they are now partnered exclusively with birchtree catering. They also now have a sound system (both an indoor one for music and outdoors for the ceremony) which we were able to use.
Branda, the events coordinator, is SO nice, responsive, and helpful. She answered all of my questions thoroughly and made me feel like my event was important to her. On the day of, Awbury provided a parking attendant who successfully guided our buses in and out, and an event staffer (Courtney I think?) who I didn't talk to much (I was a bit busy, heh) but it seemed like she was being helpful.
Overall, the space is GORGEOUS with a perfect flow for guests, and it was a breeze working with Branda to plan, despite having many moving parts. 5/5 would get married there again :D
We had a beautiful wedding at Awbury this September. We liked Awbury because it's close to our home, allowed us to DIY many aspects, and was a beautiful location. We liked the mix of indoor and outdoor spaces which created a nice flow to the day. We had our ceremony off the side porch, cocktail hour on the front porch, dinner in the tent on the patio, and dancing in the parlor. The property has lots of green space for photographs. Branda, their site coordinator, is a joy to work with and Robin was there the whole day.
Do keep in mind that you will have to rent most of your furniture and a tent. We had to do all of the setup the morning of, so consider booking extra time if you have substantial decor.
We chose Awbury Arboretum for our ceremony. The grounds are gorgeous! It rained on our wedding day, but the inside of the Francis Cope house is beautiful. Awbury is an oasis in Philadelphia. Branda, the manager, is great at what she does! She responded to every email/ silly question that I had.
Awbury Arboretum was the perfect wedding venue. The grounds and the Cope House are stunningly beautiful - you really can't ask for a more picturesque setting if you want an outdoor, rustic wedding. Branda, the manager, was really easy to work with. You can tell that she loves the arboretum and takes a lot of pleasure in helping people plan events there. The flexibility to bring in your own caterer really allows you to have a personalized wedding. The constraints of the kitchen space in the Cope House can be challenging for a caterer, but we spoke with multiple caterers from Awbury's list of preferred companies, and it wasn't a problem for us to find several different catering options. The combination of the indoor space in the Cope House, the porches surrounding the house, and the paved patio make for a really lovely atmosphere and allow you to have an outdoor wedding while still offering your guests some comforts of indoors. We got a lot of compliments from our guests about how gorgeous the grounds and Cope House were. The arboretum also has a really great mission, and it was cool to get married in a spot that values the surrounding community. This place is a hidden gem in the Philly wedding scene!
I can only say this: definitely book your wedding here! The flexibility of being able to bring our own caterer was so awesome. The place is totally shabby chic--- and it decorates itself with all of the surrounding foliage and the beautiful Francis Cope House. My guests raved about it. I also loved that it wasn't as well known as the other venues in Philly, makes it feel really special. Additionally, Branda is totally amazing to work with. She's really laid back, but super responsive and knowledgeable. She saw the whole thing through from start to finish with total grace and professionalism. I can't recommend this spot enough!
Awbury was perfect for our wedding. We wanted to do a low-key wedding on a reasonable budget, which was hard to find in Philly. We had both the ceremony and reception at Awbury for about 70 guests, but it was easy with such a large space. There were other places in Philly that would have worked on our budget but Awbury was easily the best due to the size, the flexibility with vendors, and with the beautiful Cope house and gardens. Branda was also really great to work with, and made everything seem easy. We had a fantastic time on our wedding day, and can't come up with any complaints.
I loved Awbury for my wedding, It was beautiful, it was affordable, and the money I paid went to support an organization that runs programs for the local community. Branda was fantastic, and extremely easy to communicate with. The thing to keep in mind with Awbury is that it is a completely DIY space. they have a suggested list for caterers, but unless you hire a wedding planner, everything else is pretty much whatever you want it to be. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you want to plan your wedding. Personally, I mostly loved it. It took a little more work but I got to hire exactly who I wanted to do exactly what I wanted.
The Awbury Arboretum was the perfect backdrop to our wedding. We wanted a more relaxed, informal wedding, and we were able to achieve that with hosting our cocktail reception in the Cope House. The May weather gave our guests an opportunity to spend time in the house, on the porch and in the yard. We were able to use the property early in the day to take some beautiful photographs outside the house and in the secret garden. Branda was incredible to work with and really helped us with all our questions about planning our wedding reception at the arboretum. The cost of the arboretum made this even better for us - it was such an incredible value. We could not have found a better place to have our reception!
Our caterer recommended Awbury and we were so thrilled they were available for our October date. It was a beautiful setting for our outdoor wedding and backdrop for photos. Branda was wonderful throughout the whole planning process and had great suggestions with her vast experience coordinating events at Awbury.
Awbury was the absolute perfect spot for our wedding. We wanted a beautiful venue that reflected our love of Philadelphia, and we wanted to support the nonprofits and small businesses that make this city so great. From our first visit, over a year before our wedding, we fell in love with the Francis Cope House and the surrounding grounds. In every direction, there are vibrant plants, flowers, large trees, rolling fields, and hidden nooks. The gardens are expertly maintained and yet not overly manicured. The house is large, airy, and historic. Our wedding was on a hot summer day and yet the inside of the house remained quite cool throughout. The wraparound porch is extravagantly spacious; the side porch was large enough to accommodate our dance floor and DJ table, while the front porch held our bar and welcome table. There are extant hooks in the porch arches that made hanging our homemade ribbon buntings a breeze. The side yard was large enough to host the 30'x60' tent we had rented for our dinner reception, and also provided additional shade on a sunny day. The front yard was perfect for our ceremony, too, with a slight slope that created natural amphitheater seating and a direct path/aisle from the front doors of the house.
On top of all this, the site coordinator (Branda) was utterly responsive and helpful throughout the entire process. She quickly answered all of my many emails leading up to the event; she met with us at least twice before the event to show us the grounds (including the incredibly useful storage shed, which we were able to use to store materials shortly before/after the big day); she was prepping the space before we arrived that morning and helped with clean-up after everyone had left. There was also a parking attendant who was invaluable to our guests.
There is much more I could say about our perfect wedding at Awbury Arboretum, but these are main elements that made it all possible. We are so glad we discovered Awbury!
My husband and I loved Awbury so much, we decided to book it for 2 receptions. Originally, we had planned a small ceremony at Awbury followed by a lunch reception at a nearby restaurant on a Friday afternoon. We wanted to hold a bbq the following Sunday for extended family and more friends. When we quickly realized that our bbq plans were getting bigger than our house could accommodate, we quickly turned to Awbury! The garden is a hidden gem that makes you feel you've been transported out of the business of Philadelphia. The staff is attentive and willing answer any questions. On the day of, they were so helpful and just made you feel at ease. Brenda, the event host, went far and beyond and even connected me with a bride who was having a wedding the same weekend as my receptions. This allowed us to rent a tent together. I think this showed how much Awbury fosters a sense of community and is really dedicated to just having people experience the arboretum. My experience with other venues is that they try to get as much money as they can from you, charging for every little thing. Awbury staff was the complete opposite. You paid what was told to you with no hidden costs (and it's already such a bargain!). It is definitely more of a DIY venue than others (which I loved), but honestly, the arboretum and the Cope House are absolutely beautiful on their own that the site required very little decorations. My family and friends still gush about Awbury!
We had a very untraditional wedding so having a wedding at the Awbury Arboretum in the middle of the winter wasn't as unusual as you would think! We know, most people want to have their big day outside on the beautiful grounds surrounding Frances Cope House ... Not us! The day before the wedding we had bad weather including snow and ice. When we showed up for the big day they already had the entire area plowed and salted! We set tables and decorations up in the parlors while our caterer, Blue Monkey Catering, was busy at work setting up in the entrance hall and side room which provided ample space for our Hors d'oeuvre and buffet spreads. As our guests arrived through the main doors they could feel the history and splendor of this grand old house. The folks at Awbury were gracious and accommodating to our needs. There were the perfect hosts.
I stumbled upon the Awbury Arboretum by accident. I actually drive through the Arboretum everyday on my daily commute without realizing it was such a hidden gem. Branda was amazing to work with. She answered any questions and addressed every concern. She made sure we were accommodated and made her resources available to us. The space is brings you back to the late 1800's without seeming dates. It really reminds you of a time where less is more and it allows your guests to really take in the cozy atmosphere. I am already planning future events in my head at the Arboretum. I honestly could not imagine having a better venue.
My husband and I were looking for a wedding venue that would accommodate our large wedding (around 170), but that would still be flexible and allow us to create the event that we wanted. It turns out this is a difficult ask, but Awbury fit the bill! They were very flexible and Branda, who was our point of contact, was incredibly helpful through every step of the process. No question was too small for her.
We had our ceremony on the wrap around porch, and fit all of our guests under a tent on the newly paved patio behind the house. I was worried it would feel small, but Branda suggested a solution of adding a second adjoining small tent for the bar, and it worked beautifully.
There are some quirks given that Awbury is in a residential neighborhood - the reception needed to end at 9:00 and Awbury is necessarily serious about keeping the DJ speaker noise level down out of respect for the neighbors.
However, people were happy and the 9:00 end time didn't feel too early. We rented a large airbnb in the neighborhood for the weekend (so many beautiful houses!) with some out-of town friends, and just brought the celebration back there! It was perfect.
We loved having our wedding at Awbury Arboretum. The grounds and house are beautiful, especially the porches, and the venue set the tone perfectly for our laid-back DIYish wedding. We were so happy to have the paved patio under the tent instead of the mulch. This was a great update for Awbury to make this year (2017). Branda, the event coordinator/manager at Awbury is so friendly and easy to work with and we got the sense that she really takes pride in what she does. A few things to note for a couple considering having their wedding or other event at Awbury Arboretum: It is not the park plaza (obviously). It's a venue where you need to bring everything to and from it. All set up needs to happen day of as does any breakdown. It works best for a couple wishing to have a daytime wedding because the music (at least for us under the tent) needs to be shut off by 9pm because of the neighboring residents. Checkout Awbury's Pinterest page for inspiration!
We absolutely loved hosting our wedding at Awbury. The property is a hidden gem in Philadelphia. The Cope House and gardens are beautiful, and it is one of the more affordable outdoor venues I could find in the city. Branda was wonderful to work with. She was extremely responsive, informative, and flexible!
We had our small ceremony at Awbury, and it was just the perfect venue for our date and our budget. Our guest list was really small, and because of our late-October date, we needed a venue in Philly that could be indoors or outdoors...we ended up with perfect weather, and couldn't have been happier!
The staff was super accommodating of our various needs and requests, and was always available by phone for last minute questions. We did our decorating ourselves, and ended up ordering chairs for the guests; for a small DIY situation on a tight budget, Awbury is the perfect fit.
We were thrilled to have our wedding at Awbury. Branda was such a pleasure to work with over the 12 months leading up to our event. A lot of our guests had never heard of or been to the Arboretum, and were very pleasantly surprised upon arrival, so it was nice to introduce them to this neighborhood gem.
We visited a bunch of times during the planning process and always felt welcome. Even though there was a wedding the night before, the house and grounds looked great when we arrived the morning of our big day. It doesn't feel like a wedding factory at all.
One of the things we liked most about Awbury was their flexibility and how laid back and accommodating they were. They also made a bunch of upgrades for this summer season.
Just keep in mind that you will have to budget for extras. We rented tables and chairs, linens and glassware, paid for extra hours in order to get ready and dressed before the wedding, and ended up hiring a valet service, which was pricey but we felt offered the best experience for our guests due to lack of parking. There are also restrictions around music.
Overall I highly recommend this venue if you want a DIY wedding in the city, with peace, quiet and beauty, and a very nice indoor space in addition to the gorgeous grounds.
Awbury is a gorgeous location, and even though it poured rain on our wedding day, we still had a wonderful experience. It was unfortunate that we couldn't have the reception outside, but the beautiful historic house was large enough to accommodate everyone inside. The manger Branda was awesome, super friendly and knowledgeable, willing to answer any questions and help us in any way. Unfortunately she was not there on the day of the wedding. We had some issues with the onsite attendant. She did not know how to get the house speakers to work properly. She also seemed more interested in her boyfriend than in helping us with anything. Luckily we didn't need her for much. I'm very happy we chose Awbury as the venue for our wedding.
My guests loved this place. I was able to make it even more beautiful as far as my set up, but I didn't have to do much if I didn't want to. It ended up being just lovely. I wanted an outside wedding with nice scenery that was affordable. I was looking at Morris Arboretum at first but they were out of my budget and I wanted the option to bring my own caterer or food. I also didn't like their reception area. Awbury had those options and I could set up reception anywhere and it would look great. Definitely flexible as well. Branda, the events coordinator, was very helpful from beginning to end. I really liked working with this place- it was affordable, plenty of space, the place had character and just an overall wonderful atmosphere. I planned my entire wedding which was stressful, but fine. If you are going for this option, I would recommend having a set up/ break down team because it can get crazy and you have to plan you set up and break down time in your rental. If you want more set-up time you have to pay for it. I also didn't like that the price increased based on the amount of people - because I was already paying per person for the food. Other than that, it was a great option for me, turned out nice.
Awbury has a lot of things going for it. It is a functioning arboretum, which means the setting is peaceful and picturesque. The space has a house with more than enough in terms of day-of room and bathroom facilities, which was very useful to us. The house's porch is a great multi-purpose space. By the virtue of being a park space, there are some limitations that cannot be worked around - music off by 9 p.m., no open flames - but these slight inflexibilities are more than offset by the professionalism and accommodation of the staff, as well as the uniqueness of the setting. A great place for a DIY affair. Our guest list, however, was too large to be accommodated in the house/by the on-site chairs and tables, so factor in tent rental and tables and chairs when making your budget if you have a guest list above 70 or so.
We had our 50 person ceremony/reception/lunch at Awbury and it was so lovely.
I can't imagine having a better venue for the kind of laid back and intimate event we had. The best thing about this venue is that you are free to work with any vendors of your choosing, which for us was a lifesaver in terms of keeping costs down. The other great thing about Awbury is that since it's already so pretty, we hardly had to spend any money on flowers/decorations. We were able to have our ceremony outside and our lunch on the front porch- it was perfect.
Some words of wisdom if you are considering this venue- this really is a more DIY place, don't expect the level of service that a more expensive place would give you. If you are on a budget and ready to roll up your sleeves- this is the ideal location. If you expect to be pampered- this is not the place for you. The facilities are older, everything works but it's not new and shiny. The event coordinator Branda is wonderful and helpful but she only works 3 days a week. The place is not ideal for walkers or wheelchairs- everyone who came was able bodied but I watched my grandparents struggle a bit getting in and out of the house several times with the high step. That all being said- we loved it and don't regret having it there for a minute, just more of a heads up!
We wanted a beautiful outdoor but informal wedding venue where we could have the ceremony and reception. We had guests traveling into Philadelphia from many other cities and we didn't want to subject our guests to too much moving around. We also needed something that had indoor space in case of rain.
Awbury has extensive grounds that are beautiful, and a stunning house that is part of the rental package. The first floor has two giant rooms with huge windows that look out onto the gardens. There are two bathrooms, an extra room that could be used as a coatroom or caterer staging area, and a kitchen. We used the upstairs conference room with attached bathroom as a dressing room for the bridal party. There is also a wide porch on two sides of the house. We used the porch for the bar, the toasting area and for dancing--the porch has a large circular portion on the side that is perfect for dancing.
We set up our dinner tables on the side of the house under the trees. Our ceremony was held behind the house in front of flowering bushes. My bridal party walked out the back door of the house, along the gravel pathway that surrounds the circular lawn, and over to the ceremony area.
After the ceremony, we walked back to the porch for toasts, then did all of our photographs right there by the house. Everything was gorgeous!
Our reception dinner was under the trees. The caterers set up in the front room and we used the back room for the dessert table and for our family slide show and singing (we had a lot of guest singing!). We also used the circular lawn for yard games after dinner. We had more than enough room for everything and the progression of the event from space to space was seamless.
The whole Arboretum is super beautiful! There are multiple areas to use for every part of the wedding event. Guests didn't have to leave and travel somewhere else. The staff helped us set-up and clean-up afterwards.