The first thing we booked, of course, was the venue: the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing. I know, it’s a mouthful.
I know some brides would rather wear polyester from head to toe than have their weddings in hotel ballrooms, but I was open to looking at all types of venues. All indoor venues, that is. I would never even think about having our ceremony or reception outside at the end of May…or really at any point during the year. I’m just not a big fan of the outdoors…there I admit it! Plus, our hope from the beginning was to have our Hindu ceremony (his faith) somehow recognized by the Catholic Church (my faith), and one of the stipulations to this was that the ceremony had to be held indoors anyway.
While we considered venues outside of the city, ultimately we only visited four venues and they were all in Philly. We had a large number of out-of-town guests coming and keeping everything in the city meant that traveling would be easier for them. And there was more to do for those who had the chance to roam around between wedding festivities than if we were in the suburbs somewhere, which was another bonus.
There were a few things that the Hyatt offered that the other venues under consideration didn’t. They just underwent a renovation a few years ago so all of their spaces, from the ballroom to the guest rooms to the restaurant downstairs, all have a clean, updated look to them. Also, they allow outside Indian catering so you can eat authentic food at the reception, not a fusion interpretation (which was what other catering companies kept trying to sell us at venues with either an exclusive or preferred catering list). The Hyatt also allowed for a fairly flexible rental duration, and could promise an easy transition of ceremony to cocktails to reception, all of which were pretty much taking place in the same spot. So we just felt like we were getting a lot of what we were asking for right from the start, without having to compromise or beg for our specific requests.
The ballroom, which is the smaller of the two that the hotel offers, has huge south-facing windows that let in a ton of great light and also provide some nice views of the river.
Can we just take a second to talk about the bridal suite we had at the Hyatt, too? This was our view as we peeked out the windows during the morning as all the girls were hanging out and getting ready.
If you have ten girls getting ready in one suite, you're gonna end up with alot of stuff. Everywhere. Luckily we had more than enough room to contain the madness.
I can also say that we were happy with the service we received at the Hyatt. The staff - from the support services to the waitstaff to our onsite coordinator - was really there to meet our needs throughout the weekend.
This is just the beginning of my wedding rundown, so check back for more. And don't forget that you still have time to enter our current stationery giveaway, which ends tomorrow.