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Jan 16, 2008 10:45 PM

Wedding Reception in Brandywine Valley Area?

We're getting married out of the country but having a reception for our friends and family in the US. My fiance and some of his family are from Wilmington, DE but a lot of people will be coming from out of town and flying into the Philadelphia airport so we wanted something in between. And Brandywine Valley seems to be vaguely in between.

Because there won't be a ceremony we were thinking of having it in a great restaurant. It'll be for 130 people and our budget is 10k-15k. I'm up for any kind of food as long as it's good and not super expensive. I'd love any suggestions from people in the area since I'm not sure where to start -- what tastes great? Thanks so much!

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  1. I'm not really familiar with any "great restaurants" in the area that can accomodate 130 people for a reception, but I can suggest a few non-restaurant venues.

    The "obvious" places in and around the Wilmington area may be a little out of your budget, but you might want to call them anyway to get an idea. The Hotel DuPont in Wilmington is an incredible event venue. We've held two very special events there and I would say that there's little that could surpass the Hotel in this location. I've also attended several very lovely wedding receptions at the Brandywine Country Club in north Wilmington ( and at Hartefeld Golf Club ( in nearby Avondale, PA.

    Another venue to consider is the Stone Barn just outside Kennett Square, PA (approx. 30 minutes from Wilmington). ( The grounds are lush and beautifully landscaped, and if you're planning your event for spring, summer or fall it'll be especially nice. I have a feeling that of the places I've mentioned, Stone Barn may be the most reasonably priced. Also, since they do not have a liquor license, you can purchase your own wine/beer/liquor for use at your reception, which is a huge cost savings. Good luck!

    4 Replies
    1. re: CindyJ

      If I were you I would make a phone call to Moro restaurant in Wilmington to see if you could maybe rent the place out. Their food is spectacular -- among the best anywhere around, including Philadelphia and New York (and I am a fussy duck!)

      Addendum: They won't let me cancel this post so I will simply add: Please forget this post. I just saw that you expected to pay about $10-12 a person and that won't happen at Moro.

      1. re: idia

        She said that her budget was $10,000 to $15,000.

        1. re: JanR

          Isn't that as much as $115.38 pp at 130 people?

          1. re: JanR

            You are correct! I never was a whiz at math.
            So I stand by the original part of my post. Moro if you can get them to rent it out to you. The food is spectacular!!

    2. I've attended events at Harroy's Savoy Grill in Wilmington. They do a great job with large groups. Should be in your budget.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jessicheese

        The Mendenhall Inn and Dilworthtown Inns are both very nice. I have no idea how much they would cost though...

        1. re: bluehensfan

          A word of caution about the Mendenhall Inn: watch your personal belongings! I know of two people who had digital cameras stolen from there at two separate wedding receptions. One camera belonged to my daughter; the other camera belonged to a guest at my daughter's friend's wedding. And the management could hardly care less!

      2. Great suggestions so far, I'll look into pricing some of these restaurants. I am looking more to rent out a good restaurant than to rent a hall with a caterer and all that. We'll be going to Delaware in a couple months and I want to make a list of places to look at and eat at. Thanks!

        3 Replies
        1. re: zeprosnepsid

          Don't let the names fool you. Mendenhall isn't a "hall" as in "firehall". it's actually a gorgeous room with a wraparound stone porch and curved staircase. That stinks about the cameras- I've worked events there with a photographer and hadn't heard of that before, but the staff may have changed since that time.

          1. re: jessicheese

            If you are flexible with dates and willing to do reception on Friday or Thursday- you will get best price. Especially if you book it 2 or 3 months out- if they are not booked now they will not be and you can really negotiate. Mendenhall is a great option. Food is OK- but nice atmosphere for wedding.

            1. re: jessicheese

              Yes, most likely it was the clean-up crew. My daughter left her camera on her table and went to dance (I know -- NOT a smart thing to do!). When she returned to the table, everything had been cleared, including her camera.

          2. What about the inn at montchanin? I am considering it for my own reception, same idea but half the people