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Suggestions for Wedding Rehearsal Dinner for 100 in Philly in July ?

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Hi ,
We have about 100 people coming from Virginia for a wedding in Philly this summer. The parents of the groom are looking to have a dinner for their out of town guests the Friday night before the wedding. Any wonderful suggestions, hoping not to spend a fortune.
Thanks for any and all ideas!

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  1. do you have any idea where the wedding will be or where most of the guests will be staying? 100 people will probably need a place within walking distance or a short cab ride...

    4 Replies
    1. re: mazza3

      The will be staying near Independence Square but most will have wheels. Thx

      1. re: lizbien

        Two options come to mind, The Waterworks by the Art Museum and the University Museum at Penn. Both nice spaces.
        Having wheels in Philadelphia can be a real disadvantage/expense for an evening event. Would suggest the guests take taxis or better yet, engage some open-air trolleys to shuttle the guests.

        1. re: lizbien

          if you are referring to independence hall, then there are many good restaurants within a few block walk. since price is a concern, that probably rules out union trust and chops (but if you can work something agreeable out with those places, i would go for union trust). i would also check out philadelphia.menupages.com and search the center city east and old city boards. while you are bound to get some great recs here, it is good to have another source me thinks. personally, i would love the thai malaysian Aqua as my rehearsal dinner spot, but other people like meat-heavy places for these events.

          JanePond is right about the driving, you certainly do not want 25-50 cars driving around and looking for parking on a friday night. philly is more a walking city than a driving one. i would definitely recommend a restaurant that is close to old city/society hill so those who can walk do and those who have trouble can easily take a taxi (or drive if they absolutely must). valet can be very expensive so i doubt you would want to shift that cost onto your guests....

          1. re: lizbien

            Without knowing what "not a fortune" is, Positano Coast comes to mind for a party that size, if they want walking distance to the hotel.

            But I do like the idea (albeit a somewhat pricey one) of putting out of town guests into trolleys for a mini tour of Philadelphia en route to dinner.

            Having guests drive their personal vehicles to dinner would be an expensive mess.

        2. There are many Chinese restaurants in Chinatown that have large banquet rooms and can serve beautiful banquets that are very reasonable.