The history of Valley Forge with the amenities of a modern country club.
For months, I've longed to see the Philander Chase Knox Estate, a Robert Ryan Catering event venue nestled in Valley Forge National Park. A few years back I had the opportunity to dig (archaeology) in Valley Forge on the opposite side of the park where the Muhlenberg Brigade huts are located, and so it was a real treat to be able to visit this particular venue, on grounds where I have a personal connection and interest in the history.
Though it is winter and the aftermath of a blizzard, I was still in awe as I drove up to the sprawling Estate that actually borders both Chester and Montgomery Counties. When I walked around inside, it truly felt like someone's home - it was comfortable, quiet and had a lived-in feel to it, but with obvious (and beautiful) renovations.
On-Site Ceremony?: Yes. In fair weather, there is a grassy knoll where couples can exchange vows (this year they are anticipating over 300 wildflowers to bloom as a backdrop!). In inclement weather, the tent is utilized.
Catering?: The venue is catered by Robert Ryan Catering & Design.
Available Spaces?: The Philander Chase Knox Estate offers a variety of options for guests to utilize (depending the event); however, for weddings it is most common to use the bridal AND bridal party suites, patio/foyer for cocktail hour, grassy knoll for ceremony and the tent (up to 200 guests!) for reception.
Event Types?: Large corporate events and weddings
Getting Ready On-Site?: Yes. There is a bridal suite as well as a separate suite for bridesmaids, equipped with plenty of mirrors and restrooms.
Vibe: Historic/Rustic/Classic. I image that getting married here would feel like you are celebrating at a family member's estate.
Perks: There is no shortage of photo opportunities at this venue. Guests can use the building itself, the grounds (including an elegant water feature) and even a greenhouse just a short walk up the hill!
Colonial charm in West Chester, PA
Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Radley Run Country Club for a meeting about a fundraiser I'm helping to plan, and while I was there, I made sure to learn more about the beautiful venue.
What was once the property of William Penn, and later, Dr. Charles Mather, Radley Run Country Club is a 1770s colonial masterpiece tucked away in West Chester.
Today, the facility is an active country club, but also hosts special events in their 19th century renovated barn and Mansion House. Radley Run also offers a sprawling golf course and a rustic backdrop (great for photographs!).
On-Site Ceremony?: Yes, there are indoor and outdoor options available.
Catering?: Radley Run Country Club has its own on-site chef - outside catering is not permitted, though you are welcome to bring in an outside baker.
Parking?: Yes (three lots!), with optional valet.
Available Spaces?: Five unique event spaces available
Event Types?: Best suited for large banquets (weddings, milestone events, etc.).
Getting Ready On-Site?: Yes. Ladies and mens locker rooms are available and are equipped with full mirrors, plenty of outlet space, sitting rooms and showers.
Vibe: Timeless/Classic & Rustic both fit this venue well.
Perks: Hosting an event at Radley Run means you're adding your event to their already incredible history. The club was a stop on the underground railroad!
I was recently on Twitter when I noticed a tweet from Joelle Duff of Joelle Charming who pitched a very important question to her follower's.
I quickly engaged in a conversation with Joelle on the topic, and was so pleased that she brought it up . Cultural appropriation is a controversial topic, but one that must be addressed, even in the wedding and special event world. How often do we see photographs of weddings that incorporate design elements from other cultures simply for aesthetics?
For those who aren't familiar, and who may be perplexed by what Joelle is talking about - it is trendy within the event industry to incorporate Native American symbolism into the wedding design. I can agree and appreciate that the Native American peoples produce breathtaking pieces, but there is a difference between theme and inspiration.
I am a firm believer in educating others about traditions and symbols from cultures outside of their own. In the event industry, it's become a taboo topic. Many couples are inspired by the aesthetic presentation of many cultural traditions and keepsakes; however, when opting to incorporate these objects into their wedding presentation aren't being mindful of the fact that in many cultures, objects hold sacred meaning.
Emily, the visionary behind the popular blog Oh Hello, Love, also weighed in on the conversation, "If you are interested in incorporating elements from another culture, take some time to think about the connections you have to that culture. Did you spend time in another country? .... Take the time to ask questions and find out the meaning behind the pieces... The problem generally arises when these elements are used out of context or because they have become trendy".
Context is key. By bringing this topic to the forefront, I want to be sure to emphasize that I am not against the use of design elements being brought in from another culture, but I believe you should be mindful of how you are using those elements.
What are your thoughts?