Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum
100 East Northwestern Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118
View their website

Average Base Cost: $27,000

Average base cost for a Morris Arboretum wedding is calculated by figuring a 125-person guest list on a Saturday evening in October 2015 using $150/pp for food and beverage (the latter would be supplied by you, and served by the caterers). Entertainment, parking, additional decorations and rentals, DJ, and photography are not included. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand and includes tax and gratuity.

*Prices subject to change

How itBbreaks Down

Facility Rental Fee: 

Morris Arboretum rental rates are broken down as follows:

NOTE: All rates are listed for 2015/2016 .

May, June, September, October Evenings (6-11:00pm). 

  • Friday evening: $3,600/$5,100
  • Saturday evening: $4,500/$6,300
  • Sunday evening: $3,400/$4,900
  • Monday – Thursday evening: $1,700/$2,400

April, July, August Evenings (6-11:00pm)

  • Friday evening: $3,300/$4,700
  • Saturday evening: $3,800/$5,400
  • Sunday evening: $3,100/$4,400
  • Monday – Thursday evening: $1,400/$2,000

November – March Evenings (6-11:00pm) Carriage House ONLY, no cart/driver.

  • Friday evening: $1,200/$1,800
  • Saturday evening: $1,200/$1,800
  • Sunday evening: $1,000/$1,500
  • Monday – Thursday evening: $800/$1,200
morris arboretum

What’s Included: Rentals of the Morris Arboretum also include the Victorian Carriage House (which holds up to 65 guests) and tables and chairs. A tent is also provided for your reception, which holds up to 175 guests and includes tables, chairs, lights, clear sides, and heaters. Use of the grounds around the building are also included, and wedding pictures are allowed in the garden. You will also be provided with a cart and driver for 4 hours.

Additional Add-on Options:

  • Rose Garden/Pennock Walk – Ceremony and/or Cocktails: $900
  • Use of Out on a Limb: $700
  • Rose Garden or Pennock Walk and Out on a Limb: $1,300
  • Wedding Rehearsals (1 Hour, by appointment only): $100/hr
  • Additional Golf Cart and Driver (4:00pm – 8:00pm): $300
morris arboretum
The Rose Garden

Food: You must use one of their pre-approved caterers, such as Feast Your Eyes and Company’s Coming. A general per-person dinner cost provided by Feast Your Eyes is $105 to $145 per person for 4 hours of service. This includes the following:

  • the menu (plated or buffet as well as hors d’oeuvres)
  • bar setups, sodas & mixers, bar tools, bar fruit, ice, ice chests(s), cocktail napkins, and a bar mix
  • equipment
  • staff costs
philadelphia garden wedding venue
The Carriage House

Beverage: You may provide your own alcohol at this venue (woo-hoo!) as long as the caterers serve it. For full bar expect your costs to run you around $20+/pp depending on what you buy and where.

More Stats

Space Type: Inside/Outside

Is there a rain-plan?: Yes. As a back-up, the Upper Gallery or the Side Tent of the Widener Visitor Center are alternatives, in the event of inclement weather. You can work with your caterer on a rain plan set-up. According to the wedding venue, all approved caterers are prepared to make the switch quickly.

philadelphia garden wedding venue
The “Out on a Limb” structure

Size: For sit-down receptions 175 is the maximum that can comfortably be seated in the tented reception area attached to the Widener Visitor Center carriage house. Within the Widener Visitor Center, the Upper Gallery can accommodate 65.

Bridal Suite: Yes

Parking: Yes. Parking is free.

Food Service Type: Your choice

philadelphia garden wedding venue

How Will Grandma Get There? Downtown Philadelphia is located about 14 miles away from Morris Arboretum. That’s close enough that you can arrange for a shuttle for guests to go to and from the venue (which I would recommend), however there are also closer hotel options even if there isn’t quite as much to do around them. A DoubleTree Suites is located roughly 5 miles away for out-of-town guests as well as a Hyatt and Hilton Garden Inn.

Party On! Events must end by 11 p.m.

morris arboretum
morris arboretum

The Report

In 1887 the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania was originally known as Compton, which was the summer home of siblings John and Lydia Morris. John was a noted plantsman, and traveled the world bringing art, artifacts, as well as plants back to Compton. Despite the ground’s initial poor quality for gardening, the Morris siblings were soon able to transform it, eventually making plans for their gardens and land to be used for a school and laboratory devoted to horticulture and botany. Today the arboretum contains more than 13,000 labelled plants of over 2,500 types. The arboretum is an English-style park with Japanese influences as well as winding paths, streams, sculptures, a swan pond, a formal rose garden, and a unique treehouse called “Out On a Limb” (photo above).

Woman Getting Married Says

If you’re looking to have your wedding in a spectacular garden setting, the grounds of the Morris Arboretum are breathtaking. Brides who have gotten married there highly suggest taking advantage of the golf cart (as well as a second one for an additional charge, listed above) to transport you and your wedding party across the grounds for photos without wasting too much time (since the grounds are so expansive).

While the gardens and grounds are immaculate, the tented reception area leaves something to be desired and can feel a bit dark. However, I think with the right lighting and decor you can make any space feel vibrant. I would suggest a smaller guest list for this wedding venue (around 100) just so you have more options in case of rain. I also think getting married in a warmer month here makes the most sense, so you can take advantage of a garden ceremony, a cocktail hour in the super cool “Out on a Limb” structure, and then for the reception you can have the tent walls up so guests can see the surroundings. I also love that they provide the tent as well as allow you to bring in your own alcohol.

There are still some dates available this year, but only a few in the warmer months. The price is going to go up significantly next year so I would snag one now while you can!

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Amenities/What’s Included 9
Convenient for Grandma 8
Layout 8
Location 9
Overall Charm 9
Venue Value 9

WGM Rating

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