Philly Venue Round Up: Top of the Tower

Next up, Top of the Tower Wedding!

Top of the Tower is a great venue located at the top of the Bell Atlantic building. It seems to be in more of a business area than a tourist one. When MoxieDad and I were walking around, there was almost no foot traffic on a Saturday afternoon. We had a tricky time finding the entrance at first, but then we realized it was through the courtyard. There is a nice fountain outside – would be very nice for photos!

Bad photo of the fountain out front

As soon as we walked in the revolving door to the lobby, MoxieDad said, “It looks like an office building.” Well, it IS an office building. So…he was right.

Pretty lobby, even for an office building

Now, growing up in NYC, one or both of my parents always worked on Wall Street. As a kid, I would frequently go to work with my mother. I was probably the only seven-year old who LIKED filing. Office buildings are a vibe that I am very used to. We were greeted by a friendly guard at the front desk. I noticed some guys carrying tux bags also milling about in the lobby. As it was a Saturday, I assumed they must be in the wedding party that was happening that night. We checked in, and we waited. So did the groomsmen. And we waited. Eventually, another security guard came to take us all upstairs. We all headed into the elevator, I was happy to be out of the lobby finally. And just before the doors close, the guard looks at me and my father and says, “You can’t come up. You have to get off the elevator.” Well, seriously? I thought he was joking. Why can’t we go upstairs? We have an appointment! A tiny bit of my Brooklyn attitude leaked out, “Are you joking?”, I say. “Nope”, he says. And so, we get off the elevator.

A few minutes later we are greeted by Vanessa, the event coordinator for Top of the Tower, and she takes us upstairs. She is super sweet and apologizes for our wait. She takes us to the 51st floor, which is where the bridal suites are located. You get the entire floor for your wedding party and photos, which I thought was very cool. The guests are directed to the floor above, so you have a lot of privacy.

http://www.stringerphotography.net/caption

Next, we went to the event floor. Again, you get the entire floor for your event. First thing to notice is that the view is INSANE. You can see the whole city from here, it seems. And it was gorgeous during the day – I can’t even imagine how beautiful the view is at night!

[caption id="attachment_701" align="aligncenter" width="390"] VIEW!

Vanessa tells us that for our guest count (around 200), we would be utilizing both banquet rooms and the Grand Hallway. Ceremony in one room, cocktail hour in the grand hallway, dinner in the second banquet room, and then dancing back in the (now turned over) ceremony room. Confused yet?  It’s like a little wedding musical chairs!

The ceremony room has a lovely staircase for the bride to make a grand entrance, and every room has very cool, art deco-ish tall narrow windows to get the light and The View.

Ceremony view

The ceremony room also has a second floor balcony that could be put to very clever use as a lounge with the addition of some rentals. It overlooks what would become our dance floor later in the evening.

The banquet room for dinner is on the other end of the grand hallway.

The Furness Forum

And cocktail hour would be in the Grand Hallway. Which is, in fact, very long and very grand and has The View.

Grand Hallway

After our tour, as we sat down to talk with Vanessa, I could tell that MoxieDad had something on his mind. MoxieDad works for IBM, and is no stranger to a corporate lunchroom. Which is what he is thinking about when he asks, “Does your kitchen do the food for the whole building?” Vanessa assures him that they do, which turned out to be the wrong answer.

I should stop here to explain that MoxieDad is a foodie, and I am as well, to an extent. Furthermore, this MoxieWedding is a marriage of two Italian families. The food has to be good. 

But here’s the inside scoop: I found out about Top of the Tower not from a wedding blog or website, but from the foodie blog, UrbanSpoon. MoxieBrides do their research, kids. I was not about to take my father to a place that got a bad food rating. Not even in the mix, I tell ya.

So, Vanessa, being awesome, went to ask the chef to whip us up something. And he DID! And it was DELICIOUS!

Did I mention that I forgot to schedule us a lunch break? Yeah, that happened. So, we were a little starving. 

This was seriously delicious.

I wish this blog had taste-a-vision. I wish that were a real thing, and not just something we thought we’d have by now because of The Jetsons. The chef made us an assortment of hors devours, which we ate before I could snap a photo, and then this deliciousness. A mushroom tortelloni with brie and pears, if memory serves me correctly. DELICIOUS. Did I mention it was delicious?

MoxieDad, his culinary fears alleviated, was very content, as was I. We decided to walk around the neighborhood a bit and check out the hotels in the area. Top of the Tower is down the block from the most excellent Four Seasons Hotel.  We left in good spirits, and Top of the Tower was a contender.

But, by the end of the day – and with the added perspective of four other venue visits – we decided against Top of the Tower. Despite its delicious food, we just wanted less of a spread-out floor plan. It all seemed like a lot of schlepping back and forth between rooms and hallways. Not the kind of party flow we want. We have to be mindful of our older guests. Having dinner and dancing in the same room became much higher on our list of priorities by days end.

I would highly recommend Top of the Tower for its food and for Vanessa, who was very nice and thorough.

Anyone getting hitched at Top of the Tower? Share your stories & photos with us!

Looking for other Philadelphia venues? We also went to Moshulu and Front & Palmer!

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