by Victoria Alfred-Levow
Choosing a wedding venue can leave brides—and grooms—gripped with indecision. Is an elegant country club atmosphere most appropriate, or does a rustic farm-chic aesthetic fit the vision? Both are possible at Hansen Properties’ Blue Bell Country Club and Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center, both of which recently underwent renovations.
While the renovations aimed to make the resorts friendlier for corporate retreats and golf outings, they’ve also upped their popular wedding amenities. “The main lobby is going to be a really nice rustic photo area. And the hotel rooms themselves—in some of the suites where we would typically place a bride—we put in higher tabletops that are more appropriate for a bride looking to do her makeup,” says Gary Murray, director of sales and marketing for Hansen Properties.
With an estimated price tag of $1.7 million, the Normandy Farm renovations replaced furniture and carpets in the halls and 113 interior rooms, and updated flooring and paint in the main lobby. Begun in March, the work is nearly finished. They’ve been careful to stay true to Normandy’s history, as well. “That history as a farm, as an agricultural innovator, if you will—we try to be true to that in everything we do,” Murray says of the circa-1730 property.
The hotel features 141 rooms and suites, a farm-to-table restaurant, in-house florist Willow & Thistle and photographer, Tyler Boye Photography. A Grand Ballroom, which seats 400, also has a gazebo for the ceremony.
Starting in August, guests at Normandy Farm’s conference center can also enjoy a new art exhibit. Bluestone Fine Art Gallery plans to expand from its Old City location into a 20-piece installation there, featuring paintings and sculptures from Philadelphia-based artists. Murray expects the space to be accessible for rehearsal dinners and bridal parties.
The neighboring Blue Bell Country Club project, costing $2 million, included repainting the pool, repairing parts of its golf course and the addition of an outdoor fire pit. Blue Bell Country Club has two ballrooms and a gazebo next to a pond, giving couples options for indoor and outdoor ceremonies.
That versatility, at both locations, will have a great impact on future events as both entities can host entire celebrations, from bridal showers to rehearsal dinners to golf course jaunts for wedding parties, through to the ceremony, after party, and even morning-after brunches.
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