Wedding Venue Feature: The Society Room of Hartford

Vibe and FeaturesIndoor, one-of-a-kind aesthetic, downtown city, “Great Gatsby” elegance
Guest Capacity125+
Location31 Pratt St.
Hartford, CT 06103
Similar VenuesGraduate Providence / The Biltmore, Inn at Middletown, Branford House, Lord Thompson Manor

A wedding at The Society Room of Hartford is always a big hit. It’s one of the best wedding venues in CT and probably THE best Hartford wedding venue. With Downtown Hartford as its unforgettable backdrop, here’s what makes Society Room of Hartford weddings and events so special.

The bride rests her head on the groom's shoulder during their wedding at The Society Room of Hartford.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Society Room of Hartford

The Society Room of Hartford is owned by Riverhouse Hospitality, the same group that owns The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station. 

As an indoor-only venue, you and your guests will enjoy your Society Room of Hartford wedding ceremony inside the main ballroom on the first floor. Given that the venue is located in Downtown Hartford, you definitely are able to go outside for photos.

The Society Room of Hartford has two getting ready suites for couples on their wedding day. One has an in-suite bathroom. It’s common for couples to do most of their getting ready elsewhere and handle finishing touches at Society Room.

History of The Society Room of Hartford

A bride and groom kiss while sitting inside a former bank vault at The Society Room of Hartford during their Hartford wedding.

Undoubtedly, you know that the reputation of Society Room precedes it. This venue used to be a bank, founded over 200 years ago. The financial institution was called Society for Savings and actually had multiple branches (famed author Harriet Beecher Stowe was a customer).

One of the main draws of a Society Room of Hartford wedding is the venue’s ornate architectural features. What we see today is the result of work performed as far back as 1834, 1860, and 1893, construction phases which established the “bones” of this famed Hartford building. Then, significant renovations took place in 1927 and 1957, creating the features couples love today.

The era of Society Room of Hartford weddings began in 2008. It’s owned and operated by the Riverhouse Hospitality team. Actually, The Society Room of Hartford’s sister venue is The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam.

Society Room Venue Vibe and Features

A Society Room of Hartford wedding couple enjoys their ceremony in the main ballroom.

The Society Room’s Layout

The Society Room of Hartford is an indoor-only wedding venue. It’s surprisingly large and absolutely stunning. The look and feel lend themselves well to not only weddings; a special occasion like a business event, gala event, or even holiday parties will do well here.

(As I learned from the staff, Society Room has actually hosted one outdoor ceremony on Pratt St. But since Pratt St. is public property belonging to the City of Hartford, planning that wedding probably wasn’t easy.)

Society Room can’t be beaten if you’re looking for an elegant and dark Connecticut wedding venue. Each of its spaces is ornately decorated and dramatically lit in such a beautiful way.

In more detail, your Society Room of Hartford wedding would utilize the following four areas of the venue:

The Main Ballroom

When you have a Society Room wedding, the main ballroom is where most of your special day goes down. This space is the largest area of this venue and hosts all kinds of events. During your wedding, both your ceremony and wedding reception will take place here.

The main ballroom has a vibe similar to that of The Barns of Wesleyan Hills in nearby Middletown. Actually, in the opinion of this wedding photographer (and many wedding DJs I’ve worked with), these two venues are among the best wedding venues in Connecticut.

While this part of Society Room has a certain ballroom aesthetic, it’s so unique that you’re unlikely to find anything else like it in your venue search. There’s a winding staircase between the ballroom and mezzanine.

The Mezzanine

Perfect for mingling, the mezzanine overlooks the main ballroom and is capable of hosting cocktail hour. Your guests will love it up here as they enjoy the upstairs bar and look down at the dance floor. As you might expect, the view is absolutely gorgeous.

The mezzanine is also the perfect setting from which to make your grand entrance into your reception using the staircase. Its railings, as well as the mezzanine ones, have bronze accents.

Society Room Getting Ready Areas

The Society Room of Hartford also has two good getting ready areas. Let’s talk about those:

Main Suite

The first is a closed-off suite at the far end of the building, with one door for entry and exit. This suite (unlike the second one) has a dedicated bathroom.

While it’s a fantastic place for hiding before your wedding ceremony, note that it’s a little tough to get to without your guests seeing you as they arrive and stand in the “lobby” area. Plan accordingly!

A bride in a white wedding dress sits on a couch in The Society Room of Hartford before her event.

All of the couples I’ve worked with have done the bulk of their getting ready off site, then gotten dressed in this suite.

Cottage Room

The second is the Cottage Room, a medium-sized area with tables and chairs near the center of the building, across from the main ballroom.

A groom and groomsmen celebrate with champagne during this wedding at The Society Room of Hartford.

This is one of the venue’s three spots for bar services. Conveniently, the Society Room Cottage Room is closed off from the main hallway with a door.

Pratt Street and Downtown Hartford

One of the awesome parts of a Society Room of Hartford wedding is the opportunity to enjoy Downtown Hartford’s famed Pratt Street for photos. This street is actually closed at both ends to vehicular traffic, making it perfectly for pedestrians. It’s definitely an unforgettable experience getting outside in Connecticut’s little capitol city for portraits on your big day.

Bride, groom, and wedding party standing on Pratt Street during a Society Room of Hartford wedding.
A wedding couple in elegant attire holds hands and runs down Pratt Street during their Society Room of Hartford wedding.

Here is where you’ll The Society Room of Hartford’s famous wooden doors, too.

The bride in her white dress walks up behind the groom in a green jacket during the first look of their wedding at The Society Room of Hartford.

My style as a wedding photographer involves taking lots of couples portraits throughout the day. I often take my couples outside Society Room both before and during their wedding reception. And yeah, Pratt Street is a videographer’s dream place, too.

The Bank Vault

A married couple sits in the bank vault at The Society Room of Hartford after their ceremony.

Last but not least, we must address again that Society Room is a former bank. That means there’s a vault. Naturally, that means that you must take photos inside it!

Society Room of Hartford Wedding Cost Info

A bride and groom walk arm in arm on Pratt Street outside The Society Room of Hartford.

While planning your wedding (or next gala event), here are some Society Room of Hartford cost factors to consider:

Base Costs

The breakdown of Society Room of Hartford’s basic fees are:

  1. The base fee for your ceremony is about $650 (your ceremony is expected to start 30 minutes before cocktail hour does, something to consider during wedding planning).
  2. A nonrefundable deposit of $2000 is due upon contract signing. In addition to tax, the venue charges a service fee of around 20% or so (this is not a tip and is standard among Connecticut wedding venues).
  3. For off-season weddings (January through March), the per-person food charge is $99 for Fridays and $119 for Saturdays.
  4. In the busier wedding season (April through December), the per-person reception charge ranges from $99 all the way up to $169. The range is dependent on several factors, such as the month, day of the week, time of day, and certain holiday considerations.
  5. For weeknight weddings (Monday through Thursday), the per-person reception charge drops to about $95 (regardless of month, I think).
  6. Bartender services cost $150 per bartender, with one bartender required per every 50 guests.
  7. Even though it’s an elegant setting, The Society Room does offer late-night snacks. A mac-and-cheese bar, for example, costs about $6 per person.
  8. Additional reception hours cost about $550 for Society Room itself, excluding food and beverage served during this time.


Perks are included with a Society Room of Hartford wedding. Some of them are:

  • For the couple, a complimentary hotel room at the nearby Residence Inn by Marriott
  • Complimentary Society Room of Hartford parking for guests at Temple Street Garage (there’s also a good-sized, pay-to-park lot located at the venue)
  • Included up-lighting in the main ballroom
  • A wedding cake, which is included through one of The Society Room of Hartford’s local bakery partners

The Society Room of Hartford has one of the most extensive add-on lists that I’ve ever heard of, partnering with a lot of local Hartford vendors. Some of the possibilities include:

  • Haircuts and shaves the day of your wedding
  • Extra beverage services, such as pre-ceremony service, a signature house sangria, or reception espresso
  • Supplemental cocktail hour services for your event, including a seafood raw bar, house-made sushi, or Italian options
  • Reception snack add-ons, including breakfast foods, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, and soft pretzels
  • Décor upgrades and dessert add-ons

Society Room of Hartford Guest Capacity

Guests dance together on the dance floor during a Society Room of Hartford wedding.

Paula Bucko, The Society Room of Hartford’s Corporate Sales Manager, told me that the venue determines the capacity while working with you during the planning process.

Bridesmaids in green dresses dance together during a Society Room of Hartford wedding.

Expectedly, how you choose to configure the dance floor in the main ballroom will play a big part in how many people can fit. For what it’s worth, I have photographed weddings up to 125 people at Society Room of Hartford.

While you might opt for a live band, just note that great wedding DJs love Society Room because of the space and acoustics.

Society Room of Hartford Wedding Photos

Chelsea and Malcolm

Surprisingly, Chelsea and Malcolm’s Society Room of Hartford wedding was actually their fallback plan. You’d never be able to tell because they looked like they owned the place the entire time! This is despite the fact that we couldn’t do too much outside because of Hurricane Henri.


Photos from Their Wedding at The Society Room

Jackie and Tom

Opting for a sequel wedding at The Society Room of Hartford, Jackie and Tom had an elegant spring event filled with special moments. This Downtown Hartford wedding was a vintage, Great Gatsby-themed follow-up to their New Hampshire minimony the year before.


Their Wedding Photos in The Society Room and on Pratt Street

Learn More

Are you thinking that The Society Room of Hartford may be perfect for your wedding or event? Then use the link below to start the conversation.


I used the following references at different points in this post:

  1. “The Society Room of Hartford – Where History & Glamour Collide for Luxurious CT Weddings,” Riverhouse Hospitality
  2. “Society for Savings to Merge with Bank of Boston,” Joanne Johnson, Hartford Courant
  3. “Bank Stock Conversions in Connecticut,” State of Connecticut Department of Banking
  4. Facebook Post, The Society Room of Hartford
  5. “Society for Savings (1893),” Historic Buildings of Connecticut
  6. “Make a grand entrance at your wedding: At a museum, an airport hangar, even a zoo,” Nancy Weil Gottfried, Hartford Courant

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