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

Wedding Venue Feature: The Society Room of Hartford

Vibe and FeaturesIndoor, mood-setting atmosphere, city downtown, grand “Great Gatsby” elegance
Guest CapacityVaries
Location31 Pratt St.
Hartford, CT 06103

Two of downtown Hartford’s major fairways, Trumbull and Main Streets, are located near the Old State House and City Steam Brewery. Conveniently tucked away between them is the pedestrian-only Pratt Street, which is the home to glamorous wedding venue The Society Room of Hartford. This former bank may be one of Connecticut’s darkest wedding venues! It’s perfect for you if glamour, contrast, and 19th-century architecture are of interest to you.

History and Other Info

Undoubtedly, you’re getting a glitzy-glamourous feel about The Society Room of Hartford as you watch my YouTube video above and view my photos throughout this post. That’s due, in part, to the fact that 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). The named changed to Bank of Boston Connecticut in 1993, after acquisition by Bank of Boston Corporation in 1992.

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 the 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. That means that The Society Room of Hartford’s sister venue is The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam. Small world!

Venue Vibe and Features

The Society Room’s Layout

The Society Room of Hartford is an indoor-only wedding venue (pro tip: as of this writing, Society Room has facilitated one outdoor ceremony on Pratt St., but remember that that is public property and it probably took some arranging).

Simply speaking, your Society Room of Hartford wedding would utilize the following four areas of the venue (remember to scroll past this section for plenty more photos):

The Main Ballroom

When you have a Society Room wedding, this is where most of it goes down. The main ballroom is the largest area of this venue and hosts receptions. If you’re having a fully indoor wedding, this is also where the ceremony will take place. It’s dark in here and that is great! The main ballroom sort of gives off vibes similar to The Barns of Wesleyan Hills in nearby Middletown.

The Mezzanine

Perfect for mingling, the mezzanine overlooks the main ballroom and typically holds cocktail hour. This is also where most couples choose to enter their reception from, walking down the grand staircase. Technically, this is the “upstairs” of the main ballroom, so the same moody, dark vibes apply. From a natural light perspective, this area is similar to the upper patio of Inn at Mystic.

The Rest of the Indoor Areas

In addition to the main ballroom and mezzanine, The Society Room of Hartford also has two good getting ready areas. The first is a closed-off suite at the far end of the building, with one door for entry and exit (i.e. it’s perfect for hiding before a ceremony or first look). The second is the so-called Cottage Room, a medium-sized area with a bar, tables, and chairs near the center of the building, across from the main ballroom. Though it’s closed off from the main hallway with a door, this area is a little less private due to its central location and staff access behind the bar.

Pratt Street

One of the best parts of a Society Room of Hartford is the opportunity to walk around on Hartford’s famed Pratt Street for photos. As of right now (fall 2021), this street is actually closed at both ends to vehicular traffic, making it perfectly safe! Here is where you’ll The Society Room of Hartford’s famous wooden doors, too.

Society Room of Hartford Wedding Costs and Considerations

You probably noticed that at the beginning of this wedding venue post, I didn’t actually provide a number in the guest capacity field. That’s because according to Paula Bucko, The Society Room of Hartford’s Corporate Sales Manager, the venue determines the capacity while working with you and determining what your desired setup is.

But to give you a rough idea, the photos you’re seeing here in this post are of a 100+ person wedding that took place entirely indoors at The Society Room. There was plenty of room to spare; people were not tripping over each other by any means.

While planning your wedding, here are some Society Room of Hartford wedding financial factors and other considerations to think about:

Costs

For 2021, here are some of The Society Room of Hartford’s fees:

  1. The base fee for your ceremony is about $600 (note that the venue expects your ceremony to typically start 30 minutes before cocktail hour does, a restriction that I usually advise my wedding couples to discuss with their venues).
  2. For off-season weddings (January through March), the per-person reception charge is $99 for Fridays and $119 for Saturdays.
  3. 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.
  4. For weeknight weddings (Monday through Thursday), the per-person reception charge drops to about $95 (I believe this to be true regardless of month).
  5. A nonrefundable deposit of $2000 is due upon contract signing. In addition to tax, the venue charges a service fee (the latter is not a tip and is standard in the industry).

Add-ons, Etc.

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 Temple Street Garage parking for guests
  • 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, 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

For more info on The Society Room of Hartford’s costs and upgrades, be sure to contact their staff and inquire!

Chelsea and Malcolm’s Society Room of Hartford Wedding

When I photographed their Hartford engagement session in the winter of early 2021, Chelsea and Malcolm let me know that their wedding plans had changed. Originally planning to have a destination wedding somewhere warm (which is ironic given that their engagement session took place in about 25-degree weather), they were now considering downtown Hartford. You guessed it: they ended up picking The Society Room of Hartford and this guy as their photographer!

One thing you’ll notice about this sampling of their gallery is that there are no photos of the couple outside. This is because of an uninvited guest that showed up to Chelsea and Malcolm’s wedding: Hurricane Henri. If you recall, this one didn’t turn out to be much in Connecticut, but it was still a little nerve-wracking while it was going on!

Details of This Summer Society Room of Hartford Wedding

Photos of Their Wedding Day

You’ve seen several already, now here are several more image selections from Chelsea and Malcolm’s elegant wedding day at The Society Room of Hartford.

Learn More

Are you thinking that The Society Room of Hartford may be perfect for your wedding day? Then use the link below to start the conversation with their staff now!

Contact Form

Citations

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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