I don't know your budget or how far your willing to go but we had our reception at the Concordville Inn in Concordville Pa. We were able to put together a package for a lunch buffet reception for less than $30.00 a person. Now keep in mind our wedding was at 10 am in Philly and reception was at 12-4
Of course knowing what your budget & how far you are willing to travel is always helpful. You always want to check with a venue that will work with your budget. If your calling around & your working with a venue that you know will not work with your budget than you do not want to pursue that particular venue. There are a lot of venues that are out there that will work with a Bride & Groom's budget, no matter what it is expecially in this economy. Also, deciding on whether you want sit down or buffett, the time of day, the day (Friday or Sunday afternoon compared to a Saturday evening) makes a big difference. And of course the time of year makes a difference as again, a lot of venues have discounts for those off season months (January-March & July & August) depending again on the venue. Also, planning way ahead of the game also makes the difference because than you know how much you need to save or to stick to a budget so you'll be able to pay those large bills as it gets closer to the day of your Wedding. And of course, take the time now to check out different locations and venues & to get them booked now will guarantee you have the place you like & you can also enjoy your engagement through the rest of the year.
Mine is going to be at Kings Mills Inn in Media, PA. If you pick any venue in Center City they are all still pretty expensive since I had looked at a lot of them. This venue has reasonable prices, is very pretty and has a lot of stuff included. There are discounts if you pick Friday or Sunday and cheaper prices if you pick lunch or do not do a full dinner. They also let you buy your own alcohol from a distributor and they provide bartenders and mixers, which makes it a lot less expensive. You can visit their site at http://www.kingsmillsinn.com/
Check out Richmond Hall in Port Richmond/Fishtown area. It used to be a church so inside the building is beautiful. The food is good and the people are great to work with. I thought it was a great value, inexpensive for what you get. It's a hidden gem right outside center city.