The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
Fusing classic coastal elegance with contemporary flexibility, Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center is an idyllic location for a romantic ceremony and wedding reception. Located in historic Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the venue offers over 4,600 square feet of versatile event space. Outdoors, couples and guests can enjoy luminous trees lighted for the evening hours and a secluded wooden walkway overlooking the harbor. A sublime location for first-look photos is perched among the stunning rockery with green and yellow sprigs punctuating the background or among the drooping hemlocks with colorful flowers scattered underneath. Alternately, to-be-weds who prefer an indoor celebration will appreciate the circular dim lighting sprinkled across the ceiling and stately columns dotting the space.
Partners enjoy crafting a personalized menu with the help of on-site culinary specialists at the Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center. Creative items abound with signature cocktails, distinct appetizers, delicious entrees and delectable desserts. The menu can accommodate a variety of dietary needs, all of which is locally produced from sustainable ingredients. Depending on the number of guests and a couple's vision, there are several areas that can used for the ceremony and reception.
Harbor Ballroom. The Harbor Ballroom is the highlight of the Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center. With expansive ceilings, elegant lighting and ornate detailing, it easily accommodates up to 300 guests in a 4,615-square-foot space.
Seaglass. Appropriate to its name, the Seaglass reception space follows a nautical theme with its colors and bright, airy atmosphere. Able to host up to 200 guests for a standing reception and 154 for theater seating, the 1,995-square-foot room is ideal for couples who seek a more intimate setting.
What You Should Know
Valet parking is available for a minimal fee. A variety of wedding packages are available. They include:
- Wine service with dinner
- Custom-designed wedding cake
- Five butler-passed hors d'eouvres
- Chiavari chairs
- Four-course meal
- Personalized champagne toast
- Private dinner menu tasting
- Select server for bride and groom
- Studio room for marrying couple on night of ceremony
- Bridal suite for wedding preparations
- Choice of two display stations
While everything is personalized to the couple's preferences, there are some special touches that make this venue particularly desirable. These extra perks make the Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center stand out.
- Chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries in the bridal room
- Discounted rate at hotel for wedding guests
- Unlimited cocktail service
- On-site wedding specialist before and during event
From the Vendor
Coast Elegance, Downtown Style
Signature Portsmouth, NH Seacoast weddings are a specialty at Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center. Our charming wedding venue marries classic coastal elegance with versatile event space that is certain to provide the perfect backdrop for your special celebration in Portsmouth, NH. Our understated elegance can be easily customized to reflect your unique style, creating a personalized experience for you and your guests. With over 4,600 square feet of flexible event and pre-function space our wedding venue can efortlessly build an event that brings your vision to life and comfortably accommodates 15 – 250 guests. Our experienced and attentive staff takes care of the details so you can enjoy every moment of your special day!
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$$ – Moderate
Ballroom, Hotel, Restaurant
Bar + Drinks, Cakes + Desserts, Food + Catering, Planning, Rentals + Equipment, Service Staff
I was extremely happy with our choice of the Portsmouth Harbor Events Center for our reception. After doing a lot of research of venues in the NH Seacoast area, we really felt this was the best value for such a nice/new venue! If you are a bride searching for venues in the NH Seacoast (especially ones that are in downtown Portsmouth or near the ocean) you will quickly learn there are very limited options. Most are smaller venues that only hold 75 people or tent venues and the reception has to end by 8:45/9 due to sound ordinances. When you start researching ballrooms/banquet rooms/golf courses/functions rooms you will see that many of them are very dated or pricey for what you get. PHEC was by far the best option. It was the best blend of having your guests close to the seacoast, yet downtown where the action is, and in a clean/classy space. There are 3 hotel options for your guests right next to the venue too (they are a bit pricey in the summer months). We were able to eliminate any “banquet room” feel by adding personal decorations to the tables and curtains that separated the room for cocktail hour and were tied by after cocktail hour to add some personality to the room. In addition, the food was delicious!! We LOVED our private tasting had with our parents and so many people have commented to us after the wedding what good food it was. The venue even has a separate “VIP room” that they let the bridal party into before everyone else. They stock the room with drinks and cocktail hour food so you have a chance to taste your own food and grab a drink before you have to enter the cocktail room! There is a small outdoor space with several cocktail tables and lounge couches that our guests all said they loved and found charming. If it is a nice afternoon, most of your cocktail hour people will hang out there. But the very best part of PHEC was working with Meagan, their event coordinator! She was absolutely amazing. She is your main point of contact, the one that coordinates everything, that you email questions to constantly, that works with all your vendors the weeks prior to the wedding, and makes sure you have everything you need the day of the wedding. She was the easiest person to work with, very organized and on top of things, and helps you stay on top of things. She always had just the right amount of advice/input without being pushy and always making sure we were getting what we wanted. She worked with us to modify a few menu items and drinks we wanted and helped cater our package. I HIGHLY recommend this venue, especially because of the wonderful event coordinators that comes with it!
I can not say ENOUGH wonderful things about the ballroom, staff, and especially the coordinator Meagan! My husband and I were planning this wedding all the way from Colorado, not easy to say the least. Meagan was incredible! Easy to communicate with, answered all of our questions in a timely manner, and all with a stellar attitude! The day of the wedding a few of my vendors were dropping the ball, Meagan made sure everything was perfect, even driving 30 minutes to pick up table cloths the morning of the wedding. As a bride, I wanted my family to relax, especially the mother of the bride who tends to want everything perfect. We had a lot of DIY things that the MOB wanted in specific places. Meagan eased her mind, and set up everything just perfectly. The staff on the wedding day was absolutely perfect. They were respectful and on top of it! Also, the FOOD. As a bride, of course I didn't eat much of it. But I have not stopped getting compliments on how wonderful all the food was. I honestly can not say enough amazing things about this venue and the people who work there. If you're looking for a high-class Portsmouth venue with amazing staff and food, this is your place! Do not hesitate!
We recently had a Friday night June wedding at Portsmouth Harbor Events. From the day last summer when we booked our date, until the day we got married, Meagan and Lauren were amazing. We picked PHE for a couple reasons: number one being the organization and flexibility it offered. We didn't want to have to worry about the details on our wedding day, we wanted to celebrate with our guests. After a few details meetings, everything we wanted or wished for, Meagan & Lauren made it happen. We got to live in the moment with our guests on our wedding day, knowing that everything was going to be perfect. Guest count, not an issue has this is a very large space. They host one wedding per day, so you are not competing for space with other weddings. It was truly wonderful. We were able to keep the airways open during cocktail hour, offering plenty of space for guests to sit or socialize. Everyone raved about the outdoor patio space. People are still telling us how wonderful the food and service was. Long story short... if you love the small town feel of Portsmouth and the atmosphere it has to offer, but are looking for a place to accommodate a large wedding in an elegant, social space... Portsmouth Harbor Events is right choice for you.
We just hosted our wedding at Portsmouth Harbor Event Center and couldn't be more thrilled with how the day went! Planning a wedding can be challenging any way but we had the added twist of planning from Colorado. From our very first contact with Meagan she was responsive and supportive in our long distance planning. Every interaction we had with Meagan and her team was professional and productive. Portsmouth Harbor Event Center makes a couple feel special in every step of the preparation process. We were again impressed during our tasting which was an intimate dinner with our loved ones and amazing food. Our rehearsal was detailed but efficient - organized by Meagan who very clearly knows what she is doing! With very little direction, the Portsmouth Harbor Event Center had the reception ballroom set up exactly as we had imagined and it looked gorgeous. Our day went smoothly and we didn't have to worry about a thing which meant we had more time to spend with our friends and family. We were immensely impressed and so happy we chose this space for our wedding!
My husband and I held our wedding reception at Portsmouth Harbor Events in August 2016. I cannot recommend the venue highly enough. First of all, the venue itself is lovely. We had about 85 guests at our reception, but the venue seemed like it could have held twice that number without a problem. The main room has both a quaint New England and a modern feel to it and the neutral color scheme gives plenty of freedom in choosing wedding colors. My guests made good use of the outdoor patio, too, especially during the cocktail hour. The location also couldn’t be more convenient. We were married at the nearby North Church. It was a quick and easy walk for our guests from the church to the reception. We were given a room block at our choice of one of three hotels, all just steps from the venue. Even with the discounted hotel rate, however, the rooms were pricey. Discounts were also only available to guests staying at least two nights. However, for those guests staying outside of the downtown area, the venue offered valet parking. Parking was available a couple of hours before the reception, too, which was great because it allowed our guests to park at the venue and walk over to the church so that they didn’t have to move their cars after the ceremony. The Portsmouth Harbor staff did a great job of setting up my tables beautifully, just as I had envisioned. And I cannot say enough good things about the food. The raw bar at the cocktail hour was particularly popular with our guests, but all of the h’ordeuvres were wonderful. We chose the filet mignon, grilled salmon, stuffed chicken and vegetarian napoleon for our entrees – all of which were delicious. Our only complaint regarding dinner was that the wine selection was extremely limited. My mom is somewhat picky when it comes to wine so she ended up having to purchase bottles of wine at exorbitant, marked-up prices. Megan and the rest of the Portsmouth Harbor staff were friendly and very responsive to my emails. They made planning my New Hampshire wedding from New York very easy. Again, I highly recommend this venue for its simple, elegant feel, great location, and exceptional food.
We can't say enough good things about this venue. From the first day that I went to tour the venue and meet with Meagan and Lauren I was impressed. They were so welcoming and genuinely wanted to make sure our wedding day was amazing. They were extremely helpful and accommodating throughout the entire planning process. Meagan was so quick to answer all my emails and offer advice. Once we chose this to be our venue they offered an amazing food tasting where the chef came out to sit down with us and talk about everything we tried. My parents were especially impressed with the amount of time he spent with us, answering any questions we had. Our reception then went off without a hitch. Meagan and Lauren made sure there was not one thing for me to stress about. We had a wedding of about 180 people and the room was the perfect size. We also cannot say enough good things about the staff that work at the events center. They were all so nice and fun throughout the evening. My guests have not stopped raving about how good the food was and how organized the entire night was. This place is definitely top notch!!!
We're so happy that we chose to have our wedding at PHEC! From our first meeting with Meagan, we knew we'd be well taken care of. Meagan was incredibly helpful (sent me a list of recommended wedding vendors with her personal recommendations), responsive to questions, and well-organized. The final planning call a few months out was very detailed and ensured that we had everything planned out and covered for the big day. Meagan, Lauren, and team made sure that the ballroom looked beautiful on the big day and was set up well for the flow of the evening. We had 130 people and had plenty of space for dancing, mingling, a photo booth, etc. The food was also delicious. Additionally, it was very convenient working with the same team to organize a hotel room block (there are three hotels surrounding the venue to choose from) and a goodbye brunch the next day. Can't say enough good things about PHEC and their wonderful team!
We had our wedding at Portsmouth harbor events in July of 2016...all i can say is they far surpassed my expectations! I was so happy with how everything came out--it was much better than i had expected, which my expectations were already high. We had never been to a wedding there and the modern charm appealed to me which was what had made me want to have our wedding there. it was hard planning everything not knowing how it would turn out, but man when i walked down that aisle and the wedding began i was so amazed at how beautiful and perfect everything was. Meagan and Lauren are so easy and fun to work with, they help with anything and answer all the million questions i asked some that were stupid to ask to begin with. they were always there to help with anything and everything. and never once did i feel that i was just some other bride. i loved working with them and they made me feel special and important as a bride and i liked that because it can be stressful at times planning a wedding, but i would say they definitely took that away for me. i would so recommend this venue as its perfect for the whole wedding start to finish and has access and connected to hotels right there for your guests as well as being in a beautiful location in my favorite city, Portsmouth!
My husband and I were super impressed by Harbor Events, Meagan (the wedding coordinator), Lauren (the catering coordinator) and their staff. The food was top notch and as a bride I felt like I could relax because they had it covered. We had some last minute requests/changes and they did everything they could to accommodate us.
A great experience and a great venue! Our wedding was perfect. We had both the wedding ceremony and reception at the PHEC. The space is beautiful and new. It was decorated for the holidays with trees, poinsettias, wreaths, and more. A perfect setting. The food was also top notch -- not your average banquet center. I got a lot of feedback after the event about how incredible the food was. The staff was wonderful as well. They handled everything from set-up to tear-down, and they made sure that the entire evening went smoothly. The packages they offer at the PHEC are wonderful - they cover it all! They also have a wedding coordinator who worked very closely with me to plan the event. She was SO helpful, attentive, and detail-oriented which made the process very easy! She also has staff to help pull all of the details together. Not only is the staff good at what they do, but they are incredible at dealing with the unexpected. I had a cocktail spilled down my dress during the cocktail hour -- Meagan and her team came to the rescue and "dabbed" it all out. It was as if it never happened. I went on to enjoy the rest of the night with no signs of the spill! So thankful that we found this place!
PHECC was a perfect venue for us!Reviewed on 10/16/2015 Carolyn C
My husband and I walked in to Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference center for the first time last July 2014. We had looked at three other wedding venues that day and PHECC was our 4th. When we walked in we both knew it was "the one", we were stumbling over our words because we were both overwhelm how beautiful it was. Meagan came in half way through our planning and had been nothing but nice to us. She made the process smooth and we finally got to meet her in September a month before our wedding, I had no worries as to how the room was going to look. I actually said to her "let's leave it up to your discretion," because I knew she would make the room even more beautiful! I couldn't been happier with PHECC, their service, quality of food and overall ease made for a perfect wedding reception!
Having our reception here was the best decision! 1 - It is beautiful, clean and new. 2 - They definitely provide the best value in New England! Packages include it all...passed signature drinks, wine service during dinner, late night snacks, etc. 3 - High quality....the drinks and food were amazing! Everyone commented on how awesome the food was. One guest said it was the best pork chop he ever had! 4 - Top-knotch staff. Everyone was so nice and accommodating....an absolute pleasure to work with. They made everything so easy and stress free for us! 5 - I don't have any complaints based on my experiences and neither did my guests!!!
Exceptional, Professional, Fantastic Wedding ReceptionReviewed on 2/02/2015
My wife and I can not say enough positive things about Portsmouth Harbor Events as a wedding venue. From our initial visit until we found champagne in our room and gifts waiting for us at the end of the reception, their staff provided a level of service that is all too rare. Throughout the planning phases Christina Breen (Catering Manager) was responsive, pleasant, exceptionally accommodating, helpful, and kind. She ceaselessly responded to inquiries with answers that were informed by experience, talent, and respect for our budget. She is a problem solver and consummate professional. Christina and the staff’s priority was to make our wedding reception the classic, warm, beautiful event we hoped it would be. The space is beautiful, clean, well maintained, and well designed. The staff was extremely professional and worked effortlessly to provide the wedding party and guests with great service. My wife and I were frequently checked on by many different staff members, making sure we had everything we needed. They were kind and accommodating. All the guests enjoyed excellent service during the cocktail reception, at the bar service, and at their seats while the meals were plated. As for the food, we were astounded that meals of their quality could be plated for as many people as they did (approximately 145 guests). Every single product that came from the cook’s kitchen was delicious and immaculately prepared. We have received many, many comments from our guests about the food. It was delicious, beautiful, and plentiful. We can’t say enough about the quality that we experienced from our first tasting through our reception. In fact, we were so impressed that we had our rehearsal dinner on site (Hilton Garden Inn), as the chef’s buffet options were also delicious and affordable. Choosing to host our rehearsal dinner and reception with Portsmouth Harbor Events/Colwen Hotels was the best decision we made (outside of getting married!).
Amazing in every way!Reviewed on 10/13/2014 Laura R
If you're planning on having a wedding reception in Portsmouth, then book the Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center, you won't be disappointed! Christina Breen and her staff were top notch. They were not pushy, and were there to help when needed. The food was excellent, and all of our guests have given us rave reviews! Cocktail hour with a signature cocktail waiting for our guests was fabulous. Excellent day of event staff, excellent wait staff! The room was a terrific size, we had about 150 guests. This is a modern venue and lived up to everything we wanted and more! We couldn't have asked for a better day!
Amazing!Reviewed on 9/17/2014 Meredith T
My husband and I had our wedding here on August 31st and everyone at the Portsmouth Harbor Event Center made it spectacular! We worked with Christina Breen from the very beginning and she made everything so easy and actually cared about our wedding. I'm pretty sure I bombarded her with e-mails with wedding questions and she kindly responded to them all with the answers and then some. Christina and everyone at the PHEC made sure the day was about us and that we didn't have to do anything the day of the wedding. They set up everything! I even had extra decor, some DIY uplighting, and flowers that I didn't know where to put and they made it all look great. We actually had our ceremony here as well and they were very accommodating with the backdrop that my dad had made and let him come in early to set it up. I think they even steamed the wrinkles our of the aisle runner to make it look great! They also put food and drinks for the bridal party in the holding room so we could spend a few minutes alone after the ceremony. We were originally expecting more guests than we had and PHEC was able to make the large room not look so empty by adding extra touches. The waitstaff, the bartender, and the manager all made our wedding day feel special. Even when I walked by the bar, the bartender said that she "had a drink with my name on it" and handed me the sangria signature drink, which everyone loved! :) I would highly recommend having a wedding at Portsmouth Harbor Event Center, they really make an effort to make your day special!
Perfect wedding venueReviewed on 12/27/2013 Meghan B
The Portsmouth Harbor Events Ctr was the perfect place to have our wedding reception! Christina Breen is the wedding coordinator, and she was so easy to work with and accommodating. We had many special requests for decor and setup which were all executed just as we had envisioned. The food was amazing, and we have been receiving so many compliments from our guests about how good it was. The whole day went so flawlessly. I would highly recommend this venue for anyone considering it for their wedding reception.
Food was Excellent! Service was mixedReviewed on 9/23/2013 Jessica D
One of the main reasons we booked PHE for our wedding was because the wedding coordinator at the location was amazing. So involved, so kind, she made my mother feel comfortable as well as myself, which is a challenge! Before our wedding she left PHE for another wedding venue. The ball was dropped on communication between then and when they hired a new coordinator and the new coordinator was not nearly as warm. The highlight of PHE was by FAR the food. Which was EXCELLENT. No one could stop talking about how delicious everything was. The servers, bartenders and food manager were also great. The space is amazing as well. The location in downtown portsmouth is ideal once they finish the construction directly across the street. which I'm pretty sure they knew about before we booked but did not tell us. The only downfall was really the poor communication within the management and the new coordinator who did not make us feel very special. Everyone else went out of their way to do that for us.
Mom of Bride's reviewReviewed on 8/22/2013
My daughter was married at the PHE this summer. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. Over the years I have been to many many weddings and I have to say that her wedding was the best wedding we have ever experienced, and our guests have all said the very same. The wedding planners were very put together and made this a stress free experience for my daughter (who has a very busy life with a full time career, new home, and an infant). They made everything so special for her and helped with all the details and made everything as painless as possible. The experienced wedding planners were extremely helpful and had tasteful suggestions to compliment her big day, without being pushy or upselling the event. They go the extra mile and have that extra special touch when it comes to visualizing and executing a very classy event. Nothing was not thought of or anticipated, and the event was truly flawless. PHE is highly recommended!
Wedding of our dreams :)Reviewed on 8/22/2013 Stephanie C
I had my wedding at Portsmouth Harbor Events this past June! It was OUTSTANDING!!!!! We had about 80 guests and the room can accommodate smaller or larger groups by closing off areas. The room is just stunning and unlike most wedding factories it is YOUR special day- you will not see any other brides or wedding groups on YOUR big day! The wedding planners were amazing to work with from the very start, and they do not try to upsell- they will help you stay within your budget and can guide you with the accompaniments that will add the most to your big day if you are working on a dime. For example, we opted for passed "signature drinks" during the cocktail hour and wine service, to stay within our budget, rather than a full open bar, and it was never pushed. They allowed us to offer three buffet entrees for the same price as one or two options, in theory because people will just eat smaller portions given a variety of choices. My big day was truly PERFECT. If you are looking for your fairy tale wedding this is the place to go. We are still getting rave reviews of our wedding and especially for the food, from our guests (who I will note, are not easy to please- some have special diets etc.). You usually get one in the crowd that did not like what you were serving or griped about something, but we have not heard one complaint and only heard about how wonderful everything was. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn (and had our rehearsal there- highly recommend the "Southern Comfort" buffet!) and had our ceremony at Moffatt Ladd house and garden- it's pretty much like a secret garden! It was stunning and in full bloom during the summer months with peonies, roses, garden flowers etc., there is also a great hall where you can take some amazing shots with your bridal party, and when you are done the guests can just walk right over to the reception at Portsmouth Harbor Events, where the party REALLY begins!!! I only have GREAT things to say and VERY highly recommend this amazing venue. The staff was great to work with and was also very thoughtful and even placed champagne and strawberries in our overnight room to surprise us when we ventured back to our suite after our big day. They also even placed us in a room overlooking the garden where we were married which was just such an amazing touch. Book this place now, and you will NOT be disappointed!!!!!
EileenReviewed on 5/14/2013 Eileen M
My husband and I are beyond pleased with our wedding at Portsmouth Harbor Events. Jennifer Newton was fantastic and made sure the day ran smoothly. The food was delicious and the service was exceptional. We would recommend PHE to anyone who's looking to have a wedding in the Portsmouth area.
Portsmouth Harbor Events - an amazing venueReviewed on 10/28/2012 amy w
My husband and I were married at Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center earlier this fall and had the most amazing experience. Trish Desantis from the venue was a true professional and great to work with. She coordinated the entire event and helped us choose a florist, photographer, DJ and the hotel accommodations for our guests. All we had to do was give her a few thoughts about the colors and overall feeling we wanted for the day, and she took care of all the details were perfect. Whenever we ran into one of the inevitable glitches along the way, Trish was able to make contact with the vendor and within hours (or sometimes minutes) the issue would be resolved. The room was large and accommodated our 130 guests very well, and once everything was set up for the weeding it was beautiful. The food was absolutely amazing and several guests have said it was the best food they’ve ever had at a wedding (and we agree)! The steak was cooked perfectly and not too well done, and the chicken was moist. Each course was well presented and overall amazing. Our experience at Portsmouth Harbor was outstanding. Trish made everything so easy for us and was always such a calming presence even on the day of the wedding. Her contacts and experience in the industry made everything easy for us and allowed the day to come together with no problems. I would highly recommend this venue to any bride looking to get married in the Portsmouth area.
Portsmouth Harbor Events was perfect!Reviewed on 8/24/2012 Katie T
I want to give a great big thank you to Trish DeSantis and everyone at Portsmouth Harbor Ecents fot making our choice so easy and throwing such an amazing and perfect reception! we couldnt have chosen a more perfect place!
wedding venueReviewed on 7/06/2012 ellen s
Excellent service and food. Trish, wedding coordinator set up and coordinated everything perfectly. Beautiful venue
Excellent Place!!Reviewed on 2/06/2012 Shauna R
I recently got married in Portsmouth and we had the reception at Portsmouth Harbor Events. Choosing them was one of the best decisions we made! The space is gorgeous and you get the whole place all to yourself. The staff were all super friendly, and Trish was so super helpful, you really feel like they care about you and you're not just another wedding. :) The food was delicious, and they are full of creative touches. The prices were really reasonable for the area as well. And all the packages include a cake from Jacques Pastries! Definitely worth checking out!
Meet The Manager
Meagan has been with Portsmouth Harbor Events since March 2015. She graduated from Great Bay Community College with an Associates degree in Hospitality Management and a Certificate in Event Planning in 2013. Meagan began her career in hospitality in the restaurant world and transitioned to hotels while in college. Ever since her first hotel job as a front desk agent she knew her ultimate dream job was in weddings. She loves the relationship she builds with her couples and enjoys the challenge her job brings!