How to Plan an Awesome Philly Wedding In Three Months or Less

Don’t have the time—or desire—for a long engagement? Here's how to get hitched quick.

short engagement philadelphia wedding

Illustration by Melissa McFeeters

Per The Knot, the average engagement lasts about 14 months. Yours doesn’t have to, though—especially not here in Philly. Here’s how to pull off an awesome wedding on a short engagement.


What You Need: A spot in which to gather your nearest and dearest—or just those willing to make the trip on short notice — and a pro to preside over your union.

Where to Get It: Vaux Studio in Midtown Village. Monica Welsh’s super-cozy, natural-light-filled alternative to the Vegas-style wedding chapel has chairs for up to 21 guests, an easy-to-decorate wooden arbor, and an on-site nondenominational officiant; services range from 45 to 90 minutes.

When to Book: Vaux can be reserved with as little as one week’s notice.


What You Need: Locally grown in-season blooms — the easiest to acquire on a tight timeline.

Where to Get It: Kensington’s Jig-Bee Flower Farm. Its “Citywide Special” ($250) includes a bouquet and a boutonniere and can be picked up en route to the ceremony. (They also deliver.) Jig-Bee’s DIY floral buckets are $145 each and filled with 60-plus loose stems that can be given to your craftiest friend to create centerpieces day-of.

When to Book: Two weeks in advance during growing season, which runs from May through October.


What You Need: An off-the-rack number and a tailor with quick turnaround.

Where to Get It: The BHLDN at Devon Yard is the largest in the area and stocked with little white dresses, while bridal consignment shop Sabrina Ann in Ardmore and The Sample Rack in Washington Square West offer once-worn and sample wedding gowns at a discount. Old City’s Joy Cleaners — a Best of Philly winner — can shorten straps and cinch in waists.

When to Book: Joy Cleaners averages three weeks for alterations but can do them in two for clients in a pinch.


What You Need: A spot with food, bev, tables and chairs already built in.

Where to Get It: A private room at a restaurant. With well-appointed spaces for groups from five to 70 in go-to spots like Louie Louie in University City, Wayne’s Autograph Brasserie and all three White Dog Cafes, Fearless Restaurants can accommodate everything from a low-key post-City Hall brunch to a five-course plated dinner.

When to Book: A minimum of one week’s notice is ideal, but Fearless has worked with turnarounds as short as two days.


What You Need: A weekend getaway with beautiful scenery and luxe accommodations.

Where to Get It: New Hope. The Ghost Light Inn opened on the wooded banks of the Delaware River in June with king beds in every suite and an American small-plates restaurant from Jose Garces. Come spring, you can also kick back at the nearby River House at Odette’s, a music-and-cocktail-focused hotel from the hospitality group behind the Reeds at Shelter Haven.

When to Book: As soon as you have your wedding date.

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