Why Old City Is Your One-Stop Shop for All Things Wedding
The neighborhood has become a Big Day enclave, with bridal and tux boutiques, beauty salons and more.
Remember a few weeks ago when we told you about tonight’s Old City Wedding Stroll? It was yet another indication that the historic neighborhood has become a hub for your Big Day needs — a sign that we caught onto as well, as you can see in our summer/fall 2022 issue. (Get your copy here.) In just a few blocks and down nearly every street, you can find some kind of wedding-oriented business. Think boutiques for discovering your dream wedding attire, beauty and grooming studios for primping, fitness spots, cocktail dens, and more. Below, you’ll find an annotated map of some — too many to include them all! — of the wedding businesses we’ve fallen in love with. Hopefully you will, too.
New in Town
After outgrowing its Washington Square West space, Mari Mi Bridal1 moved last September into a 3,000-square-foot bi-level studio with a private VIP lounge, an expanded lineup of designers (size-inclusive Élysée Édition among them), and a selection of bridal robes. Also new to the area is Atelier Bianca2, an appointment-only showroom from Bianca De Pietro, who runs Toile in Fishtown. Through December, clients can browse her debut bridal brand, Sposa. The collection took six years to finish and has 13 gowns that can be customized with detachable sleeves and skirts, different colors and necklines, and more.
First came Victoria Roggio Beauty’s3 luxurious boutique and day spa, in May 2021. JM&Co.4, from Jacqueline Ryan and Mabree Burris, opened shortly afterward. The hair and makeup studio has a front lounge where your wedding party can chill and a back space for styling magic. (Book ’em for a private event or Big Day prep.) The team of 12 provides beauty trials; day-of, on-site and touch-up services; lashes; and microblading.
With six brides in its current client roster, boutique semi-private group fitness studio Together5 is a hot spot for sweating out wedding stress and feeling strong before (and after) the Big Day. The brainchild of Kate Connelly and her husband, James — who opened the cozy space in December, two months after their own Big Day — it hosts instructors-in-residence who offer their preferred workouts, from strength to dance to Pilates.
In 2020 and early 2021, bridal studio Wedding Factor6 and made-to-measure men’s and women’s clothier Damari7 moved to Old City from their former homes in Headhouse Square and Center City, respectively. Each continues to innovate: Damari’s custom linings are growing in popularity among grooms seeking one-of-a-kind details, while the Wedding Factor plans to add Berta Couture plus sizes to its selection this fall.
When Art in the Age8 reopened its decade-old indoor bar and tasting room in February following a closure due to the pandemic, it launched a series of wedding packages. Soon-to-be-weds can partake in a private designer-drink consultation with a mixologist, who will help you concoct a unique recipe. And new workshops for small groups (of six to 13) provide a brief history of classic libations and lessons on how to mix them — a spirited bachelorette-party option, we think.
Always popular for a celebration, three-year-old contemporary French bistro Forsythia9 recently launched a super-romantic option for popping the question. Duos will have the restaurant to themselves while chef-owner Christopher Kearse cooks and serves a multi-course menu that might include, oh, say, caviar and crêpes. A bottle of champagne and a 30-minute session with a photographer seal the deal.
Here’s a (very!) short list of when some of the O.G. wedding spots first said “I do” to Old City:
Published as “Tour Guide: One-Stop Shops” in the summer/fall issue of Philadelphia Wedding.