How to Plan Your Dream Wedding in Chestnut Hill
There’s no prettier place to pop the question – and say “I do” – than Chestnut Hill. The scenic landscape and colorful blooms that have earned this urban village the title “Philadelphia’s Garden District” make it a breathtaking backdrop for weddings both grand and intimate. Better yet, Chestnut Hill is home to chic salons, custom jewelers, award-winning bakeries and more specialty services that help you plan the details of your big day.
From creating your wedding registry to finding your ideal dress, we’re sharing local businesses you should visit on The Hill before walking down the aisle. Here comes the Chestnut Hill Wedding Guide!
First things first, pick out your engagement ring – or point your significant other in the right direction. The designers at family-owned Bijoux Fine Jewelry customize and create each ring by hand, so your design will truly be one-of-a-kind. If antique is more your style, Bijoux’s experts also specialize in restoring and reviving treasured family heirlooms.
Save the Date
After you say “yes!” it’s time to share the news with friends and family. Capture your excitement during an engagement shoot with Nomadic Reverie photographers Danielle and Kat, owners of Studio 92. This duo artfully preserves moments from your first days as a forever couple, perfect for save-the-date cards. (While you’re at it, have them save the date to do your wedding day photography.)
Gifts for Two
At Tailored Home, get a head start on curating your gift registry. With fine tableware, bedding and décor, this local boutique provides the makings of your ideal home. The shop’s design-minded consultants can guide you to curate a distinctive set of china from their impressive selection of designs, including choices from Wedgwood, Mottahedeh, Pickard China and more classic brands.
Dress to Impress
Whether you’re dreaming of a timeless silhouette or a fashion-forward design, make Kimberly James Bridal your wedding dress destination. Opening in spring 2019, this bridal boutique carries a gorgeous selection of Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner gowns – plus jewelry, handbags, jackets and accessories made by owner Kimberly Kingkiner, who has a degree in fashion design. Make an appointment and bring your style crew with you for a special day sipping champagne and choosing your fairytale dress.
Add extra wow to your wedding day look with contemporary handmade jewelry from Gravers Lane Gallery, which represents leading fine craft artists from around the world. Arrange a keepsake bouquet with eye-catching glass flowers crafted by Philadelphia artist Eva Shelley, and find gifts for your bridal party – think artisan earrings and cufflinks. Or, head up the block to Threadwell, which specializes in custom, monogrammed gifts for your entire wedding party including pillow, throws, totes, and picture frames.
Romantic updo or effortless waves? Smoky eyes or natural glow? When it comes to hair and makeup styling, you can trust the top-rated salons in Chestnut Hill to make you feel beautiful as you begin your wedded bliss. Eco-friendly SL8 Hair Lounge’s “Blushing Bride” package has you covered with a stylist consultation and trial run before your wedding, plus a discounted blow-out for your rehearsal dinner. Another local favorite, Spa Elysium & Fringe Salon offers makeup and spa packages in addition to hair services. Unwind from the stress of wedding planning with a facial or couples massage, or pamper your bridal party with mani-pedis.
Surround yourself with romantic gardens and greenery at one of Chestnut Hill’s picture-perfect wedding venues. Overlooking Wissahickon Valley Park, The Commonwealth Chateau at Sugarloaf is a hidden gem on the grounds of Chestnut Hill College, with space for your ceremony indoors or out. The elegant stone mansion opens to a view of a stunning spiral staircase – your photographer’s dream come true – and there’s a posh bridal suite inside where you can get ready with your “I do” crew.
Or maybe you want to say your vows among towering trees at the world-renowned Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This wooded wonderland sweeps across 92 acres and showcases blooming meadows, sculpture gardens and rare plant collections. A historic hillside carriage house and tented outdoor space set a breathtaking scene for your reception as you dance all through the evening.
Bring your special day into full bloom with floral designs from Robertson’s Flowers & Events, considered Philadelphia’s premier wedding florist. Event specialists from Robertson’s will work with you to bring your bridal vision to life through bouquets and arrangements tailored specifically to your preferences. After your honeymoon, stop back in their Chestnut Hill store for photo frames to display unforgettable moments from your wedding.
Can’t forget the cake! Bredenbeck’s Bakery and Night Kitchen Bakery are two of the sweetest stops on Germantown Avenue, and both are famous for their stunning custom wedding cakes. Beloved neighborhood bakery Bredenbeck’s has been open since 1889, and their skillful team specializes in creating tiered pound cakes with smooth buttercream finishings for all tastes. Prefer cake pops or a doughnut wall? Their bakers love mixing it up – and making tasty party favors for guests. Night Kitchen also tops Best of Philly bakery lists thanks to their moist layer cakes and elaborate designs, from glitzy geode confections to classic beauties covered in sugar flowers. And no coffee bar is complete without plates of the bakery’s fudgy brownies and flaky shortbread cookies.
Your wedding day is almost here! The night of your rehearsal, book a stay at the Chestnut Hill Hotel’s separate Carriage House, which includes four bedrooms. This cozy retreat’s reclaimed wooden doors and fireplaces give it rustic flair. You can even reserve the whole building and turn the upstairs and lobby into a private bridal salon for you and your bridesmaids on the morning of your wedding.
Click here to discover more independently-owned shops, restaurants and businesses that will make your wedding celebration extra special – and simple to plan.
Photos by Dustin LaCava-Wingate (En Route)