No-frills weddings set for April 10

Photo by Heather McBride Photography

Who needs a big wedding anyway?

The mental and financial strains of planning a wedding for hundreds of people during a pandemic has understandably become too much for many Philadelphia residents. 

On April 10, a few local businesses are teaming up to provide a one-stop shop for couples looking to tie the knot without all the commotion of a big family wedding.

The popup event called “Do the Damn Thing!” will be hosted at the Dina Wind Art Foundation at 8th and Tasker streets. Entities like officiant services, floral backdrops, photos, celebratory toasts, congratulatory gift bags and Zoom capabilities are all included for a cost of $1,250. It’s perfect for a couple that wants to skip headaches and just get married.

“To plan your life so far in advance is really hard for a lot of people,” said Heather McBride, who is supplying the wedding day photos. “I think a lot of folks are just tired and just want to do the damn thing, because they just want to do it. They just want to get married. They’re tired of waiting, and I think this is a really cool opportunity for them to do it and have it be super easy and simple for them.”

One-hour time slots are currently available between noon and 6 p.m. in which a couple would have the venue for that hour. The only thing the couple is responsible for is obtaining their marriage license through the state, and showing up on the day of the event.

“We’re sort of thinking of it like a Vegas-style without the Elvis impersonator,” McBride said. “Obviously you can’t just walk up because Pennsylvania marriage licenses take a little while so it’s not quite as easy as a Vegas wedding, but it’s still pretty convenient.”

The event is a collaboration among MG the Venue Specialist, which supplies the officiant services, Heather McBride Photography and Stems by Meredith, which will provide the floral backdrop for the ceremony. Additional add-ons include a customized bouquet and/or boutonniere from Stems by Meredith. The venue will even set up a Zoom stream so family members can still be a part of the big day. For more information or to sign up, visit

The trio collaborated in June to offer couples elopement & microwedding packages as the pandemic caused traditional weddings to be canceled or postponed.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we created this microwedding package,” McBride said. “This is for couples who are looking to downsize and don’t really know how to navigate the space and we’re just trying to make it as easy as possible for people, especially since this past year has had so many cancelations. Then we just decided to combine our efforts into an even easier situation. The place is already picked out, everything is there and people can just come in and get married.”

Eloping used to carry negative connotations but has become more normal in present times. McBride says many couples are opting for a hybrid of the two.

“I think what’s super cool is eloping doesn’t mean that’s the end,” she said. “A lot of people are eloping now and having a party in a year. You can still have the best of both worlds. You can keep the ceremony intimate and don’t have to profess your love in front of 200 people.”

If April 10 doesn’t work, there will be more opportunities for couples to tie the knot later this year.

“That’s the plan,” McBride said. “We’re kind of gauging the interest, and I definitely think it’s something that would be easy to replicate quarterly or twice a year or something like that. I think more people than we realize do want to have something on the smaller side but just need permission to do it. Sometimes hearing about events like this lets people know lots of people are doing this so I can do it, too. It’s not just some crazy idea.”