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  • Writer's pictureMadison Neumann

Your Guide to Wedding Photos in Philadelphia from a Philly Wedding Photographer

Bride and Groom pose together against one of the pillars of the Second National Bank in Old City Philadelphia. By philly wedding photographer Madison Neumann Photography.

Your Guide to Wedding Photos in Philadelphia
Philadelphia is home to so many beautiful wedding venues, and endless opportunities for photo locations on your wedding day. I have been photographing Philly area weddings for almost a decade now, and if there's one thing they're notorious for it's their unique timelines and locations compared to anywhere else! With being located in the city, couples getting married here often truly love the city vibe and want to bring it to their wedding photos. A lot of the venues in the city do not have outdoor photo spaces or do not allow you to utilize the venue until just before ceremony. This leads to Philly wedding days often include walking between places, trolley rides, multiple photo locations, photo permits, and more. To make sure your wedding day photos go off without a hitch, I'm here to tell you everything you need to know. This is your guide to wedding photos in Philadelphia.

Bride and groom walk together through Philadelphia on their wedding day. By Philly wedding photographer Madison Neumann Photography.

Getting Around:
From getting ready, to photo locations, to your wedding venue, you may have some getting around to do! Some wedding days are entirely walkable - like a wedding day that goes from getting ready at Hotel Monaco to photos at Second National Bank to wedding celebrations Union Trust (just to name one possible scenario). While others are more expansive. For those more expansive wedding days, I highly recommend getting a trolley. Some of the biggest wedding venues in the city, like Cescaphe venues have trolleys for their couples to use. You can also rent them independently from transportation companies. Trolleys can typically hold your wedding party, immediate family, and vendors like your photo and video team. Using them keeps everyone in one place so you can continue to spend time together on your wedding day and everyone can truly relax without having to drive. It also saves the stress of potential parking scenarios around the city. You can easily hop off and on if hitting multiple locations.

Wedding party cheers for a kissing bride and groom at Merchants Exchange Building in Philadelphia. Photographed by Philadelphia wedding photographer Madison Neumann Photography for Hope Helmuth Weddings.
Photographed while second shooting for Hope Helmuth Weddings.
Obtaining Permits:
Philadelphia is a big city with a ton of spaces to photograph. Some of their most popular spaces require photo permits. Luckily the permit process is typically easy and can be done entirely online or by mail. It is recommended you start obtaining permits at least one month prior to hour wedding day, but the earlier the better - especially in high traffic seasons and days of the week like Saturdays in the Fall. Here are some instructions for the most popular spaces in the city as well as their costs:

Merchant's Exchange Building, Second National Bank, 18th Century Garden, Dock Creek,
Washington Square
1-10 persons: $50.00, 11 - 30 persons: $150.00, and over 30 persons $250.00
+$25.00 application fee
Permit obtained online through the National Park Service, here.

Waterworks and Boathouse Row
Restrictions may apply due to pre-scheduled events in the area
Permit obtained through City of Philadelphia, here.

Philadelphia Museum of Art steps and Azalea Garden
Permit obtained through City of Philadelphia, here.

Cherry Street Pier
Only available on select dates due to events hosted at the pier
$100/hour for public access, $500/hour for private access
Permit obtained through Delaware River Waterfront, here.

Bride and Groom kiss under the Ben Franklin Bridge at Race Street Pier. Taken by Philadelphia wedding photographer Madison Neumann Photography.

Photo locations that do not require permits
While some of the most popular locations in the city require permits to take wedding photos, there are also a ton of spaces to choose from that do not require permits. That being said, permits do ensure that you have a space to yourselves during your allotted time. Without that exclusivity and with some of these locations being smaller in terms of space, not every location in the city is going to be ideal for larger groups like your wedding party or family photos. The locations that have enough space for these larger groups have been marked below with an * .

Rittenhouse Square*
Race Street Pier*
Elfreth's Alley
Broad Street
City Hall*
Franklin Square*

And more! The great thing about the city is that you can really walk around and explore. I've done photos from city sidewalks to alleyways, cafe benches, and bars. There are so many small parks scattered throughout the city as well, and a quick google search should be able to tell you if a photo permit is required. Wedding venues may also be able to provide insight into popular locations near your wedding venue.

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