Terrific Wedding Photography Locations Around Philadelphia

For wedding photography, Philadelphia is probably the best city in the country. It’s urban, steeped in history and culture, filled with gardens and parks and dubbed the “city of love” for a reason. For five of the city’s best wedding photography locations, keep reading.

Longwood Gardens (longwoodgardens.org)

Most Philadelphia wedding photographers will say you can’t go wrong at Longwood Gardens. With its acres of flowers and fountains, Longwood is pristine, beautiful and a stunning backdrop for your wedding day photos.

However, before you arrive at the Longwood gates with your wedding party, photographer and lights in tow, you should know the Gardens do allow photography, but there are policies you must follow. All attendees are required to pay the $16 entrance fee, and no tripods or lights can be used at any time. You may also be required to sign a permission form saying the photos are for personal, not commercial, use.

JFK Plaza or LOVE Park

Philadelphia’s JFK Plaza is lovingly nicknamed LOVE Park thanks to the iconic LOVE statue made by Robert Indiana situated at the head of the park. It’s an urban, Center City setting with a romantic fountain and a locale that simply embodies the city.

While free and certainly romantic, it can serve as a popular wedding photography spot, particularly on a beautiful July Saturday. You may want to go early or allot extra time to wait for other wedding parties.

Bartram’s Garden

As one of the nation’s oldest botanical gardens – Bartram’s Gardens – are steeped in history and tradition. They’re also incredibly beautiful, making them the perfect location for wedding photography. Philadelphia residents will instantly recognize the beautiful stone courtyard and classic coach house.

While Bartram’s Garden can be rented out for photos only, brides should be aware that the site is often booked for special events, including weddings. For strictly photos, it can be secured for between $200 and $250 an hour.

The Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

As the major focus of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is massive and a true landmark of the city. For those looking for a real taste of Philadelphia in their wedding photos, this could be it.

With its eight pillars and stunning steps, it’s a perfect photo spot. Also, fans of the Rocky movie may recognize these iconic steps from the popular film. However, to use those steps as a wedding photography location, you or your photographer must obtain a permit from the Fairmount Park Commission ($50 per hour).

Rittenhouse Square Park

Smack dab in the middle of Center City, Rittenhouse Square is both a convenient and beautiful spot for wedding pictures. Philadelphia residents will instantly recognize the urban park’s green setting and natural beauty. The best part? You don’t need a permit to shoot.

Wedding Photo Booth

Having a photo booth at a wedding can create the most memorable experiences for family and friends. Something about getting into a small space together, hidden behind a curtain, brings out a moment of craziness in each person that can create a visual memory that could literally last a lifetime. Knowing that you have a strip of four creative facial poses while your friend has an identical strip makes a connection that ultimately has led to the resurgent popularity of photo booths.

Want to rent a booth for your upcoming wedding? It may be tough to find one nearby. Try searching for “rent” “photo booth” and “your city”. If nothing turns up, try typing in the nearest big city to your location. Most equipment rental companies serve a specific regional market, and may travel farther for an additional charge. Also consider booking well in advance. Photobooth rentals are often made six months or more in advance. If there are not very many companies to choose from in your area, you want to get on their schedule before someone else takes your date.

Thinking of starting a photo booth business to serve weddings in your area? Many successful rental companies have been started by entrepreneurs around the country. As long as you are committed to the serious effort of owning your own company, a wedding photo booth business can deliver reliable profit and grow as you experience positive word of mouth.

There are several steps to starting a photobooth event rental business. First evaluate your market. Who will be your competition, are there many existing companies or no one serving your area at all? Next budget your startup costs. A wedding photo booth with paper and freight costs can total $9000. Then you will need to transport your booth, which means a trailer, ramp, and large dolly. Include marketing and administration costs for your company, and you will see the total capital requirements for getting started.

How to Get a Great Wedding Day Smile (And Why It Matters)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 2 million people get married each year in this country. People often want to know how much the average wedding costs, or how much someone will spend on their dress or having their hair done. But one thing that plays a major role, and is often overlooked, is your smile. If you look in the mirror and are not completely satisfied with the smile you see there, it’s not too late to do something about it. As a matter of fact, the sooner you start addressing that issue, the better!

Create Lasting Memories

When it comes to planning your wedding, you have undoubtedly invested a lot of time in deciding what you will wear, how you will fix your hair, and every other detail. Keep in mind that all of those preparations, while important, will come and go in one fleeting yet magical night. What will remain, for the rest of your life and beyond, are those wedding photos!

Wedding photos are almost more important than the wedding ceremony itself. That’s because you will keep and share them, and they will capture that special moment forever. They will even capture moments that you might otherwise forget about, over the years. But one look at the photos and you will immediately be transported back to that special night.

The last thing you want to see, when you look at your wedding photos, is a smile that you are less than thrilled about. Many brides-to-be spend their time on everything else and forget about their smile. Yet think about every wedding picture of someone else’s that you have ever looked at. Your eyes immediately go to their smile! In that same way, your smile is what people now and in future generations look to for clues about how happy you were on that day. So give them something great to look at!

Making Changes

Now you know how important your smile is, and how essential it is to have a smile in your wedding pictures that you will never regret. The good news is that you still have time to take action and correct whatever you don’t love about your smile. Whether you dislike a particular tooth, the color of your teeth, or all of your teeth, there are things you can do to help give you a perfect smile in time for your special day.

Nearly everyone can get a perfect smile if they want to. Do you have crooked, missing or dull teeth? No problem! Depending on what you need done, here are some options to help you obtain an amazing smile for your wedding day:

Invisible Braces. Many adults are turning to clear trays to obtain the straight teeth that they have always wanted. They go on your teeth and can successfully address tooth crowding, overlapping, spacing and other issues. If you have crooked teeth, you can actually have them straightened before your wedding, so that you’ll have a perfect smile in your pictures. The great thing about invisible braces is that they are essentially invisible. The invisible tray looks just like a tooth-whitening tray. The tray is custom-made to fit your mouth, and you wear it for 20 to 22 hours per day. That way, unlike traditional metal braces, you get time off, each day. Nobody will know that you are in the process of straightening your teeth, and you will be able to go about your normal eating and cleaning routine. Plus, leaving the old wires behind, you will find that invisible braces are a more comfortable option for straightening your teeth.

Incognito. Another option for straightening your teeth is Incognito. These are hidden braces that provide quick results. They attach to the backs of your teeth, rather than the fronts. So again, nobody sees that you are in the process of straightening your teeth. An specialist applies the custom-fitted braces to the back of each tooth. Then the braces do the work of straightening your teeth while you go about your business. Many people like this option because there is minimal discomfort and, since they are invisible, you can continue wearing them wherever you are and nobody will notice. Also, with invisible-brace options, even if the treatment is not finished before your wedding, nobody will notice the braces, and you will still reap the benefit of having much straighter teeth. The Incognito system uses robotic technology to bend the wires into the exact shape for the desired results.

Clear braces. In addition to the invisible-brace options listed above, there is another option: clear braces that can be put on your teeth, made of plastic or ceramic. They work much the same way as traditional braces, but they are much less noticeable, making them more appealing to adults who may have needed braces as a child but couldn’t afford them. Clear braces are a good option for those who don’t mind others seeing that they are undergoing treatment to have their teeth straightened, but don’t want to advertise it with the traditional metal-brace option. Clear braces can give you straighter teeth in less than six months, if you are one of the many adults who had braces as a child but didn’t wear their retainer.

Gum issues and grinding issues. If you have an issue with overgrown gums, a specialist can use a laser to take care of the problem. With such a quick method available for addressing gum problems, you can get yours taken care of before tying the knot. If you are a tooth grinder while sleeping, you may want to see a specialist to get that taken care of now, before you drive your spouse into sleeping on the couch just to get away from the noise each night.

Teeth whitening. At the very least, it is a must that every bride get her teeth whitened before the big day (and try talking the groom into doing the same). Teeth whitening today, especially when done by a specialist, can have a dramatic effect on your appearance and confidence, and can create a more beautiful smile that you even knew you had in you. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results that you see, after you have your teeth professionally whitened!

Planning Smiles

If there is one thing you really want to do on your wedding day, it is smile! Having a smile that you feel good about will make you feel confident and happy, and you won’t hold back. Forget trying to cover up your mouth when you laugh, or shy away from showing some teeth. You have plenty of time, before the wedding, to take care of the problems that are keeping you from having the amazing smile that you want.

Many of the solutions listed above will also do a lot more for you than just giving you a beautiful smile, by the way. When someone feels they have a nice smile, they are more confident and outgoing. A nice smile enhances your overall health, makes you more attractive, puts you in a better mood, and will probably make you more sociable (which, again, is not a bad thing, considering all those wedding invitations you are going to send out). Plus, a nice smile will keep you looking younger for years to come.

When you work with a specialist, there is no reason you can’t obtain a spectacular smile on your wedding day. Whether it is taking years off the color of your teeth by opting for a professional whitening, or finally getting crooked teeth fixed, you will be glad you did. When you look back at those wedding photos in years to come – as you, your kids and future generations will – you want to know that, on your wedding day, you put your best smile forward. A perfect wedding day smile is within your reach. You just need to make it happen!

5 Must-Have Pictures for Your Wedding Photo Album

Couples getting married today have a lot of things to worry about. Between the dress, the cake, the DJ and the honeymoon, a lot of people overlook the photographer and a wedding photo album. Picking someone to capture the most important day of your life should go beyond price tags and resumes. Your wedding photographer should share your passion and excitement for your big day to help you get the best pictures possible. If you’re looking for some great wedding photo ideas, read on to discover some of the trendiest shots gracing the pages of wedding photo albums all across the country.

  1. The Jumping Shot – The jumping shot is a hotly sought after pose for many couples. This shot requires the photographer to gather the attendants along with the bride and groom in an open space and capture everyone in mid-jump. Taking a few practice jumps is a great way to get the timing down, and if you can swing it, this is one of the most fun and trendiest images in the wedding circuit.
  2. The Chalkboard Shot – If you’re looking for a more casual approach to your wedding photos, consider using props such as chalkboards. Get a small, decorative chalkboard and write, “He stole my heart, so I stole his last name” on it. Have the bride and groom pose with the groom looking at the bride and the bride looking at the camera while holding up the chalkboard. Take the photo in black and white for an even more dramatic look.
  3. The Before and After Shot – This shot requires some advanced planning. When getting your pre wedding photography done, take a picture of the couple at their venue, whether it’s the church or the reception hall. Later, when the wedding takes place get the same picture in the same location dressed up in your wedding attire. When placed side-by-side, the image makes a great introduction page to your wedding album.
  4. The Arial Shot – This is a pretty straightforward idea. Take a picture of the guests from a high place. The picture can be natural with guests mingling and dancing, or it can be staged with the entire group clustered and looking up at the camera. The shot you choose will depend on your wedding album theme.
  5. The Ring Shot – Long gone are the days of taking pictures of the wedding rings on the bride and grooms hands. Now, the rings are photographed on their own, sometimes with props such as scrabble letters. Artfully arranging the rings on a flower stem, putting them on a shadow hand in the sand or stacking them next to letter tiles spelling out “I Do” are all great ways to showcase the symbolic jewelry.

Use these wedding photo ideas for inspiration or as a starting point for creating your own wedding photo album. They say that a pictures says a thousand words, so spend some time putting thought into your wedding pictures.