February 9, 2023
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A Philadelphia elopement doesn’t have to be a simple courtroom visit. There are many ways to do it and make it a beautiful experience. They’re my favorite type of wedding to capture since I got married in a ‘micro’ fashion when I married my husband.

Embrace Intimacy: Philadelphia Elopements and Micro-Weddings in the New Normal

In the face of unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic, couples have discovered the beauty of intimate celebrations. Philadelphia elopements and micro-weddings have emerged as a popular choice, offering couples a heartfelt way to exchange vows without the overwhelming scale of larger weddings. As a passionate photographer with a love for simplicity, I find these smaller gatherings to be incredibly special, capturing the essence of love in its purest form.

The Resilience of Micro-Weddings and Elopements

When the world underwent transformation during the pandemic, couples found themselves reimagining their wedding plans. Amidst the uncertainty, the allure of elopements and micro-weddings became undeniable. These smaller ceremonies provide couples with the opportunity to focus on what truly matters – their love and commitment to each other.

Although COVID-19 restrictions have eased, the trend for micro-weddings, intimate ceremonies, and elopements remains steadfast. This enduring shift towards more personal and meaningful celebrations has been embraced by couples worldwide, allowing them to create lasting memories in an intimate setting.

An Inclusive Space for Neurodivergent Couples

As an artist and mother with late self-diagnosed autism, and with two children medically diagnosed with autism, I understand the importance of providing a welcoming space for neurodivergent individuals. The world is gradually becoming more aware of the unique needs of those who are neurodivergent, and I believe it is essential to cater to these needs, especially during weddings and celebrations.

I have witnessed the transformative power of photography as a means of self-expression, even for individuals who may initially feel awkward in front of the camera. Photography sessions can be nerve-wracking for neurodivergent individuals like myself, as heightened anxiety and self-esteem challenges may arise due to past traumatic experiences.

Accepting and embracing oneself, including the physical changes that life brings, can be a journey of self-discovery and self-love. I firmly believe that a skilled and empathetic photographer can make all the difference by creating a safe and supportive environment during the photography session. By understanding and respecting individual concerns, capturing authentic and beautiful moments becomes an empowering and positive experience.

Related: 5 Ways to have a Neurodivergent, sensory-friendly wedding in Philadelphia!

Building a Supportive Environment

My focus as a photographer is to provide unwavering support for neurodivergent couples and individuals, ensuring that they feel comfortable and confident throughout the process. My commitment is to be that “extra hand” that provides reassurance, understanding, and patience, allowing each person’s true essence to shine through in every photograph.

I take pride in creating a sensory-friendly and judgment-free space where unique requests or needs are welcomed and celebrated. I cherish the opportunity to capture moments that reflect the genuine emotions and love shared by each couple, regardless of their neurodivergent needs.

Celebrating Your Love in Charming Philadelphia Locations

Philadelphia, with its rich history and scenic landscapes, offers an array of delightful locations for your elopement or micro-wedding. Here are some wonderful spots in the Greater Philadelphia/Delaware Valley area that I highly recommend:

Here are my suggestions for places to do either an Elopement or Micro-Wedding in the Greater Philadelphia/Delaware Valley area.

1. ) Elopements at Fairmount Park and other Philadelphia Parks

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There are various parks all over the city where you can set up something quickly and get married without purchasing a permit. There are so many places around the Philadelphia city area you can make your own, especially with all the gorgeous murals and decorated neighborhoods. If it’s just the two of you and maybe a few others, there’s no reason you can’t make an area mere minutes from you in the city a perfect wedding location for you and your loved one.

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Fairmount Park is a popular choice for Philadelphia Elopement couples and one area that’s easy to find a secluded place just for the two of you. Emily and Simon chose this location for their tiny self-uniting Elopement with their parents present. It was a beautiful, intimate ceremony where the couple exchanged gifts, said their vows, and had an easy and relaxed experience with minimal distractions.

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I was particularly in love with the Elopement between Becca and Isaac, who took their Elopement up a notch by making it a ‘surprise’ for their parents. The pair initially wanted to elope alone and planned to have a celebration dinner later. However, they decided to put together their chuppah and hosted a ceremony at Benson Park in their neighborhood. Afterward, the couple traveled to Suraya, where they enjoyed dinner.

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(P.S. – Suraya is a perfect reception area after an Elopement!)

2.) Micro-Weddings at Crossing Vineyards and Winery

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This beautiful family-owned Bucks County venue is around 35 minutes from Philadelphia. The area is lovely, from the plump grapes on the vines to the gorgeous floral landscaping. I was blown away by how easy it was to navigate and find beautiful areas to capture the couple and family members for portraits. It’s also a lovely location with low noise for those sensitive to sound and provides some privacy for those who need it. Suppose you want a small, catered Philadelphia Elopement or Micro-Wedding. In that case, Crossing Vineyards may be just the ticket to getting that beautiful wedding day feel without all the commotion and large parties.

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For Andrea and Michael, this was perfect for the two of them. Instead of Eloping, the couple chose to do a micro-wedding for their immediate family and friends. When you’re introverted, large crowds and gatherings can exhaust you mentally, so this was a perfect alternative when family members expressed wanting to be part of their day. The best part? The wine. A micro-wedding is ideal for giving you that Elopement feeling of privacy while allowing a few additional members to be part of it.

3.) Philadelphia Elopement or Micro-Weddings at Wissahickon Park

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I was pleasantly surprised to learn this area is an excellent location for those seeking to get married surrounded by nature without having to travel an extreme distance away from Philadelphia! Wissahickon Park is a beautiful wooded area with hiking trails, rivers, waterfalls, and more. Nicole and Daniel’s micro-wedding was very chill vibes, with only family members (and one adorable puppers) in attendance. To make it even more special, the couple hired a pair of talented violinists to play during the ceremony and a fabulous officiant to oversee their ceremony vows.

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Nicole and Daniel included their family in their micro-wedding in the woods near a waterfall and set up a beautiful DIY wedding arch with their assistance. The ceremony was gorgeous, with plenty of tears, hugs, and a lot of love from everyone. Since the park is public, this meant that hikers and visitors could see the ceremony from afar but nothing that ruined the intimacy of the ceremony.

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After the ceremony, the family quickly took down the wedding decor and traveled to Suraya for their reception.

4.) Philadelphia Elopement or Micro-Weddings at The Rittenhouse Hotel

I highly recommend the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia for those looking to do something small but luxurious. The Rittenhouse Hotel is a gorgeous boutique venue offering exquisite catering and a personalized experience for the couple who wants to enjoy their day with all the trims but on a smaller scale. I had the opportunity to photograph a micro-wedding at this location for Paul and Jerina.

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Their wedding day started with them getting ready in their hotel room, where they dressed in separate rooms. Then, after a quick first look, the pair traveled downstairs to their reserved ceremony location at the Lacroix Restaurant. The entire space was reserved for their use, allowing me to use the restaurant area for a few quick couple portraits without worrying about non-guests showing up in the background. This location is perfect for those wanting sensory-friendly and complete privacy.

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A previous mayor of Doylestown, PA, provided his officiant services for the pair as they cited their vows amongst a small selection of friends and family. It was a lovely ceremony that ended with a private dinner in the adjourning area. From delicious appetizers to the beautiful architecture and decor, I can’t say enough good things about this upscale location for the more distinguished couple wanting to splurge on fine accommodations but on a smaller-sized scale party.

5.) Philadelphia Elopement or Micro-Wedding at Cairnwood Estate

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This venue is exquisite and perhaps the perfect location for a castle-like experience but on a smaller scale. So if you’re looking for a gorgeous fairy-tale wedding day experience, look no further than Cairnwood Estate. I’ve had the pleasure of working here several times with a deep appreciation for the history behind the area. Not only do they allow you to rent the location for photo shoots, but they even provide offerings for couples who wish to do a micro-wedding at their estate.

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Faryn and Eric decided to do a Philadelphia elopement and used the venue for their wedding day portraits before the ceremony, which happened elsewhere. They secured an hour which was perfect for getting gorgeous pictures in the various parts of the mansion and elsewhere outdoors. I love that it was an ideal place for couples to go to if they just wanted photographs of their day together. However, it’s perfect for small celebrations, too.

Capturing the Magic of Your Micro-Wedding or Elopement

While planning your micro-wedding or elopement, selecting the right photographer is of paramount importance. Your photographer will be your visual storyteller, capturing the essence of your love and preserving the cherished moments for eternity.

As a dedicated Philadelphia elopement photographer, I take pride in offering bespoke packages tailored to your unique needs. Whether you desire a shorter elopement or an extended micro-wedding, my focus is on documenting your love story in a candid, artistic, and heartfelt manner.

Cherish Every Moment: Book SGW Photography Today

Your micro-wedding or elopement deserves a photographer who truly understands and celebrates your love. I am here to be that understanding and supportive presence, capturing every precious moment with authenticity and grace.

With bespoke packages to suit your requirements, my elopement photography starts at $1500, and micro-weddings at $3800 for 6 hours. Should you need fewer hours, simply let me know, and I will accommodate your vision for a seamless celebration. Reach out to me at hello@sgwphotography.com or contact me directly through my website. Let’s create lasting memories together – beautiful, artistic, and timeless.

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Email me at hello@sgwphotography.com or contact me over here.



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