Here are 5 Amazing places to have your Philadelphia Elopement!

Thursday, February 9th, 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.

It’s now easier than ever to do a Philadelphia Elopement or Micro-Wedding!

During the pandemic, couples had to adapt to the changes placed upon them and realized they could still get married in a more minor, intimate way. Since then, micro-weddings and elopements have become a regular norm and popularized for their simplicity over larger weddings. It has been an opportunity to continue championing what I feel is the best way for a couple who wants to get married but isn’t a fan of large gatherings.

While COVID-19 rules may have relaxed since then, the trend for micro-weddings, smaller ceremonies, and elopements continues. Even better, many venues in the area have adapted to this change and provide amazing micro-wedding and elopement services for couples.

An Elopement or Micro-Wedding may be perfect if you’re neurodivergent.

As a late self-diagnosed autistic artist and mother to two children medically diagnosed with autism, it has been my goal to not only understand the needs of those who are on the spectrum but to provide spaces for them to enjoy the simple things, like photography, while catering to their unique needs for an enjoyable experience. For myself, it feels as though this country is starting to become more aware of those who are neurodivergent and the raised awareness it deserves by providing services that allow us to be ourselves without judgment, criticism, or feeling forced into uncomfortable arrangements.

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

I think Photography is one of those things that people like myself can feel a bit awkward doing. It’s not that I dislike getting pictures done. It just tends to be often nerve-wracking worrying for me. I usually worry about things like my posture, appearance, and just about everything else due to my heightened anxiety from traumatic life experiences, which hurt my overall self-esteem. Rebuilding that in our adult age can be a process but not easily supported if the person photographing can’t understand why you’re more nervous than usual or worried about things you’re overly conscious about.

For me, my biggest worry is my weight gain after several pregnancies. Adjusting to seeing myself with my weight has been a process of acceptance that is still a work in progress. Finding someone who can understand that and capture me in my best element while being mindful of that worry is not always straightforward, nor do I expect them to cater to that. However, if I could, it would be amazing to have that kind of support, so the overall experience doesn’t have to feel too daunting.

That’s why I’ve made it a focus to provide support for those who are neurodivergent and require someone who can provide that comforting additional extra hand and support so they can feel and look their best and not feel foolish about any special requests or needs made during.

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.

a philadelphia elopement at fairmount park

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.

couple gets married at benson park philadelphia elopement

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.

Restaurant - Dining room

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.

Wedding Dress - Bride

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.

Choosing a Photographer for your Elopement

If you’re looking to either Elope or have a smaller wedding in the Philadelphia area, know there are plenty of options to make it happen. Whether it’s a DIY or luxury, there’s no end to the possibilities. Just don’t forget the most critical part regarding these events—your photographer. You’re going to appreciate hiring someone who was there with you to capture all those beautiful moments, even if it’s just you and your significant other.

Please don’t make the mistake I did for my micro-wedding and neglected to hire one in favor of letting friends and family members do it. If I could do it again, hiring a photographer would have been the first thing I did because now I have no way to go back and see those memories perfectly without scrambling to find the few disposable pictures I was able to get. However, when I renew my vows, you better believe I intend to have a photographer with me this time!

Get married. Do it small. And enjoy your wedding day the way you want. If you need a photographer, I offer great Philadelphia elopement packages customized for hourly coverage and small-scale weddings.



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