10 Photo Locations in and around Philadelphia that Require Permits – And How to Get Them
With all the incredible photo locations for your engagement and wedding portraits in and around the Philadelphia area, you need to know that certain places require permits. And we hate to have to say it… but you really should get the permit. Nothing is more of a bummer than when during your wedding you get asked to leave. 😮
So to make sure that doesn’t happen, here’s our list of locations that require a permit and instructions on how to get one.
**Last Updated 5/5/2023 – Email us if there needs to be an update.
1.) Independence Mall Parks
All locations in the Independence Mall Park area require a permit. These include:
The Magnolia Garden
18th Century Garden
Benjamin Rush Garden
The Second Bank of the United States (South steps and lawn area)
The First Bank of the United States (Front steps)
Washington Square (*Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is off-limits*)
The Merchants’ Exchange (Steps and gate)
How To get a Permit:
Cost: $25 Application Fee, Plus $50-$250 depending on the size of your group.
As of April 2023, Race Street Pier no longer requires a permit for engagement or wedding photography. While you won’t need to go through the time and expense of obtaining a permit, you won’t be able to reserve a time or location for your engagement or wedding photography. So be aware that you might have people interrupt your session. Just be polite and ask them to give you a few moments, kindness always wins.
3.) City Parks (Fairmount Water Works – FDR Park Boat House – Rodin Musuem – Azalea Garden)
Some of the most popular city parks in Philadelphia require permit for photography and ceremonies. These locations are also open to the public so make sure you have a permit to ask people to respect your time. Turn around time can take over 2 weeks, so apply early!
Ridley Creek State Park has recently begun to require permits for all wedding related shoots. Unfortunately, the form and signup information is not available online. Best bet is to give the park office a call for the most current information.
How To Get A Permit:
Call the Park Office: 610-892-3900
9.) Philadelphia Magic Gardens
Another extremely popular location on South Street. This one-of-a-kind art installation by Isaiah Zagar will give your photos that authentic Philly art-scene feel.
How To Get A Permit:
Request a permit online at the PMG website. This location fills up quickly so get your permit in advance!
One of the most besutiful locations on our list (maybe the best for last). Longwood Gardens does not require a specific permit to take photos, however, everyone involved must purchase entry tickets and adhere to the Photography Guidelines: