My husband and I recently relocated to Wilmington, DE, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from center-city Philadelphia. The Birthplace of America is full of diversity; from the people to the architecture to the food, there’s a cultural experience steeped in history waiting around every street corner. For that reason, among others, it’s one of my absolute favorite cities to photograph couples in love. Check out my list of the 25 best engagement photo locations in Philadelphia below (plus a few spots I’m dying to visit!).
Table of Contents
Old City Philadelphia Engagement Session
1. Old City District (The Old City loop)
Cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and picturesque parks. You really can’t go wrong with Old City Philadelphia as your engagement session backdrop. Start at the Merchant’s Exchange Building for an elegant and timeless setting.
Lauren and Ben’s engagement session in Old City Philly was an absolute dream. Check out more from their dreamy gallery in the full post here. I’m so excited to photograph their wedding at the Excelsior in downtown Lancaster this November!
2. City Hall
1401 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
If you’ve seen any wedding or engagement photos in downtown Philly, you’ve most likely come across the classic City Hall backdrop. This imposing stone building perfectly frames Market Street and is the city’s foremost landmark along the Old City Loop.
1 S 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Dilworth Park sits at the foot of the City Hall building. This urban jungle and zen garden collab is the perfect backdrop for action-packed engagement photos. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be mad if a spontaneous splash war broke out in the fountain.
Fun fact for my active couples: Dilworth Park turns into an ice skating rink in the winter and a rollerskating rink in the summer, so plan accordingly!
126 Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia, PA 19106
If stones could talk, the cobblestone streets of Elfreth’s Alley would have countless stories to tell. This is arguably one of the most photographed streets in Philadelphia, considering it’s the oldest continuously inhabited road in America. There’s something really special about capturing an engagement session here. This important moment in your love story will be forever woven into a storied, 300-year history.
If you’re interested in exploring the street after your session, check out the Elfreth’s Alley museum located at houses 124 and 126!
Address: 420 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
This is a must-see architectural site if you’re already exploring the Old City. Stop by to snap a few photos in front of this stunning example of Greek Revival architecture.
N Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Race Street Pier is a popular urban oasis for engagement sessions. The pier juts out into the Delaware River, offering a stunning panoramic view of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and city skyline. The combination of water, bridge, and cityscape creates a truly stunning photo backdrop.
339 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Picture this: It’s 1945, and you’re just setting out on your honeymoon. All of a sudden, you’re transported back in time to the 1700’s. If you’ve ever dreamed of reliving an episode of Outlander, I’m right there with you. Head over to this quaint corner of the Old City for a gorgeous garden photoshoot circa 1730ish. The 18th Century Garden features formal landscape design, plants, and flowers that were frequently found in colonial Philadelphia in the 1700’s. Plan to spend around 15–20 minutes here if it’s a stop in your photo tour of the Old City Loop.
Urban Philadelphia Engagement Session
1020 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Although just as magical, South Street in Philadelphia has an entirely different feel than the Old City Loop. If you’ve never visited Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on South Street, your engagement session would be an amazing time to explore it for the first time. The shimmering, colorful mosaics span five city lots, providing endless photo ops for your engagement session. Afterwards, you can spend time wandering the tunnels and bridges of the outdoor sculpture garden together.
Note: Engagement sessions are classified under PMG’s informal photography policy, which doesn’t allow for props or outfit changes. The entrance fee is $15 per person.
If your Philly Pinterest board had a fever dream, it would be set in Fishtown. Home to fine dining and dive bars alike, this hipster paradise has an eclectic and arty vibe for the urban loving couple. Massive murals and graffiti art will give each of your photos a unique backdrop.
10. Franklin Square
200 N 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Home to one of the oldest public fountains in the country, Franklin Square is another historic site to add to your engagement session location list. Franklin Square borders Philadelphia’s Historic District, the Old City, and Chinatown. If you’re hoping for colorful and fun engagement photos, opt for a session on the carousel or at the annual Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival!
11. Logan Square
200 N 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Logan Square is home to one of my favorite fountain backdrops in all of center-city Philadelphia—the Swann Memorial Fountain. This local jawn also boasts tree-lined pathways and iconic landmarks like the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. The juxtaposition of urban vibes and serene greenery gives you the best of both worlds here.
12. Parkway Central Library (The Free Library Of Philadelphia With Shakespeare Memorial)
1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
The Free Library of Philadelphia, a stunning neoclassical building, houses an enchanting Shakespeare Memorial. The grand marble columns, intricate architecture, and lush green surroundings of the library have popularized it as a wedding venue. Ideal for engagement photos, it blends romance, culture, and architectural beauty seamlessly.
Museum Engagement Photo Locations in Philadelphia
13. The Franklin Institute (Science Museum)
222 N 20th St.
Directly across from Logan Square, you’ll come to the impressive Franklin Institute. Not quite the MET steps, yet the Franklin Institute still gives off an element of grandeur only found among architecture of this era.
2450 Strawberry Mansion Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19132
Whimsical florals. Ivy-clad walls. Ornate architectural details… I can keep going, but I think you get the picture. If you’re already passing through Fairmount Park, make sure to stop at the Historic Strawberry Mansion for a romantic garden engagement session. The blend of natural beauty and vintage charm allows couples to capture both intimate moments and grand gestures of love in a single, picturesque location.
Note: Pets are welcome outdoors if you’re planning to bring along a furry friend!
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA 19130
If you and your partner are movie buffs, you’ll appreciate the cinematic significance of the iconic Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Located on the southernmost tip of Fairmount Park, the museum of art overlooks the sprawling Philadelphia landscape. Pose among sculptures and columns to capture moments as timeless as the museum itself.
16. The Rodin Museum
2151 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA 19130
This gorgeous museum along Benjamin Franklin Parkway holds the largest collection of works by the French sculptor Rodin outside of Paris. If you’re a fine art enthusiast or a lover of Rodin, plan to explore this quaint museum’s interior after capturing engagement photos among the fragrant walled gardens outside. (Photography permits do not extend to the interior.)
Park and Garden Engagement Photo Locations in Philadelphia
17. Wissahickon Valley Park (Forbidden Drive)
Address for parking: 200 W Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19128
Why not escape the urban jungle and celebrate your engagement in a more remote setting? Wissahickon Valley Park in Philadelphia is the perfect outdoor engagement photo backdrop for peace-seekers. Sunlight filters through ancient trees onto serene trails, while a charming wooden bridge spans a babbling creek. Authors, poets, and musicians have gushed about this romantic, hidden landscape for generations.
18. JFK Plaza (Love Park)
Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the obvious: Love Park in Philadelphia. During the holidays, this would be a great place to capture seasonal and festive engagement photos (think: repurposing for a Christmas or New Year’s card?!) The square is iconic on a normal day but transforms into an actual winter wonderland in December with a German-inspired Christmas market housing hundreds of street vendors, lights, and wintry decor.
19. Fairmount Park
Reservoir Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19119
Larger than Central Park in NYC, Fairmount Park boasts 2,000+ acres, making it the largest landscaped urban park in the world. You could spend an entire week here, let alone an entire engagement session. I love the blend of nature and architecture found among the park’s historic boathouses and hidden trails. Plan your shoot in the spring to capture breathtaking rows of Cherry Blossoms!
5400 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19143
Bartram’s Gardens is on the southwest side of Philadelphia, along the Schuylkill River. Curiously removed from the city center, this botanical garden landmark is an idyllic, quiet escape for your engagement session. The historic Bartram House on the property dates back to the 1700s!
Waterfront Engagement Photo Locations in Philadelphia
301 S Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Spruce Street Harbor Park in Philly is another dreamy urban escape along the Delaware River. This park is vibrant and active during the summer and often adorned with fairy lights, hammocks, floating gardens, and colorful loungers.
1412 Mt. Vernon Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Cescaphe’s Water Works is a stunning event venue known for its historic charm and scenic views of the Schuylkill River and Boathouse Row. Some major highlights include a picturesque outdoor terrace, elegant ballrooms, and impeccable catering services. Water Works was such a romantic backdrop for Caitlin and Marina’s sweet downtown Philadelphia engagement session!
Address: 5001 Grant Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19114
From one Ford to another, is the ‘E’ really necessary? Serious question. Jokes aside, Glen Foerd is a very popular engagement photo location in Philadelphia. This free, public park on the Delaware River has 18 acres of rare trees and flowering shrubs, as well as a formal rose garden, a vineyard, and riverfront oaks that date back to the 18th century.
Honorable Mentions in the Greater Philadelphia Area
24. Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, PA 19348
If I’m being honest, I’ve shot more sessions at Longwood Gardens than I can count. And for good reason. No two sessions here are alike. The gardens are so expansive that we can truly customize your engagement session to capture only your favorite spots. Some of my favorite areas to photograph are the conservatory and the main fountain garden!
25. Valley Forge
1400 N Outer Line Dr, King of Prussia, PA 19406
Just 22 miles outside the city, Valley Forge is a great Philly-adjacent engagement photo location! The park is known for its Revolutionary War history and is the site of the Battle of Valley Forge. But after my recent session with Jackie and Jason, I think it may become better known for the lightsaber battle that took place here. The jury’s still out on who actually won…
Phew. There you have it, folks! My comprehensive guide to the best engagement photo locations in Philadelphia. I’m planning to update this guide with more of my favorite spots as I continue to explore every nook and cranny of the city. Check out more engagement sessions on the blog here, and leave a comment below with your favorite landmark or venue to take photos in Philadelphia! If you’re ready to document your epic love story with me in this captivating city, let’s chat. I can’t wait to work with you!