Wedding Planning

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Juliana Tomlinson


Five Tips for Your Dream City Wedding

As a Philadelphia wedding photographer, I’ve seen weddings of all sizes and styles. Along the way, I’ve watched my couples plan weddings in the heart of the city, at some of the most gorgeous venues around. Over the years, I’ve learned a few things that can be very helpful when planning your city wedding day!

Wedding days goes by SO fast. The last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed and stressed out because of all the moving pieces.

If you’re planning a city wedding, in Philadelphia or beyond, here are my top five tips to keep in mind!

newlyweds walk in front of historical building in Philadelphia PA

Hire a wedding planner!

City weddings can be overwhelming. There’s often multiple locations, moving pieces, and plenty of things to coordinate. You should not have to worry about traffic, transportation, timeline… Having a planner in your team will ensure all events of the day transition smoothly, while you and your guests are having a great experience.  Not to mention, planners often have first hand knowledge of some of the most gorgeous venues, landmarks and ‘how-tos’ when it comes to city!

traditional church wedding in Philadelphia PA

Cushion your timeline!

The biggest tip I have for you is to cushion your timeline. A wedding in the city always means we’ll be dealing with traffic. I know it’s hard to believe it, but Google Maps is not always correct. Plus, when you have to walk on heels, dressed on your gorgeous bridal gown and moving lots of people (your bridal party) at the same time, it’s safe to say: if Google says it will take us 5 minutes to get to our destination, it will  in reality take us about 15.

By cushioning the timeline everyone will feel way less stressed as the day goes on. And at the end, it’s better to arrive early than feel stressed on your dream day!

newlyweds pose in Philadelphia PA

Leave enough time for portraits!

When you get married in the city, that gorgeous glowing light you want for portraits happens a bit earlier than if you were out in an open field. Because the tall buildings block some of the light, make sure you talk with your photographer about what time you should be planning for your portraits. Hint: it’ll be earlier than you think! Your photographer and planner will help you craft your day around these portraits as much as they can – so don’t stress!

Black Tie Wedding at Ballroom at Ben in Center City Philadelphia

Apply for permits!

If you want portraits with any city landmarks or in a National park, you’ll need a permit! Although it’s tempting to just show up and hope for the best, sit down with your photographer and talk about your ideal portraits. If the locations you choose require permits, make a plan to have them all taken care of before the day of the wedding. There are so many gorgeous landmarks in Philadelphia and I will be more than happy to help you with the permits. And when you work with a planner, this is a task she can also take care for you!

Philadelphia wedding portraits by white building in the city

Book a transportation service for the wedding party!

One of the great things about a wedding in the city is that you have so many gorgeous locations at your fingertips. The not so great part is that they’re not always together or within walking distance from each other. By booking a transportation service for your wedding party, you can ensure everyone stays together when traveling within locations. Keeping everyone grouped makes everything way less stressful, and ultimately more fun!!! You and your friends will happily enjoy the day without the responsibility of driving!

bride and groom ride on party bus with wedding party

BONUS TIP: Embrace the city life!

Cities are busy for sure! And they also have some enthusiastic people around who will want to celebrate you! Embrace the beeps, the high-fives and the window-screaming people congratulating you on marriage! Everyone loves weddings and we walk around with the “city mindset” we end up having so much fun in the process!

Philadelphia wedding day planning tips from Juiliana Tomlinson Photography

At the end of the day, I LOVE city weddings and I want my couples to have the wedding day of their dreams. If you have more questions about planning your dream city wedding, let’s talk! I can’t wait to capture your gorgeous and elegant Philadelphia wedding day!

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