Are you looking for inspiration for an alternative to a wedding? There are lots of great reasons to throw out the rule book, and do your marriage your own way. Tiffany and Johny decided that what mattered most to them was to spend time with family and get great candid photos without feeling like the center of attention. They found the perfect way to do that with a marriage license signing and portraits in Penn’s Hospital Gardens. Their day was lighthearted and fun.
There are lots of reasons why you might prefer an alternative to a wedding. Maybe the logistics of a big wedding overwhelm you. Some people really do prefer game night with a small group of friends to the big dance party that most weddings turn into. Maybe you don’t feel like you fit into the mainstream wedding industry. If you’re like Tiffany and Johny, you might just hate being the center of attention.
Whatever your reasons are for having an alternative to a wedding, the important thing is that you feel good about how you mark your marriage. Do what feels right for your relationship. You can have fun photos that help you remember the relationships and moments that matter to you, and you don’t need a huge guest list to do it. You just need your partner and the people closest to you. Well, and maybe something bubbly to drink!
Like I mentioned before, Tiffany and Johny opted for an alternative to a wedding because they don’t like having a lot of attention on them. They did know that it was important to their families to feel involved and have some nice photos together. Their celebration was the perfect compromise. They had a small group of family and friends watch them sign their marriage license. Their siblings signed as witnesses.
This alternative to a wedding didn’t have a last-minute elopement feeling even though the group was really small. Skipping the ceremony cut out a lot of logistics and pressure. The whole day was designed to put Tiffany and Johny at ease while showing their families that they appreciated their presence and support.
After signing their marriage license, Tiffany and Johny drank champagne with their guests. Everyone had time to talk and connect with the newlyweds before walking around for photos. Having such a small guest count makes it easier to get candid photos of the moments you can’t plan. Tiffany and Johny laughed non-stop with their family and friends. The joy and warmth in these photos are a great representation of the emotions everyone expressed throughout the day.
When Johny and Tiffany got married, they had just graduated from medical school. They loved the idea of having their alternative to a wedding on Penn’s hospital grounds. The hospital was the first in the nation, and, more importantly for Tiffany and Johny, it’s where they did their residency. Having such a small celebration made it easier to coordinate the venue that meant so much to them.
Penn’s Hospital Gardens are really beautiful. They don’t typically host weddings either, so it was a unique place for Johny and Tiffany’s alternative to a wedding. One section of the grounds, called Physic Garden, was started in the 1770s to provide medicinal plants for apothecaries and physicians. It still has a lot of the herbs that were grown there in the 18th century.
The best part of the garden for wedding portraits, though, is between Spruce and Pine Streets. Wisteria and azaleas bloom in vibrant purples and pinks. In the summer, everything grows in different bright shades of green. Old trees shade the lawns. It’s pleasant even on sunny days.
One reason Penn’s Hospital Gardens are so beautiful are the elegant buildings around it. We took some of Johny and Tiffany’s wedding portraits outside one of the large brick Federal-style buildings. The buildings are filled with incredible antiques and impressive staircases. It’s definitely worth taking a look inside if you’re able!
Are you interested in me being your Philadelphia wedding photographer? I would love to document fun candids of your celebration, whatever it looks like. Reach out to me here!
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