210 West Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Have I Photographed Here?
About the Rittenhouse Hotel
The Rittenhouse Hotel is an incredible 5-star hotel with exceptional service and AAA 4 diamond cuisine compliments of their restaurant, Lacroix. The library, courtyard, and staircase in the lobby of the hotel are all stunning highlights to see. The hotel is right in the heart of center-city Philadelphia and borders the beautiful Rittenhouse Square park.
Where are the Best Places to Take Pictures?
If there is one question I get asked, from pretty much every couple, it’s “where should we take pictures?”. Couple’s want to know where to have portraits with each other, their wedding party, and their family. Because every couple is different, not all couples will think that every location at the Rittenhouse Hotel is the “best” for them. So what I do is recommend a variety of locations and then allow my couples to decide what spots they like the most. I have listed a variety of places to shoot below and talk about why it’s great to shoot there.
The Front Hotel Façade
As you enter the Rittenhouse Hotel, from the outside, you will be greeted with a beautiful statue of a woman and a sign that reads “The Rittenhouse”. This is a great location to photograph the bride full length and/or cropped. The woman in the statue has her arms out as if she is walking. You can see the movement in her dress and she is holding a rose in her left hand. The strong feminine characteristics in the statue work well with the bride in the frame compositionally. Also, this is a good location for full length portraits as well as cropped portraits of the couple standing and/or walking. It’s important to note that this is where the hotel’s valet is located and where all of the guests are arriving. With a little patience with all the cars rolling in, it certainly is possible to take portraits of the couple here but I would not recommend it for larger groups like the wedding party and/or family portraits.
Inside of the Rittenhouse Hotel is an absolutely beautiful library. It has a great low lit mood to it and is adorned with a dark chandelier, large mirror, mantle, and dark brown leather chairs. This is a great location for full length and/or cropped portraits of the couple, wedding party, and family. Additionally it’s a great spot for seated portraits. While the library is in the lobby of the Rittenhouse Hotel, it is offset from most of the regular guest traffic so there is not likely to be interruptions during any portraits.
A really beautiful and unique location at the Rittenhouse Hotel is the courtyard area. You can go outside without leaving through the front entrance of the hotel. This is ideal if it’s really hot or cold on your wedding day but you still want to get some fresh air for some of your portraits. It’s also a great place if there is some precipitation arriving shortly on the forecast because you obviously do not want to be caught in a downpour several blocks away from the hotel. The courtyard has stunning archways that are seasonally covered in greenery. The landscaping is also beautiful with it’s seasonal floral décor. This is a private location which is ideal for the couple’s first look. There are also glass windows inside of the hotel that allow you to see the courtyard so your family and friends can watch the first look without being IN the first look if you so choose. It’s also a great spot for full length and cropped portraits of the couple, wedding party, and family. There is opportunity for seated portraits as well.
The marble staircase lined with golden colored railings is a wonderful location for some full-length portraits of the couple. Whether it’s walking or running up the steps in a celebratory way, this area of the Rittenhouse Hotel is sure to delight. There is also a large historic painting on the wall of a party which suits the mood of a wedding day just right and acts as a great backdrop.
While Rittenhouse Square is an amazing park and can certainly be a location for the couple’s first look and portraits, you have to keep in mind the sheer number of people in the park. While I have certainly photographed in crowded public places, I also like to share other options with couple’s if they are interested. Philadelphia has such great history and culture everywhere that you do not have to travel far to see it. A short walk from the Rittenhouse Hotel will give you a beautiful staircase as well as countless facades that are varied in color, shape, and texture. They are all located on several side streets in close proximity to the hotel and have significantly less car and pedestrian traffic than Rittenhouse Square park.