Destination Wedding Guide – Getting Married In Central Park

08/11/2013 | 1



New York City, the Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, the bright lights of Broadway and towering screens of Times Square, the hustle and bustle of Fifth Avenue, the fashion capital of the world, the iconic skyscrapers that command the skyline – if you’re a city girl, NYC is hard to beat when it comes to looking for a sleek, metropolitan destination wedding location.


And what better than to say “I Do” in the most romantic part of city – in the tranquil oasis of Central Park? There’s no denying it is one of the most famous locales too…

It’s where Carrie and Aidan go their separate ways in a real tear jerker moment at Columbus Circle, it’s where Carrie and Big meet for lunch and end up in Central Park Lake, it’s where Carrie and Miranda have lunch in the Ladies Pavilion in the first SATC movie, and the list goes on! But if you’re not a ‘Sex And The City’ fan, it’s also the most filmed location in the world! Need we say more?


If you fancy getting married in Manhattan, our wedding planning friends from Wed In Central Park are here to help with a great guide to getting married in Central Park….


Wed In Central Park:

Many couples come to New York City to get married.  There is a vast choice of locations for wedding ceremonies in the city, ranging from the sport fields to City Hall to one of the city’s beautiful parks.  One very popular location for both locals and visitors alike is Central Park.


Central Park was built in the 1850s, and the Upper East Side and Upper West Side areas of New York City grew up around it.  You can still see the mansions of this period lining the streets along the borders of the Park.  There are several structures within Central Park that lend themselves to weddings, depending on your preferences when it comes to size of party, privacy and distance from the entrances to the Park.  Be prepared to walk at least a little if you are planning a wedding in Central Park!


Ladies Pavilion:

One of the most popular locations is the Ladies Pavilion, a cast-iron structure with slate roof.  It was originally designed in 1871 as a shelter for trolley passengers.  It is no longer in it’s original location, and is now beside the Lake, offering iconic views of the water, with trees and tall buildings behind it.



Ladies Pavilion


Wagner Cove:

Another popular location for the smaller party is a rustic wooden shelter called Wagner Cove.  Many couples choose this because it offers some privacy, since it is hidden away by the Lake down some stone steps.


You Mean The World To Me

Wagner Cove


Shakespeare Garden:

Some couples prefer to be amongst the flowers, and at the right time of year the Shakespeare Garden is perfect for that.  It is a shaded, out of the way spot named for the famed English poet and playwright because the flowers in it are all mentioned in his plays and poems.  These locations tend to be popular with parties under twenty guests.



Shakespeare Garden


Conservatory Garden:

Almost all the larger parties choose the Conservatory Garden for their ceremony location, although this does come with an extra charge.  The Garden’s main entrance is through the ornate and beautiful Vanderbilt Gate, on Fifth Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets.



Conservatory Garden


The ideal time period you should allow for wedding photographs in Central Park is two hours.  This should allow you to have group pictures around the ceremony location, then to go off taking pictures at the iconic locations around the Park.  Couples could choose to do this either with the entire wedding party, or leave some guests seated on a nice bench somewhere while just the bride and groom have portrait photos taken.  Some parties will also choose to have pictures taken at their hotel or reception, or at Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, or various other location in the City.


All couples can marry in New York, same-sex weddings were legally recognised as of 2011.  Your marriage will be legally recognised all over the world.  Same-sex weddings will only be recognised in your home country if the law of that country recognises them.  The couple must apply for their marriage license together and in person from City Hall.  Once they have this license they must wait at least 24 hours before their ceremony.  Even getting married in a Park couples can still have a fully ordained minister officiate at their wedding, or couples can choose to have a civil ceremony, although we find the latter is most popular.


The Central Park Conservancy does not allow any amplified sound at weddings, but couples can have an acoustic guitarist, singer, string duo or harpist to play entry and exit music at their ceremony.  Some couples also choose to have a professional videographer at their ceremony so that friends and family who cannot make it to New York City in person can watch it all at home.



Images: Central Park Conservancy via Wed In Central Park


Spring and autumn tend to be busiest times for weddings in Central Park.  Winter is extremely cold in New York, and snow will be in the ground for up to three months, we have taken some truly beautiful photos of weddings in the Park during winter though.  July and August are very hot and humid in New York, although Central Park is always the coolest spot in the city, and there are many places that offer shade in the Park.  Also, there is a greater risk of storms in high summer.  Central Park has many trees that blossom in spring, and flowers gardens that look particularly nice at this time of year.  In the fall, the leaves on the tree turn a beautiful shade of orange, so couples can get some lovely photos.


Has this confirmed in your mind that you definitely want your wedding to be in The Big Apple? Are you thinking sunny Central Park is the destination ‘I do’ for you after seeing the ‘Sex and the City’ scenery?  



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