A very frequently asked question from my clients who are getting married in Central Park, is a suggestion of where to eat in New York. It’s such a difficult question to answer because New York is a huge city with so many awesome places to choose from with every cuisine you can think of to fit a vast range of budgets. My couples are all so different, too – they have varying tastes, budgets and number of guests to feed.
Since the question is so difficult to answer, I think it’s helpful to look to my previous clients for their suggestions. This list contains the places that couples who featured on the blog in 2019 ate and celebrated after their wedding in Central Park. To avoid the blog posts from getting ridiculously long, I’ve split this subject up year by year. I wrote a post summarising where all the couples who featured on the blog in 2018 ate after their wedding, couples from 2017, couples from 2016, then from 2015, then those from 2014, and also those from 2013. So there are lots of recommendations to look through!
A while ago I wrote my own list of New York restaurant recommendations, and followed that up with a second list of New York restaurant recommendations, but these may be getting a little out of date now. Check out my FAQs page on my website for some of the others I get asked a lot. Below I summarise the couple’s recommendations who featured on the blog in 2019. I intend to cover the next couple of years on the blog eventually.
Chris and John got married underneath Bethesda Terrace on a crisp, clear day in December. They had been together for ten years when they got married. Like so many couples who contact me, they were planning on being in New York when they decided they might get married in Central Park while they were there. After all, ten years is a big anniversary! After the ceremony the couple took their guests to the Tavern on the Green for champagne and lunch. It was a short walk between their ceremony location and the restaurant.
Chelsea and Matthew brought a small group of their close friends and family over to New York from their home in Canada to get married in Central Park. Their ceremony was held in Wagner Cove in July. They had been together for four years before they got married. After their photos around Central Park, they went on to Delmonicos Steak House for lunch, an iconic New York restaurant, opened since 1837!
Sophie and Ben got married in Central Park in January. They got engaged in Central Park in January 2017, Ben proposed beside Bethesda Fountain. After taking photos around the park, they went over to the Tavern on the Green for their dinner, and then back to the Empire Hotel for drinks in their rooftop bar. “The Tavern on the Green was amazing, the food was incredible,” said Sophie.
Jess and Nathan brought family and friends over to New York from their home in Yorkshire, England to get married in Central Park in August. The ceremony took place in the Ladies’ Pavilion. After that, they walked through Central Park, taking photos, and went on to the Tavern on the Green. “We had a few drinks there before getting cabs to our wedding reception which we had at Hardings in the Flatiron district,” Jess said. They had their meal and speeches there, and then walked round the block to their sister restaurant, Casa Neta, where they had hired and decorated a room where they could play their own music. That is where they did their first dance, cut the cake and Jess threw her bouquet. “The staff at both venues were very accommodating,” Jess said, “we had our own signature cocktails made up at Casa Neta – one chosen by me and one chose by Nathan and paid for a two hour free bar package.
Claire and Brett got married in May by Bethesda Fountain. They brought thirty-three guests from their home in Kent, England to the wedding; quite a large group by our standards. They took the Staten Island ferry over to Staten Island for their reception meal at the River Dock Café, which has an outdoor terrace with stunning views of downtown Manhattan.
Marc and David brought six of their friends over from their home in the UK to get married in Central Park in November. After the ceremony, they all took photos at Bethesda Terrace and Bow Bridge. Then they went on to the Tavern on the Green to have a rest and to celebrate, and our photographer popped in to take a few pictures inside before she left.
Carolanne and Christopher brought twenty-two guests over to New York from their home in Glasgow, Scotland to get married in Central Park in May. After the ceremony, they went around Central Park to take photos, and then all got on a vintage trolley bus at the Dakota. It took them over to Brooklyn Bridge Park, then to Times Square for some more photos. Their reception dinner was held at Blue Smoke, “it was just fantastic,” said Carolanne, “the family style dining on the mezzanine was perfect, I would highly recommend this place for a wedding, it was a great atmosphere and all the diners cheered and clapped for us when we got there which was so nice,” she said. After dinner they had reserved an area of the Monarch Rooftop Bar, “it was just the icing on the cake of a perfect day,” Carolanne told me, “the view of the Empire State Building was amazing from there,” she added.
Emma and Adam brought a small group of family and friends over for their wedding in Central Park from their home in the UK. After the ceremony, they took some group photos at the Ladies’ Pavilion and then just the couple went around Central Park with the photographer, before jumping in a cab to get photos at Grand Central. Their reception was on the Bateaux New York dinner cruise (which I’ve also enjoyed – click the link to read the blog about my river cruise). “It was the best way to end our wedding day with great food and views, they even invited us to the dance floor so we could have our first dance!” said Emma.
Stephanie and Jack eloped to New York to get married in Central Park in July. Stephanie and Jack forgot to bring their license to the ceremony! This does happen occasionally, which is why I remind couples of it several times in the run-up to the wedding. So, our officiant went to fetch it for them and they had lunch with her and her family. After that they went back to their hotel room for champagne and cake. They had ordered their wedding cake from Magnolia Bakery. After that, they went to Ralph Lauren’s restaurant, the Polo Bar, for dinner. “The food was incredible,” Stephanie said. After dinner they went to Broadway and to see the Lion King. After that, they had a caricature drawn of them wearing their wedding outfits in Times Square.
Emily and Casey got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in July. They decided to hire the ever popular vintage trolley bus to pick up the whole party after the ceremony and photos in the park. After the ceremony the guests went for a drink at the Tavern on the Green while the couple took photos around the park, “this was lots of fun as we got a lot of attention from tourists,” she said. Then they all got in the trolley bus, where they are allowed to take their own alcohol and play their own music, and the driver will take them wherever they want in the allotted time. They all went to Times Square and Brooklyn Bridge Park to take photos, before dropping them off at TESSA – the restaurant they had chosen for their wedding meal. “Our time on the bus was by far the best part of the day,” said Emily, “admittedly everyone drank a bit too much and the amazing meal was probably a waste of money, but the driver was so laid back and stopped twice for toilet breaks and too collect more drinks! We had so much fun and got some amazing photos around the city,” she said.
Marco and Jason got married in August in Wagner Cove. After the ceremony, they took some group photos with their guests and then they left for the reception dinner at Cafe Arte. The couple stayed a little longer for photos around Central Park. The wedding reception / after party was held at 230 Fifth rooftop bar. Although Marco and Jason are New Yorkers, they did stay over in a hotel in Manhattan close to Central Park for the wedding weekend.
Christine and Alwyn got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in August. The couple arrived in town on Thursday, married on Saturday and left on Sunday. They took around a dozen of their guests on a bus tour of the city on Friday during the day time and on Friday night they went to Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar for dinner and drinks. “It was a fun opportunity for our guests to get to know each other better, said Christine. This is a big plus of a destination wedding – all of the guests really have the time to get to know each other. After the ceremony and photos in Central Park Christine and Alwyn took their guests for dinner at the State Grille at the Empire State Building. “The food was delicious!” said Christine. After that most of their guests went to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building with the couple.
Adam and Kirsty brought around twenty of their friends and family over to New York from their home in Scotland for their wedding in Central Park in September. They took photos around Central Park, then on the Grand Central and after that, Times Square. They booked a corner of the Monarch rooftop bar and had food and drinks with the wedding party there, and apparently some excited locals! They had a small wedding cake made and delivered by Magnolia Bakery, which they said was amazing, and they partied there until the wee hours!
Jess and Andy got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in September. After the photos in the park, they got on the vintage trolley bus from just outside the Dakota building and it took them on a tour of New York. “It really made the day extra special,” said Jess. “We sang all the way around New York. After that we went to the Marriott Marquis revolving restaurant for dinner – the views and food were incredible,” she said.
Donna and David brought a small group of loved ones over from their home in Scotland to get married in Wagner Cove in September. They got engaged in New York when they were visiting in 2014. David popped the question at the Top of the Rock. After the ceremony they took some photos around Central Park and then went to the Boathouse for lunch. “The Boathouse was beautiful and I am so glad we chose to go there,” said Donna. After lunch they took a taxi back to the hotel, got changed, then headed out to Madame Tussaud’s.
As always with these posts, I would be so happy for anyone to comment below with their own suggestions of great New York City restaurants – there are so many to choose from, and although there are some firm favorites that last over time, in particular, the two restaurants that are actualy inside Central Park, we’re always seeing new ones! For more information to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where you will find lots of beautiful photos and many more inspiring stories of real weddings.