Many of my clients getting married in Central Park are visitors to New York. Some bring a group of family and friends with them, and some elope to New York, just the two of them. Usually, our couples come to New York for their wedding for under a week. For some, it’s their first time in New York and for others, they have visited before and feel like they know the city and it means something special to them. This post is intended as advice for visitors to New York City. Locals getting married in Central Park will probably be getting ready at home and are able to do all that cool New York City stuff any time they like. Although, lots of things in this post would be fun to do on your wedding day in New York, whether you live there or not!
If you’re in New York for just a few days and one of them is your wedding day, my advice is not to spend too much of it in your hotel room! Of course, most people want to look fantastic on their wedding day, so will need to spend some time getting ready, but it seems such a pity to spend too long in front of the mirror when you have a limited time in this awesome city. If getting ready is a big thing for you, consider having your wedding photographer come to your hotel to take pictures of you getting ready with your party. After that, maybe they could take some shots around the hotel, perhaps a bride and her dad doing a “first look” or a couple’s first look if there’s somewhere in the hotel that suits doing that.
A great way to make the most of your wedding day in New York is to get married in the morning and then spend the afternoon in the city, seeing and doing things. If you don’t want to get married in the morning, then you could go for a nice breakfast with your party to make more of the morning. If the couple don’t want to see each other before they ceremony, they could each go for breakfast with their families – maybe somewhere beautiful or memorable.
If you’re getting married in the summer, then a morning wedding is a great way to avoid the heat. I got married in July and we took our dog, so we had the ceremony nice and early in the morning so neither the human nor canine guests would get overheated. Also, I wanted my hair to stay straight and it tends to go wavy in the humidity so I was looking my best in the cooler temperatures of the morning. The photographers I work with will all suggest avoiding the middle of the day for a wedding ceremony and for posed photos outside in Central Park, because that is when the sun is highest. The light is too bright in the middle of the day in the summer and it does tend to make people squint, which doesn’t look great in photos.
If you are eloping to New York for your wedding then I think a morning ceremony is an even better idea! You could get married, take photos and then have lunch in one of the restaurants in Central Park, or even have a picnic. After that, you can take the whole afternoon to see the sights of New York City in your wedding gear. We can put you in touch with the driver of a vintage New York cab if you’d like someone to escort you around, or you can just hail normal cabs and walk the streets (wear flat shoes for lots of walking though!). If you’re eloping then nobody else except your partner will see how incredible you look unless you take lots of photos, and where better to do it than Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, the Top of the Rock, the Statue of Liberty, or many other iconic New York places?! If you have a group with you then taking photos around the city is still a great option, and a fun activity to share with your nearest and dearest, but transporting a big group around NYC has more logistical issues than doing it alone.
Some of our couples have had one of our professional photographers with them for the whole day – taking lots of posed photos in some of these incredible locations and more. Grand Central is popular, either on Brooklyn Bridge or of the bridge in the background is also very popular. So is Times Square and the Top of the Rock, and we’ve had couples hire a vintage cab to take them to off-the-beaten track cool locations with stunning street art for their photos. You can capture some amazing images with a professional photographer for a day, but not everyone has the budget for that. If you’re taking they day to sightsee in wedding gear then you can still get some fabulous photographs in lots of locations, especially if you have some friends with you who have an idea about how to use a camera!
Pretty much everyone who gets married in Central Park with us, has food and drink at the heart of their celebration. Much has already been said on this blog about where to go to eat – there are so many choices in New York. If you’re in town for a while, then each meal can be a big part of your stay in New York, but you probably want to save the meal or restaurant (or view from a restaurant!) that you think will be most memorable for your wedding day.
In the past, we have had couples who are fans of sports go to see a game on their wedding day. We have had couples go to see a Broadway show on the evening of their wedding – so get changed out of wedding gear, some don’t! An extremely popular choice for a group is to take one of the wonderful dinner cruises on the Hudson in the evening. Guests can enjoy dinner, drinks and music while taking in the sights of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty as the sun goes down.
We all have different interests and New York can cater to many of them. When planning your trip to New York to get married, think about what unique activities you’d like to do on the actual day of your wedding that will make it stand out. If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, or have any questions about getting married in New York, visit our website for lots more information. Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest.