It is quite the understatement to say that 2020 was an unusual year for weddings. We saw so many unhappy couples having to cancel their plans, postpone their weddings, or change their wedding plans completely!
To avoid writing a ridiculously long blog post and adding to it each year, this blog post series of client recommendations of restaurants in New York is split up year by year. I wrote a post summarising where all the couples who featured on the blog in 2019 ate after their wedding, couples from 2018, 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, and many of these places are still open, not all of them are.
A frequently asked question from my couples who are getting married in Central Park, is for a suggestion of where to eat in New York after they get married. It’s a very 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 – some are happy to travel to another borough, some want to walk to their reception, and they have varying group sizes, so some want a private room, some just a table.
Since the question is so difficult to answer, I have looked to my previous clients for their suggestions. This list contains the places that couples who featured on the blog in 2020 ate and celebrated after their wedding in Central Park.
Some time 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and followed that up with a second list of New York restaurant recommendations, but seem to be getting a little out of date now. Check out my FAQs page on my website for some of the other questions that I get asked a lot. Below I summarise the couples’ recommendations who featured on my blog in 2020. I intend to cover last year’s couples on the blog possibly by the end of this year, and then I’ll be almost caught up!
Laura and Alan brought twenty guests over from their home in Scotland for their wedding blessing beside Bethesda Fountain last October. The couple had their legal ceremony at home in Glasgow with just their parents before traveling to New York for a blessing ceremony with friends, due to health limitations of both sets of parents. Laura had a list of restaurants from the trip that she’d recommend, so I’m just going to post her list and comments here:
Sarabeth’s – near Central Park, very child friendly.
Carmine’s – (Laura recommends the one just off Times Square, and I recommend the one on the Upper West Side). This is child friendly, and was recommended by a friend. The portions are all sharing size, you will not be disappointed if you have a big appetite.
The Rockefeller Centre – the restaurant looks onto the ice rink so is good for people watching. The portion sizes are huge and they do an awesome eggs benedict.
Bill’s Bar and Burger Place, 51st Street – this place offered good American grub, again the portions are huge and very child friendly.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner on Broadway – GREAT for kids, the entertainment is great and service was always with a smile. The menu offered a good selection of food (portions were huge though).
Casa Nonna, 38th Street – lovely Italian restaurant, seemed to get busy very quickly so would recommend booking rather than just turning up.
John and Mark travelled to New York City from their home in upstate New York to get married at Wagner Cove in December. They had been together for seventeen years before they got married. As soon as they had finished taking photos in Central Park, they went to a nearby cafe for something warm to drink as it was very cold that day. Then John and Mark went back to their hotel to change for dinner at Joanne Trattoria restaurant, which they highly recommend. “It was very nice and cozy, plus the food was great,” John said. Then they went to some clubs afterwards to celebrate.
Kerry and Mark brought thirteen of their close friends and family over from their home in Lancashire, UK for their wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion in December. They got married in the morning, so had the day to enjoy after their wedding. After Central Park they all went to the Grey Bar and Restaurant for a meal and drinks and then for dinner they went on to take a cruise on the Hudson with a buffet and DJ.
Alwena and Amanda came over to New York from their home in England with their close friend Keith to get married in Central Park in December. Alwena first contacted me on the 10th December and they got married on the 19th December, so I think this might be the shortest planning period of any wedding I’ve been involved with! The temperature was minus 5 so they wore thermal trousers and many layers under their coats! After the ceremony they all went to the Tavern on the Green to warm up and drink champagne. When they left Central Park they took a rickshaw around the city then had a meal at Gallaghers and continued to explore the city.
Alex and Tom brought eighteen grown up guests and three children over with them from the UK for their destination wedding in the Conservatory Gardens in August. After the photos in the Conservatory Gardens the guests went over to the reception location of Frankies Spuntino in Brooklyn.
Sarah and Richard got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in August. They were a party of fifteen in total, all over from the UK. After taking photos in Central Park, they joined their guests on a vintage trolley bus booked for them all, and went for lunch at the David Burke Kitchen in Soho. The evening reception was at Sugarcane in Dumbo, so Sarah and Richard had photos taken at Jane’s Carousel and with the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan in the background beforehand, and then at the reception location.
Julie and Christophe got married underneath Bethesda Terrace in October. Julie is a New Yorker, Christophe is from the South of France. They got married on the 24th, and Julie first contacted me on the 1st of the month, so we organized it all in a fairly short time. While the couple took some photos around Central Park, the guests went up to a small reception at The Painted Lady Saloon, a local bar where Julie knows the owners. They rented out the space for the afternoon and evening. The couple joined them a little later, after portrait photos in Central Park and a few on the streets on the way to the reception.
As always with these restaurant recommendation 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, 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.