If you’ve ever been to New York City, then you know that getting married in Central Park is a dream come true for tons of people! To bring you the most up-to-date info on how to make this happen, I chatted with a pro: Christa DeHuff Casper is the founder and expert wedding planner at A Central Park Wedding, which specializes in planning and coordinating wedding ceremonies in Central Park. They work with local clients as well as with couples planning a destination wedding in New York City, offering full-service ceremony packages and taking care of everything from permits to photography to floral arrangements. I was excited to learn that A Central Park Wedding also offers picnic wedding receptions in the park, which are a fun and unique way to celebrate your marriage!
How many people get married in Central Park every year?
A lot! I’m not sure of the exact number but you can stumble upon multiple weddings every weekend and most weekdays in Central Park.
Can you just walk into the park and get married wherever you’d like?
Yes! If you have fewer than 20 people you don’t need a permit and can hold your ceremony pretty much wherever you would like. However, there are a few restrictions such as Sheep’s Meadow, the Great Lawn and inside Belvedere Castle.
I would say the most popular spot to marry in Central Park is Ladies’ Pavilion. Originally a trolley stop at Columbus Circle, Ladies’ Pavilion is now located on the Lake with the cityscape in the background.
Photo by Windsor Photography NYC
How much does it cost to get a license to have a wedding at the Park?
Permits for weddings in Central Park are $25, and you must submit your application at least three weeks in advance. This fee applies to all locations except the Conservatory Garden, where wedding permits are $400 plus a $100 photography permit.
Are any of the spots covered, or is the couple always running a risk that it might rain on them?
There are some covered spots in the park, such as Ladies Pavilion, Bethesda Fountain Terrace, and Belvedere Castle Terrace , which can also be used as backup locations. However sometimes couples choose to brave the weather with umbrellas, which make for gorgeous Central Park wedding photos.
What’s your favorite spot for a tiny wedding, of say, just 10 people?
One of my favorite locations for a small wedding is Shakespeare Garden, which is tucked away in the middle of the park. The garden consists of winding pathways, rustic wooden benches and flower beds that change depending on the time of year.
What’s the largest number of guests a couple could invite to their Central Park wedding?
Most venues in Central Park are ideal for groups of up to 30, but there is one space for groups up to 300 people, which is Great Hill. Larger weddings of around 100 people can take place on grassy open spaces such as Cherry Hill, Summit Rock or at The Conservatory Garden, Central Park’s only formal garden.
That would have to be Wagner Cove. Although it’s located in the middle of the park, this spot is hidden at the bottom of a small hill along the Lake. It’s the perfect spot for an intimate, private wedding ceremony.
Photo by Angela Gaspar Photography
What’s the most popular month for getting married in Central Park?
Central Park weddings are held year-round, even in the winter! However June and September are the most popular months to get married in Central Park.
What’s your top piece of advice for someone wanting to plan a Central Park wedding?
My top piece of advice for those considering a Central Park wedding would be to expect the unexpected! Prepare for congratulatory comments from strangers and for tourists to snap your picture. Onlookers may even try to join in on the festivities, clapping and cheering at the end of your ceremony. I was once part of a wedding where a group of school children formed a recession line for the newlyweds, cheering and applauding after they tied the knot. The most important thing to remember is to go with the flow and enjoy your day!