Creative Civil Wedding Ceremonies: traditional, contemporary or unique
Conducted by New York Certified Marriage Officiants*
*all officiants certified by New York City Marriage Bureau:

We conduct formal, traditional wedding ceremonies, and also informal, intimate elopements and private marriage ceremonies. We have performed weddings at many usual and unusual locations in New York, including on (and under) the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge (DUMBO), in roof gardens, Central Park, hotel rooms, private homes, restaurants, museums, art galleries, event spaces and bars.  There are more discussions of wedding locations on

Gallery -- see a few more of our location pictures

Weddings in Central Park:

central park new york wedding

There are many lovely locations in Central Park, including the Shakespeare Garden, the Bethesda Fountain (noisy in summer) Bow Bridge, Cherry Hill Fountain, Hernshead, the Obelisk  or the pavilion at the top of the Belvedere Castle. You should BOOK some of these location, even if your party is small.

Ladies Pavilion, Hernshead, Central Park
ladies pavilion

If the wedding is small, you may simply assemble, and hold the ceremony. However, "any event with more than twenty people requires a permit from Parks", and you may also reserve a location even if you have less than 20 people. The permit fee is $25. It may take approximately 21 to 30 days to process a permit application  for a special event, though you can now apply online. Permits are also required for 'formal' photo shoots (not family photos). You can download a permit from the NYC parks website
Brooklyn's Prospect Park has many options, including 'hidden' locations, where you will be relatively private, and informal locations around the lake, or near Quaker Hill or the Long Meadow. Here is a couple on the viewing platform across from the Boat House (holds about 12 people).
You will need a permit for a group over 20 persons.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, next to Prospect Park, is a private garden, like the NY Conservatory Garden and the Bronx Botanical Garden, and more expensive than Prospect Park. It offers both reserved spaces, and bookable catering venues for large weddings such as the Palm House. We have married several couples in the Japanese Pavilion, at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. (before the park opens, by 10:00)

Japanese Pavilion, Brooklyn Botanic Garden >
This should be reserved well in advance, and the wedding must be performed before the park opens to the public at 10am. You may also reserve other parts of the garden, including the little amphitheatre. Your guests can explore the garden while you take pictures, before other visitors arrive. We have married people on the allee overlooking the rose garden, which is lovely. Check the garden's website to see what is in flower for the time of year. Avoid the Cherry Blossom festival in the beginning of May, though - sludgifying traffic. 

The Jefferson Market Garden in Greenwich village, is available for CEREMONIES ONLY (no receptions) for a donation for upkeep - nb The price has gone up dramatically after Sex and the City filmed there.

Some other small city gardens may be reserved, as well as the rooftop terraces of hotels, restaurant gardens. See ElopeNewYork for a list of city gardens and restaurant gardens

The English Garden, Central Park Conservatory Garden >

Central Park Conservatory Garden is a private garden in the northern end of Central Park, open to the public, but available for weddings for a fee (like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden). It must be reserved in advance due to great popularity. There are many locations in the garden, and you will be assigned a section and a time period. You must reserve the garden for wedding photographs as well as ceremonies. It is expensive, and the north end of Central Park is just as lovely, for the smaller price of $25. If you can, walk around the northern part of Central Park outside the Conservatory Garden and look at the Waterfall by the Harlem Meer and other nice locations.

Other City parks we have used for weddings are Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan by the Cloisters, Riverside Park, City Hall Park (by the fountain), Battery Park, Wagner Park, Madison Park (Flatiron), Prospect Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park and Fulton Ferry State Park. Check for parks near your hotel on in your neighborhood, little community parks are often a nice alternative for smaller weddings.

We have conducted several weddings at the New York Botanical Garden (aka the Bronx Botanical Garden). This gorgeous location offers outdoor and indoor reception spaces such as the Garden Terrace Room and the Snuff Mill.  You can also investigate the Queens Botanical Garden, and the Staten Island Botanical Garden at Snug Harbor.
Indoor and covered locations
 > see other comments on our elopenewyork blog: wet weather weddings

 You should always plan for inclement weather, with a backup plan for an indoor ceremony or a semi- covered space. Semi- covered locations range from covered restaurant gardens, to boathouses, gazebos, roof terraces, and other places with a little shelter. There are few covered spaces in Central Park and Prospect Park, and they aren't suitable if it's really raining hard. (The gazebos by the Belvedere Castle in Central Park are roofed - but you need to climb the stairs to the Castle to get there). Also, remember you must ENTER the park on foot and walk to the ceremony location - not easy in rain. In a pinch, try the Dairy, the Minton Terrace, or under a nice bridge. Here is a beautiful photograph by Michael Skoglund of the Minton Terrace walkway to the Bethesda Fountain (not usually so empty of tourists, however!)

You can often book covered gardens at New York restaurants, especially if you have a party who will have drinks, or dine. This is often suitable for groups of 10-20. Look online  for 'private dining' and venues with gardens..You can also stage a little wedding on the balcony at Grand Central Station. Or use the Vanderbilt passage in midmorning. See ElopeNewYork tags  "Wet Weather" and "Private Dining"

We also enjoy the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, for adventurous couples who don't mind curious tourists observing the ceremony -  people are always polite when they understand a wedding ceremony is taking place. There is a covered area inside the observation deck, away from the wind. Suitable for a small group of people (under a dozen). Note: You will all have to buy elevator passes and wait in line - it's all part of the experience. Here is a recent wedding, pix by British photographer, Steve Gerrard. This snap is on the top OUTDOOR observation deck, not the inside covered area.

Lofts, Halls, Museums, Townhouses, Hotels

Hotels - elegant, stylish, private, and Non-Profit Venues

We highly recommend The Ladies Tea Room and the Ballroom at the Prince George Hotel near Madison/27th. The facility rental fee goes to supportive housing at
contact: Jonathan Rives, Ballroom Manager 212-471-0870

Ballroom at the Prince George, the  rental from supports non-profit housing.The fifteenth-floor space has warm, terra-cotta-tile, windows on all sides, a 4,350-foot canopied outdoor terrace, and roof gardens.

The Alice Austen House Museum on Staten Island is an atmospheric Victorian Cottage on the waterfront, with spectacular views of Manhattan. We have conducted weddings on the front lawn.
The Merchant's House Museum in NOHO makes a lovely, private venue. The Garden is available for weddings, and the parlor for photos. We had a lovely wedding there for 10 people and had the house to ourselves for photos.


Almost ANY restaurant will consider a private wedding, or even a small event in a private room or in a back area, especially in the period between lunch and supper, and if you arrange for dinner and drinks. See "Private Dining" on ElopeNewYork.

Lofts and industrial spaces
Always check to see whether you have to use the resident caterer.
Ramscale Penthouse, stunning west side penthouse in Westbeth. Used as Glenn Close's apartment in "The Heights" and many Law and Order episodes. Highly booked.

ramscale wedding new york
55 Bethune Street - Penthouse
New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-206-6580
Rochelle (Rocky) Scott,

Alger house loft (a coachhouse in Greenwich village) and the Manhattan Penthouse


> see our info Brooklyn Bridge/Dumbo weddings on

Getting married on the pedestrian/ bicycle path of the Brooklyn Bridge is perfectly legal, and free...if video is a must, call the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater, and Broadcasting for a free permit (212-489-6710). Know before you go: Contact the NYC Department of Transportation and Bridges so you can plan your event on a day when they're not doing major work on the bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO is an option, (left, below) which is a stunning location. However, be warned that the two subways crossing the Manhattan bridge every 6 minutes make it hard to hear the ceremony. It's a good idea to reserve this park, as it's thronged with wedding party photographers. The Empire State Park, UNDER the bridge is horrendously expensive now. Another option is the Fulton Ferry Landing Park under the Brooklyn Bridge (right, below). Pretty, but often full of wedding photographers. Can you find at least 5 brides?

brooklyn bridge park wedding brides on fulton park, brooklyn

Wedding Chapels

Wedding Chapels to rent (at a reasonable rate) are in short supply in New York. We have used the interdenominational chapel at 777 UN plaza, which is suitable for 25-150 people.  Here are some short articles on wedding chapels

We have conducted weddings at the Chapel at Columbia University, and at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and in the chapel, meeting hall of Riverside Church. The lovely University chapels often require advance paperwork, please ask when booking. The pretty chapel at All Souls Unitarian also available for a moderate rental fee. It is at Lexington and 79th, on the Upper East Side. Note that some churches are willing to rent chapels for a non-denominational service, but some require that you are married by the church's own clergy.

The Masonic Temple at 23th and 7th has just begun to offer their themed chapels for weddings.  Go ask for a tour. Each floor has a different theme (Gothic, French, Tudor, American).


Some smaller museums may have rooms after hours which they will rent. Try art museums as well, for Sunday evenings or other times they are closed. They will often be able to accommodate caterers.

An incomplete list -- some locations we've used:

Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fulton Ferry Landing, Empire State Park, DUMBO, Coney Island, Battery Park, Wagner Park, South Cove, Prospect Park, Madison Square Park, Tompkins Square Park, City Hall Park, Riverside Park, The High Line, Fort Tryon Park, East River Park
Central Park: Belvedere Castle, Bow Bridge, Hernshead, Wagner's Cove, Cherry Hill, the Obelisk, the lake, the Ramble, The Turtle Pond, Shakespeare Garden, Harlem Meer, the Pool, Bethesda Fountain, many small coves and cosy rustic shelters and groves.
Private rooftops, private homes and gardens, Castle on the Hudson and other Hudson Valley Inns.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York Botanic Garden Snuff Mill and Terrace, Queen's Botanic Garden, Community Gardens, Jefferson Market garden, lots of restaurant gardens such as Ici, La Lanterna, Palma, Gavroche,
Chelsea Piers, Red Hook piers, Brooklyn Promenade, Battery Park -- even the Gowanus Canal!
Ramscale Penthouse, Manhattan Penthouse, Loft 11, Studio 450, Alger House, Gary's Loft, Astra (Charlie Palmer), Loft@47 West, Torch Club (NYU), Terrace in the Sky, WRClub on 51st (3 West), Sky Studios, Skylight Ballroom at the Puck Building, Rainbow Rooms (Empire Rooms)
W hotels, Four Seasons, Kitano Hotel, Sofitel, NYC Hudson Hotel W58th, Beekman Hotel, Maritime Hotel, Library Hotel, Rivington Hotel, NYC Royalton Hotel W44th, Ritz Battery Park, etc.
Brooklyn Ethical Society, New York Ethical Society, Tillman Chapel, UN Church House, Riverside Church. Columbia University. Chapel
Chelsea Art Museum, Alice Austen House, The Merchant's House Museum.
Various Restaurants in Manhattan: Little Italy, Greenwich Village cafes, Blue Water Grill, One if by Land, Two if by Sea, Bayard's at Hanover Place, Bryant Park Cafe, Battery Park Restaurant and Grill, City Hall Restaurant, Moran's Chelsea, Hudson Tavern, La Lanterna, etc.
In Brooklyn/Queens: River Cafe, Giandos,  ICI, Water's Edge, Grand Prospect Hall, Montauk Club, Frankies, BAM, The Foundry, Northside Bank in Williamsburg, East Buffet and other Queens restaurants, many backyards and rooftops.

Locations we considered, but haven't yet used:

Skating Rink at Rockefeller Plaza - or Wollman or Bryant Park
The gondola in Central Park (we used a rowboat)
The gondola to Roosevelt Island
The Staten Island Ferry (we used a NYPL police launch, though)