Best Wedding Photo Locations: Central Park

Central Park is one of the most popular locations for wedding photos in NYC. It’s been featured in countless films and TV shows so it’s a draw for both locals and couples coming in for destination weddings. At 843 acres large, it has a lot of variety to offer while still being easy to get to and explore. So what are some of the best wedding photo locations in Central Park?

In this second Wedding Photo Location Guide I’ll cover what makes New York’s Central Park so great on a wedding day. Let’s dive in!

Rocks above Wollman Rink in Central Park wedding photos

Why Central Park is great for wedding photos.

This is THE park of all parks, where countless films and TV shows from Elf to Law & Order have used it as a backdrop to convey one thing: classic New York City. It has the visual appeal of a great landscaped park while still pulling in the city around itself like a blanket of skylines. And oh, the variety! Need a secluded woodsy location that still has an urban feel? Check! Want an instantly recognizable backdrop for that killer dip & kiss photo? Gotcha covered!

The park also has incredible appeal because it’s very easy to access from multiple points around the city. Stretching from 59th to 110th Streets and 5th to 8th Avenues, the sheer size of the park means there’s a lot of entry points and key points to explore. And considering you can get there easily by car or subway, those are sure to make great photos as well.

Planning your New York elopement and feeling a bit lost? Read my essential guide on how to elope in NYC.

What are the best spots inside Central Park?

Narrowing down the park to a few key areas is definitely a hard task, but below are my favorite locations due to visual appeal, ease of access, and proximity to other locations of interest.

Bethesda Terrace & Fountain

This is the photogenic heart of Central Park for wedding photos. There are multiple levels to use, and even on the most crowded days there’s opportunities to make it look like you’re all alone in the space. But sometimes the crowd is a fun thing to use to our advantage! A must stop location for any trip to the park.

Bethesda Terrace wedding photo of bride and groom kissing
Bethesda Fountain and alternate angles on wedding day
Bethesda Terrace featured for a wedding portrait with two brides.

Middle of the park skyline views

While the point of wandering into a park might seem to just aim for greenery, the true appeal of Central Park comes from its situation within the NYC landscape. In particular are a few places where the openings in the tree coverage allows for amazing views of the surrounding buildings. Three great spots in particular are the boulder located above Wollman Rink, the south end of The Lake, and the north side of Sheep Meadow.

Wedding photo in Central Park with boat pond and skyline
Skyline views of the south end of Central Park.
best wedding photo locations in Central Park

Naumburg Bandshell

Just south of Bethesda Terrace is the Naumburg Bandshell. It’s not the flashiest structure, but I love its simplicity compared to the heavily trafficked and visually dense spots nearby. It works well as a big large backdrop or as a simple background for up close bride and groom portraits.

Same sex wedding couple inside Naumburg Bandshell for portraits.
bride and groom celebrating in Naumburg Bandshell after wedding ceremony
Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park with wedding couple

Around the lake

The loop around Central Park’s Lake contains some great hidden gems. Ladies Pavilion, a structure on the west side, is a great spot to pop by. Wagner Cove is down a set of stairs and offers a really secluded spot to utilize. Some of the iconic archways are also in the area, which offer some unique wedding photo options.

Loeb Boathouse dip kiss in Central Park wedding
Ladies Pavilion wedding photos with bride and groom
Wagner Cove bride and groom after wedding ceremony

Classic architecture and street scenes just outside the park

Central Park is surrounded by some of the most classic NYC architecture, from the private homes to the museums like The Met and Guggenheim. As you make your way into or out of the park, make sure to spend a few moments capturing some wedding photos with these classic backdrops.

Classic brownstone stoop just outside Central Park on the Upper East Side
Taxi cab passing behind a wedding couple outside Central Park.
wedding couple in front of the Met Museum steps

Central Park weddings for inspiration.

The Bethesda Terrace wedding of Sarah & Eric is a great example of an intimate Central Park wedding. After a short getting ready session at their nearby hotel, we headed to Bethesda Terrace for the ceremony, followed by some portraits as we made our way to Tavern on the Green for their small lunch reception.

Lauren & Cody had a private elopement near The Lake followed by a few portraits inside Central Park. Even in the rain we got some amazing photos by being adventurous and sticking to a great walking loop!

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