Blog ~ elopement photographer

Three Great Hotels for Your NYC Elopement

Are you traveling to New York for your elopement? One of the hardest things to figure out might be where to stay! With so many amazing options it can soon get overwhelming to choose, so I’ve put together a short list of some of the best elopement hotels NYC has to offer. These are great hotels in their own right with amazing customer service and amenities, but they also look incredible and make for a sensible place to start telling your wedding story.

I love starting with my couples before they’ve even gotten dressed (haha, not like that), spending a few moments to capture their outfits and other small details and moments. These add so much richness to the wedding story! Really great hotels also have awesome spots to use for portraits before we head out the door, allowing us to capture some more variety in your final photos without even having to travel anywhere.

Best Elopement Hotels NYC

The Whitby Hotel

Located near Central Park, The Whitby Hotel is a celebration of contemporary art and design in a neighborhood that’s usually much more sterile. As soon as you walk into the lobby you’re greeted with a splash of color from all of the different art installations. This feeling of colorful luxury translates to all of their individually-styled rooms, many of which feature a private terrace with views out to the skyline. Quirky touches like a briefcase record player round out the charm, but the large industrial windows that bathed Natalie & Peter in gorgeous north-facing natural light are what got me excited.

While is a fantastic hotel to get ready in before your ceremony in Central Park, it’s also a great option for venues like 620 Loft & Garden or the 3 West Club. You’ll also enjoy the hotel’s central location in midtown, with easy access to numerous shows, activities, restaurants, bars, and transportation options.

Details of The Whitby Hotel in midtown ManhattanRoom details at The Whitby, one of the best elopement hotels NYCGroom getting ready with the midtown skylineBride at The Whitby

Bonus – The English countryside-chic lobby bar and restaurant are bathed in natural light, and they serve a traditional Afternoon Tea!

Best nearby restaurant – Quality Italian

Best nearby bar – Tanner Smith’s

The Bowery Hotel

Nestled on the border of NoHo and the East Village, The Bowery Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel with a seriously cozy vibe. A doorman in the hotel’s signature red vest glides the door open for you, leading into the dim wood-paneled lobby. A stone fireplace beckons from across the room. Humphrey Bogart would definitely grab a drink or two here. While the lobby is off-limits for photos (they frequently have celebrity guests), the rooms ooze with the same character and make for great getting ready photos at the start of your wedding day.

Just outside the doors and within short walking distance are some of the best spots for graffiti in the city, along with great pocket parks and blocks with some of the edgier NYC look that some couples want. Before and after your wedding you’ll also love the hole-in-the-wall restaurants and quirky shops of the East Village, along with a healthy nightlife scene.

Outside and detail of The Bowery HotelAlexander McQueen wedding dress at The Bowery HotelBride writing her vows while at The Bowery Hotel, one of the best elopement hotels NYCWedding day at The Bowery Hotel

Bonus – Gemma (the on-site restaurant) has a private dining space that’s perfect for a small group!

Best nearby restaurant – il Buco

Best nearby bar – Saxon + Parole

Gramercy Park Hotel

Staying here is like getting a key to the city, because you literally get a key to the most exclusive park in the city — Gramercy Park. Photos there are strictly prohibited, but you’ll get to enjoy the park during your stay…which is quite a privilege on its own. Besides that little perk t enjoy on your own, we’ll also have a few moments upstairs in the stunning terrace bar for some unique portraits (as long as there isn’t an event going on).

The hotel’s location is very central while being tucked away into one of the quieter corners of the Flatiron District. Nearby you’ll find plenty of upscale dining along with easy transportation options. And did I mention that key?

Wedding couple at Gramercy Park Hotel, Gramercy TerraceWedding couple at Gramercy Park HotelBride and groom at the bar inside Gramercy Park HotelWedding at Gramercy Park Hotel

Bonus – You can book out the terrace for your ceremony!

Best nearby restaurant – Gramercy Tavern

Best nearby bar – Dear Irving

But what if we want something more unique when we elope to NYC?

While the three hotels above are some of the best elopement hotels NYC has to choose from, some of you are still searching for something different. Fear not, for I’ll be doing a roundup of some awesome AirBnB rental options and the city does not disappoint!

Are you planning an NYC elopement? Click here to see more information on elopement photography and let’s chat!

The Frankies 457 Wedding of Katherine & Quin

I’m so excited to finally share the Frankies 457 wedding photos of Katherine & Quin! They had an amazing Brooklyn elopement that started at the new 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge and went well into the night at Frankies 457 Spuntino in Carroll Gardens. With about 60 guests in attendance this was definitely one of my larger elopements; with a first look, a small bridal party, a live jazz band, and first dance, it had a lot of the components of a more traditional wedding day but with a much more laid-back vibe. Heck, even a guy in a thong made an appearance!

Frankies 457 Spuntino is a fantastic Italian restaurant in Brooklyn with the perfect arrangement to host intimate weddings, either with or without a ceremony on-site. They have a gorgeous a backyard stable house that’s just oozing with exposed wood, candlelight, and cafe lights, which is exactly the vibe Katherine & Quin were going for. The fact that they have killer food too is just an added bonus (the cavatelli & sausage is by far my favorite dish there, and the smell hits you right as you walk in)! The only things to add were a splash of beautiful florals by Bourgeon, a local Brooklyn florist, and a few hand-lettered signs. To handle the logistics they brought in Adrienne of Ruffles & Tweed, a fantastic wedding coordinator that works at Frankies 457 all the time.

Frankies 457 Wedding Photos

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, a great place to get ready on your Brooklyn wedding dayDetail photos of the wedding invitation suite and bridal party bouquetsThe bride's BHLDN wedding dress and Badgley Mischka bridal shoesThe bride's final moments of getting ready with her girlsA toast of presecco with the bridesmaidsBride walking to her first look in Brooklyn Bridge ParkThe wedding couple's first look in Brooklyn Bridge ParkJust after their Brooklyn Bridge Park first lookThe bridal party poses in front of the NYC skyline from Brooklyn Bridge ParkThe bride and her bridesmaidsThe groom and his groomsmenBride and groom walk past a guy in a thong in Brooklyn Bridge ParkWedding portraits on the Brooklyn waterfront in DUMBOThe bride and groom with the NYC skyline in the backgroundWedding portraits in DUMBOThe DUMBO waterfront is always great for wedding portraitsFinding a pop of color for their wedding portraits with a brilliant red doorWedding details from Frankies 457A backyard Brooklyn wedding ceremonyFrankies 457 tented wedding ceremony in the backyardThe wedding couple kiss after their Brooklyn wedding ceremonyBride and groom celebrating just after their Brooklyn wedding ceremonyCongratulatory hugs just after their Frankies 457 weddingWedding details from the Frankies 457 stable houseBlue Vipers of Brooklyn set the wedding reception mood with live jazzSome of the delicious Italian food at Frankies 457 SpuntinoWedding pies from Four & Twenty Blackbirds of BrooklynDinner reception vibes at Frankies 457 SpuntinoFirst dance at the tented backyard of Frankies 457 in Carroll GardensThe wedding couple and guests dance to live jazz in Brooklyn

Katherine & Quin, it was such a pleasure to spend your wedding day with you and document such an important time in your lives.

Are you planning an intimate wedding at a local NYC restaurant? I’d love to chat!

The Best NYC Elopement Vendors

Wedding coordinator – Ruffles & Tweed

Getting ready hotel – 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn wedding venue – Frankies 457 Spuntino

Brooklyn florist – Bourgeon

Live wedding band – Blue Vipers of Brooklyn

New York elopement photographer – JC Lemon Photography

The City Hall Elopement of Mary & Joreal

These City Hall wedding photos from Mary & Joreal’s elopement are a prime example of what an amazing wedding day with no guests can look like. Mary and Joreal came all the way up from Atlanta to have an NYC elopement, letting the established process at City Hall provide for easy logistics and the backdrop of the NYC skyline play 3rd wheel in their gorgeous wedding photos.

City Hall Wedding Photos

From the moment they walked into the Marriage Bureau, I knew that Mary and Joreal were going to have amazing City Hall wedding photos. I love that anticipation that builds up before the couple gets called in for the ceremony, and then to see it all bubble over throughout the vows, ring exchange, and then walking outside as a married couple. And these guys held nothing back. Sometimes one of the more challenging parts of wedding photography can be to anticipate these peaks of emotion, but hanging out with Mary and Joreal felt like we were all in a line dance. All in sync.

During this part of the day, I’m mostly operating as a photojournalist so I just let Mary and Joreal be with themselves as I floated around and got what I needed. The ceremony itself is very brief at City Hall, maybe 2 minutes total haha. I might look like a calm and collected photographer in those chapels, but it’s a mad dash to get everything in that short of a time. All while trying to remain as invisible as possible! Luckily the officiants at the Marriage Bureau are all amazing and provide for smooth sailing every time. I love that Mary & Joreal grabbed a selfie with their wedding officiant!

Outside of the City Clerk's Office, aka City Hall

Walking into City Hall for their elopement

Bride and groom waiting to get married at City Hall

Excited for her City Hall wedding ceremony to start

One of the many great officiants at NYC City Hall

The ring exchange is just as emotional at an elopement

These City Hall wedding photos show how to still have an awesome elopement without any guests

Being pronounced married at the Marriage Bureau

Such a sweet kiss after their City Hall wedding ceremony

A warm embrace directly after their NYC Marriage Bureau wedding ceremony

The bride & groom grab a selfie with their officiant

Sneakerheads have weddings too!

I love this photo above of Mary & Joreal walking towards the exit after their City Hall wedding. And this is also when Mary changed over to her special wedding day kicks to match Joreal. A sneakerhead match made in heaven! Outside we hailed a cab and hopped over the Brooklyn Bridge for portraits in DUMBO (Directly Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass – the more you know!), one of the most requested neighborhoods for portraits. With its skyline views, cobblestone streets, industrial buildings, and the mix of grit and shine, it’s easy to see why people love having it play a part in their wedding day photos. Plus, it’s only a 5-minute cab ride over from City Hall!

A quick taxi ride over to Brooklyn after their City Hall wedding

Bride getting out of the cab in Brooklyn, such great laughter

The wedding couple basking in the morning sun with the NYC skyline in the background

Wedding portraits in DUMBO are always amazing, such great views of the skyline and Brooklyn Bridge

Snapping the wedding day

Such a colorful corner of DUMBO Brooklyn for wedding photos

A beautiful bride and dashing groom in Brooklyn

DUMBO has such wonderful architecture for wedding photos, including views of the Manhattan Bridge

Jane's Carousel makes a great backdrop for wedding photos, including lifestyle ring photos!

A calm, quiet portrait of the bride and groom in front of graffiti

The wedding photos in DUMBO Brooklyn included this awesome graffiti wall

Mary and Joreal thank you so much for having me along to document your fun and sweet day. Y’all were so amazing to spend time with!

NYC Elopement Vendors

Elopement photographer – JC Lemon Photography