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