Blog ~ NYC elopement

The Bethesda Terrace Elopement of Sarah & Eric

I’m so stoked to finally share the Bethesda Terrace wedding of Sarah & Eric with you! They stayed at the awesome (and awesomely located) Park Central Hotel, then migrated up to Central Park for their wedding ceremony, followed by a brunch reception a short walk away at Tavern on the Green. How do you keep it simple and classy when getting married in NYC? Follow Sarah & Eric’s lead! Get ready somewhere great. Have the ceremony somewhere cool. And go somewhere delicious for a meal with your family and friends.

Getting Ready at The Park Central Hotel

I spent a few minutes with Eric getting ready as he put on his jacket and made sure his pocket square was on point. As he left for the ceremony, I spent some time with Sarah getting some details of her wedding dress and her awesome Betsey Johnson lace bridal shoes. As we walked to their Bethesda Terrace wedding, we caught lots of great candid moments.

Exterior details of Park Central Hotel NYCDetails of groom getting ready at Park Central HotelBridal details styled at Park Central HotelBride getting ready in NYC at the Park Central HotelBetsey Johnson bridal shoes with great lace detailingBride and family walking from Park Central Hotel to Central Park for wedding ceremonyA casual family photo on the way to the wedding

Bethesda Terrace Wedding Ceremony

Before the start of their Bethesda Terrace wedding, Sarah stayed back with her dad for a few moments together. As he walked her down the stairs and through Bethesda Terrace, you could see the joy and pride on his face. I love the hug he had with Eric as he handed her off to get married! The rest of the ceremony contained just as many great moments, especially when they exchanged vows.

Bride has great moments with father before walking down the aisle at Bethesda Terrace weddingEmotional hug between the groom and father of the brideOne of the flower girls draws the wedding's attention in Bethesda TerraceCandid moments from the Bethesda Terrace weddingAn emotional exchange of vows at this Bethesda Terrace wedding in Central Park

Tears all around! Great ceremonies like this keep me on my toes, and my head constantly looking around for moments unfolding. Such a great Bethesda Terrace wedding!

Eloping in Central Park at Bethesda Terrace in NYCBride and groom exchange rings and kiss at their NYC elopementWedding couple celebrates with hugs after their Bethesda Terrace wedding ceremony

I’m a huge fan of all of the hugs and congratulations that happen right after the ceremony. I stick close to the couple and get as many as I can, because they come quick!

A big family group photo of everyone at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park NYC

Wedding Portraits in Central Park

Bethesda Terrace is a great part of Central Park to start taking wedding portraits. The classic architectural elements show that you’re not just in any park, but one of the most iconic parks in the world. In fact, most of the locations you see in movies and TV shows are from this southern end of the park. Bethesda Terrace and Naumburg Bandshell in particular are two of the most recognizable locations, so why not use them for your wedding photos too?

Bride and groom are all cheers in Central Park after their Bethesda Terrace weddingIntimate portraits of wedding couple in Central ParkWedding photo at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park NYCBride portrait and groom portrait from Bethesda Terrace weddingBethesda Terrace has great architecture details to use for wedding portraits

Sheep Meadow is one of my favorite spots in Central Park. Skyscrapers emerge from the dense greens of the park while a wide clearing opens in front of you. Usually it’s full of locals sunbathing and grabbing a margarita from the cooler guy. Sprinkle in the tourists that have stumbled upon this field and you have a great mix of characters to watch. As Sarah & Eric walked towards Tavern on the Green, it was still pretty empty so the views were extra nice.

Bride and groom walking hand in hand through Sheeps Meadow in Central ParkGroom lifting up bride for a kiss in Sheeps Meadow, Central Park NYCLifestyle ring photo from Central Park elopement

Brunch Reception at Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green is a classic choice for taking people out for special meal. Brunch after your wedding? Definitely a good call.

Wedding couple at their brunch reception venue Tavern on the GreenBride and groom celebrating at Tavern on the Green for their wedding brunch

Sarah & Eric, thank you for having me along to document your story for you! Stay tuned for another installment, because a month later they hosted a party for their friends and family at a bar in the West Village…

Are you considering eloping in NYC? Wondering where to start? Check out our Essential Guide to Eloping in NYC!

The Best NYC Elopement Vendors

Getting ready hotel – Park Central Hotel

Wedding officiant – Our Wedding Officiant NYC

Florist – Bettlebug

Lunch reception venue – Tavern on the Green

NYC elopement photographer – JC Lemon Photography

The 620 Loft and Garden Elopement of Natalie & Peter

I’m really excited to share this 620 Loft and Garden wedding! From the classy getting ready location to the rooftop ceremony, to the skyline views from Brooklyn..this elopement was a smashing intimate wedding day. Natalie & Peter came all the way from Australia to get married on a rooftop and they chose one of the best ones to do it on. Located in Rockefeller Center, having a 620 Loft & Garden wedding is an amazing way to get a dreamy scene amongst the skyscrapers of midtown. Amazing views became the running theme of Natalie & Peter’s wedding day as we were using another amazing rooftop terrace just a few blocks away at The Whitby Hotel for their getting ready, and then the iconic waterfront views from Brooklyn for some portraits.

620 Loft and Garden Wedding

I LOVED starting Natalie & Peter’s wedding day at The Whitby Hotel, a very elegant spot in midtown that offers some amazing terrace options. (They even made our recent roundup of three great hotels to stay in while eloping in New York City!) If you’re looking for your wedding hotel to be near all of the bars, restaurants, and attractions that midtown has to offer, then this is definitely my highest recommendation.

Details of The Whitby Hotel in midtownGroom getting ready at The Whitby HotelPortraits of the groom on his Whitby Hotel terrace

Even though they were staying in the same hotel room, Natalie ducked into one side of the room while Peter got ready on the other. After sneaking Peter out onto the terrace for a few portraits, he was off to get set for the ceremony…and their first look! As I turned my attention back to Natalie, the floor to ceiling windows were just begging for a photo of her checking out her dress. I think that’s just such a classic photo. Once Natalie was dressed in her stunning Lover wedding dress, we popped out onto the terrace for some portraits and then we made the short walk to 620 Loft & Gardens just a few blocks away.

Bride getting ready at The Whitby HotelBridal portraits on a terrace at The Whitby Hotel

It was an incredibly warm day with the sun shining, and the couple just couldn’t hold their smiles back as Natalie made her way out onto the amazing rooftop terrace. Larissa of Weddings by Larissa ran a beautiful ceremony with the subtle sound of midtown traffic buzzing below. This is of the most iconic rooftop scenes in the city, where you’re facing the incredible front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral just across the way and loads of skyscrapers are on top of you. I love it!

The first look at 620 Loft & GardenA beautiful ceremony atop 620 Loft & Garden in midtownCeremony close-ups of the bride and groomThe wedding couple exchanging rings and kissing at their rooftop ceremonyBride and groom make it official by signing their paperworkWedding portraits atop 620 Loft & GardenThe 620 Loft and Garden wedding couple just after their rooftop ceremonyRooftop wedding portraits at 620 Loft & Garden are always greatThe wedding couple heads out onto 5th Avenue

After popping onto 5th Avenue, it was a hop in a cab down to Brooklyn Bridge Park to catch some skyline views from across the water. DUMBO is definitely still one of the hottest destinations for wedding portraits, and for good reason. Look at those views, people! Day or night, it’s a classic scene that will always look amazing.

The bride and groom with the Manhattan skyline behind them from Brooklyn Bridge ParkSome intimate moments below the Brooklyn Bridge on their wedding dayWalking hand in hand after their wedding ceremonyFinding a bit of greenery along the waterfront in DUMBO Brooklyn with the wedding coupleThe industrial feel of DUMBO is always great to explore with a bride and groom

Natalie and Peter, it was such a pleasure to document your wedding story!

Are you planning a rooftop elopement in NYC? I’d love to document your day. Let’s chat!

The Best NYC Elopement Vendors

Getting ready hotel – The Whitby Hotel

Elopement venue – 620 Loft & Garden

Wedding officiant – Weddings by Larissa

Wedding dress – Lover

Bridal shoes – Jimmy Choo

Elopement photographer – JC Lemon Photography

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!

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