Blog ~ NYC wedding

Wedding Photo Location Guide: 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!

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!

Rocks and sky in Central Park wedding photos

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!

What are the best locations 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 and 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

Central Park wedding photo with couple kissing by Bethesda Terrace

wedding couple walking Bethesda Terrace stairs

Bethesda Fountain and alternate angles on wedding day

NYC 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.

best wedding photo locations in Central Park

Wedding photo in Central Park with boat pond and skyline

Skyline views in Central Park on wedding day

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.

Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park with wedding couple

bride and groom celebrating in Naumburg Bandshell after wedding ceremony

bride and groom portraits in Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park NYC

Around the Lake & Just Outside the Park

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.

Ladies Pavilion wedding photos with bride and groom

dip kiss in Central Park wedding

Wagner cove bride and groom after wedding ceremony

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.

bride and groom wedding portraits on 5th Ave

wedding couple in front of the Met museum steps

A few Central Park weddings to dive into

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!

What neighborhood should I feature next?

Do you have a favorite neighborhood you’d like to see featured next? New York is such a wonderful city to explore on your wedding day. Let me know!

The Brooklyn Wedding of Alexis & Mike

The Liberty Warehouse wedding that Alexis & Mike had last Fall was simply a BLAST! They started their wedding day with some amazing moments and details, and they wrapped up the evening with lots of dance partying with all of their family and friends. It’s always so hard to narrow down a whole wedding into a single blog post, and this one felt especially tough. There can be a lot of things that go into making really great wedding photos but the most important is to just have a great day. Alexis & Mike blew that out of the water and we spent the entire day documenting all of the fun and excitement that was happening around us. This is how you have a wedding!

Liberty Warehouse Wedding Photos

Bride's Rachel Simpson wedding shoes and jewelry details on the wedding inviteThe Aire Barcelona wedding dress hanging in bride's grandmother's old bedroomThe final touches of the bride getting ready, with a quite portrait of her grandmother from her wedding day

Alexis spent her time getting ready at her parent’s home in Bay Ridge, which is also the home that her grandmother lived in. The entire getting ready process had this amazing personal energy about it, but what really got me was the few minutes we spent taking a few key photos in her grandmother’s old bedroom. The photo you see Alexis holding is actually her grandmother getting ready on her wedding day in that exact corner where Alexis is standing!

Just before the wedding couple's first lookLaughter and excitement as the bride and groom see each other at the first look

I loved their first look in Cobble Hill Park! This was along the way from where Alexis got ready to Liberty Warehouse, and it was the perfect little neighborhood park to use for such an intimate moment. It was right before Halloween, so we also had this funny paper mache skeleton head watching on!

Wedding portrait in Cobble Hill ParkA classic wedding portrait in BrooklynSome fun wedding portraits in Brooklyn just before HalloweenA classic Checker cab on the wedding day takes you around in styleDetails of Rebecca Shepherd Floral Design bridal bouquet and groom boutonniere

love it when couples hire out Peter from FilmCars to ride in one of his classic Checker cabs. Besides providing us with transportation for the day, we obviously can use it to take fun and unique couples portraits and detail photos.

Bride and groom sharing a milkshake outside Brooklyn FarmacyAll you need is love, and milkshakesBride and groom enjoying the mood at Brooklyn Farmacy

We popped by Brooklyn Farmacy on the drive over to the wedding venue because…why not?! A quick milkshake at a favorite spot was a great way to carve out a little more personal time for Alexis & Mike to spend with each other before joining up with all of their guests.

Liberty Warehouse wedding venue in Red Hook BrooklynWedding crew individual portraits with the bride before her Liberty Warehouse weddingWedding crew individual portraits with the groom before his Liberty Warehouse weddingBridesmaids and groomsmen group photos before a Liberty Warehouse weddingWedding group photos outside Liberty Warehouse in Brooklyn

We spent a little time capturing some fun and personal photos of Alexis & Mike with their wedding crew. Selecting friends and family to be in your wedding party is no frivolous choice, so we always make sure the bride and groom have some time to spend with those they’ve honored with this role. After that we got everyone inside for the ceremony and reception, and it was all candid coverage from there!

Wedding details from a Liberty Warehouse wedding receptionIndoor wedding ceremony at Liberty WarehouseA fun ceremony from a Liberty Warehouse weddingBride and groom exchanging rings at their Brooklyn wedding ceremonyFirst kiss with celebration at Liberty Warehouse weddingReception decor and styling at Liberty Warehouse wedding, including Steve's Authentic Key Lime PieA Star Wars lightsaber wedding reception entrance for the bride and groom

How amazing is this energy that Alexis & Mike burst onto the dance floor with? I love it when couples get right down the partying with their guests, and 74 Events had a great DJ setting the pace that carried on into the night.

Wild dance floor from Liberty Warehouse wedding receptionGrandmother of the groom plays the piano at the Liberty Warehouse wedding reception

A quick break was taken for the groom’s grandmother to play a tune for the couple on the piano, and then a very sweet and heartfelt trio of speeches was given by the father of the bride, the groom’s brother and best man, and the bride’s sister and maid of honor. The rest of the evening was wrapped up with more partying and a quick cake cutting to toast the newlyweds!

Wedding speeches from the father of the bride, best man, and maid of honorGroomsman dancing at the wedding reception in BrooklynMore fun dancing at the Liberty Warehouse wedding receptionGroom dancing at his Liberty Warehouse wedding in Red Hook BrooklynBride and groom do the cake cutting at Liberty Warehouse wedding

Alexis and Mike it was such a pleasure to spend the day celebrating alongside you and your guests, and such an honor to document your wedding story!

Planning a Liberty Warehouse wedding? I’d love to learn about the day you’re putting together and how we can help preserve your story!

The Best Brooklyn Wedding Vendors

Wedding venue – Liberty Warehouse

Wedding dress – Aire Barcelona

Bridal shoes – Rachel Simpson

Groom’s tux – Brioni

Wedding florals – Rebecca Shepherd Floral Design

Hair & makeup – Adelyn’s Canvas

Checker cab – FilmCars

Reception DJ – 74 Events

Red Hook key lime pie wedding favor – Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie

Brooklyn wedding videographer – Mint Wedding Cinematography

Brooklyn wedding photographer – JC Lemon Photography

How to Find the Perfect Elopement Officiant

Unless you’re getting married at City Hall, selecting your elopement officiant will be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for your intimate wedding day. Even if you’re stripping away most other parts of a traditional wedding, the ceremony will still be a significant portion of your elopement day. And your officiant will be leading you and your guests through this critical part of the day, so choosing the right fit is key! Thankfully there are many great officiants to choose from in NYC that specialize in elopements.

A friend is the elopement officiant for a Cop Cot wedding

Here are some of our top tips when it comes to selecting the right wedding officiant for your elopement!

How to select your elopement officiant

There can be a number of factors at play that influence for whom you’ll hire as your elopement officiant. If you’re from NYC, you might have a local church that will perform your ceremony because you go there. Or maybe you’re coming from Australia and want to have a very private ceremony that feels a bit like home, so you hire an Aussie officiant (shoutout to the awesome Bettina of Weddings by Bettina). Or maybe you have a friend that will get ordained, register as an officiant in NYC, and then lay down an amazingly personal ceremony for the two of you.

A friend officiates a High Line elopement ceremony

While there may be many personal factors that will guide your decision, here are some key questions you should be asking to start to sketch out what your perfect elopement officiant might look like.

Do you want to have a religious ceremony?

This is obviously a big guiding post of how you’ll narrow down your officiant options. If you’re looking to have a religious ceremony and you’re local, the head of your church or synagogue or other religious institution likely makes sense. If you’ll be having a destination elopement here in NYC then you’ll have to do a little research. Searching for “Catholic wedding officiant NYC” or other similar variations will be a great place to start. Hiring an interfaith minister is another great option, such as the wonderful Annie of Rev Annie NYC.

A religious elopement ceremony at Riverside Church

Do you want your ceremony to be formal or laid back?

If you’re looking to set up a more formal elopement environment, then you’ll want an officiant that can be equally as formal. The whole team at Officiant NYC is amazing at running a very sophisticated ceremony no matter the location or number of guests.

If you skipped the previous paragraph after seeing the word “formal,” then hiring someone that can inject a bit of fun into the elopement ceremony while still being heartfelt is what you’re looking for! Daniela at Once Upon a Vow is exactly that kind of officiant, and she’s one of the first people I think of for elopements that are looking for a laid back vibe with heart.

A laid back Wythe Hotel elopement with Once Upon a Vow

Will you have any guests in attendance?

If you’ll have some guests along, you’ll want an officiant that can take the reigns during the ceremony and ensure everyone has an amazing experience. Think about it like stage presence. You’ll want someone that can pull you and your guests in closer before the ceremony starts, making sure that everyone is present and ready to give you their full attention and love. If you’ll be having the ceremony outside, you’ll need someone that can speak over the dull roar of traffic nearby, or the N train rumbling across the Manhattan Bridge overhead. And most importantly, you’ll want someone who can pronounce you married with gusto!

Frankies 457 wedding with Judges for Love

Set up calls and get to know them

My last tip to finding the perfect elopement officiant is to get on the phone and chat in depth. Once you have a few options bookmarked, go through and book a phone consultation with each one. You should feel completely comfortable with your elopement officiant and fully trust that they can create the experience you’re looking for. It’s of course helpful to check out their website and read reviews, but hopping on the phone and having a conversation with someone will usually tell you all you need to know.

Amanda of Officiant NYC performs a ceremony at Grand CentralSome of my favorite NYC elopement officiants

Bettina – Weddings by Bettina
Daniela – Once Upon a Vow
Hope – A More Perfect Union
The whole team – Officiant NYC
Annie – Rev Annie NYC
Peter – Our Wedding Officiant NYC

Looking for more great elopement information? Check out my essential guide to eloping in NYC!

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