Parks are one of the most amazing locations for weddings, and for good reason: they’re affordable, you and your guests can be surrounded by nature, and there are a wealth of locations to choose from. Among the most sought after is Central Park, where local and visiting couples flock to say “I Do” in the storied location. But to plan a Central Park wedding there are definitely some important details you need to know about, so we went straight to the source. Christa DeHuff from A Central Park Wedding takes care of everything couples need for their big day, from permits to photography to floral arrangements. To date, Christa and her team have planned more than 450 weddings in Central Park, so we wanted to find out from her all the information you’ll need to help you plan your Central Park wedding.
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What’s your favorite time of year for weddings in Central Park?
My favorite time of year for a Central Park wedding is late September/early October. The temperatures have cooled and the leaves are starting to change. I also like the energy in the city this time of year, when everyone is back from summer vacation and school has just started up again.
How do brides go about starting the planning process?
We work with many brides and couples who are planning a destination wedding, either traveling from out-of-state or overseas. Most planning takes place over email and we meet the week of the wedding for the first time. The most important step to get started with the planning is for us to secure the wedding location permit with the NYC Parks Department. Once that is set we can start booking vendors and working on the ceremony details.
What are some of the top Central Park wedding locations?
There are so many beautiful wedding locations in Central Park but some of the top spots are The Ladies Pavilion, Cop Cot and The Wisteria Pergola in The Conservatory Garden. More info on each, below!
The Ladies Pavilion is probably the most popular location. It’s tucked away yet easily accessible from the park entrance and is located on the lake with great views of the city skyline. The gazebo’s distinctive blue design provides a pop of color against a natural green setting.
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Meaning ‘little house on the crest of a hill’ in Scottish dialect, Cop Cot is a rustic wooden gazebo with a lush leaf cover which offers some privacy during the wedding ceremony. Cop Cot is also easily accessible from the street and perfect for larger groups up to 60 people.
The Conservatory Garden was restored in the late 1980’s and is Central Park’s only formal garden. Once you enter through the majestic Vanderbilt gate the The Wisteria Pergola lies directly ahead. The pergola is covered by purple wisteria in the spring which turns into dense foliage in the summer months. Weddings here require a special permit, which goes towards maintaining the perfectly-kept grounds of the Garden.
What rules and regulations do couples need to be aware of?
One of the main rules is that ceremonies are standing only and you can’t set up any chairs. There are certain locations in the park where bench seating is available but it is limited. Central Park also prohibits the setup of tents and decorations and no amplified sound is allowed, which is something to consider for larger groups.
Can you have a reception in Central Park as well or just a ceremony?
Yes you can! However the same rules apply as ceremonies so only picnic receptions are allowed. Everyone sits on blankets and pillows and it’s a fun, relaxed way to celebrate your marriage!
Do you have any favorite reception spots that are easily accessible for guests afterwards?
Tavern on the Green and The Loeb Boathouse are the only two indoor reception venues in Central Park. Both are centrally located and a short walk from most of the popular ceremony locations.
A special thanks to A Central Park Wedding for the great tips!