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36 Hours: Central Park, weddings and hourly adventures.

36 Hours: Central Park, New York -

We've had several weddings in Central Park this week - in various locations, including  the Shakespeare Garden, at Hernshead on the rocks (tho they are doing some renovations) and over at the Dene. We have also held weddings at endless other sites in the park, from the Alice statue, to the zoo, the obelisk, the Minton terrace, the Dairy, the Conservatory Garden (must book, $), the ramble, the Boat House, in a rowboat, at the Castle, and in front of various beloved statues and fountains.

This is a rather nice article on how the park changes through the day, and how you might arrange an entire day in the park, with a wedding, some music, some food, and some sightseeing. The article mentions all the sights linked on the map, below. 

"Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Central Park’s more than 840 acres are dappled with sculptures, monuments and fountains that tell of the nation’s explorers, artists and heroes, both real and imaginary: Columbus, Beethoven, Duke Ellington, John Lennon, Alice in Wonderland. The park is also home to tennis and handball courts, croquet greens, a carousel, a castle, a marionette theater, a zoo and more than a dozen playgrounds. It is crisscrossed by horse-drawn carriages and
ringed by astronomically priced apartments, luxury hotels and world-class museums. Yet despite its being a kind of three-ring circus,there are quiet trails and hidden nooks, museums and bars within and
around the park where one can find a more tranquil, timeless Manhattan".

1. Conservatory Garden, Central Park.
2. Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue; Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Avenue, Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar, 1000 Fifth Avenue;
3. The Rose Club, The Plaza, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South; Robert, 2 Columbus Circle; Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle,
4. The Ramble, Central Park.
5. North Woods, Central Park.
6. Nougatine, Trump Hotel Central Park, 1 Central Park West;
7. American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street; Rose Center for Earth and Space, 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue,
8. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, 10 Columbus Circle;
9. Tavern on the Green, Central Park West and 67th Street;
10. Loeb Boathouse, Central Park; enter at East 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue;
11. Central Park Zoo, between East 63rd and 66th Streets;


Stop All Your Wedding Dances. These Irish Guys Just Won. (VIDEO)

Stop All Your Wedding Dances. These Irish Guys Just Won. (VIDEO)

Belfast! some of my people!  the bar is raised... (at the bar :)

Wintry Grand Central elopement

Grand Central! Eileen sent this in, saying 'what a lovely couple'!  This is about as big a wedding as it's possible to set up at Grand Central (10 people) but it's certainly fun on a snow winter day'!


This Rent-A-Space Service Is Like A Zipcar For NYC Apartments

This Rent-A-Space Service Is Like A Zipcar For NYC Apartments: Gothamist

Hmmm...   the first hour is free, the next is $25.  This looks like an idea for a fun, intimate wedding! You'll have to join them to look for rooms with a view... but it beats standing in the park on a rainy day! (and cheaper than a boutique hotel).... 


Ten Statues You Wouldn’t Expect to See in Manhattan’s Public Spaces | Untapped Cities

Ten Statues You Wouldn’t Expect to See in Manhattan’s Public Spaces | Untapped Cities
and don't forget gandhi in Union Square...
(just liked this blog.... also, go and visit Noguchi, over Roosevelt island bridge, to Queens...)


Ladies Pavilion - lovely couple from Sweden!

Ceremony by Eileen Regan, photography by Michael Skoglund

Aren't they entirely lovely?


Central Park, lake wedding

Two handsome grooms, indeed.  Central Park Wedding by Eileen.  Photos by Beowulf weddings.

Rockefeller Center Wedding

Guess where? in the staircase at Rockefeller Center, under the Swarovski chandelier, on their way up to get married at Top of the Rock - nice pix from Eileen.


Double wedding in Central park

A double wedding, by Eileen!  Under the Minton Terrace in Central Park --  ( a bit fuzzy, but that's the Iphone, alas)


Flashmob, Guerilla Weddings - Teh Rulz

Lots of people have been contacting us about this meme lately (NBC, WSJ, EMPIRE NEWS) . Some people even called this a "gorilla wedding". Hah!  We decided to write some RULES!

1) If you've invited over 20 people, ALWAYS try to get a permit for a location, or talk to Security IN ADVANCE. Check out the location on the same day of the week ahead of time, and see who you will be bothering. NEVER try to do a large wedding without a permit, or the poor security guards will have to act. It's their JOB, and your wedding will be ruined.  DO NOT SWARM museums, stores, monuments.
2) DO NOT BLOCK public thoroughfares - streets or pedestrian walkways, like the Brooklyn Bridge, The Highline, The Piers. Take your wed PIX on those places, but don't tell 50 people to crash it and be obnoxious. 
3) For a crowd, consider holding a "surprise" wedding, not a guerilla / flashmob. Invite people to a bar, club, your house, your condo party room, to a restaurant, for drinks, an engagement party, whatever. Then invite us in, we'll ask people to gather round the bar, and we'll have a lovely fun surprise wedding. BUT ALWAYS TELL YOUR MOTHER. You don't want her to faint, or go to the washroom crying because you didn't care enough to tell her.
4) If you're outside, it's NATURE. Don't bring chairs, high heels, gazebos, balloons, amps. It's not a theme park, it's real. Stand in a circle, be respectful, take nothing, leave nothing. remember Smokey the Bear.
5) Rent a double-decker bus, and you can take the wedding party with you, get married on the top, get off for pix. Don't swarm.
6) Just go have a picnic on Coney Island. Then, pop out the flowers, play some live guitar, whip out your wildflower bouquet, change into your polkadot party dress and get married. Then play badminton.
7) Black tie? Rent a private dining room in a restaurant. Tell them it's a 'private party' (don't say "wedding"), ask for champagne, ask everyone to stand, ask the Officiant to come to the front table and 'ta da' - "May I have your attention?  Would you all now rise for the -- wedding of Miles and Morris!"
8) Rent a tourboat. Or rent some rowboats in the park and row to the middle and watch from the boat.
9) Or rent roller skates or ice skates and do a deal with the rink people between the zambonis to have a little 10 minute centre ice event. Then, you'd better skate!
10) For a larger, surprise wedding, we do a lot of weddings at existing public events - holidays, birthday parties, festivals where people have already assembled to celebrate. Just ADD a wedding. We have married couples on public holidays before the fireworks, at halloween parties, at dawn on a holiday morning when the traffic is zero and the mist is rising on the Brooklyn bridge. Those are times when people are off work, and ready to GO somewhere for an event anyway. So make use of existing gatherings -- Getting the drift? Don't be a flashmob queen. You aren't IMPROV EVERYWHERE. This isn't a Youtube video. Think of others. Don't abuse public spaces. Don't make the poor security schmuck have to intervene. Don't impose your party on other people. If it's a crowd, then either RENT a space, outside or inside (be creative!) and you don't have to tell people the spot in advance, if you want to be mysterious.  And you can still be casual  and use card-tables and beach blankets and a pickup band and  sparklers and jam jars of flowers - but don't TAKE OVER public spaces with your mob.

And for a guerilla ELOPEMENT, be discreet and fun. Speak quietly. Stand in a circle, away from the rush.  Concentrate on each other and what you are saying. Choose your words and vows carefully. It's your wedding - not a punk'd prank. Enjoy, and be happy.


Isaac's lip-dub proposal - with marching band and skype!

and if you haven't seen this lip-dub proposal, enjoy! (stay with it - wait for the kossacks and the marching band  - and the parents, and the skyped-in friends) - and, yes, she said, 'yes'  :)



Surprise wedding trip, and Central Park Wedding

A lovely couple from Sweden, where the groom surprised his bride (who have been companions for 17 years) with a Central Park Wedding - (here is Bow Bridge again).  Eileen and Alison provided the wedding and the pix. Congratulations!


Central Park, by Bow Bridge

And another nice picture from Eileen of a couple in Central Park) Summer suits are necessary now!   this is in the little Gazebo by Bow Bridge...    Happy wedding!

Lovely view of Central Park (and boathouse) almost summer!

Extremely lovely picture Eileen took in Central Park this week after a wedding....


Licensed Officiant? We get letters...

Dear ladies at ElopeNewYork:
".....My husband and I got married on the beach back in September with all of our friends and family in attendance. After mailing in our license, we learned that our officiant was not registered in the State of New York and so our marriage was not legally recognized. Now we need to get married legally and are looking for a registered officiant to perform the required ceremony and sign the paper work.
Please let me know if you can help us...." Thank you for your time, [Name removed]

Please note - you need a license from New York, and you need an OFFICIANT who is LEGALLY REGISTERED with the City of New York.  You can't come over from Pennsylvania with an out of state license, and an out of town officiant and get LEGALLY married in NY/NYS.

All the wedding grannies are registered officiants in New York City AND New York State, and we're happy to confirm this -


What does a wedding cost?

It's simple.  These are ballpark figures for a simple Central park wedding (or Brooklyn Bridge, etc.) We have heard HORROR STORIES of simple park weddings that are far above these rates.  Be watchful. All you really need to do is pay an officiant's fee, and a $25 permit.  DON'T PAY MORE!

Park Permit - Apply Online, $25.  You can often have this mailed to your officiant's address.

Marriage License - Apply Online, $35  
You just go down and pick it up together 24 hours before the wedding.  Simple.  No-one needs to GO WITH YOU.  All you are doing is showing your ID and purchasing the license. 

Marriage Officiant - Fee varies, generally $300-400 depending on requirements, time, location.  Photographer - Fee varies, depending on amount of time and how pictures are processed and delivered.  Shop around! Ask your officiant for a photographer they have worked with.
Flowers: Pick them up at corner florist or go down to Chelsea.

If you go up to the Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center, you will need to pay the admission/elevator fee for your wedding party, and the officiant.  The Conservatory Garden and the Brooklyn Bridge Park (parts of it) may be more expensive.  But the permit for all others parks is only $25.00  

And yes, a tip is always appreciated.


Permits: New Fees for Brooklyn Bridge Park

Permits: Brooklyn Bridge Park
OK everyone, I guess too many people starting following us . So there are NEW RULES for Brooklyn Bridge Park. Hmm, this was 2007?)

Please note: As of December 1, 2011, there is a new non-refundable fee of $400 for wedding ceremonies held at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Please see details below.

- Wedding ceremonies can be held at the Pier 1 Waterfront Promenade/Granite Prospect, Empire Fulton Ferry boardwalk, and Main Street pebble beach only.
- Fees: there is a $400 non-refundable site fee for all wedding ceremonies, in addition to the $25 non-refundable application fee.
- 2 wedding permits are issued per location per day: one between 8am and 2pm, another between 2pm and 8pm.
- No equipment can be used for weddings at Brooklyn Bridge Park (i.e., staging, microphones, tables, podiums, tents, amplified music).
- A maximum of 5 folding chairs can be brought for elderly or infirm guests.
- Wedding ceremonies cannot exceed 1.5 hours and may have a maximum of 100 guests.
- Pier 1 waterfront promenade: weddings must occur as a standing event and may only be held on the southern section of the Granite Prospect. At all times a path must be maintained on the waterfront promenade that allows for through access by the general public.


Museum Restaurants - another idea for a celebration

Five Museum Restaurants Worth Visiting Even If You Don't See Any Art
So - here are some ideas for a wedding dinner - why not get married in Central Park, and then visit these restaurants for your celebration:
Robert at MAD: The food served in the restaurant atop the Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle is just fine, but whatever. Because the views at this very mod American restaurant are truly spectacular. Seriously, if you are in the neighborhood it is worth going up just to get a drink at the bar so you can stare out over the expanse of Central Park.


Same-sex marriage passes in New York Senate

Same-sex marriage passes in New York Senate

Breaking: Shortly before 10 pm on June 24, 2011, the New York State Senate voted 36-26 to approve same-sex marriage. The bill had already passed in the heavily Democratic state assembly by a lopsided vote of 82-47, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to sign it.

Earlier on Friday, the bill was known to have 31 votes in favor, one short of a majority. When Republican Stephen Saland, who voted against a similar bill two years ago, told the Associated Press that he intended to vote in favor this time, passage of the measure appeared to be assured.
Hurrah! And here is Mary officiating at a couple of same sex weddings when up in  Toronto, and we can finally say that same sex marriage will soon to be coming to your neighbourhood in New York!


Photos: The High Line's Phase II, Now Open!:

Photos: The High Line's Phase II, Now Open!: Gothamist

The long-Phase II of the High Line, running from 20th to 30th Streets, officially opens tomorrow, but we got a sneak peak. And word on the Line is that they're currently letting everyone in.

Spring in Central Park

The sun came out!  And so did the lovely and wonderful couple, and we hiked up through the Ramble in Central Park - and had a wonderful informal wedding with the City behind us.


Fourth of July Fireworks stay on the Hudson this year

4th Of July Fireworks Over The Hudson Again
OK everyone - now you know where to see OR AVOID the July 4 crowds for weddings on July 4
A few years back, Macy's pissed off  pretty much all of Brooklyn and Queens by moving their annual fireworks  display to the Hudson River, so Hoboken basically got the best view.  Those to the east retaliated with firework parties of their own, only  occasionally blowing off their own arms. A few days ago, we got a tip indicating that the show might be relocating, but today comes the official word that yet again, the fireworks will be held over the Hudson.

This year's celebration is a double-whammy of patriotism, in honor of both America's 235th birthday and the Statue of Liberty's  125th. But we know what you're really curious about: the choreographed  musical score that accompanies every show. This year's it's set to be a  real doozy, "Featuring beloved Independence Day standards such as God  Bless America and The Star Spangled Banner...and also some of the  hottest pop songs of our times including hits from stars Taio Cruz,  Everclear, Jennifer Hudson, Katy Perry and LeAnne Rimes," reads the  Macy's press release.  You hear that, Brooklyn? Maybe you don't want that show, after all.


Problems with rowboats in Central Park - the dress!

Problems with rowboats in Central Park - wear the right clothing!

Advice from Eileen:  "Twice last week the gowns were too big for the boats....elope in something smaller and let's row into your new life!!!"
(here's an old pix from Fall - witnesses in the other boat...)


Secret Central Park

Secret Central Park
Eileen reminded me about this older website, which has great closeup shots of some of the shelters and locations in Central Park. Yes, the Ladies Pavilion is pretty - but the ceiling is low (imagine those people standing up!) and I much prefer the Dene Hut, on the East Side.


Joy and photography in Central Park weddings

Here is one of our other favorite pictures, and another delightful photographer, Maria Melin. I have NO idea how she managed this, but this couple was extremely happy!

Central Park in Spring - horses, gazebos, and red flowers

A couple at their wedding in Central Park, making the acquaintance of a carriage horse on 59th.  The picture, and the one below, of them inside Cop Cot with Chaplain Eileen, is by Beowulf, a dear friend and a great photographer


The 2011 Summerstage Schedule

Something's Leaking On Twitter: The 2011 Summerstage Schedule!: Gothamist
Nothing like a SummerStage concert to intrude sonically into your peaceful Central Park wedding! Not to mention the lines... So keep an eye on this concert schedule and doublecheck with your wedding plans.

Fabulous Top of the Rock picture by Kim

 FABulous picture by Kim Coccagnia of a wedding at the Top of the Rock.  (Please note, this is a hard pic to get. We've avoided weather, hordes of tourists, guards, and all those things. This lovely couple isn't really ALONE, but who cares?  Great moment) 
Officiant was Eileen, Photographer was Kim


MacWedding? Apple Store May Be On Grand Central Terminal Balcony - Gothamist

SApple Store May Be On Grand Central Terminal Balcony - Gothamist
Further advancing the rumors that Apple will announce a new store located in Grand Central Terminal, the Post says, "The store, to be Apple's fifth in Manhattan, will displace Charlie Palmer's Métrazur restaurant. Métrazur's partners are scouting new locations."
The Post's source adds, "To make room, Grand Central may open the vacant northeast balcony, next to Michael Jordan's Steakhouse." A partner for Métrazur told the Post it's all just a "rumor." According to its website, "Métrazur [was] named for a commuter train that once ran along the Cote d'Azur en route to Monaco." So maybe they can find space at Penn Station? The Métrazur website also has a quote, presumably from Palmer, "When I stand at the top of the staircase and look out into the terminal, it's like cooking in the center of the world."   - well, pretty sad departure, if it's true. 
Here is a Grand Central elopement for a couple married by Eileen.  Love the people texting and paying no attention!