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.
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' :)
".....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.
All the wedding grannies are registered officiants in New York City AND New York State, and we're happy to confirm this -
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.
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: Brooklyn Bridge Park
OK everyone, I guess too many people starting following us
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.
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
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.
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!
Labels: same sex weddings
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 - wear the right clothing!
(here's an old pix from Fall - witnesses in the other boat...)
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.
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.
Officiant was Eileen, Photographer was Kim
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!
"...To some it involves a limo, a beautiful white dress, tuxedos, 8 bridesmaids and groomsmen, 200 of your closest friends and relatives, favors, a cake, a year in planning etc… that’s what most think of when they think of a wedding anyway. However a wedding can also be a couple, 2 plane tickets, an intimate ceremony with or without a few close friends and a romantic dinner after. Is one better than the other? An affirmative NO!
I'm writing this because I was recently interviewed by the NY Daily news and it occurred to me how many people are unaware of the concept of "Eloping". The Daily News story was actually focused more on 'Guerrilla Weddings' and they contacted Elopenewyork.com and myself and asked us about our experiences (with) Guerrilla weddings or 'Flash Mob Weddings'... when the couple and say 50 of their guests show up and surprise a public venue with a ceremony. These weddings are often frowned upon, because they are looked at as a nuisance. So don't even think about it.
The more I spoke to the interviewer the more she was surprised (and happy) to know that there are other options for couples. The weddings we do are more quiet, legal and sweet...
It has become a trend to come and get hitched here in New York City. Alone or with a few close guests whether you’re from New York, London, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iceland, Sweden, or Chicago. New York welcomes you. Frankly I believe New York is the best city in the world to get hitched, with so many fun options.
You can wear a Red dress, Blue dress, Black dress, snake skin boots, you can pick up your flowers on the way to the ceremony at a bodega (NOTE FROM MARY: That's NY for "deli" or "corner grocery"). Eloping here REALLY does mean anything goes.
When you choose to elope, there is no major planning process, no stress, and no worrying about where to sit your crazy aunt Helen, JUST the two of you... All of our couples do pick a fun location somewhere in NYC, whether it be a park, a cozy side street in the east village, or the city clerks office for the ceremony.
Some..get married at the lunch or dinner local. The only thing this requires is to have the officiant come to you, perform a short 5-minute ceremony and Voila. You’re Married...
...I have also had couples that choose a combination of the two, an intimate quiet wedding WITH a white dress and a cake... Here are a couple having a nice lunch at City Hall Restaurant, Granite Room...
At the end of the day there is no right way to be married. Its what fits you best and what means something to you. If that means a wedding with 500 people, fantastic, if it means you, me and an officiant, that’s fantastic too!"
Our friend Photographer Kim Coccagnia was recently featured in a NY Daily News article on 'Guerilla weddings'. See all the details on Kim's Blog
Yeah Kim! Note that she is offering a romantic VALENTINE's DAY WEDDING SPECIAL with our good friend Chaplain Eileen. It looks like a swell deal, says I.
Fed up with wedding planning? Warning: This super-simple New York wedding might just make you want to elope! Alice and Andy were married on September 27 in New York City’s Central Park. They spent the morning of their (rainy!) wedding day with their wedding photographer, posing for pictures at New York City landmarks—Grand Central Station, the Guggenheim Museum—and in an iconic yellow cab. Then they were joined by three friends, their witnesses, for the ceremony at the historic Ladies Pavilion in Central Park.
Reminder: This blog is about ELOPING, not about big weddings. You can't take 40 people up to the Top of the Rock. You can't take 20 people onto the Brooklyn Bridge -- and someone just wrote me about booking 620 Loft for 15 people - that's the Terrace at Rockefeller overlooking 5th avenue. It's BEAUTIFUL, but in 2008 it was already evidently $20,000 to rent (and $75K for a holiday) plus catering, etc.
So sometimes your consideration should be about the space (Top of the Rock is best for under 10) sometimes the cost (pretty spaces cost a LOT of money), but if you are planning a wedding for more than a handful of people, it's a much different situation than a romantic elopement or private wedding. Be creative! Book a friend's party room at their condo, ask your friends about their loft, book a restaurant for a 'function' and then have a small wedding before dinner, find a hotel with a terrace -- but please remember that space in NY costs a lot - because it's hard to find. And the park is FREE (until you get to 20 people). So have a winter (blizzard) wedding and then hot chocolate - or go skating, and then have a nice dinner (or a cheap and cheerful feast in Little India on 6th and 2nd).