City Hall Marriage License Bureau | NYC Park Permits | Locations & Ceremony Size
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Wedding in the Park - locations and permits

You can be married at any city park in New York, usually by applying for a simple event permit. If the wedding is small (couple, officiant and witnesses) you may simply assemble, and hold the ceremony. However, you will always need a permit for State Parks and private Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the jurisdiction is not always clear. See this post on Getting Married in DUMBO, for a discussion of how park permits are confusing.]

Central Park has many locations - and many people! There are many favorite locations in Central Park. including the Shakespeare Garden, the Bethseda Fountain (noisy in summer with breakdancers), Bow Bridge. Cherry Hill fountain, Hernshead, the Obelisk or the pavilion at the top of the Belvedere Castle.

Brooklyn Park Brooklyn's Prospect Park offers quieter options, including some 'hidden' locations, where you will be relatively private. Here is the Brooklyn Prospect Park vale wedding Vale of Kasmir, Prospect Park. (note - this location is being renovated, and is a bit ragged now).

Though "any event with more than twenty people requires a permit from Parks", you may also reserve a location even if you have less than 20 people. The permit fee is $25. It may take approximately 21 to 30 days to process a permit application for a special event, though you can now apply online and it may be faster to get a response. Permits are also required for 'formal' photo shoots (not family photos). You can download a permit from the NYC parks website

Please note: if you have a LARGE wedding (over 40 people) your spots will be limited. Here is a "cheat sheet" from the parks department on the numbers permitted at locations in Central Park.

Prospect Park weddingThe Picnic House and the Boat House in Prospect Park are covered locations, suitable for medium-sized weddings (50-175) and may be rented. But you can find a spot on the other side of the Boat House and hold a small ceremony without a permit.

Prospect Park JapaneseThe Brooklyn Botanic Garden, next to Prospect Park, is more expensive, and offers both reserved spaces, and bookable covered venues such as the Palm House. We have married several couples in the Japanese Pavilion, at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. This should be reserved well in advance, and the wedding must be performed before the park opens to the public at 10am.

The small park at Jefferson Market Greenwich village, used to be available for a donation for upkeep. Though after "Sex and the City" they have raised the fee quite a bit. Other small city gardens may be reserved, as well as the rooftop terraces of hotels, restaurant gardens.

Central Park Conservatory Central Park Conservatory Garden is a private garden in the northern end of Central Park, open to the public, but available for weddings for a fee (like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden).It must be reserved in advance due to popularity. There are many locations in the garden, and you will be assigned a section and a time period. The garden is also available for photographs as well as ceremonies.

The New York Botanical Garden (the "Bronx Botanical Garden") is another gorgeous location offers outdoor spaces, and indoor reception spaces such as the Garden Terrace Room and the Snuff Mill, suitable for medium to large weddings.

Other nice parks we have used for weddings are Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan, by the Cloisters, Riverside Park, City Hall Park (by the fountain), Battery Park, Madison Park (Flatiron) and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Also parks in Fort Greene, Queens, and Brooklyn, such as Red Hook Piers and garden.

You can also work out an arrangement with many Community Gardens. We have used the Community Garden 6 and B/ in the East Village for lovely weddings.

Be sure to have a "wet weather option" - or buy some $10 paper umbrellas in Chinatown!

Here is another article on "Green Wedding Ceremony" location ideas.