City Hall Marriage License Bureau | NYC Park Permits | Locations & Ceremony Size
Click HERE for our most popular post: a step-by-step guide on How to Elope in New York : how to get a marriage license, find a New York marriage officiant, organize your ceremony, and have your marriage legally registered. See a little more advice HERE,


Eloping at Rock Center, vs bigger weddings

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).

Hipster popup weddings in Brooklyn!

We officiated at 5 lovely weddings at the Williamsburg PopUp Wedding Chapel in June. Lovely couples, arriving on Vespas,with pink hair to match the paper streamers, good music, hugs and happy families. Enjoy the pix. Pix by Sarah Sloboda

Note to Canadian Readers - 3 of the four couples included a Canadian! From Vancouver, Red Deer and Ontario. You can see some more pix from one of the Canadian photographers, Mango Studios, HERE.


Rockefeller Center is all dressed up for an elopement

Just remember, you can't really find a place to stand around the tree for a wedding - but you can have your picture taken there, of course. It's also a madhouse of people, so you can't really hear.  But you can always go UP to the Top of the Rock for a great view! 


Red Dress Wedding - nice for fall, too

Here's Eileen in the Ladies Pavilion, and here is the couple again in Times Square - great pix (I think these might be Kim Coccagnia - will confirm!)

Red dresses for all!


Mobile Food Trucks Now Occupy Former Tavern On the Green Site

Mobile Food Trucks Now Occupy Former Tavern On the Green Site
Well, it's happened. The Chrystal room is gone, and there are food trucks. And T shirts.
But there ARE washrooms! Just so you know....


Photographer's Exhibit opening!

We love Mike's photographs.  Go see this exhibit! Poetry! Photographs! (wine and snacks!)
Opening Friday Oct 15, @ 5 East 48th street.  Contact Mike at:

Michael Skoglund , Photographer
712 Washington St. 1A
New York, NY 10014
917-306-8204 mobile


Thousands Gather in Central Park's Strawberry Fields To Celebrate John Lennon's 70th Birthday

Thousands Gather in Central Park's Strawberry Fields To Celebrate John Lennon's 70th Birthday
October 9, 2010 - Attendees celebrating the late John Lennon's 70th birthday sang songs, placed flowers, notes, photographs and candles around the Imagine mosaic in Central Park's Strawberry Fields throughout the day and into the night.

City Hall: Problems with mailing licenses overseas

We have had a small rush of problems with some international licenses NOT BEING RECEIVED IN THE MAIL by couples from overseas (Australia, Germany, Sweden). What this means, is that the marriage is duly registered, and the City states they have issued the Registration Certificate AND MAILED IT, but that it has failed to reach the couples through the postal mail.

Theories range from  to mistakes in addressing  to postage difficulties - but the result is the same. You would need to get a notary's letter to get a duplicate license issued.

We're concerned enough (and have heard similar stories from other officiants) to make this strong suggestion to OVERSEAS couples:

If you obtain your marriage license from 141 Worth Street in Manhattan, try to arrange your holiday so that you can go BACK to the same office on the next workday following your wedding, and simply have them certify and print the Registration certificate while you wait - it's only $15, and then you will be CERTAIN that you have your license without worrying about the vagaries of the Postal System.  You can also walk down the block to the Court and obtain an apostille the same day, if required.

Caveat - and good luck.

Not again: Do NOT propose on the Brooklyn Bridge if you're nervous

The Brooklyn Paper: He dropped the ring — but city workers found it!
  (....see the Last Time this happened)
City workers have saved the day for a Florida man who had fumbled his attempt to propose to his girlfriend on the fabled Brooklyn Bridge, dropping the engagement ring out of his sweaty hands and onto construction material below. On Friday, hours after we contacted the Department of Transportation about the bauble bobble, workers found the symbol of love and are preparing to reunite it with the happy couple.

'Are you serious?' fiancee Kelsey Kramer said after we told her the good news. 'I can’t believe it, I’m so happy!'

This ring cycle certainly didn’t look like it would have a storybook ending on Wednesday night, when Turner and his would-be bethrothed took a walk on the bridge, entering the span on the side near Kramer’s Brooklyn Heights apartment. As Turner took the first steps onto the boardwalk, he remembered looking down and thinking how horrible it would be if the ring, with its .6-karat stone, fell.

Brooklyn Bridge repair worker Doug Reese saved the day when he spied this token of love laying on a construction platform.


Kim captures a New York Wedding moment in Central Park

Another fabulous New York wedding pix from Kim Coccagnia - one of our favorite Wedding and Elopement photographers - great eye, and always a sense of humor..

and she makes a great witness, too!


improveverywhere does FormalWear at Coney


Improv Everywhere (our favourite group sport) brought their antics to Coney Island yesterday, turning a beach day into a black tie affair! Hundreds of folks dressed in tuxedos and gowns confused the regular beachgoers, as they played in the sand and swam in the ocean in their formal wear.

According to IE, they "covered a mile-long stretch of beach with a diverse group of people of all ages (from babies to sixty-somethings) laying out, playing games, and swimming in the ocean, all in formal wear. The mostly Russian crowd of beachgoers appeared to have a blast watching the spectacle unfold, laughing, taking photos, and asking questions." Stay tuned for video!

I think it would have been a GREAT wedding event! Like Improv's WEDDING RECEPTION! (you have to use those formal clothes somehow...)


Over 200 Ballerinas Break Record In Central Park

Over 200 Ballerinas Break Record In Central Park
Last night 241 ballerinas of all ages showed up to break the Guiness record for most ballerinas en pointe for one minute in one place. According to the Daily News, dancers from the American Ballet Theatre and the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club were involved in breaking the record—in the end 230 stayed on their toes for the full minute, which is 10 more dancers than the previous record.

You just NEVER KNOW who is going to be in the park when you decide to hold a little wedding....


Waterfront Weddings: City Launches Interactive Map of Waterfront

City Launches Interactive Map of Waterfront - Gothamist
Today the Department of City Planning launched a pretty neat series of interactive maps covering the waterfront in all five boroughs. The maps include 224 publicly accessible waterfront spaces, comprising approximately 200 linear miles of shorefront public parks and other publicly accessible spaces on private property. (27 of these sites are under construction or in the planning stages.) Here's how it works, according a statement from the Planning Dept:
Visitors to the website can select a borough from the citywide map, and then choose a waterfront site for a description of that space. For accessible waterfront sites on public property, the map links to the website of the agency in charge of building or maintaining the space, where descriptions and maps can be found. For privately owned sites, City Planning provides a photo and a list of features and amenities — such as walkways, seating, trees, and lighting.
The interactive waterfront map and Vision 2020 are part of the New York City Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES), a citywide initiative that will create a new sustainable blueprint for the City’s more than 500 miles of shoreline, which Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn launched in April 2010. To access the map, go to and click on the Citywide Waterfront Access Map link in the middle of the page. There is also a link to the NYCityMap so the user can see the general location and adjacent streets, as well as transportation options and nearby attractions, among other useful information.


Canoeing at the Harlem Meer - Central Park Events | Your Complete Guide to Central Park

Canoeing at the Harlem Meer - Central Park Events | Your Complete Guide to Central Park

IF THE GONDOLA IS BOOKED, why not get married in a Canoe in the Meer?

Located in the northern end of the park, the Harlem Meer, covering 11 acres, is the second largest artificial body of water in Central Park and the perfect spot for canoeing. On Sunday, August 1, 2010, bring your family and friends for a day of canoeing on the water.

From 11 AM- 3PM, everyone age eight and up is welcome. Open to all skill levels, all canoeing equipment is included, but get there early because it is first-come, first-serve. For further information contact the Urban Park Rangers at 212-628-2345.


Tavern on the Green Patio to Become a Snack Shop

Tavern on the Green Patio to Become a Snack Shop | Your Complete Guide to Central Park
Last month, we learned that talks with potential restauranteurs to re-open Tavern on the Green had collapsed (full story here). According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest update is that Manhattan Officials are planning to set up four different food carts on the patio of the defunct Tavern on the Green, which closed on January 1, 2010 after declaring bankruptcy.
It was reported by representatives of Manhattan's Community Board 7 that the intention is to serve a higher quality of cart food that goes beyond the standard dirty water hotdog. There are talks that the carts, which, after going through a licensing process and are expected to be open by the fall, will even have a liquor license to sell beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages.
Additionally, according to park officials, there is a plan to place a bicycle rental facility in the parking lot of the former establishment.

Meanwhile - the Boat House is still open....


Bethesda Fountain | Your Complete Guide to Central Park

Bethesda Fountain
is repaired... the washrooms are still closed, and Cherry Hill is still under repair.


Top of the Rock wedding (Rockefeller Centre)

The Top of the Rock on a misty day, another picture by the excellent Katje Hempel.
Even on a cloudy, rainy day, you can see the Empire State Building rising from the mist. But it's dry and warm in side, and then you can pop outside to the observation deck for some dramatic pix.


Hi Line Wedding

Well, this was the FIRST wedding ever held on the hiline - I just found the picture now.  The photographer was the excellent Katje Hempel, and this is just BEFORE the heavens opened and we all ran from a torrential downpour and hid under the overpass.  This is the southern end of the HiLine, at Gansevoort, and you can see the glass panel which is the most southernly end.  You can manage to do a 'guerilla' wedding on the hiline, but best is midmorning, and mid-week - this is a Monday @ 10 am, and we sort of assembled like a flashmob.

Great pix from Bow Bridge in Central Park

Here's a lovely picture of a couple on Bow Bridge in Central Park, with the San Remo in the background, and some little boats wandering through the lake.

The photographer is our friend, Mike Skoglund.  Our colleague Eileen performed the wedding ceremony. 

Lovely sunny day! 


Most Elaborately Choreographed Wedding Proposal Ever - in Madison Park


As the comments say:
No, a proposal like this isn't for everyone. But it's clear from her responses that she's not upset. She's marrying a guy who it appears went to clown school? ... Anyone who has that amount of enthusiasm for sheer, balls-to-the-wall adoration and love, I can't help but like. And it's touching that she's so surprised and ohmygod that she forgets her purse, but he runs back to get it for her.


Central Park Construction Update: Bethesda Terrace, Cherry Hill

Central Park Construction Update: Bethesda Terrace, Cherry Hill

Remember, Central Park is bigger than Monaco, and you can always find another spot. But do avoid these areas if you don't want netting and bobcats in your pictures.

Statue of Liberty open at dusk - for a fee

The National Park Service announced that starting in June they'll allow evening visits to tour the grounds and dine on Liberty Island, at least through mid-August. The decision was spurred by a successful two-day experiment last September, which they described as "once in a lifetime" (here are our photos). Though the statue won't be open for visitors, it's probably best not to climb those stairs after dark anyway!

They'll be charging $35 for adults, and $15 for kids—a fee that includes a ride there and back from Statue Cruises. an hour or two stay, and dinner. The chief operating officer of the Statue Cruises told the NY Times that last year "everybody either had a date or a tripod."

NOTE: You can't REALLY get married there. It doesn't have an address, it's in JERSEY, and they'll be pretty strict.  BUT, you could take the ferry, have part of the ceremony, go back and sign the papers back on the dock in Manhattan.  Just saying.  Beth knows how to do this, so if you're interested, we'll send you to her. She also knows a great location down by Battery Park with a FREE view of Miss Liberty for dusk weddings..

New Eatery Opening at the Sheep Meadow |

New Eatery Opening at the Sheep Meadow
At 7AM on Saturday, May 15, 2010, a new branch of the Belgian restaurant, Le Pain Quotidien will be opening in the Mineral Springs Pavilion located near the 69th Street entrance of the park. Patrons can also enjoy an extended range of free Wi-Fi or have a seat on the 100-seat terrace overlooking the Sheep Meadow. So you can have your belgian waffles and vegan ice cream picnic after your wedding.


Bklyn Bridge repairs - 24 weekends of bad traffic

The Brooklyn Paper: Closed! Bklyn Bridge repairs cause fear and loathing in Heights
But of course, there's always MORE news about traffic and the Brooklyn bridge...

 "The Brooklyn Bridge is getting the facelift — but Brooklyn Heights is getting the worry lines. A mammoth renovation project that begins soon will close the Manhattan-bound lanes of the historic span at least 24 weekends and many weeknights, creating intense congestion as cars jam the Manhattan Bridge, the closest alternative..."

BREAKING: City reaches deal to ‘Stop the Chop’

The Brooklyn Paper: BREAKING: City reaches deal to ‘Stop the Chop’
Back to the park for Brooklyn weddings - it looks as if the helicopter tours are being eliminated, and we can hear ourselves again by the Brooklyn Bridge, on the Promenade, at Fulton Landing, and in Brooklyn Bridge Park.


2010 Lineup for Summer Concert Series | Your Complete Guide to Central Park

Good Morning America 2010 Lineup for Central Park Concert Series

Here is the concert schedulefor Good Morning America concerts at Rumsey Playfield.
This year, the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato will kick off on May 21st as they perform songs from the movie Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. So if you want a quiet morning wedding near 70th street - AVOID these dates and location. Even when the concert's over, it will be crowded and noisy. (Though you might enjoy Sarah McLachlan and Nora Jones on June 11 :-)


Cherry Blossom Season Comes Early to City - Gothamist

Cherry Blossom Season Comes Early to City - Gothamist
Yes, the blossoms are here early - to the parks! to the parks!

(try the cherry orchard West of the Reservoir in Central Park)


The Jamaica Underwear Run - Central Park Events

The Jamaica Underwear Run - Central Park Events

Be warned! For 2010, the event will take place on July 16th at 7:30 PM. This is no formal run; there is no gear or training required as long as you have your underwear and only your underwear.
In 2009, doubling the previous number, the run broke the world record for the greatest number of people gathered in their undies with 448 runners baring all and 2010 is supposed to be another big year.
I suppose, yes, you COULD get married in your underwear.  But I'm not wearing it to marry you -)


Sigh - Gavroche is leaving 14th street...

"Bonjour!!!!  I want to say thank you for coming to Gavroche during those years. Gavroche is going to move the East Side probably under my name Camelia.  Gavroche for the last 2 years has been fighting but he does not want to go back to the barricade, so he will move …..

I might have a nice young man who will take over my lease; it will be a lovely Italian restaurantThe door will close on Saturday night after the service . Merci!!! Merci!!!!  I had a great time  and  you were terrific and easy to serve you

  A Bientot,   Camelia Cassin"
(how sad I am - lovely back garden with the fountain for weddings! let us wish Mme Cassin Bonne Chance!!!


Weddings at Brooklyn Bridge Park = Main Street Lot

2010_3_brooklynbridgepark3.jpgThe new website for the Brooklyn Bridge Parks  is here. See interactive Map Here
As we have written in previous posts, it's very confusing to sort out who manages all of these parks in terms of weddings and permits.  Evidently, the Brooklyn Bridge Park to the NORTH is now called the Main Street Lot (because it used to be a parking lot) and you can still book it for over 20 people for $25.  Contact the Brooklyn City Parks Office of Special Events at: 718-965-6993, or use the City Park Department website, listed at the top of

Pier 1 *IS* accepting wedding ceremony permits 
Brooklyn Bridge Park (with the exception of Main Street Park, administered by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation) is currently accepting applications for permits but not granting any permits until May 1, 2010.  Permits for private events will not be granted (with the exception of wedding ceremonies on the Pier 1 promenade) until January 1, 2011.

The Empire Ferry State Park (Tobacco Warehouse)  is closed till 2011, and they're going to install the Carousel, etc., so you can't book it now.  Evidently. Who knows?  But it's the one that charged up to $700 for 40 people for a quick wedding under the bridge - because it's a STATE park.

Brooklyn Bridge News Blog (not well updated)


Weddings of more than 20 people in a park need a permit

We've had a bunch of phone calls from people planning weddings for 40, 60, 100 people, and who expect to be able to go to Battery Park, Central Park, etc. and simply hold an outdoor wedding.  PLEASE read our posts on wedding sizes.  Most of the comments on this blog are about ELOPEMENTS - small wedding parties of under 20 people.  And that's too many for Brooklyn Bridge!  Here is the cheat sheet for crowd size in Central Park, again.  BIG weddings (over 40 people) are hard to site.  NO CHAIRS, no decorations, no poles, no canopies, no amplified music, no rice, no flower petals.  If you want that, book a wedding hall.

Any EVENT in a PARK over 20 people needs a permit. That means ANY park - Brooklyn Bridge Park, Prospect Park, Battery Park, Madison Park -- even hipster weddings at East River State Park.. So you can't just turn up in a park with a big group of people and have a wedding.  And if you want a popular spot, GET A PERMIT, even if you have 6 people.  Because if someone else has a permit, you must vacate the space.


Part of Brooklyn Bridge Park will open

2010_3_brooklynbridgepark3.jpgAfter more than 20 years of planning, a portion of Brooklyn Bridge Park will open on Monday. Following a 9:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting with Gov. Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg, the Pier 1 section of $350-million greenspace will open to the public, Brooklyn Heights Blog reports. Pier 1—which boasts a 2.5 acre lawn and a 1,300 foot esplanade near Fulton Ferry Landing—was actually supposed to open late last year, but bickering between the city and the state over control of the park caused delays. News of Pier 1's debut comes just one week after the city obtained control of the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Unfortunately, Pier 1's proposed wine bar probably won't be ready for opening day, according to Curbed.   (THIS FROM GOTHAMIST)

Update:  More pix here.


Spring wedding - find the south side of a tree

Spring is here! The snow melted last night and here are spring crocuses on the hill at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  Which means they'll be in Prospect Park, too -- Happy spring wedding!

There may be meatballs in your wedding

You NEVER KNOW what's going on in NYC.  Here is the Fulton Ferry Landing, always a nice spot for an impromptu wedding with a great view of Manhattan.  Today, we have the MeatBall eating contest occurring in the great little corner where we often conduct weddings.  So if you're not dressed in cheerleader outfits with blue pompoms, try the Brooklyn Promenade.  Just don't wander over to the River Cafe or the Fulton Ferry Park, as they'll unceremoniously kick you out.

Here is the Fulton Ferry Landing on Bride Picture Day - can you count all the brides? I think they're one wedding, and the rest (of the 7) are photo shoots.  This is a view from Brooklyn Bridge.


Please read the POST. This is a pedestrian walkway. You cannot block it. You cannot bring things. It is noisy. It has bicyclists. You have to walk 1/4 mile to get to the middle to stand in a group. It is not a VENUE - it's a funky alternative to standing in a small group on Fulton Landing or the Promenade. NO MORE THAN 8 people.


Please read the post. This is a Nature Center. With Rangers. NO weddings inside, or on the balcony. Proposals only - and maybe some discreet pix on a non-busy day. You can get married (with a small group) on the terrace OUTSIDE, overlooking the Turtle Pond.


Wedding, Dinner: Get married and go out to eat on Restaurant Week

and some of your favorite restaurants will be extending their NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2010 menu through February 28. For restaurants and deals click HERE.


First wedding of 2010 - Amazing Beth

Here's a report from our Senior Wedding Great-Granny, Beth:
"Guess who did the 1st 2010 wedding? As the Ball in Times Square was dropping I pronounced Rick and Melissa, Husband and Wife! The crowd cheered! Actually, Folks around were so tickled to be participating, so to speak, they circled round the Bride and Groom while they were dancing to John Lennon's Imagine. It was great fun!

Happy New Year to all, and especially to all the couples we met and married in 2009. Mary, Beth, and Eileen, the 'wedding grannies' of New York.