Central Park Wedding, central park elopement, central park wedding photos, central park wedding photography, susan shek photography, nyc wedding photographer

Best locations for a Central Park Wedding

NYC the concrete jungle does have a bit of natural beauty (New York City really does have it all!) For couples looking to tie the knot outdoors without leaving the city, Central Park is just the spot. Not only does it serve as an iconic venue with its charming park benches and lamp posts, but Central Park weddings offer lots of options and open space.

Why Choose a Central Park Wedding?

Just how big is Central Park? The world-famous green space spans 843 enchanting acres of Manhattan! It’s not hard to find a special nook or cranny for an intimate wedding ceremony. Here are a few of my favorite Central Park Wedding spots:

The Conservatory Garden

This 6-acre space consists of three smaller, uniquely charming gardens. Conservatory Garden feels a bit more private than other parts of the park, and the quiet gardens provide beautiful, verdant backdrops for photos. The flowers and shrubs are phenomenal here. The Conservancy plants seasonal blooms to last through the majority of the year (minus the coldest winter months). 

If you want to book the Conservatory Garden, you’ll need to get a permit directly through the Central Park Conservancy. They have it available online (along with full descriptions of each garden) HERE. This location does have a few restrictions since the garden is reserved as a peaceful “Quiet Zone,” but that just guarantees a romantic space for you on your wedding day.

Cop Cot

This is my favorite for the hot summer months. The natural-wood gazebo and tall mature trees provide lots of shade and added privacy. Surprisingly, this cozy little spot also showcases some of the best views of the NYC skyline since it sits up on a hill. (I’ve also witnessed quite a few proposals here due to its breathtaking location – I enjoy photographing proposals, too!)

Shakespeare Garden

Aptly named, this location features many whimsical blooms described in Shakespeare’s plays. I’ve always thought that a bohemian themed wedding would look gorgeous here! This space is a bit “wilder” with an all-natural feel. Weeping willows and tall grasses blow in the breeze for understated yet mesmerizing beauty.

Cherry Hill

Do you have a large guest count? Cherry Hill is probably your best option with its huge green lawn. If you plan it just right, you’ll be surrounded by cherry blossoms!

Gapstow Bridge

This quiet, lesser-frequented bridge provides both a serene spot by the pond and views of the skyline. This hidden gem is beautiful all year round. The stone bridge adds a rustic touch to wedding photos. The is one of my favorite outdoor locations for bridal portraits since the natural hues really emphasize the dress. 

Summit Rock

Don’t worry, it’s not an actual rock (although there are some natural stone pathways). Summit Rock is the tallest point in the park. As you might imagine, the views are unparalleled. I recommend this location for medium-sized or large groups because of its expansive lawn surrounded by trees.

Belvedere Castle Terrace

Get even higher in this enchanting castle. The historic mini castle originally served as an observation deck. Belvedere means “beautiful views,” and that’s exactly what you’ll get with a fairytale wedding on the terrace overlooking all of Central Park.

Wedding Venue on The Pond

Did you know that Central Park has a wedding venue right in the center of the park? Read my post about the Central Park Boathouse (aka the Loeb Boathouse). 

Bonus: They serve amazing food, too!!

Honorable Mention: Bow Bridge

I love Bow Bridge because you can see the skyline and glassy pond – the photos here are some of my all-time favorites. In the fall, vibrant foliage adds the perfect pop of color to wedding photos. However, I’d probably use this spot for photos only instead of a full wedding ceremony. The bridge gets crowded, and there isn’t much room for guests. But if you’ve always dreamed of having your first kiss on this iconic bridge, let’s do it!

Check HERE for an updated list of COVID-19 restrictions throughout the park. 

As a New York Native and experienced New York Wedding Photographer, I know all the best spots within Central Park. If you want more options or need a bit more information about some of these, don’t hesitate to ask. Connect with me HERE.

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