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NYC Wedding Destination Guide

NYC Wedding Destination Guide


New York City, the American destination, for destination weddings. It’s just as easy and reasonably priced to get married in NYC as it is in Vegas, but with New York’s endless variety of public spaces, venues and restaurants, the only limit is your imagination!

New York is the capital of the U.S. wedding market, and some of the best wedding vendors in the world are based here. What’s even better? New York State passed the Marriage Equality Act this past summer, so now all couples can get married here, regardless of your sexual orientation or nationality…



NYC is great because you can get married virtually anywhere! Just remember to plan ahead, get a permit and expect locals and tourists to be milling around during the ceremony. You can’t close off a public space for your wedding. Expect to stand; chairs cannot be set up (except for people with limited mobility.)

Brooklyn Bridge  You can in fact get married ON the Brooklyn Bridge! It can get crowded (remember, you can’t shut the bridge down) and the noise level is high, but it’s definitely a fun experience. For smaller groups of under 20 guests. 

Central Park  One of the most famous and popular NYC wedding spots. There are ideal corners throughout the park. Great for an affordable wedding, as the Conservatory Gardens remains the most expensive permit, and that will run you only around $400.

Prospect Park  Central Park’s Brooklyn cousin. Just as grand, but it feels a lot more intimate since there are often fewer tourists. Check out the The Picnic House and The Boathouse. 

Washington Square Park  The arch is one of the most photogenic backdrops in NYC. 

Waterfront  There are various popular spots along the Williamsburg, Brooklyn waterfront and or in Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

For something really unique you can get also married in a helicopter over Manhattan with Liberty Helicopter Tours.


Destination weddings in churches aren’t as common in NYC, but they can be celebrated on a case-by-case basis. Some of the loveliest churches to contact are St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian, and St. Bartholomew’s. There is a precedent for getting married on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral (for small groups only), which is great for Catholic couples who aren’t part of the parish.


You only need to be a resident of New York City for 24 hours in order to be legally married here! And anyone can marry, regardless of sexual orientation, in NYC and New York State. For more information on marriage licenses, see the City Clerk’s Office. 

Regarding the paperwork necessary for your NYC marriage to be recognized back home, it is best to check with your country’s consulate in NYC. 

Marriage of U.S. Citizens Abroad



Tribeca Rooftop and 360  Two distinct loft spaces with panoramic city views. Rooftop is one of the biggest, most expansive outdoor spaces in NYC, perfect for ceremonies and cocktail hour. Best for larger groups or really high budgets. 

Manhattan Loft and Terrace  Another great rooftop terrace. Part of it can be tented in case of inclement weather. 

Studio 450  Part of a collection of loft spaces, perfect for the bride who wants to transform the venue in order to personalize it. The couple can bring in a caterer of their choice. 


The River Cafe  One of the most beautiful restaurants in NYC, this docked boat also boasts gourmet food, especially surprising since it’s a tourist standard. 

Le Bernardin  Eric Ripert’s little fish restaurant, one of New York’s premier temples of haute gastronomy, decorated with three Michelin stars. The private dining rooms upstairs are minimalist and elegant, with surprisingly low minimums at lunch (starting at $1,000). The perfect choice for the bride who wants a sommelier at her wedding. 

One if by Land, Two if by Sea  Routinely named one of New York’s most romantic restaurants, the food is excellent as well. Cozy and ideal for winter celebrations 

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe  If you are looking for something different, try Housing Works Bookstore Cafe which transforms into a cool event space at night, perfect for sexy librarian types. Proceeds go to their charity.


The most historic and prestigious hotels in NYC have ample space to host banquets, and at most hotels you can hold a ceremony in-suite! The grandest hotels are The Pierre, The Plaza, The Peninsula, The St. Regis and The Waldorf-Astoria. Chic, contemporary hotels like The Mandarin Oriental, The Setai Fifth Avenue and The Eventi are also great spaces.


Little Branch  Great for late night jazz and classic drinks. 

Death & Co  Sounds morbid but the drinks are really inventive. 

230 Fifth  Perfect summer bar. Views of skyline to die for.


There are so many possibilities in NYC! How about a private dance or striptease class? At the Museum of Sex you can book a private visit, and check out the Oral Fix Bar on-site which allows you to make your own aphrodisiac cocktail. The Little Wine Bus can plan a private tour of wineries in the Hudson Valley. And don’t forget about the Sex and the City bus tour!


If the men want to do manly things, Keens Chophouse is the perfect place. It’s very Old New York and has a 19th century pipe collection, as well as private room rental. Try the mutton chop and the Old Fashioned cocktails. If they are after a bit of sports, tickets to a Yankee game or a luxury box at Yankee Stadium definitely fit the bill (honestly, Yankee Stadium is just as perfect for a hen do! So much fun).


JMVisuals  Celebrated for his clean, contemporary aesthetic, Jeffrey Marcus is the go-to designer if you are after stunning, unique wedding florals. 

Rebecca Shepherd Floral Design  With elegant yet quirky vintage flair, Rebecca Shepherd’s beautiful arrangements are perfect for romantic brides.


See Also

Danny Weiss  is a pro at capturing iconic NYC wedding moments. 

PhotoPink  in Brooklyn takes fanciful, creative and memorable images


Bliss  has a few locations throughout NYC and have a super fun atmosphere. 

Kiehl’s Spa 1851  The signature American skincare line just opened its first spa in Manhattan, and also offers shaves for men! 

Great Jones Spa  This hidden oasis downtown boasts one of the best water lounges in NYC.


Most officiants in NYC are interfaith ministers who perform secular or spiritual ceremonies.

Rev. Annie Lawrence  The sunny and incredibly kind Rev. Annie is happy to personalize your wedding, and incorporate various cultural traditions into her ceremony. 

Rev. Deb Viola  With her theatrical voice, Rev. Deb definitely brings the gravitas to her wedding ceremonies.


It’s especially a good idea to go wedding dress shopping on a hen weekend in NYC before the wedding! You can get some steals on stunning gowns. 

The J.Crew Collection & Bridal Boutique  With dresses under $1000 and contemporary styles, J.Crew is perfect for the modern bride. Even better for bridesmaids’ dresses as there are multiple styles featured for each color and fabric. 

Kleinfeld Bridal  Probably the most famous bridal boutique in NYC, and definitely recognizable if you’ve seen Say Yes to the Dress. Be prepared for some over-the-top bridezillas! 

Bridal Garden  The prices are reasonable since all the dresses for sale are donated by brides or designers, and the best part? The proceeds go to children’s charities!

Mary-Elizabeth O’Neill

Wedding Planner and Blogger 

Voyage New York Weddings

Connect with Voyage on Facebook and Twitter 

Voyage: New York Weddings are a full-service travel agency and wedding/event planning firm. We can book everything from flights and hotels for a stag weekend to private tours for a bespoke honeymoon, as well as plan weddings for 3 or 300 guests.

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