How to Get Married in Central Park | NYC Elopement Photographer

Now that travel is opening back up, Central Park weddings are attracting couples all over the world. There’s just something so romantic about heading off to new adventures with the one you love. Across oceans, over mountains, and wherever the wanderlust takes you. Beginning your marriage in another part of the world surrounded by new sights, cultures, and food has a way of strengthening your bond even more. 

While it would be fun to take each other’s hands and fly off into the sunset, an international elopement does require just a bit of planning. As a Taiwanese American myself, I enjoy helping international couples navigate the destination wedding or elopement process here in NYC.

Learn how to get married in Central Park, plus links to vendors and permit info.

What makes Central Park a great wedding location?

Central Park is massive! The iconic urban green space is the most visited park in the United States. Sprawling across 843 acres, it can stand to host quite a few people! The large space and manicured grounds make it a gorgeous canvas for an outdoor wedding in the middle of Manhattan. Central Park weddings allow you to create your own romantic story.

In fact, Central Park makes it easy to apply for a permit and book the wedding package that best fits your needs directly through their website. Wedding guest capacity ranges from 2-125 guests. You can view the most popular wedding sites and guest capacities here.

Central Park Weddings

What documents do I need to elope in the United States? 

When you arrive in New York, make an appointment with the City Clerk’s office to obtain your marriage license. They do not take walk-ins.

At your appointment, bring a valid photo ID (such as your passport) to receive your marriage license. The license fee is $35 by credit card or money order made payable to the City Clerk. 

Your marriage license will be valid for 60 days. You can find more NYC marriage license info here.

Apply for your NYC marriage license via Project Cupid here.

When is the best time for Central Park weddings?

I know it’s not for everyone, but a late morning ceremony in Central Park is just amazing, and you’ll have fewer crowds. If you apply for a wedding park permit, your site will be reserved. However, keep in mind that the trails around your ceremony site may be crowded at peak hours (such as late afternoon/sunset). 

Weekends also tend to be fairly crowded, so weekdays are ideal for quieter wedding ceremonies. During the winter, midday and afternoon ceremonies are warmest and brightest. Meanwhile, morning and evening ceremonies tend to be more comfortable during the hot summer months.

How do I book an officiant for our Central Park wedding? 

Wedding and elopement packages through the Central Park website include an officiant (and witness if needed). Or, you can find a highly-rated Manhattan wedding officiant here.

Should I hire my own wedding photographer?

If you book a Central Park wedding package that includes photography coverage, I highly recommend booking your own NYC photographer. You may get very little if any planning time with the complimentary photographer, and most packages only include about an hour of coverage. Most likely, as photographers change, you will not be able to preview their photography style ahead of time. However, it’s helpful to get acquainted prior to your wedding day. Typically, rates are higher for additional coverage than for booking a wedding photographer yourself.

Instead, when you book with professional wedding photographer, you will receive full event coverage. At Sasha Chou Photography, we strive to deliver an exceptional wedding experience from beginning to end, and we specialize in micro weddings and elopements. 

In addition, we can travel a bit farther and take more photos. Let me know where you want to take photos, and we’ll do our best to make it happen! Top of the Rock, rooftop bar, a stroll around Times Square—tell me what you have in mind and we can plan your NYC couple’s portraits. I enjoy capturing fun, colorful, and creative photos that authentically document your wedding experience.

We’ll be with you through the planning process, available to answer any wedding questions, and of course, excited to photograph the entire day to the fullest! You can count on us to capture the biggest moments and the smallest details so you can beautifully preserve every memory of your NYC wedding or elopement.

Connect with Sasha here to reserve your wedding date.

How to file permit to get married in Central park?

A park permit is only required for weddings or events with 20 or more guests. However, you cannot reserve a site without a $25 permit. Obtaining a permit is the best way to reserve a site, date, and time for Central Park weddings.

(The Conservatory Garden at Central Park acts as a separate venue and requires a permit and fee.) 

You can create an account and apply for a NYC park permit here.

*You must apply for a permit at least 21 days before your event. It can take up to a month to receive your permit, but they typically inform you within a week of applying if your site and date are available.

What vendors do I need to book for a Central Park wedding? 

For a Central Park wedding, you’ll need:

Other nonessential but recommended wedding vendors include:

Where are the best reception venues for a Central Park wedding?

Central Park offers full-service picnic-style wedding receptions with sandwiches, salads, platters, drinks, and rentals. Get more information about Central Park picnic receptions here.

Or, you can book a wedding reception at The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. You can reserve a romantic lakeside table for two, book a private dining room for an intimate gathering, or book the venue for a full wedding reception. Inquire with The Loeb here for reservations.

When you book your wedding photography, we’re happy to provide more reception recommendations based on your party size and preferences.

Central Park Weddings with Sasha Chou Photography

Sasha Chou is a boutique New York City engagement, wedding, and maternity photographer. She specializes in timeless, photojournalistic images. Discover her style by visiting her portfolio here. Learn more about the dedicated Sasha Chou Photography team here. To book video or photography services or learn more about wedding packages, click here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @sashachouphotography and Facebook @SashaChouPhotographyStudio to see what we’re up to!