The Big Apple. The City of Dreams. The most beautiful city in the world. Even that last one doesn’t attract much disagreement when you say it in public. There’s a strong following behind the notion that New York is right up there on the list of most beautiful cities in the world. It’s what I think, personally. It’s certainly part of the allure that had me pack my belongings and set up my business as a NYC wedding photographer. Even now, after being here for nearly 10 years, my eyes still glaze over and get dreamy when I take in all the beautiful scenery of this city.
As it turns out, NYC isn’t only a favorite among ambitious photographers such as me. It is loved and coveted by couples looking to get married from around the country. There are so many wedding venues, each offering something unique, that it is easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis if you decide to go through all of them. That’s why I’m here. I’ve worked with couples at nearly every thinkable wedding venue in this city, so I know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. I decided to prepare a short list of venues that are bound to give you what you’re looking for in terms of a dream wedding. In my book, this is the top list of venues and your wedding is bound to be fantastic if you choose to hold it at one of them. At the very least, the photos will pop for sure!
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is has a plethora of venues within where you can hold your wedding reception and offers breathtaking scenery with its various gardens. You can have a sit down dinner in the Palm House and enjoy some of the most elegant settings for a wedding reception, or you can have a cocktail party in the atrium and take your pictures with the Cherry Esplanade as your background. Your friends and family will be saying some good things about that wedding several decades later.
The Angel Orensanz Center is quite cosmopolitan in its history. It certainly borrows the best of many worlds and the architecture is classical in every aspect. It is a synagogue, modeled after a cathedral, with a gothic style. This synagogue has been there since the middle of the 19th century and has lost none of the magic that it had to start with. Hold your wedding reception in the space where Angel Orensanz, the great sculptor, used to do his work. Have the gold-leaf altar as your background as you exchange your vows to stick to each other for better or for worse with your significant other. Whether you’re doing a small party or a lavish party, you certainly won’t feel short of space in this venue with a capacity of up to 300 guests. Don’t forget, you’ll be having your wedding in the same place where Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick exchanged their vows.
Virtually everyone knows about the United Nations, but how many cities offer you the opportunity to hold your wedding at their headquarters? NYC takes the cake with this one. The main venues here are The United Nations Dining Room and Rooftop Patio. The dining room certainly has a regal and international feel to it that will have your guests mouthing oohs and aahs as they take everything in. The rooftop patio, however, is best for your cocktail party with the breathtaking views it offers of the surrounding city. There’s little that can beat a wedding photo with the Queensboro Bridge in the background.
Central Park’s Conservatory Garden is the jewel in Central Park’s crown and a wonderful wedding venue for park lovers. Sitting snuggly at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 105th Street, this venue is well within reach no matter what part of the city you’re coming from. It’s actually ideal for a small wedding ceremony as it can only comfortably host up to 100 people. The management prefers quiet affairs to be held here so you’ll have to keep things down. It’s great to exchange your vows in the garden. You can then hold your reception party somewhere else.
Gotham Hall is named after Batman’s city and has a lot of the charm you would expect to experience at one Bruce Wayne’s many lavish charity dinners. This magnificent hall used to be the headquarters of the Greenwich Savings Bank and still maintains the serious elegance of a room where big men discussed the direction of the American economy. The Art Deco Ballroom really captures your imagination with its vaulted dome. The very top is a distant seven stories away and will fill you with awe as you marvel at the beautiful architecture that went into making this building. You won’t have to worry about capacity here. With a full capacity of 1200, you could hold an after party for the Grammys at this venue. In fact, it’s been done before!Gallow Green is an excellent bar and restaurant is located atop the McKittrick Hotel and a lot of its allure is in relation to its vantage point since it offers sweeping views of the city below it. However, it offers even more internally than it does externally and it gets a clean ten out of ten from me. The Gallow Green has an antique vibe to it and maintains its beauty and charm whether you’re holding your wedding in the spring or the winter. With some beautiful plants, awesome furniture and décor, and incredible views of the surrounding Chelsea area, you’ll love every minute here. There are lots of other great venues that I’ve been to, in and around New York City, which you would love. However, these 6 take the cake and I believe wedding photographers in New York will think the same. Don’t forget that the most important thing is to have fun on that special day. It’s meant to occur only once but, if you do it right, once is all you’ll need.