New York City Weddings:
Everything You Need to Know
There is nothing quite like a wedding in New York City. Because New York City weddings are set against the magnificent backdrop of the Big Apple, you’ll find that your NYC wedding is an unforgettable celebration. In addition, the New York City wedding scene boasts some of the world’s very best wedding venues and wedding vendors. With so many New York City wedding venues, there is no shortage of beautiful spaces where you can celebrate this exciting day.
If you are unsure where to begin when planning New York City weddings, this library of real weddings in New York City is an excellent resource. Get endless inspiration, check out the vendors who other couples used to bring their New York City weddings to life, and see which venues fit your NYC wedding aesthetic. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to explore locations for New York City weddings where the celebrities have said “I do.” Ready to get started? We are here to help you navigate all of our dreamy New York City weddings—and planning your own.
Why are New York City weddings so popular?
Wondering why so many couples opt for New York City weddings? There are plenty of reasons couples love to plan a wedding in New York City. Not only are there an abundance of outstanding New York City wedding vendors and plenty of stunning NYC reception venues, but there are also plenty of things to do and places to see.
Whether you decide to book NYC wedding reception venues or are seeking something a little outside of the city (think: Hamptons weddings or other Long Island wedding venues), the southern portion of the state is a hotspot for wedding venues and vendors. Statistics confirm that wedding venues in New York are extremely popular: Even in the midst of a pandemic, 60,532 couples chose to tie the knot in 2020. In fact, New York is the fourth most popular state to get married in across the entire country. Many of these weddings occurred at the wedding venues NYC is famous for—but more on that later.
Planning New York City weddings can be complicated, but the help of an experienced New York wedding planner will make the entire process significantly easier. In addition to planning, how much you are willing to spend on your New York City wedding is also a consideration.
New York City weddings appeal to couples who love the hustle and bustle that the big city offers, and want to infuse their celebrations with that magic. New York City and Brooklyn wedding planners will agree, weddings in NYC have their own unique flair because many of NYC’s wedding vendors are some of the most celebrated in the country, if not the world.
When planning New York City weddings, out-of-town couples should start by getting to know the neighborhoods. The city consists of five boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Each has a distinct flair that makes it uniquely suited for a stylish wedding in NYC.
If you are thinking of a religious ceremony, get your bid in early if you want to celebrate at historical wedding venues in New York, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan, the Islamic Cultural Center in Upper Manhattan, and the Ganesh Temple in Queens. These are just a few of the most popular religious NYC wedding venues.
Additional options for weddings in NYC include many other historic sites, state parks, and city parks. You typically need permits for these NYC weddings—but that’s exactly why a New York wedding planner is essential to help you figure out all the details!
What are the best months for New York City weddings?
So, you’ve decided on an NYC wedding. Next it’s time to pick your New York City wedding date. The first thing that you should take into consideration is which time of year you’d like to get married. Consider the different holidays, and how the city celebrates them. For instance, for a Christmas-inspired wedding, your New York wedding photographer could take pictures of you under the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in December. And although snow isn’t guaranteed in the city, you’re sure to find plenty at the many gorgeous upstate New York wedding venues that look their best in early winter!
Or, maybe fall nuptials fit the aesthetic and color palette of your NYC wedding. In which case, the colorful leaves in Central Park during the fall might be exactly what you envision for your New York City wedding pictures. Many New York City weddings feature the budding flowers of the city’s plentiful parks during the springtime. Or, couples enjoy the warmth of a New York City summer and opt for nuptials in July. However, fewer New York City weddings take place in summer due to the heat and humidity.
If you’re looking for NYC reception venues that are below the average wedding cost NYC venues charge, picking an off-season wedding date could be a wise idea. April and May are some of the most popular months for New York City weddings. While July and August might be toasty, plenty of weddings do happen during these months. However, be advised that the summer is tourist season in New York City, so hotels may be at peak capacity (and pricing). You’ll also want to steer clear of any long weekends in NYC if you’re looking to avoid bumping elbows with lots of tourists during New York City weddings.
Of course, the NYC wedding venue itself matters more for some couples than the season itself. For instance, if you are able to secure an illustrious ballroom NYC wedding venue for your NYC wedding in January, even if you would have preferred May, you might opt to prioritize your dream venue over your dream wedding date.
If you were hoping to make one of the state parks your outdoor NYC wedding location, be mindful that fall season is peak season there. Also factor in nearby NYC things to do if this is a destination wedding.
What are the best wedding venues in NYC?
Now that you’ve decided when you want your New York City wedding to take place, it’s time to select your wedding venue. One reason why so many couples flock to NYC to get wed is because there are thousands of wedding venues in New York. Regardless of how big or small your guest list is, there are plenty of New York City reception venues able to accommodate a party of any size.
It’s also crucial that you think through the logistics of your NYC wedding. If you’re able to secure a reservation for your wedding ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown, choosing an NYC wedding reception venue all the way down in Battery Park might be a headache. It’s easier to select an NYC wedding reception venue that’s closer to your ceremony location.
Once you’ve decided on your wedding season and how many guests will attend, it’s time to narrow down your selection. The best types of NYC wedding venues include:
Hotel Wedding Venues in NYC:
New York City flaunts countless upscale hotels, many of which boast ornate ballrooms ideal for your NYC wedding reception. Whether you prefer an intimate, boutique hotel or an established, luxury chain, hotels are a fabulous venue option for New York City weddings. Some hotel wedding venues in NYC might even offer you a view of Central Park or the Manhattan skyline—and of course accommodations for your wedding party and guests.
Rooftop Wedding Venues in NYC:
If you’re marrying in New York City, you might as well incorporate some of NYC’s stunning views into your big day! Several rooftop wedding venues in NYC accommodate ceremonies and receptions. Select your location for a rooftop wedding in NYC with care—especially if you’re afraid of heights!
Garden Wedding Venues in NYC:
If you’ve selected a spring or summer NYC wedding date, a garden could be a glamorous backdrop for your big day. The city boasts many gardens, the most illustrious being the elegant New York Botanical Garden. This isn’t the only option for couples looking to marry in a local garden, however. In addition to several other garden NYC wedding locations throughout the city, you can technically get married in any park in the city. However, if you choose to do so, just remember to get a permit. Your New York City wedding planner can help iron out the details. Alternatively, if you want to get out of the city and have a Hamptons wedding, there are many gardens out east available for weddings too.
Museum Wedding Venues in NYC:
Have you ever heard of Museum Mile? This stretch on the Upper East Side of Manhattan boasts ten museums in one short walk. If you’re interested in tying the knot at an NYC museum, there are plenty opportunities to do so. Many of the museums are some of the most iconicNew York City reception venues.
Library Wedding Venues in NYC:
Dream of saying “I do” surrounded by the literary greats? You can get married at the New York Public Library. If you select this venue, however, be prepared to either have a civil ceremony or your religious ceremony off-premises.
Estate Wedding Venues in NYC:
Few wedding venues will provide you with the opulence and privacy that New York City weddings at estates or mansions will. While there are some grand city mansions that have been turned into museums over the years, many estates are wedding venues in Long Island or Westchester. They’re still convenient to New York City, which means your NYC wedding vendors won’t have too difficult a time reaching your gala.
Private Club Wedding Venues in NYC:
If you’re a member of a private club in New York City, you can inquire about having your wedding there—or if you have friends who are members, they may be able to sponsor you. Each club will have its own rules regarding your big day, so be sure to adhere to them.
Ballroom Wedding Venues in NYC:
Nothing says sophistication and elegance quite like a ballroom. If you dream of an ornate wedding with flawless service, ballrooms make some of the best NYC wedding venues.
City Hall Wedding Venues in NYC:
Looking for an intimate, easy-to-coordinate wedding in NYC? Many couples—and celebrities!—have opted for a New York City wedding ceremony at City Hall.
Restaurant Wedding Venues in NYC:
If you have an NYC wedding at City Hall, or a small religious ceremony elsewhere, you can opt for an intimate reception at your favorite New York City restaurant—and you know the catering will be top-notch!
Religious Wedding Venues in NYC:
If you and your partner want your wedding in NYC to be recognized within your faith, churches, mosques, and synagogues make excellent NYC wedding ceremony venues. Each venue has its own rules about everything ranging from vendors to applications. And, in the cases of the more well-known religious spaces, they frequently also have long waitlists.
How much do New York City weddings cost?
Prior to beginning the planning process, many couples are unaware of the average wedding cost in New York. The higher cost of living impacts the average wedding cost NYC couples can anticipate. If you’re wondering how much does a wedding cost in New York, there are a few things to consider.
First, it’s helpful to understand the average cost of a wedding in the United States, which in 2020 was $20,300. In the state of New York, the average 2020 wedding cost over $27,000. Therefore, if you plan on hosting your wedding in New York, whether you’re talking about weddings in NYC or even a Hamptons wedding, you can expect to spend significantly more than the national average.
Let’s break down this number a bit further. The average wedding cost in New York is impacted by the high cost of living, yes, but the world-class wedding vendors New York City boasts may come with a higher price tag.
The lion’s share of the average wedding cost NYC couples face goes to their New York City wedding venue. Of course, you’ll also have to consider the cost of your New York City wedding photographer (an average of $2,667 for a four hour shoot) and your NYC wedding florist ($1,764 on average). You’ll also have to factor in your NYC wedding music, which typically costs about $1,058.
There are some unexpected costs you should be aware of when you’re bringing your NYC wedding to life. Many couples find wedding insurance to be helpful in case anything goes awry.
If you’re looking to book the NYC wedding of your dreams, but want to stay within a conservative price range, these tips can help you do so.
- Look for Packages: The best wedding venues in NYC offer package deals that frequently include catering, rentals, and sometimes even wedding musicians. Some even have their own designers of New York wedding flowers and an in-house coordinator on staff.
- Choose the Right Tier for You: Did you know that New York wedding photographers cost about 27% more than wedding photography in other states? Some photographers charge hourly, but most will offer their services in various tiered packages, ranging from the most basic (and least expensive) to the most comprehensive (and highest priced). If you have additional questions, ask your potential New York City wedding photographers for more information.
- Rely On Your New York City Wedding Planner: New York City wedding planners have years of experience planning weddings in NYC. Many NYC wedding vendors have created a robust network of NYC wedding vendors who they’ve worked with in the past. Your New York City wedding planner can help you find contacts in their network who work within your price point and will help you create your dream day.
How do you find the best NYC wedding vendors?
In addition to selecting your New York City wedding venue, you’ll also be tasked with curating your NYC wedding vendor team. Your first step, of course, is to select a trusted and talented New York wedding planner who can create and execute a cohesive vision for your big day. Not only will your New York wedding planner be your guide to creating the New York City weddings of your dreams, but he or she will also act as your top source for other NYC wedding vendors. For instance, your New York wedding planner can help you identify the best wedding venues in New York City for your vision (and budget), as well as an amazing New York wedding florist to decorate the space according to your wedding theme. Your New York wedding planner helps you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, whether that be helping you understand what the average wedding cost in New York really is, or which of the thousands ofNYC wedding venues is right for you. This is why your New York wedding planner should be the first vendor you choose for your big day. Once you have your New York wedding planner on board, the rest of the process becomes so much simpler.
The right New York wedding planner will work with you to source your New York wedding florist who can transform any New York City wedding reception venue into a Secret Garden. If you are choosing to get married at an outdoor venue, like a garden or a park, your New York wedding florist will design and arrange complementary New York wedding flowers that will fit the energy of your venue.
After you have your New York wedding flowers taken care of, it’s time to research New York wedding photographers. The best NYC wedding photographers will have the inside scoop on all of the greatest locations to get beautiful wedding photos on the big day. Sometimes just one New York wedding photographer will work, or you might want to upgrade and opt for a New York wedding photographer package that includes two photographers for your NYC wedding. This will help ensure that your photographers won’t miss a minute of your New York City wedding. In addition to a New York wedding photographer, you might want to look into a New York wedding videographer. Wedding videographers know how to bring NYC weddings to life in a way that photography cannot. If you choose to hire a New York wedding photographer and New York wedding videographer, you’ll have everything you need to relive the big day whenever you want.
Unless you are looking into New York City weddings at locations that include the catering, you’ll need to find a New York wedding caterer yourself. Some of the best wedding venues NYC has to offer provide a list of pre-approved caterers for you to choose from. Your venue may be able to recommend additional NYC wedding vendors, like florists or photographers. Many will have insider knowledge about who to work with. You can also check out this library of real New York City weddings and see exactly which vendors brought each event to life.
And, of course, don’t forget the cake! You can check out some popular New York wedding cake bakers as well by viewing images of wedding cakes the bakeries have created for real New York weddings.
The same goes for a DJ or band. New York wedding musicians are some of the best in the world. Whether you’re seeking a string quartet to play ceremony music during your wedding in NYC, or you want a New York wedding DJ to get the crowd on the dance floor of your New York wedding reception venue, you can find the best musicians to provide the soundtrack to your big day.
What are some popular New York City neighborhoods for NYC weddings?
As mentioned, New York City consists of five different boroughs, all of which have their own unique personality and charm. You can host New York City weddings in any of those boroughs. In addition to the different boroughs, you also might want to learn more about the different neighborhoods that this city has to offer. Each borough is unique, and therefore, could help provide your wedding in NYC with flair. Has someone been raving about Brooklyn wedding venues? Someone else might have suggested a Central Park wedding. Your New York wedding planner might highlight the advantages of a Bronx wedding venue. Getting familiar with the five boroughs and their neighborhoods makes it easy to chime in. Here’s an overview of each borough:
Generally the island of Manhattan is unofficially divided into lower Manhattan, Midtown, and Uptown, as well as the East and West sides. Lower Manhattan is home to the famous SoHo, Tribeca, Chinatown, Battery Park and the West Village. Uptown is divided into the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side. Times Square is in midtown, which is traditionally one of the most crowded and touristy parts of New York City. If you want a quiet, authentic NYC wedding, steer clear of this area. Also in Manhattan are the Flatiron District and Gramercy Park. All of these neighborhoods have dozens of fantastic wedding venues.
Brooklyn is actually on the western portion of Long Island. It is known for Coney Island, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and DUMBO, where the famous Brooklyn Bridge can be found. Famous Brooklyn wedding venues also include the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and various settings around Prospect Park. There are also smaller hotel venues for rooftop or loft Brooklyn weddings that would be chic for an intimate affair. Brooklyn wedding venues vary in size and cost.
This borough is famous for its Flushing neighborhood, and also extends onto Long Island. Any New York wedding photographer can point you to the best places to take wedding pictures in Queens. Examples might include the Queens Museum and the Botanical Garden.
This borough boasts the Bronx Zoo, which is a favorite New York City wedding locale. If you’re a baseball fan, you also might know that Yankee Stadium is in the Bronx.
Staten Island Weddings:
While this borough is largely residential and has a suburban feel, there are plenty of NYC wedding venues here—and you may spend less than you would in Manhattan.
Did you tour New York City wedding venues and decide you’d like something a bit more serene? It’s also helpful to have an understanding of the surrounding area, as some couples who thought they wanted New York City weddings might decide to pursue a Hamptons wedding, book one of the wedding venues Long Island offers, or check out an upstate New York wedding instead.
At upstate New York wedding venues, you will find Niagara Falls and plenty of bucolic venues in the Catskill Mountains. They are excellent alternatives to a wedding in New York City itself. Long Island wedding venues include beach, country club, and intimate hotel wedding venues. If you’re looking for the most luxurious of area, you’ll likely be a Hamptons wedding fan, which is one of the most elegant (and expensive) areas of Long Island—and the entire tri-state area. These venues are especially popular during the summer months and September, so consider a Long Island wedding if you’re looking for a summer New York wedding. A Hamptons wedding, Long Island wedding venues, and upstate New York weddings are all easily convenient to New York City.
What are some popular NYC things to do?
New York City hosted over 66 million tourists in 2019, solidifying the city’s claim as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. This is mainly because there are plenty of uniquely NYC things to do in the Big Apple. If you have out-of-town guests visiting for your NYC wedding, this is the opportunity for you to show off this amazing city. On your wedding website or in your New York City weddings invitation suite, include some popular NYC things to do. If your New York City wedding is a destination wedding, you might want to spend your honeymoon in the area, too. Some popular activities for New York City wedding guests to do include:
- Museums: New York City is home to dozens of museums—some of which you may even consider being your New York City wedding venue! The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is widely considered a must-see. Another amazing stop is the American Museum of Natural History. Whether your guests are art aficionados or history buffs, museums are one of the best NYC things to do.
- Theaters: Did you know that there are 41 Broadway theaters? They include the Gershwin, St. James, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. There is always a great show to see in NYC.
- Concerts: Your NYC wedding planners probably have their finger on the city’s pulse. When they are not coordinating a Hamptons wedding or Brooklyn wedding, they may be able to recommend upcoming concerts occurring at one of the many music venues, or in Central Park.
- Food tours: New York City boasts some of the best food in the world—and plenty of unique eateries. New York City food tours are one of the most popular NYC things to do because they offer the opportunity to sample some of the city’s finest cuisine. No matter what type of food your guests are looking for, they’ll be able to find it on an NYC food tour. While researching caterers for weddings in New York City, you’ll undoubtedly stumble across amazing restaurants that cater, and by recommending food tours to your NYC wedding guests, they’ll have the chance to try a few! It could also be a fun thing to do with your wedding party the day before the actual wedding in New York City.
Of course, there are also the neighborhoods or attractions from some popular TV shows that guests might be interested in checking out while they’re on a trip to attend a wedding in NYC. These locales include the Central Park Zoo, the New York Botanical Gardens (both of which are great for an NYC wedding), Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Governor’s Island. If your guests feel up to it, they can even go kayaking or paddle-boarding in the Hudson River.
Or, perhaps your guests prefer gallery-hopping in Chelsea and SoHo after attending weddings in New York City. Another great thing about weddings in New York? The city is home to several different professional sports teams. If some of your New York City wedding guests are bringing their children or are sports fans themselves, baseball, basketball, or football games could be an option. One of the benefits of having your wedding in New York City is that your guests will have the ability to explore the Big Apple and everything it offers after the big day.
Where do NYC celebrity weddings take place?
As home to many famous actors, actresses, and musicians, it’s no surprise that New York City weddings are popular amongst celebrities. You might be wondering: who are some of the famous people who had NYC celebrity weddings, and where did they get married? Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola had one of the most opulent NYC celebrity weddings at St. Thomas Church. It is estimated that their NYC celebrity wedding cost half a million dollars.
Of course, not all celebrities who had weddings in New York City spent that much. Actress Miranda Foster and Vanessa Selbst selected one of the rooftop wedding venues NYC has to offer. Actor Derrence Washington and Nick Denton had their NYC wedding at the American Museum of Natural History. Some celebrities choose to keep their New York City weddings intimate and small, many choosing New York City weddings at City Hall. Examples include Chloe Sevigny and Sinisa Mackovic, as well as Emily Ratajkowski and Sebastian Bear-McClard.
For their Brooklyn wedding, Penn Badgley and Domino Kirke selected a courthouse. Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery even got then-mayor Mike Bloomberg to serve as the witness.
Of course, some celebrities do opt for the luxurious NYC wedding reception venues that the city is renowned for. Others head to Long Island for a beachy Hamptons wedding. Long island wedding venues generally are popular among celebrities, including Billy Joel and Alexis Roderick.
Other places for a celeb wedding in New York City are The Plaza Hotel, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The St. Regis New York, and The Four Seasons Hotel. The best NYC wedding photographers can help you model your photoshoot after your favorite celebrity’s NYC wedding. However, remember that the average wedding cost NYC photographers charge for this service might be higher than what you initially thought.
How do you get to New York City weddings?
Luckily, getting to an NYC wedding from just about anywhere is a breeze. Because of the city’s status as a global hub, the metropolitan area is served by three airports: La Guardia, John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport. If you have international guests attending your NYC wedding, they will fly into either JFK or Newark. Guests who are taking a domestic flight to your New York City wedding might opt to fly into La Guardia.
From there, there are several options, depending on where your NYC wedding is taking place. If you are having a Hamptons wedding, your guests can hop on a train that will take them out east. Alternatively, if you’re having a Brooklyn wedding, guests can take a bus or taxi to the subway from their location. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests attending your New York City wedding, you might find it easiest to arrange their transportation from the airport. The subway system can be confusing for people who are only briefly in the city for New York City weddings, and helping your guests with transportation can help ensure that no guests are late to your NYC wedding due to any confusion or delays.
What are the next steps for planning your New York City wedding?
Because there are so many New York City wedding venues, you’re sure to find one that enhances your theme and aesthetic. And of course, New York City reception venues are just a piece of your NYC wedding puzzle. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to curate your New York City wedding vendor team.
We know that nothing inspires like seeing photos and details from real New York City weddings. If you want an idea of what wedding reception venues in NYC look like for other couples’ celebrations, you’ll be able to see each venue come to life in our NYC wedding venue directory. Check out real couples’ NYC weddings at the locations you’re considering, and see their complete list of wedding vendors as well. Planning beautiful New York City weddings has never been easier. Now, it’s simply a matter of picking the date for your NYC wedding and making it official. Once you have your short list of favorite vendors and venues identified, you can reach out to them directly from our website and set up a time to chat and tour.