New York-New York City

New York City venue planning help, pleeeeaaaase!

Hi! My girlfriend and I are trying to plan our wedding for May 2016 in NYC. We expect approximately 25-30 people and want to keep things fun and low-key. We hope to keep our budget as low as possible – under $5,000. We have been trying to find information about doing a Central Park ceremony without using a wedding planner – we can’t tell if that is doable or if it will be too much of a headache… Spending $1,000 just on the ceremony won’t work for us. If we did that we would then want to find a not-too-far-away restaurant where we could do a reception. The other option seems to be finding a space where we can do the reception and wedding in one. We haven’t had luck so far, and there are just sooooo many places, but they are all out of our budget (and we haven’t found many spaces where we could do the ceremony and reception in one). We are not religious, but looked at two area Unitarian Universalist churches (the one in our community is pretty cheap), and even those are pricy. We are from out of state but a lot of our guests are in that area, and we both love the city and would just stay there for our honeymoon, so this is a really attactive option for us, but we are starting to wonder if it is going to be possible to keep our budget or whether we need to not get married there. Most of what we have been able to find on message boards is several years old, so the links are no longer active or the businesses are way more expensive now, etc. Any help would be much appreciated!

Re: New York City venue planning help, pleeeeaaaase!

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    The rules for events in Manhattan parks are pretty stringent. You can have a couple of chairs, no decorations, etc. Have you considered one of the parks in, say, Brooklyn? For example, the Peristyle (Grecian Shelter) in Prospect Park is pretty neat and often used for weddings and other parties. It's just a structure that you can then fill up with your own tables, food, or... whatever. You just apply for a permit and get to planning.
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    Hi Knottie,

    It's not impossible to wed in Central Park. Their rules are pretty tight, as Strangenurse mentioned. Here's the link:

    I wanted to get married in a park too, but the issues I ran into with Central Park were:
    Can't use decorations (park is your decoration)
    Can't toss anything (rice, petals, etc.; considered littering)
    Very tight ceremony and picture window before the next couple.
    You'd require a separate reception venue, and you're not in the cheapest part of NYC to do that.

    All of these might be fine for a low budget wedding, and a small wedding, as you're describing. I'd look into that.

    There are other parks in NYC too, but you must apply. It takes 30 days to hear if you get the permit for your date, and then the permit only covers the use of the park; it doesn't imply EXCLUSIVE use, meaning there will be other people in the park. This may or may not be an issue to you. But if it's not, those only cost the $25 application fee. I would recommend a park in BK, so you can find a reasonably priced reception venue nearby.

    Anyway, that's my two cents. Another option is to wed in a place that can be your ceremony AND reception venue, and includes a natural element. The more inclusive the venue, the less you'll spend on separate vendors for every little thing.
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