By Caleia Thomas-Kellum
Sooo...despite most misconceptions (including my own before doing this research), having your wedding ceremony in Central Park does not require you to take out a loan (but has the potential to be pricey if you want all the bells and whistles). In most areas in the park (not including the Central Park Conservatory Gardens) it is only $25 for a permit and that's for 20 or more people. Under 20 it's free, however to guarantee that particular spot you want, they recommend on the NYC parks website purchasing the permit.
Now the Central Park Conservatory Gardens (entrance located on 105th Street and 5th Avenue) is the most popular and most expensive location in Central Park to have your ceremony. It is $400 dollars for the permit and a $100 non-refundable fee for shooting photography (if you want to do your wedding photos here. But why wouldn't you? Isn't that the whole purpose you are deciding on having it here!?). "There is a cancellation fee of $200. However, if you choose to reschedule within one year from the original date, they will hold your payment and apply it to the new date. This offer is valid for one year only from the date of your wedding, after which time no portion of your payment will be refunded."
(*Also note*: There are NO CHAIRS ALLOWED ANYWHERE IN ANY PARK to sit your guests. Yikes!)
If DIY'ing this process seems too much for you, you could always hire someone like myself, an event planner, to take care of the details for you. Just know that you may have to dig a little deeper to make that happen, as I have found most people out there charge between $720 and $1995 for just the ceremony on up to $5100+ for any personal customized touches you may be interested in adding.
So if you still want to go through with having your wedding ceremony in the park, just know that you don't have to drain your bank account to do so. But in the same breath be prepared! Because it could wind up being that way especially if what you envision your special day including becoming too overwhelming for you and your spouse-to-be to plan yourself.
Information for Central Park Conservatory Gardens: http://www.centralparknyc.org/about/park-information/weddings.html
Information for other locations (Not Central Park Conservatory Gardens): http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_things_to_do/attractions/images/weddings_in_central_park.pdf
Information regarding filming and photography in Central Park: http://www.centralparknyc.org/about/park-information/filming-and-photography.html
Websites of Wedding planners that specialize in Central Park weddings: http://www.wedincentralpark.com/customizable-wedding-packages/ http://www.idocelebrate.net/new-york-city-packages/ http://acentralparkwedding.com/central-park-wedding-packages/
I take pride in being a wife, mother and an event planner. I created this blog to share my experiences with everyone and anyone who may be planning a wedding and could use my services. :-)