Once couples begin to make their dream wedding a reality, there are countless venues that are the ideal backdrop for them to say “I do.” From a quintessential New York wedding to a castle, here are some of the best spots to get hitched. By John Friia/Nina Pajak
235 West 46th Street
New York, NY 10036
Bring old-world charm to a modern-day wedding at The Diamond Horseshoe. Located in the heart of Times Square in The Paramount Hotel, the 6,000-square-foot space originally opened in 1938, showcasing some of vaudeville’s best performers. With a recent renovation, the space boasts two expansive bars, a state-of-the-art kitchen, banquet tables and a large stage. From the moment guests wake into the ballroom they will be treated to a unique wedding experience that they can only find on The Great White Way.
420 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
Get hitched where avant-garde meets Manhattan’s iconic skyline. Gansevoort Park Avenue offers a reception-style wedding in its grand Ballroom and Park lounge with their “Wed in the City” package. Embrace New York culture with neighborhood-themed catering options, including tastes from the far east to Little Italy. Tie the knot in a non-traditional intimate ceremony, which is organized by one of the planners. Newlyweds can retreat to one of their romantic deluxe accommodations or suite, and will receive a couple’s massage by Exhale Spa.
135 West Gate Drive
Huntington, NY 11743
Just a short ride from Manhattan is a fairy tale venue that will make any couple feel like royalty. Oheka Castle is nestled atop a hill in Huntington, Long Island. Believed to have been the inspiration for The Great Gatsby, Oheka Castle overlooks a golf course, gardens and fountains. With the ability of only hosting one wedding at a time, newlyweds can officially call the historic space their castle for the day. Attracting countless celebrities, Oheka Castle has been the place where Kevin Jonas, Joey Fatone and Megyn Kelly have said “I do.”
New York Public Library
New York, NY
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People can unleash their inner Carrie Bradshaw and celebrate their big day at the New York Public Library. One of the most quintessential wedding venues for any New Yorker, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is a stunning space that is the ideal spot to host a lavish wedding. While the price tag is not cheap, couples can rent the venue and choose their caterer, including the renowned Abigail Kirsch.
New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10458
Escape Manhattan for a magical wedding at the New York Botanical Gardens. Boasting four venues on the property, couples will be surrounded by colorful flowers and become one with nature. For smaller wedding, people can book the Stone Mill, overlooking the majestic evergreen trees and bringing farmhouse chic to a modern day wedding. The Victorian-style crystal palace in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is one of the largest venues in the area, which can hold up to 1,000 guests — perfect for the over-the-top wedding.
The Loeb Boathouse At Central Park
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So the bride is dead-set on an urban feel, and the groom is pining for some greenery. The Central Park Boathouse is this city’s greatest marital compromise — and oddly, everyone wins. You’re in the middle of New York and in the middle of a lush landscape with a lake, rowboats, trees, birds, squirrels—the works. It’s a photographer’s dream – and the interior is as lovely and singular as the exterior, which means that even winter brides have every reason to get married here.
New York, NY 10018
Gotham Hall is not for the faint of heart, but if you can afford it and live up to the drama of the space around you, you must. This gilded former bank can hold both your entire extended family’s families and any manner of decor you can dream up. Their staff is prepared to help you with every aspect of the planning process, and the sky (or the 3,000 square foot stained-glass skylight) is the limit. If you’re low-key (who is, really?) this may not be your scene, but for those statement-makers, it doesn’t get much more fabulous.
American Museum of Natural History
79 Street And Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
The Museum of Natural History is not just a place to reminisce about elementary school field trips and alleviate the awkward pressure of first date conversation. It’s also a beautiful and unforgettable wedding venue. While you could get married underneath that giant blue whale, it’s not your only option. The Powerhouse is an elegant, loft-like space and it does not actually feature any taxidermy animals. Plus, they’ll take care of tables/chairs/flatware and linen rentals. Ceremonies can be held outside on the adjacent terrace, and cocktail hour can be hosted in the glass-walled galleria which links the reception room to the Rose Center (you know, that giant room with the glowing sphere?)
Pierre A Taj Hotel Ballroom
2 E 61st St
New York, NY 10065
The Pierre hotel ballroom is about as classic a New York wedding venue as they come. If your pants are fancy, this is the place for you. Right on Fifth Avenue across from the park, this sumptuous hotel offers every service you can imagine, from a dedicated wedding planner to customized linens and table settings to an extensive menu-tasting, to help with all your vendors. Depending on availability and how much you’re already shelling out on the event, they’ll also grant you a complimentary bridal suite. But wait, there’s more! Pending terms and restrictions, they’ll also give you the gift of a honeymoon stay at one of twelve Taj hotels around the world. Did someone say Maldives?
The Lighthouse At Chelsea Piers
61 Chelsea Piers # 300
The thing about New York is that it’s an island, and while nobody quite wants to go in the water, the views can be pretty spectacular. Check out The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, which has the benefit of being a loft space without any of the inconveniences of having to furnish, decorate and cater yourself. It’s owned and operated exclusively by Abigail Kirsch, which means you know the food is extremely delish—not to mention plentiful. Their staff are trained to run like a well-oiled, human-powered wedding machine, but there’s nothing impersonal about the service you’ll get. The room is cleverly sectioned off to provide “separate” spaces for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, so you never have to see them setting up or breaking down despite the lack of walls. For an open, airy, contemporary and clean city look, this is the spot.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side. John Friia is a freelance journalist and native New Yorker writing about food, drinks and lifestyle. You can follow his adventures on Instagram.