The Best Places to Elope in NYC

Elopement Guides

A round-up of the best places to elope in NYC

Having spent the last decade photographing weddings and elopements in NYC, I’ve had the opportunity to visit and return to many locations. Some are very popular and beloved for their instantly identifiable “New York” location, for example, the Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, or the Brooklyn Bridge. While others are more obscure or favorited by locals, like Astoria Park or Governors Island. In light of all of these option, you will find my list of the best places to elope in NYC below. However, it is not an exhaustive list. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for new (or new to me) locations. Many of the locations do not require a fee or permit, unless noted.

Table of Contents: The Best Places to Elope in NYC

What Makes a Great Place to Elope in NYC?

In order to be included on my list of the best places to elope in NYC, a location needs to meet a few criteria. Additionally, I encourage couples to include personally significant locations, if applicable, as well.

  • A unique vibe, or scenes that either clearly say “New York City” or are more subtle through architecture or landscape (which includes spots in New Jersey!)
  • An option for a quiet or private ceremony location
  • Many distinct portrait or ceremony locations to select from nearby (or couple’s willingness to travel)
  • Option for celebration onsite or nearby options at a restaurant or venue

How do we Pick our Ceremony and Portrait Locations?

  • Proximity to starting location or hotel/ceremony site/must-do locations
  • Transportation options and challenges
  • The season and options for inclement weather (See my post on selecting when to elope)
  • Sunset/sunrise times
  • Other events or rush hour traffic
  • Cost of fees or permits

What are the Location Fees to Elope in NYC in 2024?

In deciding which place is the best for your NYC elopement, certainly you will need to consider the fees and permits required. Undeniably the sky is the limit in terms of the investment you can make. After all, this is New York City! However, there are many amazing free or inexpensive options.

Firstly, you will need a license from the NYC clerk to marry in New York City, which is $35. (You can also get this at any clerk’s office in NY state.) After that, here are the best places to elope in NYC by price.

No fee or less than $25

  • Marriage Bureau Ceremony, $25
  • Central Park, free or $25 for a site permit
  • Any NYC city-managed park with less than 20 guests, free
  • Any street or sidewalk, free
  • The High Line, less than 20 guests
  • Brooklyn Heights Promenade
  • Grand Central
  • Brooklyn Bridge

Fees under $500

  • Central Park Conservatory Garden
  • Top of the Rock
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • Gantry State Park ($30)


  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Battery Park City
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Wedding Venues

Given these points, if you aren’t sure where or what you need to consider, please contact me to set up a consultation. I’d be happy to assist.

Where are the Best Places to Elope in NYC?

If you aren’t familiar with the geography of NYC, then have no fear! New York City is massive. As a result, it has taken me years to learn all the different neighborhoods, areas and acronyms like SOHO, NOHO, NOMAD and DUMBO. However, the vast majority of elopements take place in Manhattan and Brooklyn (the waterfront area) for locals and destination couples. If you want something different nevertheless, consider Queens or New Jersey.

Here is a map highlighting the location listed below so you can get a general sense of the landscape.

Map of Places to Elope in NYC

The Most Iconic Places to Elope in NYC

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Central Park

Especially due to its lush greenery, picturesque bridges, and serene lakes, Central Park is a favorite location for couples looking for a romantic outdoor setting. Whether it’s the iconic Bethesda Terrace, the charming Bow Bridge, or the intimate Shakespeare Garden, Central Park offers a multitude of options for an unforgettable ceremony and portraits.

Cost: $25 permit, but not required for less than 20 people

Learn more: How to get married in Central Park

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park is one of the most iconic places to elope in NYC.
Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic places to elope in NYC.

Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO

The Brooklyn Bridge is not only an engineering marvel but also a symbol of love and connection. Couples can exchange vows on the pedestrian walkway, with the Manhattan skyline as their backdrop or from Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. Likewise, the bridge’s iconic architecture and breathtaking views make it a popular choice for couples seeking a unique and memorable elopement location. It is also easily accessible from the Manhattan or Brooklyn Marriage Bureaus and offers many wedding ceremony locations as well. And finally, it has many options for a celebratory meal or drink.

Cost: Free to $426.00, depending on location

See more: A real DUMBO elopement

Top of the Rock

For couples who want to exchange vows with a view, the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center provides a stunning setting. Accordingly, its panoramic views of the cityscape, including the Empire State Building and Central Park, this location offers a truly breathtaking backdrop for a romantic ceremony.

Cost: Get the Express Pass $85 – $105, per person

Top of the Rock is one of the most iconic places to elope in NYC.
The NYC Marriage Bureau or City Hall is one of the most iconic places to elope in NYC.

NYC City Hall Marriage Bureaus

Accordingly, for couples who prefer a simple and intimate ceremony, New York City Hall is a classic choice. Located in Lower Manhattan, the Marriage Bureau offers a historic and elegant setting for exchanging vows. Furthermore, there are many portrait locations nearby like the City Hall Subway Station and the Brooklyn Bridge. There is a marriage bureau in each borough, but Manhattan is the most popular for visitors.

Cost: $25 for a ceremony. Appointments available weekdays 9:00am-3:30pm

Learn more: How to get married at City Hall

The High Line

The High Line, a converted elevated railway turned public park, offers a unique and urban setting for an elopement ceremony. Particularly due to its beautiful gardens, art installations, and city views, the High Line provides a one-of-a-kind backdrop for couples looking for a modern and artistic wedding experience. It is also near the West Village, making it a popular addition to that area.

Cost: No permits under 20 people

High Line is a great spot for wedding portraits.

The Best Places to Elope in NYC for the View

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Waterfront & Skyline Views

Especially given the geography, NYC offers many locations with stunning waterfront views. At the present time, are the best places for an NYC elopement with gorgeous waterfront views. See the map above for locations.

Cost: Free and no permit

  • Pier 17 (pictured)
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park (may require a permit/fee)
  • Brooklyn Heights Promenade
  • Liberty State Park (in NJ)
  • Hoboken, NJ
  • Red Hook, Brooklyn

See more: Pier 17 Elopement

Pier 17 is one of the places to elope in NYC with the best views.

Gardens & Parks (Fees)

These lush escapes in and around Manhattan require a fee & or permit for an elopement ceremony or photos. Generally, NYC-managed parks do not have fees if under 20 guests, which includes Central Park (except for the Conservatory Garden) Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Fort Tyron Park. However, you can reserve a specific location if available.

Cost: From $25+

Jefferson Market Garden is one of the places to elope in NYC with the best views.
Governors Island is one of the places to elope in NYC for the best views.

Governors Island

Just a short (often free) ferry ride from Lower Manhattan lies this magical park. Formerly occupied by the military, the island has undergone a decades-long renovation project while preserving the historical buildings. In addition to fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan, it is now open year round. Undoubtedly, this oasis is not to be missed.

Cost: Varies, must apply for a permit

Learn more: A real wedding on Governors Island

Street Art Fans

Nothing says NYC to me more than interesting street art and graffiti. There are some fantastic areas that always deliver a colorful background for photos. I’m also happy to research the current offerings and make suggest.

Top areas include: First Street Art Park, Bushwick Collective (Brooklyn) and Lower East Side (pictured)

Cost: Free

Lower East Side is a great spot for wedding portraits.
Liberty State Park is one of the places to elope in NYC for the best views.

Liberty State Park and Hoboken

Besides Brooklyn, New Jersey offers the best views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. If skylines are your thing, then don’t overlook Hoboken. For example, you can marry on the waterfront on a pier, and there are many restaurant options nearby like Anthony David’s, which has a nice private dining room. In addition, Liberty State Park offers amazing views for photos, and ceremonies are possible at the Liberty House or possibly Maritime Park.

Cost: No permit for photos or small ceremony in Hoboken. Liberty State Park ceremonies are only allowed in venues like Liberty House, but no permit for photos.

The Best Indoor Places To Elope in NYC

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Grand Central Station

Renowned for its grand architecture and bustling terminal, this train station is one of the best places to elope in NYC. Don’t expect privacy, but the many corridors make for stunning ceremony and portrait options. And there is always the Campbell Apartment for celebratory drinks.

Cost: None. There are permits available, but wedding and photos typically don’t require them.

Grand Central Station is one of the best indoor places to elope in NYC.
A Whitby Hotel suite is one of the best indoor places to elope in NYC.


For the highest level of service and ease, some hotels have options for intimate events, like The Library Hotel near the New York Public Library, and The Wythe Hotel Penthouse. In addition, The Whitby (pictured) and the Soho Grand have large suites with terraces, giving you indoor and outdoor options.

Cost: Varies


Whether for a celebratory dinner for 2 or several dozen, NYC restaurants offer some of the best places to elope in NYC. In addition to private dining options suitable for intimate weddings and possibly enough space for a ceremony, there are options for all tastes, cuisines and budgets. These are just a few suggestions.

Cost: Varies

A restaurant is one of the best indoor places to elope in NYC.
All Souls Chapel is one of the best indoor places to elope in NYC.

Houses of Worship, Government Offices

Just because you are eloping doesn’t mean you can’t have a ceremony in your faith. I’ve photographed weddings at All Souls NYC and other houses of worship.

In addition to the Marriage Bureaus at NYC City Hall, your country may offer marriages at their consulate in New York.

The Top Neighborhood Places to Elope in NYC

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The West Village is a great spot for wedding portraits.

The West Village

The West Village is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in all of Manhattan. It is truly one of the best places to elope in NYC due to its leafy brownstone-lined streets, some with cobble stones, to the plethora of dining options. Some also suited to a ceremony.

Cost: Varies

Brooklyn Heights and Promenade

If you can’t decide between DUMBO and the West Village, then I recommend this neighborhood along the Brooklyn waterfront.

In addition to gorgeous brownstones lining quiet residential streets there is the promenade with Manhattan skyline views. Consequently, this is one of my favorite areas for photos. In fact, I actually photographed my very first elopement ceremony on the promenade!

Cost: Free, no permits needed

Brooklyn Heights is one of the best neighborhood places to elope in NYC.
South Street Seaport is one of the best neighborhood places to elope in NYC.

South Street Seaport

Indeed the historic seaport dates back to 1625. Markedly recent renovations and upgrades have made this unique area a fun destination for tourists and for photos. Additionally, culinary options like the Paris Cafe, The Tin Building and inside Pier 17, you will easily find a place to celebrate. You can have an elopement ceremony on a terrace of the 33 Seaport Hotel (pictured) or at Pier 17. Also consider a cruise on a sailboat, which departs from nearby piers.

Cost: Free, no permits needed at Pier 17 to hotel room fees

Greenpoint and Williamsburg

If you love trendy hotels, restaurants, street art, skyline views of Manhattan and post-industrial neighborhoods, then look no further. I fell in love with this unique and historic area when I first moved to NYC and had a basement apartment in Greenpoint. Undoubtedly, the area is transforming rapidly. See my project, Brooklyn Changing, for more details.

Cost: Varies, but many free options

See an intimate wedding at the Wythe Hotel

Greenpoint, Brooklyn a great spot for wedding portraits and ceremonies.

Queens: Places to Elope in NYC

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Astoria Park, Queens is a great spot for wedding portraits.

Eloping in Queens, NY

While not as popular with destination elopements, Queens offers a few locations to consider. Gantry State Park is a quick ride over the Queensboro Bridge from Manhattan. It does require a permit even for photos but offers skyline view near midtown.

Another option is Astoria Park. With views of the river and some interesting architecture, it may be right for you. It would be a fun addition to an NYC adventure elopement.

Cost: No fee for Astoria Park if under 20 guests, fee required for Gantry State Park

More Top Places to Elope in NYC

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Finally, there are many more places to elope and take wedding photos in NYC. Are you looking for truly unique or rare access? Do you want to venture deeper into Brooklyn to places like Coney Island or Red Hook? Let me know and we can discuss.

See the 2024 NYC Elopement Guide