Perhaps you postponed your original wedding plans due to the Coronavirus or you love the idea of a small wedding just about the two of you. Whatever your reason for wanting a small wedding, below are my top location ideas for intimate ceremonies in the NJ, CT and NYC areas.
Your backyard or a friend or family member’s may just be the perfect location. Look for a nice backdrop for the ceremony and ample space to keep social distance. Free (unless you want a tent, ect!)
If you live in NYC, it may be possible to use your building rooftop for a ceremony and portraits. Check with your building to see if that is an option. Probably free
Besides popular options like Central Park, smaller neighborhood options or waterfront areas can be excellent for wedding ceremonies. While there are many free locations, there are a few public/private areas that require permits and fees. For example, Gantry State Park in LIC and Battery Park in Manhattan require permits.
A few options with great views:
Brooklyn Bridge Park (pictured)
Pier 35 in Manhattan
Transmitter Park in Greenpoint
Astoria Park in Queens
Liberty State Park in NJ
In NYC you can literally get married and take photos anywhere you like that is public. (But you can't obstruct an area or use a tripod without a permit) While private property (squares or parks on private property with public access) should be avoided, there are many beautiful spots in DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, and the West Village, even Bushwick or Greenpoint we can explore.
However, I don’t suggest places like Grand Central Station and the Brooklyn Bridge (unless at sunrise, see photo) at this time due to crowding. Free
Consider Ivy Terrace, Brooklyn Grange, 230 5th, Box House Hotel Events, Empire Hotel (both of which have a retractible roof) or Hoxton Hotel (they have a "backyard" space and a rooftop bar).
I'd suggest contacting venues with rooftop spaces to inquire about options for private events or reservations as there are likely more options!
Within a short drive of the city, there are ample fields and venues that may be available for a small ceremony and photos. I recently photographed a wedding at Taconic Distillery, a whiskey distillery in Stanfordville, New York. (pictured) In NJ, consider Laurita Winery, Alstede Farms. Site fee or permit required
Often situated in a scenic location, these venues can offer a unique and private spaces for a small wedding celebration. Look for beautiful gardens, backyards or areas near the property for a small ceremony. Site fee or permit required
Access to a larger apartment or unique location with a fantastic view or terrace may be the perfect option. Even better if great photo locations are nearby. Site fee required
The grounds of a historic mansion or museum would be great for a small wedding and portraits. For example, the Liberty Museum in Union, NJ and the Merchant's House Museum in Manhattan would be perfect for an intimate garden wedding. Site fee or permit required
Check with your church or denomination to see if they offer intimate ceremonies. For a non-denominational option, All Souls on the UES has a beautiful small chapel or for New Jersey, the chapel and grounds at Allaire Village.
Site fee required
Here are some of my favorite locations:
Library Hotel (part covered)
Soho Grand (South and North Lofts plus new terrace suites)
Gramercy Park Hotel (covered)
James Hotel Soho
The Crosby Street Hotel (Meadow Suite is amazing!)
Mr. C's Seaport (pictured)
All have beautiful rooftop terrace options for intimate ceremonies. Site fee or permit required
In normal times, restaurant private rooms, backyards, even wine cellars are used for intimate ceremonies and dinners. Some restaurants are offering inside private dining, outdoor dining or a combination and even yurts or mini heated greenhouses. For the most up to date info, contact venues.
Tavern on The Green
City Winery - City Vineyard (pictured)
The River Cafe
Milk and Roses - Greenpoint, Brooklyn has a beautiful garden
Contact your favorite garden or arboretum. Site fee or permit required, varies
Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island
Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, NJ,
Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens in Stamford, CT,
The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morristown, NJ
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown, NJ
Central Park Conservatory Garden, New York, NY
Wave Hill, Bronx, New York
Jefferson Market Garden, West Village (Pictured)