A wedding in the Big Apple — is there anything else like it? With its iconic skyline and top-of-the-line ballrooms, caterers, photographers, and more, the popularity of getting married in NYC comes as no surprise. From born-and-bred New Yorkers planning a hometown wedding to out-of-town visitors who have always dreamed of a destination wedding in Manhattan, New York City hosts some 115,000 weddings every year. However, picturesque weddings don’t just happen — there’s some planning that needs to be done!
The Timeline of a Manhattan Wedding
The most popular wedding venues in New York City book up far in advance—especially in October. The fall air, the turning leaves — no wonder 16 percent of weddings took place in October in 2017. For the most popular months, many venues' Saturday nights are fully booked as early as a full year in advance.
Other vendors—including photographers, DJs, bands, caterers, bakeries, transportation, hotels, and even florists—also book up more quickly than in other cities, so planning ahead is key. Here’s a tip: if a couple is expecting many out-of-town guests, avoid scheduling their wedding for the same weekend as a large New York City event. Flights and hotel rooms will be a nightmare. Avoid these holidays:
- New Year's Eve
- New York Fashion Week (February and September)
- TriBeCa Film Festival (April)
- NYC Pride March (June)
- New York City Marathon (November)
- Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
- Other major holidays, including Passover, Easter, Ramadan, Halloween, and Christmas
Lodging in Manhattan
Couples should arrange for blocks of hotel rooms for their out-of-town guests well in advance, ideally within walking distance or a quick subway or taxi ride away from the wedding venue. Close proximity to public transportation will also allow guests to explore all that New York City has to offer.
We do have a partnership with an organization, Kleinfeld Hotel Blocks, that plans hotel blocks for clients. By using their services, the stress of planning that ticks every box is taken off your shoulders so you can focus on other aspects of your perfect Manhattan wedding.
There’s a couple of things to keep in mind about marriage licenses. First, couples will need to arrange to receive their marriage license from the marriage bureau at the City Clerk's office, at least 24 hours but no more than 60 days before the wedding ceremony itself. Second, a marriage officiant who is registered by the city clerk must perform the ceremony.
Wedding Photography in NYC
Finally, a permit—obtained several days to weeks in advance—is required to shoot wedding photos at some of New York City's most beautiful and iconic locations, including Central Park's Conservatory Gardens, Brookfield Place in Battery Park City, the New York Public Library, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The New York City Parks Department also requires permits for special events, including wedding photography, that involve more than 20 people—and it recommends permits for all groups. If in doubt, always assume you’ll need a permit.
Getting Married at Manhattan Penthouse
Manhattan Penthouse's expert staff have more than twenty years of experience navigating the business of getting married in NYC. They're ready to help you choose a delicious menu provided by Manhattan Penthouse's in-house caterers, arrange for your guests to stay at one of the numerous neighboring hotels, and plan stunning photographs in front of Manhattan Penthouse's signature skyline views or at nearby landmarks like Union Square and Washington Square.