Best Central Park Wedding Locations for a Private Ceremony

Looking for the best Central Park wedding locations for a private ceremony? With the onset of NYC elopements, Central Park is the perfect spot to have your ceremony, particularly if you’re on a budget (with the exception of the Conservatory Garden, park permits are only $25).

While most Central Park wedding locations can hold up to 20 people, several can hold up to 50, making it a perfect choice for your small or larger ceremony. Some even have built-in seating for guests. Even better: there’s a variety of looks, so whether your vibe is more on par with greenery and water views, classic timeless architecture, or skyscrapers in the background, these Central Park wedding locations offer it all.


Cop Cot elopement location in Central Park NYC

1. Cop Cot

Best for: groups up to 50
Privacy: 8/10
Vibe: rustic wooden pergola, covered in greenery during warmer months

Sitting at the top of a slight hill, Cop Cot is the park’s largest rustic structure, holding up to 50 people. Two rows of benches allow your guests to sit as you and your partner tie the knot under a canopy of greenery in warmer months. Because Cop Cot is structured like a circle with only one entrance, you’ll have more privacy than in exposed areas. Note that the canopy of greenery is most lush during warmer months, so has a very different look when its sparsely filled.


Ladies Pavilion wedding in Central Park, NYC

2. Ladies Pavilion

Best for: groups up to 20
Privacy: 7/10
Vibe: romantic Victorian pergola near a lake

Set along the lake, Ladies Pavilion is a good Central Park location for couples who want a romantic vibe set in nature. The iron pergola provides a bit of coverage from the sun or rain, and the nearby lake is a great spot to take portraits after. Ladies Pavilion in located along two main footpaths, though, meaning, you may have onlookers walk past.


Gapstow Bridge elopement in Central Park NYC. Winter Central Park wedding at Gapstow Bridge in New York. Photo by Central Park wedding photographer Everly Studios,

3. Gapstow Bridge

Best for: groups up to 20
Privacy: 7/10
Vibe: woodsy with a medieval bridge and NYC skyscrapers peeking in the background

At Gapstow Bridge, to get the view of the bridge and city, I like to take my couples a little ways away onto a flat part of land to say their vows. During warmer months, greenery abounds, whereas the winter months provides a better view of the skyscrapers int he background. Since you’re a bit removed from the footpath, you’ll have immediate privacy, but you may have several well-wishers looking on from the bridge. You’ll also need to go down a slight unpaved hill to get to this location, so if you or your guests aren’t looking for off-roading, this might not be the best Central park wedding location for you.


Wagner Cove wedding in Central Park, NYC

4. Wagner Cove

Best for: groups up to 10
Privacy: 9/10
Vibe: rustic structure on the lake

Walk down a short flight of winding stairs and you’ll find Wagner Cove, tucked away from most of the park. A small rustic structure provides shade for the couple and officiant, and the tranquil lake makes you feel more encapsulated in nature than other locations. Sometimes there may be a fisherman or two, but they’ll often leave if you tell them you’re planning on having a ceremony.


Dene Summerhouse wedding, a treehouse for dreaming wedding

5. Dene Summerhouse (aka A Treehouse for Dreaming)

Best for: groups up to 20
Privacy: 9/10
Vibe: rustic wooden pergola, covered in greenery during warmer months

Think of Dene Summerhouse (also known as A Treehouse for Dreaming) as a smaller version of Cop Cot. Situated at the top of a hill, Dene Summerhouse is a rustic pergola structure with greenery climbing over the top in warmer months. The Summerhouse has both a front and back entrance, but typically when people come up the hill and see a wedding going on, they turn the other way. As a bonus, there’s also built-in seating (a rarity for Central Park wedding locations).


Shakespeare Garden wedding in Central Park NYC

6. Shakespeare Garden

Best for: groups up to 20
Privacy: 9/10
Vibe: verdant English countryside

Looking for greenery? Unlike other locations that offer more architecture, Shakespeare Garden is all about being set with a lush, natural backdrop. While most of the crowds will be concentrated around the flowerbeds, the area around Charles B. Stover bench is set off the main path, giving it much more privacy. Pro tip: this spot is ideal for sunset, with the golden light backlighting the couple beautifully.


Bethesda Terrace wedding at Central Park NYC

7. Bethesda Terrace and Fountain

Best for: groups up to 50
Privacy: 5/10
Vibe: classic old New York architecture

Okay, I’m cheating a little with this one. Bethesda Terrace and Fountain is one of the most notable and highly trafficked areas in Central Park. However, if you go early in the morning — I’m talking like before 8:30am — you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous and mostly empty ceremony spot, with only a few intrepid dog-walkers and joggers to fly past. The good news is that the Terrace area is so large, you can typically find a nook to yourselves.


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