New York Destination Wedding TipsWords by Michele Lo Manto
Photos courtesy of Edison Ballroom
Congratulations! You’ve decided to host a New York destination wedding - the greatest city in the world. Part of what makes this city so special is not only the many choices it has to offer, but also the historical element of the city’s classic landmarks, many of which have been immortalized through books and movies. A timeless skyline, elegant venues, cultural heritage and professionalism – New York has it all!
Now, let’s get to the 10 can’t miss tips for New York wedding destination couples:
- Looking for a Venue
New York is home to some of the most celebrated wedding venues in the country. Choosing a venue can be an especially hard decision because New York has so many fantastic options. To help simplify the process, you can first think about whether you’d like to get married in a hotel (like The Plaza Hotel or The Pierre) or a private event space (like Edison Ballroom or Cipriani).
- Consider Outdoor Options
New York has some beautiful options for outdoor weddings. From Central Park, the quintessential New York City experience with its picturesque views and natural setting, to Elevated Acre, an acre-sized outdoor area in lower Manhattan that is one of New York’s best-kept secrets. Of course, you can’t control the weather, so if you are set on hosting your wedding outdoors, it’s best to find a venue that provides a back-up indoor option.
- Explore Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas
Do you love New York, but hate the idea of a traditional hotel or ballroom wedding? If so, you can incorporate some fun New York themes into your wedding to create a special, quirky event that your guests will never forget. Examples of some fun non-traditional wedding ideas include boat weddings, museum weddings (The New York Public Library and the American Museum of Natural History are both popular options), and zoo weddings (The Central Park Zoo, The Bronx Zoo and The Prospect Park Zoo all have great options for hosting your wedding).
- One of the Most Celebrated Culinary Capitals of the World
Great food is the secret to making your wedding guests happy. With all the culinary options and specialty caterers New York has to offer, you can create a truly unparalleled experience through your wedding menu that your guests will remember for years to come. Whether you go with a classic caterer or a themed caterer, it’s wise to spend time thinking about the type of dining experience you want to create for your guests early in the planning process.
- Consider Customizing Your Menu
Customizable menus are a fun way to personalize and brand your event. At one of the venues where I work, our executive chef has collaborated with clients to create dishes that matched the culinary roots of the bride and groom’s heritage and has even recreated special family recipes that have been passed down for generations. Customizable menus are definitely a growing trend in the events industry, so be sure to ask your caterer or venue if it’s a possibility for your event.
- Visit New York City Bridal Boutiques
Every bride has dreamed of her wedding day for as long as she can remember (sometimes even before a groom is even in the picture!). It’s no surprise that New York City has some of the best bridal shops in the world. From Kleinfeld Bridal, which has the largest selection of wedding gowns in the world from American and European designers, to Bridal Reflections, which was recently voted “most chic” by Bride’s Magazine. Remember, it takes months to create your wedding dress, so you should be thinking about it early in the planning process!
- Have Fun with Your Bridal Party Attire
Selecting the attire for your bridal party is an important task, as your bridal party is a crucial part of your ceremony and wedding photos. It’s wise to start thinking about the color, fabric and overall look of the bridal party early on. Getting married in New York allows you certain liberty to be a little quirky and fun with your bridal party attire. One of the most memorable styles I’ve seen was when one of my clients dressed her bridesmaids in bold leopard-print dresses for her punk-rock themed wedding.
- Hire a Trusted New York Event Planner
Being that you are hosting a destination wedding, it may make sense for you to hire a New York event planner to help coordinate your big day. Sure, you don’t need an event planner, but wedding planning is a time-consuming process and it is a lot less stressful with a trusted planner by your side. The existing relationships that planners have with vendors in the industry also give you access to a network of vetted wedding professionals with a proven track record.
- Take Advantage of New York’s Beauty in Your Wedding Photos
Of course you will have memories of your wedding day fixed forever in your mind, but your wedding photos are the real way that you will remember your special day for many years to come. The beauty of New York is that your photographer has so much scenery to work with to portray the story that you want to tell through your wedding photos. Do you want to spend the day getting shots with big New York landmarks? Or do you prefer a more natural style that captures the energy of the New York streets? Whatever you’re preference, you have the ability to do it all – just make sure to have an open dialogue with your photographer about your desired style early on.
- Incorporate New York Themes into Your Wedding
At the venue where I work, I’ve seen so many smart ways that clients have incorporated New York themes into their weddings. From Playbill ceremony programs and landmark table names to New York deli stations and skyline wedding cakes – there are plenty of ways to give a special New York touch to your destination wedding.
Michele Lo Manto is a wedding professional with over 10 years of experience producing weddings and social events. She is the author of The Ultimate New York Wedding, the definitive book on how to get married in NYC - she is also the Executive Director of Social Events at the Edison Ballroom, a classic wedding venue in the heart of Manhattan.
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