By far the most popular spot for elopements/destination weddings in New York is Central Park. The Park offers innumerable beautiful locations to exchange vows. Moreover, even for those requiring a permit (for weddings with about 25 or more attendees), the cost is about $25 (and the process could be done online).
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to officiate the wedding of a charming couple—Alex and Jason—who were in town from Minnesota for a convention. They decided to make it a double-header, adding a long awaited marriage ceremony to the itinerary. They were to be accompanied by about 10 of their closest friends and two adorable kids. Originally our intention was to have a ceremony at Wagner Cove, one of my new favorite spots. As rain was looming we went to “Plan B”, the covered archways adjacent to the Bethesda Fountain. Ultimately, with truly miserable weather, we went to “Plan C.” In a bit of a panic, I contacted Kristina Garritano, the superstar coordinator at the 3 West Club in midtown Manhattan (3 West 51st, to be exact). I have written about this venue before, which offers a number of wonderful spaces for weddings of varying size. I sheepishly asked Kristina if she might have a small area where we could host this ceremony at the last minute—the very last minute. She made a suggestion in a New York minute, so that we were able to have the wedding in the Lincoln Room, a cozy nook appropriate for 20 or 20 guests perhaps. We did pictures in their beautiful Library and everyone was extremely grateful and happy.
One interesting fact about the Club is that, while it has the look of a traditional “club in NYC” (The Yale or Harvard Club, for instance), it is actually the home for several organization including the National Republican Women’s Club and Netherlands Cub of NY, which can make for interesting pre- and post- wedding impromptu socializing. Likewise, the club has a small hotel, with terrific old-style New York accommodations, at a reasonable rate.
All I can say is a heart felt thanks to Kristina for saving the day. You turned what would have been a chilly, wet and no doubt very brief ceremony into a warm, leisurely occasion, which must have been a perfect preclude for a fantastic dinner at the Four Seasons.
Photos by Monica Velez