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I capture the unspoken — the glances, the silences — drawing from New York's pulse and the richness of global cultures. Every wedding is its own intricate narrative. Rooted in theatre and life's everyday rhythms, I document moments both transient and timeless. 

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Bronx Zoo Stone Mill wedding

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx offers a serene escape for couples dreaming of a wedding surrounded by nature – which we know isn’t easy in the middle of a city! As one of the most extensive botanical gardens in the United States, NYBG provides an otherworldly backdrop of flourishing gardens, historic landscapes, and a conservatory filled with a world of plants. With its natural beauty, sophisticated elegance, and urban convenience, weddings at the New York Botanical Garden are as unique as the city itself.

A couple sharing a dramatic first dance dip at an outdoor Bronx Zoo Stone Mill wedding with onlookers in the background.

About the New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), located in the Bronx, is one of the United States’ premier botanical gardens and a celebrated living museum, research institution, and conservation organization. Spanning 250 acres of rolling hills, meadows, and one of the remaining patches of original forest in New York City, the NYBG was established in 1891, inspired by the idea of creating a public garden and research institution in the city.

The Living Collections

NYBG has over one million living plants, encompassing over 50 gardens and plant collections. Its most famous attractions include the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a stunning example of Victorian-style glasshouse artistry, and the Native Plant Garden, which showcases the flora native to the northeastern United States.

Bride tossing the bouquet at a Bronx Zoo Stone Mill wedding reception.

Research and Conservation

As a global leader in plant research and conservation, the Garden’s scientific program is focused on studying plant diversity, taxonomy, and environmental sustainability. It aims to protect and preserve the world’s plant species, particularly those at risk of extinction. The Garden’s extensive herbarium, one of the largest in the world, and the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, with its vast collection of botanical literature, are crucial resources for researchers from around the globe.

Education and Community Engagement

NYBG is committed to educational outreach, offering various programs for all ages. From children’s gardening programs to adult education classes and professional training, the Garden aims to inspire and educate the public about the importance of plants and the environment. It also hosts community events and cultural performances, making it a vibrant part of the Bronx and the broader New York City community.

Architectural and Historical Landmarks

The Garden is a haven for plant lovers and a site of historical and architectural significance. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and the Stone Mill (previously known as the Lorillard Snuff Mill) are designated New York City Landmarks. The Garden’s landscape includes remnants of the original forest that once covered New York City, providing a rare glimpse into the city’s past environment.

A woman in a white gown twirling in a shaded forest clearing during her Bronx Zoo Stone Mill wedding.

Seasonal Displays and Exhibits

Annually, NYBG hosts various seasonal displays, special exhibitions, and events that draw visitors worldwide. The Holiday Train Show during the winter holidays and the Orchid Show in the spring are particularly popular, showcasing the Garden’s versatility and commitment to celebrating plant diversity in engaging ways.

In conclusion, the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx is a multifaceted institution dedicated to plant research, conservation, education, and providing an urban oasis for the public to enjoy. It is a testament to preserving nature within the city, offering a place of beauty, knowledge, and inspiration for future generations.

A joyful bride and groom walk hand in hand at the Bronx Zoo Stone Mill as wedding guests throw petals to celebrate their union.

About the Stone Mill at the NYBG

The Stone Mill at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx is a historic and picturesque landmark that blends the garden’s natural beauty with New York City’s rich industrial heritage. Originally built in 1840 as the Lorillard Snuff Mill, it is one of the oldest buildings in the Bronx and a rare survivor of New York’s early industrial era.

Historical Significance

The Stone Mill was initially constructed for the Lorillard family, a prominent tobacco manufacturer in the United States. The family’s business, founded in the 18th century, grew to become one of the most successful in the country, and the snuff mill played a crucial role in processing tobacco into snuff, a popular product at the time. The mill’s location was strategically chosen for its access to the Bronx River, providing the necessary water power for its operations.

Architectural Features

Constructed from fieldstone and characterized by its robust and practical design, the Stone Mill epitomizes the industrial architecture of its period. Its sturdy structure has stood the test of time, offering a glimpse into the past amid the lush landscapes of the NYBG. The building has undergone several restorations to preserve its integrity and adapt it for new uses.

A bride and groom holding hands outdoors at the Bronx Zoo Stone Mill, surrounded by trees bathed in sunlight.

Designation and Current Use

The Stone Mill is a designated New York City Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, recognizing its historical and architectural significance. Today, it is a charming venue within the NYBG, hosting various events, including weddings, corporate gatherings, and educational programs. Its scenic location by the Bronx River, surrounded by nature, makes it a sought-after spot for special occasions.

Role within the NYBG

Beyond serving as an event space, the Stone Mill embodies the NYBG’s commitment to preserving history while fostering an appreciation for the natural world. It is a testament to the area’s transformation from an industrial site to a botanical beauty and conservation place. The Stone Mill, with its rich history and beautiful setting, contributes to the NYBG’s mission of connecting people with plants, offering visitors an opportunity to explore the intersection of nature and culture.

In summary, the Stone Mill at the New York Botanical Garden is not just a historical building; it’s a bridge between the past and present, offering insights into New York’s industrial heritage while serving as a picturesque backdrop for the garden’s botanical wonders. Its preservation and continued use reflect the NYBG’s dedication to celebrating the region’s cultural and natural heritage.

Man in a blindfold dancing at a Bronx Zoo Stone Mill wedding reception while guests cheer around him.

Locations for wedding photos at the New York Botanical Gardens

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx is a spectacular backdrop for wedding photos, with its diverse landscapes and stunning floral displays. Here’s a list of locations within the NYBG that are especially picturesque for capturing those special moments:

  • Enid A. Haupt Conservatory: This iconic glasshouse is one of the largest in the United States and provides a lush, tropical backdrop year-round. Couples can pose amidst rare and exotic plants worldwide, creating a truly unique setting.
  • Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden: This garden features over 650 varieties of roses and is at its most spectacular in June. The vibrant colors and fragrances make it an enchanting spot for romantic photos.
  • Native Plant Garden: This garden celebrates the beauty of the northeastern American landscape with a natural pond, meadow, and woodland areas. It offers a serene and natural setting, perfect for intimate moments.
  • Rock Garden: One of NYBG’s hidden gems, the Rock Garden is a tranquil oasis with cascading waterfalls, rustic bridges, and alpine flowers, providing a picturesque and peaceful backdrop.
  • Mertz Library Building: The majestic facade of the Mertz Library, with its Beaux-Arts architecture, offers a grand and elegant backdrop for photos, evoking a sense of timeless sophistication.
  • Lillian and Amy Goldman Stone Mill: A National Historic Landmark, the Stone Mill features a rustic exterior surrounded by lush vegetation and the Bronx River, ideal for capturing historic charm.
  • Azalea Garden: In spring, the Azalea Garden is a riot of color, with thousands of azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom, creating a vibrant setting for photos.
  • Thain Family Forest: As the largest remaining tract of old-growth forest in New York City, the Thain Family Forest offers a wild and natural backdrop with ancient trees and rustic trails, perfect for couples seeking a woodland setting.
  • Conservatory Garden: Though not part of the NYBG, this formal garden in Central Park is often mentioned in discussions of nearby photographic opportunities. It offers meticulously manicured landscapes and an array of seasonal blooms.
  • Perennial Garden: This garden provides a stunning display of continuous color throughout the seasons, from spring bulbs to autumn blooms, making it a versatile and beautiful backdrop.
  • LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Art Gallery: For a touch of indoor elegance, the Art Gallery within the Mertz Library exhibits botanical art, offering a sophisticated and cultural setting for photos.
  • Water Lily Pond: This serene Pond, with floating lilies and reflective waters, is an idyllic spot for tranquil and romantic shots.

Each location within the New York Botanical Garden offers unique charm, creating a calm, lush setting for wedding photos.

A bride and groom stand apart on a sunlit path at the Bronx Zoo Stone Mill wedding first look, both appearing emotional with the bride wiping a tear from her eye.


Photographing weddings at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx is exceptionally rewarding for its diverse settings and natural light. This venue requires a versatile approach to capture the unique moments of each wedding against a variety of backgrounds, from formal gardens to woodlands. It is one of my favorite spaces in NYC for a wedding, and I love it every time I photograph there!

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