Central Park Spring Elopement
Central Park is a well-known spot for couples looking to elope in a beautiful and romantic setting. Its green spaces, famous landmarks, and lovely scenery create a charming atmosphere for couples to take wedding photos in the heart of New York City. As a photographer, I’ve had the joy of capturing many Central Park elopements, and each one has been a unique experience.
For this incredible couple, we started their day at the Ludlow Hotel and ended at the famous Bethesda Fountain – one of my favorite locations in the entire city. It’s the place I photographed my very first professional job in NYC, and it’s always so sweet to go back there.
The Ludlow Hotel
The Ludlow Hotel is a trendy boutique hotel located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Its stylish interiors, cozy atmosphere, and personalized service make it an ideal place for couples to prepare for their wedding day. The hotel’s elegant design, featuring exposed brick, vintage furnishings, and contemporary accents, sets the stage for a sophisticated and unforgettable elopement experience.
The Ludlow Hotel offers more than just its chic design and inviting ambiance; it also provides a range of amenities and services that cater to the needs of couples preparing for their elopement. The hotel boasts 175 guest rooms, each thoughtfully designed with floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, and handmade silk rugs, creating a comfortable and luxurious space for couples to relax before their day starts.
One of the highlights of the Ludlow Hotel is its on-site restaurant, Dirty French, which serves a modern twist on classic French cuisine. With its lively atmosphere and delicious dishes, it’s the perfect spot for a pre-wedding dinner or a celebratory meal after the elopement ceremony. (I’ve eaten here and can confirm: it’s awesome.)
The hotel also features a charming garden patio. This lovely area can also serve as a backdrop for intimate elopement photos, capturing the essence of the hotel’s unique character.
I love photographing elopements and getting-ready-for-the-wedding photos at the Ludlow. It’s just simply so charming, marrying old-world-NYC vibes with a modern flair.
Central Park: The Perfect Elopement Backdrop
After photographing at the Ludlow we headed uptown to Central Park for the rest of the photo session.
Iconic Central Park locations for dramatic elopement photographs include Bow Bridge, Gapstow Bridge, Shakespeare Garden, and the Bethesda Terrace. These picturesque spots provide a variety of natural and architectural backdrops that add a touch of magic to your elopement photos. Whether you prefer the romance of a bridge overlooking a peaceful lake or the tranquility of a hidden garden, Central Park offers countless opportunities to capture the essence of your wedding day.
My favorite spot though? It has to be Bethesda Terrace.
Bethesda Terrace is a two-level architectural marvel located in Central Park, adjacent to the Bethesda Fountain. Designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, the Terrace is considered one of the park’s most iconic and beloved landmarks. Completed in 1864, Bethesda Terrace was intended to be a gathering place for visitors, offering a stunning view of the park and the lake.
The Terrace features an upper and lower level, both showcasing exquisite details and craftsmanship. The upper level provides a magnificent vantage point to take in the surrounding beauty, including the Bethesda Fountain and the lake. Meanwhile, the lower level houses the famous Bethesda Arcade, which is renowned for its striking Minton tile ceiling. This colorful ceiling is made up of more than 15,000 handmade, encaustic tiles from England, and it’s the only known example of Minton tiles used in a suspended ceiling.
The Bethesda Terrace is a popular location for weddings, elopements, and photography sessions, as its elegant architecture and picturesque setting create a romantic atmosphere. The various archways, staircases, and unique design elements provide numerous opportunities for creative and dramatic photographs. The Terrace also serves as a hub for musicians and performers, adding an extra layer of charm and energy to this enchanting spot in Central Park.
also known as the Angel of the Waters, is a prominent and historical landmark in Central Park, New York City. Situated at the heart of the park, adjacent to Bethesda Terrace, the fountain was designed by American sculptor Emma Stebbins and unveiled in 1873. It is one of the most significant and well-known fountains in New York City, attracting numerous visitors each year.
The focal point of the Bethesda Fountain is the bronze statue called the Angel of the Waters, which stands atop the central column. The angel holds a lily in one hand, symbolizing purity, while her other hand stretches outward, bestowing blessings on the water below. The statue was inspired by the Gospel of John, in which an angel blesses the Pool of Bethesda, giving it healing properties. The Angel of the Waters commemorates the opening of the Croton Aqueduct, which brought fresh water to New York City in the 19th century, significantly improving public health.
The base of the fountain features four cherubs, each representing a different quality: Health, Purity, Temperance, and Peace. These cherubs further emphasize the significance of clean water and its impact on the well-being of the city’s residents.
Surrounded by a large circular basin, the Bethesda Fountain is a popular gathering spot for both locals and tourists. Its stunning design, serene atmosphere, and rich history make it an ideal location for weddings, elopements, and photography sessions. The combination of the fountain, the Angel of the Waters statue, and the picturesque backdrop of Central Park creates a truly romantic and captivating setting.
Cherry blossom season in Central Park
Cherry blossom season in Central Park is a highly anticipated and enchanting time of the year when the park transforms into a breathtaking display of pink and white blossoms. Typically occurring between late March and late April, depending on the weather, cherry blossom season attracts both locals and tourists who flock to the park to witness this spectacular natural event.
There are two main types of cherry trees found in Central Park: the Yoshino Cherry and the Kwanzan Cherry. The Yoshino Cherry trees bloom first, producing delicate white flowers with a hint of pink. Shortly after, the Kwanzan Cherry trees bloom, showcasing vibrant pink, double-petal blossoms. The blooming period for cherry blossoms is relatively short, usually lasting about one to two weeks, making it an even more special and sought-after experience. We were so lucky to find so many trees still in bloom!
If you’re headed to Central Park, some of the best spots to admire cherry blossoms in Central Park include:
- Cherry Hill: As the name suggests, this area boasts a stunning collection of cherry trees and offers a picturesque view of the lake and Bow Bridge.
- Bethesda Terrace: Located near the Bethesda Fountain, this area features cherry trees surrounding the terrace, providing a lovely backdrop for photos and leisurely strolls. This is where we were!
- Conservatory Garden: Situated in the northern part of the park, this beautifully landscaped garden includes a section with cherry trees, showcasing a burst of pink and white blossoms.
- Central Park Reservoir: The path surrounding the reservoir is lined with cherry trees, making it a great spot to take a walk and enjoy the blooms.
Cherry blossom season in Central Park is not only visually stunning but also symbolizes the arrival of spring and the renewal of life. It’s a perfect time to visit the park for leisurely walks, picnics, and photography sessions, as the blossoms create a magical and romantic atmosphere throughout the park.
From the Ludlow to Central Park, this was a gorgeous elopement from start to finish. If you’re looking to elope in NYC and want your images taken at any of these iconic locations, please contact me!