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How to Plan A NYC Christmas Wedding

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There's nothing quite like winter in New York City. Charming street lamps are dotted with icicles, pathways are covered in snow, and all of Manhattan transforms into a romantic wonderland. It's the perfect backdrop for saying 'I do' and if you're considering getting married during the Christmas season, there's nowhere better to do it than in The Big Apple.

Naturally, this 'small' island is bursting at the seams with culinary delights, breathtaking venues, and gorgeous hotels, which means that you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to planning the entire affair. If you need a few ideas to spark some creativity, continue below for an outline to help you create the most perfect wedding in one of the greatest cities in the world.

Atmospheric Venues

Picking your location is among the most important decisions you’ll make when planning a wedding in New York City. There are a few different aesthetics you can go for when choosing.

 While an outdoor wedding is more commonplace during the warmer months of the year, if you have your heart set on strolling down the ‘aisle’ in a park or garden, you should do so (FYI: it’s free to get married in Central Park)! These types of nuptials are best reserved for a laidback vibe and smaller guest list.

Then there’s the classic hotel route, including iconic destinations like The Plaza and Carlyle Hotel. You can also pick a location that feels emblematic of Manhattan, like The Natural History Museum or The New York Public Library (yes, where Carrie Bradshaw almost married Mr. Big). If you’re going for all-out glamour, consider somewhere like The Frick Collection, an opulent Gilded Age museum in Midtown East. You can also consider a trendy hotel like The Beekman in the Financial District, which is known for its nine-story atrium and impeccable bar. Of course, there’s also The Gramercy Park Hotel, a beloved spot among the stylish set. 

Last but not least: City Hall! If you want a simple ceremony, this is a perfectly pared-back location.

Christmas Attractions

If you’re choosing to get married in New York City during the Christmas season, you and your guests will want to partake in a few festive activities to kick off the weekend. Obvious standouts include the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and its adjacent ice skating rink. The Christmas markets shouldn’t be missed — a few favorites include Byrant Park, Union Square, and Columbus Circle. Of course, the ornate window displays up and down the city’s elegant 5th Avenue is a can’t-miss. 

For a slightly lesser-known Christmas activity, consider going through a stroll in the West Village neighborhood and swinging by a few festive sites bedecked in lights, like Patchin Place and Jefferson Market Garden. You can also see what The New York Philharmonic is playing — most likely some beautiful compositions that reflect the wintry season. In any event, it’s smart to suggest a few activities for your guests so they can enjoy their time while in town.

Other Things to Consider

Once you have a rough idea of where you’ll be getting married and festive activities for guests to partake in surrounding the big day, you’ll want to check off other important wedding-related items such as day-of planners, photographers, musicians, flowers, decorations, hair & makeup, and so forth (the best approach is to conduct a search on local vendors and interview ahead of time).

Aside from these considerations, you’ll also want to nail down rehearsal dinner and welcome drink locations as well as suggested lodging. Airbnb is not permitted in New York City so hotels will be your safest bet when locating places for guests to stay. General areas of town that will be suitable include the Upper West Side, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, West Village, Tribeca, Gramercy Park, Nolita, NoHo, and Bowery.

As for rehearsal dinner, a few legendary spots include One If By Land, Two If By Sea — a romantic restaurant located inside a historic land-marked carriage house built in 1767 complete with brick fireplaces, a private garden, and a baby grand piano. 

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Jessica Caplan | June 8, 2021

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