How to secure a Central Park location for a wedding?

Choosing a venue for your wedding ceremony is an important part of the planning process! Oftentimes, couples would like to book their Central Park wedding with us but they’re worried that their favorite park location may not be available on their special day.

Why is having a permit so important on your wedding day anyway? Isn’t Central Park a public park? It is, but a permit guarantees that you and ONLY you have use of your chosen park location for your specified date and time. 

As is the case with most wedding planners, we have a no-refunds policy. So what happens if your dream location is not available and you’ve already booked your wedding package? Do you cancel your wedding and kiss your down payment good-bye? HARDLY! 

Our goal is to make sure you can still have the Central Park wedding of your dreams! As soon as you book your package with us, we apply for your Central Park permit within MINUTES of receiving your booking! So what happens next???

If we don’t hear from the Park Permits Department within 2 – 5 days, we know the permit will be approved. (We’ve been doing this since 2008 so we’re quite familiar with the process!) It takes about a month to get the official permit via email and once the park service sends it to us, we immediately email it to you!

That being said, this also means you need to book your Central Park wedding at least 30 days in advance if you want a park permit. We ask that you have a few backup locations in mind – just in case!

Now here’s the BIG question: what if there is a conflict with the park permit application? How does that work?

If history serves us right, we only hear from the park service within 2 – 5 days of applying when there is a conflict – either with the date, the time, or the location.

Typical conflicts include: a shutdown due to renovations, construction, sudden damage that makes it unsafe to use or special events, such as a charity walk, that gets scheduled after we’ve applied for the permit. Unfortunately, these things are out of our control but that doesn’t mean your wedding plans are ruined! You’d just move the ceremony to another location. That’s all. 

We request permits in two hour increments, with your ceremony start time in the middle, i.e. from 3 – 5 PM, with a ceremony start time of 4 PM. This provides you with a little bit of “cushion.”

So, if there is a conflict with the time frame requested, the park service will usually say “we don’t have X location available from 3 – 5 PM on the day requested, but we do have it available from 10 AM – 12 PM or 1 – 3 PM. How would you like to proceed?”

At that point, your Event Manager would call you to see if you’d like to change your ceremony time. What’s one of our secrets to a stress-free wedding? FLEXIBILITY!

If you can’t change the time, then we would ask you to choose another location for your wedding. If you are not flexible on the location, then we would ask you to choose another day or time. It’s all up to you. Remember, your ultimate goal is to get married in Central Park!

I hope this clarifies the permit process and how it works. Again, the only way we’ll know if your favorite location is available is by applying and paying for the permit. We can only do this after you’ve booked your wedding package!

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