One of the most common questions I get from my New York elopement clients is, “Where should we take photos after a City Hall Wedding?” The answer depends hugely on you as a couple, the vibe you want for your images, and how much time you’d like to spend on portraits. For many City Hall Weddings, couples are looking for just a handful of portraits after or before the ceremony, and don’t want to go too far afield. Obviously, I’m happy to take you where ever you’d like to go in NYC, however, for the purposes of this post, I’m sticking to the areas that are close to the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. These are places that we can walk to or some that are just a quick cab ride away.
Wondering where to start on how to get married in New York at City Hall? Check out this Guide to City Hall Weddings first, then head back to read where to take photos after your City Hall Wedding!
Where To Take Photos After A City Hall Wedding
Where to Take Photos within Walking Distance of a City Hall Wedding
Tribeca is where I take a lot of clients looking for that classic New York backdrop. It’s about a 10-12 minute walk from City Hall. A few cobbled streets, old school architecture, a grittier alley street, and if you want to walk a bit further, we can even head out to the waterfront at Rockefeller Park. From here you can see a glimpse of the Empire State Building, get some green park backdrops, and also see the Jersey City Skyline.
Chinatown is great fun for photos if you’re looking for something a little different. Here you’ll find colorful storefronts, often some great street art, and bustling sidewalks. Doyers Street, one of the few curved streets in Manhattan and that has a pretty crazy history, is often a great spot to start and is about a 10 minute walk from City Hall.
Obviously if you’re going for iconic, Brooklyn Bridge is always a hit. It’s about a 15 minute walk to get out on the bridge from City Hall. The tricky part about the bridge is that it is often swamped with tourists. If you’re looking for shots of just you on the bridge, sunrise is going to be your only option, and one I highly recommend. However, if you’re willing to brave the crowds, we can still get great shots on the bridge before or after your City Hall ceremony.
I love shooting in this area! Think iconic NYC architecture, colorful street art, and cobbled streets. It can get busy here depending on the time of day, but it just adds to the energy. There’s lots of options in this area depending on what kind of vibe you’re going for, and it’s only about a 10-12 minute walk from the marriage office to get started! You can head towards SoHo for more architecture or towards to Lower East Side/East Village for more street art feel. Finishing up at Freeman’s alley, which is a great spot for street art lovers is about a 20 minute walk and we can take photos along the way!
Brooklyn Bridge Station and Police Plaza Pedestrian Walk
This is one of my go to spots for a quick portrait session after a City Hall Wedding ceremony. There are some beautiful archways (covered, which is key if it happens to be raining) and a vintage subway sign around here, along with some other great areas. It’s a quick 5-10 minute walk from the marriage office and is easy for some quick portraits. We also pass by the grand supreme court buildings on the way, which also make for a classic backdrop after a City Hall wedding with their iconic columns.
Places to Take Wedding Photos after a City Hall Wedding in New York: A Quick Cab Ride Away
Sometimes you might want to jump in a cab and get a bit further afield. These are all locations that should be no more then a 10-15 minute cab ride. *Disclaimer, NYC traffic is always unpredictable, so no guarantees.
Classic brownstones, ivy covered buildings, sitting on a stoop? Are you looking for something out of a New York movie? Then the West Village is it. It’s about a 15 minute cab ride to this gorgeous neighborhood and it’s always perfect for photos.
South Street Seaport
The Seaport is such a great spot for photos. It has lots of incredible views of the Brooklyn Bridge, cobble stone streets, big historic ships in the port, and views of the downtown skyline. All which make for great wedding photos! Best of all, it’s a quick 10ish minute cab ride from City Hall after your wedding.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
This is the go to spot for many people. It’s incredibly popular for wedding photos, and with good reason. You’re not going to get a much more iconic skyline view anywhere else, from the downtown skyscrapers to the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Brooklyn Bridge Park has it all. It’s also right next to DUMBO which is full of street art and a bit more gritty feel. It’s also about a 10 minute cab ride from the City Clerk, so it’s a great option for City Hall wedding couples! If we have time, we can also take a stroll up into the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Vinegar Hill or Cobble Hill for some brownstone goodness as well.
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