How to Have a Micro Wedding in NYC During Covid

Backyard Wedding During Covid

2020 has been the year of the micro wedding! Covid 19 has rearranged the wedding plans of so many couples, and the result for many has been a smaller guest count and extra safety measures. While I of course love big weddings (bring on the crazy dance floor!) I also have been an elopement photographer for many years, and love the tiny wedding vibe. The new term, micro wedding, is right up my alley and I’ve been loving all these little gatherings I’ve gotten to photograph this year.

So, you might be asking, “How exactly do I have a micro wedding in NYC?”

Well, I’m here to help. First things first, what exactly is a micro wedding? Micro wedding can mean many different things, but for the moment, I’m considering it any kind of tiny wedding (think 20 people or fewer) that might be happening due to Covid 19, or just because you decided a smaller guest count was the way to go.

The first thing you need to do…get your New York Marriage License paperwork.

How to apply for your New York marriage license online during Covid:

This is a two part process. I wrote a whole post about applying for your marriage license in NYC online, so you can check that out for all the details. The gist of the matter though, is first, you need to apply for your license online through Project Cupid. Second, you’ll need to get an appointment with the clerk for your interview. They release dates regularly to do this. Keep on eye on their twitter account (@NYCClerk on Twitter) for when dates are going to be released.

If you can’t get through with Project Cupid, I’ve had many couples have success going to either Long Island, or upstate to the Hudson Valley or even Westchester to get their paperwork.

Second, pick your location.

Where Can I Have a Micro Wedding in NYC?

NYC is an ideal place for micro weddings, as there are so many locales that cater to small groups that still offer a great backdrop! Since the primary reason most folks are having a micro wedding at the moment is due to Covid, I’m going to keep this list heavy on the outdoor locations. There are a few standby locations that are always good bets.

A Central Park Wedding

Central Park is an ideal location for a micro wedding, particularly if your party is small, think 10 or fewer. Central Park is essentially free for weddings. You can apply for a permit for certain high demand spots, but it’s not required to do so if your party is under 20 people. The permit itself is $25, so totally reasonable if you decide to go for it. You can find the PDF with information on that here.

Central Park Micro Wedding

The only spot in the park that is more expensive is the Conservatory Garden. This space is beautiful, but as I mentioned, the permit is more expensive, and it is absolutely required to get married here. More information on Conservatory Garden Wedding Permits can be found on the Central Park site.

Ladies Pavilion Central Park Wedding

Great spots in Central Park for a wedding include:

Wagner Cove: Very private, but also very tiny. I wouldn’t have more than 5 people here, it’s ideal for just the couple and an officiant, and maybe a witness or two.

Ladies Pavilion: Hugely popular spot for weddings. It’s close to lots of great photo spots, and can handle a slightly larger group the Wagner Cove.

Dene Shelter: I love this space, and it also offers a good amount of privacy. Not too many people know it exists. It’s a medium size gazebo shelter, and can fit probably 10 guests comfortably.

Cop Cot: Another popular wedding site. This shelter is great as it’s easy to reach, being right next to the entrance. It is also the largest shelter in the park, so if you’re having a bigger group, you can easily fit them inside and have a private space for your ceremony.

Wagner Cove Wedding Central Park

I have a Complete Guide to Central Park Weddings on my site if you’re looking for more details.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Wedding:

Brooklyn Bridge Park is another fantastic spot for micro weddings in NYC. You get the backdrop of the city and the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and it’s a free outdoor space! I have a post on my site with all the best locations for weddings in Brooklyn Bridge Park to check out if you’re looking to get married here.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Wedding During Covid

Brooklyn Bridge Park Elopement

Other City Parks:

Other than these two main options, there is so much other green space to chose from. There are lots of other parks that would work great for micro weddings, places like Gantry Plaza State Park in Queens, Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side, Fort Tyron Park in upper Manhattan, or Prospect Park in Brooklyn are all great options for your tiny wedding ceremony.

Carl Schurz Park Wedding Ceremony

Top of the Rock

I love doing ceremonies at Top of the Rock, and it’s outside and currently open! This would be a great spot for a couple and an officiant.

Top of the Rock Wedding

Your apartment!

I’ve had this one work out really well lately. Do you have access to a rooftop or a backyard? That makes a great spot for a micro wedding. If it’s just the two of you, your living room can even be as good a spot as any.

NYC Micro Wedding on a Rooftop

Unique Locations for Small Weddings or Micro Weddings in NYC

The cool part about NYC is there are loads of funky spots that would make perfect locations for a small wedding in NYC. PeerSpace is a great website to head to to find interesting spaces to rent by the hour. There are cool rooftops, Brooklyn Lofts, small museums with beautiful gardens.

There are also spaces like Wanderlustre in Brooklyn that offer lovely little backgardens that are perfect for micro weddings if you don’t have your own backyard.

How to Hire an Officiant for your Micro Wedding

You need to have someone to marry you. Whether it’s a friend or a professional, just make sure they know the rules and how to fill out the paperwork. You can even have someone marry you virtually. Check out my officiant in NYC post, or contact me for a list of referrals. I’m happy to help you find someone to make your Micro Wedding officiant.

Ladies Pavilon Wedding Ceremony

Safety Precautions

What safety procedures should I follow for a Micro Wedding during Covid?

Safety is something especially important to think about during Covid obviously. The main thing to consider is making sure everyone will know the rules and expectations up front. Make sure masks are readily available and/or everyone knows to bring or wear a mask. I’ve had weddings this year pass out masks in a coordinated color scheme, which was fun for guests. Keep guest numbers small. Make sure your guest count is small and that everyone can have plenty of space.

Bride and Groom in Masks

Get Married!

This is the fun part! Love is never cancelled and you can still have an amazing wedding day even during Covid. Let your guests know, if you’re having them, where to show up and then get yourselves married! I’m happy to help figure out any other details you might need and make referrals for vendors from make-up to flowers.

Rose Petal Toss after Wedding Ceremony

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De Nueva Photography specializes in NYC elopements and weddings. I'm also available for engagements, proposals, and family portraits.


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