The “small wedding” trend continues to grow, and for couples living in and visiting New York, that increasingly means holding their wedding in Central Park. New York City wedding officiant and Central Park Wedding expert, Peter Boruchowitz, says that’s not surprising. “For New Yorkers,” he says, “Central Park is the outdoor space that’s a part of our homes. Also, Central Park can be intertwined with our romantic lives: dates to see concerts at the band shell or on the Great Lawn, or Shakespeare plays that we’ve seen at the Delacorte Theater, picnics at the Sheep Meadow we’ve had with our friends, street performers that we’ve watched on the mall or at Bethesda Terrace, and, of course, long romantic walks by the lake, through the Ramble, in the gardens. So for New Yorkers, holding a wedding here is like getting married in your backyard.”
At 840 acres, that’s a lot of backyard to cover. That’s why Peter is adding new episodes to “The Central Park Wedding Tour”, a series of short Youtube videos that takes you to the most popular Central Park wedding spots. In each video, Peter walks the viewer through a location in the park while describing its attributes as a wedding ceremony venue: the nearest entrance to the park, wheelchair accessibility, the number of people that can be accommodated, whether there are restrooms nearby. Along the way, he throws in interesting tidbits about the location’s history, relates a charming little lesson on wedding ceremonies in Shakespeare’s comedies, and even plays all four parts in a string quartet.
As fun and informative as the videos are to watch, Peter says he made them to be practical. “My Central Park wedding couples were always asking me where to hold their ceremonies, but a place that is perfect for one couple might not fit another couple’s vision,” he says. Now, Peter refers couples planning a Central Park Wedding to his Youtube channel. His experience, he added, let’s him anticipate and answer questions that are specific to couples getting married in the park, “I can tell a bride or groom that there is a bench here so grandma doesn’t have to stand, but in a video I can show them the bench.” Some questions don’t come up until the wedding day itself. Peter says that he always hears guests ask the bride or groom about the name of a place, or it’s history, or the meaning of an esoteric plaque there. People who have watched the tour already know the answer!
Since half of the weddings Peter performs are for destination wedding couples visiting New York from out of state or from abroad, the videos are particularly useful for them. “If you’re from Melbourne, Edinburgh, Toronto, or Pittsburgh, you can’t just walk through the park one Sunday six months before your wedding date and pick a place,” he notes. “That’s why the tour shows each location from different vantage points, and that’s why I try to move around as much as possible. So viewers get the ‘feel’ of being there with me.”
The latest Central Park Wedding Tour videos, debuting this fall, include the six-acre formal Conservatory Garden on Fifth Avenue and the Dene Summerhouse, a charming vine-covered gazebo nestled high among the parks famous granite outcrops. Peter plans to keep adding new episodes to the Tour as his schedule allows.
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