5 Tips for Taking Wedding Pictures in Central Park
Even with thousands of spots in NYC to take wedding pictures there’s something special and unique about Central Park. The entire city was built around it. That alone is pretty cool. There’s just something so magical about being in a beautiful park right in the middle all the hustle and bustle of the city. Having that be the backdrop for your wedding pictures is priceless.
As a city bride who really wanted my wedding album filled with pictures of lush green backgrounds, (kind of contradictory, right?) I was pretty set on taking bridal party and family portraits in Central Park. But I soon learned that actually shooting in the park comes with its own set of challenges. So here are some helpful tips and suggestions for other NYC brides looking to take pictures in the park. I hope it helps!
Central Park is filled with a ton of unique architecture, lakes and attractions so it’s a good idea to meet with your photographer in the park a week or two before your wedding and pick specific areas you’d like to shoot at. It’s important to meet as close to your wedding day as possible because things in the park will change, particularly flowers and greenery, so you don’t want to be surprised on your wedding day if a location is drastically different from what you saw a month or two ago. Before meeting, go on Google Maps and look at the areas you’d like to scout. Pick an entrance to the park and stay relatively close to that area because you don’t want to be walking all over wasting precious time on your day. Plus, your dress will start to feel heavy and your feet will be killing you before the day is even over. If there are spots that you really want to shoot at that are far from each other coordinate transportation for pick ups and drop offs. Scouting ahead of time is a great way for you and your photographer to be on the same page and gives you both a better idea on how the day will run.
Photo | Joanna Toto for Ira Lippke Studios
2. MOVE PEOPLE
Central Park attracts lots and lots of tourists, native New Yorkers and everyone in between even when the weather is at its crummiest. So unless you want to have random strangers in your family portraits you’re going to have to kindly ask people to move. It can be fun to have onlookers in some candid photos, but you wont want them in the background for a majority of your pictures. Make sure your photographer or someone in your entourage is vocal and comfortable asking people to move if they’re in the way. Most people will be courteous and completely understand, but you may get a sunbather who will not budge from their spot on the grass and who will give you evil stares while you’re taking pictures. A clearly bitter, judgmental girl did this on my wedding day. If this happens to you, just ignore it and have your photographer work through it.
3. BRING A PINCH KIT & EXTRA SHOES
Although you’re not in the middle of no-where and in a city where everything is accessible, it’s important to bring a pinch kit and extra shoes when taking pictures in the park. It would be a big time constraint if someone needed to run to a drug store and get a sewing kit because the button fell off your groom’s tux or you noticed a stain on your dress. Have a bag filled with miscellaneous items (sewing kit, water, hairspray, lipstick etc.) and have your wedding coordinator or bridesmaid hold it in case something comes up. You’ll be walking a lot throughout the park and maybe even climbing rocks so bringing an extra pair of comfortable shoes is also a must. You don’t want to be stuck in the park without the necessities!
4. BE MENTALLY PREPARED TO SEE OTHER BRIDES
There is no way around it. There are millions of people in New York City and other woman will be getting married on the same day as you, so be prepared to bump into other brides in the park. For good reasons, it’s a very popular place to take wedding pictures so when your paths cross just be friendly, smile and tell her congrats. Then quickly forget about it and go back to focusing on your groom!
5. HAVE A BACKUP PLAN
The pretty pink flowers may have ended up dying in the spot you loved or Mother Nature decides to down pour all day, so it’s imperative to have a backup plan. On your wedding day, time is money so you don’t want to waste any time deciding on a different location all together or trying to find another spot in the park to take pictures. Plan ahead!