Vow to be Different
Make your nuptials a signature affair by opting for one of these unexpected settings.
Nestled among the trees in Central Park sits the Swedish Cottage, a nineteenth-century chalet with classic eaves, two chimneys, and a welcoming arched doorway. Originally a gift from Sweden, the cottage currently functions as a children's marionette theater during the day, but remains unused in the late afternoons and evenings. A recent renovation brought in state-of-the-art audio equipment and central heating and air-conditioning, allowing the space to be more party-friendly. Adjacent to Shakespeare's Garden, the cottage is a hidden gem where only one wedding has ever been performed. Rental fee is $600 per hour; bring your own caterer. Swedish Cottage, Central Park, W. 81st St.; enter at W. 79th St. and Central Park West (212-360-2756; cityparksfoundation.org).
They may not have made it into last year's World Series, but we still think the Yankees are winners. And holding a wedding at the House That Ruth Built is a clear home run. While you can't get married on the field, you can rent the Great Moments Room - which is decked out with a dance floor and historical photos of the team's spectacular plays - on game days. For a $600 facility fee and about $40 per person, up to 125 guests will start with a buffet meal of the couple's choice (provided by the on-site catering staff), then move into the stands to catch the action. Tickets are extra, but the hospitality director will make sure the party sits together. Aside from the gown and tux, don't forget to pack a mitt. Yankee Stadium, 161st St. and River Ave., the Bronx (718-579-4431; yankees.com).
The oldest lighthouse in New York State, the 209-year-old Montauk Lighthouse combines the beauty of a beachside ceremony on the East End with the adventurous history of the sea. Choose from two vantage points: one with a deck overlooking Long Island Sound, the other with views of Turtle Cove and a lush meadow. While performing the ceremony inside the 110 1/2-foot lighthouse is discouraged, you can certainly kick off your heels and climb the 137 iron steps for a quick smooch. No receptions or tents are allowed on the property, and having a backup spot at your reception site where the ceremony can take place is a good idea in case of a sudden nor'easter (the venerable Gurney's Inn, a luxury Montauk hotel and spa, is nearby). Up to 30 guests is $600, $6 for each additional guest. Montauk Lighthouse, Rte. 27 to Montauk Point (631-668-2544; montauklighthouse.com).
Talk about stopping traffic. Getting married on the pedestrian/bicycle path of the Brooklyn Bridge is perfectly legal, and free. The only hitch: You can't have a car idling nearby for your quick getaway. So hike up that gown and stroll along the balustrades while a photographer captures the moment - and the awesome views. If video is a must, call the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater, and Broadcasting for a free permit (212-489-6710). Know before you go: Contact the NYC Department of Transportation and Bridges (212-788-1703) so you can plan your event on a day when they're not doing major work on the bridge.
All the world may be a stage, but imagine walking down the aisle at a Broadway theater and saying your vows in the same spot where Barbra Streisand and Elvis Presley once performed. Opened in 1903, the landmarked Hudson Theatre is one of the city's oldest and most elegant showplaces, offering soaring architecture and backlit stained-glass Tiffany ceilings. Aside from a multitude of live theatrical performances, the first nationwide broadcast of the Tonight Show was aired from the Hudson in 1956. Take pictures from the balcony and throw the bouquet from the box seats. Theater seating is replaced by beautifully appointed tables that match the burgundy stage curtains and draperies. Prices start at $140 per person, which includes a cocktail reception, five-hour open bar, full dinner, wedding cake, and an overnight suite in the Millennium Hotel. Hudson Theatre, 145 W. 44th St., nr. Broadway (212-789-7502; millenniumbroadway.com).