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Landmark Decisions

If you're dreaming of a quintessentially New York location, this guide to getting hitched on the city's boats, bridges, and ballfields will make your day.

Looking for a signature New York place to say "I do"? Some of the city's most renowned spots are available as venues for vows. Whether your idea of a perfect ceremony is exchanging vows on the Cyclone, the Staten Island Ferry, or at Yankee Stadium, you're in luck — all can be reserved. But plan ahead: There's often serious hoop-jumping (and check-writing) required to seal the deal. Here, a guide to the city's landmarks — and how to land them for your wedding.

Statue of Liberty

Who needs a justice of the peace when you can have the Statue of Liberty preside over your vows? Parties and catering are only allowed at night on Liberty Island (tent and lighting rentals required) and they can accomodate up to 500 guests. For a day ceremony, arrive during normal hours of operation with permit in hand (these are available at no charge; call 212-363-3206), though you will be limited to an hour and a 20-person guest list. You can toast your future on the ferry ride back to Manhattan(albeit sans champagne, since alcohol consumption is prohibited on the boat).

Ellis Island

Your ancestors paid a price to come through Ellis Island — and if you want to use its Immigration Museum for your wedding and reception, you will, too: There's no official rental fee, but it costs $12,000 to $20,000 (depending on number of people) for the park permit you need to reserve the space. Ferry transportation will run you an additional $8,000 (depending on number of people); equipment rental (china, silver, glassware, tables, etc.) is $50 per person; and catering is an extra $225 to $250 a head, with a 250-person minimum. That adds up to about $97,000 (for you non-math majors). (Ellis Island Immigration Museum; 212-344-0996.)

World's Fair Grounds

Some of the city's architectural gems are at the World's Fair Grounds in Flushing Meadows, Queens. Designed as the Space Pavilion for the fair, the New York Hall of Science has a groovy, two-level rotunda overlooking the 110 foot tall Atlas and Titan rockets. There's also the Great Hall, with an outdoor terrace overlooking Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Cost of the location ranges from $8,000 to $10,000 for a maximum of 450 people, depending on the area chosen. (New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St., Flushing; 718-699-0005.)
Staten Island Ferry

For years, the Staten Island Ferry has operated free of charge, and you can have your ceremony on the ferry for that same bargain price (just get a permit by calling 212-839-6620 at least three days in advance). There are, of course, a few rules: no more than twelve people, no video crews, and no blocking other passengers' space or view. In the words of Port Captain John Mauldin, "You get on the ferry with everybody else, and get off with everybody else. In between, just wing it."


From the 2003 New York Wedding Guide


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