NEW YORK CITY — As those in the throes of wedding planning know, having endless options — fueled by Pinterest and wedding blogs — can lead to paralyzing indecision. In New York, with all the parks, gardens, bridges and both modern and historic architecture, choices abound for wedding portrait settings.
"If you’re getting married in the city, you’ve got a lot more things to think about logistically," said photographer Casey Fatchett.
DNAinfo.com New York scouted the best New York City photo locations — from the iconic to the unknown. All you'll have to do come the big wedding day is show up and strike a pose.
CLASSIC PARK SHOTS
"It’s a classic spot for romantic shots of couples. The long vantage point and trees make for a great shot," she said.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is another favorite Harper-Hudson said she uses in all four seasons.
In spring, the Botanic Garden has daffodils and cherry trees to use as a backdrop. In summer, there are spots in "the gorgeous rose garden or among the blue-violet lilacs." In fall, there's a "fun opportunity for leaf-tossing shots."
And in winter, "we’ll retreat indoors to the conservatory, where I’ll photograph couples among bonsai trees and my favorite, the desert pavilion," she said.
"I think a lot of couples who marry in the city might eventual end up leaving the city down the road, and it’s nice to think that they’ll look back on the iconic portraits and reminisce about their relationship with the city at that time in their lives," she said.
But be aware that in order to get these shots you'll have to position yourselves on busy intersections, so you might consider leaving a huge wedding party behind for these, Fatchett advised.
New York City's subway offers an unexpected twist on wedding photos, said Harper-Hudson.
"It might not be the prettiest location, but it definitely brings about a lot of natural smiles and fun portraits because people seem to loosen up when we’re down there," she said.
Plus, she loves the contrast of a couple in their fanciest duds against the grimy, industrial backdrop.
On a warm day in Central Park, there's a definite risk of having tourists and park-goers in your photos if you're posing near popular spots like the Bethesda Fountain or Sheepshead Meadow, because there are just so many people out and about, said Fatchett.
Couples will also have to contend with people taking their own photos of them and even asking to be in their professional shots, said Fatchett.
When a photo bomb does happen, "it’s usually a very bold tourist who may or may not understand that it’s a bit unorthodox to take personal photos of other people’s weddings," said Harper-Hudson.
On the other hand, "The crowds in the background of the images are often part of the charm," she said.
However, if couples want both privacy and a natural setting, there are other options.
Riverside Park is often overlooked in favor of its larger, more iconic cousin to the east, but it has a lot to offer, says Fatchett. The 330-acre park has more secluded spots and fewer passersby, he said.
Carl Schurz Park is also a good bet, said Fatchett. "It’s beautiful and it has a great, long boardwalk. But you also have the park, bridges, staircases, and if you get there early on a summer day you won't be bothered by anyone, except for the occasional jogger."
Even the Parks Department describes it as "one of the city's best-concealed secrets." The park runs from East End Avenue to the East River, from East 84th Street to East 90th Street.
The Conservatory Garden, a formal six-acre garden that's a separate part of Central Park at East 105th Street and Fifth Avenue, offers another underpopulated, lush, green spot for sweet photos, said Fatchett.
At this location, as opposed to other parts of Central Park, a permit is an "absolute must," said Fatchett. It's a rule that's strictly enforced.
MORE TIPS ON HOW TO BE PREPARED:
► Take traffic into account in your planning, Fatchett advised. Getting from Central Park to the Meatpacking District to the Brooklyn Bridge for a series of photos is going to take time, especially on a weekend, he said. Anticipate traffic jams, especially if you're in a stretch limo that can't zip through every intersection the same way a cab could.
► Be prepared for a lot of attention, said Fatchett. People will yell their congratulations and snap their own photos of you — an experience couples can work to avoid or choose to embrace, depending on their personalities, he said.
► Beware of speeding bikers, especially on the Brooklyn Bridge. "It’s important to respect the bike lane," cautioned Harper-Hudson. In that same vein, don't get so caught up in your loved one and your big day that you don't see a turning car or an ambling senior. Keep your wits about you as you would any other day in this tumultuous city.