I’ve officiated at weddings in the Queens Botanical Garden a number of times. I admit that the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center are possibly more romantic and intriguing for photos. Yet the QBG is convenient, has a friendlier staff, and is more democratic when it comes to weddings. Yes, it is more expensive ($750), but you get more time and can schedule your ceremony anytime during the week. And it’s beautifully cozy and Victorian feeling. The wedding garden comfortably accommodates up to eighty guests, but I think it’s ideal for small weddings with fewer than fifty guests. Some of my couples go on to celebrate their reception at the Sheraton in Flushing. But couples could just as easily rent the indoor facility here for a cake reception to make traveling easier on their guests, as well as to allow their guests to fully enjoy the gardens. On this note, QBG can easily move your wedding underneath shelter or even indoors should the weather be poor.
One of my couples — iLing and Victor — invited their family and friends for their ceremony at the Queens Botanical Gardens this weekend. Having elected the bride’s brother as a point person to coordinate the details during the day, their ceremony choreography was nicely put together and organized. We lined up outside the gate and entered in a semi-traditional format with a talented violinist named Nicole playing classical music in the gazebo (officiant, Groom+Mom, three sets of Best Women and Best Men with interlocking arms, flower girls, and then the Bride+Father). Since their wedding was small, I was delighted to be able to officiate without a microphone. I opened with one of iLing’s favorite quotes, which was by Robert Heinlein — “Love is that conditions where the happiness of someone else is essential to your own.” They had opted for a traditional civil wedding ceremony with the classic vows. I did want to add something special at the closing, so I took a leap of faith and used the “Blessing of the Hands.” Since they choose a standard ceremony, they had not expected anything personal. But I though this special touch suited them nicely, and, judging from the wide smiles displayed on their faces, it did!
Here are some photos from one of my past Queens Botanical Garden weddings (September 2009).