Technically contained within the borders of Central Park around Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street, the Conservatory Gardens are run by a true public-private partnership. Do not try a guerrilla ceremony here. Ever. You will get booted, particularly if you wear wedding attire, have flowers, or are there with relatives and friends on a weekend. (Two of my couples attempted against my advice, and both had to leave!) The permit is $400 without photos and $500 with photos. In the scheme of things, it is perfectly affordable. I highly recommend ceremonies in the South or English Garden. Since this pair invited lots of family and friends, they decided to marry on one of the terraces next to the center/Italian Garden.
I am not a photographer at all, let alone a wedding photography. I am solely an officiant. But I do know my trusty old Minolta SRT 100 adorned with a M Rokkor-x 50 f/1.4, which is an analog SLR 35mm camera with a stunning prime lens that has lived a longer life than myself. These old cameras are sturdier than digital, and I personally love the look of grainy, textured black and white film. Back in May 2012, I decided that for each day of the upcoming winter, I’d publish a photo or two from my past ceremonies (people, places, and/or things)—the good and bad, as a reminder that mistakes happen. These images are low-resolution scans of negatives. I generally used Ilford, mostly HP5, because I preferred its look and longevity. I never used a flash, but I love filters.