Everything to Know About a New York Public Library Wedding

If you’re considering a New York Public Library wedding, we must say… You have impeccable taste! 

A wedding at The New York Public Library is not your average affair, with its Renaissance-style architecture and iconic lions guarding the entrance to a building that houses an extensive collection of literary gems. It’s one of those venues brides-to-be dream about when planning their nuptials. As top NYC wedding photographers, it happens to be one of our favorite venues. 

We want you to have the most amazing dream day here in the best city in the world! So without further ado, we’ve put together this great guide to highlight what makes New York Public Library so special for weddings.

Table of Contents

new york public library wedding

The History of the New York Public Library

Located at the corner of 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, in the heart of midtown Manhattan and inside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the New York Public Library is a spectacular location for any couple’s big day. 

This majestic library opened its doors in 1895 after years of fundraising and planning. It was a revolutionary concept at the time, providing free access to books and periodicals for all. 

As the largest public library in the United States today, New York Public Library is like a castle for books! It holds an immense collection of over 56 million items. These include the first Gutenberg Bible to be printed in America and original manuscripts by Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and other noted authors. Millions of visitors come to tour the building and its grounds every year.

Already, you can probably tell why this landmark venue continuously makes the list of most popular wedding venues in New York. Each year, more and more couples choose the library for their weddings.

The Library is a Dream For Wedding Photos

New York Public Library is a true architectural masterpiece featuring a large Greek Revival façade with marble columns and pediments, as well as abundant sculptural ornamentation throughout its interior. From a photographer’s standpoint, its magnificent carvings and vaulted ceilings make such glamorous backdrops in wedding photos. And speaking of glamour…

One of the library’s most popular spaces to take wedding photos is its Rose Main Reading Room. This stunning space serves as the library’s main reading area. It features a soaring two-story ceiling, massive marble columns, and a huge Palladian window overlooking Bryant Park. 

With its ornate moldings and gilded accents, it’s no wonder that this room was used as a filming location for blockbuster movies like Wonder Woman, The Devil Wears Prada, First Wives Club, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

We can go on and on about all of the movies and TV shows filmed here!

new york public library wedding ceremony

A New York Public Library Wedding Offers Diverse Spaces for Diverse Couples

The New York Public Library has a range of spaces for weddings of all sizes. For instance, it offers large public spaces as well as smaller intimate banquet halls. We’ve highlighted our favorites below:

Astor Hall

Astor Hall was constructed in 1911, and was designed by Carrère & Hastings. When you enter the enormous marble lobby, your eyes are met with a spectacular 37-foot-high ceiling. The hall’s incredible arches, columns, and decorative ceilings make it perfect for a luxury wedding. It can accommodate 750 guests for a reception and 250 for a seated dinner.

nyc library wedding

Celeste Bartos Forum

The Celeste Bartos Forum is on the 7th floor of New York Public Library. It’s a breathtaking space featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, towering ceilings, and a massive marble staircase. The space was designed by celebrated architect Toshiko Mori. When it’s not being used for events, it’s a free public space for people to speak, share stories, and connect with each other. Highly visible from Fifth Avenue, it’s an awe-inspiring location for a wedding! The forum can accommodate 500 guests for a reception and 425 for a seated dinner.

The Edna Barnes Salomon Room

The Edna Barnes Salomon Room is one of the most well-known and distinctive rooms in the New York Public Library. It’s a 4,500 square foot space featuring dark maple wood floors and cream-colored walls decorated with artwork from Mikhaly Munkacsy, Rembrandt Peale, James Peale, and Samuel F.B. Morse. The room is large enough for 325 guests for a reception and 300 for a seated dinner.

The McGraw Rotunda

The McGraw Rotunda is impressive with its arched bays and Corinthian walnut pilasters. The ceiling features murals by Edward Laning. This space is perfect for intimate wedding receptions, dinners, and cocktail events, as it can host 300 guests for a reception and 150 for a seated dinner.

The Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Trustees Room

The Wachenheim Trustees Room is a spectacular setting for any event, but it’s simply unmatched for the grandeur of an elegant wedding ceremony. The room’s high ceiling with its coffered arches and crown molding, the magnificent marble fireplace on the west wall, the lavish gold-leaf paneling on all four walls framing six elegant windows on each side of the room – these are all testaments to the sophistication of this venue. It can accommodate 125 guests for a reception and 110 for a seated dinner.

There Are Rules to Abide By

If you’re about to book a New York Public Library wedding, there are a few important rules you’ll want to review. One of the most important rules for weddings is that the venue can’t be used for religious events. In other words, if you’re exchanging vows in the building, you must have a civil ceremony. 

Choose a Photographer Who Specializes in New York Public Library Weddings

At Julian Ribinik Wedding Photography we’ve been photographing weddings in NYC for over 15 years, so we know the city inside out. We have access to any location, so there’s nothing you can’t ask us to shoot. And remember – we are specialists in New York Public Library weddings! We understand the venue as well as its restrictions and can help guide you to having the perfect day there.

As a husband and wife photography team, we have a way of capturing light and moments with a modern twist, making your wedding as beautiful as you can imagine it. Above all, we love to work with couples who want the best of both worlds, and we believe elegance should be celebrated! If you’re ready to book photographers for your New York Public Library wedding, contact us today.

Comments +


follow along









Julian Ribinik Wedding Photography

330 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

(212) 256-1646