I’m happy to have a modern elopement ceremony at the Belvedere Castle, later this week, prompting me to recollect about other happy ceremonies I’ve officiated over the years. The Belvedere Castle, one of the grandest and oldest locations in the Park, was built in 1865. The Castle is located in the middle of the Park at 79th Street. Perched atop Vista Rock, this venue offers sweeping views of the Park, including the Delacorte Theatre, Turtle Pond and the Ramble. The translation of the Italian word Belvedere means “beautiful.” Created as a place of romantic fantasy, the Castle sets the stage for one of life’s magical moments–two individuals making lifelong commitments.
The Belvedere Castle was designed at the end of the Civil War by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould, as a “fantasy structure.” With its strong stone façade, grand turret and flag, the castle was a stunning attraction in Central Park. Like many landmarks in the Park, the Castle deteriorated for some time, but it was renovated by the Central Park Conservancy in 1983 and again about a year ago. With its grand views, stunning overlook, and beautiful staircase it makes a fabulous setting for a ceremony and beautiful photographs, too! It is also located just up the hill from the Shakespeare Garden, another lovely location for wedding portraits. Enjoy these photographs of a summer wedding, shot by Laura Pennace.