They’re not your average humdrum little Churches, or your massive Cathedral tourist attraction. These are the hidden gems of the city, concealing some of the greatest history known to New York. They are sanctuaries, peaceful places of meditation and worship, and blessed grounds for practicing religions of all kinds. If you’re looking for somewhere to get married, and God’s house is right for you, these are a few of our favorite Chapels for holy matrimony…
ST. PATRICK’S OLD CATHEDRAL
263 Mulberry St.
Would you believe that when this Church was completed in 1815, the neighborhood surrounding it was still so rural that a fox entered and was caught in the Churchyard? Not to be confused with the massive St. Patrick’s Cathedral located uptown on 5th Ave and 50th St., this little Chapel resides within ornamental iron gates and walls of brick right here in Soho. On the corner of Mulberry and Prince St., you will find it with pink hue. This is one of the most historical Churches in the world, and in fact, was the largest Catholic Church in the United States when it was built. It is also the home of the famous Henry Erben pipe organ, still in use today for lessons and Mass. This Church will steal your heart.
ST. PAUL’S CHAPEL
Heading South to the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, is the oldest surviving Church in the city. St. Paul’s Chapel opened it’s doors in 1764. It’s true Georgian architectural style are a striking contrast from it’s surrounding urban cityscape. Across the street is what used to be the World Trade Center, but now is the Freedom Tower. As you can imagine, post September 11th the Chapel turned into somewhat of a memorial as well because it was a resting place for the recovery workers. You will be pleasantly surprised to discover that although with bell tower and grave yard, it’s brownstone and brick exterior conceals an elegant, pastel interior. It is quite the setting for weddings.
ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI
135 W. 31st St.
Now we will venture uptown to Midtown near Penn Station. Tucked away in the urban jungle like a precious gem, and packed in tightly between skyscrapers is St. Francis of Assisi. Built in 1892, St. Francis of Assisi has gothic architecture and has undergone many renovations since. Run by the Order of Friars Minor, the Chapel is under the authority of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. With the ever-changing surrounding neighborhood and it’s inhabitants, the Friars continued to try and serve the evolving needs of the community. If you don’t mind dealing with the dense traffic of the area, this beautiful Church is very special and has much to offer your wedding.
CHURCH OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL
193 Tenth Avenue
Built in 1930 by the legendary John Van Pelt, this Chapel is a beauty in the heart of Chelsea. The AIA Guide to New York City explains; “The church’s simple brick and limestone Southern Sicilian Romanesque facade merges with the Tuscan village forms of auxiliary buildings to the north in a well- related group.” You will note it’s classic Roman Catholic charm.
Right next door is the another point of interest for Gothic architecture seeking brides and grooms, looking for a reception space..
THE HIGHLINE HOTEL
180 Tenth Avenue
Built in 1895 for the purpose of the General Theological Seminary, this historical hotel has incredibly regal and gothic architecture. You will find it hiding in Manhattan on 10th Avenue, between 20th and 21st St in Chelsea. You may be delighted to learn that the author of immortal poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas“, Clement Clarke Moore, resided there when he wrote it. A 60 room hotel with Persian rugs and antiques galore, you will find no restaurants or room service. However, you will find “Hoffman Hall” which was once the dining room, and is now the perfect Chapel for weddings. Today it has a very cinematic quality, for it’s Harry Potter-esque ambiance. The area is 3,300 square feet with a capacity of 400 people, and it has even been known to host fashion shows.
Peace be with you on this Wedding Wednesday
by Bernadette Lords