Stories of Romance in Prospect Park
Romance has been in the air in Prospect Park since its earliest days. In 1923, the first wedding to ever take place in a public park occurred in Prospect Park’s former Rose Garden!
At the time, marrying in the Park was considered scandalous and caused a sensation, with local newspapers covering the details. The couple received permission to marry in the Park only if the minister’s name remained anonymous, and if it occurred early in the morning before most visitors arrived at the Park.
These days, weddings in Prospect Park are encouraged! Learn about Prospect Park Alliance’s beautiful wedding venues.
Image c. Prospect Park Archives
Unsurprisingly, some romantic relationships get their start in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park! This story comes to us from Alice Marcus Krieg:
I met my husband in the Park because of our dogs! We met in the Nethermead, under the Osage orange tree while walking our dogs.
We started talking about the breed of my dog, and we realized we had several fundamental similarities: he's from Tennessee but his parents are from New England, while my father is from Tennessee but I grew up in New England, and we both attended the same small college in Virginia. Small world, all discovered because of the Park and dog walking! Who knew!
Seventeen years later, the Park is still our go to place, with our dogs and now our kid.
Image: Alice Marcus Krieg's wedding invitation, illustrated by Robin Selfridge
Another romantic Prospect Park pair? Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray! New York City’s First Couple was married in a small ceremony at the Prospect Park Picnic House in 1994, just over two years after meeting in City Hall. Both were low-level aides to then-Mayor David Dinkins. De Blasio has said that it was "love at first sight."
Image c. The New York Daily News
Prospect Park is also a popular location for proposals! This proposal story comes to us from Michael Szuflita:
When I proposed to [my wife] Joyce in 1991, I didn’t want it to be that cheesy ring-in-the-dessert thing in a restaurant. I wanted it to be in nature… in Prospect Park. So after I picked up the engagement ring, I enlisted my sister-in-law to guard my "proposal station" on Quaker Hill.
I needed to make up a good story to get Joyce out into the Park. Returning home, I pretended to have been jogging in the Park and told Joyce, “Get your coat on! I saw a Park Ranger who said that the first albino raccoon in New York State was born in Prospect Park and he needs a camera to document it.” It worked, and when we got to the top of Quaker Hill, she found a sign saying, “Will you marry me, Joyce?,” a bottle of champagne and a tape player playing our song. On bended knee I pulled out the ring and asked her. We sat there for hours, tipsy on champagne.
It wasn’t till it got dark that I realized that she never answered me. Finally she answered, “Yes, yes of course I’ll marry you!”
Image c. Michael Szuflita
There are plenty of ways to propose in Prospect Park! One great option: make it permanent on a commemorative bench or tree!
Image c. Prospect Park Alliance