c. Aaron Almendral

Plan Your Prospect Park Wedding—Virtually!

June 23, 2020

The pandemic has thrown a wrench into the wedding season, with nuptials postponed while we wait for the all-good to gather in person. While the parties are pending, many couples are moving ahead in planning their special day. In Prospect Park, we are helping couples plan their weddings—virtually! 

Contact us to set up your virtual Picnic House 

Prospect Park holds one of Brooklyn’s favorite wedding venues, the Prospect Park Picnic House. We spoke to Cat Feliciano, Prospect Park Alliance’s Rentals & Event Planning Coordinator for the Prospect Park Picnic House, about the current state of weddings in the park and her virtual tours.

Hi Cat! What is the new process for setting up a virtual tour of the Picnic House?

Couples can get in touch with us through our website contact form, and then we will contact you to set up a virtual tour of the Prospect Park Picnic House, usually on Thursdays between 11 am – 2 pm.

Great, once you set up a tour, what happens next?

We will send you a link to a video meeting, and we do a walk through of the space using the 360 degree tour we have of the facility. I start at out front of the building, just like I would if we were in person, and walk you through the whole space, pointing out amenities and the outdoor areas that are part of the rental. During the tour, I take questions about everything you could want to know about having a wedding at the Prospect Park Picnic House. After the tour, I follow up with photos of previous weddings and celebrations, and give you lots of information about our caterers and preferred vendors.

What questions always come up on these tours?

Everyone is asking, “when are you going to be open?” and of course we don’t know, but we’re optimistic that it will be soon since we’re already in Phase 2 of the reopening. More intimate gatherings may come back first before we are able to be at full capacity. People like to know about the amenities at the Picnic House, about the House Manager that comes with the space, and about our vendors and caterers. 

When are people booking their weddings for?

Right now we’re seeing a lot of people booking dates in 2021 or 2022. We know that is far off, and if you want to hold a date, we give you a courtesy hold of five days so that you can reach out to vendors, speak with your family, and figure out if it works for you.

Do you anticipate holding in-person showings of the Prospect Park Picnic House soon?

Yes, the in-person showings will soon be starting back up. We’re following all precautions to keep our staff and our patrons safe and we’ll keep holding the virtual tours so that people don’t have to worry about putting themselves at risk. 

Learn more about having your wedding or special event at the Prospect Park Picnic House.


c. Brooke Fitts

More Reasons to Celebrate at the Picnic House

July 9, 2019

Prospect Park Alliance has expanded its catering options at the Picnic House, its wedding and special event venue situated on the Long Meadow in Prospect Park.

This bucolic destination provides a flexible and scenic setting for weddings and special events of all styles and budgets. Proceeds support Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit that sustains the park, in the care of Brooklyn’s Backyard, keeping the park green and vibrant for today and decades to come.

The following is the roster of Picnic House caterers. Learn more about having your wedding or special event at the Prospect Park Picnic House.

Bon Soir Caterers
Founded in 1977, Bon Soir offers our clients a wide range of custom menus and services. Reflecting the global and contemporary Brooklyn community which we serve, our cuisine is simple yet tasteful, affordable yet elegant, and of course locally sourced and sustainable.

Emma’s Torch
Emma’s Torch is a non-profit social enterprise that empowers refugees through culinary education. We collaborate with our students on techniques and ingredients to craft flavor-forward American cuisine with an international twist.

Fig & Pig
With over 15 years of catering and restaurant experience, Culinary Institute of America graduate chef Holly Sheppard provides creative, quality-driven catering devoted to showcasing seasonal ingredients and producing exceptional, food-focused events.

Brought to you by the team behind Rucola, Metta and June, our food is ingredient-driven with a slow food ethos and a vegetable-focused menu. As New York City’s only trash-free and carbon-neutral caterer, our primary mission is to provide food that is delicious, sustainable and beautifully executed.

The Raging Skillet
For over 30 years, The Raging Skillet has catered weddings and special occasions with fusion cuisine reflecting Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Southern, Southwestern and Cajun traditions, as well as Chef Rossi’s mother’s Hungarian Yiddish home cooking. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free menus available.

Saffron by Miriam and 1803NYC
Saffron Catering is a full-service catering company that specializes in Middle Eastern and Israeli, and New Orleans influenced Cajun cuisine. We offer a range of options from hors d’oeuvres, small plates, full menu, and buffet style catering, for any palate, including dietary restrictions, allergies and kid’s menus.

Steven Brown Caterers
Serving New York since 1991, we provide unmatched creative cuisine, artistic presentation, exceptional value, and professional service from first contact through execution of your event. Our menus range from traditional fare to the latest culinary trends, reflecting the diverse cultures of the city we live in.

Kosher Catering Options

Simply Divine
Simply Divine creates delicious, extraordinary memories for discerning clients who require a glatt kosher event along with a sophisticated secular experience.  Known for more than 25 years for our outstanding tasting menus, seasoned style, exciting décor, and superb staff, we’re still getting raves year after year.

Above & Beyond Catering
Above & Beyond Catering is an OU-certified, full-service, off-premise catering and event planning. With over 15 years of experience, we know how much planning and precision is needed to successfully host a seamless event. Whatever the celebration, Above & Beyond will exceed all expectations.

Bension Kohen Caterers 
Since 1979, the family-owned, Glatt Kosher Bension Kohen Caterers has served the Brooklyn community with dedication and warmth. We strive to ensure that your event is beautiful, efficient and elegant.

About the Picnic House in Prospect Park
The Picnic House in Prospect Park is a charming and historic building in the heart of Brooklyn’s premier park. With scenic views of the 90-acre Long Meadow, outdoor spaces for ceremonies and cocktails, floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors and a working wood fireplace, it provides a bucolic setting for your perfect day. The Picnic House can be tailored for every taste and budget, and is a blank canvas to create the ideal wedding no matter what the season. The Picnic House comfortably seats 175 guests for dinner and dancing or 240 for a cocktail-style event. Proceeds benefit Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that sustains Prospect Park. For more information, visit prospectpark.org/weddings.

Prospect Park’s Scandalous First Wedding

February 20, 2019

It probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that Prospect Park is a popular destination for weddings. Couples who love the park and want a slice of nature in their Brooklyn nuptials choose the Prospect Park Picnic House and Boathouse as the place to tie the knot every year. But this was not always the case. The first Prospect Park wedding, which took place in the park’s former Rose Garden in 1923, caused quite a stir.

Let’s go back to the 1870s, the early days of Prospect Park when famed designers Olmsted and Vaux were first plotting out the features of the park. The area, known now as the Rose Garden, was first conceived as a children’s playground, with a carousel powered by a real horse, seesaws and swings. Despite the attractions, the playground was not a popular destination. The area’s geographic features made it too hot and exposed to be a playground. It was, however, an excellent climate for growing roses. And so the park’s Rose Garden came to be.

In the 1890s, the landscape was transformed into a botanical destination. Three water basins—reconstructions of which are still visible at the site—filled with aquatic plants and fish were installed by the design firm of McKim, Mead and White. The landscape was planted with an assortment of exotic flowers and roses, and in 1901, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle exclaimed, “some of the roses are larger than teacups,” adding, “there can be no finer sight in the domain of floriculture in the United States.”

In 1923, local residents Elizabeth Hoyt Senarens and Owen Morton Gunderson applied for a permit to be married in Prospect Park. The Park Commissioner issued the first permit of its kind for a wedding to be held at 7:45 am, “so that there might be no interruption from a crowd of romping children or unsympathetic grownups.” The wedding was considered a novelty and a scandal, and was widely covered in the press by publications such as Brooklyn Life, Brooklyn Standard Union, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and even The New York Times.

The bride, Elizabeth Senarens, explained to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that, “she had always yearned for roses and even as a little girl had thought the Prospect Park rose gardens the most romantic place for a wedding in the world.” But the media attention surrounding the nuptials took its toll when the couple’s pastor decided at the last minute that he would not officiate the wedding. In an interview with the Times, the reverend was quoted saying, “I never did consent to perform the ceremony in the park,” and that when he learned the details he, “refused at once.”

Rose Garden postcard_Bob-Levine.jpg

The Rose Garden in a vintage postcard, c. Prospect Park Archives/Bob Levine Collection

The couple had difficulty finding another pastor to perform their ceremony, until finally Rev. Ernest J. Marvin of the Fenimore Street M.E. Church agreed on the condition of anonymity. The press did not honor this request, publishing his name as the minister who presided over this historic first wedding in Prospect Park.

The morning of the wedding came, according to the Standard Union, “blowing a chilly breeze… not at all conducive to romance.” Police were on hand to contain the throngs of curious onlookers, and the wedding proceeded, attended by the family and friends of the wedding party, newspaper reporters and photographers, and a “few stragglers on their way to work,” as per a report from the Times.

Today, the former Rose Garden is entering a new phase, as Prospect Park Alliance begins plans to reimagine this northeastern area of the park that has seen little use in past decades. In recent years, the Alliance has invited the community to help shape the future of this area through community visioning and feedback surveys. Thanks to the input of the local community, Alliance architects are now in the process of designing a space that will serve the entire community, and encourage many more memorable occasions for years to come.

This story comes to us from Turnstile Tours: learn about this and other amazing tales of park history on a tour of the Prospect Park presented by the Alliance in partnership with Turnstile Tours. Tours for families and park lovers of all ages explore the parks’ little known treasures, architectural and cultural history.

Learn more and take a park tour this spring!