How to Choose Where in Central Park to Get Married

Many of the couples whom I assist with the planning of their weddings are visitors to New York City. In some cases they may have visited the city before, but they may not be so familiar with Central Park that they know all their options for where they might hold a wedding ceremony.

I have made some suggestions on the most popular locations for a wedding ceremony in Central Park on my website. I have found that these are the most commonly chosen locations for a wedding ceremony in Central Park and they all have their strengths and weaknesses depending on various factors. There are plenty of other great place in Central Park to get married, besides this list, but I tried to keep it short to avoid confusion or information overload in the early wedding planning stage. Things to consider that might affect a couple’s choice in location might be the size of the wedding party, where in Central Park they want to be, and how far they want to walk through the Park for other photograph locations, what level of privacy a couple wants, and what sort of backdrop they want for their ceremony.

I discuss all these needs with the couple and make my recommendations for them specifically. We talk about where they would like photographs taking after the ceremony and how much walking they are able or prepared to do. We can also talk about proximity of Subway stops, restaurants, and public bathrooms, since things like that can be important to some people. Of course, a lot of the choice comes down to what the couple finds attractive to look at. There are some wide open locations with an expansive view, such as Belvedere Castle Terrace or Bow Bridge, and there are some structures which offer a little cover around a group, such as the Ladies’ Pavilion for a smaller group, Cop Cot for a larger group, or Wagner Cove suits eloping couples very well. Of the structures, several are rustic in style and built from wood, such as Wagner Cove and Cop Cot, and there are Bow Bridge the Ladies’ Pavilion with its wrought iron work.

Some locations might get quite busy and therefore quite noisy at certain times of year, and so might not suit a large group. The Bethesda Fountain is one of the most iconic locations in Central Park, but it will be the busiest part of Central Park in high summer in the middle of the day. Some of the structures might not fit all of your wedding party inside. Some locations have a little seating, some offer beautiful views, some have a little cover if you want to provide some shelter from rain or sunshine. I would usually suggest Belvedere Castle Terrace, underneath Bethesda Terrace or the Ladies’ Pavilion to couples who are concerned about rain, or who want to have a second permit for a bad weather backup. Some offer rustic charm, some have art deco style, some are wide open spaces and some are covered in foliage. Different couples want different things and Central Park can satisfy a wide range of tastes.

The Conservatory Gardens are a popular choice for larger groups, and for couples who want to be further away from the South end of Central Park, which tends to be busier with tourists. There will be more locals in the North end of Central Park, where the Conservatory Gardens are, and it will be quieter. There are many stunningly beautiful spots in the Conservatory Gardens, but if you would also like photographs taking in the center area of Central Park, where Bethesda Terrace and Bow Bridge are, then you will have to walk thirty to forty minutes through the Park to get there after your ceremony and photos in the Conservatory Gardens.

The Central Park Conservancy do not allow us to bring seats for all the guests at weddings, but if couples think some of their party will need a seat during part of the proceedings, then I might suggest the Ladies’ Pavilion, Cop Cot or the Shakespeare Garden, where there are some benches already there. Generally, we find that all guests will stand for a wedding ceremony, though. It is nice to have benches nearby before and after the ceremony, to sit down to sign the license, or maybe to leave some belongings (supervised!) while group photographs are taken.

The couples and I will chat about their needs and we will settle on a choice for their wedding location, but it is important to remember that you can take photographs wherever you like in Central Park, so you should not get too concerned with choosing that one perfect location just for the ceremony. We usually suggest at least two hours for photographs in Central Park, and that includes the ceremony, which might take fifteen to twenty minutes, and then we can make a plan of all the other spots that you might want to get to for photos. The whole of Central Park is yours to enjoy when you get married there.

For more information in planning your Central Park wedding, or to discuss the best places to get married in Central Park, then drop me an email and we can have a chat. For more inspiration for planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.

Posted in Central Park, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elinor and Carl’s August Wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion

ec-central-park-wedding-3

Elinor and Carl brought their friends and family from their home in Manchester in the UK in the summer of 2014 to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in Central Park. They met at work – they are both nurses. They dated for six and a half years before getting married, and they bought their first house together three years before they got married.
Carl took Elinor to the Savoy hotel in London the autumn before they got married, and he proposed there. “It was a beautiful setting, and we had a wonderful weekend,” said Elinor. “Although in all honesty we had already decided we would get married and that we would get married in New York,” she added. But they wanted to make an occasion of their engagement, as many couples do.
Neither Carl nor Elinor wanted a big wedding or the pressure that they felt that might bring. They both feel that they appreciate the importance of marriage over the wedding. “I have always wanted to get married but only when it felt right, said Elinor. “We were at a point in our relationship where it didn’t feel like a massive jump, just a natural progression,” she told me. “It felt like the jewel in our crown if that makes sense, all the ground work was there we just needed the rubber stamp,” she explained.

When they started discussing their wedding, they were already in agreement about the major points: “we wanted a wedding abroad, we wanted something low key and non-traditional, but we knew we wanted our close family and friends there,” they told me. For a while they considered Las Vegas for a wedding destination, but Elinor’s mum could not shake the image of them being married by an Elvis, so she talked them out of it! “We considered other locations a little closer to home too,” said Elinor. “We looked at Spain, Italy and France, but either the language barrier or local laws proved a big of a struggle,” she said.

They feel strongly that an important aspect of their relationship has always been travel and holidays, they were keen to create memories with their loved ones that they will never forget. “We were also keen not to get focused on things like bows on chairs, centre pieces or what piece of music we do our first dance to,” they told me. “We wanted something that represented us as a couple which was already formed, and the focus was our marriage not just our wedding day,” Elinor added.

New York was Carl’s idea and as soon as he suggested it something just clicked for them both. They had both been to New York but not together. It took them around ten minutes of talking about it all to suggest the location of Central Park between them and they said that very quickly it all started to fall in to place. Elinor said that she found the planning of the wedding nice and simple and very enjoyable.

The couple did a bit or a search online for information, and felt that most of what they found was a little bogged down by jargon, but then they found my Central Park wedding planning website and they liked how simple I could make it for them. They chose the Ladies’ Pavilion for their ceremony location. “We liked it because it looked intimate and pretty,” said Elinor. “In reality it was beautiful and I am so pleased that we choose this location. The views from the Pavilion were breath taking,” she added. I agree. This is where I got married and after planning all these other weddings for the past five years, it is still my personal favorite location, as long as the group is small enough.

ec-central-park-wedding-2

They had photos taken at Bow Bridge and around Bethesda Fountain. “We put all our faith in our photographer who was incredible. He also took us to DUMBO prior to the service and the photos are brilliant,” Elinor added. “It also calmed my nerves to be with Carl prior to the ceremony, although I know this is unconventional it suited us much more,” she said. This is what I love about breaking with tradition and getting married in a park, you can break with tradition is so many other ways quite easily and do just what suits you.

The dress Elinor wore for the wedding was actually her second wedding dress. “The first was a beautiful Maggie Sottero tea length dress that was perfectly altered for her for just two weeks before our flight to New York I picked it up and I just hated it, it wasn’t right for me at all,” Elinor said. “After a worrying afternoon I found a dress in Coast and on the day I honestly could not have been happier in it,” she told me.
Elinor’s brother and sister in law live in Houston, Texas so while she was visiting them a little while before the wedding she made all the boutonnieres and corsages from faux flowers from Michaels. She did not want big, expensive, formal flowers and she did not want to carry a bouquet so this was perfect for her.

They invited close family and friends to their wedding. They tried to make it clear that they knew that some people would not be able to make it to the wedding and that was OK by them, but this was about Carl and Elinor as couple and a traditional big wedding at home just would not be for them. “It got a mixed reception, and some me family members weren’t able to make it,” said Elinor. “But in the end we were overwhelmed by the response from many of our friends who booked their flights before we did!” she added. In total there were twenty-five guests, this included their parents and brothers and their partners and several friends. “That was the incredible thing,” Elinor said, “to feel that support and love from all those people, friends and family who made the trip, we are incredibly lucky and will never forget that.”

Elinor and Carl stayed at The Strand, which was a great location and picked specifically for its roof top bar with sensational views of the Empire State Building. They spent the evening of the wedding, and indeed every evening of the trip in this bar, “it was perfect,” said Elinor. Their wedding dinner was at the Loeb Boathouse as the sun started to set over the Lake during their main course, “I can’t think of a better place,” said Elinor.

I asked if they had any other thoughts about Wed in Central Park that they would like to share and Elinor said “Claire was incredibly attentive, timely and informative and had an excellent knowledge of the area, protocols and services. It became so easy with her on board. People commented on how chilled out I was on the run up to the wedding (except the day before!) and it was purely because everything was taken care of. You can’t ask for more than that; just relax and enjoy!” Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Elinor and Carl, I wish you the best of luck for your futures together, although I am posting this blog two and a half years after your wedding. That is exactly my aim – for the bride to be relaxed and confident in the run-up to her wedding. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.

ec-central-park-wedding-1

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Time is Best For Your Central Park Wedding?

i05_erinmatthew-50-copy

I am a wedding planner for couples who want to get married in Central Park.  A decision that couples have to make quite early on in the wedding planning process is choosing a date and time and location for their wedding ceremony.  We must have the event permit from the Central Park Conservancy to be certain that we have secured the location for the ceremony, and people often like to have that confirmed early on.

08_caroline-bryan-wedding_web_w_am

I have planned around 180 weddings to date with Wed in Central Park and I have found that the most popular time for a wedding is early afternoon.  I think many brides like to have the morning to get ready and to build the excitement for the wedding in the afternoon.  We usually suggest allowing around two hours in Central Park, for the ceremony, the paperwork and all the photographs.  Then after that wedding parties tend to go on to various other places; either to a bar or restaurant, or maybe on to a cruise or somewhere like the Top of the Rock for more photos.

My advice to couples when considering what time they want to get married is to think about what else they want to do that day and that evening and work backwards from there.  What a couple might want to do with their wedding day will depend on who they have with them on the day.  If they are eloping and it is just the two of them, then they will have lots of options on what else they can do in New York City to make it a memorable day.  I wrote a blog post with my suggestions on what to do in New York on your wedding day.  If the party includes older people or children then their needs will have to be taken in to account when planning the activities for the day and evening.  Sometimes couples allow for their party to pop back to their hotels to freshen up in between the wedding and the evening, some decide that it is best for the entire party to stay out and keep together for things to run smoothly.

14_-caroline-peter-wedding_web_w_am

The most common thing to do by far, in my experience, is to keep close to tradition and take the party somewhere for something to eat.  Many parties book a table or private room in a restaurant, depending on group size.  So if this is what you plan to do, then think about what time you want to eat, consider the travel time from Central Park to the restaurant, allow time for all the things you want to do in Central Park after the ceremony, such as taking photos in all the locations you like, and then that will help you to decide what time the ceremony should be.  This is a big part of what I do during the wedding planning process, and how I can help, because I have made this sort of plan for lots of couples many times before.

01_jennifersteven-89-steps-central-park-wedding

The time of year will influence my advice on the best time for a wedding in Central Park.  I would not suggest having a ceremony in the direct sun in the middle of the day in high summer.  Nobody will be looking or feeling their best in that situation.  Conversely, if it is winter time, then the middle of the day would be a better time to get married, because the light will be better for the photographs.  A sunset wedding is a great idea in the summer time, but the sun sets so quickly in the winter that you would be risking it getting too dark too quickly to get good photos.  If you want Central Park to be at its most peaceful, then an early morning ceremony would be most suitable, and then you have the day free to fit in lots of fun things to do during your first day as a married couple.

_3_central-park-el-belvedere-castle-wedding

I got married on the 1st of July when it is very hot in Manhattan.  So, we decided that the best time for us was late morning.  We were living on the Upper East Side at the time.  We had two guests who were friends from New York, and our dog.  We got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in the shade, then had photos taken around the Park, dropped the dog off at home, then went for lunch with our guests in Midtown.  Then our friends went back to their homes, and we went back to our home.  We called our families at home in the UK, chilled out for a while, then walked to a nearby restaurant with views of the East River to celebrate the start of our married lives, just the two of us.  It was quiet, and hassle-free and it worked for us.

12_summer-wedding-samples__andy-mars

This is the beauty of getting married in Central Park, or some other non-traditional location; you get to choose how you want to do it.  This is true about all of it; what you say to each other, what you wear, where you go to celebrate, and what time you have the ceremony.  We at Wed in Central Park can help you to have the unique ceremony that suits you as a couple.  I always advise couples to think through exactly what they want to do and then we work out the best time to do everything else, and that helps us to decide when is best for their ceremony time.

ousite-conservatory-gardens-gate-central-park-wedding

Posted in Central Park, New York, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Victoria and Sean’s Wedding, Sheltered from the Rain Underneath Bethesda Terrace

vs-central-park-wedding-9

Victoria and Sean came over to New York form their home in Glasgow this December to get married in Central Park. They have been together for four years and they have a two year old son together. Having their son was a major reason why they wanted to get married, they wanted to make their union official with a wedding.

vs-central-park-wedding-10

They got engaged in November 2015 in Central Park, while taking a horse and carriage ride. Originally the plans for their wedding were a large-scale affair at Walt Disney World in Florida. Victoria started her communications with them but she found that the wedding planners there were adding to her wedding planning stresses, not helping. In the end she cancelled those big plans and reconsidered. “We realized that were marrying for love, not for a big show off day,” said Victoria, so they made the decision to elope to New York. Since they had got engaged there a year previously it was a special place for them. I find it quite common that couples who got engaged somewhere in New York want to get married there too.

vs-central-park-wedding-8

I asked them if they had had any worries about getting married in Central Park. Theirs was the same as many couples’ – the weather. They were getting married outdoors in December, there was a risk of rain or indeed snow. They did have rain so they changed their ceremony location. They had originally chosen the lovely Dene Summer House, known as the Treehouse for Dreaming, but this is at the top of a hill that would have been very slippy in the wet, and provided no shelter from the rain. So, they changed their location to underneath Bethesda Terrace. This is a fully covered area and is famous for being the location where Chuck and Blair got married in the TV show Gossip Girl. It has grand arches with a view out to the Bethesda Fountain and often there are musicians under there playing for visitors. It is a lovely spot, but of course the rain affected their chances of getting photos in lots of locations in Central Park. “We didn’t let it ruin our day,” said Victoria, and they got some beautiful photos in the Bethesda Terrace area.

vs-central-park-wedding-7

They were in New York for a week, and they stayed in the Paramount Hotel at Times Square. “The hotel was lovely but the location was just too busy,” said Victoria. “It was a fight of the crowds when we were coming and going from the hotel,” she added. I totally agree with this. As someone who has lived in Manhattan and visited as a tourist too I always recommend the Upper West Side as a great area to stay to couples who are getting married in Central Park. I know that Times Square is such a popular place to stay for tourists, but on the few occasions when I have had to walk through it I am always glad that I do not have to do it too often.

vs-central-park-wedding-6

Victoria’s makeup was done by Bre Kali and her hair was done by Keila Sone. “Both of them went above and beyond to give me the look I was looking for,” said Victoria. She carried an artificial bouquet that she had brought from home, which stood up very well in the rain.

vs-central-park-wedding-5

Their photographer was Gianna Leo Falcon. After their ceremony and their photographs they went back to the hotel and changed their clothes for some dry ones. Then went out for dinner and drinks to celebrate.

vs-central-park-wedding-3

Despite the weather Victoria and Sean loved their wedding in Central Park. “I think wherever you get married in Central Park it will be beautiful,” Victoria said. “At first I was upset that we had to change location but we had a magical ceremony and our pictures turned out amazing because all of Central Park is stunning, so regardless of the ceremony location you are guaranteed a magical day.”

vs-central-park-wedding-1

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Victoria and Sean, I wish you the best of luck for your futures together with your little family. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.

vs-central-park-wedding-2

Posted in Central Park, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mallory and Adam’s Christmas Central Park Wedding

adammallory-hires-317

Mallory had always loved Christmas and New York City, so the idea of a wedding at this time of year in this incredible city was her dream, although she never really thought it would happen for her. In the end not only did she make this happen, but she planned it in only twenty-four days!

adammallory-hires-313

Mallory and Adam are from Atlanta, Georgia and they met through mutual friends in August 2014. When they met, Adam had just started his Master’s Program to become a nurse practitioner and Mallory was enrolled to begin her Master’s Program in Educational Instructional Technology in January 2015. Adam, at the time, was an ICU nurse, working nights and Mallory was and still is a special education teacher at an elementary school. The couple found out quickly that they had so much in common and clicked straight away.

adammallory-hires-224-1

Mallory loves Christmas time, in fact her friends call her Miss Merry Christmas. “I love the spirit of Christmas, all the decorations, the music, and of course my Elf on the Shelf, Tommy,” she told me. On the evening of November 9th 2015, Adam came over to Mallory’s house and they sat by her Christmas tree chatting about their day and he suggested that she go and find Tommy the elf. Mallory searched high and low for him and finally found him the bookshelf by the Christmas tree with a little box in his lap. She opened the box and there was an engagement ring! She turned around and Adam was on his knee and asked her to marry him.

adammallory-hires-155

As soon as they were officially engaged, they began planning their wedding. They were originally aiming for a wedding near to their home in Atlanta in June 2016. They had decided on a theme of skeletons keys, which had meaning to them personally throughout their relationship. They visited venues, contacted caterers, and even found a beautiful dress in the Black Friday sale just weeks after their engagement. It had long lace sleeves so Mallory intended to have them altered for her summer wedding. But after a little while of wedding planning Mallory started to become frustrated that quite a few things were not quite working out as she had hoped, and the process that she had expected to be fun was becoming stressful.

adammallory-hires-211

In early December Mallory and her family had been to see Elf, the Musical and at the intermission, her father jokingly said, “why don’t you have a Christmas wedding in NYC?” They all laughed at the impossibility, but a few hours later, Mallory was starting to seriously consider it and not long after that, she was doing some serious research. Within a few days, the decision was made, the flights were booked, and rooms were rented and the date was set. “I chose Central Park because I wanted to be right in the city,” said Mallory. “I wanted to be surrounded by the city streets, the buildings, and all the cars. I wanted our pictures to clearly show that we got married in New York City,” she enthused.

adammallory-hires-160

Mallory knew New York and Central Park quite well, but, like many people who get married in Central Park as a destination wedding, they had to choose their ceremony location without being completely familiar with the location. They chose Cop Cot because they liked the look of it in pictures, but they didn’t know for sure how it would look in person. “The pictures did not do it justice,” said Mallory. They worried a little about the weather, and the possibility of rain, and how busy or noisy it might be in the area. In the end they loved Cop Cot, and it’s rustic simplicity. “I loved it even more in the winter because the entire top was clear and the skyscrapers showed through the branches,” Mallory said. Their photographer was Kristina Williamson. “We took pictures inside and outside of the gazebo, on the rocks with beautiful buildings in the background, and my favorite shot, in the street,” Mallory told me.

adammallory-hires-277

Mallory knew New York City well, and had visited several times before, including a trip there at Christmas time in 2008. Adam and his family had never been before. Adam’s father, who is a Southern Baptist Preacher, had one wish while in New York; to see the Statue of Liberty. They did see it, and ate at the Merchant’s River House which they tell me that they highly recommend and it had amazing views of the Statue of Liberty. They were in New York from the 26th until the 30th December. For the most of the trip they stayed at the Grand Hyatt and the bride and groom stayed at The Pierre after the wedding.

adammallory-hires-256

Mallory wore a beautiful dress by Mori Lee purchased from Bravura Fashion, a boutique in Atlanta. The bridesmaids wore a black or charcoal dress of their choice. They also wore different fur coats. Mallory carried a boutique of Christmassy red roses with the stems wrapped in lace from her mother’s wedding dress and had a skeleton key attached to it, which had been their original idea for a theme. Adam wore a single red rose with a small skeleton key attached to it. The ladies did their hair and makeup themselves. “Lucky for me, one of my brothers’ girlfriends does hair and my other brothers’ girlfriend does makeup,” Mallory said.

adammallory-hires-123

They had fourteen guests in attendance. It was just family and close friends. They said that some people in their wider social circle raised their eyebrows at a quick and out of state wedding, but their close friends and family understood why they wanted to get married this way and they were excited about the special occasion. “I do wish the family members unable to attend had been able to come,” she said. This is a common problem with the destination wedding. It can’t be helped. Adam’s father is a pastor so he was able to officiate their wedding, which must have been very special for him to be able to do as a father.

adammallory-hires-162

The ceremony was held at 2pm so they had the morning to prepare for it. “The ladies and mothers had an intimate bible study in the morning where we shared blessings and tears,” said Mallory. Before the ceremony, the men had pictures taken at The Pierre, where Mallory and Adam were staying on their wedding night. The men then had lunch in a hidden room at The Pierre while the ladies took their turn taking pictures. Mallory, her father, and Jan, the Maid of Honor, then took a taxi over to the ceremony.

adammallory-hires-202

After the ceremony, they had the reception dinner at Asiate, a signature restaurant within the Mandarin Oriental. They ate in their private dining room, which overlooks the city and the south-west corner of Central Park. “The food was delicious and the view was absolutely beautiful,” Mallory told me.

adammallory-hires-281

They got married in 2015 and it was a year later that we spoke, so I was able to ask if Mallory had any thoughts on their Central Park wedding a year later. “I wish I had booked my photographer for more time,” she said. “There are so many amazing spots for pictures in Central Park but we ran out of time for all the locations I wanted to visit, she added. Also, she said that it was very cold in December. Which of course she expected and she doesn’t mind the cold, but she was aware of her guests being cold and this made her feel a little rushed. In general, though, they have no regrets about their rather snap decision to get married in Central Park. “I love that we did something unique and different and we have a special place that we can visit years from now,” she said.

adammallory-hires-259

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Mallory and Adam, I wish you the best of luck for your futures together. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.

adammallory-hires-323

Posted in Central Park, New York | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rafael’s Marriage Proposal to Becca at the Wollman Rink in Central Park

img69

Rafael and Becca met on October 2014 at the engagement party of Becca’s brother and Rafael’s cousin.  Both of their families had suggested that Rafael and Becca would get along and had played matchmakers a little.  Their families were right and there were sparks from the moment they met, they started dating and eventually found that they were perfect for each other.  They were born and raised in Massachusetts and are currently living together there.  At the time that they met, though, Rafael was living and working in New York City and Becca was in Massachusetts.  They traveled on weekends and holidays to see each other so many of their first dates were in New York City.  They have lots of special memories together in NYC and in particular they both have fond memories of going to the Wollman Rink quite early on in their relationship in January 2015.

img16

Rafael decided that it was time to ask Becca to marry him.  “For me, marriage is the ultimate sign of commitment between two people that love each other unconditionally.  My parents personify the meaning of marriage to me, their love, devotion, faith and commitment to each other and their family has been one of the strongest influences in my life. These are the things that I feel and want when I’m with Becca,” he told me.  Rafael felt that it was time to get engaged, and he wanted to do it in the city that had such special meaning for them both.  He contacted me for some help with planning the proposal, to ensure that it all went smoothly on the day, and for my help with booking a photographer for him.

 

img53

He planned a trip not just for himself and Becca, but also for many of their friends and family.  Becca’s best friend and mom and brothers came along, and of course the cousin of Rafael’s who eventually married Becca’s brother, and whose engagement party was instrumental in Rafael and Becca meeting.  Rafael’s parents came, and his brother and sister.  Rafael’s sister was quite involved in the planning of the proposal and she was very important in helping us make the plan happen on the day.  Lots of friends and aunts and uncles and cousins came along, too.  It was a lovely, big family celebration.  Some might think this put a little pressure on Rafael and that we would be nervous that Becca would say yes but Rafael was confident.  “It was so great to have everyone there, their love and support were felt all weekend,” Rafael said.  “They all loved the idea of my proposal and were excited and grateful to be a part of the moment. They knew how much Becca and I loved NYC and were excited for a mini weekend getaway in the city,” he added.

img03

The couple are both good skaters so Rafael decided that they could go skating together on the Wollman Rink.  I contacted the manager of the rink and he agreed to play a couple of songs that are special to the couple on the speakers at a pre-agreed time.  I arranged for my photographer to hang out nearby and take a few photos of them skating from the side of the rink, hidden from Becca’s view.  Then the plan was for Rafael to get down on one knee when he heard their special song, ask Becca to marry him, then she would say yes (of course!) and then he would surprise her with announcing that so many of their friends and family were there, and then the photographer could take some posed photographs of them.  It all went very smoothly to plan.

img46

Getting engaged is a big step in a couple’s relationship.  They are making a promise to each other that one day soon they will be making some very big promises, about love and respect and unity for the rest of their lives together.  “This was certainly a big step in our relationship,” said Rafael.  They had been discussing the future for some time and they knew that they both felt the same way, this was putting the official stamp on things.  “I had decided a while ago that I wanted to commit myself to her and me proposing and her saying yes solidified that commitment. There is certainly a renewed excitement now since our relationship is advancing to a new stage,” he said.  “We are already in full wedding-planning mode,” he enthused.

img54

Rafael was brave enough to make the grand gesture of this proposal but he had not wanted to go ring shopping alone.  As an extremely fussy person, I think he made the right decision.  My husband and I bought our wedding and engagement rings together and my rings are completely perfect for me, which I think is important when you are going to wear something forever.  Rafael and Becca went ring shopping a few times so that he could get an idea of what she liked, and he also got advice from both their moms, and his sister, sister-in-law and his cousin (Becca’s sister-in-law, remember?) but in the end he made the final decision.  I love Rafael’s way of doing things – he involves the family in all the important stuff.

img39

So, Becca kind of knew this was coming.  It was brave of Rafael to propose in such a public place, and it was a lovely gesture to do something so romantic with the setting and the special music and the photos, but he was confident that Becca would say yes.  She knew she was going to be proposed to soon, so she had had the chance to think about what she would say, but Rafael wanted the occasion to be a surprise.  He had said that he wanted to go ring shopping again after they got back from their New York trip so that Becca wouldn’t guess that he planned to ask her in NYC.  “I also surprised her the day before with Lion King on Broadway tickets, so she thought that was my only surprise of the weekend,” he said. “Luckily it worked and she was totally surprised,” he added.

img56

The morning of the proposal they went over to Queens to visit where Rafael used to live. This was partly because he wanted to get Becca far away from all those friends and family in town to celebrate their engagement who were staying nearby.  Rafael’s sister was heavily involved in the plan and he kept her updated with their movements and she in turn updated others.  They returned around noon to go to the Rockefeller Center to see them put up the Christmas tree.  Then they went back to their hotel to get ready to go ice skating.  We had planned carefully to get the whole group to the skating rink in advance of Rafael and Becca arriving, but kept them hidden while the couple got their skates.  After the proposal, Rafael’s parents and siblings had arranged for a space at a restaurant right next to the couple’s hotel for some food and a celebration.  Later, they all went to the rooftop bar at the hotel and continued their celebrations there.

img34
I asked him how I did, since I am a lot less experienced with planning proposals than I am with weddings, “I can’t stress enough how much having someone to bounce ideas off of and coordinate everything was a huge weight off my shoulders and allowed me to enjoy the moment even more, he said.  “I highly recommend using Wed in Central Park for any proposal in Central Park.  This is the only moment that any future groom has full control over and can make a memorable experience.  Whether you have a large or small idea, having someone in your corner is priceless,” he added.

img65

They got engaged in early November and by the time Rafael and I talked again they had set a date.  They started discussing the wedding on the ride back home the very next morning, and have made lots of plans already, including setting the date for October of this year in Playa Mujeres, Mexico on October 10, 2017!  Thanks so much for sharing your story, Rafael and Becca!  I am honoured to have been a part of your marriage proposal.  I wish you both lots of luck for your wedding and your future together. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding or proposal, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.

img74

Posted in Central Park, Marriage Proposal | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amy and Garry’s October Wagner Cove Wedding

amygarry-35

Amy and Garry came over to New York from their home in Greenock, near Glasgow, Scotland this October to get married in Central Park. They met eight years ago at a local nightclub when Amy was 18 and Garry was 22. After four years of dating they bought their first flat together. They got engaged last August while on holiday in Mallorca in Spain, Garry proposed while they were walking along the beach.

amygarry-80

Whenever they talked about getting married, they agreed that they would have a destination wedding. They knew they did not want to get married at home, but they had always thought it might be somewhere like Spain; somewhere sunny in Europe.  Then they started to think about it a little more once they were engaged.

amygarry-94

They happened to already have a trip to New York planned for Garry’s thirtieth birthday, so they started to think about getting married while they were there. They searched online for inspiration for weddings in New York, and lots of images of Central Park came up in their searches. They loved the look of it and decided that it would be perfect for their wedding.

amygarry-82

I asked them if they had any worries about getting married so far from home, and Amy said that they did want to feel sure that they had found a legitimate and reliable company to organize it for them. “As soon as we found Claire she put us at ease and made it a fairly straightforward and stress free process for us,” she said.

amygarry-86

They got to New York three days before their wedding and they stayed at the Tryp Hotel. They had a wedding party of twenty-three, close friends and family. They all said that they loved the idea of getting married in Central Park, and they all agreed that the trip in general as a group was great fun.

amygarry-101

The ceremony was held at Wagner Cove. They had loved it’s rustic charm in the photos they saw of it, and they wanted somewhere private. I arranged for them to have the photographer for an hour longer than usual. We usually suggest two hours, but they wanted a little longer. They had pictures taken at lots of locations in Central Park and really made the most of their time with the photographer. They said their favorite photos were taken on Bow Bridge. “The weather was beautiful that day and on the bridge the pictures just captured it all,” said Amy.

amygarry-88
I arranged for a bagpiper to meet Amy, her dad and her bridesmaids at the entrance to Central Park, and he played the bagpipes as they walked through the Park, and down the steps to Wagner Cove.

amygarry-2
Amy’s classic white gown was purchased from a Eleganza Sposa in Glasgow and her bridesmaids’ dresses were from Coast.

amygarry-7
Amy’s three bridesmaids wore lilac, and the color theme of the wedding was in keeping with this. Amy had customized artificial flowers made for her and her party at home in Scotland, which they brought over with them. They looked fantastic, and are a perfectly apt Scottish bouquet of thistles, heather and roses. The buttonholes also had a rose and a thistle, too.

amygarry-27

Amy is a hairdresser, so she knew exactly what she wanted for her hair. She spent the morning doing her wedding party’s and her own hair, and she said that was good to keep her occupied! We can see from the photos that she did a brilliant job. I recommended the wonderful Metro Look to do their makeup in their hotel room. “They where great, everyone was happy with their makeup,” said Amy.

amygarry-79

After the ceremony at Wagner Cove, which we made a video of for them to show to extended family and friends at home, they had photographs around Central Park. After that they went on to their reception at a steak house called Gallaghers. The photographer went along, too, since they had him for that hour of extra time, so he was able to capture their celebrations there, too.

amygarry-115

“I absolutely loved every minute of my wedding and wouldn’t change any of it,” said Amy. “I wish I could do it all again. Central Park was beautiful such a gorgeous place to get married,” she added.

amygarry-119

“Claire was just great, she made the organisation of my wedding so easy and stress free and was always available to answer any questions that I had, I couldn’t recommend her enough,” Amy said. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Amy and Garry, I wish you the best of luck for your futures together. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.

amygarry-41

Posted in Central Park, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment