Amy and Garry’s October Wagner Cove Wedding

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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Why you need Wed in Central Park to plan your Central Park wedding

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Reliability and Quality

The main purpose of this blog is to provide some assurance that this is a real and trustworthy business.  I want couples to feel comfortable handing their money over to me, when I may be in a different country from them, and at the beginning of the process, just a website on the internet, which could be controlled by anyone.  This blog, and the Facebook page are intended to show that we are a genuine and fully operational, energetic wedding planning business.  I average one wedding per week at the moment, although of course Summer months are busier than Winter months.  Several of the couples I have worked with have left me a review on Facebook, and this very public, uncensored system should show that people are happy with the service I provide.

I always ask for feedback from the couples I work with.  And I listen to what they say.  These days I get really happy people telling me how they felt relaxed in the lead-up to their wedding and that they could trust in me that I would deliver the wedding day they asked for.  In many cases they tell me that the people I book for their wedding day are even better than they expected.  There have been times when I get some great suggestions from couples on how to improve, and where possible I take those suggestions on board and make changes.

I work with several City Hall registered officiants.  Many of them have been celebrating and leading weddings for several years, and know New York City and Central Park very well.  I will ask a couple at the very beginning of our planning process if there is anything in particular they want from an officiant and I will match the officiant to the couple from the group I work with.  Everyone I work with is an excellent communicator and a reliable, cordial person with a great enthusiasm for celebrating love and marriage.  I have been asked to provide officiants who can perform a wedding in two languages, gay officiants, ordained officiants, and an officiant who can also provide public notary services and I have been able to provide them.

The photographers I work with know Central Park and New York City very well.  They are creative and artistic and know the spots to get those perfect iconic shots of Central Park.  They are all friendly and easy-going people and couples tell me that this really helps to make their wedding day special, since they spend two or even more hours with the photographer, getting those beautiful photos of the couple with the striking backdrop of Central Park, that will be hanging on their walls for the rest of their lives together.

I work with two videographers who have been doing the job for many years.  We can produce the video pretty much however you want it, if you let us know in advance.  We can also put any special music you request in the soundtrack.

I recommend an excellent hair and make-up team, who are great fun and extremely talented people who also regularly work on models and celebrities and New York City.  Many brides have told me that their bubbly energy has helped them to relax before the wedding.  And the photos prove what a great job they did on helping the brides look incredible on their special day, and well in to the evening.

Our Manhattan-based florist is renowned for her dexterity, innate artistry, and impeccable design sense.  She is a favorite among New York brides and event planners and has been featured in several national media outlets.  We have a great working relationship and she has always provided amazing bouquets, in many cases just from a couple of photos provided by the bride.  She is always ready and able to procure the requested flowers, and to make any changes we need if a bride changes her mind.

The musicians I work with are talented and amiable people, also they really enjoy being involved in weddings.  I will pass on their repertoire list to couples so that they can choose which pieces they would like to be played before, during and after their wedding ceremony.  There have been many occasions where the couple want a piece that is special to them and not on the list of pieces the musician knows.  With enough notice, our musicians can learn a specially requested piece for a wedding.

I have worked through plans for each wedding in as much detail as the couple needs.  Some are happy with the bare bones of a plan and can go with the expertise of our people on the day.  Some need a detailed plan of timings, with instructions on where to be and when for all involved.  For example, the photographer might need to know keep the bride out of sight of the groom and guests, and to give a sign to the musician and officiant so that the bride can be announced and the musician can play a special piece of music for the bride to walk down the pathway to the ceremony location to.  That extra-special big entrance can be perfectly planned and co-ordinated.

I have a process that broadly guides me in how I plan each wedding, that process has been developed, practiced and enhanced through the years I have been planning weddings in Central Park.  That said, each couple is different, and my position as the sole owner of this business, means that I can decide whether it is possible to do whatever a couple asks for their wedding day, and usually I can find a way to do it.  The process involves a method of developing the ceremony wording with the couple, using a list of questions that allows me to write something that is unique to each couple, while keeping within the traditional structure of a wedding ceremony in many cases.  I have done weddings that are not in Central Park, where some couples have requested it, and made various last-minute changes to accommodate couples.  I like to be as obliging and accommodating as possible.

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Flexibility

I agree exactly what I will provide for a wedding with a couple in advance of taking a deposit from them.  I write out a contract between them and Wed in Central Park which clearly states what they have told me that they want me to provide for their wedding day.  But things can change.  Couples might want a little longer with the photographer, they might want extra flowers added to their order, they may want to get married at a different time, or even a different day.  I have been able to accommodate these changes in the vast majority of cases.

I have a team of great people whom I have been working with for several years.  If a couple were to book an officiant or photographer themselves and they had any kind of emergency that stopped them from being able to do the wedding then, unless that person could find anyone else to do it at the last minute, they would be stuck.  In all the weddings I have planned, we have not had this happen very often, but one of my officiants had a very sick family member some time ago and she had to go and care for them.  We had a couple of weddings scheduled but I was able to cover them without any disruption to the couples because I work with plenty of other people who can cover it.

I do have a great team of people, but the most important thing in my mind when planning all weddings is that it should all be just as the couple wants it to be.  So, that means that I am happy for couples to have me arrange part of it and for them to arrange part of it if they want.  For example, they might have a very specific idea of what kind of photographer they want, and they may want to select from the vast choice that New York City offers and book their own photographer, which is fine with me.  They may have a particular musician they want to play at the ceremony, and that is fine, too.  We can tailor each of the packages that are listed on the website to fit with any couple’s needs.  We have also been able to be very flexible with the ceremony itself, and have very heavy involvement from the wedding guests, which the officiant can be there to witness for legal reasons and assist with their expertise.

The biggest hazard of having an outdoor wedding is how difficult it is to predict the weather.  I have had to reschedule a few weddings due to bad weather, mostly during the Spring and Autumn months when rain can come as a surprise.  The people I work with value their relationship with me and will often make themselves available to reschedule a wedding where possible.  Many of them do work more than one job, though, and will have other commitments, so this will not always be possible.  This would be true of any officiant or photographer that may have been booked privately by a couple.  With us, though, if a service provider cannot reschedule, then I am able to call on the many other contacts I have to quickly find someone else to replace them, which I have done a few times now, and this allows us to reschedule weddings in case of bad weather.

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Knowledge

Every couple has different needs, but I have a process that broadly guides me in how I plan each wedding.  Whenever something new comes up that I haven’t known before then that might get added in to the process.  This is to make sure that everyone is very clear on what is expected of each other before we sign the contract, and then to guide the couple through a logical and easy route of planning their wedding, starting with the bigger issues and moving on to the smaller details as we get closer to the date.

I have been asked lots of questions about the paperwork required to get married.  I have been to City Hall to get my own marriage license.  I have also been to City Hall to pick up my own short license, long license and Apostille, and I have also picked up the same paperwork for other couples.  I know the process.  I can answer all questions relating to getting this paperwork, but I can not tell you what your country requires for you to be legally married.  This differs from country to country.  Different couples will have different needs and I keep getting feedback from couples about other City Halls besides Manhattan, how to find a public notary, what to do if you are struggling to get the license 24 hours before the ceremony, and various other things, so in many cases I can help with any issues that crop up.

Wed in Central Park has applied for almost two hundred event permits for weddings in Central Park.  I know the process and I have lots of experience in dealing with the staff at the Central Park Conservancy.  I can usually predict how long it will take to process any applications, and what a couple’s chances are of getting their first choice of date, time and location depending on how much notice they have left to get their permit.

I know the park, I used to live nearby and I got married there myself.  I have attended lots of weddings there and aided many couples getting married there, and got lots of feedback.  I can listen to a couple describe the kind of location in which they would like to have their wedding ceremony, in terms of its size, views, privacy, distance from other locations, shelter and amenities.  We can work together to choose the right locations in Central Park for their ceremony and for their photographs.

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Experience

I have been planning weddings for couples getting married in Central Park since 2012 when I started Wed in Central Park.  As I write this at the end of 2016 I have done around one hundred and eighty weddings.  I have got quite good at it, even if I do say so myself.  Most questions are easy for me to answer because most questions have been asked before by other couples.  I have been asked to recommend various service providers, such as florists and hair and makeup people and bakers and car companies.  I have a great working relationship with many of the people I recommend, and I do not recommend anyone that I do not get impressive feedback about.

I can talk about the intricacies of your wedding day plan for as long as you like.  How long will it take to get a cab from your hotel to the particular Central Park entrance that you’ll need to walk in from?  What route should you or your guests take through Central Park after the ceremony, either to get the best photos for you, or to take the easiest route to where those guests will be enjoying a cocktail while the couple have more photos taken?

My four years of planning weddings has helped me to develop a process that broadly guides me in how I plan each wedding.  I use this tried and tested process to guide the couples through their wedding planning in a structured and well-defined manner.  Couples tell me that this keeps them feeling organised, in control and relaxed in the run-up to their wedding.

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Have a look at the Wed in Central Park website, check out the reviews on Facebook and have a look through some of our beautiful photos of couples whose weddings we have been involved in.

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Ideas for Honeymoon Experiences in New York City

This guest post is written by Gemma Grange.  Many of the couples who get married in Central Park also stay in New York City for their honeymoon.  Gemma shares her suggestions of some great honeymoon experiences in New York.

Couples from all around the world head to New York for the wedding of a lifetime­… for few things can be quite as romantic as Central Park in the Spring time – think the picturesque Wagner Cove, with its bevy of couples falling in love all over again as they row beneath the gracefully arched bridge, Bow Bridge (one of the most photographed sites in Central Park), or the elegant Conservatory Gardens, with their imposing iron gates and verdant canopy. Of course, after your wedding ceremony, there is so much to do in the city that doesn’t sleep. The best thing about New York is that you can get discover a bevy of scenic spots, and return home with a wealth of memories of one of the most vibrant, exciting cities in the world. If you are planning on making New York your choice for a honeymoon as well as a wedding, consider indulging in these romantic experiences:

  • Take a night cruise and see Manhattan at its most brilliant: Enjoy a luxury dinner as you sail along the Hudson River, aboard a luxury yacht. The New York Lights City Dinner Cruise will delight connoisseurs with a four-course dinner (featuring delights such as filet mignon, wild salmon etc.), as you sail past some of the City’s most iconic monuments (including the impressive Statue of Liberty).
  • Take a romantic stroll through The Met Cloisters: These gorgeous gardens, ensconced in Fort Tryon Park, is the part of the Met Museum which is dedicated to medieval European gardens, as well as art and architecture. Tapestries, illuminated manuscripts and stained glass will fascinate you for hours. A must-see work in the Cloisters is the series of tapestries donated by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Known as The Hunt of the Unicorn, the tapestries are made of metallic thread, wool and silk and they are famed for their detailed depiction of medieval flowers.
  • Take a carriage ride: Romantic carriage rides have been featured in a host of Hollywood films, and they make for great photographic opportunities. Carriage rides can be enjoyed in Central Park as well as outside the Park, and they run from early in the morning until around midnight.
  • Skating in the Rockefeller Center: This skating rink is arguable one of the most famous in the world, once again because of the starring role it has played in many films. There are many other things to do after skating, since the Rockefeller Center is home to famous statues (such as Atlas and Prometheus), and of course, the imposing Christmas tree that lights up the city with its magic and mystery.
  • Experience an adrenalin rush at the Brooklyn Boulders rock climbing facility: Not all couples want to just hold hands and have a romantic picnic; for some couples, a honeymoon would be nothing without a little adventure! Head for Brooklyn Boulders if climbing is your thing – take part in everything from bouldering to auto-belay, top-roping and lead climbing, or take a fitness, capoeira, yoga or acroyoga class. The center is supervised and completely safe, though if you are worried about a possible injury, just make sure you are covered for any possible accidents. The center is built for beginners and advanced climbers alike, though, so this experience is really all about fun rather than fear.
  • Enjoy the view from the top of the Empire State Building: It is difficult to think of the Empire State without our minds conjuring up images of films like An Affair to Remember, in which the building plays such an important role in the relationship between the two main characters (played by Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant). The building itself is a beautiful exponent of architecture, but the view it offers makes it easy to fall in love with New York over and over again.

There are so many romantic things to do in New York that it would be impossible to come up with a definitive list of must-see sites. It all ultimately depends on your mood – how active or relaxed you wish to be, and on your idea of what romance involves. A simple walk through Central Park, or a quiet picnic can be all you need, for ultimately, where there is love, every place is filled with romance.

 

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Hayley and Mike’s Wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion

Hayley and Mike got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in Central Park in 2012. I talked to them about it and their feelings about their decision to get married in Central Park four years after their wedding.

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Mike proposed to Hayley on her thirtieth birthday while they were on vacation in the Spanish city of Barcelona. The trip was a surprise gift for her birthday and the proposal was a surprise, too! They had discussed getting married beforehand, though, and they had agreed that they wanted to do something different from the traditional ceremony and getting married near their home. They had the idea about getting married in New York, and once they started looking at it in any detail they didn’t consider anything else, they knew this was the place for them. They had visited New York back in 2010 and had fallen in love with Central Park then, and it seemed like a fairy tale come true for them to get married in such an iconic venue.

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At first they were a bit worried that none of their friends and family would want to come with them. But, as many couples find, lots of people are very excited about a destination wedding, and pleased to have the excuse for a holiday. Thirteen guests fly over with them for the wedding, Hayley’s dad and step mum, her sister and brother in law, Mike’s brother and his partner, Hayley’s best friend and her husband and three family friends. Hayley sadly lost her mum to cancer many years ago. Mike’s parents couldn’t travel the distance, which is a common drawback of the destination wedding, unfortunately. They were missed at the wedding, but they were able to celebrate with them on their return.

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They had some general worries about how to organize the wedding from the UK, but luckily they had a wedding planner. It was not me! I had only recently started planning weddings in Central Park when they got married. Their wedding planner sorted out all the paperwork, expect the part that the couple are legally obliged to do; going to City Hall in person, together, to obtain their license, check out my blog for more information about that.

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They stayed in New York for a week in the Hotel Affinia in Midtown which they liked and said was in a good central location. All the guests stayed for a week, too, and the group had a great time. For many of their guests it was their first time in New York.

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Hayley and Mike’s wedding ceremony was conducted in the Ladies Pavilion. They had hired a guitarist to play for the guests before the bride arrived and again after the ceremony. I asked Hayley where her favorite photos were taken, she said that she could not pick a favorite place! They had photos taken in and around the Pavilion, and on Bow Bridge, on The Mall and at Bethesda Terrace, and lots of other lovely spots.

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Hayley wore a traditional wedding dress by Jenny Packham with a matching antique silver headband. Her flowers were a classic bunch of cream seasonal flowers and the bridesmaids carried two small posies purchased from a florist near to their hotel. The bridesmaids got their dresses from Coast in the UK. Hayley had not chosen a color scheme for the wedding, so when they went shopping for the bridesmaid dresses they were just able to choose what suited them, which I think is a lovely way of doing it.

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The ladies in the wedding party had their hair done professionally on the morning of the wedding. While they did that the gentlemen in the party had their breakfast out in Chelsea, picking up a copy of the New York Times on the way as a souvenir. Once the ceremony was complete the couple had some photographs taken with the guests, then they all left to go for drinks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near Columbus Circle, while the couple had longer taking more pictures in Central Park. After that they met them at the hotel bar for champagne. They had pre-booked the table and the hotel staff were aware that it was their wedding day, and were very accommodating, even bringing the group complimentary strawberries and chocolates. They had their dinner at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. “This was lovely,” said Hayley, “we sat right beside the lake as the sun was setting. It was beautiful and a favourite moment of mine.” After their meal, as evening fell, they took a carriage ride to The Roosevelt Hotel where they had booked a table at their roof top bar, Mad46. “It was a lovely way to end our wedding day; drinking cocktails overlooking the city at night,” Hayley said.

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I asked Hayley if she had any regrets four years on, and whether she would change anything about her wedding now. “I would not change a single thing about my wedding in Central Park,” she said. “We talk about it all the time, even now. We cannot wait to return, maybe for our fifth anniversary next summer!”

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Thanks for sharing your story with us, Hayley and Mike, I wish you lots of luck for your future together, and I hope you do make it back next Summer! Thanks for sharing your photos with us, too. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.

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Alistair and Victoria’s Elopement Wedding in Wagner Cove

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Alistair and Victoria eloped from their home in Boston in England this September to get married at Wagner Cove. They met in 2014 at a children’s play area. Their toddlers started playing together by chance. The grown-ups got talking and things progressed from there. Alistair proposed in London’s Hyde Park near to the Serpentine Waterfall. They had both discussed wanting to visit New York one day and their engagement in this iconic park in another major city influenced their decision to get married in Central Park.

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Being married is important to Alistair and Victoria because they feel that it shows a higher level of commitment. They have three children between them and this marriage unites them as a family and symbolizes Alistair and Victoria’s commitment in a clear way for their children.

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I asked them if they had any concerns about getting married in Central Park and Alistair said that they were a little worried about getting married in a public place. They had chosen one of the most private locations, Wagner Cove, but the area remains a public right of way, even with an event permit. Our fabulous photographer, Andy Mars, put their mind at rest about this when they met her.

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Wagner Cove is in a secluded spot right by the Lake. It is accessed by some stone steps that would be very easy to miss if you didn’t know that they were there. I arranged for a guitarist to play at their wedding ceremony location. Alistair and Victoria had made some special requests and the guitarist had learnt them specially for the occasion in advance. He played a little before the ceremony, then a special request part way through the ceremony, after the officiant had made the introduction but before Alistair and Victoria started to make their promises to each other.

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They said that their favorite photos were taken down by Wagner Cove because they loved the seclusion as a picturesque back drop to the pictures. Their photographer took them to several other locations in Central Park for photographs, and the couple were pleased to have photos taken in the more iconic locations such as Bethesda Terrace and by the Fountain, but they were very happy with their decision to have the ceremony somewhere less populated.

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Alistair wore a three piece blue suit with a white shirt and brown shoes. Victoria wore a champagne satin dress with full length lace overlay and train, purchased from The Bridal Lounge near to their home. Victoria had her hair and makeup done by Salon De Quartier on 2nd Avenue.

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Alistair and Victoria stayed at the Waldorf Astoria for ten nights. Though they eloped a friend who lives in New York was able to join them for the wedding ceremony.  After their photographer left them they had a drink in the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park with their friend, and then after that they went on to the Chart House in Weehawken for a celebratory meal.

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I asked them if they had any tips for anyone considering getting married in Central Park. Alistair suggests that anyone thinking of doing it should have a good think about what they want from a wedding ceremony location, and ask lots of questions of their planner to be sure that they have the right spot for them. I think this is great advice. We are much more able to help couples get what they want if couples know what it is that they want. Sometimes I encounter couples who really haven’t thought things through early on in the planning process and they might be disappointed. Alistair also pointed out that some of the public restrooms are of a low standard of cleanliness. I would add that they do see a huge volume of traffic every day, and that they have stood up rather well considering the plumbing is over a hundred years old and there really are not very many of them. But I agree that if I was wearing a long white gown I wouldn’t really want to use them. I would also add that couples should check which bathrooms are closest to their wedding location (or ask me), because there really are very few bathrooms in Central Park.

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I asked for any other comments on Wed in Central Park and he said “we can not fault the service we received, Claire was informative, helpful and able to answer any questions easily and in good time.” He added, “thank you once again for everything, you really made our day special.” Thank you for sharing your story with us, Alistair and Victoria, I wish you the best of luck for your future together with your 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.

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James and Cat’s Belvedere Castle Terrace Wedding

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Catherine and James brought their friends and family over from the UK this September to get married on Belvedere Castle Terrace. Cat is from Cardiff and James is from the Wirral. They met when they were both students at Aston University in November 2007 and have been together ever since.

They bought their first home together in Birmingham in August 2015, and James surprised Cat by asking her to marry him in the kitchen on the day they moved in. It felt like the next natural step in their relationship to symbolize their commitment with marriage, after making the financial leap of buying a home together.

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After they had settled in to their house, they started wedding planning. They looked at some nice locations in and around their home in Birmingham, but none of them felt right for them as a couple. They were all very expensive, and Cat and James questioned the idea of paying so much money for just one day. “We feel a marriage is about so much more than just the wedding day and we wanted to do something special without spending so much on the day,” said Cat. It just happened that they were also thinking about taking a holiday to New York after their house move, and just for fun, Cat started to look in to how easy it might be to elope there and get married in New York. “It turns out it’s very easy,” said Cat, “but we liked the idea of having our families with us on the day,” she added. So, they talked to their families about the idea. The little spark of an idea grew and grew and in the end Cat and James decided to take four weeks off work in total and carry on travelling around the USA as their honeymoon after the wedding.

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Their original choice for a wedding ceremony location was the Ladies’ Pavilion, but we were unable to get a permit for that spot. This does sometimes happen and we have to make a second choice. They went for Belvedere Castle Terrace in the end, but their photographer knew that they liked the Ladies’ Pavilion so made sure to get lots of extra photos there. That is always something to keep in mind when choosing which location to get married in, you can always go to a lovely location for photos, even if you don’t actually have the ceremony there. Cat said that she liked having that shelter at the Castle Terrace, and she loved the views from there.

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I asked if they had any concerns about marrying in Central Park. They had the common worry about the weather, which pretty much everyone has. September usually sees lovely weather in New York, but of course it might rain, and it also might be very hot. In fact Cat and James saw very hot temperatures and some rain during their week-long stay in New York, but the weather was perfect on their wedding day. Belvedere Castle Terrace is a great choice if you are a bit worried about the weather, because it has covering to protect from rain or sunshine, although it is the highest point in Central Park so if it is windy, then you really feel it there. They also had the common worry that they were organizing the wedding from abroad, so they had a small concern that nobody would turn up on the day. I do a lot to try to reassure people about this one, but it is hard because this is an online business, and there are dodgy people out there. We have lots of reviews on Facebook by real people to set anyone’s mind at rest that we are a real business, and all the officiants and photographers and so on who I work with a very reliable, simply because they value their relationship with me, as I do with them.

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Cat and James stayed at the Ameritania Hotel, and they would thoroughly recommend it, but they said that if they ever return to New York City then they would prefer to stay in Greenwich Village because they loved the more relaxed pace around there. Personally, I always recommend the Upper West Side; great places to eat, lovely buildings, great transport links, and sandwiched between the Hudson River and Central Park. Their guests were their parents, James’ mum’s partner and both their sisters. They all loved the idea of a destination wedding and used the trip as an opportunity for a holiday, most of the guests stayed for the full week in New York with Cat and James.

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Cat wore a Justin Alexander dress and James wore a Ted Baker suit. Cat carried gypsophilia, lisianthus and roses in her bouquet and hair and for the button holes. I arranged for these to be delivered to their hotel room on their wedding day. “We would definitely recommend the florist as they exceeded expectations,” enthused Cat. She booked her own hair and makeup, Sharon Becker, “she did a great job and the hair and make-up stayed put all day and for our evening meal,” added Cat.

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They had extra time taking photos, we did three hours instead of the usual two. We can always add on extra time if couples want it. After the wedding they all went to the Loeb Boathouse for drinks after the photos were finished. Then they all went on to a private dining room at Lincoln Square Steakhouse, which they loved. They said it was the best food they had during the week in New York City.

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I asked if they had any tips to share for anyone considering a wedding in Central Park. Cat said “it is an absolutely beautiful place to get married but I recommend taking flip flops and asking a guest to kindly carry them for you if you’re wearing heels. There is quite a lot of walking around and luckily our lovely sisters helped carry bottles of water, my heels and James’ suit jacket while we were having photos taken.” This is great advice. The guests at my own wedding carried our dog for us at times (yes, we’re that kind of dog-owners) and whenever I attend a wedding as a planner my main duty is to hold bags and shoes. They also added that “the atmosphere was great and lots of people congratulated us whilst walking around, and we saw other weddings taking place.” Central Park is a popular place for weddings, and weirdly for a weekday in September, their date was very busy, for me and Central Park in general. We are often told how nice it is to walk through the city or through Central Park as people congratulate them as they go. New Yorkers are very friendly and warm people.

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I asked if they had any other comments about us and Cat said “Claire provided a very helpful service and made the whole process of getting married in Central Park much less daunting!” She added that she “loved the florist and our officiant and photographer were both amazing!” Thank you for sharing your story with us, Cat and James. I wish you the best of luck for your futures together, I am honoured to have been a part of your 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.

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Brian and Cathy’s Wedding Vow Renewal in Wagner Cove

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Brian and Cathy renewed their wedding vows in Wagner Cove this June.  They came over from their home in Glasgow, Scotland with a small group.

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The couple met in 1984 on Citizen Band Radio.  They were together for a year before getting engaged, three years after that they had their daughter Susan, but they did not get married until they had been engaged for eighteen years.  They had a small wedding at their local registry office.

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This year Cathy turned 50, so Brian decided to plan to surprise her with renewing their wedding vows somewhere a little more exciting than the local registry office.  “I wanted to show her that I still love her today as much as I did when we met thirty-two years ago,” Brian told me.  Their vow renewal ceremony was on Cathy’s birthday.

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Brian said that he chose Central Park because it is such an iconic and well-known place, “I’ve watched a lot of films with Central Park in it and it always looks so romantic,” he said.

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The couple were joined in New York by their daughter Susan and her fiancé Kevin and their friends Margaret and Don.  They stayed at the Kitano Hotel on Park Avenue at 38th Street for five days.  During the ceremony, Susan was ring-bearer and Don read the poem Marriage Joins Two People.

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They chose Wagner Cove for the location of their wedding vow renewal.  “It is such a beautiful place to be married,” said Brian.  “Also, we got lots of pictures taken all over Central Park at so many beautiful locations,” he added.  After the ceremony and photos in Central Park, they went to Times Square for more pictures, then on for drinks and a meal to celebrate.

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While this was a gift from Brian to Cathy, he decided to tell her in advance of hs plans, rather than surprise her on the day, so Cathy was involved in the planning process. “Claire was great,” she said, “she was in contact all the time asking if she could help us with anything, she arranged everything for us and we had a great day, everything ran smoothly.  It is so hard to arrange things in another country so having Claire was a God send.  We would recommend Claire to anyone arranging a wedding or vow renewal in New York.”

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Thank you for sharing your story with us, Brian and Cathy, I wish you the best of luck for the rest of your lives together. It was lovely to be involved in your wedding vow renewal.

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For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.

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