Getting Married in Central Park in May

getting married in Central Park in May

May is a very popular month for weddings in Central Park.  It’s not quite Summer yet in New York, so there isn’t the oppressive heat that we sometimes have to deal with in the warmer months, but the weather is usually sunny and dry.  The trees, flowers and plants will have started blooming and many areas of Central Park will be looking their best.  It’s easy to see why so many couples come to New York to get married in Central Park at this time of year.

The sun is up for quite a while in New York in May.  Sunrise happens at around 5:30am and the sun sets a little after 8pm.  Some couples may want to make the most of that enjoy a rooftop bar as the sun goes down.  In high summer my photographers usually discourage getting married in the middle of the day because the sun will be too high and bright, but this isn’t too much of a problem in May.  The most popular time for weddings is the early afternoon, but in May, many couples get married in the later afternoon, around 4pm.

Central Park is a busy place, and the number of visitors to the city start to increase in May, so you might find that you get some passers-by in your photos, but you will still get some lovely shots.  There are some locations for your ceremony that are more private and out-of-the-way than others, which you may want to consider if you don’t like attention.  Because the weather is so perfect at this time of year, you could take photos at the Top of the Rock or Brooklyn Bridge Park and not get cold – these places do get very chilly in the Winter!

Wedding Central Park NYC May 1

There are a few celebrations in May, the first being Cinco de Mayo, 5th May, a Mexican celebration and parade.  Mother’s Day is usually observed in the US on the second Sunday in May.  So, these two events wouldn’t affect a wedding in Central PArk as such, but they may affect your celebrations in a restaurant in the city afterwards.  The last Monday in May is Memorial Day.  This is a federal holiday in the US for remembering and honoring the military personnel who died while serving in the Armed Forces.  It is observed by most organisations so that weekend tends to be busy for weddings, due to couples from other parts of the US coming to town with their families to get married, because they have the vacation time from work.

The couple is legally obliged to pick up their marriage license in advance of their wedding.  They must have it at least 24 hours in advance of the ceremony.  City Hall will also be closed on Memorial Day, so keep that in mind when making plans to pick up your license if you’re in town over that weekend.

A great thing about getting married outdoors in New York in May is that you can wear pretty much whatever you like – the weather will be temperate enough for you to be comfortable in whatever you choose –  not to hot or too cold.  There’s always a small risk of rain, although it’s a fairly low risk at this time of year, so keep that in mind when choosing your ceremony location.

Wedding Central Park NYC May 2

 

 

 

 

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Laura and Alan’s Wedding Blessing at Bethesda Fountain

LA Bethesda Terrace Central Park Wedding

Laura and Alan brought twenty guests over from their home in Scotland for their wedding blessing beside Bethesda Fountain last October.  The couple had their legal ceremony at home in Glasgow with just their parents before going to New York for a blessing ceremony with friends, due to health limitations of both sets of parents.

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Laura and Alan had been together for four and a half years when they got married.  They met on Tinder, and their first date was in a pub in Glasgow.  They got engaged in February 2017.  “It was a private beach on Thala Beach Nature Reserve in Port Douglas, Australia,” Laura told me.  “Alan got down on one knee and proposed…I called him an idiot!” she said.  “Getting married felt like the natural next step to take in our relationship. We knew we both wanted to spend the rest of our lives together,” said Laura.

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When considering where to get married, they considered going back to where they got engaged in Australia but knew it would be a long an expensive journey and a big ask of people.  I asked Laura if she thinks that destination weddings are becoming more popular.  “Yes, I think so, because people have more access to social media and other platforms which advertise and promote elopement packages which are becoming more affordable,” she said.  “From a personal perspective, I heavily relied on the reviews of other customers which are also widely available to read on the internet,” she added.  This is why I ask previous couples to write a review, even though so few do, although this is true for almost all types of business – we rarely write a review if we’re happy with service!  But future couples do find it so helpful!

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When they started looking at New York for their wedding, they initially looked at weddings on a cruise on the Hudson.  “But when we saw Bethesda Fountain and the archways underneath Bethesda Terrace in Central Park we knew we wanted to have our ceremony there,” said Laura.  “We loved the diverse features and different locations available in Central Park for photos,” she added.

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Laura and Alan stayed at the Warwick Hotel on 54th Street for a week.  They arrived on a Friday and their ceremony was on the Sunday.  They spent the rest of their trip seeing sights and indulging in lots of fabulous food!

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Laura had a list of restaurants from the trip that she’d recommend, so I’m just going to post her list and comments here:

Sarabeth’s – near Central Park, very child friendly.

Carmine’s – (Laura recommends the one just off Times Square, and I recommend the one on the Upper West Side). This is child friendly, and was recommended by a friend. The portions are all sharing size, you will not be disappointed if you have a big appetite.

The Rockefeller Centre – the restaurant looks onto the ice rink so is good for people watching. The portion sizes are huge and they do an awesome eggs benedict.

Bill’s Bar and Burger Place, 51st Street – this place offered good American grub, again the portions are huge and very child friendly.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner on Broadway – GREAT for kids, the entertainment is great and service was always with a smile. The menu offered a good selection of food (portions were huge though).

Casa Nonna, 38th Street – lovely Italian restaurant, seemed to get busy very quickly so would recommend booking rather than just turning up.

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Their ceremony was held beside the Bethesda Fountain.  They had a traditional exchange of vows with an added traditional Scottish Quaich ceremony.  Traditionally the couple both drink whisky from a small pewter cup or “quaich” symbolising trust and the blending of two families.  They do this before exchanging the rings.  In Laura and Alan’s case they didn’t drink whisky but pinot grigio!  The officiant read a poem as they drank the wine, which I’ll post at the end.  In keeping with Scottish tradition, we also had a bagpiper play at the ceremony.

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Their twenty guests consisted of friends and family, just not their parents, who had witnessed their legal wedding at home.  “Some had never been to New York so they were excited to be part of our day as well as taking advantage of being able to explore the city,” Laura told me.  “Everyone was in agreement it was a fantastic and different experience,” she said.

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The groom Alan, the couple’s son Lucas, and the groomsmen wore traditional highland kilt wear.  The bride Laura wore a Jesus Peiro dress purchased from Eleganza Sposa in Glasgow.  The bridesmaid dress was purchased from That Special Day Bridal Warehouse in Bathgate and the flower girl dresses came from Carriage and Castles in Glasgow.  Laura carried white roses, which we’d arranged to be delivered to their hotel that morning.  Laura’s hair was done at Drybar Parker in Midtown and her make up was done at Blushington Midtown West.  Both are located within the Parker Hotel.  She was able to walk into both salons on the Saturday morning to make an appointment for the following morning.

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Once the ceremony finished Laura and Alan went around Central Park taking photos with the photographer.  While they did this, the guests went to the Boathouse for some drinks and the couple joined them once they were finished.  After that, they all headed over to the Tavern on The Green for a meal.  They had booked the glass room within the restaurant for their meal, “this isn’t separate from the restaurant but the set up was spectacular,” Laura said.  “We had direct views of the outdoor area so when the sun went down and everything lit up it looked perfect,” she added.  Their menu was a fixed three course meal and they loved it.

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I asked if Laura had any words for anyone considering doing the same as she and Alan and getting married in Central Park and she said, “just embrace the whole experience,” which is great advice.  She also cautioned that couples should “be aware depending on where you have your ceremony you will be sharing this with everyone in the park.  Some of our guests were pushed out of the way by other people taking pictures of our ceremony.  On the other hand, most people were super nice and I cannot believe the amount of well-wishers taking time out of their day to congratulate us.”

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I asked her how we did, “we are happy with the service from Wed in Central Park.  Everything was easy from start to finish and Claire was extremely reassuring – all we had to do was turn up for the ceremony so there was no stress whatsoever,” Laura said.  They were very happy to have had the weddings (plural!) that suited them.  “We were glad to be able to include our parents in our wedding day because they could not make the journey,” said Laura.  “We have no regrets about the way we’ve done things, having the blessing and celebration in New York was the opportunity to do something different with our friends and we are grateful they made the journey with us,” she added.

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If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, or blessing, or vow renewal, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest.

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The poem the officiant read while the couple drank from the Quaich

Strike hands with me, the glasses brim,
The dew is on the heather.
For love is good and life is long,
And two are best together.

Bless the union of these two,
Eager for marriage, eager for love.
May they begin life together,
Live that life together
And come to the end together.

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Renewing Your Marriage Vows in New York

Renewing Your Marriage Vows in New York

Each year I get more and more couples contacting me asking for help planning a marriage vow renewal, either in Central Park or somewhere else in New York.  I do specialize in ceremonies in Central Park locations, that’s where the vast majority of our weddings, vow renewal and wedding blessings have taken place.  We have also conducted weddings in other outdoor spots in New York, mostly other public parks.

The most frequent requests I get from clients are for weddings; that is getting the license from City Hall, having the wedding in Central Park and completing and returning the license.  That’s what a wedding is for us.  I also have plenty of couples who are already married asking for a ceremony.  This might be a couple who have got married in their own country in a fairly basic legal ceremony and are now looking for something bigger and better.  Sometimes it’s Brits who have family who can’t travel, so they have the legal ceremony at home with loved ones, and then the New York celebration with those who are able to join them.  Sometimes it’s couples where each is from a different country and they have needed to get married quickly for the paperwork, and are now ready to take their time planning the ceremony they’d like along with a celebration.  Each couple is different, but in these ceremonies, we often treat it as a wedding, we just don’t need the paperwork!

What I consider to be a true renewal of vows, rather than these wedding blessings, is when we acknowledge in the ceremony wording the history of the couple’s marriage and we celebrate what they have shared and overcome.

I quite often have couples contact me wanting to renew their vows on their first wedding anniversary.  One couple who lived in New York had married a year ago in a quick and impersonal ceremony at City Hall.  Our celebrant had officiated many weddings but she told me that their beautiful words to each other made her cry.  This officiant is bilingual and the wife spoke Spanish as a first language, so we had much of the ceremony in English, with a prayer to the Virgin Mary in Spanish towards the end.

Another popular request is for a vow renewal when someone gets to a big birthday with a round number, and it’s even better when the big birthday falls in the same year as a wedding anniversary.  I had a lovely husband contact me to say he’d like to arrange a surprise renewal of vows for his wife who was turning fifty while they were in New York.  “I wanted to show her that I still love her today as much as I did when we met thirty-two years ago,” he said.

Sometimes couples might contact me when they have a vacation to New York booked and they decide renewing their vows might be a nice thing to do while they’re in town.  It doesn’t have to be when the anniversary hits a round number, it can be a time when you feel your marriage needs celebrating.  One husband asked me to help to plan a surprise vow renewal for his wife since they would be in town with their three kids.  He felt that the whole family had recently overcome several tough challenges, including a move across the country, so he wanted to mark this and thank them all for their support, in particular his wife.  “We have gone through so much together, many ups and downs, changing and raising our children,” he said. “We have seen each other through so many things. It seemed appropriate to start fresh again after almost 19 years.”

One lady whose vow renewal I planned said this; “I think a vow renewal can feel like letting whatever you had go, putting it to rest like in a photo album you can put on a shelf and taking your marriage with all the new vows and put those photos up on the wall in nice frames instead of an album.”  I think that’s a beautiful way of putting it.

Each marriage is different.  My dad always says that he has no desire to renew his marriage vows because he has never broken them in over 45 years.  My mum thinks he says that just because he can’t be bothered with having a party!  If you feel the need to renew your vows, for whatever reason, then we can help you to do it in New York – an amazing city to celebrate in.  No matter what you have achieved and shared as a couple or for how long you have been together, a vow renewal is a wonderful way to celebrate you love and doing it in New York will make it a memorable event in your marriage.

If you would like me to help you with planning your own vow renewal in Central Park, whatever the reason, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where we pin lots of useful and beautiful things about weddings and New York.

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My Top Five Blog Posts of 2019

top five blog posts of 2019

Until quite recently I was posting on this blog once per week.  I had so much to share and I wanted to put it all out there.  As many readers of this blog will know, this business of planning weddings in Central Park is my part-time job.  My full time job is being a mother to two boys, who turned six and four this year.  I am trying to run this business more efficiently in terms of the demands it makes on my time, so I’m reducing some of the activities that I don’t think are as important as actually planning the weddings and helping clients.  But I still have a lot to say.  So, I’m posting three times a month now.

I tend to post a real wedding and then some kind of general advice alternately.  I’m making an effort to focus the advice pieces on trends I see emerging, such as the questions I get asked most frequently, or requests I get from couples.  December tends to be a quieter time for wedding planning – with everyone thinking of the holidays, so this is the time of year when I check which posts are proving to be useful to people and try to write more on a similar theme if possible.


Below are my top five most viewed posts of 2019.  I’ll see you all in 2020 with lots more beautiful real weddings, and tips on getting married in Central Park.

1 Destination Wedding Etiquette and Tips – How to Make the Trip Easier for your Guests

This post has been by far the most popular this year, with twice as many views as the next most popular post.  I posted this in August 2018, and it didn’t feature on my five most popular posts of that year, so it has got lots of hits this year alone.  I suppose this is because it provides general advice for destination weddings, no matter where they may be.  I think that a lot of what I have learned through planning over three hundred weddings in Central Park can be applied to destination weddings, elopements and many weddings that are not large and traditional, so I may think about writing some more posts similar to this, especially since it seems useful to readers.

2 Wedding Vow Renewal in Central Park

I posted this in January of 2018, in response to increasing requests from couples needing help with renewing their vows.  We often say that we charge roughly the same for a vow renewal as for a wedding, because it takes the same amount of time for us.  When I launched the Central Park elopement package earlier this year, I also had couples renewing their marriage vows in Central Park in mind.  Often these couples don’t want as much as a larger wedding does, so the elopement package suits low-key weddings and small vow renewals alike.  It was the fourth most popular post of that year, as I discuss in my round-up of the most-read posts of 2018, and it has got many more hits this year.

3 Things to do on your Wedding Day in New York City

I posted this in December 2014, and it is a long answer to a frequently asked question.  I get asked it a lot by couples, those who are eloping and want to make the day more memorable for the two of them, as well as for couples with a larger group of guests that they need to entertain for the evening and whom they want to celebrate with in this fantastic city.  Everyone is different, but that’s fine in New York, because it’s a city with something for everyone!   This was the fourth most popular post of 2017 as I discuss in my round-up of the most-read posts of that year.

4 How to Get Married in Central Park

I posted this in August 2018, to try to offer a brief introduction to couples who were right at the start of their journey of planning a wedding in Central Park.  I find that lots of couples say that they just don’t know where to start when planning a wedding in Central Park, so I thought a basic introduction to the things these couples might like to think about would be helpful.  It got so many hits this year, so it looks like it was!

5 New Elopement Wedding Package from Wed in Central Park

I posted this in March of this year to explain a little more about the new elopement package that I launched that month.  So many couples were contacting me, asking for just one hour of photography for a low-key elopement.  It was so hard to meet this request because often photographers don’t want to commit to just one hour of work when it may mean that they might turn down a full day with a fee running in to the thousands of dollars, and who can blame them?  But, by limiting the days we can offer this, we are able to meet clients’ requests for a shorter photography session, and it has become very popular.


If you think you might like some help with planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website.  “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest.  I collate this list each year to try to give myself some ideas about what to write in the coming year.  I like to see what people are finding useful and what sort of information is directing people to my website.  So, I’d love to hear any suggestions from people in the comments about what you’d like to see me sharing in future.

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Donna and David’s Wedding in Wagner Cove in September

DD Wagner Cove Central Park Wedding

Donna and David brought a small group of loved ones over from their home in Scotland to get married in Wagner Cove in September.  They got engaged in New York when they were visiting in 2014.  David popped the question at the Top of the Rock.

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The couple had been together for thirteen years and they just felt that this was the right time for them to get married.  They knew pretty much straight away after they got engaged that they wanted to get married in New York.  “We did discuss a beach location but that wasn’t really us,” said Donna, “and we also considered keeping it simple with a wedding at home in a registry office,” she added.  Of course, New York won.

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Donna and David are completely happy with their choice of an almost-elopement!  “I think eloping is becoming more popular, it takes away a lot of the stress,” Donna told me.  “I don’t regret not having a traditional wedding at home, and if I was to do it again I wouldn’t change anything,” she added.

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They decided on Wagner Cove for their wedding location after checking out our ceremony location suggestions on the website.  “Wagner Cove looked so private, peaceful and beautiful, perfect for our small wedding,” said Donna.  Wagner Cove was also the place where her favourite pictures were taken.

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Donna and David stayed for five nights in the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Midtown, “the hotel was in a good location and perfect for what we needed it for,” said Donna.  “The staff were nice and very helpful,” she added.

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Their guests were Donna’s sister and her husband and Donna’s cousin and her husband.  The couple’s seven year old son was also with them.  They both have older children from previous relationships who were not able to attend, so they had a party on their return home – enjoying the best of both worlds!

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We kept the ceremony fairly short and sweet, with the officiant talking a little about how they met (at a New Year’s Eve party!) and about their relationship to date and of course their kids.  Then they said traditional vows to each other.  “The ceremony was lovely, and very relaxed,” said Donna.  “The officiant was lovely and everything went exactly to plan,” she added.

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After the ceremony they took some photos around Central Park and then went to the Boathouse for lunch.  “The Boathouse was beautiful and I am so glad we chose to go there,” said Donna.  After lunch they took a taxi back to the hotel, got changed, then headed out to Madame Tussaud’s.

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Thanks for sharing your story with us, Donna and David, I wish you and your family lots of luck for the future.  If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, whatever the no matter how big or small, visit our website, or follow us on Pinterest where we pin New York or wedding-related items, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram for beautiful photos of newlywed couples in Central Park and around New York City.

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Tips for Couples Eloping to Get Married in Central Park, New York

Elope New York Central Park

I’ve planned over three hundred weddings since I began my beloved business, Wed in Central Park.  A good share of them have been elopements.  Also, many of them have been small weddings with just a handful of guests, which many people would count as an elopement.  Such a lot of couples contact me and say that they want their wedding day to be about just the two of them.  Sometimes they will have started down the road of planning a larger wedding and realised that it’s not for them, and sometimes they knew from the start that it would be just two of them on the day.  Here are a few things that I advise you keep in mind if you decide to elope to New York.

Agree if the wedding will be kept a secret or if you’ll tell people in advance.

Everyone’s families are different, and perhaps it’s easier for you to get married in secret and then tell everyone on your return, or maybe you need to sit down with your loved ones and explain your reasons for your choices.  Either way, decide as a couple what you will do support each other when dealing with people’s feelings when you do tell them.

Decide what to do if people want to come.

Quite a few couples have contacted me planning an elopement and then get back to me a couple of months after they book asking if they can bring a few guests.  Quite often, when a couple announce an elopement, especially in a very cool city such as New York, then people want to come!  So, you may need to decide as a couple in advance what you’ll do if some people want to come along.

Keep things personal.

A major reasons couples give me for choosing to elope is that they want to keep the ceremony personal and intimate.  So, take advantage of someone like me who will write the wedding ceremony with you to get it exactly how you want it.  Spend some time thinking about what traditions or rituals you would like to include and what you’d like to say to each other.  Don’t be shy to express how you feel.

Have a budget.

Many couples elope to save money, but, as with couples planning a traditional wedding, there will still be things you want to splurge on and things you want to save on, depending on what you like.  You may want flowers, hair and makeup, a nice car, a photographer, a fancy dinner, champagne, and maybe a fancy hotel for your wedding night.  Some or all of this may appeal to you or may just not be that high on your list of priorities.  The beauty of an elopement is that you can avoid the parts that just don’t do it for you.

Wear whatever you like.

If you want to get married in traditional wedding attire then of course do so.  It’s lovely to get dressed up for your significant other, even if there’s nobody else there to see how great you look! But if that’s not your thing then that’s fine.  There’s nobody there to judge so just be yourself!  We’ve planned elopements for couples in stunning gowns and suits and also for couples in jeans or casual wear.

Make sure you have a witness.

If you’re getting married in New York, there will be space on the license for two witnesses, so you can have two, but you can have just one.  You must have at least one witness though.  If you have a photographer (and/or videographer, musician, or whoever else involved with your wedding there in person) then they can be your witness.  If you don’t have a photographer or similar then I can arrange for someone to come along and witness your wedding.

Hire a photographer.

Or have me hire one for you.  It would be such a shame to not have a photographic record of your wedding day – even if it’s just for a sort while.  We offer an elopement package with just one hour of photography if you feel a little camera shy.

Keep the day special.

A benefit to getting married when it’s just the two of you is that you will have so much more time to make the most of being in New York on your wedding day!  So, think about what will make the day special and stand out in your memory?  Will it be a tour of the city taking photos in beautiful locations in your wedding gear, or a river cruise, or a Broadway show, or fantastic food with beautiful views of the city?  Make the most of your time and be sure to do something special and uniquely New York to celebrate the day.

Make a plan.

Even though you may have chosen an elopement to escape from the stresses of wedding planning, I’d still recommend making a plan of timings for the day.  I’ll help you with that.  It’s good to think about the structure of the day in advance so that when it comes to your wedding day you can just relax and enjoy it all.

Have a big party on your return.  Or don’t.

If you want to celebrate with wider friends and family with a low-stress party when you come home married then that’s great.  If you don’t feel like doing that, or you don’t want to spend the money on doing that, then that’s fine too.  Don’t let anyone tell you what to do.

Don’t feel bad.

It’s your wedding day.  I can’t say this enough.  This is your wedding.  Everyone else has either had theirs or they will get theirs in the future.  This is yours and you should have it how you want it.  Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about your choices or that you’re losing out if you don’t do it how they think you should.  You don’t have to justify your decisions to anyone except your partner.

Email me if you’d like some help planning your own small wedding or elopement in New York, or check out our prices here!

 

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Jess and Andy’s September Wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion

JA Ladies' Pavilion Central Park Wedding

Jess and Andy got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in early September.  Jess is from Cardiff and Andy is from Herefordshire in the UK.  They got engaged at Disneyland Paris, in front of the castle.  It was a total surprise for Jess, she wasn’t expecting it all, and she said that it was really magical.  They had been together for six and a half years when they got married.  “For us it was the natural next step in our relationship to get married,” said Jess.  “It was always on the cards that we would get married and carry on our adventures together.”

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When they started wedding planning they were pretty much set on a beautiful castle in South Wales called Hensol Castle.  They had been there many times and they loved it.  However, as they started planning the finer details, the event seemed to be moving away from the small, intimate day they wanted.  Then at Christmas time, while watching Christmas films with their family, Jess’ mum joked that they should go back to New York for their wedding.  Soon after that, they were booked to go and had started planning their wedding.  They wanted something small and intimate and special to them as a couple.

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They chose Central Park for their wedding because of it’s peace and quiet, “it’s away from the hustle and bustle and it’s almost silent; it gave us that special time with our guests in the middle of the busy city,” said Jess.  I asked if they had any worries about getting married in Central Park or New York, “of course, we were slightly concerned that things wouldn’t go to plan but when we met Claire she put us completely at ease,” said Jess.  They came to see me when I was exhibiting at the Tiny Weddings Fair earlier in the year.

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Jess and Andy stayed in the RIU Plaza Times Square, “it was a beautiful hotel and right across from the restaurant we ate after our wedding,” Jess said.  They were in New York for six days in total, they arrived two days before their wedding.

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I asked what their guests thought about their plan to have a destination wedding in New York.  “Ever since we told people what our plans were they couldn’t believe it!”  Jess told me.  “Because getting married in New York was so unique, it allowed us to have so much freedom on our special day,” she added.  She said that she does think that destination weddings seem to be becoming more popular, some of their friends have chosen to get married abroad in recent years.

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They had eighteen guests with them from the UK, “we were so overwhelmed when so many people decided to come to New York to celebrate with us,” Jess said.  “It really did mean so much to us to have them all there.  They all had an amazing day and they said how magical, relaxed and intimate it was,” she added.

JA Ladies' Pavilion Central Park Wedding 1910

Jess bought her dress from Perfection Bridal in Cardiff, “they were absolutely amazing and made my day perfect by helping me choose the dress of my dreams,” said Jess.  They chose the Ladies’ Pavilion for their ceremony location, “it was so beautiful; we’d never seen it before but we went to have a look at it the day before the wedding and it was absolutely breath taking, so classy and completely secluded,” said Jess.

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Jess was dropped off at the park by a vintage yellow cab.  After the ceremony, they popped back to the street, where the driver was waiting, to have photos taken with the whole group and the cab.  We had a violinist play at the Ladies’ Pavilion for the guests while they waited for the bride to arrive.  When she did, she walked down the pathway to the Pavilion to the Beauty and the Beast theme, Tale as Old as Time.

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During the ceremony, Jess’ mum read a poem for everyone, which she had been keeping a secret until the day.  It was called ‘For our Daughter on her Wedding Day’ but she personalised it with Jess and Andy’s names, “it was so beautiful,” said Jess.  After the ceremony, they had pictures taken all over Central Park, “our favourite photos were at Bethesda Terrace and the staircase,” said Jess.  They were so impressed with their photographer, Jakub Redziniak.  “He made the pictures look like we were the only people there where in actual fact there were hundreds of people around!” she said.  It amazes me how they can do that, too.  It’s all down to a combination of good framing and clever editing, I hear.

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After the photos in the park, they got on the vintage trolley bus from just outside the Dakota building and it took them on a tour of New York.  “It really made the day extra special,” said Jess.  “We sang all the way around New York.  After that we went to the Marriott Marquis revolving restaurant for dinner – the views and food were incredible,” she said.

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I wondered if they had any regrets about not having a “traditional” wedding closer to home.  “No, we don’t have any regrets,” said Jess.  “Although one drawback was that we couldn’t have all of our friends and family there,” she added.  “However it was our choice and we understood that and so did our guests.  They admired us for doing what we did,” she said.  Also, they had a big party when they returned home with their wider friends and family, so they got the best of both worlds!

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I asked if Jess had any advice for other couples considering getting married in Central Park.  “It is daunting at first when you first decide to get married in New York, but it was the easiest planning we’ve ever had to do,” she said.  “Claire at Wed in Central Park made us feel so at ease,” she said.  “And of course, you worry about the weather and the timings but we can’t believe how perfect it all turned out to be!” she added.  If only we could do something about the weather!  It’s always my couples’ biggest worry!

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“We had an amazing day all courtesy of Claire!” said Jess.  “Claire made our day perfect, and the plan she wrote out for us happened exactly as she said – we were blown away” she added.  “Planning was so easy – it was amazing!” she said.  “With technology these days you can plan the wedding, sign documents and pay bills all via the internet – we basically had an email wedding – we loved it!”  I love that too, what would we do without the internet?!  “Baring in mind, we never saw the flowers beforehand, but they were beautiful.  We never met the photographer, but he was amazing and it was all done via email.  We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect, professional service and Claire’s organisation is impeccable!!  Thank you so much Claire for everything.”  Thanks so much for your kind words, Jess, it was a pleasure working with you!

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Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jess and Andy.  If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, big or small, visit our website, or follow us on Pinterest where we pin all things New York or wedding-related, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram for lovely photos of happy couples.

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