Why a destination wedding website will save your sanity

I met Mell from Gettin’ Hitched Rocks through the wedding fair I am co-hosting, the Tiny Weddings Fair (High Wycombe, 30th Sept 2018, if you’re reading this in time, get your tickets now, it’s going to be awesome).  Once in a while I meet another wedding supplier who I think my clients will love, because their thing totally compliments my thing.  Mell is one of those suppliers.  She makes fabulous wedding websites that would be so incredibly useful to anyone planning a wedding in Central Park with 20-50 of their nearest and dearest, many of whom either haven’t been to a destination wedding before, or haven’t been to New York before, or who just need to know all the details of what is going on!  So, I wrote a post for Mell’s blog, all about the unexpected things that crop up when planning a destination wedding, which a wedding website can help to manage, and she wrote a post for my blog, explaining why you need a website to help communicate all your plans to your guests.

save your sanity

I don’t need to tell you that planning a destination wedding takes a lot of organisation, co-ordination, and forethought – but I will.

Planning a destination wedding takes a lot of organisation, co-ordination, and forethought.

You don’t just have a wedding to organise – vetting vendors and venues and v- uh, dinner options – you’ve got a fifteen-person family vacation to sort, too.

You’re planning hen dos, stag dos, group photos, kid-friendly events, kid-unfriendly events…

It’s difficult to co-ordinate that with a big group – or, really, any size of group.

You’re scheduling around people who have never been to this place before and don’t know where anything is. Or how they’d find it if they knew. You’re planning around people with young kids, who have bed times and feeding schedules to work round. You’re co-ordinating with people who want to get in some quick sightseeing – and don’t realise nipping across to the Statue of Liberty requires a return boat trip and two security checks stricter than they have at JFK…

Trying to get everyone on the same page – never mind to the same place at the same time – isn’t easy. The saying ‘it’s like herding cats’ gets repeated for a reason: organising people is difficult. More difficult, in fact, than organising cats, which you can pick up if you need to.

That’s where a wedding website comes in.

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A (beautiful) wedding website on the (beautiful) Hartfield design from (the beautiful) Gettin’ Hitched Rocks.

We’re not in the nineties any more (no matter what Netflix’s trending now section says); most people have an easy way to receive notifications and access the internet in their back pocket. Why not take advantage of it – and take the pressure of organising everyone else’s schedules off your shoulders?

A wedding website can help you…

Organise hotels and travel

Most couples will put information about hotels near the wedding venue on their website. This is for two very good reasons:

  1. A lot of hotels will give a discount for reserving a large number of rooms, so it makes sense to block-off a group of rooms and tell everyone what to ask for to get the cheaper rate.
  2. Half your guest list is going to assume you are – somehow – an expert on the area and will always find the worst possible time to ring up and ask you about every possible hotel. Better to head them off at the pass.

Giving everyone the same links to book nearby hotels is easy – but what if you’re also covering the cost of the wedding party’s hotel rooms? (A cunning ploy that looks like a huge favour, but is actually a clever way to ensure everyone’s where you need them to be at 6am…)

You need to give everyone in the wedding party the details for their room (without giving them to anyone else) and make sure they don’t get confused and book their own, because the website’s telling them to.

At Gettin’ Hitched Rocks, we give every family you invite a unique password so, once they’ve logged in, we know exactly who’s looking at your website. We know how many people are in the family, if they have kids, if they’re in your wedding party, if you’ve booked them a hotel room… And that means we can get really clever with things.

We can show your best man his room reservation details, show your maid of honour hers, and show everyone else information about hotels in the area, with links to reserve a room.

Because no one has to read through anything that doesn’t apply to them or see anything you don’t want them to see, there’s no confusion.

(Someone will still find a way to ring at the worst possible time, though. It’s unavoidable…)

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The same wedding website showing different content for different guests.

Organise your friends

The biggest problem facing anyone planning a wedding – and especially couples planning a destination wedding, where you need to know exact numbers as soon as you possibly can – is getting people to RSVP.

Let’s face it. No one RSVPs as soon as they’re asked to. It’s against human nature. Instead, they:

  • stick the invitation to the fridge.
  • think, ‘Oh, I need to do that,’ every time they make a cup of tea.
  • don’t.
  • only get back to you after your second just-wanted-to-check-it-didn’t-get-lost-in-the-mail phone call, three weeks after the deadline you gave them.

Having an RSVP form on your wedding website helps with this a lot; once people are on your website, it’s quick and easy to RSVP and get it off the to-do list.

And you have tools to help with that, too. At Gettin’ Hitched Rocks, we give you a dashboard where – along with your exact numbers and all the answers to your RSVP questions – you can see who’s RSVP’d, who’s been on the website but not RSVP’d yet, and who’s not yet been on the website.

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The Gettin’ Hitched Rocks dashboard, showing different, useful information.

But the most powerful part of it is: you can send reminders.

You can schedule in emails or SMS messages to be sent on a certain date, and choose who sees them. If you want to remind everyone who hasn’t RSVP’d yet, only the people who haven’t RSVP’d yet will get the message. (And so not striking fear into the hearts of your very responsible, deadline-respecting friends.)

If you want to send reminders to everyone except your Uncle Jeremy, because you wouldn’t mind too much if he didn’t reply in time, you can do that too. (Or send warnings to everyone else when he does reply.)

And it goes beyond RSVP’ing; you can send reminders to get your guests booking flights and hotels, tell your wedding party when the dress or suit fittings are, or just send out a ‘whoo!’ now and then, to celebrate how cool it is you’re getting married. (Whoo! You’re getting married!)

Organise itineraries

You probably have a list as long as your arm of things you want to do and see while you’re abroad with all your favourite people.

And you probably want those people to join you. (Being your favourites and all.) (Maybe not Uncle Jeremy.)

But you don’t have to go back and forth with fifteen people on dates and times and oooh, I don’t know if it’s too expensive to get it organised.

Add a poll to your wedding website, with options for different days or times. If they want to come, each family can indicate which slots will suit them best.

After everyone has answered – or after a set amount of time has passed – you’ll get a notification of what works best for the most people, so you can get it booked.

Or, if there are activities you’re already planning to do at a certain date or time and you just want to ask your friends if they’d like to tag along, you can organise that on your wedding website, too.

At Gettin’ Hitched Rocks, we have a ‘register your interest’ widget we can add to our websites, where your guests can click a button to, well, register their interest in something.

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A register interest widget used to get guests signing up to help with different jobs at the wedding, instead of a traditional gift registry.

It can be locked down, so each family can only register their interest in one thing – useful if you’re trying to get everyone to share rented villas, for example! – or you can let your guests sign-up for different options, ticking down the available spaces in each one – fantastic for pot-luck dinners.

It’s also great for getting your guests to sign-up to different activities. And – because we can hide and show different things on your wedding website, depending on who’s looking at it, we can curate the activity list to suit them.

If you’re having an adults-only brunch, we can tell the family with a seven-year-old that the seven-year-old can’t come. Or we can not tell them anything about the brunch at all.

And, once your guests have signed up for different activities, we can send you a list of everyone who’s coming – and send them a reminder of where they have to be and when they have to be there, a half-hour before you meet. Sorted!

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A (beautiful) Gettin’ Hitched Rocks website on the (beautiful) Magment design.

Wedding websites are, if not a lifesaver, certainly a headache-saver when you’re organising your wedding.

As well as having all the information everyone needs where they can get it any time, anywhere, rather than relying on a paper invitation The Borrowers will inevitably run off with, as well as handling your RSVPs online so you can see them as they come in (and avoid counting and re-counting and wait, I lost track, counting again by hand), as well as being able to update everyone when details change, as well as making your wedding planning easier and something you can do from your bed, on your commute, or – I won’t judge – from the Louvre in Paris, a wedding website can:

  • customise what everyone sees to remove any confusion
  • help you co-ordinate with your guests
  • send email or SMS reminders to the people who need them, when they need them
  • and take the stress out of organising a wedding, a honeymoon, and a group vacation, so you can spend your time with the awesome person you’re marrying – not with (much less awesome) spreadsheets.

And, if you need another reason, until the 31st of March 2019, we’re giving Wed in Central Park readers 10% off our wedding websites with the code ‘CENTRALPARK’. Check out our (gorgeous) collection of designs, or get something (gorgeous) designed bespoke for you at gettinhitched.rocks.

Follow us both on the social media platform of your choice:

Gettin’ Hitched Rock on Pinterest, Wed in Central Park on Pinterest.

Gettin’ Hitched Rock on Facebook, Wed in Central Park on Facebook.

Gettin’ Hitched Rock on Instagram, Wed in Central Park on Instagram.

Gettin’ Hitched Rock on Twitter, Wed in Central Park on Twitter.

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Gina and Kyle’s Wedding on Gapstow Bridge

Real Central Park Wedding Gina and Kyle

Gina and Kyle came over to Manhattan from their home in Hamilton Township, New Jersey to get married in Central Park in October of last year. In fact, they deliberately chose the date because it was Friday the 13th!

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Kyle had originally planned a big night out in Philadelphia to propose. They went to a flower show, a museum and then to a fancy dinner, but the city was too busy and it never felt right to pop the question, so in the end he proposed later that week in their living room.

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They looked at hotel venues to consider them for their wedding, but they didn’t like the aesthetics of any of them, and they certainly didn’t like the prices! So, they started to research some more creative options. I asked how they felt about not having a traditional wedding at home almost a year after their wedding in Central Park and Kyle said “we have no regrets whatsoever.”

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So, Gina and Kyle chose Central Park for their wedding location. “Central Park is absolutely gorgeous,” said Kyle. I can’t argue with that! “It’s incredibly iconic and shows up in some of our favorite movies and television shows. That way, we see where we got married all the time,” he said. That’s an excellent point – I love it when I see Central Park on the screen because it means so much to me. “New York City is also one of our favorite places to go for a mini vacation, so now we have an extra excuse to go and celebrate,” Kyle added.

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Even though Gina and Kyle didn’t travel as far as some of our couples do to get married in Central Park, they still had transportation worries. This is a totally justified worry if you know Manhattan well, though! “We didn’t know what we would do if the driver didn’t show up or if we got stuck in traffic,” said Kyle, although everything went smoothly on the day.

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Their wedding ceremony took place on Gapstow Bridge. The ceremony was short and sweet, just how they wanted it. The couple had a small group in attendance – their parents, Gina’s daughter and some close friends. Their photographs were taken by Kyle’s cousin. “Our favorite pictures were taken just in front of the bridge where we got married, on the Plaza side,” Kyle told me.

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Kyle wore a black tux and ivory bow tie. Gina’s dress, purchased from David’s Bridal, was a traditional ivory ball gown coupled with black Doc Martens. Her flowers were a brightly colored seasonal mix. Kyle’s cousin and Gina’s maid of honor is a hairdresser, so she did Gina’s hair for her.

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They went back to Jersey after their wedding ceremony and photos in Central Park and had a big dinner celebration with their friends and family. I asked Kyle what he would say to anyone considering a no-nonsense wedding in Central Park like theirs and he said “it was a great experience and we are both very happy we did it.”

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Thanks for sharing your story with us, Gina and Kyle, we wish you lots of luck for your future together. For more information to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, with photos just about anywhere in New York, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where you will find lots of lovely photos and many more inspiring stories of real weddings.

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How to Get Married in Central Park

How to Get Married in Central Park

I have been planning weddings in Central Park since 2012, just after I got married there myself in 2011. I’ve done hundreds since then. When people first contact me, they often say “I just don’t know where to start”. This post is aimed at the absolute beginner; the person who has just had the idea to get married in Central Park and is starting down the road of figuring out what to do and how to make their dream wedding happen in this beautiful location. The first thing to do is to decide on what time of year you are coming to New York and who, if anyone, you are bringing with you. A lot of the choices you make will depend on these things.

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Of course I think you should hire someone who has done this many times before to help you plan your wedding in Central Park. A seasoned wedding planner can answer all of your questions quickly and more thoroughly than online searches or word of mouth, and they can tailor their advice and suggestions just for you, based on what you tell them. And, more specifically, I think there are lots of reasons why I am the right person to help you to plan your wedding in Central Park. I’ve been doing this for six years and I’ve planned around 250 weddings in that time. It’s rare to be asked a question that I haven’t been asked before, and I can usually deal with any queries or requests.

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If you decide to go it alone, then you will need to sort out your own paperwork, and apply for an event permit for your wedding. I can do it for you, but if you get your own, you will need to decide which of the many lovely ceremony locations in Central Park you want to have your wedding in. I can help couples to decide which one suits them, depending on what they value most – a rustic feel, a stunning view, privacy, seating, a roof, or just being pretty close to everything else. All of the locations have their pros and cons. Think about which spot you would prefer to say your vows in. Keep in mind that you can always have photos taken in the other locations.

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All couples who marry in New York must go to City Hall at least 24 hours in advance of their ceremony to get a marriage license. I can tell couples what they need to do to get their license, but it is a legal requirement that the couple get it themselves. This is where you prove to an official that you are who you say you are. You must bring your license with you to the ceremony, and then you sign it afterwards, along with a witness. Then you can leave it with your officiant who will get back to City Hall for you. They will register your marriage and then mail your certificate to you, no matter where in the world you live. Alternatively, you can take the license back to City Hall yourself, if you wish to pick up your license in person. I can tell you everything you need to do to get the short certificate, or the long certificate and apostille, or one of our people can collect them for you, for a fee.

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One very important part of your wedding is the officiant. You cannot have just anyone perform your ceremony if you need it to be legally binding, they must be a New York State registered officiant. I write the ceremonies for each couple individually. I ask a series of questions that allows me to write something personal to them. If you find your own officiant, make sure that you are happy with however they do it – some will have a standard ceremony wording, and some will write the ceremony with you. And of course, check their reviews.

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Next comes all the other stuff – the photographer, video, flowers, musician, hair and makeup, transport and so on. The people I work with are all reliable, experienced and enthusiastic about weddings. If you are going to choose someone from the vast choice that New York offers, then make sure you read all the reviews that you can find.  I’ve heard stories of couples being let down by their vendors and there’s little they can do about it. I have a good relationship with all the people I work with, and we value our relationship, so the people I book for your wedding won’t let me down. I’ve worked with a couple of not so reliable people in the past, and I just stop working with them. Think about what sort of feel you want your wedding to have, and what music you like, that will help you to choose a musician. Consider where you want to take photos; will just a short time in Central Park be enough for you, then you want to get down to the important business of celebrating; or do you want to take a day travelling around New York City taking photos in incredible places? Discuss your options with your photographer or your wedding planner, and really picture how your day will go; make sure that you’ll be making the most of it – whatever that may mean to you.

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Many couples take their guests off to somewhere fabulous to eat and celebrate the wedding. It might be a restaurant, a show, a tour of the city in a cool vehicle, or many couples choose a dinner cruise on the Hudson. New York has a vast choice of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Be sure that you have a good plan of timings for your day before booking any evening celebrations. Consider how long the ceremony will be and which locations you want to capture photographs in, and estimate how long that will take. That will hep you decide how long you will be in Central Park for, and also help you to decide how long you will need a photographer for. Also, you will need to estimate how long it will take you to travel to and from Central Park, and I do advise that you add on a little time to allow for Manhattan’s unpredictable traffic! Don’t plan a rushed day, try to leave some time for a little rest and for some alone time for the two of you, especially if you have a large group and if you have a lot planned. I do this for all my couples well in advance of the wedding and I think a clear and properly thought-out plan makes couples feel more relaxed about the whole thing.

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It’s all as simple as that! There’s no need to do anything to register your marriage back home. A wedding in New York is legally binding elsewhere. As long as you get your license 24 hours before the ceremony, that is all that is required of you! Some people will choose to have someone like me who has lots of experience of this guide them through the process to save time and effort and to feel sure that all will go to plan on the day. Some people will enjoy doing all the searching and organising themselves. Either way, a wedding in Central Park is sure to be a unique and memorable experience for the couple and their guests!

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For more information to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, where we have lots of helpful information, or “like” us on Facebook for advice and inspirational posts, follow us on Instagram for some lovely photos of happy couples, and follow us on Pinterest where we pin like crazy with all things New York or wedding-related.

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Rafael and Liza’s elopement in the Ladies’ Pavilion

Real Central Park Wedding LR

Rafael and Liza eloped to New York from their home in Puerto Rico to get married this July. Liza first contacted me on July 4 and they got married on July 16 so we planned it in double-quick time. This wedding was not your usual last-minute snap decision, though. They have been together for more than twenty years and have two almost grown up sons!

They didn’t tell anyone that they were coming to New York to get married in Central Park, but they had gathered their immediate family together at Liza’s parents’ house to announce that they were engaged. They considered getting married at private location, or on the beach in Puerto Rico with all their family and friends, but the logistics for getting married on the island were too complicated.  They didn’t feel that was what they wanted, “we wanted something more intimate and special for us,” said Liza.

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They stayed in the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for five days. I asked if there was any restaurants that they would recommend and Liza said that hey had dinner in Havana Central, Dos Caminos and the R Lounge. All of them walking distance from their hotel and Liza said they would recommend them all.

Liza told me that they chose Central Park for their wedding location because it is a romantic place, “it’s beautiful and magical,” she said, “It’s so romantic that it’s impossible not to dream about it,” she added.

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I asked if they had any regrets about their decision to forego the traditional wedding at home, “no,” Liza said, “it was so easy and perfect that I couldn’t possibly have any regrets.”

The couple didn’t want the wedding to be a big deal, so we managed to arrange just one hour of photography for them. Most photographers will not come out for less than two hours, especially in busy wedding season. This is because they wouldn’t earn enough to potentially turn down another wedding on the same date, plus they have travel time and editing time to think about. Since their wedding was on a Monday morning, their photographer Jakub Redziniak was able to agree to a one-hour session.

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We didn’t have enough notice to get an event permit from the Central Park Conservancy. They require at least three weeks’ notice for an event permit, and we were planning the wedding in just two weeks! A permit is required for a party of more than twenty people, but not mandatory for a group smaller than that. I usually advise that couples get a permit, not matter how big their wedding party is, and here are my reasons. But on a Monday morning, it was unlikely that anyone else would want to use the area for a ceremony, so everything was fine.

We arranged for a bouquet of calla lilies with matching boutonniere to be delivered to their hotel room that morning. The ceremony took place in the Ladies’ Pavilion, we kept it fairly short with some words from our officiant about them as a couple, and their sons in the introduction, “the ceremony was very emotional and beautiful, our officiant made an excellent speech that made me cry,” said Liza. After their wedding and photos they went to the Tavern on the Green for lunch.

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I asked Liza if she had any other thoughts to share about her whirlwind wedding to her partner of more than twenty years! “Wed in Central Park helped to make our wedding day perfect,” said Liza. “The service was a 10, in only two weeks we got it all and so well coordinated that we don’t have anything to worry about – just get married and have fun! Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!”

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Thanks for sharing your story with us, Rafael and Liza, we wish you lots of luck for your future together, and for your plans to enjoy being grandparents one day! For more information to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, either for a last minute wedding like this one, or for one waaaay in advance, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram for lovely photos of happy couples, and follow us on Pinterest where we pin like crazy with all things New York or wedding-related.

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

Destination Wedding Etiquette in Central Park

While destination weddings are certainly increasing in popularity every year, it is still true to say that in many ways they differ from the traditional wedding.  Many choose to tie the knot abroad to avoid the stress of planning a big wedding, but there are different challenges with a destination wedding than the traditional big do close to home.  I have planned lots of weddings in Central Park for couples who have family all over and New York is a nice easy place to get to for everyone.  Here are some ways you can make a destination wedding easier and more enjoyable for your guests.

Research the location

Of course you will have read up on the place where you will be getting married, but perhaps when you chose it you were thinking about how well it suited what you want.  Make sure the locality of where you intend to get married will be a pleasant place for your guests to visit.  If some guests hate the heat, don’t get married on a beach, and don’t come to New York in August!  If some of your guests cannot walk for or stand for too long then that must be addressed, either with transport or seating.  Be sure there will be attractions, activities and restaurants that your guests will enjoy.  In my opinion there is something for everyone in New York, so you can’t go wrong here!

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Give plenty of notice

If you are hoping that your guests will take several days or possibly more out of their schedule to celebrate your wedding with you, then let them know the plan as early as you can.  Even if you’re not completely certain of the plan, send out your save-the-dates as early as you can, with as much information as you can.  As soon as you can book your flights, you should send invitations, to give guests enough time to book time off work, book flights, and plan their own travel itineraries.  Just as many couples use New York as a great in-between spot to get married, and then carry on to somewhere further away for their honeymoon, your guests may want to do this too.

Be clear about what expenses to expect

In my experience, for destination weddings, it’s customary for guests to cover their own accommodation and transport.  But you might plan on paying for the hotel, but guests need to pay for everything else.  Whatever you decide on, make sure that everyone knows this, right from the start, before they RSVP.  It may feel awkward to ask everyone to a party far away and then explain that it will cost them money, but it’s much better to be upfront about what is expected.  Let them know if you intend to pay for food and drinks on the wedding day, and what you expect guests to foot their own bill for.  Similarly, you could consider saying that you do not expect gifts since the wedding itself will require more financial outlay for them.  On the other hand, you may want to ask for some funding towards your own travel expenses as gifts.  Just tell people what the deal is!

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Consider their plans

Some couples will discuss their wedding plans with their nearest and dearest before booking the wedding, especially with a small group.  Things like school holidays or their work schedules might affect when they can come.  It might be kinder to plan the wedding over a national holiday weekend in some ways.  But it might be polite (unless guests agree!) to avoid holidays like Christmas or New Year’s since people may well have plans that don’t revolve around you!

Share all your plans

Once you have found some great accommodation, let your guests know where you’ll be, and see if they’d like to stay in the same place.  The same goes for great flight deals.  Get everyone together in a WhatsApp group, or make a wedding website to communicate your plans.  If you decide to take advantage of the awesome places to go in New York and have stag/bachelor and hen/bachelorette parties while you are in town, then you can share those plans and date, to make sure that everyone is in town and nobody misses out!

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Throw out traditions you don’t want

A huge benefit of getting married away from home is that the couple can break the rules a little and make their own rules.  If you don’t want to be given away or wear white or have speeches, or anything really, then don’t.  If you have pushy family members who question this, then you can use the unusual location as an excuse.  Make decisions together about what you want the day to be like, anything goes, as long as you communicate it clearly to everyone with lots of notice!

Give them options

This is easy in New York.  There’s everything for the extremely swanky hotels to cheaper places, to Airbnb apartments, which can be right next door to the hotels, or further out of town.  Some guests may want to stay in the same place as the couple, some may have a very different budget, so make sure they have something to work with, and plenty to choose from.

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Plan what happens once you are married

Some couples will want to continue the festivities with their nearest and dearest, but some may want to start the honeymoon straight away.  In that case, you need to plan a courteous exit without causing any offence.  So, if you plan on leaving for Hawaii the very next day, that’s fine, as long as it has been communicated and you say your goodbyes politely to everyone.  So, perhaps plan to leave after a brunch with your guests the following day, rather than an early-morning flight without farewells.

Be gracious

Yes it’s your special day, but, as with any wedding, all of your guests are doing exactly what you want where you want them to do it, to celebrate your love, because they love you.  So, think about them and what they would enjoy when planning the activities while you will be away.  It might be that you do some things that they will love during the trip but perhaps you won’t enjoy too much, just to be diplomatic.  Lots of my clients tell me that their guests have loved the opportunity to visit New York for the wedding, so let them enjoy this incredible city!

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For more information to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, with photos just about anywhere in New York, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where you will find lots of lovely photos and many more inspiring stories of real weddings.

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Gemma and Dean’s Gapstow Bridge Elopement

real Central Park Wedding G&D

Gemma and Dean came over to New York from their home in Falkirk, Scotland to get married on Gapstow Bridge this June. They are both 29, and met in 2006 when they both worked at the same restaurant. They were together for ten years before they got married.

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Dean proposed in December 2017 in Orlando on their hotel balcony. New York was an easy choice for them, it’s very special to them as a couple. Gemma had always loved New York, although Dean was never too keen to visit, until the first time they visited, when Gemma kind of forced Dean to go and in the end he loved it! The couple have been back nearly every year since their first visit, so it seemed fitting to choose New York for their wedding ceremony.

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Their wedding was almost an elopement – two of their friends witnessed the wedding. “We looked at local options but decided that it would be easier to go to New York and do it on our own,” said Gemma. They preferred a marriage without the stress of a big party. “We missed our family but it was the best option for us,” said Gemma. “Our wedding was so relaxed and laid back, it was brilliant,” she added.

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The couple stayed at the Park Lane hotel for six nights. I asked if they had any restaurants to recommend, “we ate at Shorty’s, Keans Steakhouse, Hooters, Katz’s Deli, Olive Garden and Mighty Quinn’s,” so they’ve certainly done a culinary food tour of New York! Their guests were their friends Louise and Craig and they said that they loved the whole experience.

Gemma and Dean 2

The ceremony took place on Gapstow Bridge. They chose it because it is their favorite spot in Central Park. “We had pictures taken at the bridge, Bethesda terrace and fountain and Bow Bridge, and then left Central Park for photos at the Love sculpture and then Times Square,” Gemma told me. They booked their own photographer, Jasmine Photography.

Gemma and Dean 15

Gemma wore a Stella York wedding dress, purchased from Olivia Cameron in Falkirk. Their flowers were blush and ivory roses by Ode a la Rose. They got married on a Saturday and they had hoped to make a reservation at the Boathouse, but they don’t accept reservations on a weekend, and they close mid-afternoon, so the couple decided against it. Instead they ate at the Tavern on the Green, and then went to the Plaza for cocktails. After that they went to 230 Fifth for drinks

Gemma and Dean 11

I asked Gemma how she felt it all went, and she said, “Claire was amazing, I found her so helpful and attentive. I couldn’t have asked for a better planner.” Thanks for your kind words, Gemma, and I wish you and Dean lots of luck for your future together!

Gemma and Dean 4

For more information to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, with photos just about anywhere in New York, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where you will find lots of lovely photos and many more inspiring stories of real weddings.

Gemma and Dean 8

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Wed in Central Park to be at the Destination Wedding Show

Wed in Central Park at Destination Wedding Show

I will be exhibiting at the Destination Wedding Show on Sunday 14th October 2018.  The show will be at the Buttermarket, Howard St, Shrewsbury SY1 2LF.  It’s a great location because it’s 90 minutes from Liverpool, Manchester or Birmingham.  The show is set up by Jason Rodgers, a photographer who specialises in destinations weddings.  He has photographed beautiful weddings all over the world.

Destination Wedding Show Central Park LS

This show has a clear focus on the couples who want to go abroad to get married.  You might be considering going somewhere beautiful and amazing, just to the two of you, eloping in secret, or you might be planning on bringing a small group of your close family and friends, or perhaps even a large group.  But if you know you don’t want to tie the knot at home, and you’re looking for advice, ideas and inspiration on where to go to get married, then this show will have lots of exhibitors ready to share their knowledge with you.

Destination Wedding Show Central Park CB

The Buttermarket, an iconic grade 2 listed building, is Shropshire’s biggest entertainment venue.  There is limited free on street parking situated outside the Buttermarket, and if you can’t park there then there is a large 24 hour car park situated behind it (SY1 2DQ).  The venue is right across the street from the train station, so it’s easy to get to even if you don’t drive.

Destination Wedding Show Central Park CN

Three will be people like me, who specialise in one location and have in-depth knowledge of the place, and also photographers and travel agents who have a wider knowledge of lots of places.  There will be a catwalk and fashion show throughout the day showcasing bridal wear, suits and bridesmaid dresses.

Destination Wedding Show Central Park HR

This is sure to be a popular wedding show.  Almost one out of every four weddings of British couples is considered a destination wedding, a statistic I keep reading in lots of places.  Apparently most of those destination weddings occur in the continental US, presumably because it’s so easy to have a legally recognised wedding in the US.  There’s no need to have a register office wedding ceremony at home afterwards – just one wedding day and it is legally binding on your return home.

Destination Wedding Show Central Park LD

Jason tells me that all couples who register their details with him, either in advance or on the door will go in to a draw to win a dream destination wedding worth up to £10,000!  Tickets are free!  There will also be a chance to win other prizes and giveaways, plus the first 100 to arrive will receive a goody bag on the day.  I wonder what an exhibitor has to do to get their hands on a goody bag…

Destination Wedding Show Central Park SL

Let me know if you are planning on coming to see me there and I will look out for you, I love to chat with couples in person about their wedding plans.  For more information to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, or just about anywhere outdoors in New York, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where you will find lots of lovely photos and many more inspiring stories of real weddings.

Destination Wedding Show Central Park JR

To see lots of inspiring photos of lovely destination weddings, follow the Destination Wedding Show on Instagram, or to see their news and updates follow them on Facebook.  For some really useful tips, advice and inspiration from those who truly have a passion about destination weddings, follow their blog.  Most importantly, click here to get your free ticket!

Destination Wedding Show Central Park LR

 

 

 

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