2018 Clients’ New York Restaurant Recommendations – Where to Eat After you are Married in Central Park

So many couples ask me where to go to eat after a wedding in Central Park.  This is a frequently asked question, but such a difficult one to answer.  Check out my FAQs page on my website for some of the others I get asked a lot.  New York is a huge city with so many awesome places to eat to choose from with every cuisine you can think of to fit a vast range of budgets.  My couples are all so different, too – they have varying tastes, budgets and group sizes. 

In an effort to provide some general advice to get couples thinking, I’ve written my own list of New York restaurant recommendations, and followed that up with a second list of New York restaurant recommendations.  These lists may be slightly out of date now; there are some classics in there and some restaurants come and go.  I decided later on that my previous client’s recommendations may also be helpful, so I wrote a post summarising where all the couples who featured on the blog in 2017 ate after their wedding, couples from 2016, then from 2015, then those from 2014, and also those from 2013.  So there are lots of recommendations to look through! 

Below I summarise the couple’s recommendations who featured on the blog in 2018.  I intend to cover the next couple of years on the blog soon!  I have had to break the posts down year by year, otherwise they would be far too long (for me to write and for you to read!).  The list that follows is of the couples whose weddings featured on the blog in 2018 and where they went to eat and celebrate after their wedding, alongside any other recommendations they might have made. 

Pinky and Bones – Loeb Boathouse

Pinky and Bones, from Glasgow in Scotland, came to New York to get married in Central Park.  They had been together for seven years before eloping to New York to get married.  The couple were in New York for six nights and stayed at the Hotel St James, close to Times Square.  They took a horse and carriage ride around Central Park after their wedding and then went to the Loeb Boathouse for their celebratory dinner.

Kelly and Ivan – Little Italy

Kelly and Ivan got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in June with their two and a half year old daughter as their only guest.  After their photos they returned to the hotel to get changed before going to Little Italy for a meal at Kelly’s favorite restaurant.  Her godmother had rung the restaurant ahead of them and paid for prosecco on arrival, which is a lovely touch for someone getting married far from home.  On this visit they stayed at the Grand Westin on East 42nd Street.

Mirjana and John – The View

Mirjana and John came over to New York from their home in Perth, Australia to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion at Christmas time.  They had been together for nine years before they got married.  Mirjana had chosen Central Park for their wedding because of its beauty and its significance to what she felt Manhattan was.  Hurricane Sandy had hit New York City badly two months before the wedding, and taken out The River Café in Brooklyn, which was where they had planned to go to eat after they had got married.  Instead, after the wedding, they went to Times Square to take photos, and after that they went up to The View for dinner.

Natalie and Jason – The Nomad Hotel

Natalie and Jason got married underneath Bethesda Terrace in November.  They live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  After the wedding they had a bagpiper accompany them on a walk from Bethesda Arcade, up the Mall, and along to the Tavern On The Green.  At the Tavern on the Green they had drinks at the bar for a little while and relaxed.  Their reception was held at the indoor rooftop of the Nomad Hotel, where they had a cocktail hour and then had dinner.  

Nikki and Andrew – Keens Steakhouse

Nikki and Andrew came to New York from their home in Essex in the UK with a small party to get married in Central Park on Valentine’s Day. They visit New York together every year, and already had this trip planned when they decided that they would get married.  Andrew and Nikki got married in the morning, so afterwards they went for lunch with their party at Keens Steakhouse, “we would definitely recommend this restaurant,” said Nikki. And they had a New York cheesecake as their wedding cake! 

Jacqui and Kenny – Black Tap

Jacqui and Kenny got married in Wagner Cove in July with just their kids as guests.  They had been together for almost twenty-five years before they got married.  The couple had been together since the age of twenty and had always said that they would get married “one day” they just weren’t in a hurry and took a while to get around to it!  They knew they didn’t want a fancy meal after their wedding, and they wanted to go somewhere appropriate for the kids so they went on to Black Tap for burgers and shakes for lunch.

Bernadette and Jody – The Time Hotel

Bernadette and Jody got married on Belvedere Castle Terrace in early September.  They brought around a dozen of their nearest and dearest with them from their home in Pennsylvania, including Jody’s three children and Bernadette’s son.  They took some photos by the Lake, on Bow Bridge and at Bethesda Terrace before getting in to a carriage and having a little quite time together before the couple joined their guests at The Time Hotel for cocktails before their meal at the same location.

Diana and Aaron – Loeb Boathouse

Diana and Aaron eloped from their home in Canada to get married in Central Park on 1st July, which is Canada Day.  Since it was just the two of them, we needed to provide a witness to their wedding.  After taking some photographs around Central Park, including some drinking a champagne toast at the Tavern on the Green, the photographer left them and the couple went on to the Boathouse for lunch.

Karl and Elizabeth – One if by Land, Two if by Sea

Karl and Elizabeth renewed their marriage vows in July underneath Bethesda Terrace in the heart of Central Park. They got married a year earlier at City Hall and they wanted to renew their vows on their first wedding anniversary with something a little more personal.  After they had renewed their vows, the couple had a few more photos taken around Central Park and then went off to One if by Land, Two if by Sea for dinner.

Lucy and David – The Milling Room

Lucy and David brought their friends and family over from the West Midlands in the UK to New York in February to witness their wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion.  After the ceremony, the couple went off to take photos while the guests had some free time in the park and a few drinks at the Tavern on the Green.  Then the couple joined them at the Tavern for a little while until taxis picked them up to take them to The Milling Room where they had booked a private dining room. “The food and staff were absolutely amazing and communication with us throughout the planning process was excellent,” said Lucy. “We selected our menu choices, added our own logo to the menu, and decorated the private dining room, and helped them to choose wines to accompany dinner,” she said. Guests commented that it was the best meal they had ever had – Lucy and David agree that the food really was phenomenal. After a three-course dinner and speeches, they took taxis to Refinery Rooftop – a rooftop bar at the top of their hotel where they had booked an area overlooking the Empire State Building.

Shauna and Lorcan – Davio’s Steakhouse

Shauna and Lorcan brought around twenty-five of their friends and family over from Galway in Ireland to get married in Cop Cot in May.  After they were finished with the photos, the couple joined their guests at the reception location – a restaurant in Midtown called Davio’s Steakhouse. They had booked a private dining room and had a three course meal. “Davio’s were so easy to deal with and very accommodating of any requests we had,” said Shauna. “All of our guests were impressed with the food, the decor and the staff, and it was also very reasonable in pricing,” she added. After the meal they went on to an Irish bar – Slattery’s Midtown, which had been recommended to the couple by a friend from Ireland. “The owner, Justin was very helpful and delighted to welcome fellow Irish,” said Shauna. “We had an outside balcony area to ourselves and music played all night,” she said.

Megan and Ryan – Oriental Garden

Megan and Ryan live in New York, and they got married in Cop Cot in May.  After the ceremony they took a few group photos in Cop Cot and then they all hopped straight on to the trolley bus they had rented to take them to Chinatown. On the way they did a little tour of New York City for their guests. “One of our favorite things to do in New York is going to Chinatown, especially for dim sum,” said Megan. So, it seemed fitting to do that for their wedding celebration. “We are pretty laid back, informal people so this felt the most like us,” she explained. They took their guests to the Oriental Garden in Chinatown, which they already knew that they would like. 

Carrie and Neil – Bateaus Spirit Cruise

Carrie and Neil brought twenty-five of their nearest and dearest over to New York from their home in Aberdeen in Scotland to get married in Central Park in May.  They had got engaged in Central Park when they visited New York for Carrie’s thirtieth birthday two years before their wedding.  After photographs around Central Park they went on to their evening reception.  I had recommended the Bateaux Spirit Cruise, “it was such fantastic value for money and every one of our guests passed comment on what a great evening they had,” said Carrie.

Gemma and Dean – Tavern on the Green

Gemma and Dean came over to New York from their home in Falkirk, Scotland to get married on Gapstow Bridge this June.  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.  I asked if they had any restaurants to recommend, “we ate at Shorty’sKeans SteakhouseHootersKatz’s DeliOlive Garden and Mighty Quinn’s,” so they’ve certainly done a culinary food tour of New York!

Rafael and Liza – Tavern on the Green

Rafael and Liza eloped to New York from their home in Puerto Rico to get married in Central Park this July.  They had been together for more than twenty years when they married, and have two almost grown up sons.  After their wedding and photos they went to the Tavern on the Green for lunch.  I asked if there was any restaurants that they would recommend and Liza said that they had dinner in Havana CentralDos Caminos and the R Lounge. All of them walking distance from their hotel and Liza said they would recommend them all.

Alicia and James – Cuba NYC

Alicia and James got married in Wagner Cove in July with a small group of close family as their guests. Alicia is from the Bronx, New York and James is from London, England. They met in London through a dating app.  After the ceremony, the couple took everyone to a lunch reception downtown at Cuba NYC.

Alysha and Giovanni – Patrizia’s of Manhattan

Alysha and Giovanni got married in the Wisteria Pergola in the Conservatory Gardens of Central Park in September.  Alysha is from New Jersey and Giovanni is from Italy.  They had their reception dinner in the private room at Patrizia’s of Manhattan, which is an Italian restaurant, of course. “It’s one of our favorite restaurants!” she said, “the guests were absolutely amazed by the food, they are still talking about it!” she added.

Wendy and Craig – Porter House Bar and Grill

Wendy and Craig eloped from their home in Queensland, Australia to get married in Central Park this September. Their ceremony was held in Wagner Cove.  After the photos, our photographer walked them over to where they could get a horse and carriage, where they took a few photos and then left them to it. “We went for a twenty minute ride around Central Park, which was lovely, then we went to the Tavern on the Green for a lovely celebratory drink at the bar,” said Wendy. Later in the evening they went on to Porter House Bar and Grill at Columbus Circle for dinner. “The steaks were amazing and we had a view overlooking the entrance to Central Park” Wendy told me. “They also gave us a complimentary piece of cake to share, with ‘congrats’ written in chocolate on the plate, so that was our wedding cake!” she added.

Jennifer and Gary – Session 73

Scottish couple Jennifer and Gary got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in March with eleven guests. They had been together for around two years before moving from their home in Glasgow, Scotland to Perth, Australia, where they had lived for almost six years.  They had booked a private dining are in Session 73 on the Upper East Side for their celebratory dinner. After dinner and drinks a live band played in the restaurant and dedicated their first song, Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen to the couple, and we got up and danced for their first dance to it. “The venue was perfect for us as it was not too busy, had live music and was very laid back with fantastic service,” said Jennifer.

Brianne and Bradley – Loeb Boathouse and Da Nico’s

Brianne and Bradley had been together for almost eight years before they got married in Central Park in August.  They met in Portland, Oregon where they live.  The ceremony took place in the late morning, followed by lunch at the Loeb Boathouse.  After that they enjoyed some Monet at MoMA and finished with a group dinner at Da Nico’s in Little Italy. 

As ever, I welcome anyone who would like to comment below with their own suggestions of great New York City restaurants – there are so many to choose from, and although there are some firm favorites that last over time we’re always seeing new ones!  For more information to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebookfollow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where you will find lots of lovely photos and many more inspiring stories of real weddings.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Michelle and Jessie’s Intimate Wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion

Michelle and Jessie got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in June.  They are both born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  Jessie is 31 and Michelle is 29 years old.  Michelle and Jessie met in August 2008, when Michelle was seventeen and Jessie was eighteen.  Jessie was working in the Subway sandwich shop in their neighborhood.  Michelle did not much feel like eating at the time but her Mom, insisted that they went.  Her mom knew the owner from visits when Michelle was a child, and she knew Jessie a little because she was a regular; she loved his service and the way he made her sandwich!  They walked in, Jessie greeted her and took her order.  Michelle took quite some time to make up her mind and then order the blandest sandwich Jessie had ever heard of!  They laughed about it, he made up her sandwich and they sat down to eat.

There was certainly a spark between them that day they met.  They were on each other’s minds until Michelle went in again – and Jessie remembered her order.  She visited the Subway a few more times and eventually they exchanged numbers.  They officially became a couple three months later, so they had been together for over twelve years when they got married. Michelle and Jessie got engaged on March 16th 2020, which was the day they declared official pandemic lockdown.  Originally Jessie had plans to take Michelle out that day to a restaurant and propose but then Covid put a stop to his plans as it did to so many others!  So he proposed that morning around 6:30 am, while everyone else was sleeping.  “He was super nervous,” said Michelle, “but it was so beautiful, sweet and intimate,” she said.

I asked Michelle why getting married was important to them.  “It was always a relationship goal for us,” she said.  “When we first met, we spoke of our future goals and both agreed we eventually would like get married and have kids.  We didn’t have that growing up as kids, so we wanted to make sure we can provide that, not just for us but for our kids to see and have both parents married and in love,” she explained.  Michelle and Jessie have a seven year old son, Aidan.

After they had gotten engaged, they initially considered getting married in a church.  Then they considered doing it in City Hall.  With Covid throwing so many wedding plans up in the air, they decided an outdoor wedding would be safer to plan and less likely to have to be rescheduled, even by June of 2021, and they were right.  “We browsed multiple websites that had Central Park wedding packages and saw the pictures and how beautiful it was, that’s when we instantly agreed; Central Park it is,” Michelle said. 

I asked her if she has any concerns in the run up to the wedding.  “Our main concern was any Covid restrictions and the availability of the location we wanted, but it ended up working out perfectly and we did get the location we wanted thanks to our wedding planner Claire,” said Michelle.  The permit application process for Central Park currently includes filling out a Covid 19 Safety Plan, so we were all made aware of any restrictions and measures that we were required to put in place to keep everyone safe.

Michelle, Jessie and their son Aidan met their photographer Florencia a little while before the ceremony to take some photos around Central Park.  They did a “first look” shot of Jessie and Aidan’s reaction to Michelle and then took some portrait shots around the center area.  This option of taking photos before the ceremony is becoming increasingly popular.  It means that the couple can hang out with the theirs guests straight after the ceremony and do whatever they want to do, rather than have the group wait for an hour or so while the couple take photos. 

Michelle wore a long summer dress in ivory, purchased from David’s Bridal, and carried an ivory and blue bouquet.  The color theme of the wedding was sapphire blue.  So her maid of honor, matron of honor and mom wore blue.  Michelle’s mom gave her away, because her father is no longer with us.  Jessie wore a white button down shirt with blue pants and brown shoes and Aiden wore a cute outfit with button down shirt, vest, pants, bow tie and brown shoes.  Michelle looked stunning but I think we can all agree that Aiden was the cutest person in Central Park that day!  Michelle had her hair professionally done at the hair salon she go to regularly and has gone to since childhood, Amarilli’s Unisex Salon at 1540 Gates Avenue, Brooklyn.  Her makeup was professionally done by this aesthetician and makeup artist Hencys.  “Book her, she’s amazing and she offered bridal trails as well,” Michelle advises any other brides!

The ceremony took place in the Ladies’ Pavilion.  “It was beautiful,” said Michelle.  They had twelve of their nearest and dearest friends and family as guests.  Straight after the ceremony, they all enjoyed a champagne toast in the Pavilion and took some photos in the area.  On the way home they picked up some delicious vegan food to share with the party, from a place called Greedi Kitchen, located on 180 Ralph Street in Brooklyn.

I asked Michelle her opinion on smaller weddings in general, since they have become so popular recently.  “We think smaller weddings are the best,” she said.  “They are becoming more popular too due to Covid, but we always agreed on a small wedding; it’s more intimate and special with just the important people around you, your family and friends,” she added.  I asked her what advice she might have for others considering doing something similar, “if you’re hesitating on getting married in Central Park; don’t!!” she said.  “Book it, you will not be disappointed one bit,” she added. 

Finally, I asked Michelle how we did, here’s what she said.  “Claire was amazing along with the officiant and photographer she assigned to us.  Our day was magical thanks to them all.  Book with Claire, she will exceed all your expectations and more.  She is very patient, kind and informative.  Very prompt too.  So glad I came across her website and booked with her.” Thank you for your kind words, Michelle, and it was an absolute pleasure planning your wedding with you.  I wish you and Jessie the best of luck for your future together.  If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you’re from near or far, visit our website.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest

Posted in Central Park, real wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Married in New York – Advice for British Couples

It is so much easier to get married in New York than it is to get married in Britain!  The vast majority of our couples are British, and so am I.  I got married in Central Park in 2011, and I was living in New York at the time.  This blog post is a long answer to a frequently asked question about what paperwork British couples need to get married in New York.  Apparently getting married in the UK requires quite a lot of paperwork and British couples almost can’t believe how simple it is to get married in the USA.

If you are not British, then check if your country will recognise your marriage if you get married in New York.  Here’s what the UK government says about getting married in the USA:

“Your marriage will be recognised in the UK if: you follow the correct process according to the law in the USA it would be allowed under UK law.  You don’t need to register your marriage in the UK.”  If you’re a British national getting married abroad, you might need certain documents from the UK government, for example a certificate of no impediment – this is if you have been married before.  Here’s the UK government website with details about getting married abroad: https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad 

The first thing to do, maybe just before your trip to New York, is to register online for your marriage license.  Do this within 21 days of your wedding date.  When you register online you get a confirmation number.  When you get to New York, take that confirmation number and your passport to the City Clerk’s Office to pick up your license.  It costs $35 and you will need to pay by credit card, they do not accept cash.  Do this at least 24 hours before your wedding.  That’s it.  I wrote a blog post about how to get your license from the City Clerk’s Office, but it’s very simple.  The Manhattan branch of the City Clerk’s Office is open Monday through Friday (not open on holidays), 8:30am to 3:45pm, and is at 141 Worth Street.

Then you have the ceremony.  This is the part where I can do everything for you, if you want to get married in beautiful Central Park.  I can help with other locations, too, but I really specialize in Central Park weddings.  I can book the officiant, get your event permit for Central Park, write the ceremony with you, book the photographer, help you to make a plan of timings for the day, book any musicians, video, hair and makeup, and order your flowers.  Check out our wedding packages and prices, or drop me an email at info@wedincentralpark.com to ask any questions. 

Take your license to the ceremony.  If I’m planning your wedding with you, then I’ll remind you of this maybe a half dozen times!  This is because quite a few couples do forget to bring it with them, with everything else that’s happening on the morning of their wedding!  Do whatever you can to be sure that you remember it – you don’t want to have to deal with a forgotten license on your special day!  After the ceremony, the couple sign the license, along with the officiant and either one or two witnesses (you’re only required to have one witness but there’s space on the license for two).  Then the officiant sends the completed license to the City Clerk’s Office, they register your marriage and then they mail the short certificate to your home address, wherever you live.  If you need to change your name after getting married, you ca use this short certificate to do so.

If you need the marriage certificate straight away and can’t wait for it to come in the mail, then you can take the completed license back to the City Clerk’s Office in person to get the certificate.  If you live in a country that requires the long certificate, and/or the Apostille, then we can tell you step by step what you need to do to get them, or for a fee with a signed and notarized letter, we can get it for you, but the long certificate is not necessary to make your marriage legally binding in the UK. 

Check out our wedding packages and prices, the prices quoted are in US dollars, but my business is registered in the UK, so I can take a bank transfer in GB pounds as payment if you prefer.  Drop me an email at info@wedincentralpark.com to ask any questions.  If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you live locally or are planning on traveling to New York to get married, visit our website.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest

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

Sophie and Ivan’s Wagner Cove Wedding

Sophie and Ivan got married in Wagner Cove in August.  Sophie is from South Africa, and Ivan is from Italy.  They live together in New York City, and they met in New York around four years before they got married.  They contacted me in June to ask for help with planning their wedding in Central Park.

We arranged for a violinist to play at the ceremony.  She played from a selection of classical pieces while the groom and guests waited for the bride to arrive, and then she walked down the steps to the popular Canon in D.  After they were pronounced married, she played Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, followed by some more pop songs as background music while they signed the paperwork and took group photos.

They had a late afternoon ceremony.  They did have some rain on the afternoon of the ceremony, but many of their group managed to fit under the shelter of Wagner Cove – in fact more people than I’ve ever seen in that small structure by the Lake!  “The fifteen minutes of rain were actually perfect because they forced the people under the cove and we all stayed very close to our family and friends and the sun came out right after that,” said Ivan.

They didn’t want a religious wedding ceremony, but they wanted someone who was a spiritual person to conduct their wedding.  They had four friends read for them, firstly in English and then in Italian, two different friends read an Apache blessing.  After that two different friends firstly in English and then in Italian an excerpt from “The Prophet” by Khalil Gabran.  I will put the English version of both readings at the end of this post.  Sophie and Ivan exchanged traditional vows, then read out some personal promises that they had written specially for each other, and then exchanged rings. 

After the ceremony, their guests went on to reception drinks at the Tavern on the Green.  Sophie and Ivan had some time alone with their photographer, Jakub Redziniak, who took portrait photographs of them at Bethesda Terrace.  After that, the newlywed couple joined their guests a short walk away at the Tavern on the Green.

I asked Sophie and Ivan how we did.  They said their officiant was wonderful, as was the location and the whole process with the violinist, photographer.  “You made the whole things seamless – really easy and low maintenance for us and it was beautiful, fun and relaxed, which is exactly what we were hoping for.  So THANK YOU and WELL DONE!” said Sophie.

It was an absolute pleasure to work with you both, Sophie and Ivan, and I wish you both lots of luck for your future together. If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you live locally or are planning on traveling to New York to get married, visit our website.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest

An Apache blessing

“Now you will feel no rain,

for each of you will be shelter for the other.

Now you will feel no cold,

for each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there will be no loneliness,

for each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two persons,

but there is only one life before you.

May beauty surround you both in the

journey ahead and through all the years,

May happiness be your companion and

your days together be good and long upon the earth.

Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and

remind yourselves often of what brought you together.

Give the highest priority to the tenderness,

gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.

When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship,

as they threaten all relationships at one time or another,

remember to focus on what is right between you,

not only the part which seems wrong.

In this way, you can ride out the storms when

clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that

even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.

And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your

life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.”

Excerpt from “The Prophet” by Khalil Gabran

“You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

Posted in real wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Survive Planning a Destination Wedding if You’re an Introvert

So many of my clients planning a wedding in Central Park are self-professed introverts.  People who choose to elope for their wedding, or bring just a small group of their very closest friends and family rather than have the big, traditional wedding close to home tend to be fairly introverted.  These are my people. 

If you are quite an introverted person, then you’re likely to find planning a destination wedding exhausting, even with a small group.  If you elope, then you’re avoiding a lot of the problems that dealing with others can present, but many of our couples getting married in Central Park tend to bring a small group with them.  Introverts can be terrified at the idea of all the attention that a wedding can bring.  There are some ways introverts can keep stress levels down when planning a destination wedding in New York, or indeed anywhere.

  • Plan the wedding for you.  So many couples tell me that they have started down the route of planning a big wedding and then realised that the whole thing was becoming more about others than about the two of them.  You and your partner are the ones who are getting married, so the wedding should be how you want it.  Discuss your wishes and needs as a couple, take your guests in to account, but ultimately you should do what you both want to do.  Keep a casual vibe.  The more formal the wedding, the more pressure you might feel.  Keep the tone light to avoid unnecessary stress.
  • Make a time line of the wedding day.  I help my clients to do this for their day in New York.  Make sure that you get a bit of down-time every now and again.  This might be before the ceremony, where you might want some time by yourself, or quiet time with just your family or just your bridesmaids.  Maybe you can get some alone time while getting ready; either have a quiet breakfast alone, or perhaps ensure that there is time for a little rest after having your hair done.  Take time out to be alone and breathe.  Perhaps after the ceremony try to get some quiet time with your new spouse, to appreciate the big step you are taking together.  This might be having your first dance, either just before or just after the photos, or possibly taking a cab to your reception separately from your guests.  We can usually find a way to sneak in a bit of alone time for the newlyweds in to a busy wedding day.
  • Consider hiring a wedding planner.  Lots of introverts tell me that it makes things easy to get to know their wedding planner quite well, and to only have to communicate their wishes to one person.  Some couples tell me an awful lot about their relationship, and that allows me to write their ceremony wording, but some prefer to keep the ceremony quite impersonal and keep themselves to themselves.  Whichever you choose is fine with us, and either way, this allows me deal with all the other vendors on the couples’ behalf. 
  • Keep your vows short.  You might want to keep what you are saying out loud to a minimum.  We can have a guest or the officiant read a poem or other reading that articulates how you’re feeling, and that avoids you having to say too much.  Don’t write long and emotional vows to say to your partner in front of everyone if you don’t want to.  If you do want to say something personal and unique, then bring it on a card to read out, or keep it short and repeat your vows line by line after your officiant, or just say “I do” and get out of there!  A benefit of having a small, intimate wedding is that the fewer people you have listening to you say your vows, the less self-conscious you should feel.
  • Keep input from family and friends to a minimum.  Accept help where it is offered, if it is what you want – you are allowed to say no.  Be selective about who you involve in the planning.  Advice is great, but introverts can find that listening to too many people can get overwhelming.  You will want your guests to be comfortable, happy and entertained.  Introverts are often very aware of others’ feelings, so if you sense that your guests aren’t happy then you won’t be either.  When planning a big trip abroad with a group, it can be tricky to keep everyone fairly happy and have the wedding you want.  Take care to strike the right balance.   
  • Communicate with your loved ones.  Tell your people how you are likely to feel.  Your partner will know you and your needs well, but it is worth taking the time to explain to your bridesmaids and your family (and your in-laws!) that you expect to find the day overwhelming at times, and you may need them to allow you some space to help you get through it.  They are unlikely to be surprised – after all they know you and love you, too.
  • Party a little, then rest a little.  Spread out the socialising.  Have your bachelorette or hen party at least a few weeks or even months in advance of the wedding, to give yourself time to relax in between.  If you want to, you can avoid events like bridal showers, and other wedding get-togethers the night before the wedding.  On the other hand; pre-wedding get-togethers can be a great opportunity for the busy couple to hang out with some of the people that they might not have enough time to spend as much time with as they would like on their wedding day.  So, if you have a big group and feel that extra celebrations as group will take the stress off, then do it.
  • Have some quiet time on the day before the wedding. This could be your spouse to be, or with your bridesmaids – someone who you feel it is easy to be around.  Schedule some fabulous New York sightseeing that won’t be with the larger group.  Many introverts can cope with one day of intensive social activity and attention, but it will certainly help if you have a few days of quiet beforehand to get your batteries fully charged!  Don’t fill your diary up with gatherings with everyone involved in the week before your wedding.  Take some time out.

It is very important to pay attention to how you will feel on your wedding day when planning your wedding.  The beautiful gown and the lovely flowers mean nothing if you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed all day and unable to enjoy it. 

So many women have been conditioned to believe that their wedding day is somehow the grand aim of their life – the best and biggest day of their life.  So, it’s not surprising that many brides feel huge amounts of pressure in the run-up to their wedding.  Take some time to consider what your wedding really means to you both, and take the pressure off a little.  Yes, it’s a big step, but it’s just a step.  You have probably made other big steps in your relationship together with less fuss and planning, and you will make other big steps together in the future, you have a long future together, so appreciate the wedding for what it is. 

If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you’re from near or far, visit our website.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest.  I’d love to hear tips from other introverts on how they got through their wedding day with minimum fuss.  Please add your thoughts in the comments below.

Posted in wedding advice, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jazmin and Alex’s Cop Cot Wedding in May

Local New Yorkers Jazmin and Alex got married in Cop Cot in May.  They’re both from Queens, New York.  They met in middle school, and lost touch after school and then reconnected on social media a few years later.  Jazmin and Alex got engaged at home on Christmas Eve when they had been together for nine years.  Alex handed Jazmin a square gift box, when opened, the box fanned out and revealed pictures of them together, old cards they had written to each other, and an engagement ring box in the center.  Their wedding date was their tenth anniversary of being together. 

I asked why getting married was important to them.  “My parents never married and neither did my husband’s parents,” Jazmin told me.  But for them, marriage felt like an important step to take in their relationship but also something that they both felt unfamiliar with.  “We had committed so much of ourselves to each other over the past ten years, so marriage felt like the natural next step,” Jazmin said.

Once they were officially engaged, they started to think about where they might get married.  “Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, we knew finding traditional wedding locations would be complicated,” said Jazmin.  They didn’t want to wait for a long time for the pandemic to be fully over and for things to be completely back to normal to get married – after all, they’d been together for ten years and living together for five.  “Then we learned that we could get married in Central Park, which was perfect for us,” said Jazmin.  “Early on in our relationship, we spent a lot of time wandering Central Park, so the location is meaningful to us,” she said.

Jazmin and Alex had around thirty guests at their wedding in Cop Cot.  I asked Jazmin what she thought of smaller weddings in general.  “I do believe small weddings and elopements are becoming more popular now, due to restrictions set in place after the pandemic,” she said.  “I believe there are many benefits to having a small wedding,” she told me.  “It can be intimate, less stressful, and cost effective,” she added.  I couldn’t agree more, but most of our weddings are small and intimate, so I’m biased!

Being local New Yorkers, their wedding was close to home, only twenty minutes away! So they could have invited a bigger group, but they wanted to keep things small, I asked Jazmin how she felt about that. “After having my small wedding, I have no regrets.  My wedding was beautiful, intimate, and full of love,” she said.  “We were unable to host all the people we would have normally wanted at our ceremony, but thanks to our video live-stream, everyone was able to witness our ceremony,” she told me.

Jazmin and Alex had decided that they wanted to get married on this May date, because it was their anniversary, so they were confident the weather would be nice, and they also wanted to be outdoors to comply with restrictions imposed by the pandemic.  These factors, along with their affection for Central Park, made it the perfect locations for them;  “Central Park is an iconic place and we couldn’t have imagined a more special place to get married,” said Jazmin.

I asked Jazmin if they had had any concerns about getting married in Central Park.  “My initial concern about getting married in Central Park was securing the space,” said Jazmin.  “Since Central Park is a public park, I was worried about how we could have a private ceremony and what to do if people were occupying the space,” she explained.  “These concerns were gone once we learned about the option of an event permit and that we would be able to secure a space with it.  This turned out to be very useful because there were people trying to throw a children’s birthday party in the location that we reserved, so we showed our event permit and politely asked them to leave,” she said.  The event permit is only $25 and well worth getting even with a small group, in my opinion.  Showing that piece of paper can be a quick, simple and polite way to ask another group to move along. 

Since Jazmin and Alex were so familiar with Central Park, they were sure they wanted to ceremony location to be Cop Cot straight away.  I asked where their favorite photos were taken.  “Some of my favorite pictures were actually taken inside the Cop Cot structure and directly in front of it,” Jazmin said.  “The greenery was in full bloom and it made for magical pictures.  Since Cop Cot is perched on a small hill, we were able to take beautiful photos with the Manhattan buildings in the background.  

We had initially planned for them to walk up to Bethesda Terrace and Fountain with their photographer Julieanne for photos after the ceremony, but in the end, after taking lots of different group photos close to Cop Cot, they decided to just walk up to Gapstow Bridge for some portrait shots, and it turned out to be the right decision for them, since Jazmin said that some of her other favorite photos were taken on Gapstow Bridge.

We wrote a short introduction for the ceremony together, and the officiant read one of my favorites – “Union” by Robert Fulghum, which I will put at the end of this post.  They exchanged traditional vows, then read out personal vows that they had each written in advance and kept a secret from each other until the morning of the wedding, and then exchanged rings. 

Jazmin and Alex’s thirty guests were their parents, siblings, and closest friends.  “Everyone was pleasantly surprised when they found out we were getting married in Central Park and even more pleased after attending the ceremony,” Jazmin told me.  “I personally do not know anyone who has gotten married in Central Park and neither did our guests,” she said.   Jazmin looked stunning in a long white dress and a veil.  It was purchased online from Lulus.  Her bouquet was from a local vendor in Queens and it consisted of white andblush roses, eucalyptus, lisianthus, ranunculus, and other textural elements.  She had her hair and makeup done professionally on the day of her wedding at home. 

After the wedding ceremony that Sunday morning and pictures in the park, they all went back to Queens where Jazmin and Alex hosted a small reception with their guests.  I always ask our couples for restaurant recommendations, and often they are visitors to New York, but Jazmin’s knowledge is far greater than a tourist!  Her recommendation is the Freakin Rican restaurant, which I certainly want to try if only because of its awesome name!  “We catered food from this Puerto Rican restaurant the day of our wedding and it was a hit amongst our guests,” Jazmin told me.

I asked Jazmin what she would say to other couples considering a wedding in Central Park and she said “I would recommend getting married in Central Park to anyone.  It is a timeless location that will look beautiful no matter what the season is,” I completely agree of course!  “Central Park will always hold a special place in our hearts and we look forward to visiting Cop Cot in the future,” she added. 

I asked Jazmin how we did.  “The service I received from Wed in Central Park was amazing.  I would recommend it to any couple looking to get married in Central Park.  Claire and her team made our experience so effortless.  As a person who didn’t know the first thing about planning a wedding ceremony, Wed in Central Park was such a great resource for me,” she said.  Thank you for your kind words, Jazmin, and it was an absolute pleasure planning your wedding with you.  I wish you and Alex the best of luck for your future together.  If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you’re from near or far, visit our website.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest

Union by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.

Posted in Central Park, real wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why a Destination Wedding in Central Park Beats a Beach Wedding

Firstly; the argument I’m going to make in this post is very much tongue in cheek.  I absolutely and wholeheartedly believe that your wedding should be your day and that if we all liked the same thing the world would be a very boring place.  But, that said, I think I’ve got a couple of main contenders to my product offering, which is weddings in glorious, beautiful and world-famous Central Park (are you detecting a bias here yet?).  One is of course the traditional wedding close to home, and if a couple wants to do that, then I think their vision of their wedding day is very different from what I offer, so I’m not going to try to persuade those couples to come to NYC.  Except maybe for that time when I wrote my reasons to elope blog post.  If a couple has decided that they’re having a no-nonsense, easy and straightforward wedding in New York, then my main competitor might be City Hall, and I’ve already taken them on in another blog post.  But for couples who are considering a destination wedding but aren’t really sure where might suit them, then I think my main competitor is the beach.  Generally, when people think of a destination wedding, they often think of the beach first.  So, today I’ll be arguing against… beaches! 

Accessibility

The main problem with the beach is all that sand.  If there are guests in your party who might struggle walk or stand on sand then a beach wedding could be difficult.  Most of the ceremony locations in Central Park can be reached fairly easily by all levels of ability, and some have seating for those who can’t stand for too long.

Weather

Getting married outdoors brings a heightened concern about the weather, no matter where you are.  But the weather is easier to predict for Manhattan than many beaches, and Central Park does have some covered areas.  Holding the ceremony under cover can be advantageous in case of rain and also if the sun is high and bright.  Nobody wants to be squinting in all of their wedding photos.

Décor

We’re not allowed to decorate the structures in Central Park, but then again, have you seen them?  They’re beautiful and don’t need adornment.  Keep in mind that anything you set up on the beach will need to be windproof.  And the same goes for your hair.

Attire

If you’re getting married in the heart of what I’ll admit is a rather dirty city then you may want to choose a less fussy gown for your wedding.  If you’re marrying at the beach in the summer, you’ll want a very simple, lightweight and cool dress or suit  You can go for something a little bit fancier for a wedding in Central Park because it will be cooler.  You may not want to wear a veil on the beach, and also to keep the styling of your hair simpler.  Of course heels are totally out for the beach, although wearing some shoes would be helpful so your feet aren’t uncomfortably hot when standing on the sand.  Shoes are still a consideration when getting married in Central Park, because there will be plenty of walking involved, but you’ll have more options to choose from.

Lodging

If you’re planning a beach wedding in high season then your guests will probably need to know well in advance to book their hotels.  There’s no high season in New York and there are lots of hotels and apartments to choose from to suit varying budgets.  If you’re planning a beach wedding out of season, then you should certainly consider my comments above about the weather.

Privacy

I would say that a beach wedding or a public park wedding are on an even keel when it comes to privacy.  Some beaches are quieter than others, as are some locations in Central Park.  There may be passers by who stop to watch when getting married in either location.  The idea of a dream beach wedding with nobody else around is rare in reality, though.  If you want a private beach wedding then be prepared to book early and to pay for the privilege.  There are some quite private spots in Central Park if you know where to look and permits are $25. 

Restaurants

When choosing a beach wedding location couples will need to consider what restaurants or reception location choices are nearby.  Beach front venues are unlikely to want to hire out the whole place if you’re there during the busy season, so you’ll probably need to get all of the guests on to some transport for the reception.  There are 24 THOUSAND restaurants in Manhattan alone!  And that’s not counting the places in the other boroughs, many with with spectacular views and awesome food.  So, if you want choice when it comes to food; come to New York.

Legalities

Of course there are beaches in lots of countries, but if you want your wedding to be legally binding, then check the legalities surrounding marriage for your country of choice.  For many European countries, couples might need to have their legal ceremony at home, and the destination wedding ceremony is just for the celebration.  It’s very simple to get married in New York – just collect your license from City Hall, wait 24 hours, have the ceremony, then City Hall registers your marriage and it’s legally recognised worldwide and you get your marriage certificate in the post.

If I have successfully persuaded anyone NOT to get married on a beautiful beach somewhere, but instead to get married in gorgeous Central Park – visit our website.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest

Posted in wedding advice, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amanda and Adam’s April Wedding in Wagner Cove

Amanda and Adam got married at Wagner Cove in April.  Adam is British and Amanda is American and they first contacted me at the end of March, looking to get married in Central Park in mid-April, so we didn’t have time to lose! 

The couple had met on the dating app Hinge.  Due to the pandemic they weren’t able to meet in person straight away so they had known each other in real life for around five months before they got married.  “We are best friends,” Amanda told me. 

As is often the case with couple from different countries, if they wanted to be together, they had to be married.  They decided to get married at the end of March and contacted me pretty much straight away.   “When you have someone that you love being around and you have a passion for who is also your best friend and you get along so well with the same life goals and vision it makes getting married very easy decision,” Amanda said.

They didn’t have long to get their license so they had to get on that straight away.  Due to Covid 19, couples need to make an appointment to get their license at the current time, rather than just walk in to City Hall to pick it up as in normal times, so they had to start that process immediately to have their license in time for the date they had in mind. 

As it looked difficult to get the license, so they did briefly consider getting married in Las Vegas, Hawaii, or possibly London.  “We love New York City and due to Covid it was the best option as we were heading there anyway,” explained Amanda.  They had been in Philadelphia when they decided to get married, so moved on to New York for the wedding and decided on Central Park for their wedding ceremony location.

Amanda and Adam didn’t have guests at their wedding.  I asked Amanda what she thought of smaller weddings in general.  “Definitely elope!” she said.  “The smaller the better!  Never make the wedding bigger than the man and keep it personal,” was her advice.  I asked if she had any regrets about not having a traditional wedding and she said, “absolutely never and no!  We did it our way and are so happy!”

The couple were originally planning on getting married in the middle of the park, at Bethesda Terrace.  Then they decided that they wanted somewhere a bit more private.  So, we changed plans to get married at Wagner Cove, which was close to that middle area where they wanted to take photos, but much more tucked away and private.  “We chose Central Park because it’s beautiful,” Amanda told me.  “You’re surrounded by nature and beauty in the middle of one of the greatest cities on earth,” she said.

Amanda and Adam wrote their own vows to say to each other.  We kept in the traditional “I do” and “I will” parts but then they each read out a pre-prepared piece talking about their relationship to date and their feelings for each other and made promises for the future.  The officiant read a passage from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach, which I’ll put at the end of this post.

While they were in town, Amanda and Adam stayed at the Intercontinental Midtown for nearly three weeks.  Amanda got her dress from RK Bridal and carried a bouquet of deep pink roses with cala lilies.  After the ceremony, they took photos around Central Park and then ate dinner at Il Corso, an Italian restaurant in Midtown.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Amanda and Adam, and I wish you both lots of luck for your future together!  If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you’re from near or far, visit our website.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest

A passage from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach


A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.

Posted in real wedding, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ways to Make an Entrance at a Wedding in Central Park

One quite important part of a wedding ceremony is the way it begins.  The arrival of the people who are getting married is always exciting.  Traditionally, the arrival of the bride has been a very big deal.  Everyone else is ready and waiting and she appears to a big gasp from all in attendance.  In recent times, I’ve seen grooms make a grand entrance too, or couples arrive together, and that might be same-sex couples or heterosexual couples.  This blog post is not intended to advise on *who* should be making the grand entrance.  Instead it is to discuss the various popular wedding ceremony locations in Central Park and the opportunities they give for couples or individuals to make their entrance.

Shakespeare Garden

There are two areas that suit a small wedding party in the Shakespeare Garden.  One is a wooden platform with steps leading up to it towards the bottom of the garden.  The other is a large stone bench in the shade, with an area to the side of it that suits a wedding ceremony.  The bench is at the top, so you could make your entrance from the direction of Belvedere Castle, but to do that you would have to enter the park from the East side and then walk quite a long way. 

The most logical entrance to take to get to the Shakespeare Garden is the footpath that entrance the park at Central Park West ad 79th Street.  That way, you enter the Shakespeare Garden at the bottom of the garden and walk up to either location.  If you walk in to where the wooden platform is then you can walk up the steps to the officiant and/or your partner who would be waiting there for you.  If you walk up to the stone bench, or Whispering Bench as it is known, then you do have a short uphill walk through the garden.  If you do that, then you will want to pause to catch your breath before your arrival!

Belvedere Castle Terrace

This is the highest point in Central Park.  Belvedere Castle Terrace is reached by stone steps.  The best route to get to the castle is through the Shakespeare Garden, so it’s an uphill walk and then some steps after that.  So, a bride or couple can easily stay out of sight of their guests while a photographer can check that everyone is ready before they make their entrance. 

Ladies’ Pavilion

The Ladies’ Pavilion is a structure set in a clearing beside the Lake.  There is a pathway that leads down to the clearing.  This is a nice location for the arrival of a bride or couple because the pathway takes a gentle curve down to the location through the trees.  The closest entrance to the park is at Central Park West and 77th Street. 

We usually have the guests wait in the area around the Pavilion, with the officiant inside the structure and the photographer meet the bride and her party at the entrance to the park and then walk in with them.  The photographer can then leave the bride out of sight at the far end of the pathway and walk down ahead of her to check everyone is read for her arrival, and give the signal to the musician to play the processional if they have one.

Wagner Cove

The only way to reach Wagner Cove is to walk down some stone steps.  There is another route that takes a footpath alongside the Lake, but that way is not a practical way to arrive at a wedding.  The wooden structure at Wagner Cove is right on the water. 

The best way to get to Wagner Cove is to enter the park at Central Park West and 72nd Street and walk up to Cherry Hill.  The steps lead down to Wagner Cove from the pathway at Cherry Hill.  Those steps provide a striking entrance for anyone arriving at Wagner Cove for their wedding.  They don’t go straight down, rather taking turns among the foliage.  The drawback of course is that they would be an issue for anyone with restricted mobility.

Cherry Hill

This is a good spot for a larger group, gathered underneath the trees, overlooking the Lake and Bow Bridge.  To make an entrance here, you would walk into the park from Central Park West and 72nd Street, past Cherry Hill Fountain and then downhill into the grassed area of Cherry Hill.  It’s a short and pleasant walk, but the view of Bow Bridge will be behind anyone watching you arrive this way. 

Another option is to enter that same way, walk around the hill, past Bethesda Terrace and then along the pathway that passes Bow Bridge.  It’s a longer walk, but it means you enter the group by walking uphill to the grassed area, and this is how you’d have Bow Bridge behind you as you make your entrance – making for a much more striking photo.

Conservatory Gardens

There is more space at the North end of the park, and that is why the bigger weddings tend to be held in the Conservatory Gardens.  The permit fee to get married here is $500, which is considerably higher then the $25 permit fee everywhere else in Central Park.  The Conservatory Gardens are divided in to three areas, each with its own distinct style; Italian, French and English.  Permits are issued for one of these three areas.  The main entrance to the Conservatory Gardens is through the stunning Vanderbuilt Gate on 5th Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets.  Posing beside the gate makes for a striking photograph, but if your guests are waiting for you in any of the gardens, they are unlikely to see you arrive by the gate.

If guests gather either in the North Garden or South Garden, they are likely to be surrounding a fountain, and they will see a bride or couple approach just as they walk into the garden, it’s lovely but not very dramatic.  If the guests gather underneath the Wisteria Pergola they won’t see anyone approaching until they reach the top of the steps, so it’s a shorter walk for an arrival in that location.

Bow Bridge

There is just no sneaking up on Bow Bridge!  The benefit of holding a small ceremony on Bow Bridge is to enjoy the view.  It looks out over Cherry Hill and the Lake, so anyone can be clearly seen as they approach it.  A ceremony on Bow Bridge will not be private, there will be people passing by.  That’s the price you pay for that beautiful view!

Cop Cot

This is probably the wedding ceremony location that needs the shortest walk to get to from the street, but it is an uphill walk.  A couple and their guests can be dropped at the curb at Central Park South and 6th Avenue and be seen from the entrance way to Cop Cot.  It is for this reason that if you want your partner to have that dramatic “first look” as you walk through the entrance way to the structure, then they need to be standing well inside with the officiant as you arrive. 

The photos we have of brides walking up the hill to Cop Cot with their fathers and/or bridesmaids are quite striking, because they have that iconic backdrop of the trees of Central Park, with the buildings of Central Park South right behind them.  The doorway to Cop Cot is prettily framed with wisteria foliage in the summer, so provides a lovely framing for anyone arriving at the structure.

Gapstow Bridge

This bridge is quite a way into the middle of the South-East area of Central Park.  Some couples want to get married in the bridge itself, and some choose the area of grass next to the Pond, with Gapstow Bridge in the background.  The bridge is surrounding by winding pathways and is within quite an undulating area, so it’s easy enough to stay out of sight until you’re almost right there.  That approach makes for a nice entrance to a ceremony in this area.  The backdrop around Gapstow Bridge is that iconic view of trees with the tall buildings behind, so photos of your entrance are likely to be beautiful.

Bethesda Fountain

If your guests are waiting for you beside Bethesda Fountain then you have the opportunity to make an incredible entrance down those beautiful stone steps of Bethesda Terrace.  The Fountain, topped with the famous Angel of the Waters statue, is an iconic part of Central Park. 

Photos here will be striking, but this is probably the busiest part of Central Park, so there will be members of the public in your photos – that’s unavoidable.  Someone can easily stay out of sight of a group by the Fountain if they wait on the Terrace Drive before walking down the beautiful stone steps to their guests.

Underneath Bethesda Terrace

If you are worried about rain on your wedding day, then this is the location for you.  It is also strikingly beautiful underneath Bethesda Terrace, with the sandstone walls, Minton tile ceiling, and the view out to Bethesda Fountain through the arches. 

When guests gather underneath the Terrace, they won’t see you approach down the beautiful stone steps of Bethesda Terrace, but if you don’t want to be watched as you walk down roughly forty steps then this might be a blessing!  Those arches provide a stunning frame as you walk into the ceremony.


If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, visit our website.  If you have any questions about making an entrance to your wedding in Central Park after reading this blog post the drop me an email.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest

Posted in wedding advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Samantha and Austin’s Cop Cot Wedding in August

Samantha and Austin got married in Cop Cot in August.  The couple brought a small group of guests with them from their home in Indianapolis.  They had been together for over six and a half years when they got married.  They met in the senior year of High School, and in the ceremony we talked about how their relationship has not only given them best friends in each other, but also allowed them to cultivate the amazing group of mutual friends who are here today, which I think is quite lovely. “We wanted to do something special and intimate for our wedding and decided a destination wedding in New York would be perfect!” said Samantha.

We arranged for the bridal bouquet and bridesmaids’ bouquets to be delivered to their hotel on the morning of the wedding.  They had peonies, garden roses, astilbe, sweet peas and hydrangea in pale pinks, blush, cream, and white.  We ordered bigger bouquets for the adults and small wrist corsages for the girls.  “The flowers were absolutely stunning,” Sam told me.

Our photographer met them all in their hotel to take some shots of them all getting ready together.  After that, the bridal party walked over to Central Park South together, so they also were able to capture some New York street photos on the way. 

The ceremony was at Cop Cot, at the very south end of Central Park.  Sam’s friend Alex played the violin for the guests while they waited for their bride to arrive, and also the processional for her to arrive to.  The couple shared traditional vows before the ring exchange.  During the ceremony, the officiant read an extract from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, which I will share at the end of this post.

After the ceremony, the group took photos around Cop Cot and then made the short walk to Gapstow Bridge for photos there.  “We absolutely loved the photographer,” said Samantha.  “She was quick and efficient and listened to us when we had an idea but was also good at directing us non-professional models so that we got the best picture possible,” she said.  After photos in the park, they all left at the nearby 64th Street exit for their reception at Tony’s Di Napoli.

Samantha and Austin and their parties were staying at the Wellington Hotel, which is on West 55th Street, just four blocks’ walk away from Central Park South.  This meant that the travel side of things was fairly simple and straightforward since most people could walk to the locations, including their reception on 3rd Avenue, again just a short walk from Central Park. 

I asked how we did.  “You were fantastic to work with, communicating throughout the last year and always getting back to me quickly,” she said.  It was an absolute pleasure to work with you, Sam, I wish you both lots of luck for your future together. If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you’re from near or far, visit our website.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest

The extract reading from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: 

“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.  The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. And great happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.” 

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