Five Things I Loved About my Wedding – Kelsey

This is the seventh in a series of blog posts about those little things that make a wedding special to the couple. It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding. The idea is to help provide some inspiration for anyone planning their own wedding. Most of the weddings discussed in this series will be from Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured, because I think all weddings will provide some ideas. Many couples have a big vision of what they want on the day, but this series is about the details. Most of the weddings discussed in this series will have taken place in Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured. Kelsey is a Floral Designer and Event Planner, providing services in Nashville and Middle Tennessee with her business An Elegant Encounter. She very kindly posted a piece written by with my tips for a great destination wedding in Central Park, so we are doing a swap. Kelsey married her husband Jim in 2015 at President Andrew Jackson’s The Hermitage in Nashville Tennessee.

The Plantation
Our wedding was held at a historic home on a plantation in Nashville, TN. The property includes two mansions, several cabins, and a museum. Our family members are not big drinkers, and we knew that they wouldn’t want to stand around for an hour between the ceremony and reception while we took pictures. Therefore, instead of a cocktail hour, guests were allowed to take tours of the main historic mansion and museum. I loved that it was unique and gave my guests something to do!

Kelsey plantation
The Snowy Chapel
My husband grew up near this little chapel and always wanted to get married here. I was not wild about the idea, as it is quite plain on the inside. However, he can be quite nostalgic about his childhood, and it was really important to him, so it was totally worth it for me. As an added bonus, it snowed on our wedding day! The chapel was picture perfect in the snow, and I ended up loving it.

Kelsey chapel snow
The Cake
Okay, I know, everyone loves their cake. But what you need to understand about me is that my mother owned a home-based cake decorating business when I was a child. She used to do wedding cakes, but one day a cat jumped into the back of her car and smashed in an entire layer of one of the cakes. After that, she refused to do any more wedding cakes; she said it was too much pressure! But she still needed a creative outlet for her cake design, so we had fresh, homemade cake at every major event of my childhood. I LOVE cake! And I HATE dry, store-bought cake. I could have chosen a beautiful, fancy, tiered wedding cake, but I couldn’t stand the thought of bad-tasting cake. Instead, I choose these simple cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes. We were able to order multiple flavors, and they are all divine. My favorite is the white chocolate raspberry, while my husband loves the red velvet. Sorry, Mom, but these are the best-tasting cakes ever.

Kelsey wedding cakes
The Sweaters
Remember all that snow we had on the wedding day? Well, for Nashville, it was a lot! It was a blizzard for us. We never would have guessed that it would snow, but I had my heart set on a winter wedding, and we put the bridal party in sweaters and sweater dresses to play up the theme. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but I loved it and my bridesmaids were so thankful to be comfortable and warm.

Kelsey sweater dresses
The BBQ
We ordered BBQ for our wedding back before every single bride in the South was having BBQ at her wedding. I just do not understand spending thousands of dollars on wedding food that doesn’t even taste good. This BBQ was from a local restaurant, so we knew it would be delicious. Our guests loved it, and I saved SO much money on food.


All the wedding photos were by Katy Johnson Photography.

An Elegant Encounter are duo Kelsey, a floral designer and event planner, and Kayla, a wedding coordinator. Check out their blog, and follow them on your social media(s) of choice. Follow them on Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram and “like” them Facebook page for updates on her posts.


I absolutely love the idea of sweater dresses to keep bridesmaids warm and comfortable, they would be great for a wedding in Central Park in the Winter.  If you are considering a Central Park wedding, 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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Five Things I Loved About My Wedding – Jess

This is the sixth in a series of blog posts about the details that a couple remember from their wedding day and that made the day special to them, no matter how small they may seem to others. It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding. Lots of couples come to this blog looking for inspiration for their own wedding, so this series is intended to help with just that. Most of the weddings discussed in this series will be from Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured. This is Jess’ list of the five things that made her wedding day special, read more about it here. She married her husband on the rooftop of the Surrey Hotel, which is on the Upper East Side, close to Central Park, and then they had some wedding photos taken in Central Park afterwards.

The Date

Okay, this may sound silly, but hear me out! I’m a huge believer in the details–whether it’s the perfect shade of red lipstick, the tiny golden tuxedo my chihuahua wore, the engravings on the inside of our wedding bands, or the wedding date itself! I have long associated 7 with being a lucky number for me, and my husband and I both adore the summer, so July 7th (7.7) was a wedding date we were both so excited about! Another plus: since it fell on a holiday weekend (4th of July) the city and Central Park were virtually empty while we were taking photos. And it’s great to be able to plan little getaways every year on our long weekend anniversary.

Jess Central Park Wedding 1

Making a Wedding Video of all our Special NYC Places

Since my husband and I met in NYC, dated in NYC, got engaged in NYC, it was only appropriate that we get married in NYC, i.e. our favorite place in the world! I had the idea to go around to all our special places the day before our wedding (like where we met, where we got engaged, etc.), and film a video which we would later show our friends and family. Every anniversary, my husband and I watch it and relive that beautiful day all over again! Anytime someone asks what I’m happiest to have spent money on for my wedding, hands down it’s the wedding video (here it is).

Surprising Our Parents

The morning of our wedding, we had our parents meet us at the hotel under the thought that they were going to a “food tasting” for a wedding they thought would be much later in the year. When they showed up, I was already in my wedding dress and my husband in his tux, and we said, “surprise! we’re actually getting married TODAY!” The look on their faces was priceless (in the best way possible!:-)

Jess Central Park Wedding 2

Our Ring Bearer

Our sweet chihuahua, Gillman, was the ring bearer at our wedding. We tied our wedding bands on a ribbon around his neck, and had him prance over to give them to us! Funny story: later that evening my husband couldn’t find his wedding band. We tore the hotel room apart looking for it, and low and behold it was hiding at the bottom of Gillman’s doggy carrier. He took his job very seriously!

Sadly, our little chichi passed last year at 15 years old, but having him as such an integral part of our most special day is a memory we both cherish so, so much.

Jess Central Park Wedding 3

Giving a Special Gift to my Groom

My husband was so thoughtful when it came to putting together my dream wedding, that I wanted to do something special for him, as well. The morning of our wedding I gave him a watch that I knew he’d been eyeing for years, with an engraving on the back: “You are the tick to my tock. 7.7.13” While it wasn’t the gift itself that was so special, it was more the gesture behind it: we were signing on to a lifetime of love, support, and going out of our way to do little things every single day to make the other person smile.

Jess Central Park Wedding 4

Jessica lives in New York and blogs over at UsedYorkCity.com about “the best of New York, as used by New Yorkers.” You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. She shares some great tips and advice for locals and visitors alike.

If you are considering a Central Park wedding yourself, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where you will find lots of beautiful photos and many more inspiring stories.

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Five Things I Loved About My Wedding – Laura

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts with a focus on the things that a couple look back on and know that they made their wedding special to them.  It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding.  The idea is to help provide some inspiration for anyone planning their own wedding.  Most of the weddings discussed in this series will be from Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured, because I think all weddings will provide some inspiration.  Laura writes a parenting and lifestyle blog, Autumn’s Mummy, and she very kindly posted a piece written by me about my business, so we are doing a swap.  She married her husband Dave in June 2015 in Kent.  This is Laura’s list of the five things that made her wedding day special.

That I was finally getting married

My husband and I got engaged when we were 18 and it was apparent that it would take years for us to get married. Sometimes it seemed like we were never going to get there, as I watched others meet partners and get married around us. Now it was finally our turn! I know a lot of people say that “it’s just a piece of paper”, but it was important to us.

Laura wedding 1

My dress

My dress was the first one I tried on, but no other dress I tried came anywhere close to it. It was traditional but modern, with a small train just like I wanted. It was an Alfred Angelo with lacy details, small pearls and sequins. It sparkled in the light, but wasn’t too much. I loved how it made my figure look and I loved how I felt in it. I never wanted to take it off!

Laura wedding 2

My shoes

My shoes were the first thing I bought for our wedding. I’ve always loved shoes and when I spotted Irregular Choice’s “Fresh Cut Grass” online, I just knew that those had to be my wedding shoes. I’ve loved their quirky designs for years and I couldn’t imagine wearing any other shoes once I’d seen those. Frustratingly, they’d been discontinued. However, I managed to find a brand new pair heavily discounted from a seller on eBay!

Laura wedding 3

My makeup

My makeup was how I like to wear my makeup on a daily basis, but a more polished version. I really wish I looked like I did on my wedding every day! I really need to master winged eyeliner, then I’ll be a step closer. It was important to me that I looked like “me” and felt my most confident. My makeup on the day definitely did both those things.

Laura wedding 4

How our rings were delivered

I’ve loved owls since I started reading the Harry Potter books at the age of 8. I’ve collected owl things since and would consider them my favourite animal. I found out that you could have barn owls deliver the wedding rings at your wedding. It was a wonderful surprise for our guests and the owl was beautiful! It added a little more interest to the day and was definitely a very special memory.

Laura wedding 5

All the wedding photos were by Robert Marriott Photography.

Autumn’s Mummy is a family lifestyle blog, written by Laura who lives in Rochester, UK. She writes about her experiences as a 25 year old, happily married first time mama. She also has a wide variety of interests which include beauty, technology and fashion which she also blogs about.  Check out her blog, and follow her on your social media(s) of choice.  Follow her on Twitter and Instagram and “like” her Facebook page for updates on her posts.


If you are considering a Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where you will find lots of beautiful photos and many more inspiring stories.

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What if it Rains on Your Wedding Day?

When I ask my clients if they were nervous or concerned about anything before their wedding in Central Park, by far the most frequent answer is that they were worried about the possibility of rain.  This is such a common issue, but after planning and delivering over two hundred weddings we have seen rain maybe ten times, and weather has been so bad that we have rescheduled or re-arranged four times.

It is easy for me to say, we had lots of sunshine for our July wedding in Central Park, but if you have made the choice to get married in Central Park then you just have to make peace with the possibility that it might rain.  There are things we can do to make a backup plan in case of bad weather, or you can just accept that you might get a little wet.

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There are places in Central Park that provide shelter from some rain.  We can purchase a plan A event permit and a plan B wet weather permit if a couple has a group that will fit inside one of the structures with shelter.  Or, a couple can be a little pessimistic and just make one plan, and decide to marry in the location that provides shelter.  The Ladies’ Pavilion and Belvedere Castle Terrace have shelter, and a very large group will fit under Bethesda Terrace.  Couples must remember that if it’s raining, other people in Central Park will want shelter too, so these areas may get busy when it’s raining.  When it rains, it can also be windy, and though Belvedere Castle Terrace has two covered areas, it is the highest point in Central Park, so it does get windy up there.

Couples can just accept that they and their guests may get a little wet and choose to bring umbrellas.  The transparent ones are very popular and look great in wedding photos, because they won’t cast a shadow over your faces, or you could choose umbrellas to match your wedding colors!  There are places, such as Wagner Cove, where the couple and an officiant can fit under cover and guests could carry umbrellas, but this wouldn’t be very kind in a downpour, and only really appropriate if you are only worried about a little drizzle.

Bethesda Terrace Central Park wedding rain 1

An important point to remember is that many musicians cannot play in even a little moisture in the air.  Classical instruments will by ruined by any dampness, so even if you decide to carry on in any rain then a musician may not be able to.  We have had musicians agree to play if a guest can hold a large umbrella over them, but this sort of decision would be at their discretion.

Brides may want to keep in mind the possibility of wet ground when choosing their wedding dress.  A long gown that reaches the floor with a train may well suffer if the ground is very wet.  Similarly, brides may want to discuss styles with their hair and makeup artists, some styles will fair better in wet weather than others, but then that’s true of very hot and humid weather or wind, too.  Shoes for photos and a pair for walking in might be helpful, in fact this might be a helpful tip in good weather or bad!

S&L cab NYC wedding rain

In all my contracts I say “in case of a change of plans or bad weather, every attempt will be made to work with a new date or suitable alternative location.”  That may sound a bit vague but I think it has to be to cover any eventuality, and that’s what I try to do.  Sometimes couples have had other reasons than the weather to ask to change the plans that we have made and I have done all I can to work with any new plans, whatever the reason.  Myself and the couple will discuss the possibility of wet weather during the planning process, and we may work out a backup plan if the couple wishes to.  We will be watching the weather forecast in the run up to the wedding day and if necessary will discuss wet weather options a day or two before the wedding.

Each couple is different, with different plans for their wedding day, so everyone will have something different that they would like to do if it rains.  In many cases, if the wedding is a large one, with lots of guests, and a reception location booked and so on, then often the show must go on as originally planned.  In these cases we might just move the location to somewhere under cover.  In the case of eloping couples or a smaller group, then the couple can be more flexible, and in these instances we have been able to change the time of day of the wedding (ie if it was scheduled for the afternoon, but we have a wet afternoon and a dry morning forecast then we moved the wedding to the morning) or we have changed the day of the wedding (ie go with everything in plan A, just moved it to the following day).

V&S Central Park Wedding the Mall rain (1)

The option of changing the date or time of a wedding can present a few issues.  One is that we have an event permit for a date, time and location and we must allow at least three week’s notice for the Central Park Conservancy to issue that permit.  So, if we are changing plans on a wedding at the last minute then we will not have a permit for our new last-minute plan.  Some couples purchase a backup permit, but in many cases, if the party is under twenty people, then they can marry without a permit.  Holding a wedding without a permit means that you could arrive at your chosen location and find that there is already a wedding taking place, but we have no choice but to wait for them to finish before we can move in to the area.  I do not recommend this as a plan A option, because it can disrupt the rest of the schedule of your day, but if rain has already disturbed things, then a little more disorder may well be unavoidable.

The Mall Central Park wedding rain

Another issue is that when I book a photographer, officiant, and any other service provider then I am booking them for the date and time that I have agreed with the couple.  The people I work with are all very obliging and ready to be flexible when they can be.  So, in the case of a couple wanting to change their date or time, then I would simply ask the officiant (and anyone else booked for the day) if they can change the date or time that we have contracted for.  Everyone I work with is busy, they might have another job alongside this occupation, or they may be booked for another wedding at that time.  If they can change, they will, and they will do it free of charge, because they are great people, and we do try to remain flexible for each other because we value our relationship, but it might be that they cannot change.  This has happened before, but fortunately I know lots of awesome people in the wedding business in New York, so I can simply book someone else.  In this case there would have to be a fee for the extra person’s time.  So, it might be that we can change a date or time of a wedding for a couple for no fee at all, and it might be that there will be a fee.  We cannot say which it would be until the time comes that we need to re-arrange.  Either way, there is no extra fee for my time to make any last-minute reshuffles.

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In some cases a couple just cannot change their schedule for rain and they just have to accept it and even try to embrace it.  If a couple have put lots of time and effort in to planning then this can be very upsetting.  In one case, we discussed the possibility of the couple marrying in their hotel at the pre-arranged time and date, but then arranging for the photographer and them to meet the following day for some photographs in Central Park.  In the end we didn’t need to, because the rain that was forecast didn’t come.

This is a very important thing to keep in mind when wedding planning; it really does not happen very often.  A quick look through this blog will show that the vast majority of weddings in Central Park see dry weather, and often blue skies.  There have been many occasions that I have been nervously watching the weather forecast and seen rain predicted, and then the day before the forecast has changed to sunshine.  Manhattan does not tend to see as much rain as the rest of New York City, and it is important to remember that when looking at pessimistic forecasts.

wedding central park bethesda fountain

It is important to stay cheerful and positive on your wedding day, even if there is some rain.  It is the celebration of your union and you are only going to do it once.  Your wedding day may not be completely perfect, but your marriage won’t be either!  This is the first day of your married life and you are going to promise to stick together for better or for worse.  This may include some rain, and it’s only water, after all.  Your guests may have traveled a long way to celebrate with you and it is in everyone’s interests to remain positive.  If you have made the choice to have an outdoor wedding, try to embrace nature and dance in the rain!

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

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Five Things I Loved About My Wedding – Kayleigh

KA Central Park wedding 2

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts with a focus on those little things that make a wedding special.  It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding.  This series is intended to provide some inspiration for couples who are currently planning their wedding.  Many couples have a big vision of what they want on the day, but these posts will be all about the details.  Most of the weddings discussed in this series will have taken place in Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured.  This is Kayleigh’s list of the five things that made her wedding day special.  She married Andrew in the Ladies’ Pavilion in October 2015, read about their small and intimate wedding here.

Central Park

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I never imagined that I would be able to tell people that I got married in Central Park! What an amazing place to see. The sun was out all day and everyone we walked past had nothing but lovely things to say. We even had people approach us telling me how beautiful I looked and wishing us wedding blessings. Could not have picked a more beautiful location.

My shoes

KA Central Park wedding 3

My shoes were so important. They were actually the first thing I purchased. I have so many Irregular Choice shoes and I had always said I would have them as my wedding shoes. I kept them on all day, even walking for hours to be photographed, they were not coming off. Again so many people commented on my shoes and I’m still in love with them now.

It was small, intimate and stress free

KA Central Park wedding 7

Even though, we married in a huge public park it was still as intimate as we had imagined. We planned our wedding in less than six months and it couldn’t have been any better. Six friends, including two children, attended our wedding and it was perfect. We never wanted a huge white church wedding with hundreds of people. I was surprised to have any guests as we are very low key and don’t like fuss. We did miss our family and friends witnessing our wedding, but there was no stress and we were able to enjoy the entire day, it was exactly how we wanted it. Our planning and Claire’s planning meant we had a perfect day.

Flowers and dress

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I had tried one or two wedding dresses and I just didn’t feel comfortable at all. I began to worry I wouldn’t find a suitable dress or one couldn’t be made to fit in time so I decided to buy a dress off the peg that looked like a wedding dress and I was so right to do it. It was nowhere near the price of the wedding dresses I had been looking at and suited me perfectly. As for my flowers, I had paper and plastic so I could always keep the bouquet.

And finally…getting to marry my now husband

KA Central Park wedding 1

I had never felt the need to marry anyone until I met Andrew. Having the wedding we’ve always wanted and being his wife was definitely one of my favourite parts. When we were introduced and Mr and Mrs that was just amazing. We now have our first baby together and we are a family.

Thank you to Claire. I’ve had to choose five but I could go on. I wish I could do it all again.

KA Central Park wedding 4

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

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

A very frequently asked question when I am planning weddings in Central Park is the one about where a couple should go to eat after their wedding. It is a difficult one to answer because it all depends on your group size, how much walking or travelling you want to do, what your budget is, what your tastes are, and many other factors. So I thought one way to answer the question would be to gather together a list of some of the restaurants my clients recommend. What follows is a list of places where the couples who have featured in the blog in 2016 have eaten. Several of the couples took their parties on a river cruise, rather than to a restaurant. It is a popular option which allows parties to eat, drink and celebrate while also doing some sight-seeing of the incredible view of Manhattan from the river.

Cat and James

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British couple Cat and James got married on Belvedere Castle Terrace in September. Their guests were their parents, James’ mum’s partner and both their sisters. They all went to the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park for drink after the wedding, and after that, they all went on to a private dining room at Lincoln Square Steakhouse, which they loved. They said it was the best food they had eaten during their whole week in New York City. It is a 60s style steak and seafood restaurant on the Upper West Side.

Victoria and Paul

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Victoria and Paul came from their current home in Alaska to get married in Wagner Cove in May. Victoria is Moldovian and Paul is French. Their guests were four of their friends. After their wedding ceremony and photos, they all had dinner at The Milling Room restaurant, which is a few blocks away from Central Park on the Upper West Side, a great area for bars and restaurants. “The Milling Room has a welcoming atmosphere, super delicious food and desserts, plus they provided great service,” said Victoria. After their dinner, they went for drinks at the Viceroy rooftop bar, The Roof, which has views of Central Park.

Mitchell and Brian

MB Central Park Wedding

Mitchell and Brian brought their close friends and family over from Texas in June to get married in the Dene Summer House. There were fifteen adults and three kids in their party. Mitchell and Brian are regular visitors to New York, so they knew which places were good to eat at. After the wedding ceremony Mitchell and Brian took all their guests for a family-style lunch at ABC Kitchen, which serves award-winning farm-to-table environmentally conscious food. Later on in the day the adults met up again for a drink and a late dinner at the Smith Nomad, a brasseries which serves all the bistro classics..

Louise and David

LD central park wedding

Scottish couple Louise and David brought Louise’s parents, and David’s sister and her partner over with them, for their wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion in May. After the ceremony their guests went to the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central for a few drinks, a must for any Scottish visitors to New York, while the photographer took more photographs of the couple around Central Park. After that the party met up again to eat at the historic Tavern on the Green in Central Park, which was originally built in the 1880s. “The restaurant was lovely, not casual or pretentious and absolutely delicious. The staff were fantastic, I got a complimentary glass of champagne and the staff were very accommodating taking our photographs,” said Louise.

Rivka and Dani

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Rivka is originally from New Zealand and Dani is from England, but Rivka and Dani have been living together in Australia before they got married in Cop Cot in August, so they had guests from all over the world at their wedding. After their wedding, they went on to the Highline for more photos, since it was very close to their reception location, The Park in Chelsea. They had a party of fifty, so they had a private room for their reception, this restaurant has a range of private spaces for parties.

Tatiana and Fabio

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Tatiana and Fabio are a Brazilian couple currently living together in Upper East Side Manhattan. They got married in the Conservatory Gardens in July. They had a large group of friends and family, and their dog at their wedding. They went on to Brazilian restaurant Berimbau to continue the celebrations after the wedding ceremony.

Laura and Louise

LL Central Park Wedding

Laura and Louise brought a party of ten over from their home in England to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in August. In the evening they took their guests for a meal at popular contemporary American restaurant Sarabeth’s on Central Park South, which they said was amazing “they couldn’t have done more to make the meal special,” said Laura.

Alistair and Victoria

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Eloping couple Alistair and Victoria came over from England in September to get married in Wagner Cove. After their wedding ceremony and photographs in Central Park the couple went to the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park for a drink, and then after that, went on to Chart House in Weehawken for a meal. It is a seafood restaurant right on the Hudson River, directly across from Manhattan, so diners there can enjoy panoramic views of the New York skyline.

Hayley and Mike

HM Central Park Wedding

Hayley and Mike brought thirteen close friends and family over from the UK to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion. Once the ceremony was over the photographer took some group photos, then the couple stayed with the photographer to take photos around Central Park, while the guests left to have drinks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near Columbus Circle, which has a lounge with floor to ceiling windows, overlooking Central Park. Later that day, the party all had dinner in the Loeb Boathouse.

Jamie and Paul

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British couple Jamie and Paul had been together exactly ten years before their wedding in June at the Ladies’ Pavilion. They eloped for their wedding, but Jamie’s aunt and uncle were their guests. They hired a boat for a row around the Lake after their wedding, then they all went to the Tavern on the Green after that for lunch.

Amy and Garry

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Scottish couple Amy and Garry had already planned a trip to New York for Garry’s thirtieth birthday in October when they decided that it would be a great idea to get married while they were there. They had twenty-three guests for their ceremony at Wagner Cove. After the wedding, the party went to Gallagher’s Steak House, established in the 1920s and situated close to Times Square. They had reserved a private room for their group, so that they were able to do speeches and dancing.


I hope these examples have provided some useful inspiration. The Loeb Boathouse and the Tavern on the Green remain popular choices for couples getting married in Central Park. They are both fabulous places to eat and to watch Central Park from. As I mentioned in the introduction, a river cruise is also a popular way to finish off your wedding day in Central Park. There are many other places that couples go to celebrate their first meal as a married couple, though, and I hope this short list illustrates the wide choices available in New York City. I will be posting more blogs in the near future, detailed where some more of the couples who have featured in this blog have eaten after their wedding in Central Park.

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

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Five Things I Loved About My Wedding in Central Park – Danielle

This is the third in a series of blog posts about those little things that make a wedding special to the couple.  It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding.  I am creating this series to provide inspiration for couples planning their wedding.  Many couples have a big vision of what they want on the day, but this series will be about the details.  Most of the weddings discussed in this series will have taken place in Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured.  This is Danielle’s list of the five things that made her wedding day special.  She married Michael in October 2015 on Belvedere Castle Terrace, read about their elopement here.

D Central Park wedding Students at Bow Bridge

That We Did Everything Together…Everything

D&M Central Park Wedding Belvedere Castle Terrace

My husband and I were very private about our wedding plans, because we wanted it to stay stress-free. We knew that the sooner more voices got involved, the sooner we’d have to start answering questions we weren’t sure we had the answers to yet. Especially, once we decided on heading to NYC alone. That meant we had to lean on each other for every step. I went him to put some spring looks together. We both wrote the vows and ceremony. He steamed my dress at the hotel once we arrived. We went to a coffee shop together the morning of our wedding, got an emergency license, and stood in lines for all the signatures. Then we ate lunch together, helped each other get ready, and walked every step of the way together. Mike even held my dress train as we crossed the sidewalks to meet our photographer and videographer at Central Park. There was no big clapping or decor or champagne corks popping or big “reveal” of the dress, and that was okay. It felt more intimate for us that way, and we started our marriage the way we wanted to continue it–taking every step side-by-side.

D Central Park wedding Post-Ceremony and Photos - Waiting for Taxi

The Flower Vendor Outside the New York City Courthouse

D Central Park wedding Flower Vendor outside the Courthouse

Getting the marriage license and subsequent signatures was probably one of the best parts of the day. I hadn’t planned on having a bouquet, because it was just going to be one more thing to pack and travel with. Then outside of the courthouse was an incredibly charming flower vendor. We popped over just to see what was available, and I was able to get some beautiful hydrangeas wrapped in a silk ribbon the morning of the ceremony for an extremely affordable price given that they were fresh flowers. I remember the vendor mentioning that hydrangeas were big and fussy, and we joked that it would be just like my dress (which needed its own bag on the plane). The vendor was one of many New Yorkers that proved the stereotypes wrong. Everywhere we went that day strangers were overwhelming us with their support. The vendor, the impromptu wedding medleys from musicians in the park, taxi drivers, and one particular group of students who demanded a picture with us. It was charming and unexpected.

D Central Park wedding Bouquet and Rings

The Ceremony at Belvedere Castle

D Central Park wedding Belvedere Castle 2

I keep telling people that Belvedere Castle is a hidden gem in the park. I hadn’t really known about it, even though I knew about Central Park before. But it is a beautiful, elegant, and picturesque structure in the middle of so much already striking nature. Mike has Irish descent and I have some Scottish and getting married in an old castle just seemed like the right thing to do. Further, we got to include an oathing stone ceremony, a wedding toast from the movie Frida (we’re movie people), and a variation of the Game of Thrones wedding vows (we’re TV people too). Some of our best pictures came from the castle, including its impressive skyline view and the nice contrast of the stone with our ensembles.

D Central Park wedding Belvedere Castle 1

Our “Sweetheart Table”

D Central Park wedding Dining at Sardis

After the ceremony and pictures, we went back to our hotel and changed clothes for an evening dinner together. We had reservations at Le Bernadin, an award-winning restaurant that we were both excited to eat at. Since we didn’t have a big reception, we decided we would splurge on a fabulous dinner and had the Le Bernadin Tasting Menu with wine pairings. When we arrived, they sat us as a corner booth that overlooked the whole restaurant, and even though everyone there was a stranger, it had a funny feeling like a sweetheart table as we sat next to each other, should-to-shoulder enjoying our courses and finally hailing a taxi back to Row NYC. (editor’s note, they also ate at Sardi’s, where this picture was taken).

D Central Park wedding Dessert at Le Bernadin

Broadway and George Takei

D Central Park wedding All Playbills with Rings

We love musical theater and had a show to attend every night we spent in New York, because it was both our wedding and our honeymoon. The first show we saw together as a married couple was Allegiance the Musical, which is no longer running but has made its way into theaters with special showings. It remains one of the most poignant shows we have seen. The special memory though took place during intermission when the show’s staff, unbeknownst to us, had set up a special surprise. One of our friends who had known about our excitement for this show (because it was starring George Takei and Lea Salonga) had contacted the show and requested that they do something special for us. We were escorted upstairs to a VIP lounge and given a bottle of Prosecco to toast our new marriage. It came with a card that reads, “Congrats on your marriage. Thanks for sharing your love with our family. May you live long and prosper together.” So in my mind, George Takei was our best man and gave the official toast. Being the nerdy couple we are, it was the ultimate icing on the cake of a wedding that I couldn’t have asked more from.

D Central Park wedding

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