Adam and Kirsty’s Wagner Cove Wedding

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Adam and Kirsty brought around twenty of their friends and family over to New York from their home in Glasgow, Scotland for their wedding in Central Park in September. They met during their second week at university in 2009. They had been together for almost ten years when they got married. They had a reception with wider friends and family on their return to the UK, and that was held on their ten year anniversary.

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Adam proposed to Kirsty in Central Park three years ago, not far from where they would eventually be married. “It was a relaxed proposal during a picnic with her sister Laura and Laura’s wife Isla on a sunny May afternoon,” Adam told me. “We actually chose to marry in Central Park because that’s where we were engaged,” he said.

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Adam and Kirsty chose Wagner Cove for their ceremony location. The couple had never even considered getting married anywhere else but Central Park. “We were set on Central Park very early in our plans,” said Adam. “Within the park, we had also looked at Cop Cot as a venue, but Wagner Cove held a special appeal when we visited it in the late evening sunshine,” he said. Central Park was right for them because they love New York City but they liked the idea of getting married outdoors, so Central Park was perfect for them.

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This was Adam and Kirsty’s third trip to New York, and the second time they stayed in an Airbnb, which they totally recommend, “it lets you feel like part of the city and not just another tourist,” said Adam. I am in firm agreement, I think Airbnb is a great option for staying in New York. Couples can rent a whole place for some privacy, or guests looking to keep the budget down can rent just a room in someone’s place. The beauty of Airbnb in New York is that you can often stay in an apartment on the same block as a hotel – you’re not necessarily getting the out of town option by staying where real locals live. Adam and Kirsty stayed for ten days with the wedding right in the middle, “so we had time either side to relax and be on holiday,” Adam told me.

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I asked where their favorite photos were taken, “we were married in Wagner Cove by the water and most of the best pictures came from there, or in front of the Cherry Hill fountain nearby!” Adam said. “We liked the simplicity and intimacy of the Cove, even the green-tinged water matched our wedding colour scheme!” he added. They also loved the fabulous shots they got in Times Square.

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We wrote the ceremony together, we had an introduction about the couple’s relationship so far, we thanked their guests for all they had done and we had the reading How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog, by Taylor Mali, which I’l put at the end of this post. “The ceremony was beautiful and simple,” said Adam. “We kept our vows lighthearted and to the point. She agreed to live with my weirdness, I agreed to remove all the house spiders,” he said.

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Adam and Kirsty had just over twenty guests at their wedding; a mix of close friends and immediate family, a group size perfect for Wagner Cove. “Everyone was pretty excited about attending a wedding in New York, and they all said that they loved the ceremony location we chose,” said Adam.

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We had a guitarist play for the guests while they waited for the bride to arrive, and she walked down the steps to Wagner Cove to Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis. After they were pronounced married, the couple had their first dance to Still Into You by Paramore, and then he went back to playing background music while they signed the license and took group photos in the area.

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Kirsty wore a tea-length, champagne wedding dress purchased from Wed2B in Glasgow. She wore heels for some of the day and custom Converse for the rest, which made all the walking they were doing much easier on her feet. Adam wore a full kilt with Blackwatch tartan and plaid half cape. Kirsty carried a bouquet of cream roses and we arranged matching buttonholes for the groom and the best men.

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They took photos around Central Park, then on the Grand Central and after that, Times Square with their photographer Jakub Redziniak. They booked a corner of the Monarch rooftop bar and had food and drinks with the wedding party there, and apparently some excited locals! They had a small wedding cake made and delivered by Magnolia Bakery, which they said was amazing, and they partied there until the wee hours!

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I asked how we did. “Claire and her team do an amazing job of coming together to craft a fantastic wedding day,” said Adam. “Communication was always on point and every little question would be answered and addressed,” he said. It was a pleasure to plan your wedding with you, Adam, and it’s rare that most of my communications are with the groom for straight weddings.

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If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, large or small, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where we pin like crazy all things New York or wedding-related.

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How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog, by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

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Getting Married in Central Park in March

getting married in Central Park in March

March is a pretty quiet month for weddings in Central Park.  I’m not sure why, because October is one of the busiest months and March and October tend to see similar temperatures.  Anything can happen in March, in terms of weather.  It can still be pretty cold, and maybe even see a touch of snow at the beginning of the month, or the temperatures can start to warm up in March, and sometimes we may even see a touch of blossom on the trees at the end of the month.

New York can get very hot in the Summer, and very cold in the Winter.  March is right at the start of Spring, so can be a lovely time of year to get married.  In early Spring in Central Park, there are some blossoms and flowers that are just starting to come out.  Trees may still be quite bare, or buds may be starting to show.

The sun will be starting to set a little later than it does during the Winter months by the time March comes around, but keep in mind the clock change effect of daylight savings time from early March.  The sun will be up between around 6:30am and 6:30pm during March.  Some couples may want to make the most of that and take photos as the sun goes down.  Some couples may want to make the most of the light (and March will see some crisp, bright days) and get married in the middle of the day.

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A big event each year in New York that takes place in March is St Patrick’s Day.  This is the day when the whole city becomes Irish!  One year, we performed a wedding on St Patrick’s Day for an Irish couple who had come over to be in the parade.  They got married in Central Park very early, then got changed and took part in the St Patrick’s Day parade.

It’s quite likely that you will need a jacket for a wedding outdoors in New York in March.  Some brides keep their coat on for the ceremony and take it off for photos, some take it off for the ceremony – everyone is different.  There’s also a good chance of the ground being wet in March, so think about that when choosing shoes – brides may want some outdoor shoes and indoor shoes for their day.

Central Park is a busy place, and the colder the weather the quieter it will be, although March won’t be as quiet as the Winter months you will still get some lovely photos.  That said, there’s always a chance of rain in March, so you might want to plan some time indoors for the day.  I usually make a plan of timings with couples for their day and if it’s quite cold or wet, then it might be better to take some photos outdoors in Central Park, then go indoors for some more photos – then you can show of your wedding gown and be relaxed inside.  There are many reasons to get married in Central Park in the Spring!

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Christine and Alwyn’s August Wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion

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Christine and Alwyn got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in August.  They met online through Eharmony.  Alwyn was Christine’s first and only online date!  She was on the app less than forty-eight hours when she first spoke to him.  They had been together for a year and a half when they got married.

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They got engaged in the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park in January.  “We wanted to be married because we love one another and want to share our lives together as man and wife,” said Christine.  “We believe marriage is the ultimate commitment and it’s what we are called to do in our faith,” she added.

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When they first got engaged they did consider getting married at home – “for about five minutes we considered getting married closer to home,” Christine told me.  “We decided that a wedding in New York would be a fun and exciting shared experience with our guests,” she said.  “We wanted a smaller, intimate wedding so a destination wedding worked for us.  We think that couples need to be mindful of the expense for themselves and their guests,” Christine said.

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I asked if the couple had any regrets about not having a “traditional” wedding closer to home?  “No!!” said Christine.  “Our wedding was a memorable and unique event. We loved sharing the city with our family and friends.”

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I asked if they’d had any worries about getting married in New York.  “One concern was for our guests finding their way around and getting transportation,” Christine said.  “We also had to trust that the hotel, reception venue and other vendors met our expectations,” she explained.  “When planning a destination wedding you have to put a lot of faith in your vendors to follow through with the services.  There is some risk involved,” she added.  This is an excellent point, and that’s part of why I write this blog – to reassure couples that we’re a genuine business who will deliver the wedding they want.

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The couple arrived in town on Thursday, married on Saturday and left on Sunday.  They stayed in the Crowne Plaza on Times Square.  They took around a dozen of their guests on a bus tour of the city on Friday during the day time and on Friday night they went to Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar for dinner and drinks.  “It was a fun opportunity for our guests to get to know each other better, said Christine.  This is a big plus of a destination wedding – all of the guests really have the time to get to know each other.

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The ceremony was led by our New York State registered officiant hand in hand with their friend who is a minister at Christine and Alwyn’s church.  This meant that we were able to keep the ceremony personal to the couple, while making sure that it was legally binding, too.

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“The ceremony was personal for us because we had a friend who works in ministry at our church lead it,” said Christine.  “We worked with her and Claire to develop our ceremony including a bible passage, a reading from Paul Coehlo’s The Alchemist and our own fun vows,” she said.  I’ll put that piece from The Alchemist at the end of the post.

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Christine and Alwyn had twenty six guests travel from a few different states to attend the ceremony.  “Everyone was very excited to attend,” Christine told me.  “We also posted the wedding on Facebook Live for family that was unable to attend,” she said.  Alwyn booked a violinist that he had found through the Juilliard school, so their first dance was outside of the Pavilion to her music.

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Alwyn wore a blue suit and bow tie.  Christine wore a long, champagne colored halter dress purchased from David’s Bridal.  Christine had her hair done at West Vibe Salon.  They bought blue hydrangeas and white roses from a street vendor and a friend created the bridal bouquet, including an old handkerchief from Christine’s family.

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After the ceremony and photos with their photographer Jakub Redziniak in Central Park Christine and Alwyn took their guests for dinner at the State Grille at the Empire State Building.  “The food was delicious!” said Christine.  After that most of their guests went to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building with the couple.

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I asked her how we did.  “We were very appreciative of the assistance we received from Claire.  For a person whom we never met, she played a large role in our wedding day being successful.  We felt confident that our officiant and photographer would be there and do a great job.  We also asked a lot of questions about the park and the city!”

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I asked Christine whether she would recommend getting married in Central Park to others.  “Getting married in Central Park is a unique and special experience,” she said.  “There are many people around so there will be onlookers, strangers taking your picture and congratulating you.  It’s public and unpredictable,” she said.  I couldn’t agree more.  I’ve been to lots of weddings in Central Park and the couple truly see what it’s like to live like a celebrity for the day!  “We had a small concert happening nearby which added to the fun and the vibrancy of a Central Park wedding,” Christine said.  “We would not change a thing!”

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If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, large or small, visit our website, or follow us on Pinterest where we pin all things New York or wedding-related, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram for beautiful photos of newlywed couples.

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

“When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”

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Wed in Central Park conducts 300 weddings!

We've planned over 300 weddings in Central Park

In October 2019 Wed in Central Park completed our 300th wedding!  It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be involved with so many weddings over the years.  As many followers of this blog know, I got married in Central Park in 2011 when I was living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  We were spending lots of time in Central Park (it really is the New Yorker’s back yard!) and it seems like an obvious choice for us.  I was looking for a change in career at the time, and planning my own wedding as a Brit in New York gave me the idea to start a business helping others do the same.

I planned my first wedding (that wasn’t my own) in the summer of 2012 and the business has gone from strength to strength since then.  Over the years I have learnt quite a lot about what people want from a wedding in Central Park, what appeals to many about getting married in New York, and what those couples need from a planner to guide them through making the right decisions to get the wedding that suits them.

Wed in Central Park is truly my baby and I’ve nurtured this business over the years to give a high quality service at an extremely competitive price point that I’m really proud of.  One wonderful thing about running this business is that it fits in so well around my two real babies – my sons – who were born in 2013 and 2015.  I’m able to work very flexibly with this business, and can work around my kids’ schedules, although I rarely get a full day off and have to at least make sure that I reply to clients’ emails daily to keep on top of things.

These years haven’t all been plain sailing.  We have had things go wrong with some of our weddings.  I have made mistakes and so have the people I work with.  Quite early on I had some feedback from a groom who thought the people involved in his wedding were great but that I was terrible.  I simply hadn’t told him some things that he had never asked.  Experience has taught me never to assume someone will know something, and to have a checklist of items that I must tell everyone, and some things I tell them more than once just to be sure – someone planning a wedding can have a lot on their mind.

These days, I always ask couples for feedback and that’s very helpful in finding ways to improve.  It has meant that I have stopped working with some people – perhaps those who have not arrived on time too often or who don’t show the enthusiasm I expect.  We have had things go wrong in the City Clerk’s system that are not our fault but we have found ways to fix issues.  When we do have problems, we look at them as a chance to put new safeguards in place to avoid these mistakes in future – and this in the benefit of experience.

I now have a very clear process that I go through with all couples.  We start with the big and important stuff and work our way through the decisions to get to the finer details.  Every couple is different and everyone likes to work to their own timescales so I have to let the couples drive the planning to some extent, but everyone goes through a similar planning process.  By the time we have a plan of the day ready most couples are feeling relaxed and confident that the day will run smoothly and they’ve had a stress-free run-up to the wedding with my reassurance that all will go to plan.

I generally do not attend the weddings, but sometimes I do – just to see how everything is going.  The people I work with who I book for my couples are enthusiastic, talented people who also love what they do.  They’re reliable and great communicators.  I know this in part because I always ask couples for feedback after the wedding, which helps me to keep improving.  On the occasions when I do attend the weddings, I have a great time, meeting the couple in person, chatting with the guests and standing at the back and having a good cry at how lovely it all is.

I love my job so much that it barely even feels like work.  I enjoy being involved in such a happy and important day in couples’ lives.  My involvement helps a couple to have the wedding day that they want and that I get to help make the first day of their marriage go as smoothly and as stress-free as possible.  I genuinely believe that New York is the greatest city in the world, and I love Central Park and it’s many and varied beautiful scenes.  I never get tired of it.  I look at thousands of photos of weddings that take place in Central Park each year and I am frequently finding new favorite photos to enjoy.

So, if you are part of one of the three hundred couples who have trusted me to plan your wedding, or if I’m planning your upcoming wedding in Central Park then I’d like to offer my thanks.  Thank you so much for allowing this to be the way I make my living, I really wouldn’t choose anything else.

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Marco and Jason’s Wagner Cove Wedding

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Marco (27) and Jason (48) got married this August in Wagner Cove.  They met on Tinder and had been together a little over a year when they got married.  They’re from Queens, New York.

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The couple were away for a romantic weekend in Williamsburg, Virginia when they got engaged.  Jason popped the question and of course Marco say yes.  “I was the happiest man alive,” he told me.  “Getting married was important to us because it is an outward symbol of our eternal love for each other,” Marco explained.

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After they got engaged they considered some elopement options, including Las Vegas, but in the end they decided they wanted to be close to home so that they could include family and friends.  They chose Wagner Cove in Central Park for their wedding ceremony location.

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Like everyone getting married outdoors, they worried a little about the weather, “but thankfully, it was a beautiful day,” said Marco.  If there had been rain the couple and the officiant would have been sheltered under the wooden structure but everyone else would have needed an umbrella!

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Marco and Jason had around forty guests for the ceremony, which is quite a big group for Wagner Cove, but we made it work.  They were so enamoured with that location they decided to get everyone in.  “Our family and friends loved the location. They thought that it was so memorable,” said Marco.

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The ceremony lasted around twenty minutes, so it wasn’t too long for everyone had to fit in to the small space.  Our officiant talked about their relationship up to now and their plans for the future, and they had guests read from Corinthians and also Love Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda, which I will put at the end of this post.  The grooms said the traditional vows to each other and also said some personal vows before they exchanged rings.

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We had a violinist play at the ceremony.  She played for the guests while they waited for the grooms to arrive, and they walked down the steps together to Perfect by Ed Sheeran.  She played You Are The Reason by Calum Scott once they were pronounced married, and then played background music while they signed the paperwork and took group photos at Wagner Cove.

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Both grooms wore a full piece rose shawl tuxedo with matching bow tie and suede black shoes.  Marco carried red rose bouquet.  They rented their tuxedos from The Black Tux in New York.

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After the ceremony, they took some group photos with their guests and then they left for the reception dinner at Cafe Arte.  The couple stayed a little longer for photos with their photographer Julieanne around Central Park.  The reception after party was held at 230 Fifth rooftop bar.  Although Marco and Jason are New Yorkers, they did stay over in a hotel in Manhattan close to Central Park for the wedding weekend.

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I asked them how we did, “we thought that the service we got from Wed in Central Park and Claire were great.  Claire was very responsive and informative. She helped us eliminate our wedding planning stress.  We would recommend her,” Marco said.  Thanks for sharing your story with us, Marco and Jason.

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

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Love Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

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Getting Married in Central Park in February

getting married in Central Park in February

Despite the obvious boost day of Valentine’s Day, February still isn’t a very busy month for weddings in Central Park.  We have done several Valentine’s Day weddings, though – it’s a popular date for couples to tie the knot.  Couples who get married on Valentine’s Day will have their anniversary to celebrate on this day every year, to make the date extra special for them.  And of course there is a school holiday week in February for most countries, so it can be good time for a destination wedding for couples and guests with kids.

It is cold in New York in Winter and February might see the worst of New York’s weather on the whole, although we still do see some lovely crisp clear days.  Couples who are brave enough to get married outdoors in New York stand their best chance of seeing some snow in February.  I’m not a meteorologist, that’s just my opinion!  Come and get married in Central Park at the most romantic time of year and you could be rewarded with stunning views of the park with iced over bodies of water and perhaps even some snow.  New York and Central Park are quite striking in the Winter, with so many stunning bare trees surrounding the skyline.

Keep in mind that the sun sets earlier during the Winter months.  Some couples may want to make the most of that and take photos as the sun goes down, and some couples may want to make the most of the light (and February does see a few crisp, bright days) and get married in the middle of the day.  One couple who got married in the Conservatory Gardens had their cake in Central Park!

The couple must pick up their marriage license in advance of their wedding.  They must have it at least 24 hours in advance of the ceremony.  The City Clerk’s Office is closed on President’s Day, which is the third Monday in February.  So, keep that in mind when making your travel plans.

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Central Park is a busy place, and your best chance of taking wedding photos with fewer tourists and passers-by in them is in the Winter.  That said, you might want to plan some indoor photos.  If you get a cab to Times Square or Grand Central for a few photos, you can warm up on the way.  Often, I make a plan of timings with couples for their day.  I suggest that in colder months it might be a good idea to take some photos outdoors in Central Park, then go indoors to take more photos – then you can show off your wedding attire in comfort without shivering.  Some couples take photos in Central Park and then get wrapped up in a warm blanket for a horse and carriage ride around the park.

Some couples go to the Tavern on the Green or the Boathouse, or another nearby bar for dinner or a warm drink and take some photos in there either before or after the ceremony.  We can suggest ceremony locations that are quite close to some nice bars, such as Cop Cot being just across the road from several hotels with lovely bars on Central Park South.

Think about what to wear if you’re getting married outdoors in New York in February.  If you’re wearing a dress, think about what you might wear under it – I had a bride who got married in the snow who told me that she wore thermals under her gown.  One hardy bride just wore a wrap for her Valentine’s Day wedding last year.  There’s a good chance of the ground being wet in February, so think about that when choosing shoes – many Winter brides have outdoor and indoor shoes for their day, as Lucy did this year.  Of course, everyone will need a coat for an outdoor wedding in New York in February!  Some couples keep their coat on for the ceremony and take it off for photos, some take it off for the ceremony – everyone is different.  This seems like an excuse to get a beautiful new coat and wear it for some photos, and take it off for some photos!

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Emily and Casey’s Destination Wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion

EC Central Park Wedding

Emily and Casey, both 24, are from a small town just outside of Manchester in England. They met in high school and have been together since the age of thirteen so they have certainly had a lot of time to discuss their wedding plans! They brought their close friends and family over to New York for their wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion in July.

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They knew they wanted something a bit different for their wedding, and they knew they wanted to get married abroad, so when they started seriously looking for a wedding location, they knew that New York would be perfect for them. They first visited New York in January 2017, “this is when we fell in love with the city, especially the food!” said Emily. They got engaged the summer after that while on holiday in France. Emily is a teacher so she is restricted as to when she could travel, so they decided to get married in the summer holidays of this year. So, they were only engaged for eleven months. “This meant that we needed a relatively fast turnaround on organizing everything, which I think would have been much more difficult had we decided to get married in the UK,” explained Emily.

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As soon as they got engaged they started to discuss the location for the wedding after ruling the UK out. “Casey had always wanted to travel the west coast of America and we both wanted to go back to New York as part of our honeymoon,” said Emily. “So he came up with the idea of a small wedding in Central Park and then travelling straight on to our honeymoon on the west coast,” she explained. “When I found out this was actually a thing and there were wedding planners who solely organize this I was so happy!” she said.

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Emily and Casey chose the Ladies’ Pavilion for their ceremony location because they felt it would be the perfect size for their party of fifteen, and they liked the backdrop of the lake behind the Pavilion. Their guests were their parents, siblings and a few friends, “we initially had concerns about asking people to come all that way knowing it was expensive but neither of our parents had been and we are passionate that New York is a place everyone must visit at least once so they were fine with it!” Emily told me. “We advised everyone to just stay wherever best fit their budget and didn’t find it a problem that we were in different hotels, it was nice that everyone could still do their own thing on other days and see the sights without being on top of each other,” she added.

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Emily found the Wed in Central Park website, along with a few other wedding planners who are similar to me. “After getting a few quotes off different wedding planners, I found that Claire’s deals were the simplest, and I didn’t want a lot of the extras some of the other companies offered, we wanted to keep the budget down on unnecessary things so we could spend money on drinks etc for everyone who had made the effort to come,” she explained. I do try to keep things as simple as possible, despite having added two extra packages to our offering this year – we can generally keep things as simple as couples like, or have plenty of extra services and have lots of people involved if they prefer – we’re flexible!

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“In the end Claire organised the ceremony, photographer, a musician and the officiant to perform the ceremony,” she said. “I decided to organize my own hair and makeup as I found it a bit cheaper online – it is a lot more expensive in NYC compared to Manchester – and someone came to my hotel on the morning and did it in my room,” she added. For the flowers, they went down to City Hall on the morning of the wedding and got the bridal bouquet and groom’s button hole from the flower man who has a stall set selling to couples who get married there. “I think my bouquet was $45 which I was very pleased with!” she said.

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Our guitarist sang some requests for the guests while they waited for the bride to arrive, then she walked down the pathway to the Pavilion to How Would you Feel by Ed Sheeran. Then he played Paradise by George Ezra after they were pronounced married, and then went back to playing background music while they took some group photos around the Pavilion and signed the license.

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Emily and Casey stayed in Park Lane Hotel, “it was lovely and was around a ten minute drive from the entrance to the park we used on the day,” Emily said. “When I told the hotel about the wedding when we checked in they upgraded us to a suite which had the most amazing view of the park I have seen!” she said. So, keep that in mind – it’s always worth telling the staff in your hotel you’re in town to get married!

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Emily hailed a cab to take her to the park for the wedding. She wasn’t too bothered about hiring a fancy car to take her there, since nobody would see her arriving at the park. Instead they decided to hire the ever popular vintage trolley bus to pick up the whole party after the ceremony and photos in the park. After the ceremony the guests went for a drink at the Tavern on the Green while the couple took photos around the park, “this was lots of fun as we got a lot of attention from tourists,” she said. Then they all got in the trolley bus, where they are allowed to take their own alcohol and play their own music, and the driver will take them wherever they want in the allotted time. They all went to Times Square and Brooklyn Bridge Park to take photos, before dropping them off at TESSA – the restaurant they had chosen for their wedding meal. “Our time on the bus was by far the best part of the day,” said Emily, “admittedly everyone drank a bit too much and the amazing meal was probably a waste of money, but the driver was so laid back and stopped twice for toilet breaks and too collect more drinks! We had so much fun and got some amazing photos around the city,” she said.

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Following the wedding Emily and Casey had one more full day with their families in New York before jetting off to San Francisco where they spent three nights. Then they hired a car and drove to Yosemite National Park and spent a couple of days there before travelling down the west coast making stops at Monterey, Pismo beach, Santa Barbara and LA. From LA they drove to Vegas and finished off the honeymoon there. In total they were in the USA for three weeks, five days of that was spent in New York. “It was a once in a lifetime trip and we managed to do the wedding and all that traveling for much less than the average cost of a wedding in the UK,” said Emily.

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On their return to the UK Emily and Casey threw a wedding reception at the local golf club with the rest of their family and friends, “we put on a buffet and had a proper wedding cake which we never had in New York,” Emily told me. “Everyone wore their outfits again, so I got another chance to wear my dress! We also had our speeches and a proper first dance as we never got the chance to do this on the day, and we had a big screen showing the pictures from the big day,” she added. This is a really nice way to ensure everyone is still included in the celebrations and also keep the cost down.

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I asked Emily how she thinks we did. “After being very nervous to organize our whole wedding online in a city we had only spent five days in previously, and without ever meeting Claire or speaking on the phone, we were so happy with the outcome,” she said. “Everything ran so smoothly and I know it’s a cliché but it was actually the best day of our lives, there is no stranger feeling than walking through a packed Times Square in your wedding dress!! I would recommend it to anyone wanting a small wedding and something that’s a bit different,” she added.

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

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