Paula and Alan’s Central Park Elopement

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Paula and Alan came from Birmingham in England to get married in Central Park. They had been together six years before they got married. They now have a son together and Paula is a fellow blogger, at Mommy Muggles Through.

They met at work. Their eyes met across a crowded cafeteria and Alan proclaimed a seventeen year old Paula to be an idiot as she had had accidentally put her top on inside out but hadn’t noticed. They got to know each a little better after that he changed his mind, they became friends, and eventually a couple.

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Paula thinks that their engagement might be the most unromantic in history. They were at a bus stop and arguing about something neither of them can remember now when Alan said something along the lines of “oh for God’s sake, don’t you know I love you? I want you to be my wife!” That must have diffused the argument somewhat. They went out the next day to buy a ring.

After they were engaged they started to discuss what they wanted from their wedding. They are both from Catholic families and felt that it was important to be married before having children.

They booked a church and a hotel in Birmingham but then quite a few things changed in their lives that made them realise that this wasn’t the sort of wedding that they wanted. Some of their family members do not get on well and they started to worry about getting these people together in one room for a whole day. They wondered if this bad feeling might spoil their wedding day.

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As the day grew closer Alan got more concerned about being the focus of attention for such an important day. He is very shy and he would have been desperately uncomfortable as a groom at a large wedding. In the end they decided that their wedding day should not bring such stress and a wedding should be about the couple, and the thing that suited this couple best was to go away on their own to tie the knot.

They considered several locations, including Italy and Greece, but they are not particularly beach lovers and consider themselves city people. Alan has been to New York City before and he felt sure that Paula would love it. They started to look online and Paula fell in love with the Ladies’ Pavilion in Central Park. She loved the styling of the structure and the beautiful views from it’s location. I completely agree. To me, this is the classic Central Park background to a wedding ceremony – the rocks, the Lake, the trees and then the high-rise building in the background.

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They went to New York alone. Paula still feels certain that this is the best decision they ever made. They stayed at the Hudson hotel for nine days. She wanted to keep the dress a surprise for Alan, so she had to ask the hotel housekeeping to help her into the dress, and she felt a little sad then, but she said that was the only time. Their families were very supportive of their elopement but they did want them to have their union blessed by the Catholic church when they returned to England, which they did.

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Paula and Alan got married in June, but they’re British, like myself, so it is in our blood to worry about the weather. Paula said that was her only real worry about marrying in Central Park. Their concerns increased when the two days before the wedding New York had torrential rain. They were lucky on their wedding day, though because by then the weather turned warm and dry. They had paid a deposit to a nearby chapel as their fall back in case they did have rain on the day.

Paula went to the Elizabeth Arden Red Door salon on the morning of their wedding to have her hair, nails and makeup done. She said that it was fabulous’, “I was treated like a princess. I would recommend it to anyone,” she said. She wore a gorgeous dress which was purchased at a local bridal chain factory sale. It was pale mocha underneath with thick cream lace overlay with a broach at the hip. Her flowers were a classic bouquet of cream roses.

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The night before the wedding they ate at Sparks restaurant. Alan swears he did not tell them that they were getting married the next day but Paula is not sure that she believes him because they received such amazing service. After the wedding they ate at the Tavern on the Green, which is no longer a restaurant. They loved the setting with the courtyard strung with lanterns and lights.

Paula says that they had an amazing time in New York and our wedding felt like a fairytale. “I would highly recommend to anyone, it is much cheaper than some people may imagine. Certainly a fraction of the cost of the wedding we had originally planned in the UK.” I find that I get the same reaction when I tell people how much it can cost to get married in Central Park. It is much more affordable that many people expect.

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

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