Emma and Tom, from the UK, met just over five years ago online. To start with, it was a long-distance relationship. Emma said “it all started out as friendly banter, but it didn’t take long before both of us admitted we had feelings for the other.” They had both been in serious relationships previously, so they took it slowly to begin with. Eventually Tom moved in with Emma and her son.
They got engaged on Valentine’s Day this year. They had already been talking about going to New York as they both turn forty this year and they wanted to do something special. One of Tom’s work colleagues suggested they tie the knot while they were there as it seemed to be a much more straight forward process than getting married in the UK. They had also become frustrated with finding a venue that they liked in their local area.
Marriage was important to Emma and Tom as they wanted to not only spend the rest of their lives together, but to provide stability for the three children they both have from previous relationships and they both felt that getting married was the perfect way to demonstrate their commitment.
When they started to think about their wedding venue in New York they focused on Central Park straight away as they felt that it provided the perfect tranquil setting in the middle of an exciting city. When they came across pictures of the Ladies’ Pavilion they knew that was the exact spot where they wanted to get married. The decorative structure really appealed to Emma, and when she saw it was beside the lake, that was it, no other place would do!
I asked if they had had any concerns about marrying in Central Park and Emma said, “I suppose the only real concern we had with regards to marrying in New York was the matter of the distance. We couldn’t just go and see the city beforehand or look at the venue, we would have to wait until we got there. But with the advantages of the internet we could virtually visit the area by looking at footage on YouTube and checking out different websites and blogs. But part of me was really excited about not really knowing what to expect, so all in all I was not really worried about anything.”
They were in New York for five days, and stayed at the Hotel Belleclaire on the Upper West Side. It is a small boutique hotel and just a short distance from Central Park, so as soon as they arrived in New York they went off to have a look at the Ladies’ Pavilion, which they said was really exciting.
After the ceremony they had lunch in the Boathouse in Central Park, and we ended their special day by going up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building and watching the sunset. Their wedding was also their fortieth birthday present to themselves, and they had decided to keep the ceremony minimal and do it with no guests, so when they returned home they threw a big party for friends and family to be part of the celebrations.
Emma and Tom wanted to keep the wedding to a budget so Emma found a very simple but very beautiful dress on Ebay that could be made to measure. She also wore an Art Deco style hairband, and ivory satin slingback shoes. Instead of a floral bouquet, she had a custom made clutch bag for the day. Tom was a little more extravagant and had a suit made in London that had their wedding date embroidered into the lining.
Emma works as a make-up artist, so was able to do her own make-up on the day, and after asking the advice of hairdresser friends she was also able to style her hair herself. One piece of advice she found most helpful in the New York Summertime was to make sure she used a hairspray that could cope with the humidity and use more spray than usual.
To summarize, Emma said, “for anyone considering a New York wedding I would tell them to do it. We had the most perfect day and I know we would not have felt the same if we had got married in the UK. I loved the fact that complete strangers would congratulate us and they seemed almost as happy as we were. New Yorkers are really friendly and chatty, and if you show an appreciation of their city, they are happy to tell you all about it. I find it hard to describe exactly what it was that made our day so unforgettable, I think it was a combination of so many things; the sights, sounds, good wishes of complete strangers, the fact that sun did eventually come out… We will now have a special connection to New York forever and that’s a great incentive to think about returning for our anniversary!”
Thanks so much for sharing the story of your wedding day with us, Emma and Tom. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or pin along with us on Pinterest for photos and more inspiring stories.