David and Alison came from their home of Newcastle-under-Lyme in the UK to get married in Central Park this August. They live very close to where my parents live in the UK, so they were able to deliver the payment for their wedding in person! They met online. This was to be a second marriage for both of them, they both have children.
They had discussed getting married for a long time. They both agreed that it was important to them. So, one Christmas when they were alone David formally popped the questions and Alison said yes. I asked them why marriage was important to them and David said, “we wanted to commit to each other and wanted our children to witness that commitment. We saw it as a pledge, an opportunity to make promises to each other, a chance to look at each other and say life with you is so amazing that I want it to last forever.”
They had agreed early on that they wanted this wedding to be a personal ceremony with just their children in attendance so they considered several destination wedding options, as well as their local registry office, which they dismissed as “a dull idea and not really a way to celebrate and commit to our life together.” They also considered Iceland, which they decided was too expensive, and though they could have got some incredible photographs there, it would have involved too much traveling for the children not to get bored. They considered Rome, but found it too complicated to organize a ceremony there. And they considered Las Vegas, of course, marriage capital of the world, but they decided that it was a little too flashy for their tastes.
They kept the wedding a secret from their children, they did not tell them that they were going to get married in New York City until the plan touched down.
So, they chose Central Park in the end. “It is such an iconic and beautiful place to get married, point a camera anywhere and you will get a fabulous picture. It is also in the heart of such a great city which gave us a lot to keep us occupied before the day and after a big consideration when bringing our children with us. As it is also such a changing city we can revisit many times and be reminded of the amazing day that we got married.” They said that they felt fairly relaxed in the run-up to the wedding, but as the date got a little closer they started to worry about the details, such as not having seen the venue in person, or met the people who would be officiating, or photographing them, but “we realized that these were just the normal worries of everyone getting married and wanting everything to be perfect,” said David.
They needed three rooms for their family so they rented an apartment in New Jersey. David said that they were pleasantly surprised by the good price that they got for a three bed condo with a view of the Statue of Liberty, rented by Sky City Rentals. They were a 10 minute walk from the PATH station and from there it was a quick journey to either WTC or 33rd in Manhattan. One day they took the ferry, “a great way to see Manhattan,” said David. “There are also some very good restaurants across the Hudson so after a day in the crowds it was great to be able to get some space and look at Manhattan in its night mode from afar,” he said.
They had originally chosen Wagner Cove for their ceremony location, a popular spot for small wedding parties. Unfortunately it had been vandalized just a few weeks before, and it had to be taken away for repairs. I suggested the Ladies’ Pavilion as a second choice. It is not as out-of-the-way as Wagner Cove, but it has nicer views, in my opinion. Also, as David pointed out, if you get married there, you can see your wedding location from the Top of the Rock!
They said that their favorite photos were taken around the rocks that surround Ladies’ Pavilion, just after the ceremony. They told me that their sons Caleb and Daniel were more alert at this stage and up for photos. That is something to bare in mind for anyone thinking of bringing their children to their wedding in Central Park. They also liked their photographs taken by the Fountain and some with Bow Bridge in the background including a lovely one of their daughter Jessica. They took a gondola ride and then ate at the Boathouse, and they highly recommend doing these things as a great way to finish off the day in Central Park.
David wore a checked three piece suit, “possibly influenced by us admiring Mads Mikelsen’s wardrobe in the TV series Hannibal,” he said. Alison wore a wonderful dress from Hobbs in the UK which was not a formal wedding dress but she felt that it was just right for the occasion. Alison had her hair and makeup done by T from Metro Look.
Alison and David loved the New York wedding experience, “New Yorkers love people getting married in Central Park and are very generous in their comments and their photo opportunities. This in turn made us feel even more special than we already were on such a wonderful day.”
“It was great to be able to have someone who knew what was needed and that we would have someone to meet us at the entrance to Central Park. The people who met us to officiate and take photos were really great. They put us at ease and nothing was too much trouble for them.” For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories. Thanks to David, Alison and family for sharing your story with us, I wish you lots of luck for you future together.