Alec and Clare brought their family from the Midlands of the UK to get married in Central Park this Summer. They had got engaged under a wooden shelter by the Lake, opposite Bow Bridge on Christmas Day 2012. They were on vacation in New York City at the time and Alec had planned in advance to get engaged in Central Park, it seemed the perfect romantic spot for them. I asked them why being married was important to them and Alec said “we believe in and respect the tradition, and we felt after six years together we wanted to cement our relationship officially before starting a family.”
Because they had got engaged in Central Park, and because they loved New York City so much and wanted to bring their family, they did not really consider anywhere else for their wedding location. They considered several different locations within the Park itself; such as the Conservatory Gardens and the Ladies’ Pavilion, but they chose Belvedere Castle. They decided not to go with the Conservatory Gardens due to their very northern location in the Park, they are up at 105th Street and it takes around 20 minutes to walk from there to the center of the Park where many of the iconic locations are. Because they were getting married on a Saturday, they felt that Ladies’ Pavilion may not be as private as they would like. They felt that Belvedere Castle gave them the best of all things; “the viewing platform where the ceremony was performed is just separate enough from the Castle’s main forecourt to offer some privacy, although a small crowd inevitably gathered, and it was central enough to be in close proximity to lots of great other locations in the Park for photographs,” said Alec.
Following their ceremony at Belvedere Castle they had additional photographs taken at the Shakespeare Garden, the Ladies’ Pavilion, the Lake, Cherry Hill, Bethesda Terrace and Arcade and Strawberry Fields. They were busy with lots of locations, but as Alec says Central Park provides incredibly beautiful backdrops that presented the photographer with countless opportunities for interesting shots.” Their finished wedding album contained ninety-six pages!
When Clare and Alec visited at Christmas 2012, when they got engaged, they stayed at the Fitzpatrick Grand Central, and when they returned for their wedding they stayed at the Distrikt New York City. Their wedding party were seven of their closest family members. For most of them, this was their first visit to New York City.
Alec and Clare kept to the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding ceremony. On the morning of the wedding Clare relaxed around Midtown with her father and had a coffee in the lovely Bryant Park. Alec took a stroll in Central Park around The Pond and Gapstow Bridge, nervously going over his speech for later!
Clare wore a custom-made silk dress in ivory with lace detail by Hayley J of Shrewsbury in Shropshire in the UK. She wore matching ivory silk shoes also provided by the same. Her jewellery was vintage and she carried a bouquet of two dozen ivory roses. Alec wore a made-to-measure three-piece navy suit by Gieves and Hawkes in London. His shirt and tie were by Tom Ford and shoes by Prada. He wore a boutonnierre of a single ivory rose to match Clare’s bouquet.
After the ceremony, the wedding party headed for Keens Chophouse on 36th Street, one of the oldest and most respected steakhouses in Manhattan, for their reception. “The food and service is great and the decor and atmosphere makes for a classic American experience,” said Alec. They enjoyed it so much that they returned for a second visit on their last night.
I asked them if they had any other thoughts on marrying in Central Park that they would like to share. Alec said “it was an amazing experience that made a special place even more special to us. Also, New Yorkers are extremely warm and the other visitors to the Park very much helped make the day as memorable as it was.” Congratulations on your wedding, Clare and Alec, thank you for sharing your story with us, and your beautiful photographs. I wish you the best of luck for your future together.