Alice and Russell brought their family over from Stourbridge in the UK to get married in the Wisteria Pergola in the Conservatory Gardens this September. They were together for six years before getting married. They got engaged at Christmas in 2011, and they visited New York for Christmas 2012. After that visit they were sure that they wanted to get married in New York. They knew they wanted to get married outdoors, so the obvious choice for them was Central Park.
Alice and Russell didn’t want to have too many strangers and passers-by in their wedding photos, so that was a big reason for choosing the Conservatory Gardens, close to the Northern end of Central Park. The further North you go, there are certainly less tourists, so it is a lot quieter. There are more locals in the North end of the Park, using the playgrounds and enjoying the lovely Harlem Meer. “We liked that the Conservatory Gardens are more formal, and the privacy,” said Alice. “The main garden and the Vanderbilt Gate was an excellent backdrop for photos.” The ceremony was held underneath the Wisteria Pergola, and on the day they were very pleased that they had chosen that spot because it provided some shade on an unusually hot September day. We arranged for a harpist to play for them during the ceremony.
Alice’s gown was a custom made mermaid style with a long train. She had found the dressmaker Ashley Sims online and she designed and made the dress just for Alice. Her flowers were ivory roses with gypsophila. The bride and her bridesmaids and the mothers of the bride and groom had their hair and makeup done by Laura Burns. “They did a great job and were such lovely people they made us feel so relaxed while getting ready,” said Alice.
They had eighteen guests in total, and all said that they had a great day and that they loved the setting, “those who had not visited New York before were wowed,” said Alice. After the ceremony our photographer walked with the party through Central Park to Bethesda Fountain for some more photos, then they had a boat ride on the Lake with their guests. Then afterwards they all went to the Club A Steak House for dinner where they had hired a private dining room.
They stayed in the Park Lane Hotel mainly because of the location, “the park view room we had came with an amazing view from the 37th floor, and our room was lovely,” said Alice. “The staff really looked after us and our guests.”
The Conservatory Gardens are a beautiful set of three smaller gardens on the East side of Central Park between around 103rd Street and 106th Street. They are quieter than the South end of Central Park but a permit for a wedding here does carry an extra charge. My packages include the permit application fee for all the other locations in Central Park, which is $25. The Conservatory Gardens carry a fee of $500, so any couples wanting to get married here should add an extra $475 on to any of my package prices. The Central Park Conservancy charge this extra fee perhaps because this is the biggest wedding location in Central Park, so any very large weddings have to be held there.
“Claire did a great job, everything went smoothly from start to finish,” said Alice. “Our officiant, Hope was extremely friendly and made everyone feel at ease. Erin played the harp beautifully which created a romantic atmosphere. Our photographer, Chao couldn’t have been better, he has an excellent eye for natural photography and was so pleasant and friendly,” she said.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Alice and Russell, I wish you the best of luck for your futures together. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.