Laura and Louise brought their family and friends from Sheffield in England to New York this August to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in Central Park. They met around fourteen years ago through their hockey club. They did not get together straight away, but later on after they got to know each other better. Their wedding date was special to them because it marks twelve years since they first got together.
Louise asked Laura to marry her in the middle of a fireworks display at Chatsworth House in November 2013. She originally proposed with a ring she had made, but then later on they went together to get engagement rings made bespoke by Diana Porter in Bristol. After they got engaged they briefly considered other unique wedding venues, such as woodland centers, and an old factory, but all in England because they wanted to include all their family and friends. They were sure that they did not want anything conventional, and in the end they decided that their local options did not have the magic that Central Park held for them. They also found that Central Park was not a particularly expensive option compared to the venues at home.
Laura had casually suggested getting married in Central Park after she had seen it in a film, and Louise thought it was a great idea. After initial discussions they gave it some more thought and realized that it really appealed to them, “we had absolutely no desire to have a traditional big wedding in England, especially as Louise hates to be the center of any form of attention so the smaller the better for her,” said Laura. Once they properly researched it, they both fell in love with the idea, and the place, “and looking back we know that nothing else would have even compared,” said Laura.
Once they chose Central Park for their wedding location they then spent a long time deciding on exactly which location in Central Park suited them for a wedding ceremony. Their original choice was Wagner Cove, but it was still out for repairs at that time, following vandalism the previous year. So, they were forced to look through the various possible locations again, “we realized that we had seriously overlooked Ladies Pavilion,” said Laura, “and our photos show that it was the perfect setting for our vaguely 1920s style wedding outfits!”
They had a couple of concerns about getting married in New York. These were the weather, the most common worry, and the administrative side of things. We took care of most of the paperwork, and told them all that they were legally required to do, and the week they were in New York saw a heat wave, so they were pleased when it cooled down a little to 25 degrees for their wedding day.
One of their guests took their photographs. They said that their favorite pictures were taken at the Ladies’ Pavilion, where their ceremony was. After the ceremony they all traveled in pedicabs to Bow Bridge and Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, and had more pictures taken there. They loved these locations, too, “they are just so iconic,” said Laura, “people all over the world could see pictures of those places and know that they were Central Park.”
Laura wore a Joy dress by Jenny Packham with Irregular Choice shoes. It was purchased from the White Room boutique in Sheffield after she saw it on an episode of Don’t Tell the Bride. She knew it was the dress for her straight away, she never even looked at or tried on another dress. Louise wore a Vivienne Westwood shirt and tailored trousers. They decided not to carry bouquets or flowers and they did their own hair and makeup, or had a guest help. Their guests were Laura’s Mum, Dad, brother and cousin, maid of honor and her boyfriend, and one friend from university who happened to be in America at the time.
The whole wedding party stayed at NYLO on Broadway at W 77th Street. “The hotel was fabulous,” said Laura, “so quirky and in a great location for the subway to get everywhere that we wanted to visit during our stay, and it was only a short walk away from the Ladies’ Pavilion.” Their ceremony was at 1pm, so they had the morning to get ready. They spent the early afternoon in Central Park, having the ceremony, and then taking photographs around Central Park.
I had been contacted by a TV production company asking if I was planning any same-sex weddings for this week. August was a very busy for us, and I had four weddings that week, this was the only same-sex wedding that week, so they asked if I could contact the couple to see if they would be willing to be filmed for a new TV show. Laura and Louise kindly agreed after finding out a few more details from the production company. The show is based on the New Yorker magazine, but is a TV series called The New Yorker Presents, which will be aired on Amazon Prime. At the time of writing this blog entry neither Laura and Louise nor myself have seen it, but we have been told that it’s beautiful enough to make the producer cry! Once we have the clip I will share it over social media.
After the ceremony and photos they walked back through the Park to their hotel for a rest. In the evening they went out for a meal at Sarabeth’s on Central Park South, which they said was amazing. They finished off the day by changing into their pyjamas and drinking champagne on the rooftop terrace of their hotel. The next morning they enjoyed a helicopter tour of the city, bought for them by some family as a wedding gift.
Yet again, the people of New York helped to make Laura and Louise’s wedding day special. “One of the best things about the day was how amazing the people were who happened to stumble upon our ceremony, and then afterwards as we took a stroll back through Central Park to our hotel. People were so complimentary, with so many people saying “Congratulations”, comments on our outfits, and people stopping to talk to us about the ceremony and our plans for the rest of the day. It made us feel really special,” said Laura.
“We would like to say a massive thank you to Claire for making our ceremony everything we could have hoped for and more,” said Laura. “She made everything so easy for us, despite the distance, and us having no idea of the rules and regulations that had to be followed. The value for money of the service provided is amazing, and we would highly recommend Wed In Central Park to everyone!” Thanks Laura and Louise for sharing your story with us, and for allowing it to be filmed. I can’t wait to see it when it airs in February 2016 on Amazon Prime. I wish you both the best of luck for your future 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.