A Wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion, Nine Years Ago

married couple by the lake in central park

Shelley and Jonny got married in Central Park nine years ago. I wanted to share their experience, in case anyone who was considering getting married in Central Park was wondering how couples feel about having made this decision some years later. If you got married in Central Park a few years ago, please contact me if you would like to tell your story.

bride and groom with horse and carriage in central park
Shelley and Jonny are from Belfast, Northern Ireland. They met through work, they both worked in the same supermarket. On the night of Jonny’s twentieth birthday, he was out celebrating, and Shelley was covering his shift for him as a favor, and he texted her to ask her out on a date that very night! He proposed to her four months later. They had gone to a barbeque with friends, Shelley felt unwell, so Jonny took her home. She lay down, feeling like she might vomit, and Jonny decided this was the best time to propose so he did! Shelley says this wasn’t too romantic, but she did say yes.

wedding party by tavern on the green in central park
They were engaged for around five years. Marriage is important to them as a couple, and they feel that it is the ultimate form of commitment. They considered getting married locally, but after gathering information on prices they realized that for less money they could fly to New York, get married there and have a huge celebration back home. “We had a more spectacular wedding in New York than we would have had back home,” said Shelley.

bride and groom grand central

Both Shelley and Jonny had always wanted to visit New York so they decided it would be a great wedding location. They contacted a wedding planner who is no longer in business, and chose the Ladies’ Pavilion in Central Park. They stayed for five days at the Milford Plaza Hotel, now known as Row NYC. To add to the celebrations, Shelley had her 23rd birthday two days after their wedding.

bride and groom walking throgh central park

Shelley’s parents and Jonny’s brother and best friend joined them in New York for their wedding. They were all very excited about attending a wedding that was so out of the ordinary. The wedding ended up being a little last minute so Shelley was not wearing the dress that would have been her fist choice. Although she looks lovely in her second choice. She wanted a three-quarter length tea dress, but she could not get that in time.

After their wedding ceremony in the Ladies’ Pavilion, they walked along the West side of the Lake and passed a busker playing his guitar. He noticed them in wedding gear and asked if they had any requests. They asked for anything by Elvis, since Jonny is a big fan and he began to play I Can’t Help Falling In Love. Coincidentally, that was the song they had already picked as their first dance for the party planned for when they got back to Belfast. The couple danced their first dance that day in Central Park in front of strangers who had gathered to listen to the busker singing.

bride and groom limo central park

They used a company called PhotoTrek Tours who met up with them in Central Park after the ceremony and took them all on a walk through Central Park while taking pictures of them, then they took them on a tour of New York to have pictures taken at some of the main tourist spots, such as Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Central Terminal. They usually do this as a walking tour but Shelley and Jonny had a limo booked for the day, so they toured in style.

I asked them if they had any other thoughts on marrying in Central Park that would like to share with anyone considering a Central Park wedding, after nine years, and Shelley said “Do it! You won’t regret it!”

first dance in central park

Since getting married in Central Park they have longed to return to New York. They finally managed to get back last Christmas, eight and a half years after their wedding. They visited the Ladies’ Pavilion “and it was just as beautiful in winter as it was that summer,” said Shelley. “Central Park will always hold a special place in our hearts. New York now holds extra special memories for us and when we got the chance to go back it felt like home from home, rather than a holiday destination,” she said. The couple now have three children and they hope one day to take them to New York and specifically to Central Park to show them where mummy and daddy got married.

wedding in ladies pavilion central park

Shelley told me that when they tell people about their wedding they are usually shocked as Central Park is not a typical wedding destination when you are from the UK. She says that they ask lots of questions and that most people say they wish they had done something like that or if they were to do it again, they would elope or have a small destination wedding like this. “I wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding in Central Park, well maybe my dress…but that’s it!” said Shelley. “If we ever get the chance to renew our vows, you know where it’ll be!” she said.

shelley bride in central park

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Shelley and Jonny, I wish you the best of luck. It was lovely to talk to someone who had married in Central Park some time ago. If you got married in Central Park a few years ago and have any thoughts to share on it, then please get in touch. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.

bride and groom brooklyn bridge

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