Four years ago, Karan and James eloped from their home in Bristol in the UK to get married in Central Park. They had been together for five years before they got married. Now they have two children together, and James is stepdad to Karan’s son from a previous relationship.
The couple met through mutual friends, and James proposed while they were on a trip to Edinburgh for a long weekend. James had hidden the ring in his hand luggage, to avoid the worry of losing it in a bag that they checked in. He was so nervous that he just wanted to get the proposal over with, so they had just got in to their hotel room, and he popped the question while Karan was in the middle of figuring out how to work the TV!
It was important to them to be married to bring their family together. They felt that the ceremony was a marker for the beginning of the rest of their lives together as a team.
They did consider a traditional wedding at home in the UK, but after a month of planning, they both realised that it was not what they really wanted. They felt that they were planning a wedding to suit their guests, when what they wanted was to suit themselves and celebrate their special day in their way. “We wanted to do something that we both loved and something completely different,” said Karan. The plan was to have their honeymoon in New York but in the end they decided to get married there too.
Karan and James quickly chose Central Park for their wedding location, with it being such a picturesque place. They found a wedding planner that they communicated well with and they felt completely as ease about their plans. They said that it helped to have someone organizing things for them who had done it many times before. They wanted their wedding to be an elopement, but they checked with their families first that they had their blessing, so it was just the two of them.
Their ceremony was at Belvedere Castle Terrace. “It was like a hidden treasure lost in a massive park!” said Karan. I agree, it is one of the quieter locations for a wedding, but right there in the center of the Park, with those incredible views. “We were very lucky to have had such a beautiful blue sky and warm weather which really helped make the photos so much better,” she added.
Straight after their ceremony the couple took a ride in a horse and carriage around Central Park. “I would really recommend this,” said Karan, “it was a lovely experience, going around Central Park, relaxing and taking in all the sights and sounds of the city, everybody waved at us as we passed them, with the odd shout of congratulations occasionally!”
They stayed in the Hotel Metro Midtown for a week. After their ceremony, they went back to their hotel, cracked open a bottle of champagne and called family and friends. After that they went up to the top of the Empire State Building, still in wedding gear. “It was fabulous as the staff there let us all go up to the 102nd floor for free as it was our wedding day,” Karan said. I always suggest that couples let New Yorkers know that it’s their wedding day, they are generous people and love to share in the celebration. They went to the 21 Club for their dinner that evening, “it was delicious and we would recommend it to anyone staying in New York,” Karan told me.
I asked them if they would do anything differently, four years on. “We have absolutely no regrets!” said Karan. “It was the best day from start to finish and I would not change anything for the world, our wedding was perfect in every way.” The couple have since been back to visit the spot where they got married, in Winter 2015, and this time it was in the snow.
They told me that they have had a few people tell them that this sort of destination wedding is something that they would like to do, over the years since their wedding. The couple have a lovely souvenir from their trip, their daughter! Karan found out that she was pregnant two weeks after the wedding, and their daughter was born nine months after they got married!
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Karan and James, 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.