Rivka and Dani brought their family and friends from pretty much all over the world this August, to get married at Cop Cot in Central Park. Rivka is originally from New Zealand and Dani is from England. They met when Dani was backpacking through New Zealand. They had only been together for a short time when Dani’s visa ran out and she was due to go to Australia. Rivka decided to go with her. It turned out to be the right decision and they have been together for over five years now.
They lived together in Sydney and did lots of travelling together from there. They both attended a friend’s wedding a year or so ago and after that they “felt that something shifted,” as Rivka put it, and they felt that it was time to take the next step in their relationship.
Just a few days before they had got together Dani had jokingly proposed to Rivka with a ring from her own finger and had always refused to take it back. So, it was a long-standing joke between them that when it became time to get married, Rivka must do the proposing, because Dani already had. As an Englishwoman living abroad tea is very important to Dani, as I can wholeheartedly appreciate, after living away from England for over six years myself. So, Rivka had a mug specially made with a spoon engraved with “will you marry me?” Rivka proposed four years to the day that Dani had jokingly proposed to her.
Same-sex marriages are not legally recognized yet in their home of Australia, but Rivka and Dani wanted to formalize their commitment knowing that they wanted to share all parts of their lives with each other. It was important to them to make their commitment somewhere that their marriage would be seen as equal in the eyes of the law to all other marriages. Initially they were going to get married in the only place in Australia where this would be the case, which is the British Consulate. This option is only open to couples with one partner who is British, and although they qualified for this, they decided they wanted to get married somewhere a bit more fun, and where they could have a proper celebration.
New York seemed like the obvious choice for a couple with family as spread out as theirs. It is one of Rivka and Dani’s favorite cities and it is accessible for many of their friends and family who they wanted to attend their wedding. I find that this is quite a common reason for couples who are from two distant places; a destination wedding in New York is neutral and feels fair to everyone. They were quick to choose Central Park for their ceremony location “because it is so quintessentially New York as well as beautiful,” said Rivka “and as soon as we saw Cop Cot we knew we had found the place,” she added.
The couple stayed in a rented apartment in Soho for ten days. This was a rather large wedding by Central Park standards with around fifty guests. All but four of the guests were from overseas. They all loved the location for the wedding. “For many of them, especially those from New Zealand, it was a great excuse to come to a city they had always wanted to see,” Rivka told me. “We had Dani’s family from the UK and some of my family from New Zealand, along with friends from the UK, Australia and France,” she said.
They held their ceremony in Cop Cot, “which is not only beautiful but is also very well located for transport and easy for guests to find,” Rivka pointed out. “The photographs we took around there were great because we had Central Park and the iconic New York City skyline in the background,” she added.
They had their reception at The Park in Chelsea, near to the Highline, so they took lots of photos there, too. “It gives you a great mix of garden, industrial and New York all at once,” Rivka said. Their reception has a room overlooking the Highline. “They were great at organizing the whole reception from overseas and it actually was beyond our expectations when we finally got to see the place on the week of our wedding. All the guests loved it too and the food was fantastic,” enthused Rivka.
Rivka wore a Grecian inspired dress originally designed as a bridesmaid dress by Jadore from White Runway in Sydney. Dani wore a suit that she had tailored on their last trip to Thailand. Rivka and her bridesmaid carried gerberas in their bouquets and we had spray roses and baby’s breath put into Rivka and the bridal party members’ hair. The wonderful Rachel Cho floral design provided all the flowers and the fabulous team from Metrolook styled the flowers in to their hair. “Metrolook were amazing,” said Rivka, “we had a lot of fun getting ready and not only were they great at their jobs but were so good at helping me stay calm.”
I asked them if they had any thoughts to share for anyone considering a wedding in Central Park, and Rivka said “if you are nervous about planning a destination wedding or wondering whether it is worth it …. it really is. With Claire’s help our day was not only perfect but also seemless and everything she organized for us, whether it was flowers, hair and make up, celebrant or photographer they were very professional and great choices.”
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Rivka and Dani, I wish you the best of luck for your future together, and I hope you have an amazing time together travelling over the coming years. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.