Hayley and Mike got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in Central Park in 2012. I talked to them about it and their feelings about their decision to get married in Central Park four years after their wedding.
Mike proposed to Hayley on her thirtieth birthday while they were on vacation in the Spanish city of Barcelona. The trip was a surprise gift for her birthday and the proposal was a surprise, too! They had discussed getting married beforehand, though, and they had agreed that they wanted to do something different from the traditional ceremony and getting married near their home. They had the idea about getting married in New York, and once they started looking at it in any detail they didn’t consider anything else, they knew this was the place for them. They had visited New York back in 2010 and had fallen in love with Central Park then, and it seemed like a fairy tale come true for them to get married in such an iconic venue.
At first they were a bit worried that none of their friends and family would want to come with them. But, as many couples find, lots of people are very excited about a destination wedding, and pleased to have the excuse for a holiday. Thirteen guests fly over with them for the wedding, Hayley’s dad and step mum, her sister and brother in law, Mike’s brother and his partner, Hayley’s best friend and her husband and three family friends. Hayley sadly lost her mum to cancer many years ago. Mike’s parents couldn’t travel the distance, which is a common drawback of the destination wedding, unfortunately. They were missed at the wedding, but they were able to celebrate with them on their return.
They had some general worries about how to organize the wedding from the UK, but luckily they had a wedding planner. It was not me! I had only recently started planning weddings in Central Park when they got married. Their wedding planner sorted out all the paperwork, expect the part that the couple are legally obliged to do; going to City Hall in person, together, to obtain their license, check out my blog for more information about that.
They stayed in New York for a week in the Hotel Affinia in Midtown which they liked and said was in a good central location. All the guests stayed for a week, too, and the group had a great time. For many of their guests it was their first time in New York.
Hayley and Mike’s wedding ceremony was conducted in the Ladies Pavilion. They had hired a guitarist to play for the guests before the bride arrived and again after the ceremony. I asked Hayley where her favorite photos were taken, she said that she could not pick a favorite place! They had photos taken in and around the Pavilion, and on Bow Bridge, on The Mall and at Bethesda Terrace, and lots of other lovely spots.
Hayley wore a traditional wedding dress by Jenny Packham with a matching antique silver headband. Her flowers were a classic bunch of cream seasonal flowers and the bridesmaids carried two small posies purchased from a florist near to their hotel. The bridesmaids got their dresses from Coast in the UK. Hayley had not chosen a color scheme for the wedding, so when they went shopping for the bridesmaid dresses they were just able to choose what suited them, which I think is a lovely way of doing it.
The ladies in the wedding party had their hair done professionally on the morning of the wedding. While they did that the gentlemen in the party had their breakfast out in Chelsea, picking up a copy of the New York Times on the way as a souvenir. Once the ceremony was complete the couple had some photographs taken with the guests, then they all left to go for drinks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near Columbus Circle, while the couple had longer taking more pictures in Central Park. After that they met them at the hotel bar for champagne. They had pre-booked the table and the hotel staff were aware that it was their wedding day, and were very accommodating, even bringing the group complimentary strawberries and chocolates. They had their dinner at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. “This was lovely,” said Hayley, “we sat right beside the lake as the sun was setting. It was beautiful and a favourite moment of mine.” After their meal, as evening fell, they took a carriage ride to The Roosevelt Hotel where they had booked a table at their roof top bar, Mad46. “It was a lovely way to end our wedding day; drinking cocktails overlooking the city at night,” Hayley said.
I asked Hayley if she had any regrets four years on, and whether she would change anything about her wedding now. “I would not change a single thing about my wedding in Central Park,” she said. “We talk about it all the time, even now. We cannot wait to return, maybe for our fifth anniversary next summer!”
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Hayley and Mike, I wish you lots of luck for your future together, and I hope you do make it back next Summer! Thanks for sharing your photos with us, too. For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring stories.