Mallory had always loved Christmas and New York City, so the idea of a wedding at this time of year in this incredible city was her dream, although she never really thought it would happen for her. In the end not only did she make this happen, but she planned it in only twenty-four days!
Mallory and Adam are from Atlanta, Georgia and they met through mutual friends in August 2014. When they met, Adam had just started his Master’s Program to become a nurse practitioner and Mallory was enrolled to begin her Master’s Program in Educational Instructional Technology in January 2015. Adam, at the time, was an ICU nurse, working nights and Mallory was and still is a special education teacher at an elementary school. The couple found out quickly that they had so much in common and clicked straight away.
Mallory loves Christmas time, in fact her friends call her Miss Merry Christmas. “I love the spirit of Christmas, all the decorations, the music, and of course my Elf on the Shelf, Tommy,” she told me. On the evening of November 9th 2015, Adam came over to Mallory’s house and they sat by her Christmas tree chatting about their day and he suggested that she go and find Tommy the elf. Mallory searched high and low for him and finally found him the bookshelf by the Christmas tree with a little box in his lap. She opened the box and there was an engagement ring! She turned around and Adam was on his knee and asked her to marry him.
As soon as they were officially engaged, they began planning their wedding. They were originally aiming for a wedding near to their home in Atlanta in June 2016. They had decided on a theme of skeletons keys, which had meaning to them personally throughout their relationship. They visited venues, contacted caterers, and even found a beautiful dress in the Black Friday sale just weeks after their engagement. It had long lace sleeves so Mallory intended to have them altered for her summer wedding. But after a little while of wedding planning Mallory started to become frustrated that quite a few things were not quite working out as she had hoped, and the process that she had expected to be fun was becoming stressful.
In early December Mallory and her family had been to see Elf, the Musical and at the intermission, her father jokingly said, “why don’t you have a Christmas wedding in NYC?” They all laughed at the impossibility, but a few hours later, Mallory was starting to seriously consider it and not long after that, she was doing some serious research. Within a few days, the decision was made, the flights were booked, and rooms were rented and the date was set. “I chose Central Park because I wanted to be right in the city,” said Mallory. “I wanted to be surrounded by the city streets, the buildings, and all the cars. I wanted our pictures to clearly show that we got married in New York City,” she enthused.
Mallory knew New York and Central Park quite well, but, like many people who get married in Central Park as a destination wedding, they had to choose their ceremony location without being completely familiar with the location. They chose Cop Cot because they liked the look of it in pictures, but they didn’t know for sure how it would look in person. “The pictures did not do it justice,” said Mallory. They worried a little about the weather, and the possibility of rain, and how busy or noisy it might be in the area. In the end they loved Cop Cot, and it’s rustic simplicity. “I loved it even more in the winter because the entire top was clear and the skyscrapers showed through the branches,” Mallory said. Their photographer was Kristina Williamson. “We took pictures inside and outside of the gazebo, on the rocks with beautiful buildings in the background, and my favorite shot, in the street,” Mallory told me.
Mallory knew New York City well, and had visited several times before, including a trip there at Christmas time in 2008. Adam and his family had never been before. Adam’s father, who is a Southern Baptist Preacher, had one wish while in New York; to see the Statue of Liberty. They did see it, and ate at the Merchant’s River House which they tell me that they highly recommend and it had amazing views of the Statue of Liberty. They were in New York from the 26th until the 30th December. For the most of the trip they stayed at the Grand Hyatt and the bride and groom stayed at The Pierre after the wedding.
Mallory wore a beautiful dress by Mori Lee purchased from Bravura Fashion, a boutique in Atlanta. The bridesmaids wore a black or charcoal dress of their choice. They also wore different fur coats. Mallory carried a boutique of Christmassy red roses with the stems wrapped in lace from her mother’s wedding dress and had a skeleton key attached to it, which had been their original idea for a theme. Adam wore a single red rose with a small skeleton key attached to it. The ladies did their hair and makeup themselves. “Lucky for me, one of my brothers’ girlfriends does hair and my other brothers’ girlfriend does makeup,” Mallory said.
They had fourteen guests in attendance. It was just family and close friends. They said that some people in their wider social circle raised their eyebrows at a quick and out of state wedding, but their close friends and family understood why they wanted to get married this way and they were excited about the special occasion. “I do wish the family members unable to attend had been able to come,” she said. This is a common problem with the destination wedding. It can’t be helped. Adam’s father is a pastor so he was able to officiate their wedding, which must have been very special for him to be able to do as a father.
The ceremony was held at 2pm so they had the morning to prepare for it. “The ladies and mothers had an intimate bible study in the morning where we shared blessings and tears,” said Mallory. Before the ceremony, the men had pictures taken at The Pierre, where Mallory and Adam were staying on their wedding night. The men then had lunch in a hidden room at The Pierre while the ladies took their turn taking pictures. Mallory, her father, and Jan, the Maid of Honor, then took a taxi over to the ceremony.
After the ceremony, they had the reception dinner at Asiate, a signature restaurant within the Mandarin Oriental. They ate in their private dining room, which overlooks the city and the south-west corner of Central Park. “The food was delicious and the view was absolutely beautiful,” Mallory told me.
They got married in 2015 and it was a year later that we spoke, so I was able to ask if Mallory had any thoughts on their Central Park wedding a year later. “I wish I had booked my photographer for more time,” she said. “There are so many amazing spots for pictures in Central Park but we ran out of time for all the locations I wanted to visit, she added. Also, she said that it was very cold in December. Which of course she expected and she doesn’t mind the cold, but she was aware of her guests being cold and this made her feel a little rushed. In general, though, they have no regrets about their rather snap decision to get married in Central Park. “I love that we did something unique and different and we have a special place that we can visit years from now,” she said.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Mallory and Adam, I wish you the best of luck for your futures 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.