Jess blogs on UsedYorkCity.com, where she writes about the best of New York, as used by New Yorkers. She wants to encourage readers to use the city and to find inspiration in the little things it offers. It’s a great blog for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Jess met her husband, who she calls Mr P at a dance club in Chelsea at 3am, they went out for early morning mac-n-cheese at 6am, exchanged numbers, and five years later they got married! “Your typical NYC love story,” said Jess.
They got engaged at the New York Public Library, Jess’ favorite building in the world. Mr P left her a series of notes with quotes from Le Petit Prince on them, she collected them as she followed a trail to the library, where he was waiting for her, and he popped the question there. She wrote about it on her blog, for the full story, read about it here.
I asked Jess why getting married was important to them, and she said, “if you’re lucky enough to meet the one person you want by your side for all eternity, through the good, bad, awful, and amazing, I truly believe getting married can be the best decision you’ll ever make. It was for me, at least!”
The couple are New Yorkers, so they consider Central Park their backyard. They were getting married in the summer, and wanted to have an outdoor ceremony. So, their first idea was to get married in Central Park, they felt at home there and they spend so much time there anyway. They thought they might get married in the Shakespeare Garden, but when they went over there in July to check it out they found it too hot, and the flowers were struggling in the heat of Manhattan high summer. Also, they decided that they wanted somewhere more private to say their vows, rather than a public park, so they walked out of Central Park on the East side and happened upon the Surrey Hotel. “We walked in on a whim, asked if we could see their rooftop, fell in love with the views of Central Park and Manhattan, and knew that was the spot!” said Jess.
Like every other couple I talk to, they had considered the possibility of some rain. It is unavoidable with an outdoor wedding ceremony. But, unlike most couples, they would have been perfectly fine if it had rained. “The idea of rain didn’t bother us,” Jess told me. “There’s something romantic about getting married in a summertime drizzle, no? But regardless, our 10am ceremony ended up being blazingly sunny and about 107 degrees!”
After their wedding ceremony on the rooftop of the Surrey Hotel, the couple had photographs taken around Central Park. I asked Jess where their favorite photos were taken on their wedding day. “Walking down the cobblestone sidewalk of 5th Avenue, along the East side of Central Park, because it reminded me of the after work and weekend walks we would always take together along that route,” she told me. “We made sure to get a photo with 77th Street sign in the background, as our wedding day was 7.7” she added.
Jess has a thing for the 1920s, “so I went with a dress from BHLDN with that Roaring Twenties vibe, finger curls, and my signature, a red lip,” she said. Her bouquet was a colorful mix of gerber daisies, with a little hummingbird poking out. “The ribbon around it was my something blue,” she added. To get herself a bargain for her wedding day makeup, she found someone she loved at Sephora, and then paid him to come do her makeup the morning of the wedding. For hair, she used Facetime Beauty, and was very happy with them.
Theirs was a small wedding, just their parents and their chihuahua Gillman attended. “We actually completely surprised our parents,” explained Jess. “We told them they were going to a food tasting, and when they showed up we said, “Surprise! We’re actually getting married today!” and they loved it,” she said. They also had a mutual friend at the wedding, who sang their wedding song, Beyonce’s Halo, and did their reading, a selection from The Little Prince, which you might remember from the proposal, is Jess’ favorite book.
Since they had chosen to have a small wedding, they were able to enjoy a chilled out day. They had the ceremony at 10am, took photos in Central Park, then went back to the Surrey Hotel where they had got married to eat with their parents. Then, after they left they took a nap and chilled in their apartment with their dog. That night they hung out on their rooftop terrace with their chihuahua and ate cupcakes and drank champagne. “The best day ever!” said Jess.
They kept their wedding a secret from their friends, and five months after they got married they invited guests to what they told them would be their 1920s themed wedding, but they surprised them with their wedding video from that rooftop five months earlier. Jess got to wear her wedding dress twice and they had a great time with all their loved ones, with none of the stress that a big wedding would have caused them. She blogged about it, see their fabulous photos here.
“If having a big wedding is your jam, totally go for it, and enjoy every single moment!” Jess advises. “For us, I knew I wanted our wedding day to be exclusively about us as a couple, and didn’t want to have to stress saying my vows in front of a hundred people, so eloping with the person I love most in the city I love most was the perfect decision.”
Check out Jess’ blog at UsedYorkCity.com for some inspiring posts and photos to help you to get to know New York like the New Yorkers do. And check out my website if you need help planning your own Central Park wedding.