This is the third in a series of blog posts about those little things that make a wedding special to the couple. It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding. I am creating this series to provide inspiration for couples planning their wedding. Many couples have a big vision of what they want on the day, but this series will be about the details. Most of the weddings discussed in this series will have taken place in Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured. This is Danielle’s list of the five things that made her wedding day special. She married Michael in October 2015 on Belvedere Castle Terrace, read about their elopement here.
That We Did Everything Together…Everything
My husband and I were very private about our wedding plans, because we wanted it to stay stress-free. We knew that the sooner more voices got involved, the sooner we’d have to start answering questions we weren’t sure we had the answers to yet. Especially, once we decided on heading to NYC alone. That meant we had to lean on each other for every step. I went him to put some spring looks together. We both wrote the vows and ceremony. He steamed my dress at the hotel once we arrived. We went to a coffee shop together the morning of our wedding, got an emergency license, and stood in lines for all the signatures. Then we ate lunch together, helped each other get ready, and walked every step of the way together. Mike even held my dress train as we crossed the sidewalks to meet our photographer and videographer at Central Park. There was no big clapping or decor or champagne corks popping or big “reveal” of the dress, and that was okay. It felt more intimate for us that way, and we started our marriage the way we wanted to continue it–taking every step side-by-side.
The Flower Vendor Outside the New York City Courthouse
Getting the marriage license and subsequent signatures was probably one of the best parts of the day. I hadn’t planned on having a bouquet, because it was just going to be one more thing to pack and travel with. Then outside of the courthouse was an incredibly charming flower vendor. We popped over just to see what was available, and I was able to get some beautiful hydrangeas wrapped in a silk ribbon the morning of the ceremony for an extremely affordable price given that they were fresh flowers. I remember the vendor mentioning that hydrangeas were big and fussy, and we joked that it would be just like my dress (which needed its own bag on the plane). The vendor was one of many New Yorkers that proved the stereotypes wrong. Everywhere we went that day strangers were overwhelming us with their support. The vendor, the impromptu wedding medleys from musicians in the park, taxi drivers, and one particular group of students who demanded a picture with us. It was charming and unexpected.
The Ceremony at Belvedere Castle
I keep telling people that Belvedere Castle is a hidden gem in the park. I hadn’t really known about it, even though I knew about Central Park before. But it is a beautiful, elegant, and picturesque structure in the middle of so much already striking nature. Mike has Irish descent and I have some Scottish and getting married in an old castle just seemed like the right thing to do. Further, we got to include an oathing stone ceremony, a wedding toast from the movie Frida (we’re movie people), and a variation of the Game of Thrones wedding vows (we’re TV people too). Some of our best pictures came from the castle, including its impressive skyline view and the nice contrast of the stone with our ensembles.
Our “Sweetheart Table”
After the ceremony and pictures, we went back to our hotel and changed clothes for an evening dinner together. We had reservations at Le Bernadin, an award-winning restaurant that we were both excited to eat at. Since we didn’t have a big reception, we decided we would splurge on a fabulous dinner and had the Le Bernadin Tasting Menu with wine pairings. When we arrived, they sat us as a corner booth that overlooked the whole restaurant, and even though everyone there was a stranger, it had a funny feeling like a sweetheart table as we sat next to each other, should-to-shoulder enjoying our courses and finally hailing a taxi back to Row NYC. (editor’s note, they also ate at Sardi’s, where this picture was taken).
Broadway and George Takei
We love musical theater and had a show to attend every night we spent in New York, because it was both our wedding and our honeymoon. The first show we saw together as a married couple was Allegiance the Musical, which is no longer running but has made its way into theaters with special showings. It remains one of the most poignant shows we have seen. The special memory though took place during intermission when the show’s staff, unbeknownst to us, had set up a special surprise. One of our friends who had known about our excitement for this show (because it was starring George Takei and Lea Salonga) had contacted the show and requested that they do something special for us. We were escorted upstairs to a VIP lounge and given a bottle of Prosecco to toast our new marriage. It came with a card that reads, “Congrats on your marriage. Thanks for sharing your love with our family. May you live long and prosper together.” So in my mind, George Takei was our best man and gave the official toast. Being the nerdy couple we are, it was the ultimate icing on the cake of a wedding that I couldn’t have asked more from.