Michelle and Ian came from their home in the UK with thirty of their friends and family to New York in July 2008 to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in Central Park. Michelle is Scottish, Ian is English, so they have friends spread over the UK, as well as in Canada and the US. Michelle had seen photos of the Ladies’ Pavilion online and thought it looked amazing. Her mum had recently passed away, so she felt that she wanted a small wedding. So, it seemed like New York would be a great place to get everyone together for their wedding, since wherever they had got married someone would have had to travel anyway. They designed their invitations themselves, which they delivered with pocket guides to New York.
Their guests were staying in several different hotels, but they were all quite close to Rockerfeller Plaza. The couple stayed in a suite at the New York Palace and their upgrade included a magnificent lounge for meals and drinks.
I think a destination wedding is a wonderful chance to have two sets of family and friends truly mix with each and get to know everyone. I think Michelle and Ian truly made the most of this opportunity. Their guests could do their own thing all day in New York, seeing the sights that appealed to them, but they requested that they all meet at 6pm at a bar in Rockerfeller Plaza so everyone could share their news of the day, and to spend the evening together if they wished. They had different activities to join in with each evening, and the group could join in with any of them. I think this is a brilliant way to make the whole trip for a destination wedding part of the wedding celebration. It really adds to experience and the whole purpose of two families becoming one at a wedding.
The wedding took place at 5pm. July in New York City is hot, so they decided to marry later on as the temperatures cooled a little. “There had been lots of rain during the day but it was beautiful weather when we were married,” Michelle told me. “Our wedding date was July 25th and this was my late mum’s birthday so it was significant to me that I got married on that date,” she added.
Michelle wore a gown a very pale shade of pink called shell. They had only decided to get married four months before the date, so she had to choose something quickly. “My dress was the second one I tried on in the shop and I decided it was perfect,” she said. “I bought the dress, veil, shoes and head dress in about thirty minutes,” she added.
Michelle planned the whole wedding herself and did lots of extensive research online to find the right people and to get everything right. She applied for the permit herself from the Central Park Conservancy. “They tried to discourage me from booking the Ladies Pavilion because there was building work going on there!” She said, but she had her heart set on that location, also my favorite. “I said that we’d all wear wellies if we had to!” she told me.
They had booked the Lyrical String Quartet, who played Jerusalem and Caledonia and Englishman in New York as the guests were waiting for the bride, her dad her niece Danika to arrive. They played Panis Angelicus when they arrived, and walked down the pathway to the Pavilion that works so well as an aisle for a bride to make an entrance, and then they played Hawaii wedding song when they were pronounced married, because Michelle had memories of her dad singing this to her mum.
Their photographer was the wonderful Brian Friedman.
Michelle’s dad gave her away, and as a surprise he brought the missal her mum had carried when they were married in 1960. “It was such a lovely surprise,” Michelle said, “I didn’t know he was going to bring it to New York.” Her dad is carrying it in the photos because Michelle had already ordered her bouquet.
Their wedding receptions was held on a Spirit Cruises yacht on the Hudson River. They hired an open top bus from CitySights NY to take the guests from Central Park to Chelsea Harbour to board the yacht. Michelle ordered her cake from BabyCakes, which has since changed it’s name.
The day after the wedding the couple flew to Fort Lauderdale. They hired a car and drove to Miami where they stayed for a week before driving down to Key West where they stayed for a further week.
“I love saying I got married in Central Park in New York,” says Michelle. “It was a truly special day in a fabulous location,” she added. “Many of the guests still say it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to,” she told me. And that is a pretty good endorsement nine years later. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Michelle and Ian.
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