Kevin and Stacye got married underneath Bethesda Terrace in Central Park this July. Kevin was born in the Bronx but grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He spent his childhood summers in the Bronx. Stacye was born and raised in East Texas, but has family ties to New York. They both live in Whitehouse, Texas now, and Stacye is mom to three teenage boys. The couple met a little over two years before their wedding, through Tinder, “we both swiped right!” Kevin told me. They got engaged quietly and privately near their home. They said that marriage was important to them to make their love and commitment to each other public and legal.
They were on a budget for their wedding, so initially they began planning for the wedding location to be their living room with family and close friends. They had plans to go on a family vacation to New York, and while planning their wedding at home, they began to realize that their budget could go further if they decided to have it while on their family vacation. They both have personal and family ties to New York, and it is their favorite city. They started to look through Pinterest for ideas and inspiration, which helped them to find their ceremony location as well as other specific photo opportunities. They originally chose to get married on Gapstow Bridge. “We both love Central Park,” Kevin said. “We knew it would be an amazing backdrop for some iconic photo opportunities meshing nature with modern civilization.”
They stayed in New York for six days, on the Upper East Side, at a townhouse on East 61st Street in Lenox Hill that they found on Airbnb, within walking distance to Central Park. I’m a big fan of using Airbnb to find great apartments to stay in when visiting New York on a budget. “In the beginning stages of planning it did seem like a daunting task, but we took it one step at a time and did it together,” they told me.
Kevin and Stacye’s original plan was to get married near the Gapstow Bridge, because they love the backdrop of the skyline of 5th Avenue and Central Park South behind it. The weather was wet, though, so they decided to hold their ceremony to be under the cover of Bethesda Terrace. “In the end, the photos taken there are among our favorites,” they told me, “because of the Minton tiles on the ceiling, the archways, and the stairs leading into the arcade.” They also love the photos taken on Bow Bridge, sitting on the park benches of the Literary Walk, and standing in the middle of Central Park South. Their ceremony was at 9am, and they chose to marry this early because it would be cooler, and because they also love mornings. It was advantageous to marry so early also because there were fewer people around that early in the day. “We like that in most of our wedding photos, it appears that we are alone in Central Park!” they said. Their photographer was Gianna Leo Falcon.
The colors for the wedding were Tiffany blue and red. I think they all look awesome. Stacye wore a 1940s inspired knee-length ivory wedding dress with a red crinoline and Tiffany blue sash and shoes. Kevin wore a tailored light grey suit with matching Tiffany blue tie and red Converse sneakers. Stacye carried a round rose bouquet, and Kevin wore a rose boutonnière. Both were made by Stacye.
The shoes were handcrafted by Stacye. When her shoes arrived they had been dyed the wrong color. With time being an issue and in an effort to keep costs down, Stacye decided to get creative. With some fabric paint, glitter, and Swarovski crystals, she created the perfect shoe for her wedding. She even painted the bottoms red! She also blinged a pair of matching Converse sneakers with more Swarovski crystals and glitter that she wore while taking photos around Central Park. I always suggest comfortable shoes to brides who will be doing lots of walking, and I love this idea!
Their wedding party was a small group of their nearest and dearest, as is so common with weddings in Central Park. Their party was made up of Stacye’s three teenaged sons, her sister and her son, and her aunt, all visiting from Texas. Everyone involved was excited about visiting New York and the wedding in Central Park. Stacye’s sister Laura helped her with her hair and makeup. Originally her hair was a half up-half down style. Because of the humidity, Stacye’s hair began to frizz so her photographer braided her hair. She accidentally used two left fake eyelashes, but luckily you can’t tell in the photos!
Because the couple were on a budget, they purchased most of the wedding party’s attire online. They knew that they could be taking a bit of a risk buying things that they had not seen in real life, but they said that it turned out to be a great shopping experience. “We like to think our wedding style was a classic elegant take on the Rockabilly look,” Stayce said. She found her dress online at Glamchase and slightly altered the length. Stacye’s aunt and sister chose their own outfits to match and Stacye purchased all of their earrings online at Etsy.
For Kevin’s suit, they used an online tailor. Stacye took Kevin’s measurements and they ordered a suit that fit perfectly. He wore a Tiffany Blue matching paisley tie he found on Etsy, and red high top Converse sneakers that he bought on Amazon. They let the boys choose their own shoes, they just told them that they needed to be red. They all selected the same style of red high top Vans! Their suspenders, bow ties, and superhero socks were all bought online, too.
On the morning of their wedding, they all walked from the Lenox Hill townhouse they were staying in to Central Park in their wedding attire. As they walked they received many well wishes and congratulations from people on the street, which many couples who marry in Central Park tell me. They met their photographer Gianna at Bethesda Terrace prior to the ceremony to take pictures, and the ceremony was held underneath. A guitarist was setting up just as they arrived and decided to play soft love song music. This is a benefit of marrying in this spot, there is almost always at least one musician under there. They made sure to tip him well, since he had chosen the perfect pieces to add to the atmosphere of their wedding. After the ceremony concluded their photographer walked with them towards the restaurant they had chosen for brunch, Sarabeth’s on Central Park South. They managed to capture some photos in the middle of the busy street before they ate a delicious brunch. From there, they took a taxi back to the townhouse to change into their “Best Day Ever” shirts, then rode the subway to Brooklyn for lunch at Grimaldi’s. They stopped to take another fabulous photo, Kevin dipping Stacye on Washington Street, with the Empire State Building and the Manhattan Bridge in the background. After Grimaldi’s they walked across the Brooklyn Bridge into Lower Manhattan, stopping for pictures along the way. Then they all spent the afternoon and early evening sightseeing before heading back to the townhouse for the night to relax after our big day!
“We’re very pleased with our decision to wed in Central Park,” they told me. “It has a beauty unlike any other place in the world, and it can be an inexpensive wedding destination as well. Overall our wedding turned out to be the best day ever! We loved it and would recommend a Central Park wedding to anyone.” I love the way they put the effort I to make this wedding so unique and reflective of their fun personalities, while also keeping costs down. I very frequently tell people that a wedding in Central Park does not have to be expensive and this beautiful wedding is the perfect proof of this. Accommodation can be such a big part of the total spend when a couple visit to New York to marry there, but it is fairly easy to cut costs here if you don’t choose a hotel and stay on the Upper East or West sides, which are great places to stay and within walking distance of Central Park. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Kevin and Stacye! Check out their photographer’s website here, and for more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where you will find lots of lovely photos and many more inspiring stories of real weddings.