Megan and Daniel are from Leeds in the UK. They brought twenty of their friends and family with them this August to watch them get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion. They met when Megan was fifteen and Dan was sixteen, through mutual friends, one of whom was their maid of honor. When they got married they had been together for just over eleven years.
The couple got engaged by the Lake in Central Park on Christmas Day 2015. They were in New York for a Christmas vacation, and had arrived on Christmas Eve. They woke up very early on Christmas morning, so they decided to get a coffee and go for a walk in Central Park. Daniel had planned to propose beside Bethesda Fountain, but decided that it was too crowded, so they walked around to the other side of the Lake where it was private enough to pop the question. He got down on one knee, and asked Megan to marry him, “Just then, what appeared to be a bus-load of people walked past us, all shouting Congratulations” laughed Megan!
Megan and Daniel have been together since such a young age, they practically grew up together. They knew that they wanted to grow old together. “We grew up knowing that marriage was something we both wanted,” Megan told me. “When we got engaged we had been together for more than nine years and it felt like marriage was the next step for us. We want to start a family and marriage was always the first step for us in doing so,” she explained.
Initially, they thought that the traditional, big, white wedding was what they wanted. “We looked at several wedding venues around our home in Yorkshire but they just weren’t what we wanted,” said Megan. “When we sat down and talked about what we wanted from our wedding day, we knew we wanted to spend quality time together, without having to spend it making sure everyone else was having a good time, but we also wanted to spend more than just the one day with our closest friends and family,” Megan told me.
One day, Megan suggested New York after yet another frustrating day of wedding venue searching. At first Daniel had thought that she was joking. “We had been to New York twice before and we had instantly fallen in love with the city – once I’d had the idea, getting married in our favorite place then became the only option,” said Megan.
When they had been looking at wedding venues near to their home, they really wanted to have a strong outdoors feel, so they knew they wanted to have a ceremony outdoors if possible. So, once they started discussing New York it felt like the location just had to be Central Park, especially since they had got engaged there, too.
I asked Megan if she had had any worries about getting married so far away from home. “I like to be in control so having a lot of the organisation outside my hands was a concern for me,” she said. Also, they had not visited their ceremony location; the Ladies’ Pavilion, or their reception location; the Tavern on the Green, in person. Luckily, their parents were in New York the year before the wedding, so they could check out their list of possible wedding ceremony locations and reception locations.
Many couples worry about the weather when getting married outdoors. “We had to get married in the summer because Daniel is a primary school teacher,” said Megan. “We knew that if we had got married at home in England that we could not guarantee good weather, even in Summer!” But New York does see more extreme weather than England. “On the day of our wedding, the weather was hot!” said Megan. “The day prior to our wedding we had been sent weather alerts whilst we were at the Yankee Stadium watching the baseball, and there was a storm. I had a bit of a mini meltdown thinking that we would have a storm on the day of our wedding but it actually turned out to be the hottest day that we were there!” she laughed.
There were twenty people in their wedding party and the majority of the guests stayed in the Empire Hotel. Most people, including the bride and groom, arrived three days before the wedding, and stayed for five nights in total. On the Tuesday before the wedding, Megan and Daniel got their marriage license, a legal requirement that all couples must do. Then that evening, they had bachelor and bachelorette parties. On Megan’s bachelorette party, the girls in the group went to The Standard rooftop bar for cocktails at sunset, Megan highly recommends this, “the views and the cocktails were just perfect!” she said. After that they went to Dos Caminos for dinner, which a friend had recommended, “it was the best Mexican food I have ever eaten!” Megan told me. After the five days in New York, the newlyweds left for their honeymoon in Hawaii and Las Vegas.
On the morning of the wedding, Megan went to Sarabeth’s opposite Central Park for breakfast with her parents and brother and she was pleased that she did, because it allowed her to spend some quiet time with her family on a very busy day. After that they walked back to the hotel through Central Park. “It was a military operation avoiding Dan in the hotel!” Megan laughed. They were deliberately staying in seperate rooms on the night before the wedding, to observe the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding, but still staying in the same hotel. “We only just avoided a very near sighting on the morning of the wedding!” She explained that her bridesmaid had to run around the lobby of the hotel as they were leaving to make sure that they were not seen and the big entrance spoilt!
For the wedding, Megan wore a figure hugging strapless Blue by Enzoani wedding dress with lace detail. She also wore a hair piece and blue Badgley Mischka heels. She had wanted blue wedding shoes since seeing Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City! She carried white and pink roses with gypsophilia. The maid of honor and bridesmaid’s dresses were from Marks and Spencer.
We had the photographer go to her hotel to capture some photographs of Megan and her bridesmaid, her mother, and her maid and of honor getting ready. We had a guitarist and singer play at the wedding, for the guests while they were waiting for the bride to arrive. Megan walked down the pathway to the Ladies’ Pavilion to My Girl by The Temptations.
I asked Megan what her guests thought of their decision to get married in Central Park. She said that all of the guests who joined them for the wedding were thrilled to have the excuse to make the trip to New York, since the majority of them had not visited before. “When I initially told my mum our plans to marry in New York she had thought we were eloping and was devastated she wouldn’t be able to join us,” said Megan. “When we cleared up that misunderstanding, she was the most excited one out of us all!” she laughed. I always suggest discussing your plans to get married with your nearest and dearest as early as you can. You may need to manage their expectations, depending on whether you are inviting them or not, and of course they can be a great help to you, as Megan’s parents were by checking out the locations for them on their trip the previous year! She said that the people of New York really played a big part in making their day special. “Walking through Central Park in wedding attire, we had lots of locals and tourists congratulating us and taking pictures – we loved the attention!” she said.
After the wedding ceremony in the Ladies’ Pavilion, and group photographs in Central Park, the guests went on to the wedding reception in the Tavern on the Green, which is on the West side of Central Park, while the couple had a few more photographs taken alone. “We had reserved areas both inside the restaurant and outside on the terrace, a three course meal, open bar and a wedding cake from Magnolia Bakery,” Megan said. As the newlyweds arrived they saw that a jazz band were playing on the terrace outside the Tavern, and Megan’s mum asked if they had been booked by the couple. “They hadn’t been booked by us, but it was a lucky coincidence that we got to enjoy them!” said Megan. After the reception in the Tavern, Megan and Daniel got a pedicab back to the Empire Hotel where the group had an area in the rooftop bar reserved. “It was just a perfect day!” Megan enthused.
I asked is they had any final thoughts on marrying in Central Park that they would like to share. “Claire and Wed in Central Park were fantastic!” said Megan. “We had the most perfect day! Everything ran smoothly, the suppliers couldn’t be faulted, and the service we received was faultless. Claire responded within a few hours to all of my queries (I never chased for a response) and she went over and above with organizing our reservations whilst we were in NYC. I would recommend Wed in Central Park to anyone that wanted to get married in NYC. I’m a very organized person so wanted to get everything planned early on and Claire was happy for us to do this. It was the best decision we made and it wouldn’t have been so perfect had it not been for Claire.” Thanks for your kind words, Megan. I love working with a super-organized bride! I wish you both lots of good luck for the future.
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