Are you considering getting married in Central Park? Whether you are from outside of New York City or New York state, or from another country you have a major choice to make at the beginning of your wedding planning; should you go it alone, and plan your own wedding, or should you hire someone to help and guide you? I will be honest and upfront about this: I am biased on this question. I planned my own wedding in Central Park back in 2011. It was small, no nonsense, short and sweet. It still took quite a lot of work and research to find out about the legalities for two Brits marrying in the US, and to find the right people to be involved in our wedding; to marry us, to photograph us and to video it for those who could not attend. It struck me that others might want a little help planning something like this, and Wed in Central Park was born.
So, I’ve planned over two hundred weddings now. How many have you planned? What have you done more than two hundred times? Are you better at it now than you were the first time or the second? I have learnt a few things over the past five years of helping others to get married in this beautiful place. I am efficient and organised, and it is very unusual to be asked a question that I’ve never been asked before. I have checklists and a logically ordered planning process, designed to guide couples through making the decisions required to make their dream day happen in as stress-free way as possible.
Let’s be honest, I make a living from doing this. If you pay me to help you plan your wedding in Central Park then I take some of that money for the time I give to do it. So, a common argument for doing it yourself is to save money. You can shop around, look for great photographers, officiants, musicians, florists, hair and makeup people and everyone else you might need to make your wedding special. New York offers a fantastic and wide choice of awesome people who offer their services for a wide range of prices. You can do this on a budget, or go big and spend money on the guys the magazines and celebrities are using. But, where do you start? That’s a long list of people to find. And for some people, time is money. So, all that time I can save you by being a one-stop shop you can spend on planning the rest of your stay in this incredible city. Some of my clients ask me to book some of the people for their wedding and they find the others.
Have you ever been let down by someone you have booked to provide a service? Has anyone ever not showed up to do a job they said they would do? Do you think someone might be more likely to do that in a city where you don’t live and will not provide repeat business? This does not happen often, and with the use of online reviews many businesses would be crazy to do it, but sometimes plans change and emergencies come up. I had a couple book their own photographer this year to save money, and weeks before the wedding their photographer decided to move to another state, so they cancelled. This was stress that this couple could have perhaps done without. With the people I book, there have been occasions when officiants have had family emergencies. In these cases I just book someone else, and the couple may not even know about the change of plan. It’s not a frequent occurrence, and the people I work with and I have great respect for each other, we want to continue our strong relationship, so we make an effort to be reliable and on time and provide a good service. If the people I work with aren’t providing a great service for any reason (and I ask every couple to provide feedback after a wedding) then I stop working with them.
I have deliberately set up a diverse set of contacts. I have been asked to provide officiants who can perform a wedding in two languages, gay officiants, religiously ordained officiants, and an officiant who can also provide public notary services and I have been able to provide them. I’m prepared for many eventualities that allow me to create a wedding as unique as you are as a couple!
There have been several occasions in the past when I have been able to reschedule a wedding due to bad weather. Sometimes the people who I have booked for the wedding have been able to reschedule to accommodate a change in plans, and in many cases, that’s what everyone in the wedding industry will do if they can. In some cases, though, they just cannot reschedule due to other jobs. If a couple ask me to move a ceremony from their scheduled day if rain is forecast to the following day with a sunny forecast and the officiant I have booked can’t make it, then I have a list of other people I can call up at the last minute, and in each case in the past, someone has been available to step in. Having a group of contacts allows me to be able to offer Plan B backup in many situations that could otherwise have been somewhere between catastrophic and a big pain in the ass!
Myself and people like me who are involved in weddings in Central Park and New York in general just know stuff. We can give you a good estimate on how long it will take to get from one place to another and we can advise on how much to try to fit in to a schedule. We know where you can achieve the perfect photos and where you can hold a ceremony that suits you as a couple. We can help you with the legalities and the paperwork, and for some parts, do it for you. We can advise on flowers, hair and music. We can provide a witness if you need one. We can help you to make a detailed plan of your day. Then we can make another plan, and another and another until you are happy with everything.
What I’m trying to say is; spend some time thinking about the pros and cons of DIY-ing your wedding versus having someone else deal with things. How much do you DIY in other areas of life? And how much did you enjoy it and how well did it work out for you? Be sure to know what your choices are, and make the right decision for your wedding. I wish you lots of luck with your planning, however you choose to do it!
For more information to help you with 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.