Shauna (26) and Lorcan (27) brought around twenty-five of their friends and family over from Galway in Ireland to get married in Cop Cot this May. They met in school when they were 15. They got engaged at home, just the two of them, ten years to the day of their first date. Lorcan had put down rose petals to make it memorable.
Marriage is important to Shauna and Lorcan to show their commitment to each other. The celebration of a wedding with their nearest and dearest was also very important to them. “I think destination weddings are becoming more popular,” said Shauna. “People want their weddings to stand out, and a lot of Irish weddings, beautiful as they are, are all very similar. Destination weddings will ensure that both you and your guests will remember it as something different and special. It’s also a way of getting all of your favorite people on holidays together”, she added.
Shauna told me that they had thought about getting married at home in Ireland, “but we always wanted an outdoors wedding, which is not really possible in Ireland unless you don’t mind getting wet!” she said. We only wanted to share our wedding with a small number of guests and we’d married in Ireland we would probably not have got away with that!” she added. I asked her if she said, “definitely not – and I will recommend a destination wedding to anyone I know who gets engaged from now on.”
Neither Shauna nor Lorcan had ever actually visited New York before they came over for their wedding. Shauna said that surprised a lot of people. “I loved TV shows set in New York like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl – they made the city look magical – and it was everything I thought it would be,” Shauna told me. Shauna thinks that not knowing quite what the city and Central Park would be like made it extra exciting. “We didn’t know what to expect so put all our faith in Claire, and everything exceeded our expectations – it was wonderful,” Shauna said. That’s the great thing about my job – it is pretty rare to be disappointed by the beauty of Central Park! “All of our guests are still gushing about the location and the ceremony,” she added.
The couple stayed for six nights in New York in the Casa Hotel on 45th street. “They were very helpful and accommodating in any way they could be when we told them that we were in town for our wedding,” said Shauna. Shauna’s sister Becca read a poem during the ceremony called He Never Leaves the Seat Up and we prepared a little for the officiant to say in the ceremony introduction about the couple and their relationship so far. “Our officiant was absolutely wonderful, she made every effort to ensure we felt that it was special and important. She even learned a Gaelic phrase on our request for the end of the ceremony,” said Shauna. “We decided to write our own vows, and although we were very nervous about this on the run-up, Claire checked them both individually to ensure they were the same length and tone, which took pressure off,” she added. They kept the traditional “I do” parts but they also wrote some special promises to make to each other. When couples do this, but don’t want to spoil the surprise by showing them to each other before the big day, I often check them for the couple but keep the secret. I check that they have the same level of soppiness, silliness, seriousness, positivity, private jokes and a similar tone. All couples are different, but it’s my job to make sure that each couple keeps a similar tone as their partner in the personal vows – we don’t want one person all jokey and the other person over-sharing lots of private stuff! Shauna and Lorcan got exactly the right level of it all – so they’re obviously made for each other!
Shauna wore a full length white silhouette dress and Lorcan wore a navy blue three-piece suit. It was unusually hot when they got married, at the beginning of May “I didn’t realise it would be thirty-two degrees that day!” said Shauna. I arranged for their flowers to be delivered to their hotel. Shauna carried white and pink roses, and her bridesmaid had a smaller white bouquet. Lorcan and his brother both had white boutonnieres. They had both of their immediate families with them and around ten friends. “Maira Oritz came to our hotel on the morning of the wedding to provide hair and make-up services for myself, my two sisters, my bridesmaid and my mother,” said Shauna. “They were fantastic – fun and professional. I would highly recommend Maira,” she said.
The couple originally wanted to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion, but it was already booked when we applied for the permit so their second choice was Cop Cot. “It was absolutely perfect for our twenty-five guests as they could all sit down during the ceremony,” said Shauna. “It was also very private and intimate in comparison with some of the other locations,” she added. They loved taking pictures underneath Bethesda Terrace, “there were musicians down there playing ‘New York New York’ and it all felt like a scene from a film,” she said. They also loved their photos taken on Bow Bridge, “we had a late afternoon wedding so the sun was starting to set by the time we got to Bow Bridge and it looks great in the photos,” she said. After the ceremony their guests left Central Park for the reception location while their photographer Leah Lombardi took the couple around Central Park to pose for some beautiful photos around the iconic spots of Central Park.
After they were finished with the photos, the couple joined their guests at the reception location – a restaurant in Midtown called Davio’s Steakhouse. They had booked a private dining room and had a three course meal. “Davio’s were so easy to deal with and very accommodating of any requests we had,” said Shauna. “All of our guests were impressed with the food, the decor and the staff, and it was also very reasonable in pricing,” she added. After the meal they were duty-bound by their nationality to go on to an Irish bar – Slattery’s Midtown, which had been recommended to the couple by a friend from Ireland. “The owner, Justin was very helpful and delighted to welcome fellow Irish,” said Shauna. “We had an outside balcony area to ourselves and music played all night,” she said.
I asked Shauna to sum up her experience and she said “the Wed in Central Park service was brilliant – Claire was always very clear, helpful and fast at responding. The stress of finding each individual service like flowers, musician, etc. was removed. She was also happy to give advice on services outside of the ceremony wherever she could like transport and hair and make-up. I can’t recommend her enough,” said Shauna. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Shauna and Lorcan.
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