Rafael and Liza eloped to New York from their home in Puerto Rico to get married this July. Liza first contacted me on July 4 and they got married on July 16 so we planned it in double-quick time. This wedding was not your usual last-minute snap decision, though. They have been together for more than twenty years and have two almost grown up sons!
They didn’t tell anyone that they were coming to New York to get married in Central Park, but they had gathered their immediate family together at Liza’s parents’ house to announce that they were engaged. They considered getting married at private location, or on the beach in Puerto Rico with all their family and friends, but the logistics for getting married on the island were too complicated. They didn’t feel that was what they wanted, “we wanted something more intimate and special for us,” said Liza.
They stayed in the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for five days. I asked if there was any restaurants that they would recommend and Liza said that hey had dinner in Havana Central, Dos Caminos and the R Lounge. All of them walking distance from their hotel and Liza said they would recommend them all.
Liza told me that they chose Central Park for their wedding location because it is a romantic place, “it’s beautiful and magical,” she said, “It’s so romantic that it’s impossible not to dream about it,” she added.
I asked if they had any regrets about their decision to forego the traditional wedding at home, “no,” Liza said, “it was so easy and perfect that I couldn’t possibly have any regrets.”
The couple didn’t want the wedding to be a big deal, so we managed to arrange just one hour of photography for them. Most photographers will not come out for less than two hours, especially in busy wedding season. This is because they wouldn’t earn enough to potentially turn down another wedding on the same date, plus they have travel time and editing time to think about. Since their wedding was on a Monday morning, their photographer Jakub Redziniak was able to agree to a one-hour session.
We didn’t have enough notice to get an event permit from the Central Park Conservancy. They require at least three weeks’ notice for an event permit, and we were planning the wedding in just two weeks! A permit is required for a party of more than twenty people, but not mandatory for a group smaller than that. I usually advise that couples get a permit, not matter how big their wedding party is, and here are my reasons. But on a Monday morning, it was unlikely that anyone else would want to use the area for a ceremony, so everything was fine.
We arranged for a bouquet of calla lilies with matching boutonniere to be delivered to their hotel room that morning. The ceremony took place in the Ladies’ Pavilion, we kept it fairly short with some words from our officiant about them as a couple, and their sons in the introduction, “the ceremony was very emotional and beautiful, our officiant made an excellent speech that made me cry,” said Liza. After their wedding and photos they went to the Tavern on the Green for lunch.
I asked Liza if she had any other thoughts to share about her whirlwind wedding to her partner of more than twenty years! “Wed in Central Park helped to make our wedding day perfect,” said Liza. “The service was a 10, in only two weeks we got it all and so well coordinated that we don’t have anything to worry about – just get married and have fun! Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!”
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Rafael and Liza, we wish you lots of luck for your future together, and for your plans to enjoy being grandparents one day! For more information to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, either for a last minute wedding like this one, or for one waaaay in advance, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram for lovely photos of happy couples, and follow us on Pinterest where we pin like crazy with all things New York or wedding-related.