Alicia and James got married in Wagner Cove this July with a small group of close family as their guests. Alicia is 28 and from the Bronx, New York and James is 33 and from London, England. They met in London through a dating app, that they were both just about getting sick of and considering leaving! They were engaged for three months before they got married, and had been together for two years. I was not involved with the planning of Alicia and James’ wedding, but I wanted to ell their story and show their wedding as an example of one of the many weddings that take place in Central Park.
Just like so many of the couples I know who choose a smaller wedding, Alicia and James aren’t the sort to go in for the big, public marriage proposal. They were walking James’ family dog in the woods in England, he asked her to sit down in a meadow just off the pathway and he asked. Getting married felt like the next logical step in their relationship. “We love each other a lot and wanted to move forward in all ways that we could.” After enduring a long-distance relationship, “we were eager to get our start just being together forever and ever,” Alicia said. They also wanted to make a public show of commitment.
The couple agreed straight away to have a small ceremony in New York later on in the same year as their engagement, they considered going to City Hall for a quick ceremony. Then more of their family said that they wanted to join them than originally planned, so they decided that a bigger space was needed. They considered a couple of indoor locations, such as hotels, “but ultimately they were either too expensive or didn’t have the right vibe,” explained Alicia.
I asked Alicia what her opinion was on destination weddings and elopements in general. “I think elopements and destination weddings have become more popular and rightfully so,” she said. “Those options can be so much cheaper than spending your life savings or repaying a huge debt,” she added. “The wedding industry has built this fantasy of how grand a wedding should be, and most people don’t have a grand amount of money to spend,” Alicia explained. “Also, I’d much rather splurge on a honeymoon,” she added. I couldn’t agree more.
Alicia and James’ wedding was relaxed, fun and no-nonsense. I asked if they had any regrets about not having a traditional big wedding. “No, it was our style at the end of the day, and we loved it. And it was beautiful!” she said. Of course, with the bride and groom from opposite sides of the Atlantic, they were always going to have to choose one location closer to the home of one of them than the other! “There’s always the option to have a larger reception party next year in London, which we’re considering,” said Alicia, “but we aren’t the traditional type,” she added!
I asked Alicia is she had any worries about getting married in Central Park. It turns out that New Yorkers have the same worries as visitors. “I always swore I’d never marry outside because I’m a worrier and I didn’t want to worry about the rain,” said Alicia. “I also have allergies!” she added. Luckily, they had great weather for their wedding, despite heatwaves just before and just after their day.
The wedding ceremony took place in Wagner Cove. Their guests were the groom’s mum and dad, sister and her family and the bride’s mom and dad, siblings, grandma, uncle and aunt and four cousins. Alicia’s family had a much shorter distance to travel than James’ family! They all loved the wedding, and the location. “Most of my favorite photos were taken in front of the little gazebo there, I like them because the background is calming and secluded so there are not many strangers cropping up in the pictures” Alicia said. They kept the ceremony short and sweet. They exchanged traditional vows and didn’t want to share personal promises and vows in front of their families.
Alicia might be a New Yorker, but she bought her dress in England! It was from the Monsoon bridal collection. She did her own makeup and her own hair, but she did have it washed and semi-styled the day before. James wore a suit from Marks and Spencer. After the ceremony, the couple took everyone to a lunch reception downtown at Cuba NYC.
I asked Alicia why they chose Central Park for their wedding ceremony, “it had a grand feel to it, without the grand price,” she said. Which perfectly sums up that a wedding in Central Park can be as lavish as you wish or a quick and informal, fun and relaxed ceremony like Alicia and James’.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Alicia and James, we wish you lots of luck for your future together! I was not involved with Alicia and James’ wedding, but if you would like me 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 and follow us on Pinterest where we pin like crazy with all things New York or wedding-related.