Brianne and Bradley had been together for almost eight years before they got married in Central Park this August. They are both singers. They met in Portland, Oregon where they live, at one of Bradley’s shows. Soon after that he invited Brianne to sing on his album. “And the rest is history… haha!” Brianne laughed. Bradley is originally from Wisconsin, but he lived in New York for a few years before moving out west to Oregon.
The couple got engaged on Christmas Day 2017, Bradley presented Brianne with a gift that was a Packer’s jersey. “See? Wisconsin boy for life!” said Brianne. On it was printed Brianne’s first name with his last name on the back of the jersey. “It was so precious and I didn’t know it was coming,” said Brianne. Brianne and Bradley waited quite a long time to get married, “but it was important to us to show each other our commitment to one another and take that next step,” explained Brianne. “We felt ready to make a more public commitment and really own our love for each other,” she added.
Having a wedding in New York with a short guest list really suited them. “Having a small destination wedding was an absolute dream,” Brianne told me. “It was so much less stressful, and the intimacy of the wedding ceremony was so special. We wouldn’t trade it for the biggest wedding in the world. It fit us perfectly,” she said.
The couple choose Central Park because they loved the idea of getting married outdoors, but the location was still very much in a city. “So, it’s a fun location to explore, which was great for both us and our guests,” Brianne told me. “We love New York! It’s our favorite city,” she added. And many people would share that feeling! “Our guests loved coming to a wedding in New York!” said Brianne. Their guests were some family and very close friends. “We felt surrounded by people who truly loved us and wanted the best for us,” she said. “They loved getting to visit New York and have fun with us instead of just attending another traditional wedding. We all created memories we’ll never forget,” she told me. I think this is a huge advantage to bringing a small group for a destination wedding. The memories from the trip will truly stand out against any other wedding, and the group will really get to spend quality time together, rather than the sometimes rushed feeling that a couple get when they have a big wedding, and have to get around to talk to everyone in just a few hours.
Brianne and Bradley stayed at a DoubleTree in Midtown which they said that they would not recommend. “The customer service was horrible, the rooms were fine, but not very nice and the elevator was constantly out of order so there was always a line,” said Brianne. This is not what you want when you’re in town for such a big occasion. “Not ideal when you’re coordinating a larger group of people,” she said. “If we had a do-over we would definitely bite the bullet and spend more on a nicer hotel, this was our biggest regret about our wedding experience, but luckily, it’s an easy one to overlook,” she said. I think she has the right attitude about this, but it is unfortunate that the hotel was disappointing. No hotel in Manhattan is cheap!
Their ceremony was at the Ladies’ Pavilion, “which fits both our old fashioned style and the romance we were looking for,” said Brianne. “It was a seriously dreamy location and we took photos all around the park,” she added. “My favorite place was up the stairs from the Bethesda Fountain where all the benches are. We had our first dance there,” she said. That’s kind of where Bethesda Terrace and the Mall meet. It’s a lovely spot.
“Our ceremony was perfect,” Brianne told me. Bradley and Brianne’s mothers led everyone in prayer before it began and the officiant read from Corinthians; “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” The couple said their vows to each other and repeated after the officiant for the exchange of the rings. “The best part was when Bradley pulled out a hidden guitar and sang me a song as part of his vows,” said Brianne.
The ceremony took place in the late morning, followed by lunch at the Loeb Boathouse. After that they enjoyed some Monet at MoMA and finished with a group dinner at Da Nico’s in Little Italy. Their photographer was Casie Marie. Bradley wore a custom suit by Cocoon Silk in Portland, and Brianne wore a gorgeous beaded gown by Theia Couture. Brianne’s gown was purchased at Ania Bridal in Portland. Brianne made her own bouquet and a boutonniere for Bradley. “We went to the flower district the day before the wedding and picked out flowers,” she said. They had planned on doing that, so had brought some of the supplies they would need to bring the bouquet together in their suitcases. Brianne had her makeup done by Jenna Wren, and she brought a hair stylist with her.
Brianne had some advice for any brides planning a wedding in Central Park: “don’t be afraid to get your dress dirty and kiss often, every part of Central Park makes you want to kiss, so go for it!” I think that’s great advice on your wedding day! The couple had me organize and write the ceremony, arrange the permit and the officiant, and they booked their own photographer and hair and makeup. “It was very helpful to have someone who could arrange the permit and officiant for us so we didn’t have to worry about those details,” said Brianne. I’m always happy to strike the right balance for a couple when it comes to how much they want to plan and how much they want me to plan for them.
I asked Brianne if she had any regrets about not getting married closer to home, and she said No. “Simple as that,” she laughed. “This was the perfect decision for us. It felt right and we haven’t had one single regret. It was wonderful. Best day ever – always.” They loved getting married in Central Park. “It was so much fun getting married in Central Park; it was romantic and dream like. People were polite and honored our day with us. We loved the scenery and can’t wait to go back for our anniversaries now,” Brianne said.
If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, whatever the time of year, visit our website, or follow us on Pinterest where we pin all things New York or wedding-related, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram to see plenty of photos of happy couples.