Carolanne and Christopher brought twenty-two guests over to New York from their home in Glasgow, Scotland to get married in Central Park this May. Carolanne is 30, Christopher is 33. They met at a family party but didn’t actually start dating until a couple of years later when they happened to meet again, “everything just clicked into place for us,” said Carolanne. So they had been together for eleven years before they got married.
The couple got engaged in December 2017 in Central Park. They were visiting New York on vacation (or a holiday as the Brits call is) and they were walking around beautiful Central Park. They were on Bow Bridge, which was a place that Carolanne had always wanted to visit. “I noticed Christopher going into his pocket and knew what he was up to – I suspected on the journey over because he was acting all nervous,” said Carolanne. “I panicked as soon as I saw the ring because there were so many people around and I didn’t want everyone looking at us,” she laughed. “After my momentary freak out Christopher popped the question,” she continued. And of course that lead to them deciding to marry in this incredible city.
“We always wanted to get married but knew there was never a rush,” Carolanne told me. “We’ve enjoyed our years together and felt like after ten years it was the natural next step to take in our lives together,” she said. They discussed having a traditional big Scottish wedding at home, but not for long. They knew very early on that it was not for them. They also considered the popular European destinations that people visit to get married, but they didn’t feel quite right either. They started to consider returning to New York for their wedding. They consider Central Park a beautiful location to make these promises to each other, “and New York is a city we both love,” Carolanne told me. “Our wedding trip was actually our fourth visit to New York together. We loved the idea that our guests that came with us could experience this city we love so much,” she said. I love the idea of sharing this city that has such special significance to them with their nearest and dearest as a way to celebrate their love.
I asked them if they had had any concerns about the wedding, and Carolanne did worry a little about things running smoothly on the day. In the end she arrived forty minutes late to her wedding, and we know it’s not uncommon for a bride to be late to her wedding! “Everything still went perfectly,” she said. We do try to build in a little extra time to allow for this possibility but our photographers are so experienced they can have a quick re-think and skip some photo locations if necessary.
Carolanne and Christopher stayed in the Broadway Plaza Hotel in Midtown, they picked this hotel purposely for its big rooms (a rare thing in Midtown hotels!). “I got ready in a massive room with two double beds which was perfect for getting hair and make-up done with four other people, and of course getting my wedding dress on,” Carolanne explained. She actually stayed in New York for eight days; she came early and had a bachelorette party with her friends, while Christopher went to Boston with his friends for his bachelor party before they headed down to New York to join the ladies. So, Christopher was in New York for five days.
The wedding ceremony took place in the Ladies’ Pavilion. I asked them where their favorite photos were taken, “we loved all of our pictures and it’s so hard to pick, but we would have to go for the pictures taken in Brooklyn Bridge Park,” Carolanne told me. It’s such a popular location to take photos, but takes 45-60 minutes to get there from Central Park. We’re also getting lots of enquiries recently about having the wedding ceremony in Brooklyn Bridge Park. “Having that Manhattan skyline as a backdrop is not something we see every day,” said Carolanne. That’s certainly true, unless you’re lucky enough to live close to Brooklyn Bridge Park!
We kept the ceremony fairly short and sweet – that was what the couple wanted. “We decided to go with the traditional vows as it suited us better,” said Carolanne. The officiant spoke about the couple’s relationship up to that point in the introduction, and mentioned many of the couple’s family members by name to thank them or remember loved ones no longer with us. They also added a personal touch by having their friend Nadine read a poem which she had written herself, “that made the ceremony even more special to us,” said Carolanne.
Carolanne wore an ivory wedding dress from Morilee, and she carried pink and white roses. Carolanne’s dress had been bought from Pamela Jayne’s Bridal in Glasgow. Her maid of honor’s dress was bought from Wed2B in Glasgow. They were both packed up for traveling on the plane.
The couple had decided to have only immediate family and close friends at the wedding, so we had twenty-two guests in total. “Some people had been a little sceptical about it and how it was all going to work out,” Carolanne told me, “but after the wedding, they all told us that they had had such an amazing day,” she said. “Everyone said they had the best day ever and me and Christopher were so grateful that they all made the effort to come witness us becoming Mr and Mrs,” she said.
After the ceremony, they went around Central Park for more photos, and then all got on a vintage trolley bus at the Dakota. It took them over to Brooklyn Bridge Park, then to Times Square for some more photos. Their reception dinner was held at Blue Smoke, “it was just fantastic,” said Carolanne, “the family style dining on the mezzanine was perfect, I would highly recommend this place for a wedding, it was a great atmosphere and all the diners cheered and clapped for us when we got there which was so nice,” she said. After dinner they had reserved an area of the Monarch Rooftop Bar, “it was just the icing on the cake of a perfect day,” Carolanne told me, “the view of the Empire State Building was amazing from there,” she added.
I asked her how we did, and Carolanne said “Claire, you were great, you guided us on everything we needed and we couldn’t have done it without you. We would highly recommend you to anyone thinking of getting married in New York.” Thanks so much for your kind words, Carolanne, and thank you for sharing your story with us. Finally, I asked Carolanne if they had any regrets about choosing not to have a traditional wedding close to home as they had originally considered, “no regrets at all” she said, “best decision we ever made.”
I asked Carolanne what she thinks in general about destination weddings, “I think destination weddings are amazing,” she said. “It was the best choice we could have made. It was such a great experience for us and our guests and we would 100% recommend it to our friends and family,” she added. I asked if she had any advice for anyone else considering a wedding in Central Park and she said “we are just so happy we made the choice to get married in Central Park, and if anyone is thinking about it and not 100% sure we say DO IT!” I’d say that is excellent advice.
If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, large or small, 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 for beautiful photos of newlywed couples.