Emma and Adam brought a small group of close family and friends over from their home in the UK. Adam is 28, from Leeds and Emma is 27, from Glasgow, and they live in Leeds together. They met at work after Emma had moved from Glasgow to Leeds.
The couple had been together for nine and a half years before we got married, they said that marriage was the next natural step for them to take. They had got engaged on Cherry Hill in Central Park in June 2016. That was during their first visit to New York. “We were relaxing on the grass in the sun when Adam gave me a bracelet with a pendant on it,” Emma told me. On one side was that date on the other side it said ‘will you marry me?’ Emma cried and then said yes!
When starting to plan their wedding they looked at a few venues in Leeds “but we knew right away it wasn’t what we wanted,” Emma said. “We just didn’t want the traditional wedding at home,” she explained. “It wasn’t for us; along with the financial aspect of a big wedding we wanted something more memorable.” They started to consider going back to New York for their wedding, “when we discovered Wed in Central Park we were excited that it could be possible,” Emma told me. “We were so happy when we told friends and family of our idea and they were on board, so there was no going back once we had made the decision,” she said.
I asked Emma if he had any regrets about not having a “traditional” wedding closer to home and she said “Not at all. We are very happy with the decision we made. We wouldn’t have changed any of it.” I asked what she thought of destination weddings in general and Emma said “I think destination weddings and elopements are great – it is a chance to share your day in a place that’s special to you and to make amazing memories along the way.”
Emma and Adam felt that getting married in Central Park was so fitting, since they had gotten engaged there, “and it’s such a beautiful place we knew straight away it would be amazing to get married there,” Emma explained. The ceremony took place in the Ladies’ Pavilion. We had our guitarist play for the guests while they waited for the bride to arrive, and then after they were pronounced married, so they could have their first dance right there. I asked where their favorite photos were taken. “It’s hard to choose our favorite pictures as they were all amazing, but we liked the pictures taken at Wagner Cove, Cherry Hill and Grand Central Terminal” Emma said. “Those are such beautiful locations and make a perfect backdrop for our photos,” she said.
Here’s a fact about Grand Central to keep in mind for those considering taking photos there after your wedding; it’s not that well lit inside. This matters when it comes to photo quality. They will issue permit for photography there, but not for a time after 3pm. If we have a permit then the photographer can set up the lights necessary to get amazing photos. They don’t issue permits after 3pm because that’s when it starts to get busy with commuters. So, a way around the light situation is to have someone holding the photographer’s light. In Emma and Adam’s case that person was me. And I’m not the tallest person, but I did my best and I think their photographer Jakub Redziniak did an incredible job, as always.
“The ceremony was beautiful and not too long, exactly how we wanted it,” said Emma. I always ask couples a series of questions that allows me to write their ceremony for them. I wrote a little about how they met and their relationship so far, and thanked family and friends for making the journey over to New York. They said the traditional vows to each other. Their guests were Emma’s mum, sister, dad and dad’s partner and Adam’s mum and sister and a set of close friends. They said that they liked the idea of getting married somewhere different and thought Central Park was a stunning location. They also said that the wedding was a great opportunity for them to visit New York because most of them had not been before. Emma told me that they all said that Central Park was their favorite place in New York. I’m in agreement!
Emma wore an ivory strapless dress with a tulle skirt, purchased from Monsoon in the UK, and added her own black sash. She carried artificial ivory flowers and with some violets added, because that was her grandmother’s name and she felt it would be a nice touch to her bouquet. Emma had professional hair and make up done by Metrolook. Her mum, sister and friend went to a blow dry bar to have their hair styled and they did their own make up.
After the ceremony, they took some group photos at the Ladies’ Pavilion and then just the couple went around Central Park with the photographer, before jumping in a cab to get photos at Grand Central. They had hoped to take some photos beside the Flatiron building too, but just as they got in the cab to Grand Central the heavens opened, so they had a rethink and decided to stay in Grand Central for longer, taking photos. Then the rain stopped and they were able to take some photos outside before leaving for their reception on the Bateaux New York dinner cruise (which I’ve also enjoyed – click the link to read the blog about my river cruise). “It was the best way to end our wedding day with great food and views, they even invited us to the dance floor so we could have our first dance!” said Emma.
I asked Emma if she had any further thoughts on marrying in Central Park that she wanted to share with others and she said, “we are so glad we decided to get married in Central Park, it was really special and was exactly how we wanted our wedding day to be.” Emma and Adam stayed in New York for a week before heading off to Las Vegas for five nights for their honeymoon. They stayed at the Hotel Beacon on the Upper West Side. I asked how we did and Emma said, “Claire was so helpful. No question was too much to ask. The idea of getting married in a different country can be daunting at first when you have to think about getting a permit, location, photographer, musician etc, but Claire took care of everything and made the process so easy and stress free.”
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Emma and Adam. 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 for lovely photos of happy couples.