Jess and Andy got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in early September. Jess is from Cardiff and Andy is from Herefordshire in the UK. They got engaged at Disneyland Paris, in front of the castle. It was a total surprise for Jess, she wasn’t expecting it all, and she said that it was really magical. They had been together for six and a half years when they got married. “For us it was the natural next step in our relationship to get married,” said Jess. “It was always on the cards that we would get married and carry on our adventures together.”
When they started wedding planning they were pretty much set on a beautiful castle in South Wales called Hensol Castle. They had been there many times and they loved it. However, as they started planning the finer details, the event seemed to be moving away from the small, intimate day they wanted. Then at Christmas time, while watching Christmas films with their family, Jess’ mum joked that they should go back to New York for their wedding. Soon after that, they were booked to go and had started planning their wedding. They wanted something small and intimate and special to them as a couple.
They chose Central Park for their wedding because of it’s peace and quiet, “it’s away from the hustle and bustle and it’s almost silent; it gave us that special time with our guests in the middle of the busy city,” said Jess. I asked if they had any worries about getting married in Central Park or New York, “of course, we were slightly concerned that things wouldn’t go to plan but when we met Claire she put us completely at ease,” said Jess. They came to see me when I was exhibiting at the Tiny Weddings Fair earlier in the year.
Jess and Andy stayed in the RIU Plaza Times Square, “it was a beautiful hotel and right across from the restaurant we ate after our wedding,” Jess said. They were in New York for six days in total, they arrived two days before their wedding.
I asked what their guests thought about their plan to have a destination wedding in New York. “Ever since we told people what our plans were they couldn’t believe it!” Jess told me. “Because getting married in New York was so unique, it allowed us to have so much freedom on our special day,” she added. She said that she does think that destination weddings seem to be becoming more popular, some of their friends have chosen to get married abroad in recent years.
They had eighteen guests with them from the UK, “we were so overwhelmed when so many people decided to come to New York to celebrate with us,” Jess said. “It really did mean so much to us to have them all there. They all had an amazing day and they said how magical, relaxed and intimate it was,” she added.
Jess bought her dress from Perfection Bridal in Cardiff, “they were absolutely amazing and made my day perfect by helping me choose the dress of my dreams,” said Jess. They chose the Ladies’ Pavilion for their ceremony location, “it was so beautiful; we’d never seen it before but we went to have a look at it the day before the wedding and it was absolutely breath taking, so classy and completely secluded,” said Jess.
Jess was dropped off at the park by a vintage yellow cab. After the ceremony, they popped back to the street, where the driver was waiting, to have photos taken with the whole group and the cab. We had a violinist play at the Ladies’ Pavilion for the guests while they waited for the bride to arrive. When she did, she walked down the pathway to the Pavilion to the Beauty and the Beast theme, Tale as Old as Time.
During the ceremony, Jess’ mum read a poem for everyone, which she had been keeping a secret until the day. It was called ‘For our Daughter on her Wedding Day’ but she personalised it with Jess and Andy’s names, “it was so beautiful,” said Jess. After the ceremony, they had pictures taken all over Central Park, “our favourite photos were at Bethesda Terrace and the staircase,” said Jess. They were so impressed with their photographer, Jakub Redziniak. “He made the pictures look like we were the only people there where in actual fact there were hundreds of people around!” she said. It amazes me how they can do that, too. It’s all down to a combination of good framing and clever editing, I hear.
After the photos in the park, they got on the vintage trolley bus from just outside the Dakota building and it took them on a tour of New York. “It really made the day extra special,” said Jess. “We sang all the way around New York. After that we went to the Marriott Marquis revolving restaurant for dinner – the views and food were incredible,” she said.
I wondered if they had any regrets about not having a “traditional” wedding closer to home. “No, we don’t have any regrets,” said Jess. “Although one drawback was that we couldn’t have all of our friends and family there,” she added. “However it was our choice and we understood that and so did our guests. They admired us for doing what we did,” she said. Also, they had a big party when they returned home with their wider friends and family, so they got the best of both worlds!
I asked if Jess had any advice for other couples considering getting married in Central Park. “It is daunting at first when you first decide to get married in New York, but it was the easiest planning we’ve ever had to do,” she said. “Claire at Wed in Central Park made us feel so at ease,” she said. “And of course, you worry about the weather and the timings but we can’t believe how perfect it all turned out to be!” she added. If only we could do something about the weather! It’s always my couples’ biggest worry!
“We had an amazing day all courtesy of Claire!” said Jess. “Claire made our day perfect, and the plan she wrote out for us happened exactly as she said – we were blown away” she added. “Planning was so easy – it was amazing!” she said. “With technology these days you can plan the wedding, sign documents and pay bills all via the internet – we basically had an email wedding – we loved it!” I love that too, what would we do without the internet?! “Baring in mind, we never saw the flowers beforehand, but they were beautiful. We never met the photographer, but he was amazing and it was all done via email. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect, professional service and Claire’s organisation is impeccable!! Thank you so much Claire for everything.” Thanks so much for your kind words, Jess, it was a pleasure working with you!
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jess and Andy. If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, big 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 lovely photos of happy couples.