Julie and Christophe got married underneath Bethesda Terrace this October. Julie is a New Yorker, Christophe is from the South of France. They got married on the 24th, and Julie first contacted me on the 1st of the month, so we organized it all in a fairly short time.
Julie and Christophe met on the beach in St Martin in February this year. Julie’s family has a time share property in St Martin and have been visiting the island for over thirty years. Christophe is French and was working at the beach restaurant where Julie was for the day with her friend and her parents. Julie’s mojito royale fell into the sand and she ordered another one, Christophe brought her a very large mojito royale as a replacement!
Their courtship has been an unusual one, with much of it done over the phone and messaging due to Covid. They spent ten hours together in person in St Martin, seven months together virtually, speaking almost every day, and seventeen hours together in person in New York City before they got engaged in Julie’s apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
During the seven months of being apart they spoke almost every day, sometimes for many hours at a time. There was so much uncertainty during this time, and they tried to arrange a trip for her to visit him or for him to visit her, but it just wasn’t possible. Christophe returned to France, so he was able to introduce Julie to his friends in Cannes and his family in Bordeaux via video. Eventually they were able to arrange a trip for him to visit her in New York.
At the time of planning their wedding, the situation with what might be allowed was quite uncertain due to various restrictions due to Covid 19. Central Park seemed like a great choice because it’s outside, but they also choose it because Julie loves the park (she told me that she has finished seven marathons there!) and it’s such an incredible and iconic location. As for the restrictions on numbers due to Covid, Julie didn’t mind keeping the guest list smaller. “I am not a fan of big weddings. I think they are very impersonal, I have always wanted a smaller wedding, so this was perfect,” she said.
Like many couples getting married outdoors in the Fall, they did have some concerns about the weather. There’s always the risk of rain when getting married outside. So, that’s why they choose Bethesda Terrace – it provides good cover in case of rain and has a lovely view out over the Fountain.
We had our officiant conduct the ceremony in English alongside the couple’s friend, Roman, who translated everything in to French. Julie’s friend and maid of honor Kailyn, who was with her when Julie and Christophe met and also Christophe’s friend Laurent each did a short reading during the ceremony of some words they had written. Then Julie and Christophe exchanged the traditional vows, followed by some vows that they had written themselves and then the ring exchange.
After the ceremony Julie tossed the bouquet on the steps of Bethesda Terrace for all the single people (not just the ladies!) as in French tradition, and after that they took photos around Central Park. The guests went up to a small reception at The Painted Lady Saloon, a local bar where Julie knows the owners. They rented out the space for the afternoon and evening. The couple joined them a little later, after portrait photos in Central Park and a few on the streets on the way to the reception. At the bar, our photographer took candid pictures of the party, as well as the couple having their first dance and then bride dancing with her dad.
Julie wore a simple and classic white dress with a faux fur wrap that she purchased from Lulu’s online. She carried a bouquet that we arranged for her of blooms in shades of orange, burgundy and dark reds to suit the time of year. Julie went to a Drybar for her hair and she did her own makeup.
I asked Julie if she had any thought about marrying in Central Park that she would like to share with anyone considering doing what she did and she said “I would recommend it to anyone, and in fact I already have!” I asked her how we did and she said “I thought Claire was amazing. She responded to emails quickly, was very organized and really really helped things go smoothly especially since we planned the entire wedding in three weeks.” It was a pleasure working with you, Julie! And thank you for sharing your story with us, I wish you both the best of luck and bonne chance for your future together. As Christophe likes to say; it is destiny that you met that day on the beach, in that moment – le destin in French.
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