Sophie and Ivan got married in Wagner Cove in August. Sophie is from South Africa, and Ivan is from Italy. They live together in New York City, and they met in New York around four years before they got married. They contacted me in June to ask for help with planning their wedding in Central Park.
We arranged for a violinist to play at the ceremony. She played from a selection of classical pieces while the groom and guests waited for the bride to arrive, and then she walked down the steps to the popular Canon in D. After they were pronounced married, she played Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, followed by some more pop songs as background music while they signed the paperwork and took group photos.
They had a late afternoon ceremony. They did have some rain on the afternoon of the ceremony, but many of their group managed to fit under the shelter of Wagner Cove – in fact more people than I’ve ever seen in that small structure by the Lake! “The fifteen minutes of rain were actually perfect because they forced the people under the cove and we all stayed very close to our family and friends and the sun came out right after that,” said Ivan.
They didn’t want a religious wedding ceremony, but they wanted someone who was a spiritual person to conduct their wedding. They had four friends read for them, firstly in English and then in Italian, two different friends read an Apache blessing. After that two different friends firstly in English and then in Italian an excerpt from “The Prophet” by Khalil Gabran. I will put the English version of both readings at the end of this post. Sophie and Ivan exchanged traditional vows, then read out some personal promises that they had written specially for each other, and then exchanged rings.
After the ceremony, their guests went on to reception drinks at the Tavern on the Green. Sophie and Ivan had some time alone with their photographer, Jakub Redziniak, who took portrait photographs of them at Bethesda Terrace. After that, the newlywed couple joined their guests a short walk away at the Tavern on the Green.
I asked Sophie and Ivan how we did. They said their officiant was wonderful, as was the location and the whole process with the violinist, photographer. “You made the whole things seamless – really easy and low maintenance for us and it was beautiful, fun and relaxed, which is exactly what we were hoping for. So THANK YOU and WELL DONE!” said Sophie.
It was an absolute pleasure to work with you both, Sophie and Ivan, and I wish you both lots of luck for your future together. If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you live locally or are planning on traveling to New York to get married, visit our website. Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest.
An Apache blessing
“Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the
journey ahead and through all the years,
May happiness be your companion and
your days together be good and long upon the earth.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and
remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to the tenderness,
gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.
When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship,
as they threaten all relationships at one time or another,
remember to focus on what is right between you,
not only the part which seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out the storms when
clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that
even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your
life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.”
Excerpt from “The Prophet” by Khalil Gabran
“You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”