Leanne and Craig got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in January. Leanne is forty and Craig is fifty, and they eloped alone from their home in Carlisle, Cumbria for their wedding in Central Park. They met through work and they still work together now. They had been together for seven years when they got married.
Leanne and Craig already live together, and share a dog, “so getting married was a natural progression for us but we didn’t want to make a huge deal out of it,” said Leanne. They wanted their wedding day to be just the two of them. They got engaged on Christmas morning 2020 but they decided not to tell anybody until they had decided what kind of wedding they wanted!
They knew they wanted to elope, but weren’t sure where to go. “We did consider an elopement in the Lake District, but I felt that our families might have been a bit upset with us getting married so close to home and not inviting them,” Leanne told me. I asked Leanne if she had any regrets about not having a “traditional” wedding closer to home, “No regrets at all” she said. “We did feel a bit guilty about not telling the families but at the end of the day it’s our wedding and nobody else’s!” And I couldn’t agree more with her.
I asked Leanne what she would say to anyone thinking about eloping. “I would highly recommend eloping to anyone!” she said. “We had the best day, it was perfect and just what we hoped for. If couples are looking for a magical day without all the fanfare and drama, just go for it!” of course I think this is great advice! I asked Leanne for any other advice for anyone considering getting married in Central Park, and she said, “take comfortable shoes! My only mistake on the day.”
Leanne and Craig arrived on January 25th and got married on January 27th. They stayed in New York for seven days at Ink48 hotel. They wanted to get married early on in the trip so that they could have the rest of the trip as their honeymoon. They had originally booked the Paramount Hotel, but due to the pandemic, it closed until after their trip so their travel agent Virgin Holidays moved them to Ink 48 hotel in Hell’s Kitchen, “and it turned out to be a blessing,” said Leanne. “The hotel was fabulous and the bars and eateries were miles better than anywhere around Times Square,” she said. Their favorite breakfast spots were the Westway Diner and Galaxy Diner, their bar recommendations are Rudy’s Bar and Mercury Bar, which are all on the same street.
When considering where to get married, Covid played a part in their decision, so being outdoors felt safer for them. “Also, Central Park is so iconic and we knew the photos would be amazing,” Leanne said. I asked if they had any concerns about getting married in New York, and Leanne said, “the only concern I had was how creased my dress was going to be after being in the suitcase!” I wrote a blog with some tips about flying with your wedding dress. Other than that, she said they had no concerns at all, “New Yorkers are super cool and congratulated us but then went on with their day,” said Leanne.
The ceremony took place at the Ladies’ Pavilion, with additional photos at Wagner Cove, Bow Bridge and Bethesda Fountain and Terrace. Since they had no guests, their photographer Florencia also doubled up as the legal witness to their wedding. Another great thing about an elopement is how easy it is to get around to lots of locations to take lots of photos – it’s much quicker to move two people around the park rather than a large group. “My favourite photos were taken at Wagner Cove,” said Leanne, “it was quite secluded and there were no other people around.”
We kept the ceremony quite short and straightforward and Leanne and Craig exchanged traditional vows. “The ceremony was amazing, our officiant Kevin was brilliant,” Leanne said. She shared concerns about her hearing impairment with me before the ceremony, so I made sure to book Kevin, who has some stage acting experience, so I know his enunciation is spot on! “Kevin spoke clearly and I had no issues at all on the day, he really put us both at ease and calmed our nerves,” Leanne told me.
Leanne wore an ivory dress with a wool coat. “It was very, very cold!” Leanne warns anyone else considering getting married in New York in January! “I had looked for ages for a dress but I could not find anything suitable, so I decided to have one made. Jacquie Kidd was brilliant and she brought to life what I had in my mind!” said Leanne.
Leanne booked her own hair and makeup artist who came to her hotel room to help her get ready. She said Sharon at SB Beauty was fabulous. “I had purchased a dried flower button hole from Etsy for Craig, with a matching wrist corsage for myself which I decided not to wear on the day,” Leanne told me. “I didn’t want a bouquet as I didn’t want to be carrying it around with me for the rest of the day,” she said. Craig wore a beautiful blue checked tweed suit with orange accessories.
Leanne and Craig arrived at Central Park in a vintage yellow cab, “It which was fantastic!” said Leanne. I put them in touch with Peter who drove them, “He and his cab were brilliant and was a true highlight of our day.” After the photos they took a horse and carriage ride, then they went for cocktails at Dolly Varden, then dinner at Gallagher’s Steakhouse, “which was out of this world!” said Leanne.
I asked Leanne for any comments on how we did. “We would both like to thank Claire and her wonderful team for making our day truly magical, the day went in a flash but it was completely plain sailing and we couldn’t be happier,” she said. It was a pleasure to plan your wedding with you, Leanne, thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your story with us. If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you’re from near or far, 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.