Alyssa and Chris’ May Elopement in Wagner Cove

Alyssa and Chris eloped from their home in London, England to get married in Central Park this May.  They are 34 and 31, and Chris is from Essex in England and Alyssa is originally from the Philippines, but has lived in England for the past seven years.

They met through online dating, just like everyone else these days!  “So, a modern fairy tale romance to a modern way of getting married,” said Chris.  They were together for five and half years before they got married.  They got engaged at home on their second anniversary of being in their house, and also the day that Alyssa passed her driving test, so what an eventful day it was!  Chris asked Alyssa to cover her eyes with an eye-mask and go into the kitchen, where he had prepared an amazing dinner and decorated the kitchen with rose petals.  When he asked her to remove the mask he was down on one knee holding the ring.  

I asked why getting married was important to them.  “We already have a home, wonderful jobs and travel around the world when we can, so this seemed like the next adventure after lockdown,” said Chris.  He said that they had considered a traditional wedding in the UK, and decided that it wasn’t for them.  They also considered getting married in the City Clerk’s office in New York.  Chris said that Covid restrictions made it almost impossible to get the licence and married in the same week.  They had booked the trip to New York, planning to get married at the City Clerk’s Office but found the current system of appointments only for both licenses and ceremonies restrictive for them.  So, they had a little look around online and found Wed in Central Park!

I asked Chris if he thinks destination weddings are becoming more popular.  “Some of our friends got married in islands in the Philippines, some of our friends got married on the river Thames in London and some of our friends got married in traditional weddings in Essex,” he said.  “We got married in New York.  I think you have to do what feels right for you and what you feel in your heart,” he added.  I couldn’t agree more.

Alyssa and Chris stayed in a Hilton hotel near Hell’s Kitchen for eight days.  Chris said that it was great for transport links around the whole of New York.  “We used the bus, train, subway and taxi,” he said, and recommends getting a metro card!

They decided to have the ceremony at Wagner Cove.  “We wanted to be by the water and under the cover of the wooden structure,” said Chris.  “Our officiant Barbara was amazing and lead us through our nervous energy with a calm and relaxed tone,” Chris told me.  We kept the introduction short, but the officiant read the poem To Love Is Not To Possess by James Kavanaugh, which I will put at the end of this post.  It was just the two of them for the ceremony, but they had a live stream for their families in the Philippines and the UK.

After the ceremony, their photographer Jakub Redziniak took them all over Central Park for photos, then on to Grand Central Terminal and then the Manhattan side of Brooklyn Bridge, before going over to Brooklyn for photos with the bridge and the Manhattan skyline in the background.

Since they finished up the photos in Brooklyn, they went to The River Café overlooking Manhattan for dinner afterwards.  They said that they highly recommend The River Café, but also ate at the ever-popular Keens Steakhouse, Ellen’s Stardust Diner and Katz’s Deli that they would also recommend.  Also they liked Levain Bakery cookies, Los Tacos in Chelsea Market, Jin Ramen, and Don Antonio Pizza.

They were very lucky with the weather and had an unseasonably warm day for the time of year.  “When the weather is as perfect as it was for us, there is no better place to get married,” said Chris.  He said that they saw five other weddings that day in other locations in Central Park, and that passers-by greeted and congratulated them throughout the entire day.

I asked Chris how we did.  “Claire did an amazing job; organising the officiant, videographer and photographer.  All were very professional and provided some amazing memories,” he said.  “Claire really helped by organising all of the permits and paperwork required for Central Park and Grand Central.  She also helped with great communication and getting everything organised for the day.  Being 4,000 miles away it helped someone knew the procedures and people to make our day amazing,” Chris said.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Alyssa and Chris!  I wish you both the best 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’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

To Love Is Not To Possess by James Kavanaugh

To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s