Rachel and Jack’s Bethesda Terrace Wedding in April

Rachel and Jack got married on Bethesda Terrace in April.  They brought over Jack’s mum and dad, and Rachel’s dad and his partner from their home in Scotland for the wedding.  Rachel is thirty and Jack is twenty-eight. 

The couple had been together for six years when they got married in Central Park.  They met at a friend’s house party.  They got engaged at the Top of the Rock in May 2019.  Jack got down on one knee to ask and surprised Rachel.  They hope to have a family in the future and wanted to get married before they have children. 

Rachel and Jack had originally booked their wedding at a venue in Scotland.  “During lockdown we realised that we didn’t want the big, flashy, expensive wedding as it wasn’t important to us anymore with everything going on in the world with Covid,” Rachel explained.  “We decided to do what we really wanted to do,” she said.  And, what they really wanted to do was to get married in New York

Rachel first contacted me in April of 2021, with a view to getting married with us in September of that year.  We had a brief discussion and they decided to hold off from booking to see what happened with travel restrictions.  As it turned out, Brits still couldn’t travel to the US in September so they had a rethink and decided to set their date for April of 2022 instead.

As first, Rachel and Jack felt a little concerned about the prospect of getting married in New York, since they didn’t know the process and legalities surrounding things, “but once Claire provided me with all the information and advice, I felt at ease,” Rachel said.  They stayed at the Riu Plaza Times Square Hotel.  They stayed in New York for five nights.  They saw a few sights while they were in town.  They especially recommend SUMMIT One Vanderbilt.  “The observation deck was amazing!” Rachel told me. 

Rachel and their two female guests had their hair and make-up done by Miss Harlequin in her hotel room on the morning of the wedding.  “The girls that did the hair and make-up were brilliant,” said Rachel.  “The make-up stayed on my face all day and my hair was still curly the next day,” she said.

They held the ceremony out in the open on Bethesda Terrace, although kind of in a corner beside the steps with the arches behind them.  This is still possible on a weekday in April, but in high summer on a weekend it would be too busy.  So, if you’d like to get married in this striking location, consider the time of year and day of the week!  “My favourite photos of the day were taken next to the cherry blossom trees and on also on the steps leading down to the Terrace,” said Rachel.  When she arrived, she made her entrance down the grand stone steps of Bethesda Terrace.  “I really liked the photos of my dad and I walking down the steps as it felt like we were walking down an aisle,” she said.

Rachel’s dad gave her away, and we had the officiant begin with a brief introduction about their relationship and to thank their parents.  “The ceremony was relaxed and quick, as we wanted it to be,” said Rachel.  They exchanged traditional vows and then their rings before being pronounced married.  “I like that the ceremony introduction was about us and our journey so far,” Rachel told me. 

Rachel and Jack’s guests were just Jack’s mum and dad and Rachel’s dad and his partner.  “They were very happy for us and enjoyed New York just as much as my husband and I,” said Rachel, slipping easily into referring to Jack as her husband! 

Rachel said that it had been a bit stressful to bring her gorgeous wide-skirted gown over on the plane from Scotland!  “As it was quite big I had to put it in the hold of the plane but luckily it arrived,” she told me.  Her dress was purchased from Bijoux Bridal in Hamilton, Scotland.  Jack wore a kilt, “he got a few funny looks while wearing it in the park,” Rachel said!  We love a groom in a kilt!  Rachel’s bouquet included thistles bring a little bit of Scotland to New York City. 

After taking photos around Bethesda Terrace, Bow Bridge and Cherry Hill they left the park to take photos outside St Patrick’s Cathedral.  “Those photos outside the Cathedral and on the street are lovely,” said Rachel.  Then they popped back to their hotel, Rachel got changed into a smaller dress and they went for dinner and drinks at STK.  “It was the best steak we have ever had and it also had a good party vibe as there is a DJ playing in the restaurant,” said Rachel.

I asked Rachel if she thinks smaller weddings and elopements are becoming more popular.  “I think a lot of people’s opinions have changed since Covid.  Things have been put into perspective for a lot of people that having a big wedding isn’t important, it’s actually getting married that counts,” she said.

I asked Rachel how we did.  “Claire was amazing from start to finish. The whole process was stress-free; when contacting Claire her replies were very quick and she answered all my questions,” Rachel said.  “Claire provided the photographer and officiant for us and they were absolutely brilliant.  Thanks again Claire for organising our special day,” she added.  Thank you for your kind words, Rachel, 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

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