Caitlin and Tom’s Wedding in Cop Cot in June

Caitlin and Tom brought a small group of close friends and family over from their home in Oxford, England for their wedding in Central Park in June.  The ceremony took place in Cop Cot in the late morning.  I don’t usually attend the weddings that I plan, but I was able to be at this one.

Caitlin was 28 and Tom 29 when they got married.  They had met at the age of 17 and 18 so had been together for almost eleven years when they got married.  They got engaged in New York.  Tom had originally planned to pop the question in Times Square, but something went wrong with his plan, and he had to think of a plan B.  Central Park was his plan B!  He rented one of the rowing boats from the Loeb Boathouse and managed to get down on one knee in the boat.  So, their engagement began with this proposal and ended with their wedding, both in Central Park.

They told me that they had considered getting married in Vegas, and that was where they had been on their trip before arriving in New York.  “We ultimately decided New York was the better fit for us, as we both love the city so much after visiting multiple times together and it was a better environment to celebrate with friends and family,” Caitlin said.  “I think Central Park is a wonderful place to get married and due to the diversity of the park it can really cater for so many different wedding styles and group sizes,” said Caitlin.  “All couples can achieve their dream wedding by simply factoring in things like the seasons, the different locations available and extra touches such as live music etc when making their choices,” she added, which of course I completely agree with. 

Caitlin told me that she had thought that she wanted the traditional big, white wedding close to home, “but after watching my sister plan hers and saw how much stress it brought her, I quickly changed my mind!” she said.  “Tom was never fussed about a traditional wedding and he just loves being on holiday,” she added.  So, by the time they were engaged they both felt that a smaller wedding in New York would suit them both, “we could have holiday included and get some epic wedding photos!” said Caitlin.

So, they knew they wanted to get married in New York, and they started to look at possible wedding ceremony locations.  “After having a look around we saw a lot of venues that were very expensive and tailored to larger groups that we knew wouldn’t suit us,” Caitlin told me.  Central Park is a much lower cost option for a wedding ceremony location than almost anywhere else in New York City!  They had visited New York a few times before, and had walked around Central Park so they had seen Cop Cot and knew that it would be a lovely spot for them to get married.

Caitlin and Tom chose Cop Cot for their ceremony partly because they loved the backdrop nearby, of the very high buildings of Central Park South close up, with the tress directly in front of them.  They also liked that the structure provided seating for their guests to sit if they wanted to, and because it is located just up a short hill from the Sixth Avenue entrance meant that it was easy to find, and the guests didn’t have far to walk, a must for those in heels!

The party stayed at the Evelyn Hotel for five days, which they said was beautiful.  They did a lot of research on where to stay because they wanted a room that was both beautiful for taking getting ready photos in beforehand, but also practical.  The room needed to be big enough to fit bride, bridesmaids, mothers, hair and make-up artists as well as their photographer and videographer!  “This place really ticked all the boxes, and everyone was so helpful with anything we needed in the lead up to our day and also very thoughtful on the day itself,” Caitlin told me.

Usually, our couples have me sort out everything for their wedding ceremony, including the photographer.  Sometimes, couples prefer to choose from the amazing range of photographers that New York has to offer.  Very rarely they bring over a photographer from their home, but it does happen.  This is what Caitlin and Tom did, and they brought over Nikki Watkins Photo and Film, who are a photographer and videographer couple, based in Bedfordshire in England, but who love destination weddings too. Caitlin and Tom’s invited guests were Tom’s parents and brothers, Caitlin’s sister and brother in law and her friend and her husband.  “They all thought it was a lovely and different place to get married and understood that for us the traditional big white wedding wasn’t really our thing,” said Caitlin.

We had a violinist play for the guests while they were waiting for the bride to arrive, and she waked up the hill (ie kind of like walking down the aisle!) to Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis.  We kept the ceremony short and sweet, and quite traditional.  Caitlin and Tom had some uninvited guests at the ceremony; a family of raccoons that seemed to be living in the foliage at the top of Cop Cot!  Our photographer had told me that he’d seen them at a wedding there the week before although they were gone when I was there later in the week!

When decided what to wear, they had tried to factor in the weather when considering their outfits, because they knew it would be warm.  Tom wore a three piece suit but opted for chinos rather than suit trousers so they would be a bit more lightweight.  Caitlin had chosen a long dress, it had cap sleeves and the skirt was flowy with minimal layers to help to keep her as cool as possible.  She bought her dress from Web2B in the UK.  It started with three quarter sleeves but she was able to have them adjusted to suit the warm weather in New York in June!  Caitlin booked her own hair and make up.  She used MG hair and makeup, who arrived at 6:30am to be sure that everyone would be ready for their late morning ceremony.  “They were wonderful and helpful in planning the day with a few swaps and changes to suit our final guest lists,” Caitlin said. Caitlin carried artificial flowers, to keep the costs down. 

After the ceremony they took family photos and then the guests left to enjoy the afternoon however they wished.  Caitlin and Tom left the group with the videographer and photographer to take some photos around Central Park, and then we had hired a vintage cab to pick them up when they had finished in the park.  They went to the Top of the Rock, the New York Public Library, street locations with views of the Empire State Building and finished up at the Brooklyn waterfront with the Manhattan skyline as backdrop.  After their long photo session, Caitlin and Tom went back to their hotel, got changed into something more casual and cooler for the evening.  Then they met back up with all of their guests to have a lovely meal back in Central Park on the patio at the Tavern on the Green.

Caitlin and Tom had a big party with wider friends and family on their return home, so they got the best of both worlds – the intimate destination wedding with close family, and the party with a big group, too.  “There are the obvious sacrifices in terms of who attends when it comes to a destination wedding, but if this works for you then I think people should go for it,” said Caitlin.  “We had a party with all of our friends and family when we got back, so still got to celebrate with them whilst also having the wedding we wanted and not feeling the pressure to please everyone else,” she added.

I asked Caitlin how we did.  “I would really love to say how wonderful Claire is and what an incredible service she provides.  We simply wouldn’t have been able to achieve the day we wanted without her, all her help, planning and suggestions meant our day went so smoothly and stress free and she took a lot of the hard work out of planning too!” she said.  “I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her as a must, to anyone who was thinking of getting married in Central Park,” she added.  Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Caitlin and Tom, and for allowing me to attend your wedding!  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

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