How to Plan a Wedding in New York from the UK (or anywhere out of town!)

I’ve been planning weddings in Central Park for over ten years now.  Some of my clients are New Yorkers, but most are not.  Many clients are planning their wedding from far away, either from another state, or more frequently for me; from another country.  Most of my clients are from the UK.  I’ve been doing this for so long that it might be easy for me to forget how daunting this can feel for someone – many of our couples have not planned a wedding before, let alone planned one so far away!

My main piece of advice is that the internet is your friend.  If you’re not sure what somewhere looks like, there are lots of images online to help you to get a good idea of what it’s like in real life.  This may apply to the location where you’d like to have the ceremony, the reception location, or just spots where you’d like to take photos.  If you’re looking for an answer to a tricky question, plenty of reading will usually find you the answer. 

Of course you can save yourself a lot of time and effort by just hiring someone like myself.  I’m a Brit who got married in Central Park back in 2011, and I was living very close to the park at the time, and this gave me the idea to start this business, helping others to get married in this beautiful place.  I’ve helped hundred of couples to get married in Central Park (and a few other places in New York!) since then and it’s rare that someone asks me something that I haven’t been asked before.  Lots of couples tell me that I’m giving them answers to questions that they haven’t even thought of themselves!  This makes sense because there’s lots of stuff that just won’t occur to you if you haven’t been married before and/or don’t know New York as well as you’d like.

One very important thing to check if you’ve getting married in New York and you don’t live there is the legalities surrounding your marriage once you’re home.  Check what you need to do in advance of the wedding and after the wedding to be sure that your marriage is legally binding in your country or state.  This sort of information can be found on the NY City Clerk website, and for your own country’s requirements, check your government website.  Or, ask me and I can help!

Most of the couples who get married with us have been to New York at least once before.  Many of them feel that NYC holds lots of happy memories for them and a special place in their heart and they want to add to those special memories in this awesome city.  Everyone of course has seen New York on TV and in the movies, so even if someone is planning to get married here, they still have an image in their minds of what it’s like. 

I have recently updated the part of my website where I discuss in detail the more popular wedding locations in Central Park.  There are links on there to blog posts with lots of images that I have chosen because I think they show the location well, rather than being lovely wedding photos of a couple!  If you’re not sure where in Central Park that you want to hold your ceremony, then I’d advise that you start there.  There are also hundred of photos on my blog of real weddings that have taken place in Central Park, and of course Facebook images and Instagram images.  I have planned lots of weddings and I like to share examples of our work!  There are lots of blogs and images out there, not just from Wed in Central Park, and all of it will be helpful in picturing what your wedding day could be like.

Keep in mind that you can take photos all over Central Park, and indeed all over the city should you wish to, and that the places where you hold the ceremony isn’t the only place you will be in.  So, don’t just think about the beauty of the place or the backdrop, also consider the feel and vibe of the place, and whether it’s the right place for you to say “I do”.  If you have any questions on any of the locations then please ask me for help.

One thing that many visitors struggle to get their head around is the size of the city and the travel times involved.  Studying a map of the city and of the park can help you to get a good idea of the scale of things.  Planning the locations and timings for the day is a big part of the planning process that I go through with many couples.  They tell me where they want to get to on the day and I’ll work out a realistic plan to make it happen.  New York City traffic is notoriously difficult to predict, but I have enough experience with this to create a plan with a realistic view of travel times and enough of a buffer that the day will run smoothly and you’ll feel relaxed.  This applies not only to getting around New York City on the roads, in whatever transport you choose, but also to getting around Central Park.  I can advise on how long it will take to get to any different photo locations, depending on your group size and many other factors. 

Lots of clients tell me how daunting it can feel to hand over a large amount of money to someone they have never met.  This is completely understandable, especially when planning a very special day such as a wedding day.  This is why online reviews can be so very useful.  Consider how often you personally leave a review.  Most people don’t take the time to write a review of a product or service unless they feel quite strongly about it, so keep that in mind when checking reviews online.  If you find a review that raises an interesting point, don’t be afraid to ask the service provider about it.  So, read up, check all the images online, or just hire me to answer all of your questions!  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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