Kayla and Matt brought their friends and family over from Bristol in the UK this September to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion. They met when they were both sixteen years old and will have been together for ten years this November. They got engaged when they were on holiday with Kayla’s family in Las Vegas. They went out one evening on their own as a couple and Matt proposed in front of the Bellagio fountains, during one of their spectacular displays. Matt had told both his family and Kayla’s that he planned to propose, but it was a complete surprise to Kayla! The date of their engagement was the 17th September 2015, so they got married exactly two years later. They had just bought their first house together in the June before they got married.
They had been searching on Instagram for wedding inspiration and they came across a photo of a wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion in Central Park, “we thought is looked amazing,” said Kayla. “We had been to Central Park before and absolutely loved it. It’s amazing how such a huge park can be in such a big city,” she told me. They had not visited the Ladies’ Pavilion until after they saw that photos. They happened to be visiting New York a few months later, so they went to Central Park while they were there to look at the Ladies’ Pavilion in person. “It was so perfect so we booked it up when we got home!” said Kayla.
I asked them if they had any concerns about getting married in New York, and they answered in the same way that so many couples do; they said that their only concern was the weather. They acknowledged that getting married outside will always carry some risk, but they had a beautiful sunny day for their wedding, in fact that week was unseasonably warm, so it was quite hot for Matt’s three piece suit!
The couple arrived in New York on the Wednesday and got married in the Sunday. “We have good friends that are from New York and live in Brooklyn so we stayed with them a few days,” they said, so they were able to chill out a little, and spend some time with them, and get their marriage license. Then their family and friends from home arrived on the Friday so then they all checked in to the Novotel Times Square. They left New York the Tuesday after their wedding to go on to Hawaii for their honeymoon.
Here’s something you need to know about Matt and Kayla; they might be twenty six years old but their taste in music is a little older. Their wedding ceremony wording included a reading of some of the lyrics to God Only Knows by The Beach Boys, and our guitarist played that for them after they were pronounced married. And the rest of the music? The Beatles. He played I Want to Hold Your Hand, All You Need is Love, Can’t Buy Me Love, and Do You Want to Know a Secret while the guests waited for the bride to arrive. Then Kayla walked down the pathway to the Ladies’ Pavilion to Here Comes the Sun. So, it comes as no surprise to me to hear that some of their favorite photos were taken in Strawberry Fields, by the Imagine plaque put there in memory of John Lennon, who lived and died at the Dakota building, on the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West.
Kayla wore a tea length wedding dress and a veil. She said that it was the first dress that she tried on, and her mum cried at the sight of her in it. “I tried on seven more dresses but went back to that one,” she said. “Everyone said it suited my style. I also chose the length as I was slightly worried about a longer dress being dragged along the floor in Central Park and tea length was more practical,” she added. I agree with her. We have seen brides in some incredible long gowns but they always tell me that they had to lift them to walk around the park to avoid picking up leaves and the like. She got it from a relatively new bridal chain in the UK called WED2B. Matt wore a traditional three piece suit, it was black with a dark grey waistcoat and purple tie to match Kayla’s flowers.
Kayla chose artificial flowers. This is something I am seeing brides do more and more frequently. “They were exactly what I wanted and I can keep them forever,” she said. She bought herself and her bridesmaid matching purple bouquets off eBay. They had lace around the handle with diamanté brooches attached. Kayla did her own makeup, “I’m very fussy about how I have my makeup so decided to do it myself!” she said. Kayla and her bridesmaid did their own hair, too, but the mothers of the bride and groom had their hair done in a salon that morning.
The wedding party was twenty-four guests in total. Some of them had never been to New York before, so the couple said how great it was to share the experience their first visit with them. They loved the photos of them all together and the guests all commented on the beauty of the wedding location. The wedding ceremony took place at 3pm, then they went around Central Park taking photographs with their photographer Justin Tinapay. After that they went to the rooftop bar at STK, then walked along the High Line park a little until they got to the Chelsea Pier, where they boarded a cruise ship for a three hour sightseeing and dinner cruise. We had made a plan of timings to make sure they could easily fit this all in, so that things went smoothly for the large group. “The cruise was unbelievable; the food and atmosphere were amazing, we even got to have our first dance and they cleared an area on the deck to do our speeches, all with views of the New York skyline and Statue of Liberty,” said Kayla. “I would highly recommend that to anyone, not just wedding parties” she added.
I asked for any advice for anyone else considering a wedding in Central Park. “Be prepared to be centre of attention,” Kayla said. “So many people were stopping to congratulate us and take pictures of us!” she told me. I hear this a lot from couples, and they tell me that the friendliness of New Yorkers adds to the experience of getting married in this fantastic city. After they returned home they had a fabulous New York City themed party with wider friends and family.
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