Five Things I Loved About My Wedding – Kayleigh

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This is the fourth in a series of blog posts with a focus on those little things that make a wedding special.  It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding.  This series is intended to provide some inspiration for couples who are currently planning their wedding.  Many couples have a big vision of what they want on the day, but these posts will be all about the details.  Most of the weddings discussed in this series will have taken place in Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured.  This is Kayleigh’s list of the five things that made her wedding day special.  She married Andrew in the Ladies’ Pavilion in October 2015, read about their small and intimate wedding here.

Central Park

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I never imagined that I would be able to tell people that I got married in Central Park! What an amazing place to see. The sun was out all day and everyone we walked past had nothing but lovely things to say. We even had people approach us telling me how beautiful I looked and wishing us wedding blessings. Could not have picked a more beautiful location.

My shoes

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My shoes were so important. They were actually the first thing I purchased. I have so many Irregular Choice shoes and I had always said I would have them as my wedding shoes. I kept them on all day, even walking for hours to be photographed, they were not coming off. Again so many people commented on my shoes and I’m still in love with them now.

It was small, intimate and stress free

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Even though, we married in a huge public park it was still as intimate as we had imagined. We planned our wedding in less than six months and it couldn’t have been any better. Six friends, including two children, attended our wedding and it was perfect. We never wanted a huge white church wedding with hundreds of people. I was surprised to have any guests as we are very low key and don’t like fuss. We did miss our family and friends witnessing our wedding, but there was no stress and we were able to enjoy the entire day, it was exactly how we wanted it. Our planning and Claire’s planning meant we had a perfect day.

Flowers and dress

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I had tried one or two wedding dresses and I just didn’t feel comfortable at all. I began to worry I wouldn’t find a suitable dress or one couldn’t be made to fit in time so I decided to buy a dress off the peg that looked like a wedding dress and I was so right to do it. It was nowhere near the price of the wedding dresses I had been looking at and suited me perfectly. As for my flowers, I had paper and plastic so I could always keep the bouquet.

And finally…getting to marry my now husband

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I had never felt the need to marry anyone until I met Andrew. Having the wedding we’ve always wanted and being his wife was definitely one of my favourite parts. When we were introduced and Mr and Mrs that was just amazing. We now have our first baby together and we are a family.

Thank you to Claire. I’ve had to choose five but I could go on. I wish I could do it all again.

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For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest for photos and more inspiring stories.

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Clients’ New York Restaurant Recommendations – Where to Eat After you are Married in Central Park

A very frequently asked question when I am planning weddings in Central Park is the one about where a couple should go to eat after their wedding. It is a difficult one to answer because it all depends on your group size, how much walking or travelling you want to do, what your budget is, what your tastes are, and many other factors. So I thought one way to answer the question would be to gather together a list of some of the restaurants my clients recommend. What follows is a list of places where the couples who have featured in the blog in 2016 have eaten. Several of the couples took their parties on a river cruise, rather than to a restaurant. It is a popular option which allows parties to eat, drink and celebrate while also doing some sight-seeing of the incredible view of Manhattan from the river.

Cat and James

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British couple Cat and James got married on Belvedere Castle Terrace in September. Their guests were their parents, James’ mum’s partner and both their sisters. They all went to the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park for drink after the wedding, and after that, they all went on to a private dining room at Lincoln Square Steakhouse, which they loved. They said it was the best food they had eaten during their whole week in New York City. It is a 60s style steak and seafood restaurant on the Upper West Side.

Victoria and Paul

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Victoria and Paul came from their current home in Alaska to get married in Wagner Cove in May. Victoria is Moldovian and Paul is French. Their guests were four of their friends. After their wedding ceremony and photos, they all had dinner at The Milling Room restaurant, which is a few blocks away from Central Park on the Upper West Side, a great area for bars and restaurants. “The Milling Room has a welcoming atmosphere, super delicious food and desserts, plus they provided great service,” said Victoria. After their dinner, they went for drinks at the Viceroy rooftop bar, The Roof, which has views of Central Park.

Mitchell and Brian

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Mitchell and Brian brought their close friends and family over from Texas in June to get married in the Dene Summer House. There were fifteen adults and three kids in their party. Mitchell and Brian are regular visitors to New York, so they knew which places were good to eat at. After the wedding ceremony Mitchell and Brian took all their guests for a family-style lunch at ABC Kitchen, which serves award-winning farm-to-table environmentally conscious food. Later on in the day the adults met up again for a drink and a late dinner at the Smith Nomad, a brasseries which serves all the bistro classics..

Louise and David

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Scottish couple Louise and David brought Louise’s parents, and David’s sister and her partner over with them, for their wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion in May. After the ceremony their guests went to the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central for a few drinks, a must for any Scottish visitors to New York, while the photographer took more photographs of the couple around Central Park. After that the party met up again to eat at the historic Tavern on the Green in Central Park, which was originally built in the 1880s. “The restaurant was lovely, not casual or pretentious and absolutely delicious. The staff were fantastic, I got a complimentary glass of champagne and the staff were very accommodating taking our photographs,” said Louise.

Rivka and Dani

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Rivka is originally from New Zealand and Dani is from England, but Rivka and Dani have been living together in Australia before they got married in Cop Cot in August, so they had guests from all over the world at their wedding. After their wedding, they went on to the Highline for more photos, since it was very close to their reception location, The Park in Chelsea. They had a party of fifty, so they had a private room for their reception, this restaurant has a range of private spaces for parties.

Tatiana and Fabio

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Tatiana and Fabio are a Brazilian couple currently living together in Upper East Side Manhattan. They got married in the Conservatory Gardens in July. They had a large group of friends and family, and their dog at their wedding. They went on to Brazilian restaurant Berimbau to continue the celebrations after the wedding ceremony.

Laura and Louise

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Laura and Louise brought a party of ten over from their home in England to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in August. In the evening they took their guests for a meal at popular contemporary American restaurant Sarabeth’s on Central Park South, which they said was amazing “they couldn’t have done more to make the meal special,” said Laura.

Alistair and Victoria

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Eloping couple Alistair and Victoria came over from England in September to get married in Wagner Cove. After their wedding ceremony and photographs in Central Park the couple went to the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park for a drink, and then after that, went on to Chart House in Weehawken for a meal. It is a seafood restaurant right on the Hudson River, directly across from Manhattan, so diners there can enjoy panoramic views of the New York skyline.

Hayley and Mike

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Hayley and Mike brought thirteen close friends and family over from the UK to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion. Once the ceremony was over the photographer took some group photos, then the couple stayed with the photographer to take photos around Central Park, while the guests left to have drinks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near Columbus Circle, which has a lounge with floor to ceiling windows, overlooking Central Park. Later that day, the party all had dinner in the Loeb Boathouse.

Jamie and Paul

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British couple Jamie and Paul had been together exactly ten years before their wedding in June at the Ladies’ Pavilion. They eloped for their wedding, but Jamie’s aunt and uncle were their guests. They hired a boat for a row around the Lake after their wedding, then they all went to the Tavern on the Green after that for lunch.

Amy and Garry

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Scottish couple Amy and Garry had already planned a trip to New York for Garry’s thirtieth birthday in October when they decided that it would be a great idea to get married while they were there. They had twenty-three guests for their ceremony at Wagner Cove. After the wedding, the party went to Gallagher’s Steak House, established in the 1920s and situated close to Times Square. They had reserved a private room for their group, so that they were able to do speeches and dancing.


I hope these examples have provided some useful inspiration. The Loeb Boathouse and the Tavern on the Green remain popular choices for couples getting married in Central Park. They are both fabulous places to eat and to watch Central Park from. As I mentioned in the introduction, a river cruise is also a popular way to finish off your wedding day in Central Park. There are many other places that couples go to celebrate their first meal as a married couple, though, and I hope this short list illustrates the wide choices available in New York City. I will be posting more blogs in the near future, detailed where some more of the couples who have featured in this blog have eaten after their wedding in Central Park.

For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest for photos and more inspiring stories.

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Five Things I Loved About My Wedding in Central Park – Danielle

This is the third in a series of blog posts about those little things that make a wedding special to the couple.  It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding.  I am creating this series to provide inspiration for couples planning their wedding.  Many couples have a big vision of what they want on the day, but this series will be about the details.  Most of the weddings discussed in this series will have taken place in Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured.  This is Danielle’s list of the five things that made her wedding day special.  She married Michael in October 2015 on Belvedere Castle Terrace, read about their elopement here.

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That We Did Everything Together…Everything

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My husband and I were very private about our wedding plans, because we wanted it to stay stress-free. We knew that the sooner more voices got involved, the sooner we’d have to start answering questions we weren’t sure we had the answers to yet. Especially, once we decided on heading to NYC alone. That meant we had to lean on each other for every step. I went him to put some spring looks together. We both wrote the vows and ceremony. He steamed my dress at the hotel once we arrived. We went to a coffee shop together the morning of our wedding, got an emergency license, and stood in lines for all the signatures. Then we ate lunch together, helped each other get ready, and walked every step of the way together. Mike even held my dress train as we crossed the sidewalks to meet our photographer and videographer at Central Park. There was no big clapping or decor or champagne corks popping or big “reveal” of the dress, and that was okay. It felt more intimate for us that way, and we started our marriage the way we wanted to continue it–taking every step side-by-side.

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The Flower Vendor Outside the New York City Courthouse

D Central Park wedding Flower Vendor outside the Courthouse

Getting the marriage license and subsequent signatures was probably one of the best parts of the day. I hadn’t planned on having a bouquet, because it was just going to be one more thing to pack and travel with. Then outside of the courthouse was an incredibly charming flower vendor. We popped over just to see what was available, and I was able to get some beautiful hydrangeas wrapped in a silk ribbon the morning of the ceremony for an extremely affordable price given that they were fresh flowers. I remember the vendor mentioning that hydrangeas were big and fussy, and we joked that it would be just like my dress (which needed its own bag on the plane). The vendor was one of many New Yorkers that proved the stereotypes wrong. Everywhere we went that day strangers were overwhelming us with their support. The vendor, the impromptu wedding medleys from musicians in the park, taxi drivers, and one particular group of students who demanded a picture with us. It was charming and unexpected.

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The Ceremony at Belvedere Castle

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I keep telling people that Belvedere Castle is a hidden gem in the park. I hadn’t really known about it, even though I knew about Central Park before. But it is a beautiful, elegant, and picturesque structure in the middle of so much already striking nature. Mike has Irish descent and I have some Scottish and getting married in an old castle just seemed like the right thing to do. Further, we got to include an oathing stone ceremony, a wedding toast from the movie Frida (we’re movie people), and a variation of the Game of Thrones wedding vows (we’re TV people too). Some of our best pictures came from the castle, including its impressive skyline view and the nice contrast of the stone with our ensembles.

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Our “Sweetheart Table”

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After the ceremony and pictures, we went back to our hotel and changed clothes for an evening dinner together. We had reservations at Le Bernadin, an award-winning restaurant that we were both excited to eat at. Since we didn’t have a big reception, we decided we would splurge on a fabulous dinner and had the Le Bernadin Tasting Menu with wine pairings. When we arrived, they sat us as a corner booth that overlooked the whole restaurant, and even though everyone there was a stranger, it had a funny feeling like a sweetheart table as we sat next to each other, should-to-shoulder enjoying our courses and finally hailing a taxi back to Row NYC. (editor’s note, they also ate at Sardi’s, where this picture was taken).

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Broadway and George Takei

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We love musical theater and had a show to attend every night we spent in New York, because it was both our wedding and our honeymoon. The first show we saw together as a married couple was Allegiance the Musical, which is no longer running but has made its way into theaters with special showings. It remains one of the most poignant shows we have seen. The special memory though took place during intermission when the show’s staff, unbeknownst to us, had set up a special surprise. One of our friends who had known about our excitement for this show (because it was starring George Takei and Lea Salonga) had contacted the show and requested that they do something special for us. We were escorted upstairs to a VIP lounge and given a bottle of Prosecco to toast our new marriage. It came with a card that reads, “Congrats on your marriage. Thanks for sharing your love with our family. May you live long and prosper together.” So in my mind, George Takei was our best man and gave the official toast. Being the nerdy couple we are, it was the ultimate icing on the cake of a wedding that I couldn’t have asked more from.

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For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest for photos and more inspiring stories.

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Jess and Mr P’s Wedding on the Surrey Hotel Rooftop

Jess blogs on UsedYorkCity.com, where she writes about the best of New York, as used by New Yorkers.  She wants to encourage readers to use the city and to find inspiration in the little things it offers.  It’s a great blog for New Yorkers and visitors alike.  Jess met her husband, who she calls Mr P at a dance club in Chelsea at 3am, they went out for early morning mac-n-cheese at 6am, exchanged numbers, and five years later they got married!  “Your typical NYC love story,” said Jess.

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They got engaged at the New York Public Library, Jess’ favorite building in the world.  Mr P left her a series of notes with quotes from Le Petit Prince on them, she collected them as she followed a trail to the library, where he was waiting for her, and he popped the question there.  She wrote about it on her blog, for the full story, read about it here.

I asked Jess why getting married was important to them, and she said, “if you’re lucky enough to meet the one person you want by your side for all eternity, through the good, bad, awful, and amazing, I truly believe getting married can be the best decision you’ll ever make.  It was for me, at least!”

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The couple are New Yorkers, so they consider Central Park their backyard.  They were getting married in the summer, and wanted to have an outdoor ceremony.  So, their first idea was to get married in Central Park, they felt at home there and they spend so much time there anyway.  They thought they might get married in the Shakespeare Garden, but when they went over there in July to check it out they found it too hot, and the flowers were struggling in the heat of Manhattan high summer.  Also, they decided that they wanted somewhere more private to say their vows, rather than a public park, so they walked out of Central Park on the East side and happened upon the Surrey Hotel.  “We walked in on a whim, asked if we could see their rooftop, fell in love with the views of Central Park and Manhattan, and knew that was the spot!” said Jess.

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Like every other couple I talk to, they had considered the possibility of some rain.  It is unavoidable with an outdoor wedding ceremony.  But, unlike most couples, they would have been perfectly fine if it had rained.  “The idea of rain didn’t bother us,” Jess told me.  “There’s something romantic about getting married in a summertime drizzle, no?  But regardless, our 10am ceremony ended up being blazingly sunny and about 107 degrees!”

After their wedding ceremony on the rooftop of the Surrey Hotel, the couple had photographs taken around Central Park.  I asked Jess where their favorite photos were taken on their wedding day.  “Walking down the cobblestone sidewalk of 5th Avenue, along the East side of Central Park, because it reminded me of the after work and weekend walks we would always take together along that route,” she told me.  “We made sure to get a photo with 77th Street sign in the background, as our wedding day was 7.7” she added.

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Jess has a thing for the 1920s, “so I went with a dress from BHLDN with that Roaring Twenties vibe, finger curls, and my signature, a red lip,” she said.  Her bouquet was a colorful mix of gerber daisies, with a little hummingbird poking out.  “The ribbon around it was my something blue,” she added.  To get herself a bargain for her wedding day makeup, she found someone she loved at Sephora, and then paid him to come do her makeup the morning of the wedding.  For hair, she used Facetime Beauty, and was very happy with them.

Theirs was a small wedding, just their parents and their chihuahua Gillman attended.  “We actually completely surprised our parents,” explained Jess.  “We told them they were going to a food tasting, and when they showed up we said, “Surprise!  We’re actually getting married today!” and they loved it,” she said.  They also had a mutual friend at the wedding, who sang their wedding song, Beyonce’s Halo, and did their reading, a selection from The Little Prince, which you might remember from the proposal, is Jess’ favorite book.

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Since they had chosen to have a small wedding, they were able to enjoy a chilled out day.  They had the ceremony at 10am, took photos in Central Park, then went back to the Surrey Hotel where they had got married to eat with their parents.  Then, after they left they took a nap and chilled in their apartment with their dog.  That night they hung out on their rooftop terrace with their chihuahua and ate cupcakes and drank champagne.  “The best day ever!” said Jess.

They kept their wedding a secret from their friends, and five months after they got married they invited guests to what they told them would be their 1920s themed wedding, but they surprised them with their wedding video from that rooftop five months earlier.  Jess got to wear her wedding dress twice and they had a great time with all their loved ones, with none of the stress that a big wedding would have caused them.  She blogged about it, see their fabulous photos here.

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“If having a big wedding is your jam, totally go for it, and enjoy every single moment!” Jess advises.  “For us, I knew I wanted our wedding day to be exclusively about us as a couple, and didn’t want to have to stress saying my vows in front of a hundred people, so eloping with the person I love most in the city I love most was the perfect decision.”

Check out Jess’ blog at UsedYorkCity.com for some inspiring posts and photos to help you to get to know New York like the New Yorkers do.  And check out my website if you need help planning your own Central Park wedding.

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 For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest for photos and more inspiring stories.

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Five Things I Loved About My Wedding in Central Park – Allison

This is the second in a series of blog posts about those little things that make a wedding special to the couple.  It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding.  I am creating this series to provide inspiration for couples planning their wedding.  Many couples have a big vision of what they want on the day, but this series will be about the details.  Most of the weddings discussed in this series will have taken place in Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured.  This is Allison’s list of the five things that made her wedding day special.  She married Ryan in June last year in Cop Cot.

Reception

We loved our reception as it was a rooftop bar in the Novotel Times Square so the views were utterly amazing especially at night and the surrounding buildings were lit up around us. The food was great and the staff could not do enough for us so we could relax and do what us Scots do best and take advantage of our open bar.

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Getting ready

As a bride you plan every detail you can until the last minute. I was uncharacteristically calm on the wedding morning and was so excited being with my best friends getting pampered but the best part was the amazing girls from Metro Look (Dana, Traci & T). They were so much fun and great at what they do they definitely added to my day and I will never forget that.

Cake

Best.Cake.Ever. Honestly Magnolia Bakery have to be the best bakery in the world. We had a vanilla cake with a raspberry middle. Also our cake topper is a bone of contention as I bought it and sat for hours gluing on Swarovski crystals….Ryan managed to drop it from a great height and broke the S and E from our name so it read Mr & Mrs ‘trid’. Luckily he managed to fix it but we laugh every time we see the photo of our cake.

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Personalization

When you say you are getting married abroad people always assume it’s to save money and it’s a few legal sentences for the ceremony. We loved how we created a wedding which felt like a “normal” wedding with our own vows, songs which were important to us that the violinist played and all the typical wedding traditions which meant a lot to us.

New York

It was difficult to give five things only so New York covers a few things. We loved getting married in Central Park because it’s such a beautiful and iconic place with so much greenery and tranquil areas. The best part was being able to go a few blocks downtown and we were in Times Square which was such a contrast to the park as it was busy and so loud but amazing. It was unbelievable when a line of people waiting to go into a Broadway show started clapping and cheering us then a couple asked us for a selfie. It must have been the guys in their kilts…..

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For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest for photos and more inspiring stories.

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Five Things I Loved About My Wedding in Central Park – Claire

This is the first in a series of blog posts about those little things that make a wedding special to the couple.  It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding.  I am creating this series to provide inspiration for couples planning their wedding.  Many couples have a big vision of what they want on the day, but this series will be about the details.  Most of the weddings discussed in this series will have taken place in Central Park, but some weddings from other locations will be featured.  I thought it only polite that I should go first.

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That we planned it in a couple of months.

It took around six weeks between when we decided to get married and our wedding day.  He had a visa to allow him to live and work in the USA and I needed a visa to allow me to be there legally, so we had to be married.  We got the location agreed, the rings, the license, officiant, photographer, videographer, my dress and his suit all sorted in super-quick time.  It meant that I couldn’t over-think everything as I have a tendency to do, so I just got on with it.

My rings.

I am not a person who greatly values material things, but I do love my wedding ring and my engagement ring.  We went to the Manhattan Diamond District on 47th Street and browsed several jewelers before choosing what was right for us.  I chose my diamond; its size, its carat and its cut.  We were able to inspect several diamonds that were on offer and choose how important each of those factors were to us.  We chose the metal our rings would be made of and the style and width of the bands, and I chose a tulip setting that was original created by Tiffany’s.  My diamond is from Russia.  Every time I look at my rings I am pleased that they were chosen by us and designed exactly as I wanted them.

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Our wedding night.

Shhhh…. No, not what you’re thinking.  We got married in the morning, had lunch with our lovely guests, then we went home to chill out for a while, then just the two of us went out for dinner together in the evening.  We walked from our home in the East 80s to a tall building in the East 50s to eat at a restaurant that is no longer there, which overlooks the East River, and we watched the sun set while drinking Manhattans and eating our dinner.  We are both quite introverted and the big, traditional wedding at home with everyone we know would have been massively hard work for us, and we are both still very happy that we chose this no-fuss low-hassle wedding option.

Central Park

This one is pretty obvious, but: we got married in Central Park.  I love everything about Central Park.  It is a world-famous cultural, historical, visually striking masterpiece of a wedding location.  I look at photos of Central Park every single day because of my job and I have yet to tire of it.

That it inspired me start this business. 

I love guiding couples through the planning of their wedding and then seeing it all come together on the big day.  And I love seeing how those couples’ lives grow together in the marriage that follows, knowing that I had a part in their wedding day.

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For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest for photos and more inspiring stories.

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How to Include your Pet in your Wedding

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I have been planning weddings in Central Park for five years, and a huge number of the couples I work with are pet owners. We have had a handful of marrying couples bring their pets to their wedding, and myself and my husband brought our dog to our wedding in Central Park. We didn’t think too much about whether we should bring him, he loved Central Park so it would seem like a shame not to.

My last post about including children in a wedding got me thinking. Lots of marrying couples have children, either the children of both the bride and groom, or of just one of the couple from a previous relationship. But many more couples getting married that I work with are pet owners, and I know that because in many cases the pets are important enough to them to mention them in their ceremony. So, I wanted to share some advice about how to include your beloved pets in your special day. Many of the couples I work with have traveled to New York City, so may not have their pets with them, but there are other ways to include them in your wedding.

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Check if they are permitted.

This is pretty important. If you are a guest at a wedding and you are considering bringing your pet, ask the couple first. This goes without saying, right? No, apparently it doesn’t, I could share a few stories of guests surprising couples by bringing along their pet. Pets aren’t allowed everywhere, and it may turn out to be quite difficult to include your furry friend in a wedding. If a marrying couple want to include their pet in their wedding day, they should check that it will be permitted at every location they will be going to, including any transport they will be using. In the case of Central Park, pets are allowed, but dogs must be on a leash. So, a guest should be nominated to have the responsibility of holding the leash at times when the bride and groom cannot, and when they should be concentrating on the important promises they are making to each other.

Also, check if there might be anything that could be dangerous to your pet in the area. Some plants are poisonous to some animals. Central Park is full of wild birds and animals. Keep in mind how this may affect your pet, and how your pet might affect these creatures. Central Park is home to a huge number of birds, and some popular wedding locations are close to the homes of turtles, such as the Ladies’ Pavilion. I have seen raccoons in various locations in Central Park, the most memorable was one little guy who made an appearance at a wedding ceremony rehearsal we were doing at sunset at Wagner Cove.

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Include the pet as a guest.

If your pet is well-behaved, then they could attend the wedding along with the rest of your guests. Someone who knows your furry friend well could be pet-wrangler for the day and make sure that they stay calm and enjoy the fuss. If they are small enough (for example a rabbit or very small dog) you could perhaps have a guest carry them in a nice bag. I have seen brides arrive with or on their horses, but this tends to be at very large outdoor events that would allow such a thing. It looks amazing, though.
If you do include your pet as a guest, then let your photographer and/or wedding planner know in advance. They will need to factor that in to any plans, and the photographer can think about great ways to include your pet in your wedding photos.

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Include the pet in the official wedding party.
Your pet could be a normal guest, just like everyone else. But, they’re not just like everyone else, are they? They are your special companion and part of the family, so maybe they could walk a bride down the aisle, or be a best man. A more common way to include a pet in the bridal procession is for a bridesmaid, flower girl or ring bearer to hold the leash and to have the pet (dog, usually) walk in with them. The dog actually becomes a bridesmaid, flower girl or ring bearer in this case, depending on how you think about it.

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Decorate your pet

If you are going to the trouble of including your pet in your wedding day, then you ought to make the most of the opportunity to make them look cute. Florists will be able to make a bespoke collar for many pets that would be prepared to wear them. Other pets could possibly wear a cute sign around their neck with a message about the special day. Smaller pets could be in a bag as mentioned earlier, or in a cart decorated with flowers. A bow tie is a popular accessory for a pet, and I would suggest this would be by far the easiest thing to persuade an animal to wear.  I love this smart tweed bandana with bow tie from Giddings Gifts.

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Mention them in your ceremony wording.

This is a little easier, and can work for those who are able to bring their pet to their wedding, as well as the more common situation of those who cannot bring their pet. I write the wedding ceremony wording for each wedding especially for each couple. I ask them a series of questions that allows me to write an introduction about who they are as a couple, what their past has been and what they hope for their future to be. In many cases they mention their pets, and it is clear that pets contribute hugely to making a home for many couples. We can mention them in the introduction to their wedding ceremony, and some couples also mention them in their vows. Some couples choose to say the simple and straightforward “I do” basics, and some choose to say something more personal that they have written themselves. I have had many couples make promises to their partner on their wedding day that include their pet.

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Accessorise your wedding with your pet.

This is another suggestion for those who cannot bring their pet to their wedding. Couples can honor their pet by including a photo charm of them in the bridal bouquet, or worn on the wrist. A pet can be featured on the wedding stationery, as a cake topper, as table decorations, and many other ways. I love the custom cake topper pictured below from Peg and Plum on Etsy. If you are unable to have them at your wedding and in your wedding photos, but if you are having an engagement photo session, then you could include them in that instead. Then your pet could feature in your save the dates or wedding invites.

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Check with restaurants that the pet is permitted.

In New York City, pets are not allowed inside restaurants and bars that serve food. However, many restaurants in New York have an outdoor patio, and they may allow pets on that patio. If they do not allow them inside the fenced patio area, then they may put a water bowl outside the area and seat you at the edge of the fenced area and allow you to tether your dog nearby and safely within sight of the party. In my experience, Uptown restaurants tend to be more pet-friendly than the busy Downtown ones with less space.

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The most popular type of pet to bring along to a wedding by far seems to be a dog. All of the couples whose wedding I have been involved in and who have brought their pet have been dog owners. The photos I have included in this blog as examples of animals with brides and groom in Central Park are only of dogs, and several are myself and my husband, but I would love to hear of anyone including any other type of pets in the comments. The couple with the snake in their photo met that snake on their wedding day in Central Park, but I wanted to include the photo to provide relief from all the dogs!

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If you do want to include your pet in your wedding, then give lots of consideration to their personality and what they might make of it all. If you want to give them a bigger role, do you think they will do what you want them to on cue? Or do you think they might get nervous and not perform on the day? Remember that our human rituals can be strange to our animal companions, so do not to expect too much of them. They might get stressed and not enjoy the experience. Remember their animal nature. Bring water and treats for them. And keep in mind their shortcomings as a wedding guest; a dog might get his dirty feet all over your train – mine certainly would!

For more information on planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook for photos and more inspiring photos and ideas.

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