Getting Married in Central Park in January

getting married in Central Park in January

January certainly isn’t the busiest month for weddings in Central Park.  It’s COLD in New York in Winter!  But couples who are brave enough to stand outdoors to say “I do” could be rewarded with stunning views of Central Park with bare trees, iced over water and maybe even snow.  New York and Central Park are striking in the Winter, so if you’re a person who can cope with a bit of cold, then it’s worth considering getting married at the beginning of the year.

Think about what to wear if you’re getting married outdoors in New York in January.  An overwhelming number of my brides wear a traditional wedding dress of some style, although I’ve had couples get married in normal street clothes.  There are no rules when getting married in a park – do what suits you.  If you’re wearing a dress, think about what you might wear under it – I did have a bride who told me that she wore thermals under her gown.  There’s a good chance of the ground being wet in January, so think about that when choosing shoes – many Winter brides have outdoor and indoor shoes for their day.  Of course, everyone will need a coat for an outdoor wedding in New York in January!  Some brides keep their coat on for the ceremony and take it off for photos, some take it off for the ceremony – everyone is different.

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The couple must pick up their marriage license in advance of their wedding.  They must have it at least 24 hours in advance of the ceremony.  The City Clerk’s Office is closed on New Year’s Day; January 1st and the third Monday in January, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday is observed.  So, keep that in mind when making travel plans.

Central Park is a busy place, and your best chance of taking wedding photos with fewer tourists and passers-by in them is in the Winter.  That said, you might want to plan some indoor photos.  I usually make a plan of timings with couples for their day and if it’s very cold, then it might be better to take some photos outdoors in Central Park, then go indoors for some more photos – then you can show of your wedding gown without shivering.  Some couples go to the Tavern on the Green or the Boathouse for dinner or a warm drink and take some photos in there, or some go further afield.  Some couples take photos in Central Park and then get wrapped up in a warm blanket for a horse and carriage ride around the park.  We have lots of couples going to Grand Central for photos in Winter months, and one January we actually planned a wedding ceremony for a couple inside of Grand Central.

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New York can get very hot in the Summer, and not everyone likes the heat.  Some people love to get wrapped up in a cosy coat and be outdoors when it’s cold.  Some brides have always dreamt of a Winter wedding.  January is a great month to get married if you’re planning things a little last-minute.  Many wedding vendors will be free for most of the month, especially weekdays, so you can probably take your pick of anyone you’d like to be involved in your wedding.

Keep in mind that the sun sets earlier during the Winter months.  Some couples may want to make the most of that and take photos as the sun goes down, as we had a couple do on New Year’s Eve one year.  Some couples may want to make the most of the light (and January does see some crisp, bright days) and get married in the middle of the day.

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There are lots of reasons why you may want to get married in Central Park or elsewhere in New York in the Winter.  The couple in the photo about got married on Bow Bridge on New Year’s Day.  I’d love to hear any further comments or tips in the comments below.  Here my thoughts on getting married in the Winter in Central Park, and also some general thoughts on getting married outdoors.

I can help you with planning your own wedding or marriage vow renewal in Central Park”, no matter what time of year!  For more information, please visit our website, or follow us on Pinterest where we pin all things New York or wedding-related, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram for beautiful photos of newlyweds and couples renewing their vows.

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Stephanie and Jack’s Wagner Cove Elopement

S&J Wagner Cove Central Park Wedding

Stephanie and Jack eloped to New York to get married in Central Park in July. Stephanie (26) is from Dublin, Ireland and Jack (23) is from London, UK. They live in Dublin with their two year old son, Kai. They met at their work. They both applied for the same position and Jack originally got offered the job. A week later, another vacancy opened up in the team and Stephanie was offered that job. “I only joined on a temporary basis,” explained Stephanie, “because I had a job in New York starting that summer, but then I met Jack and the rest is history.”

S&J Wagner Cove Central Park Wedding 1968

The couple had been together a little over four years before they got married and had been engaged for a little over three and half years. They got engaged when they were out with friends just outside Dublin city to ring in the New Year. “We had been discussing the idea of marriage over the Christmas period spent together and shortly after midnight, Jack asked could we go home,” Stephanie told me. “We said goodnight to our friends and left. We were walking for a taxi when Jack stopped and proposed. He didn’t even have a ring but of course I said yes.” A couple of days after that they were out for a walk after work and Jack stopped outside a beautiful church beside where he was living at the time, took out an engagement ring and proposed again.

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I asked what marriage meant to them. “The unity of marriage is a bond like no other,” Stephanie said. “It’s one of the biggest steps in a relationship and it’s a really special journey that you both get to go on together,” she added. “Marriage is a really special union and we both always find it so lovely when we see couples who have been married for fifty or sixty years and that is something that is important to us in life,” she told me. “We have seen my two sets of Grandparents reach fifty years of marriage and it was such a happy, special time not only for them but for the entire family. To be able to share all that life has to offer with one another and have all those lovely milestones to look forward to is just such a privilege and something to be proud of,” she said. Stephanie and Jack have of course been a family since the birth of their son Kai, but marriage is a way of formalising that family bond.

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From the beginning, Stephanie had said that she wanted to have a destination wedding and get married in somewhere like Hawaii or Bali but Jack was adamant that he wanted a big, traditional wedding, “so we just sort of parked wedding discussions and said we would come back to it after about five or six years,” said Stephanie. They had planned their trip to New York for just the two of them this year when Stephanie spontaneously suggested to Jack that they get married in New York and to her surprise he straight away said yes. “To us, a wedding should be about the two people getting married and a traditional wedding can be too much about other people,” explained Stephanie, “and weddings nowadays have lost a bit of romance which is why we decided against going that route,” she added. Preach, girl. They have visited New York every year since being together, it was their first big holiday together, somewhere they visited during their months spent traveling whilst Stephanie was pregnant and also their first holiday as a family of three. So New York holds a special place in their hearts with nothing but nice memories.

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I asked why they had chosen Central Park itself for their wedding. “We chose Central Park for its beauty,” Stephanie said. “It’s just absolutely stunning. There are so many wonderful ceremony locations to choose from and then endless places for photos,” she added. I asked if they’d had any worries about getting married in Central Park, “not really,” Stephanie said. “Jack had none whatsoever and the only concern I had was the attention that we might have had. However, there was no need for concern. It’s New York so the people have seen it all,” she said. “When we got married, tons of people stopped to congratulate us. People clapped, told us how beautiful we looked, asked for photos, helped us by offering to take photos on our phones. They were just generally so so nice and positive,” she told me. This is what I see when couples walk around New York in wedding attire – they are treated like celebrities!

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Stephanie and Jack stayed in the Lotte Palace New York which features in many of the photographs in this blog. “It was our second time staying there and by far the best hotel we have stayed in over the years of going to New York,” said Stephanie. They stayed for one week. They usually stay in New York for two or three weeks when they visit but this time they didn’t want to leave their son for that long.

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The couple had chosen Wagner Cove for their ceremony location, and they had wanted to get married on the Sunday. The NYC Triathlon was being held on the Sunday, so part of Central Park would be closed. We switched to the Saturday, but were still unable to get a permit because the Central Park Conservancy wouldn’t issue them in case they wanted to start putting barriers up early for the event. I usually suggest getting a permit for lots of reasons, but in this case, we couldn’t. So, we got a permit for the Ladies’ Pavilion as a backup but planned to give Wagner Cove a try first – if the were unable to get down to Wagner Cove then we’d go with plan B of the Ladies’ Pavilion. In the end, it all worked out fine and we were able to hold the ceremony in Wagner Cove. I’m so happy it worked out. “I love Wagner Cove as it just has such a special feel to it,” said Stephanie. “It’s beautiful and romantic and you wouldn’t actually believe this place was nestled in the middle of New York City. For wedding photos, it’s probably just marginally more special than other locations in Central Park,” she said.

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In the ceremony, we talked a little about the couple’s family and how they had met, and the officiant read the poem Marriage is… which I’ll post at the end of this for anyone interested in using it themselves. “The ceremony was beautiful,” said Stephanie. “When we arrived at Wagner Cove the sun was beaming and the surroundings were just incredible. So peaceful too. It just felt really intimate and special,” she added. We kept the vows traditional. They had considered writing their own vows, but in the end decided against it, “because sometimes the more simple you keep things, the more beautiful and romantic they can be. Traditional vows really cover everything in a simplistic yet beautiful way,” Stephanie explained.

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This was a true elopement. They had no guests and they didn’t even tell anyone that they had got married until they got home. “When we got home and told everyone, everyone was blown away,” Stephanie told me. “When they saw the photos, they thought it was just incredible. A lot of people said it was so romantic,” she said. Our photographer, Jakub Redziniak, worked super hard on this very hot day!

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We arranged for Metro Look to do Stephanie’s hair and makeup. “Dana and T were amazing – so nice and did such a wonderful job,” she said. “The day we got married was the hottest day of the year and Jack’s shirt was soaked through because of the heat and he had to change clothes for dinner but my hair and makeup remained flawless the whole day through,” she said. “I had a photo taken on Times Square nearing midnight so a good sixteen hours after having my hair and makeup done and it looked just as good as when it was first done,” Stephanie told me. “Plus, if you’re getting professional photos, it’s worth spending that bit extra for your hair and makeup because it really does complete your look for the photos,” she added.

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Stephanie wore an embellished white dress from Ted Baker and her shoes were a white leather backless mule with a crystal-encrusted strap. She carried a pink rose bouquet with lavender and lily of the valley and Jack had a pink rose boutonnière with lily of the valley. Jack wore a pair of white turn-up trousers, a white shirt, a blazer and an Italian silk bow tie. He also wore fox cufflinks which was his favorite part of his outfit. He had put on a pair of suede Reiss loafers which he tried on in store and loved. He then didn’t take them out again until the day of the wedding and the back fell out of them! It caused some problems while they were taking photos around the hotel, so he had to switch to his only other pair of shoes. He had to run to H&M on Fifth Avenue after the ceremony to buy a new pair of loafers to wear for dinner “which ended up being one tenth the price and a hundred times the quality,” said Stephanie. She had taken three pairs of shoes with her in anticipation of a shoe disaster but it ended up being Jack who needed the spares!

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Stephanie and Jack forgot to bring their license to the ceremony! This does happen occasionally, which is why I remind couples of it several times in the run-up to the wedding. So, our officiant went to fetch it for them and they had lunch with her and her family. After that they went back to their hotel room for champagne and cake. They had ordered their wedding cake from Magnolia Bakery. After that, they went to Ralph Lauren’s restaurant, the Polo Bar, for dinner. “The food was incredible,” Stephanie said. After dinner they went to Broadway and to see the Lion King. After that, they had a caricature drawn of them wearing our wedding outfits in Times Square.

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I asked Stephanie if she thinks that destination weddings and elopements are becoming more popular. “In general, I think that sort of wedding is the way to go,” she said. “Traditional weddings as such have become too much of a show and we feel you really miss out on the intimacy and romance that an elopement has to offer,” she added. She feels that they are becoming more popular. “Growing up, they were virtually unheard of, but now, especially with social media, you see and hear of more and more people having destination weddings and eloping. Thanks to social media, people’s perceptions of an elopement are changing and they have more of an appeal to them nowadays,” I couldn’t have put it better myself, Stephanie.

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I asked if they had any regrets about not having a “traditional” wedding closer to home, “No, none at all,” Stephanie said. “Our day was 100% about us which is exactly what we wanted. The thing we feared the most about the idea of a ‘traditional’ wedding was not being able to spend enough time with one another on the day because we would have so many other people/things to worry about. With the elopement, we had no one and nothing else to worry about. We spent every second of the day together, enjoying every single moment together and it was beautiful. The day went so fast as it was. I could only imagine how much faster it would have went had we went the ‘traditional’ route,” she said. I hear this so much from couples – and who wouldn’t want the day to be all about them – it’s the first day of their marriage. “Plus, we are going to have a party back home to celebrate with family and friends without the stress of a wedding,” she added, so the couple are getting the best of both worlds.

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If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, or elopement, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where we pin like crazy all things New York or wedding-related.

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Marriage is…
Learning to give not always to take,
Learning to forgive each little mistake,
Learning to give not always to take,
Learning to forgive each little mistake,
Learning to love whatever the cost,
Always remember alone you’d be lost.

Trying so hard your partner to please,
Trying to save whilst paying the fees,
Trying to smile when things turn out wrong,
Always remember to curb your tongue.

Never to think of only yourself,
Never to say you wish you had wealth.
Never to let your temper get hot,
Always be thankful for what you have got.

If you remember all of these things,
You will discover the joys that it brings,
Then you will have what so many folks miss,
A lifetime of love and a marriage of bliss.

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16 Things to do in Central Park

Many of the couples who get married in Central Park are visitors to New York.  I find that lots of people who get married there might visit Central Park before their wedding, to have a look around and enjoy the space where they will be making some of the biggest promises of their lives.  It is a popular place to get engaged, and many couples who have their wedding in Central Park also got engaged there.  It is also a place that couples who married there like to return to, either on anniversaries or perhaps with their kids later on in married life.  Here are a few of my ideas of what you can do when you visit Central Park, if you don’t happen to be getting married that day!

Things to do in Central Park

Take a Walking Tour

The Central Park guides offer many and varied tours all over the park, with the schedule differing each day.  You can learn so much by being guided around the park and while listening to interesting facts, they might well point out something that you wouldn’t otherwise spot.

Visit the Zoo

In the South end of the park on the East side there is a small zoo.  It’s not as big as the Bronx Zoo, but it’s a nice place to visit, especially with kids.  There are indoor and outdoor attractions, a popular one being the sea lion pool in the center courtyard.  There is an admission fee.  Even if you don’t go inside, it is worth trying to get there around the hour or half past, to see the animated musical clock do its thing.

Go Ice Skating (in the Winter) or on the Carousel (in the Summer)

In the South-East corner of the park there is an ice rink, made famous by the countless films and tv shows it has been featured in.  Skating there is a fun thing to do, with a stunning backdrop.  We planned an engagement there a while back.  The Carousel is in a plaza a little North of where the ice rink is in the Winter.  There have been four on this site since Central Park was first created, the current one being a vintage carousel made in 1908 which ran in Coney Island until it was purchased for Central Park.

Go Boating on the Lake

You can either rent a rowboat from the Loeb Boathouse, or book a gondola in advance, which comes with a gondolier.  I’ve seen many a rower struggle to get very far so I’d recommend paying a gondolier to do the hard work for you!

Run or Walk Around the Reservoir

I love running around Central Park, and the 1.58 mile track around the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir is a popular flat circuit for people to run or walk, with stunning views of the buildings surrounding the park.

Eat!

The Tavern on the Green and the Loeb Boathouse are popular restaurants for our couples to go and eat after their wedding in Central Park.  There’s also Le Pain Quotidien for a less formal meal, and lots of concession stands dotted all over the park.

Play a Board Game

The Chess and Checkers House is popular with locals in the summer.  In fact, you’ll see lots of chess/checkers tables in many public parks in New York.  You can borrow pieces from the visitor center and play outdoors like New Yorkers do.  As far as I know, they will also lend backgammon and dominoes to play outdoors, too.

Watch a Ball Game

New Yorker kids’ and adults’ ball game teams and leagues meet regularly on Central Park’s ball fields.  The state of the art playing fields in this part are a huge part of community life for the people who live nearby.  It’s fun to stop and watch a little of the games when passing by, especially to see some American games that might not be so common in your own country.

Relax on the Great Lawn or Sheep Meadow

These are two large and wide lawns that New Yorkers love to relax on.  Dogs are not allowed in either of these spaces.  Take a picnic and lets any kids run around, or take a book and a coffee and relax like the locals do.

Explore the North Woods

The North end of the park tends to have far fewer tourists, and it is where the locals hang out.  The woods are probably the most secluded part of the park, and you can almost forget that you’re in Manhattan when inside the area.

Take the Kids to a Playground

There are some amazing playgrounds dotted all over Central Park.  For many visitors, we think of Central Park as a beautiful and tranquil rest form the city.  But if you live near to Central Park in an apartment with small children, then the park is where you take them to burn off some energy.  If you’re visiting the city with kids then taking them to a Central Park playground will give them a chance to enjoy the park just like local kids do.

Visit the Met

This just about counts as being inside Central Park, and the Metropolitan Museum is one of the wonderful museums along the Museum Mile of Fifth Avenue.  It’s my personal favorite museum in the whole world, with something that should appeal to everyone.  Right behind it, in Central Park is the Obelisk, the oldest outdoor monument in New York City; it was made in Egypt in around 1450 BC.

Have a look around Bethesda Terrace

No visit to Central Park is complete without seeing this beautiful and iconic piece of architecture.  There is usually some musicians underneath Bethesda Terrace, because the acoustics are fantastic, and there is also a large public bathroom halfway up the stairs at the back of the terrace.  The stunning tiles on the ceiling were made in my home town of Stoke on Trent, England in the 1860s, and when it was restored in 2004, replacements were made in the same factory.  The fountain is lovely, and it’s a great place to people-watch.

Ride a Bike or Run Around the Loop

There is a 6.1 mile loop around the inside of Central Park with a bike lane and runners’ lane that will give lovely views of the whole park.  It does go up and down hill quite a bit, though.  If you don’t have your bike with you, there are plenty of places in the park where you can rent one from.

Sail a Boat on the Conservatory Water

During the Summer you can rent a model boat to take out on the small pond at the Conservatory Water, over on the East side of the park, around 75th Street.  This is a lovely spot, with a small café and the famous Alice in Wonderland stature nearby.

Go to a Visitor Center

There are five visitor centers in Central Park.  This is where you can pick up maps and guides and get information from the staff members.  You can also purchase gifts, knowing that your money is going towards the upkeep of this beautiful park.

I’d love to hear any other suggestions in the comments!

 

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Crystal and Robert’s Vow Renewal in the Ladies’ Pavilion

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Crystal and Robert brought their three children with them to New York to renew their wedding vows in Central Park this July. They live with their family in Michigan. They met when they were 19 and 21 years old, 19 years ago; they were engaged four months after they met!

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“When we got married we wanted something very small and very intimate,” Crystal told me. Their wedding was held in the Little Church of La Villita, a historic stone building in downtown San Antonio. They placed glass jars along the side of this very small church for candle light. They had chosen red and gold as their colors, so Crystal held a bouquet of red roses with gold ribbon tied around and wore an off-white cream colored strapless dress from J Crew (fun fact: I also bought my wedding dress from J Crew!). Robert’s tie was red and gold striped.

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They had around thirty guests in total, with no bridesmaids or best man. Robert likes to remind Crystal that she was late to their wedding! After their ceremony they had dinner in a beautiful private room at their favorite restaurant on Broadway in San Antonio called Tomatillo’s. “Everyone ate and had a great time and we had Mariachis come and play music. After we went to a hotel on the Riverwalk and spent our night there. It was all very special,” Crystal said.

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I asked why they had decided to renew their marriage vows. “We have gone through so much together, many ups and downs, changing and raising our children,” explained Crystal. “We have changed jobs and been through moving states. We have seen each other through so many things. It seemed appropriate to start fresh again after almost 19 years,” she said.

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I asked if they had considered renewing their vows in any other places? “We considered near water, something big and something small,” Crystal said. “I wanted to leave it up to Robert,” she said. “I am very creative but he always tries to out-do me.” In fact, Robert did arrange it all with me – I love it when a husband puts the effort in to arrange something like this. “We chose Central Park because it is iconic!” Robert told me. “The park is beautiful and there are so many lovely spots to choose from,” he said. “Crystal loves New York City and taking into account how we both love nature and natural settings I could not have thought of a better place to have such a special occasion,” he explained.

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“I think a vow renewal can feel like letting whatever you had go, putting it to rest like in a photo album you can put on a shelf and taking your marriage with all the new vows and put those photos up on the wall in nice frames instead of an album. I hope that makes sense but that I how I feel about it!” explained Crystal. I think that’s a beautiful way of putting it.

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They had their ceremony early on Monday morning in the Ladies’ Pavilion. “The ceremony was quiet and very intimate and having it on Monday morning worked perfectly for us” Robert said. “The officiant and the photographer were so helpful and the weather was perfect” he added. “We just wanted to not only reaffirm our love and commitment to each other but to vow to love and cherish who we are now and who we have yet to become,” he explained. “A lot has changed since we first married and forever is a long time so we wanted each other to know that we commit to renewal everyday for the rest of our lives together,” he said. Anyone else teared up at how lovely this is?

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“Our favorite photos were actually at and around the Pavilion, although all of them were amazing,” said Robert. “We loved that our family was in the photos and our littles had a few individual shots taken which they all loved. The park just offers so many beautiful views and we loved the skyline in the background and the lake behind us,” he added. Their three children were their guests. “It made it so much more special to have them be a part of this” said Crystal. “They have been through the ups and downs with us, and they have seen the changes and moved across the country with us and gone through it all so we wouldn’t have done this without them,” she added.

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For the renewal of their vows Crystal wore a yellow strapless chiffon summer dress she had in her closet for a few summers. “I didn’t want to wear white or cream again and Robert reminded me ‘we can do whatever want, it’s just us’ and that assured me it was just right,” she said.

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We planned it all in a week! They had been thinking about it for a while and Robert and I had been discussing the possibility by email for a short time, but he wasn’t sure which weekend they would be coming to town. In the end he confirmed just a week before the ceremony, so we worked quickly! “The most amazing thing was how easy the whole process was,” Robert said. “I was able to surprise my wife and children and Claire took care of the details, he added.

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If you’re thinking of renewing your marriage vows in Central Park yourself then Robert and Crystal recommend that you take the plunge! “The reviews and comments don’t do her service justice. You truly have to experience it for yourself. She has amazing partners to help along the way and puts her reputation on the line to ensure that our dreams are captured and experienced perfectly. The planning was handled all remotely via email and very quickly and Claire delivered. She was responsive and understanding and very patient and in the end what was captured in our hearts and in pictures was less a product of what we did because we just showed up and more of a product of Claire’s dedication and brilliance,” he said. Thanks so much for your kind words, Robert and Crystal, and for sharing the story of your beautiful vow renewal with us!

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If you would like me to help you with planning your own marriage vow renewal in Central Park” , or your wedding, visit our website, or follow us on Pinterest where we pin all things New York or wedding-related, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram for beautiful photos of newlyweds and couples renewing their vows.

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Chris and Emily’s July Cop Cot Wedding

EC Cop Cot Central Park Wedding

Canadian couple Emily and Chris got married in Cop Cot in July. They had around forty guests at their ceremony, so Cop Cot suited their group size perfectly. The couple met online and had been together for almost four years when they got married. They live in Grimsby, Ontario Canada with their dog, Lainey.

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Emily and Chris got engaged on vacation in the Bahamas. They considered getting married close to home, but “we wanted to do something smaller,” Emily told me. “We wanted something unique, away from home, but not really far,” she said.

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They had visited New York City a few times and they loved Central Park. Chris suggested getting married in Central Park. They liked the idea of having a wedding away from home in the sort of city that they felt confident that all of their guests would enjoy exploring and doing whatever they wanted while on the trip.

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The couple stayed in the Ameritania hotel just outside of Times Square, “ we liked it because we could walk most places,” said Emily. They stayed in the city for five days.

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I asked where their favorite wedding photos were taken, “I liked the photos in and around Cop Cot where we had the ceremony, and beside Bethesda Fountain,” Emily said. “I think the fountain is just one of those iconic spots in Central Park,” she added. I agree. Any wedding photo taken beside Bethesda Fountain, framed and hung on your wall is instantly recognizable at Central Park.

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Emily’s Dad gave her away for the ceremony, and we had a short introduction before they said the traditional vows and then exchanged rings. “Our ceremony was short and to the point,” said Emily, “that’s the way we like it. We aren’t great with public speaking”, she explained. We write all the ceremonies with each couple – some want a long ceremony with several readings and an outpouring of emotion, and some (like myself when I got married!) like to say as little as possible. We can fit in with whatever a couple prefers – that’s the beauty of writing a unique ceremony every time.

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I asked what their guests thought about where they chose to get married. “Everyone thought that it was a beautiful place to get married,” Emily told me. “A lot of our guests were excited because they have never been to New York City before,” she added.

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Their wedding took place in the morning, which is a sensible choice in July to keep everyone fairly cool, and for good photos. We find that the light is better and the guests aren’t squinting in the bright light as they would be for a mid-afternoon wedding in high summer!

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Emily wore a classic, flowing wedding gown with beaded bodice. She had found a picture of it online and found a store that carried a sample of it, then she bought it. We had a bouquet of flowers delivered to her hotel with nigella, waxflower, veronica, scabiosa, cornflower, corncockle, etc filled out with sprays of loose greenery such as parvifolia, dusty miller and seeded eucalyptus. They used Beauty Entourage who came to the hotel to do their hair and makeup.

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After the ceremony and some photos around Central Park, Emily and Chris had a rather non-traditional reception. They went to the Yankee Stadium to watch a Blue Jays vs Yankees game in the Audi Club. They took all of their guests on a party bus to the stadium.

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I asked them if they had any regrets about not choosing the traditional large wedding close to home and they said absolutely not. Emily said that in general she thinks destination weddings are becoming more popular for good reason. “People are customizing weddings outside of the traditional wedding to suit their personalities and interests,” she told me.

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I asked if they had any thoughts on getting married in Central Park that they would like to share with any couples who might be considering doing the same as they had. “It was a great experience! It was easy to plan, turned out beautiful and wouldn’t change a thing,” said Emily. “Wed in Central Park made planning our dream wedding so easy. Claire was so helpful and knowledgeable. She was very fast with responses which made it easy to trust that all things would work out well and we had nothing to worry about. The officiant was lovely and the photographer took amazing photos. Thank you for everything!”

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If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, whatever the time of year, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where we pin like crazy all things New York or wedding-related.

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Ways to Reduce Wedding Planning Stress when you get to New York

Wedding planning can be stressful.  Many couples choose to have an elopement or destination wedding in New York to avoid stress but there are still decisions to make and guests to organise.  It’s important to take time out for yourself when planning a wedding, and New York City has a few options for those who need to reduce their stress levels in advance of their wedding.

Reduce Wedding Planning Stress when you get to New York

Practice Yoga

If you’d like to practice a little yoga outdoors in Central Park, then get in touch with the Yoga Trail, who are offering vinyasa yoga group classes on Sheep Meadow.  Unlock the tension in your body and relieve stress while building core strength with a mindful focus. Each class ends with final relaxation and meditation.

Meditate

There are lots of lovely outdoor spaces in New York where you can take some time out to meditate and relax, but sometimes you really need to shut yourself away.  Try the Inscape studio in the Flatiron district.  They hold events there, and you can also just book a studio session.

Let it All Float Away

With their sensory-deprivation isolation tank experience, Float Science on West 49th Street provides a unique environment to promote mental recovery, relieve stress, hasten physical healing, and foster personal growth, among many other benefits.

Realign your Electromagnetic Fields

If the idea of shutting yourself inside a small dome-shaped pod for twenty minutes just for some peace and quiet appeals to you then try the Soma Dome.  They use color and light waves to regulate the production of melatonin and cortisol, two hormones critical to health and wellness.  There are a couple of these in Manhattan, the closest to Central Park being on East 55th Street.

Break Things

If you’re really very stressed then how about going to the Wrecking Club and smashing a few things up?  You can go to this location in Midtown and choose a 15 minute or 30 minute session of breaking things.  They have sledge hammers and baseball bats and the like, and you can use them to break up their stuff in a safe environment to blow off any wedding-related steam!

Run

I love running, this is how I de-stress.  I love running along the Hudson River and along the East River, and of course around Central Park.  These are great running routes because they don’t involve having to wait to cross the road!  There’s an internal route that goes around Central Park, or you can run the route that goes around the outside of Central Park.

Sweat it Out

The are plenty of options for a sauna in New York City.  Heating your body can detoxify you, boost your immune system, calm your nervous system, offer pain relief, and improved circulation, as well as the cosmetic benefits of collagen boosting, anti-aging, skin purification and cell health.  Higher Dose has infrared sauna locations al over the city, mostly inside Equinox gyms, the closest to Central Park being on East 74th Street.

Have a Nap

Relax and recharge under a canopy of gently twinkling stars at the Nap York location in the Garment District.  You can take a quiet break from wedding-related stress inside a clean and cozy pod.

Be Mindful

This is a guided meditation studio with three locations in the city, the closest to Central Park being on East 60th Street.  It’s a great class for beginners.  Classes are 30, 45 and 60 minutes, and start at $15.

Be Soothed by Salt

Dry Salt Therapy is a natural and holistic treatment that has been known to aid in detoxifying the respiratory system, healing skin conditions, promoting better breathing, sounder sleep and overall wellness.  Breathe Salt Rooms are on 5th Avenue in Midtown.

Just Be

There’s a bus that travels around New York that you can book a session on and go in there and follow their guided meditation classes.  It moves to different locations but it is stationery for the classes.  You simply step inside, unplug, pick up one of their weighted blankets if you wish, and just be.

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There are of course many other options that are available in New York that you can do just about anywhere, such as a massage or getting your nails done.  I’ve tried to keep to some ideas that are unique to New York, or not the sort of thing that you’d fine in any town.  I’d love to hear anyone else’s suggestions on how to reduce any wedding-planning stress if you’re still feeling it once you arrive in New York for your wedding.

If you would like me to help you with planning your own wedding in New York, especially if you’re planning on getting married in a public park, I can help you to keep your stress levels downs!  Visit our website for more information, or follow us on Pinterest, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram for lots photos of newlywed couples in New York.

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Flor and John’s English and Spanish Wedding on Gapstow Bridge

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Florencia and John got married in Central Park with a small group in June on Gapstow Bridge.  They brought John’s mother and daughters from their home in Michigan for the wedding.  They all stayed at Essex House, the well-known hotel overlooking the part of Central Park where they got married.

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They had hoped to get married in Wagner Cove but at that time the wooden structure had been terribly vandalised and was out for a long time for restoration.  So, instead they chose Gapstow Bridge for their ceremony.

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Flor’s first language is Spanish, so the couple wanted to have both English and Spanish in their ceremony.  Our officiant asked them both the “do you take this person to be your husband/wife….” question in both English and Spanish and both John and Flor answered “I do” and then when they exchanged rings both the bride and groom made their promises in both English and Spanish.  Then the officiant declared them married in both English and Spanish.  We arranged a videographer for it all so they have a lasting record of it.

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John’s daughters, the bridesmaids, and John’s mom all wore red dresses, and I organised some deep red roses to be delivered to the hotel for the bride to carry.  John arrived at Gapstow Bridge first with his two daughters.  We had our cellist play at the ceremony, so the groom met the officiant and cellist there at Gapstow Bridge.

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Our cellist can play requests, but the couple were happy for him to play his own choices for John and his daughters while waiting for Flor to arrive.  The bride and John’s mom met our photographer at the entrance to the park from their horse and carriage and he walked in with them.  The cellist played the wedding march as Flor arrived, and then Ave Maria after they were pronounced married, then he went back to playing some background music while they signed the paperwork and took some photos on and beside the bridge.

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If you think you might like some help with planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website.  “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest for lots of photos and updates.

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