Meagan and Andrew got married in May on the Lawns by the Pond at the south end of Central Park, overlooking Gapstow Bridge. They’re both 25 and Meagan is from Westfield, New Jersey and Andrew is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania originally. They met in freshman year of college through mutual friends who insisted that they should meet since we were “both short”. Although this may seem like an odd thing to bond over, their friends were right in their case!
Meagan and Andrew were together for just over seven years before getting married. They had been talking about getting married for a very long time but they kept putting it off because life just simply kept getting in the way. Marriage was always the end goal for them, and they had talked about it after having dated for about a year. They got engaged on the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia. Andrew had wanted to propose on the same day as their first date but due to Meagan’s job he had to pick a different date. He planned a romantic picnic underneath a heated bubble tent right on the trail. They walked some of the trail until they got to the tent, where Andrew got down on one knee and popped the question. It was a complete surprise to Meagan! They spent a couple hours together in the tent and eventually drove over to a romantic dinner and stayed that night at the Four Seasons Hotel atop Philadelphia’s Comcast Tower.
I always ask our couples why getting married is important to them. Andrew has quite a unique answer to this one. When he was a third grader in Catholic school he learned about the sacraments, and when matrimony was brought up he was enthralled by the idea of two people being together forever since he did not have that at home. Meagan has always adored the idea of marriage from watching all the shows about weddings and crying tears of joy when she saw other brides on their special day. “Marriage to us was never a question,” Meagan told me.
Once they had finally officially gotten engaged, they knew that they wanted to get married in Central Park. New York, and Central Park in particular, is where they had many of their early dates. They actually held their wedding ceremony at the very spot where they took their first photo together. So, the place where their relationship began is where they said “I do.” They weren’t even sure that it was possible to get married in Central Park but they knew that they wanted to. So, they got online and found us at Wed in Central Park. “We were not sure if we could make it a reality until we found Claire,” said Meagan. “Since we found Claire so early in our plans we never looked elsewhere.”
I asked Meagan if she thinks that smaller, mor intimate weddings are becoming more popular. “Yes, 100%” she said. “Our original wedding plan was to have a VERY small wedding with just immediate family but quickly realized that was not going to be the case. Our wedding ended up being sixty-five people and it could not have been any more perfect for us,” she told me. “Having a smaller wedding allows you to truly enjoy the presence of all of your guests and have full conversations together. It felt so intimate and we would do it all over again the same way if we could,” Meagan said, which is the perfect answer!
I always ask our couples if they had any concerns about marrying in Central Park. Meagan and Andrew had the same worry that the majority of our couples have, and it’s unavoidable when getting married outdoors. “Rain,” said Meagan. “We checked the weather obsessively in the weeks leading up to the wedding, and on the day we had clear skies until literally the moment we stepped into the taxi to take us to our reception,” she said. We had two event permits to try to reduce their worries – one for this space beside Gapstow Bridge and one for underneath Bethesda Terrace. “One piece of advice though is to be open to the unexpected,” said Meagan. This is a good point for anyone planning to get married in a huge public park that other members of the public will be using too. “People will stare and want to take pictures,” she said. “On our wedding day there was a spin class going on at Wollman Rink with music playing. We don’t know how it happened but right as I made my entrance, the music stopped and we were able to have our ceremony as planned,” Meagan said. Sometimes our officiants will ask anyone nearby to be quiet for fifteen minutes if necessary, and people d respect a wedding usually, but we can’t take credit for this one!
Meagan and Andrew had hired their own photographer Morgan Taylor Artistry for the whole day, including a first look at The High Line in Chelsea, the ceremony in the park and the reception. They loved doing the first look in private since they’re both quite shy people. The ceremony was held on the large patch of grass between Gapstow Bridge and Wollman Rink. Meagan has anxiety but when she got to Andrew he soothed her and the ceremony proceeded beautifully. We had the officiant read an introduction with thanks to all of their nearest and dearest and also the story of Meagan and Andrew’s relationship to date. Meagan’s sister did a reading, and then they exchanged some traditional vows and some more unique vows before exchanging rings. The couple had written private vows for each other which they wanted to keep between themselves, so they read them out to each other during their honeymoon.
They had invited their closest friends and family that they had interacted with the most during their relationship. “Everyone was excited that we were getting married in Central Park and absolutely wanted to attend even if it meant venturing into the city and not having a chair to sit in during the ceremony,” said Meagan. They provided small “welcome bags” during the ceremony which contained bubbles for their exit, a paper fan, Advil, deodorant wipes, chewing gum, a code for a Lyft, and a note that had a few words of appreciation and a QR code to our website. “Our favorite photos were taken on the opposite side of the bridge by the ducks, geese and turtles where the sky is completely open and you can see the skyline,” said Meagan.
Meagan wore a Pronovias Milady Gown with the matching veil, purchased from Seng Couture in Fanwood, New Jersey. Her shoes were purchased from Etsy. She wore tennis bracelet Andrew had given her by the groom and earrings from Olive + Piper. Her something blue was a sapphire cross given to her by her late grandmother when she was a child. They hired Miss Harlequin to come to their hotel to do hair and makeup, and Meagan said that she would totally recommend! Andrew wore a Jos Bank suit with pink tie. The Meagan’s mom lent him her father’s watch so that they could have a piece of him with them on their wedding day.
The flowers were provided by City Blossoms. The bridal bouquet was made up of peonies, Juliet roses, ranunculus, and Italian ruscus in hues of cream, pink, and orange. Attached to the bouquet were rosary beads and a charm with pictures of both sets of grandparents. Andrew had a boutonnière with a single white rose and accenting greenery. “They also set up beautiful centerpieces and bar décor with similar florals at our reception,” said Megan. “One thing to note is that bridal bouquets are HEAVY so be prepared if you want to walk around afterwards,” she added, which is certainly worth remembering if you choose an elaborate bouquet for a wedding in Central Park where you can’t really put it down anywhere and there’s lots of walking around. They held the reception at City Winery, “we danced and drank the night away!” said Megan.
Meagan and Andrew live about 45 minutes outside of the city but decided to stay in Manhattan for the wedding. They stayed at The Maritime Hotel and then moved over to an airport hotel the night before their honeymoon departure. Since they’re fairly local they have a few recommendations of places to eat. “Whenever we go to the city our favorite stops are Ample Hills Creamery, Serafina for Italian food and Doughnut Plant,” Meagan told me. I asked Meagan and Andrew what they would say to anyone else considering getting married in Central Park. Meagan’s advice: “Do it, you won’t regret it.” Andrew’s advice: “Make sure to call for a taxi or ride early to avoid getting caught in traffic. Also, no matter where you pick in the park it will still look gorgeous.”
I asked Meagan how we did. “Claire was very easy and flexible to work with,” she said. “She created a base timeline which we used throughout our entire planning process and kept in constant communication with reminders of due dates and advice. She added incredible value to our wedding planning process especially with her choice of officiant who was a joy to be around,” she added. “We would 100% recommend her services to any future brides looking to plan their dream NYC wedding!” Thanks so much for your kind words, and for sharing your story with us! 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.