Elopment weddings are increasingly popular as lots of couples decide to go overseas for their dream wedding day. But what about a New York Wedding? What about getting married in Central Park, New York? Over to Claire Ady who is a wedding planner from Weddings in Central Park to give us her top 5 tips for arranging your dream New York Wedding!
Feature photo courtesy of Andy Mars Photography.
Top 5 tips for planning your new york wedding
1. Make your New York wedding travel plans
Start by making arrangements for the trip; when do you want to go and who will you go with? We see lots of elopements in Central Park, New York, and some fairly large groups of around fifty or so guests. However, the majority of our weddings tend to have between five and fifteen guests.
So, decide what time of year you would like to get married – there are pros and cons to every season in New York! And then invite who you would like to be with you when you say your vows. If you elope, I’d still advise talking to your nearest and dearest about your plans, there may be expectations to be managed.
2. Get the holiday booked
Then comes the usual stuff involved when you book a holiday or city break – book your flights and accommodation.
New York is a big city and has options to suit many budgets. The bad news is that there’s really no off-season – it’s always busy. But the good news is that you can choose anything from a swanky hotel in Midtown Manhattan to a more budget option on the gorgeous Upper West Side (my favourite). You could also opt for a very budget option of an Airbnb in Brooklyn or Queens. If you are looking to save some money then I really recommend checking out Airbnb in New York. You could stay in an apartment right next to a hotel and have all the benefits of being close to the action without paying a huge fee just for someone to make your bed and pick up your towels.
3. start planning the wedding ceremony
Once all of that is out of the way, it’s time to make a plan of your wedding!
Of course the wedding day will be in the back of your mind while you’re making all the other travel plans, but I think it’s best to start with the big stuff.
Firstly, you and your partner need to plan to go to City Hall at least 24 hours before your wedding ceremony to pick up your license. Check out my list of what to do to collect your license here.
Then you need to find some awesome wedding suppliers to be involved with your wedding day. I strongly suggest that you should hire a planner to help you with planning your New York wedding, but I’ll admit that I’m biased on this one, since that’s what I do! In the age of the internet, there is lots of information out there on officiants, photographers, videographers, florists, hair dressers, makeup artists, musicians, and all the other people that can make a wedding ceremony perfect just for you. Some people enjoy doing all the research and finding their people. If you do this, always check their reviews for reliability, quality and promptness, and be sure that they are good communicators before booking them.
4. Sort out the wedding celebrations
Many of the couples I work with have their wedding ceremony in Central Park and then go on to a reception location to celebrate their union. New York is a very big city and has bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets.
We’ve had couples take their guests on a trolley bus tour around the city before stopping at a restaurant for the wedding reception. Some couples have held wedding receptions in a private room, smaller groups often just have a table booked in a restaurant.
New York restaurants will serve every cuisine you can think of, and you can eat while enjoying views of Central Park, the iconic skyscraper skyline, or one of the two rivers on either side of Manhattan. A popular choice for many couples is to take a river cruise on the Hudson, where guests can see the sights as they eat and drink in the yacht.
5. That’s it! Simple, eh?
Many Brits are surprised to learn that a wedding in the USA is legally binding back here. Lots of couples I know who have got married abroad have actually had the legal part at a register office back home. There’s no need for this if you get married in the USA. Couples can leave their completed license with their officiant, who will send it back to City Hall, who register the couples’ marriage and send a marriage certificate to your address in the UK, or wherever you live.
So many of my couples say that their guests still talk about their weddings years later. It is a great way to get a small group of your nearest and dearest together to celebrate for several days, which is a lovely way for your newly joined family to really get to know each other. Some couples have their stag and hen dos in New York while they’re there. We have had couples who take photos at the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building, or on the river with the skyline in the background, or on Brooklyn Bridge. Their weddings photos will really stand out as unique and their wedding will be a happy memory for years to come for the couple and all their guests.
Top Tips for Planning your new york wedding
Claire Ady has been planning weddings in Central Park, New York since 2011, when she was living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side - she planned her own wedding in Central Park. She was looking for a career change and it gave her the idea to start a business helping other Brits and people from all over to get married in this beautiful place in the middle of this fantastic, vibrant city that truly has something for everyone.
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