We decided early on that with kids in all corners of the UK and parents who are not perhaps in the best of health that we would like to have a ceremony involving just the two of us, then have a big party for everyone else later on. Getting married in secret in a registry office in the UK seemed a bit utilitarian and as we had already booked our trip to New York we thought it might be nice to do it here.
When I first looked into us getting married over here it seemed a bit convoluted, but then I discovered New York Dream Weddings. NYDW is run by Harley, a brilliant photographer, who realised that more and more people from outside the US (and indeed NY) would like to get married here. Apart from having to meet him at City Hall yesterday to apply for the license, he handled all the arrangements and also the post-wedding paperwork to make the marriage legal in the UK. He organised the officiant and he also took all our photos on the day, something we obviously would have struggled to do ourselves! He offers much more detailed packages too, including car hire, flowers and make up etc, but we wanted to keep it simple.
We originally wanted to get married in Wagner’s Cove in Central Park but as it got closer to our trip Harley reported that it was a bit soggy and was being renovated (like much of the park at the moment it seems!). He told us not to worry as there were plenty of amazing spots to marry in the park, our only specification being that it should be intimate.
On Wednesday 6 May we met Harley at the west side of Central Park. We also met our officiant, Stephen, who works with Harley regularly and who contacted us back in March to ask us lots of questions about ourselves in order that he could make the service more personal.
We were still a little unsure at this point about where exactly in the park we would like to marry, but Harley told us he knew the perfect place and took us to Ladies Pavilion. It was perfect. We did have to ask two young ladies if they would mind vacating it so we could have our ceremony and they were only too happy to move thank goodness! You can pretty much get married anywhere in the park and you only have to book a spot if there’s over a certain number of people.
I thought the ceremony would be over in minutes but instead Stephen had prepared a beautiful ceremony based on the information we had given him and it felt really special and personal. He even included our line “we promise not to fuck it up” which made us laugh. We attracted a small audience and for the first (and only) time this week the friendliness I’d been expecting was apparent as many people wished us well (and took photos!)
After the ceremony and the signing of the papers we spent an hour with Harley in the park taking photos. We were both a little self-conscious for sure but he made us relax and soon had us climbing on rocks and leaning on yellow cabs!
We took him for a beer afterwards as a thank you and tried to explain Twitter to him...!
Thank you Stephen and Harley for such a wonderful day
After we left Harley we went to the Plaza, intending to go to the champagne bar, however thanks to the lovely Ariel (her real name!) we ended up in the Palm Court instead which was just beautiful. We shared a bottle of champagne and tried to keep up with the congratulatory messages coming from all directions!
We finished our special day with a very special dinner at the double Michelin star winning Daniel. We have eaten at some amazing places in our time together but this topped the lot. The service was impeccable – friendly and not snooty as can sometimes be in this type of restaurant. We had a table booked for 5:30 and in testament to its popularity the restaurant was full by 6:30. We had the four course Prix Fixe menu with the wine flight and it was out of this world. The waiter and the sommelier explained every course and each wine, the sommelier particularly enjoying a more in-depth conversation with MrS. It really was a special way to end our special day. So thank you to Daniel and his welcoming staff for being part of it and finishing it off so spectacularly.