Erica and Steven brought quite a large group of family and close friends over from their home in Manchester, England for their wedding in Cop Cot in June. Steven was 33 when they got married and Erica was 36. They have a six year old son called Frank. They met while working in healthcare in 2009. They told me that they didn’t get formally engaged, “we chatted and decided to marry after being together for twelve years,” said Erica. “It felt the next step for us,” said Erica. She said that they had always wanted to marry but they had other priorities and things to do first such as save for a house, and to have their son.
Once they had decided to get married they arranged and booked everything pretty quickly. They knew that they wanted to have a destination wedding and to do it in a busy city. They wanted to have a small an intimate wedding abroad with a big party back home. They considered getting married in Barcelona but they wanted the wedding to be legally binding so that only had to do it once, since many couples who have a destination wedding in Europe need to have a courthouse wedding to make things legal. They loved the idea of visiting New York, and they found that could get a legally binding wedding here, so they decided to do it all in one trip!
I asked Erica if she has any regrets about not having a “traditional” wedding closer to home. “No regrets, we absolutely loved every choice we made,” she said. “The day was so special, the celebrant made the experience so comfortable and lovely,” she told me. “We wanted a fuss free wedding completely our way,” Erica added. “I didn’t want to have to do wedding favours and speeches etc as we wanted an informal vibe. I think lots of people feel they need to do things a certain way due to traditions, but we didn’t feel any pressure to follow tradition,” she told me.
So, once they had decided on getting married in New York they started to decide where exactly in the city they should say “I do”. They said that they wanted an informal, outside setting and Central Park felt the natural choice. They read up on the different popular ceremony locations in Central Park. They wanted somewhere with a wooden or metal structure to frame the space, and when they saw Cop Cot, they loved it straight away.
Erica and Steven didn’t formally invite any guests as such. They knew that it could be the three of them – Erica, Steven and their son – if nobody wanted to join them. “When we told our family and close friends that we planned to get married in Central Park, many expressed an interest to join us which was amazing and unexpected,” Erica told me. She said that they felt so happy and grateful to share their special day with twenty-five of their nearest and dearest in such an iconic place.
They decided to hire their own photographer instead of having me arrange one for them. They booked Georgia Panagi for the whole day. They also hired a bus to transport the whole group around the city and to their reception venue. I asked Erica if they had had any concerns about getting married in New York. “No concerns, we had lots of help from you and our photographer,” she said. “We were quite laid back about the planning and tried to keep plans to a minimum to have the low fuss wedding we wanted,” she said, which is the perfect attitude to have about a wedding if you can achieve it!
Erica and Steven stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott in Hudson Yards. “It was an amazing location,” said Erica. “The staff were extremely helpful throughout, especially on the day of the wedding; allowing our photographer and family members who were not resident at the hotel to come up to my room and help me to get ready,” she said. They stayed in New York for seven nights and they got married on the third day.
Their guests were both sets of parents, siblings with their partners and children and some close friends. “They loved the experience and were glad to share it with us,” Erica told me. She said that some of their favorite photos were taken just outside of Cop Cot with the tall buildings of Central Park South right behind them, and also on Bow Bridge. For the ceremony, we had the officiant do a short introduction to greet the guests and tell a little of Erica and Steven’s story up to that point. Their son Frank read the poem Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss, and the father of the groom read I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke, and I’ll put both at the end of this post. “The ceremony felt extremely personalised, natural and told our story well,” said Erica. They exchanged traditional vows before exchanging rings.
Erica wore a sequined wedding dress that she had purchased from Asos, and Simpsons Vans trainers. I do love a bride in comfortable footwear. She carried a handbag in the shape of a telephone and she wore a pastel coloured dry flower crown on her head. Her sister in law is a florist with SP Floral Designs and she made the flower crown and the boutonnieres. After the ceremony and photos in Central Park the bus from NYC trolley company collected the group. They took them to the Threes Brewery in Brooklyn, which they had hired for their reception via Times Square to take some pictures. They brought their own drinks and played their own music on the bus. So they could begin the party early as they drove over to Brooklyn.
I asked Erica how we did. “Our wedding was amazing and I would highly recommend Wed in Central Park,” she said. “Claire was so helpful and knowledgeable, and our officiant on the day was amazing and really made our day special.” It was an absolute pleasure to plan your wedding with you, Erica, and I wish you both lots of luck for your future together. If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you live locally or are planning on traveling to New York to get married, 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.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the couple who’ll decide where to go.
I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke
I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
Breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
Let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your raincoat
For those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
When you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
Take me with you anywhere
I don’t care
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
You’ll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
Hold your hair in deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
That’s how deep is my devotion