Friday, 16 August 2013

Real Weddings: Sterling Advice for Getting Hitched Stateside - Part One

Our good friend Mrs G married Mr G in NYC's leafy Central Park back in May. Here, she tells her story of getting married across the pond, with some great advice on how to make the most of such a special adventure!

See Mrs G's top tips for getting married abroad here.

Home or Away

Before the dress and the finer details, one of the first factors a newly engaged couple must decide on, is where. For me, this was easy, I knew I definitely didn't want a big English country wedding for a number of reasons but primarily for the cost. My husband and I by nature are both very impulsive and impatient so the idea of having to save for years was out of the question to us. I am also a massive control freak and fiercely indecisive so I knew a wedding that needed lots of details and fine tuning would drive me crazy and I really wanted us to be able to enjoy the build up as much as the day.

We are both keen travellers and have been to lots of places, when Rich and I spoke about weddings, long before we were engaged, we knew we wanted to go away but we also knew beach destinations were not for us...Central Park in New York was a location we were both keen on and we chatted about it excitedly quite a lot.

When we got engaged, Central Park was decided on within a matter of days and within a week we had been in contact with Carol at Fab NYC Weddings ( and we had a put our deposit down...the wedding was 9 months away! Having looked through the different areas, with our party size and for what we wanted, Ladies Pavilion seemed perfect for us, pretty and with skyline views. I had been to NYC a couple of times before but Rich hadn't, luckily he trusted me (a good first sign I thought) and it paid off.

Really though, that was the easy bit...we now needed a reception venue. It was really difficult not to get carried away with 'wedding' venues, we saw (online) some beautiful hotels on the Hudson with stunning views but essentially, we felt they were a wedding we could have had at home but with a different view and a longer journey, we had to step away from these places a couple of times, keep looking and wait for the right place...and it did arrive!

The only thing I had my heart set on was an outside sounds reasonably simple, however anybody who has been, will know it's pretty much the main thing NYC lacks! I Googled restaurants that had gardens of any sort and emailed them all, most got back to me quite promptly but because outdoor space is so sort after, the places that had it were rather high end and the quotes coming back were through the roof! I started looking at other options, burger bars and cocktail lounges...We weren't sure what we wanted but just knew it wasn't traditional!

After about a month we found a cool loft with a balcony that overlooked the city and were about to finalise our booking when an apologetic email arrived from a small restaurant in the East Village, for some reason the enquiry had gone into their junk folder and they had only just seen it! They sent us a quote which straight from the offset beat everything else hands down...which to be honest made me a bit dubious initially! Obviously, after all this time we had no recollection of what this place was like, so we checked out their website and I was almost shaking with excitement as we looked at pictures of the courtyard garden with climbing plants and the large roots of a tree stretching across the corner, the mismatched wooden tables and chairs and the amazing looking food! This was it...Rich was in agreement, he loved the quirky nature of this hidden gem in the middle of the city too!

'Tree' ( was a dream from the start, the owner, an Irish guy called Colm was relaxed and beyond helpful, he managed my pre-wedding neurosis perfectly and even managed to make me think he was as bothered by table runners and mismatched flowers as I was! Communication was easy via email and he was so accommodating that anything we wanted was possible (although I wasn't that demanding really!) My main fear was that my internal vision and the descriptions I provided were not clear enough for somebody else to prepare it and also that the pictures of the venue I'd seen would not be representative of what I would find when I arrived, these were alleviated a lot with the use of social media - being able to follow the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter and see the real time posts that both the staff and fellow customers were posting certainly made me feel happier and more excited as time went on...

Stayed tuned for Part Two!

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