Below are the questions that we are asked most frequently. Click on the question and you will be taken to the answer. If we don't list your question here, or you need more information, please contact us by email.
The surest way to reach me is through email. I am happy to talk over the phone, or Skype, but there is often a time difference between myself and my clients, and this is my part-time job (my full time job is being a mother), so it is best to begin with email. I answer all questions promptly, usually within one business day.
Yes your marriage is legally recognized Worldwide. The couple is legally required to go together to City Hall in person themselves to get their marriage license. For more information on that I have written a blog called How to get your marriage license in New York City. Please contact me, or City Hall themselves if you have any questions about how to get the proper paperwork to make your marriage legal in your country. There is a possibility that your country may require an extended marriage ceritificate and/or an Apostille. I cannot advise what each country requires legally, but I can advise couples on how to get their extended marriage ceritificate and Apostille, or we can get yours for you, for a charge.
Yes, the couple must go in person together to New York City Hall and collect their wedding license at least 24 hours before they can get married. I can tell you all you need to know how to get this, for starters, check the blog How to get your marriage license in New York City.
I have attempted to include all the commonly requested options in the packages and the optional suggestions list but there are so many alternatives that people may want to include in their wedding that it is impossible to list them all. I generally do not get involved with the reception, but if you have something in mind that you would like on your wedding day, please ask me, I will investigate your ideas and work on your behalf to meet your wishes.
I encourage you to book early. I cannot confirm availability of a location in the Park until I have a deposit from the couple, then I use part of this to make the event application with the Central Park Conservancy. If you want to be sure that your time and date will be available, please book as early as possible. Secure your wedding date by sending us your non-refundable deposit, as quoted in the package description, or in your direct quote, if you have requested one for a customisable package.
We accept payments by direct bank transfer from British clients, or from clients worldwide through PayPal, or we can invoice you directly (using PayPal) to provide your credit or debit card details securely without needing a PayPal account. Once I have received your deposit I use it to apply for an event permit and secure the date and time of your event with the people invloved. It is not refundable. I may be able to refund part of your deposit in the event of a permit not being available for a suitable time, date and location. This must be requested in advance of payment, because I cannot refund the deposit if I have already passed it on to others on your behalf. I then ask for the balance to be paid one month before your wedding date.
After discussions with the couple about all their requirements, I send a contract detailing all that we will deliver, as well as the deposit required, along with the balance yet to be paid, and the dates I require this by. The balance will be required at least two weeks' before your wedding date and will be stated in your contract. Once I have received a deposit, I will continue to be in touch, to ask many questions which will help me to write your ceremony just for you, finalize the details such as maps, meeting places and exact timings. Here is some more information about the wedding planning process that I usually follow with most couples if I can.
We ask that you pay your balance in full at least one month before your wedding date. We accept payments by direct bank transfer from British clients, or from clients worldwide through PayPal, or we can invoice you directly (using PayPal) to provide your credit or debit card details securely without needing a PayPal account. Once I have received your balnce I pass part of it on to the people who are invloved involved with your wedding, it also pays for my time in planning your wedding. If there are any changes of plan we will do our best to reschedule, but it is very likely that a reschedule will incur a further charge. The balance is not refundable once it has been paid.
The wedding ceremony itself will last around fifteen to twenty minutes, depending on whether we have a reading or poem, or a musician, and depending on quite how much the couple wants the officiant to say, and how much the couple wants to say to each other. I will write the ceremony wording and vows together with the couple. Also, allow time to walk through Central Park to your chosen location, and of course, take photographs.
You can have pretty much whatever you want in your ceremony. Our officiants can perform a non-denominational ceremony, or something with a little or a lot of your religion. I have a list of questions that I ask all couples to allow me to write an introduction for your ceremony, and to get all the wording just how you want it. I will send couples several drafts of the ceremony wording, asking for feedback, until a couple is happy with it, and each ceremony turns out differently.
Amplified music is not permitted in Central Park. I can provide a live musician if you wish. I can provide an acoustic guitarist, singer, harpist, saxophonist, violinist, other classical musicians or a bagpiper. They each have differrent repertoire lists, and will take requests that we will agree in advance of the wedding.
As many as you like, but you will be limited in your choice of locations if you have a lot of guests. I can advise which locations will suit which group sizes.
We will attempt to remain as flexible as possible. We are here to help make your wedding day in Central Park go just as you want it to. Obviously, the closer to your wedding date the harder it gets for me to guarantee the availability of any requested changes, but I will do my best. We have rescheduled weddings in the past, due to changes of plan with the couple's travel schedule or in the case of bad weather. If couples do need to reschedule we will make every effort to do so. Please note that there will very likely be an extra charge to reschedule, and extra services will also need to be paid for.
Your initial deposit is non-refundable under any circumstances. As soon as I get that it is passed on to the people involved to secure their time and spent on a permit. Your balance is due at least one month before your wedding date and once it is paid, this is non-refundable.
Our photographers will take away many raw images taken on the day, choose the best ones, and edit them. Depending on the time of year, sometimes they will be busier than others, but it should take around a week to ten days at the most to get your photographs to you. You will get around one hundred high-resolution color photographs if you have two hours of photography. We prefer to use Dropbox to share the files. For a longer answer to this FAQ, check the blog post about it.
We can arrange rain back up locations at an additional cost at the time of booking. Or, if there is a forecast for heavy rain as we are coming up to the date of your wedding, we can be in touch and discuss other options, such as moving the time or day, if the schedule allows. It may be that we can perform the ceremony at your hotel or reception location, or there are some sheltered places in Central Park that may be appropriate.
You can wear whatever you like, that's the beauty of a Central Park wedding! We would recommend shoes that you are able to walk comfortably in, but most of Central Park is paved, unless you are getting married on a grassy area, then consider this when choosing your shoes. Take the weather into account, check our weather section for more details.
Rain and snow are the biggest weather concerns in New York, although, more often than not, there are blue skies over New York City. Some months hold more risks than others. Check our weather section for more details, or read the Central Park weather post on our blog.
Yes, I recommend a hair and makeup team that comes to your hotel room. I usually just put brides directly in touch with them so that they can arrange and discuss exactly what they want for their wedding day.
Yes, I recommend a car hire company that has always been reliable and on time. I can also put you in touch with suppliers of a vintage yellow cab, a trolley bus, and other more unique transport options.
That is such a difficult question to answer because there are many restaurants on every block in Manhattan, and lots of lovely places near to Central Park, and thousands of restaurants in the city. There are so very many places to choose from, and I could not possibly hope to fully cater to every party's tastes and budgets, so I generally do not get involved with this part of the day. However I am asked it a lot so I wrote a blog about it a while ago Restaurant Recommendations for your Wedding Day then I wrote another one quite recently More New York Restaurant Recommendations for your Wedding Day if you have any questions on any of them please ask and I will try to answer. I can also book a table for you if you would like me to.
There is nothing special that you need to do, but we do strongly recommend that you take out wedding insurance when you book your wedding.
Yes, you can arrange your ceremony and officiant through us and perhaps choose your own photographer or other vendors from the huge range that New York City has to offer, or just ask a guest to take photographs. We do recommend that you give serious thought to hiring a professional photographer, though. Check out our blog on 10 Reasons Why You Should Invest In A Professional Photographer For Your Central Park Wedding.
I cannot guarantee availability of any particular location in Central Park until I have taken a deposit from the couple, then I use part of that deposit to make the event application with the Central Park Conservancy. If you wedding is not until next year then the applications do not open until December of this year. So the earliest that I, or anyone else, can apply for event permits for the following year is the start of December. If I have a signed contract and deposit from you by this time then I will apply for your event permit at the earliest possible date. For more information in the permit application process please read my blog post about it.
Have a look through the Central Park Weddings blog to start with, or Our Location Suggestions for your Central Park Wedding, or look at the Central Park official website.
Yes, if you can describe to me what sort of flowers you would like, or can send me a photo of what sort of bouquet you would like, along with how many bouquets, boutonnières, corsages and so on that you need, then I can provide you with a quote for delivery of all the flowers to your hotel room in the morning of your wedding day.
No, it is a legal requirement in the State of New York that the couples go together in person to City Hall to pick up their marriage license. They must do this at least 24 hours before the ceremony takes place. For more information on getting your marriage license in New York check my blog How to get your marriage license in New York City.
It is a condition of your event permit that you do not set up chairs or tables or anything like this for your guests. In the past, some couples have brought along folding chairs for just a few elderly guests (and once for myself when I was pregnant!) and this is allowed. There are some locations in Central Park that have some seating, in case you need it for some of your guests. Most ceremonies last only fifteen to twenty minutes, so most people do not mind standing for this long. We do suggest that you ask your guests to arrive just a few minutes before the scheduled ceremony start time, to avoid them waiting for too long.
Alcohol is not permitted in public places in the USA, and Central Park is no exception. It is a condition of your event permit that you do not have alcohol at your wedding. I can arrange for a cake to be delivered to your hotel room on the morning of your wedding and you can bring it with you, but I cannot have it delivered to Central Park. Also, I suggest that you keep in mind the weather and the practicalities of eating anything outdoors when deciding whether to have a cake in Central Park, or leaving it until your reception.
It is a condition of your event permit that you do not put up any decorations or signs and anything else to Central Park structures. If you feel that you need a balloon or sign to show your guests which way to go then please nominate a guest to hold them.
There is a one-way circular drive that goes around the inside of Central Park. The horse and carriages usually take this route. They charge by their time. They do not generally take people from one place to another. Many of the wedding locations are not accessible by horse and carriage and are just a few minutes' walk from the nearest entrance. I can tell you which is the closest entrance to your ceremony location and I can draw a walking route on a map to show where you should go. I can also book you a pedicab for guests who cannot walk to the ceremony. Then I can tell you where you can get on a carriage for a ride around Central Park after your wedding.
I usually do not attend the weddings. This is because planning these weddings is my part time job and I must be protective of my time. My full time job is being a mother. Also, I have been planning weddings in Central Park for several years now, I've planned hundreds of weddings, and I have been working with my team for a long time. We all know each other well, communicate well, and will know where to be and when. I do not work with people who are unreliable and all of my team will be there when they say they will. I work out a detailed plan of timings for the day with all the couples and they have everyone's contact details, including mine, and I am contactable by phone on the day. Other wedding planners may attend your wedding, but of course they will charge you for their time and I have found with the weddings that I plan that this role is not really needed on the day with good planning. This helps me to charge the low prices that I do.
If you are expecting less than twenty guests to attend your wedding then you do not have to have a permit. If yours is a last-minute wedding and I have less than three weeks between receiving your deposit and the wedding date then I will not be able to apply for a permit for you because the Central Park Conservancy needs at least three weeks to process the permit application. In all other cases I strongly advise couples to get an event permit for their wedding, no matter what the size of their party. This is partly to secure your chosen location for your date and time. If you have other things planned for that day, such as a restaurant reservation, then you would not want to arrive at your chosen to location to find another couples getting married there, and have to wait until they were finished, and upsetting your schedule for the day. Also, the Central Park Conservancy funds the upkeep of this beautiful park just by charitable donations and things like event permit fees, so I think it is right that couples who get married there should pay a little towards the upkeep of such an incredible place. The permit fee is included in all my package prices, except if you choose the Conservatory Gardens, for which Central Park charges an extra fee. For more information in the permit application process please read my blog post about it.
I need couples to choose from the list of customizable wedding packages, and also to let me know any other additional services that they require. I also need them to choose a wedding ceremony location, and a date and time, and to let me know a rough estimate of the number of guests. Then I can write up a contract for them, then they can sign that and send me a deposit, which secures their date and time with my team, and then I can apply for the event permit from the Central Park Conservancy.
You can get married on any day of the week, and even on public holidays if our team is available. Keep in mind when making travel plans to New York that the couple are responsible for collecting their marriage license from City Hall, which must be done on a weekday, for more information on that check the blog How to get your marriage license in New York City.
Yes, your photographer can be your witness. If you choose not to have a photographer, and only the officiant, then I can usually ask someone to come along and be your witness.
The list of possibilities is very long, but I wrote a blog on my suggestions of Things to do on your Wedding Day in New York City.
After the wedding ceremony, leave your signed license with the officiant. They will forward the signed marriage license to City Hall. City Hall will record the marriage and mail a certified copy of the original marriage certificate to your home address. The original marriage license and certificate will remain at City Hall in the records office. This process will take up to eight weeks. There is a possibility that your country may require an extended marriage ceritificate and/or an Apostille. I cannot advise what each country requires legally, but I can advise couples on how to get their Apostille, or we can get yours for you, for a charge.
You can obtain certified copies of the certificate directly from City Hall. There is a possiblilty that we may be able to help you with this, so please contact us if you need help. Another way is to take your marriage certificate into your bank at home, along with your passport, and they can photocopy the certificate and stamp it, this makes it certified, and you can send this copy in the post to change your records with whomever you need to.