Samantha and Kevin’s Elopement Wedding at Wagner Cove in September

Samantha and Kevin’s Elopement Wedding at Wagner Cove in September

Samantha and Kevin eloped to New York from their home in the North West of England in September.  Samantha is 33 and from Warrington and Kevin is 45 and from Liverpool.  They got married at Wagner Cove, just the two of them.  “We had the most wonderful day in a beautiful patch of nature in the middle of one of the most amazing cities in the world,” Samantha told me.

Like so many of our couples, Samantha and Kevin met online, but not on a dating app.  They met through Twitter.  They had been together for seven years, and engaged for almost four years before they got married.  I asked them why getting was important to them.  “To confirm that we are a unit,” said Samantha.  “Legally and otherwise, we wanted to make it official.”

Kevin achieved an impressive proposal.  He took Samanatha on a surprise trip to Paris.  “I didn’t know where we were going until we were at the gate at the airport!” she told me.  They stayed in the Hotel Raphael in Paris, which they tell me is a super fancy hotel where Audrey Hepburn used to stay.  When they were checking out the incredible view of Paris from the hotel’s rooftop terrace, Kevin got down on one knee and popped the question.  We mentioned this in their wedding ceremony, because the surprise was almost ruined by the hotel concierge.  When they were checking in he called them Mr and Mrs and thanked them for spending their special occasion at their hotel.  Good grief!  Samantha pretended not to hear, so as to not ruin the big surprise Kevin had planned.  We mentioned it in the ceremony, because usually at the end of the ceremony is when a couple are pronounced to have the same last name for the first time (if one of them is in fact changing their name) but of course it wasn’t the first time for Samantha and Kevin.

They got engaged months before the Covid pandemic changed life for so many of us.  “Pre-pandemic we were considering a wedding in Liverpool.  We had two locations lined up – a bombed out church for the ceremony and a separate reception venue,” Samantha said.  But it was all starting to feel a bit much for them in terms of scale.  Then the pandemic took them out of the original plan and they decided that an elopement was right for them.  “We’re both introverted and wanted the wedding to be low key and intimate,” said Samantha.  These are my people.  We get so many eloping couples coming to us who feel the same way.  

Samantha said that she thinks a wedding should suit the style of the couple.  “Big weddings are great if you are very social and love to party, and small weddings are great if you’re more insular and low key,” she said.  I completely agree; we see elopement weddings such as theirs at one end of the scale, and also the bigger weddings where a large group spends several days together celebrating in New York!  “Our style was for just us two, in a beautiful location,” said Samantha. She said that she also thinks that scaling back to a smaller wedding leaves more financial freedom to make it exactly how you want it without costing the world.  “I think smaller weddings might be becoming more popular because they’re more accessible and more couples are open to not following all of the wedding traditions these days,” she added.  I love that couples don’t feel that they have to follow tradition and can do exactly what suits them.

I asked if they have any regrets about not having a “traditional” wedding closer to home.  “Nope!” Samanatha said.  “We’re fortunate that our families understand what we like and weren’t too upset to not be involved,” she said.  Also, they video called their loved ones after they finished with the photographer so that helped to somewhat involve them in their day.

Both Samantha and Kevin liked the idea of getting married outdoors or within nature, which I hear isn’t really possible in the UK due to the licencing laws (c’mon, UK, stop being so needlessly strict!).  So, they took to Google for ideas, and they stumbled upon the concept of getting married in Central Park.  “It felt straight away like that’s a beautiful place with scenery, while in a city we’ve both wanted to visit.  Felt like a win-win!” Samantha said.  She took the words right out of my mouth – want beautiful outdoors scenery in the heart of an amazing city with so much to see and do?  We’ve got you covered.

I asked if they had any concerns about getting married in Central Park.  “I think we were a little nervous that we would be in a very public place and couldn’t control the environment or people who may stumble into our wedding,” Samantha told me.  As she says, it is after all one of the busiest cities in the world!  “However, our choice of Wagner Cove being a bit off the beaten path, and the choice of which day of the week meant that our ceremony was private as intended,” she said.  I’m always saying that Wagner Cove is the best spot for privacy, because of where it is, and it’s less than a ten minute walk in to the park from the street.

Samantha and Kevin visited New York for a week, and stayed at the Wallace Hotel on 76th street in the Upper West Side.  The hotel upgraded them to a deluxe suite and left them a sweet note and some prosecco to congratulate them on their wedding.  I love the Upper West Side!  The buildings are beautiful and the restaurants are awesome, and of course it’s walking distance from Central Park.  I always ask for any restaurant recommendations and Samantha and Kevin recommend Electric Lemon at Hudson Yards, the Hard Rock Café at Times Square, and Maison Pickle on Broadway.

We kept the ceremony fairly short, with it being just the two of them.  “The ceremony was fab.  Short and sweet, just how we wanted it!  Our celebrant was lovely and guided us through our nerves,” Samanatha said.  We had a little introduction about their relationship to date, then they exchanged traditional vows, some unique vows that they had written for each other, and then rings, before being pronounced Mr and Mrs for only the second time!  Then they took photos at photos at Wagner Cove and in other areas of Central park before going on to the Top of the Rock to take photos there.  “Our favourite photos were taken at Wagner Cove and at Top of the Rock,” Samantha told me.  “Wagner Cove itself was very picturesque with the lake and the gazebo, and the Top of the Rock really made for stunning photos because the view of the iconic buildings,” she added.

Kevin wore a dark blue suit he boughts from Next and Samantha wore an A-line ivory gown she bought from Wed2b.  Her hair and makeup were done by the wonderful Metrolook team, “they were efficient and lovely, and I was pleased with the look we achieved,” Samantha said.  They brought an artificial bouquet and boutonniere from the UK with them, purchased from Hidden Botanics.  Samnatha told me that they did have another set originally, but noticed that it was an artificial and dried flowers mix.  After some research they learned that US Customs probably would not allow them to enter into the country due to biosecurity.  So, she would like me to pass on that heads up; if you want real or dried flowers buy them once you get to the USA.

The ceremony took place at 10:30 in the morning on a weekday (hence how lovely and quite the park was when they were there), and they finished up at the Rockefeller Center at 1:30.  “Immediately after the photographer left we ate at the first place we saw – which was Five Acres,” which is at ground level in the Rockefeller Center.  Samanatha tells me that she wore a napkin bib to protect the dress – very wise!  Then they had more of a walk around Rockefeller Plaza, took some photos by the LOVE sculpture which had just returned a few days before they got there.  Then they popped back to their hotel, videocalled their parents and then had a nap since they had been up since 5am.  That evening they ordered a takeout and chilled out and relaxed in their suite.

I asked how we did.  “We were absolutely thrilled with Wed in Central Park and the service provided by Claire,” said Samantha.  “Claire gave us guidance and tips every step of the way, and was always so responsive to any questions we had,” she added. “10/10 would use again, but here’s hoping we won’t have to!” Well, there’s always a vow renewal for a big anniversary! Thanks so much for your kind words, and it was an absolute pleasure to plan your wedding with you.  If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding (or vow renewal), 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