Mike and Emma
Today we have the stunning wedding of Mike and Emma that too place at Top of the Rock in New York on 23rd December 2015. Enjoy!
Both of us have been married before and we know how stressful planning a conventional wedding can be. We also know that after the wedding can feel like an anti-climax. So we planned our wedding in our favourite city and made the holiday - not the ceremony - the focus.
Mike was in charge of the holiday part of it: he booked the flights for us, our close family and four friends and arranged for beautiful suites in The London NYC. I was in charge of the wedding itself and arranged the location, officiant and all of the vendors. Sharing out the tasks according to our strengths meant we were pretty relaxed about the planning; keeping it simple meant we had very little to do in the weeks leading up to the wedding so we really enjoyed the whole period. We also produced an information pack about New York so everyone could get the most out of their holiday.
We cut out the things that weren’t important to us - cake, DJ, seating plan: - and instead organised for everyone to see our favourite basketball team, the New York Knicks, two days before the wedding. Mike arranged a surprise message to be displayed on the Jumbotron screen for me and we all got goodie bags. A few of us also took part in an escape room experience, where you are locked in a room and have an hour to solve clues to work your way out, which was great fun, especially as we escaped!
I kicked Mike out of the hotel room at 6.30am so I could get ready! The wedding was at 9.30am because it gets very crowded at the Rockefeller Centre during the day, especially at Christmas time, so we had to start early. I had a lovely time getting ready - we ordered breakfast from room service for me, my bridesmaid, Kelly, and my makeup artist, Eden. We chatted, laughed, ate and enjoyed ourselves until it was time to go.
Christmas in New York is absolutely magical for weddings - the city comes ready-decorated and no one does glitz and glamour quite like the Americans. I met Mike under the famous Christmas tree and we then went up to the Top of the Rock to join our guests who were waiting for us. The staff at The Rock were wonderful and so many members of the public came up to us to wish us well throughout the day that it really felt special. We didn’t get the view from the Top of the Rock that we wanted as it was foggy but in the end it worked out well because it meant we had The Rock virtually to ourselves and the photos have a beautiful, ethereal look.
After the ceremony, we whizzed round the city with our photographer, Brian Friedman. We were happy to be guided by his experience and so got some great shots in places we love. We then joined everyone for lunch in The Australian NYC, a good, old-fashioned pub! We’d booked a table for 20 and when we turned up in our wedding finery we got a really warm welcome from Josh, the manager, and all the staff. Highlights were hot cider with hokey-pokey foam and Tim Tam sundaes!
I knew I wanted a 50s-inspired tea-length gown but found it hard to find just what I wanted. I went into Hayley J’s shop and saw the perfect gown hanging up but when I tried it on, I was somehow disappointed. Immediately, Hayley began pinning and moving bits of fabric and the dress was transformed before my eyes; she knew exactly what would suit me and sketched out a design for me. The lace is French and my coat was made from teddy bear fur from the company who makes teddy bears for the royal family! I absolutely loved my dress and it was so comfortable.
I didn’t want to pay lots of money for fresh flowers that we would leave in the hotel room a day later so I bought artificial bouquets and boutonnières. Betty from Bespoke Vintage Castle added beautiful details to the flowers to match my dress and headband. So many people couldn’t believe they weren’t real and I have them as a keepsake.
I think people are the most important part of the wedding - invite who you want to, not who you feel you have to and choose vendors who you can work with over a period of months in potentially stressful situations. All of our vendors were lovely and we have become good friends with many in the process. And enjoy your day - it goes so quickly.
We didn’t ask for any presents from guests as they had travelled all that way to be with us. But we did give each other presents. Mike got me a pair of beautiful Jimmy Choos and I bought him a flight in a Spitfire - we were both very happy with the other’s choices!