Top Tips Tuesday: New York, New York… Get Wed In Central Park
Good morning! How are you all today? For our ‘Top Tips Tuesday‘ feature we have an interview from one of our lovely #WeddingHour participants.
Claire, from Wed In Central Park helps people to plan their dream weddings, in yep, you guessed it. Central Park in New York City, America.
For all of our readers who are perhaps planning on getting married in America, say a quick ‘Hello’ to Claire in #WeddingHour tomorrow evening 9-10pm over on Twitter. You also will be able to find the prettiest inspiration and great advice from others, including Brides, Grooms, Suppliers and Venues. Tomorrow, we will be discussing wedding planners, and how they can really help you plan your dream day. So, get your questions at the ready, we would love you to join us.
Alternatively, you will find all of Claire’s contact details in her lovely write up below about herself and her business. So, before I start rambling on I will pass it over to Claire from Wed In Central Park…
Tell us a little bit about you and what made you start up your company. Are there any highlights in your career that are special to you either professionally or personally?:-
I am Claire, I plan weddings for couples who want to get married in Central Park in New York. I am British, and lived in Manhattan for a while. I got married in Central Park myself in 2011 and it occurred to me that I could start a business helping other foreigners to get married there. Initially I was aiming the business at Brits, but around half my clients are British, with most of the other half being American or Australian, and a few from other countries where English is not their first language. I have planned around 180 weddings to date.
What makes you different and inspires Brides/Grooms to book your services or purchase your products. For example, do you have a particular style or theme, what materials and colours have you used?:-
I have a few competitors who also offer a service of guiding a couple through the planning of a wedding in Central Park. We all offer something slightly different and I think there is quite enough business to go around so I don’t feel that it’s too competitive. I think my niche is good value for a low price. I avoid any frills that cost extra but are not needed. I shopped around for my own wedding and I found some great people back then, and as the business has been growing, even more fabulous, enthusiastic and committed people to work with. I think the other main thing I offer is myself. I think I give good advice, and I genuinely care personally about delivering what a couple desires for their special day. I have become quite skilled at this over the years, and I have developed a logical wedding planning process that I hope makes couples feel relaxed and confident that all will go well on the day.
What do you love about weddings, what makes you get up in the morning and do you have any stories to tell or embarrassing moments:-
I used to work in the very male-dominated industry of energy trading, it was my job to schedule power stations to make the most money as possible. I was not a woman who dreamed of weddings, and if you had told me ten years ago that I would become a wedding planner and that I would it I would not have believed you. I don’t especially care for gowns, or table centrepieces, or cake, or any of that stuff. Although I like to see beautiful photos of weddings that isn’t what gets me going. What I love is the ceremony and the promises that the couple make to each other, and that I am involved in the first day of a couple’s married life, and that it is my job to make that first day an enjoyable one. I like keeping in touch through social media with the couples I have worked with and seeing how their marriage progresses, since that is what I think is important. I don’t usually attend the weddings but when I do, I am invariably standing towards the back having a good old cry.
If you were to offer three tips to a Bride/Groom, on planning a wedding in Central Park, what would they be?
Most of the couples I work with are either eloping to New York just the two of them, or bringing a group of family and friends for a destination wedding. So, the vast majority of my couples are travelling to New York. My first tip would be to stay in the Upper West Side. It is my favourite place to stay in New York. The buildings are beautiful, there is a huge choice of hotels, restaurants and bars, it is in between Central Park and the Hudson River, and it has great Subway transport links to the rest of New York. It’s much less crowded than Times Square (where a lot of tourists stay) and real New Yorkers live there. My second tip is to take at least two hours with a professional photographer in Central Park, and if you have the time and the patience, elsewhere in New York. If you are spending a lot of money to be in New York you should get a good photographic record of your day. I got married six years ago and I am still finding new photographs that I forgot we took that I love. My third tip is to hire a wedding planner! I am ever so slightly biased on this, but having someone who knows about the area and the paperwork required and knows good, reliable people will just make you feel way more relaxed about the whole thing.
What are your plans for the future, where would you like to be in 5 years time both in the industry and personally-
Hm… this is a very difficult one. I will have an eight year old son and a six year old son by then. They will both be at school. So, I will have more time than I do now. I still expect to be planning Central Park weddings, I would hope to be planning a few more a year than I am now, but I don’t think I want to grow my business a great deal more than where it currently is. I think perhaps I will be running a second business alongside the wedding planning business, perhaps related to this, perhaps in some way related to children. My husband runs his own business, too, and we have many a night over a glass or two of wine discussing great business ideas (well, it’s our idea of fun, anyway!)
Can you tell our Brides/Grooms what sizes are available, colours, designs and retail price ranges?
Our packages run from $795, which is basically just the ceremony, to a middle package at $1550 for the ceremony with two hours of photography, up to the larger package of $2850, which is ceremony, two hours of photography, a video of the ceremony, flowers and a musician to play at your ceremony. We can discuss adding in various other things, such as extra time with the photographer, extra flowers, or other services that couples might request.
Do you have premises or stockists? Where should Brides/Grooms go to find your products? Are you looking for further stockists and if so, in which areas?
My clients find me online. I work odd hours because I work around my children’s schedules, but I tend to work at least a little bit every single day. I have a website http://www.wedincentralpark.com/ and a blog https://wedincentralpark.wordpress.com/. Email me at [email protected] with any queries.
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