Vows in the big apple
When Lisa Hopkins and Dave Adams, from Stock in Essex, decided to tie-the-knot, they opted out of a big white traditional wedding in the UK, and instead chose to escape to New York City for an intimate celebration with just the two of them.
FINDING THE ONE
We met through work, although we had worked together for a year before we got together, and we always got on so well. It just took us a year to get there.
He finally proposed to me in our favourite restaurant in the South of France in a beautiful town called Antibes. After we had eaten we went into the lounge bar area where a musician was playing an acoustic guitar. He began to play ‘Tears in Heaven’ which is one of my favourite songs, and we were chatting about our friend’s wedding in Italy, which we had been to in the June, and how wonderful it was. Dave then asked if I would want to get married, I said “yes”, and he produced the ring and said: “Will you marry me then?” I was like the Cheshire cat for the rest of the holiday! So happy! It was totally unexpected. I had no idea he had a ring or anything, such a surprise!
We began to plan a wedding in the UK, but our guest list was up to 178 and we both just stopped and said to each other: “We are losing sight of what this is about!” It’s so easy to do when you’re trying to make sure everyone else would be happy with your plans – we had a moment of clarity and said to each other:” This is about us and our love for each other!” So we went about looking into other options instead of the traditional big white wedding. We knew we wanted something special, obviously, and different instead of something run of the mill. I literally typed into the Internet ‘Top places to get married in the world’ and after some research about the legals of where we could get married and if our marriage would still be valid in the UK – New York was decided on! We had been before in the winter and loved it, but we had never been in the summer and decided on July so we got to celebrate Independence Day while we were in NY too!
We used Tropical Sky, who handled the entire wedding planning, so it was simple and easy! The team at Tropical Sky were so helpful in every way and took away all the stress. Our wedding consultant was Holly Reid. We planned the basics before we went, and our planner in NY helped us pick an iconic, really special restaurant to eat in afterwards and she booked it for us too. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria.
We didn’t take any guests, we kept it just the two of us, intimate and so special and it was like we were in our own little bubble. Luckily our families were happy and all had the attitude of “Do what makes you happy!”
Getting the look
Luckily I researched what the weather was like in summer in NY – it was HOT! As it was just the two of us I opted for a plain and simple dress, I also knew I wanted knee length so I wouldn’t be uncomfortable in the heat, so went in search of one. I got it from a boutique shop in London along with my shoes, a plain flower for my hair and some pearl earrings. I was wearing my great grandmothers vintage Victorian pearl necklace and paired it with the pearl earrings to match, which was my inspiration for the style of my dress. As for my hair, Dave loves it when I wear my hair down, so I simply did this myself. I had my nails, lashes and brows done by my local beautician before I went so I didn’t have anything to worry about on the day, and I wore minimal makeup (I am not a huge makeup wearer and wanted to still look like my normal self in our photos). We wanted to keep everything simple with very little fuss.
Something old, something new?
The necklace was my Something Old and Something Borrowed, my Something New was my earrings and my Blue was Dave in his navy suit and blue tie!! My friends also got me a lucky penny and a sixpence for my shoe!
Groom & Bridesmaids
Dave was dressed head to toe in Hugo Boss, his suit was navy blue and fitted him beautifully he was warm in the heat, but not unbearably. He also wore the watch, which I gave to him in the morning as a wedding gift. We didn’t have any bridesmaids. It was just the two of us!
We didn’t have a theme, the less decisions we had to make, the less stress, and the more we enjoyed it! My flowers were Plain cream roses, for both the bouquet and buttonhole, which were delivered in the morning before our wedding. We had dinner at a famous French restaurant called Jean George, and Orysia obviously told them it was our wedding day when she booked it as, after our meal, they brought out a chocolate congratulations cake for us!
The ceremony was held in the Conservatory Gardens within Central Park, we got married next to a beautiful fountain under a willow tree, and romantic doesn’t describe it! It lasted about ten minutes. We were offered a poem to read, but we simply went for exchange of vows and rings. It was perfect. Orysia organised an Officiate called Douglas to marry us; he was an extremely nice man, putting us both at ease immediately.
Holly & Orysia organised Lina to do our photos, she was lovely and didn’t make us stay too long in the heat, jumping in and out of the limo snapping action shots and making it lots of fun, we travelled around in a limo to iconic sites around NY and had some photos done all over the place. A black and white photo where we are simply walking through Times Square as an action shot is our favourite, it’s so natural and our happiness naturally shines through.
It was much less expensive than if we had a big white wedding in the UK, and we got to actually spend it with each other rather than entertaining lots of guests – and it was a lot less stressful! We didn’t have a budget but were surprised that the actual ceremony including the flowers, bouquet and buttonhole, the permit for the wedding and photography, cost just under £1,700!
We plan to have a separate honeymoon to somewhere exotic later on in the year over our birthdays as we are both have birthdays in the same month, although we haven’t booked it yet! We are still coming back down to earth from our time in NY.
Holly Reid, Tropical Sky Weddings
Orysia Germak (Wedding Planner in New York)
Conservatory Gardens, Central Park
Lina Jang Photography
Waldorf Astoria, NY
Tell us about your wedding
Did you marry abroad? Whether you said “I do” on a palm fringed sandy beach or in a French Chateau, or even in an Icelandic winter wonderland with the Aurora Borealis dancing in the skies above, we would love to hear from you, and feature your wedding on our website .
“New York was decided on! We had been before in the winter and loved it, but we had never been in the summer and decided on July so we got to celebrate Independence Day while we were in NY too!!”
Need help planning your wedding?
Brides Abroad, in conjunction with Brilliant Honeymoons can help you every step of the way, from finding the venue, arranging the details and helping with the paperwork to organising the flights, accommodation and transfers for you and your wedding party.