Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Wedding in Central Park

I've always loved weddings and all things wedding-related. Back in college I got hooked on TLC's A Wedding Story, and these days two of my favorite guilty pleasures are TLC's Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings. I have a Weddings board on Pinterest, I could look at wedding dresses for hours, I secretly long to wear my wedding dress for a day just for fun, and one of my dream careers is to be a wedding planner. I wish that I could get married all over again (to Peter, of course) just so that I could plan a beautiful celebration. So when I get invited to a wedding, I get excited! And when that wedding is an elopement that the family wasn't even going to go to (because it was an elopement), I get even more excited. And when the bride is my younger sister and she's getting married in New York City's Central Park, well, then I'm in wedding heaven! Elizabeth and Justin had a lovely wedding on April 16th and we were so glad to be able to travel out and be there for it!

There was a professional photographer for the ceremony but Elizabeth asked me to take pictures of her getting ready and walking to Central Park and things like that. I was of course very happy to do it!

Hair up in curlers, pre-makeup, and she still looks great.

Here comes the makeup! The woman who did the hair and makeup was really good. I think Elizabeth said that she does hair and makeup for QVC, the shopping channel. 

 Tools of the trade.

Glamorous and beautiful.

 Then it was time for the hair. I'm jealous of Elizabeth's hair! Both of my sisters have always had nice thick hair. I'm the middle sister who got cursed with the super-thin locks. No fair! 
Anyway, back to the bride...



The finishing touches...

And the beautiful blushing bride is ready to go! Well, except for the dress.

Meanwhile, down the hall in my room, the boys were getting ready.
There's my adorable nephew. Shane kills me with his cuteness and his hilarious personality. 

Shane's brother Rocco helped put his bowtie on. It was so cute!

Handsome dapper dressed-up boys!

I went back to Elizabeth's room to help her finish getting ready and to take some pictures of the fun little bridal details that I've always had such an appreciation for.

I think she looks like a Disney princess here! The wrap reminds me of Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

I took a selfie in the mirror earlier that morning out by the elevators near our rooms...

...which gave me the idea to take pictures of the bride and her reflection as we waited for the elevator to take us down. 

Our dad was supposed to walk over to the park with us, but he wasn't there in the hotel lobby. Everyone else had already gone over to the park and they were waiting for us there. Here's Elizabeth at the front desk asking them to call my dad's room. No luck--he'd forgotten and left with the rest of the family. That's our dad!

So just Elizabeth and I walked over to the park. It was fun and special and I took her picture(s) as we walked. It can take a lot to turn heads in New York, and a bride walking down the street on a Wednesday morning will do it!
On a side note, it was so cold out! It rained the day before and turned to snow overnight--that's how cold it got that night. The next day was the wedding day and it only got up into the 40s. Brrrr! But it was better than having a rainy (or snowy) day, that's for sure.

This picture should be in a magazine! She looks like a model bride. 

My dad was waiting at the entrance of the park when we got there. At least he showed up for that!

The ceremony was in the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park. It's a beautiful place, and despite the cold and the snow from the night before, the sun was shining and trees and flowers were blooming beautifully.

Dad sacrificed his overcoat so that the bride could warm up before her walk down the aisle (which was a stone walkway of steps leading to the ceremony site).

Rocco, the best man.

Waiting for the bride.

Rocco was so good. Shane, however, cried his head off in his stroller for the whole ceremony. We knew that would probably happen, and Shane did not disappoint!

Elizabeth and Justin wrote and said their own vows. It was so touching. 

My sister Jennifer held the bouquet during the ceremony. Elizabeth's favorite flower has always been daisies, so that's what the bouquet and boutonnieres were.

Photographers and videographers! The professional photographer is the one in the middle. Behind us a little ways, a crowd had gathered to watch. I wanted to take a picture of them for fun but I felt too self-conscious to turn around and do that. 

Husband and wife!

John and Elizabeth have always been close. He loves spending time with their family and he was so excited to be able to come to New York and see them get married.

They went off for awhile to have pictures done with the photographer (Elizabeth just got the pictures yesterday and the ones I've seen so far are beautiful!).

I took some pictures of the garden while we waited. What a lovely place!

Some leftover snow. (Have I mentioned yet that it/I was cold?)

With an Instagram filter:

Uncle Ben helped keep the boys in line.

You can't really see it, but behind those trees is the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

One-of-a-kind family pictures.
I couldn't choose just one so I made two collages with my three favorite vertical and horizontal shots.

Shane was all smiles (after getting his cries out during the ceremony) but in these pictures Rocco was mad because we took his toy dinosaur away for the pictures. If it's not one, it's the other!

A shot of the siblings, from left to right: Nathan, me, Elizabeth, Jennifer, and Ben. It's rare that we're all together at the same time! This was supposed to be a close-up shot, but I must have forgotten to show the person taking the picture how to zoom in with my camera. Oh well, it's good enough!

And a nice family picture after the ceremony.
(I got this from the officiator's Facebook page.)

After we were done in the park, we ate lunch at an authentic Italian restaurant in Midtown called Brio NYC. The staff there was so accommodating and friendly, and our waiter was really funny. The food was delicious, and it was such fun.

Shane conked out for almost the entire meal. All that crying and then laughing did him in!

It was a lovely day and a lovely wedding. I'm so happy for Elizabeth and Justin and their sweet family.
I'm so thankful that we were able to travel to New York and be a part of this special day!

*Update: Here's the link to A Central Park Wedding's post about the wedding. That's the business that helped coordinate everything for the ceremony. There are gorgeous pictures in this post that the photographer took that I hadn't seen yet. I can't wait to see the rest of them!