There is just something so incredibly romantic about a New York City wedding – don’t you agree? And there is something even more timeless about having that wedding at The Central Park Boathouse. Classic and elegant, the Boathouse is the perfect host for lovelies like this one by Jillian Modern Photography. With stunning stationery by Ceci New York, the city skyline as the backdrop and a couple so radiant they shine brighter than the city lights – it all makes for a full gallery of so much lovely!

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From the Bride…We wanted to get married in New York City so our family and friends could have a peek into our town and our lives, but the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple can be overwhelming. So we chose a wedding at the iconic Central Park Boathouse, the most serene and relaxing venue in all of Manhattan. This is our happy place. We were obsessed with the idea of being surrounded by the lake, the trees, the rowboats – nature at its finest – while also being in the center of skyscrapers, taxi cabs and the best city in the world. This romantic setting naturally inspired our wedding vision of casual elegance. We used a beautiful earth tone color palette with hues of blue and touches of green and brown that would enhance and complement Central Park in all of its glory.

Chris and I knew early on that we didn’t want a stuffy ballroom reception. We wanted a giant party, full of celebrating the best way we know how – with great music, delicious food, plentiful drinks, and all of our friends and family! We borrowed a key phrase from one of our happily wedded friends that stuck as our wedding theme: “casual elegance”. It spoke to everything we wanted to convey – the classic taste and traditional values we hold combined with a down-home, rustic vintage look that we adore.

Our gorgeous wedding invitation suite was designed by very talented Ceci New York but our wedding programs, escort cards, dinner menus and table signs were DIY labors of love. Our wine cork escort card holders were a favorite detail. Chris and I took a trip up the Pacific Coast Highway and through the Carmel wine country a year before we got engaged. We started saving corks from our favorite bottles of wine. Once the wedding planning began, Erin decided these would make cost effective and super cute escort card holders. But she quickly realized they’d have to call in favors from other wine lovers in the family to finish off 175 bottles before August. Luckily, we have a big and thirsty family! The whole gang began mailing their corks to New York and it was fun to later match favorite wines with favorite people.

The gorgeous flower arrangements by Lenox Hill combined hydrangeas, delphiniums, calla lilies, roses and celosia to create stunning centerpieces and timeless bouquets.

Guests were greeted at the gates of the Central Park Boathouse with sparkling wine and water. As they enjoyed the tranquil lakeside view and found their seats for the ceremony, a string trio added atmosphere with classic and contemporary music. The bride and her father walked down the aisle strewn with rose petals and floating candles to Canon in D. The bride and groom shared 3 kisses to seal their marriage and exited to All You Need Is Love by The Beatles, a favorite band and timeless song.

Cocktail hour began in the adjacent lakeside room with butler passed hors d’oeuvres, a top shelf bar and acoustic music provided by Next Faze Band. The signature summertime drink was refreshing mojitos and personal touches were added with monogrammed stir stocks, blue and white vintage milk straws, and “Eat, Drink, Be Married” cocktail napkins. Guests snacked on ceviche of scallop in cucumber cups, seared beer carpaccio bruschetta, chilled yellow fin tuna tartar, crab cakes, lime marinated shrimp flautas, prosciutto wrapped figs, and eggplant parmesan.

As the reception doors opened and guests took their seats at tables labeled with favorite neighborhoods of New York, the wedding party showcased their dancing skills with Bust a Move by Young MC as their entrance song. The bride and groom were introduced with the biggest smiles, a standing ovation and Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones. Their first dance was to You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne.

Guests dined on a savory four course meal from the very talented chefs at The Central Park Boathouse. For dessert, guests were served cupcakes from the adorable Chikalicious bakery in the East Village. Erin had no problem doing cupcake research with a city-wide taste test and these cupcakes were hands-down winners. Not only are they the ideal size to carry onto the dance floor, they look picture perfect and taste even better. In addition to the classic vanilla, chocolate and red velvet, guests also sampled the phenomenal s’mores cupcake. Mmm!

Next Faze Band wowed the party and packed the dance floor all night with their musical talents. Wedding Coordinator, Stephanie, said she’d never seen a party dance this much in all her years at The Boathouse. Jillian Bisinger Modern Photography assembled a zany photobooth that was a clear crowd favorite with a steady line of guests modeling mustaches, lips, sunglasses, beards, fangs and pirate patches until 1am!

When the night concluded, the bride and groom sent guests home with a favorite snack – popcorn favors straight from world-famous Garrett’s Popcorn. It’s made in Illinois, just like the bride! The sweet and savory combo of their caramel and cheddar popcorn is to die for.

Wedding Photography: Jillian Modern Photography / Caterer + Event Coordinator: Stephanie Tighe of The Central Park Boathouse / Floral Design: Lenox Hill Florist / Cake Artist: Chikalicious Cupcakes / Wedding Gown: Pronovias / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Hair Stylist: Samantha Landis of StylesOnB / Make-up Artist: Marlena Sing of Sally Duvall Makeup / String Trio: Faze 4 Orchestras / DJ: Next Faze Band / Officiant: St. Paul The Apostle / Wedding Videography: Kiss The Bride Films / Invitations: Ceci New York / Favors: Garrett’s Popcorn / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung via The Wedding Library / Cufflinks: Tiffany & Co.

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