Ever since I can remember, New York has always played a major part of my life, even when I didn't realise.
As a child, I grew up watching the American TV programs such as Sesame Street to Fame, the next episode couldn't come soon enough. I became fascinated by the huge skyscrapers, the big cars, the idyllic lifestyles and the belief that America was everything I dreamed it could be...and more. I spent hours listening to music from Madonna through to KISS, examining every detail of the record sleeves and reciting every lyric in perfect out-of-tunefulness. I would leaf through the pages of American fashion magazines and adopted their styles as my own, wearing my slogan t shirts and back to front baseball caps with pride. The cinema was always a a place where I could lose myself in a storyline, be it a chick flick where love always saved the day or a blockbuster where the hero always saved the day. It has never left me and although my tastes may have changed over the years, my memories remain as strong and as influential as ever.
So how did New York become the most important city of my life?
1. Because it was, and will forever remain the first location love of my life
2. Because it fuelled my desire to learn, absorb and celebrate everything that a city could offer
3. Because I got married there
4. And because it is the reason I established my business as a New York wedding planner
I have been fortunate to have visited many beautiful countries and each one has never failed to impress me and contribute to my continuing appreciation for their culture and relevance. But New York did more for me. It made me feel sad to leave but relieved that it was never "goodbye" but "see you soon". It made me feel welcome again when I returned with great expectations of another great adventure. It educated me in so many ways, opening my eyes and mind to a city, rich in history and blessed with people who have impacted my life in countless ways. It became my home away from home and challenged me to dare to dream. It embraced my ideas and became the base of my dream job.
So when my then fiance and I where considering where to get married, and he mentioned how a friend of his recently got married in New York and suddenly presents me with a copy of the DVD for our evening watching, instead of Sex and The City (the movie) which I should have guessed that he wasn't too keen on watching, we sit back and witness one of the most beautiful weddings we had ever seen. It made us more emotional as we knew them, and their journey they had taken to get there. We both wiped away tears and said we would think about it. In the meantime, Carrie Bradshaw whisked us away on a story of her dream wedding, and my fiance actually seemed to be enjoying it.
But then suddenly the movie paused, rewound some frames and played again. I looked at my fiance who was leaning forward examining the scene. He paused the movie again. "What are you doing?" I asked. "Look where they are. It's the same place!" he replied excitedly. Sure enough, Carrie and Miranda were sat in an iron built shelter overlooking a lake in Central Park...Ladies Pavilion, the location of the wedding DVD we had watched earlier. From that moment, we were always going
to get married there.
I don't believe in coincidences. I believe things happen for a reason, at a perfectly appointed time and place, steering us along a path laid before us, with a destination that sometimes we aren't always aware of but are guaranteed endless excitement.
I know that when my husband and I exchanged vows and rings and were pronounced husband and wife, life changed at that exact moment for us both. There was nowhere else we would have wanted to get married. We always wanted New York to be more than just a holiday location, but an indelible part of both of our lives. We wanted to show our beloved New York how much we loved it and share with others why we loved it. So much so, that we would travel half way around the world to get married there. Our dream wedding had come true.
So how do we share this feeling we have for New York?
I established Married in Manhattan. The name was born a few days after our wedding and the domain names were secured soon after! Planning our wedding had been a major part of our lives and the thought of never doing that again, left me saddened. It was the perfect vehicle for me to share my love of New York, my love of weddings and the joy my husband and I experienced, planning every aspect of our wedding ourselves.
2 years of studying, preparation and imagining what the business would be, resulted in a New York launch, un-coincidentally during New York Bridal Fashion week and the beginning of a journey that thrills me everyday. The Big Apple inspired me to dream big and believe that what had been a guilty pleasure for us both would eventually become a multi award winning business with a team of service providers who we are proud to work with and are not only THE BEST in their fields, but who we also call our friends.
We are privileged to be chosen by couples who are looking to get engaged, or get married or renew their wedding vows in New York. They are all a part of our Married in Manhattan family and we love making their special day, a magical day.
And so the fairytale continues...