Valentina & Robert’s Spontaneous Central Park Ceremony


* Valentina, Assistant Curator and Art History Grad Student & Robert, Accountant * Photographer: Jonas Seaman (APW Sponsor) * Soundtrack for Reading: “All the Things you Are” by Serge Chaloff *

One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: Romantic, spontaneous, quintessentially New York celebration of love.

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The Info—Photographer: Jonas Seaman (APW Sponsor) / Ceremony Venue: Central Park / Party Venue: Acme / Flowers: Sprout Home / Valentina’s Wedding Dress: Her mother’s vintage wedding dress from Geoffrey Beene, adjusted by Jeeves / Valentina’s Disco Dress: Pookie & Sebastian / Valentina’s Shoes: Prada / Robert’s Suit: Yves Saint Laurent / Robert’s Tie: Vintage Italian from the Vintage Thrift Shop / Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar / Invitations: Golden Rectangle Press / Violinists: Ginger Dolden and Pete Lanctot of Bantam Studios / Band: Lapis Luna

Other cool stuff we should know about: We wanted the whole day to be a reflection of us and the city we met and fell in love in. We created a celebration that would be fun yet easygoing, elegant yet casual, sophisticated yet sweet. No planner, nothing crazy. We wanted the ceremony to be very personal and all about us and the reception to be a big party for all of our friends and family. To that end, our ceremony was held in Central Park since we spend so much time there with our dog, Big, and because we both love nature. We wanted it to feel like we just walked into the park spur-of-the-moment and got married, so everyone was standing around us in a big semi-circle.

The reception was cocktail-style with lots of delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Lapis Luna, an amazing jazz band, played our favorite songs and a great Tarantella for everyone to dance to! After lots of jazz, food, and cake, our friend busted out his DJ equipment and gave us the disco dance party we had always dreamed of. Valentina changed into a sequin dress and shoes, and Rob’s shirt and tie came flying off. It was the best day and night of our lives.

Favorite thing about the wedding: The city: all the boat rowers in the lake cheering and clapping for us, the tourists snapping photos and wishing us well, the joggers running by us with smiles and, of course, that crazy band that photobombed us!

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  • Samantha

    This is absolutely fantastic! It is an intimate, casual, spontaneous, glamorous, chic, romantic, all rolled into one rocking wedding and I love it!

  • One More Sara

    I totally thought that that band was supposed to be there. Like a cooky group of friends that hid wigs in their girlfriends purses or something. Also, your disco dress? AMAZEBALLS. I think you guys totally nailed it. Everything. Congrats!

  • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.nl/ Amanda

    Oh wow , amazing. Is it weird that I was looking at the photos and I kept thinking of Gossip Girl… specially that pic of you girls in the roof with the city / skyline as a background?
    The park, the boats… seems like so much fun. And how lucky you wore your mom’s dress.
    And the photo with the band: how cool!
    All the best wishes.

  • http://thedilettantista.com/ The Dilettantista

    A+ for that random band (only in NYC) and A+++ for the party dress. Lovely!

  • http://www.sarahhoppes.com SarahHoppes

    Every one of these photos is a work of art. I’m basking in all the pretty. Also, the “just married” sign on the back of the cab is phenomenal.

  • meg

    If you’re not listening to the soundtrack song while you look, GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN WITH THE MUSIC ON. Seriously.

    • One More Sara

      Mind. Blown.

  • Margi

    I totally want to elope and yours is the first wedding that I’ve actually wanted! As Meg likes to say, “I just want to put your wedding in my mouth.” LOVE!

    • Valentina

      Thanks Margi!!! What a compliment!

  • never.the.same

    How was this spontaneous? Or was that just the feel/theme you wanted?

    (I only ask since it seems pretty planned, with invitations and everything!)

    • meg

      I think it was the feeling of the day. A lot of things came together in an unplanned way, apparently. The guests spontaneously parting to form an asile, that crazy band showing up out of nowhere… wedding magic.

      • Valentina

        Exactly, Meg! Yes, the vibe we were going for was spontaneous, even though we had planned most of it. I say most because the ceremony was completely unplanned! We just gave our guests directions and they showed up and I walked down a grassy hill when my bridesman (yes, bridesman!) gave me the go-ahead! Wind was blowing everywhere, it seemed like it was about to rain, Rob was freaking out, tourists were in the way, but all of a sudden everything fell into place. The make-shift aisle was literally made as I started walking towards Rob. Also, we had no rehearsal beforehand, so we were kinda just hoping for the best!

        Also spontaneous: that crazy band, jumping into a cab to go to the reception, everything about the reception (only the band knew what was going on!!!). We loved all of these unplanned moments!

  • Lucy

    1. NYC dog named Big? YES.
    2. The skirt on that dress is amazing!
    3. Everything about this is amazing!
    4. The last two pictures just slayed me. Dead I tell you. Dead.

    • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

      That second last picture did me in. Love it.

  • http://writemeg.com Megan

    Love, love, love. The dress, the vibes, the smiles — everything. And now really want to take another trip to New York City!

  • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

    Valentina, about how long was your ceremony? We are also most likely going to have our guests standing in the space we have, and are trying to find the right balance between short enough that no one is tired of standing there and long enough to not be rushed. (There will be a few chairs for the older guests and anyone else to really needs them.)

    Actually, I’d love to hear from others who had the ceremonies without seats.

    Also, I love your ceremony dress!

    • MM

      I would also love to hear from those who have done this. We are planning on having a few chairs for older guests and those with small children, but most will be standing. Did you find it necessary to place “reserved” signs on the chairs? Is 10-15 minutes too long to expect people to stand for the ceremony? I’m assuming people will figure out the aisle thing. I guess just general tips would be great!

      • kbmurray

        I’d like to know, too! My FH and I floated the idea of people standing (we really like it) and my dad was horrified!

        • http://cloverandlace.com Helen

          We had our guests stand! At least, most of them. We had about eight to ten chairs in the front for our grandparents, parents and a few elderly guests. Our ceremony was about twenty minutes long and everyone seemed fine with it! The reality is, MOST people can certainly stand up for ten or twenty minutes without a problem and so as long as you make arrangements for anyone who can’t, I think it should be fine!

          Also, you guys, this wedding is amazing. Congratulations!!!

    • Emily

      I need info on standing ceremonies tooo!

      • dawn

        I’m not doing a standing ceremony, but from experience with other events: when calculating the time, factor in the the fact that people will need to arrive early (likely earlier for a wedding than many other events?).

        • Valentina

          Hey everyone! First of all, good luck with all the planning! I’m happy to help! Our ceremony was short: about 7-8 minutes total. However, even if it had been longer, we could only have standing room – Central Park does not allow chairs. We picked a spot that had benches right in front of where we wanted our ceremony to be (the lake), that way older guests could sit on the benches if they wanted to, or people could sit on them if they got there early (both happened).

          Everyone seemed fine with standing. Keep in mind that everyone is there because they love you and are happy for you and want to see you get married! They aren’t timing the ceremony and they’ll be so wrapped up in the whole thing that they won’t even remember their feet are hurting, etc. (that will come later on in the night anyway!). At least that has been my experience being a guest at other weddings. I would stand at any wedding (not just my own :) ) if it meant truly enjoying myself while witnessing something awesome!

          Hope this helps!

          • Amber

            As someone who is currently planning a spontaneous “everyone show up in the park and hope it all works out” standing ceremony, it is amazing to see that I’m not the only one in the world to try to do this and that it can actually work out beautifully! Also, I love, love, love your disco dress!

          • Laura

            Hi everyone!
            Thanks so much for sharing your wedding, Valentina. I keep returning to it for inspiration.

            I wanted to ask about officiants. How did you find yours? We are planning a simple ceremony in Central Park, looking for something as close to a justice of the peace ceremony as possible, but I don’t know how realistic it is to be able to get a government official to do something like that outside City Hall.

            Does anyone have any experience with this?
            Thanks!

          • Valentina

            Hi Amber – good luck with your wedding!! It will work out beautifully and just the way you envision. If you go with the flow, you’ll see it’s meant to be!

            Hi Laura – our officiant was actually a friend of ours who got ordained online by the Universal Life Church. We went over how we wanted the ceremony to flow and he was great. I think judges can officiate anywhere, my parents were married by a judge! Good luck!

  • http://landlockedlove.blogspot.com Kelly

    You are gorgeous. I love your clothes. I love your hair. In my imagination we are friends.

    • Valentina

      Ha! Thanks, Kelly! Your hair looks pretty awesome, too!

  • http://www.carlacarusojewelry.com Carla Caruso

    OK – love the “just married” taxi shot. And her bouquet is lovely, too. They look so happy – very sweet!

  • http://www.tarahcoonan.com Tarah Coonan

    I LOVE that you can do this in America. It’s so romantic. In the UK it’s so formal. I love this wedding, it’s so lovely. Congratulations to them both!

  • elle

    This wins ALL the prizes.

  • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com Koru Kate {Koru Wedding}

    Perfect, lovely NYC wedding!

  • dawn

    Lovely wedding- the spontaneous feel really comes across in the great pics.

  • Valentina

    Thanks so much everyone! You are all so sweet and too nice! Reading all of your comments and reliving the photos through your eyes made us so happy and gave us chills! Thank you again!

    Valentina & Rob

  • http://sandiegoengagementphotos.com Jessica

    Stylish and smart.

  • Happy

    Meg, this didn’t make it into the Wordless Wedding index! I’d like to be able to revisit all the pretty! (Valentina, that dress. Yeow!)

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  • Megan

    In that 6th picture, where is your friends dress from? love it