Welcome to Real Wedding Spotlight, where we feature our favorite nuptials that have happened in real life.
A Glam City Wedding in Manhattan
How did you get engaged?
Martha: Conway and I have known each other for over 17 years. We became friends in college after meeting one night at a party.
Conway: So, we knew each other pretty well by the time I decided to propose. I knew that she could become a real detective when she senses something is afoot. This meant I had to be extra sneaky, and I couldn’t even tell her family until right before the actual proposal because as soon as I did, the cat would be out of the bag. So, I moved like covert operative: I got a ring and everything, and then right before I proposed I called her mom and officially got permission. Then I was like, “Great, now you can’t ruin the surprise because I am going to propose to your daughter right now.”
Martha: It was a Sunday and we had planned to go take a walk in Central Park, but then we woke up and it was gloomy and rainy and dark, and I kind of just wanted to stay home and watch movies all day. He put up with that for about two hours and then was like, “We need to get out of the house.” So, we went for a walk in FDR park, right here on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan. We walked to the very southern tip of the park and then we started heading back. We were walking through this grassy area and I bent down to take off my shoes because I wanted to feel the grass on my feet. That was when he got on one knee. I didn’t even realize it, but then I heard people cheering and yelling, “Say yes, say yes!” I had no idea who they were talking to or what was going on, but then I looked at Conway and saw what was happening. Just then, everything started to move in slow motion. It was surreal. Of course I said yes, and everyone cheered and took our picture. Right at that moment it started to rain, like someone had cued it on a movie set or something!
When did you start planning the wedding?
Martha: We got engaged in August and were married the following May. We’ve known each other for so long and he always told me, “If I get engaged it’s to get married, it’s not to spend two years planning a wedding!” The same day we got engaged he said, “So, what do you think about a date?”
Conway: We had been to about a dozen weddings in the past few years, and that helped us in our wedding planning because we had seen so many examples. We had a very good sense of what we were looking to do, so it didn’t take that long to put it together.
What was the vision for the wedding?
Conway: Most of our family is from Kansas and Texas and they have never been to New York City, where we live. We wanted to show our guests, if only for one weekend, a glimpse what our city is about, from the historic Grace Church to the fun bus tours and a penthouse view from Le Parker Meridien hotel.
What about the pink balloons?
Martha: Well, our wedding had pops of pink and I am obsessed with round balloons. I think they make such a statement.
Conway: And by round she means perfectly spherically shaped.
Martha: The story is that during our engagement photos I sent Conway out to get round balloons, and he came back with regular balloons. I was looking at them like, “No, we want round!” And he was like, “Aren’t all balloons round?” So I had to explain the difference between regular balloons and round, ball balloons. He thought that was hilarious. But, I’ve always loved round balloons. We’re having a baby girl soon and I can’t wait for her to get here. Every birthday she’ll get one round balloon and at her graduation I’ll be there with 18. I was happy we were able to make the balloon thing work in our wedding because now it’s part of our story and will be a tradition as our family grows.
What were the most memorable moments of the wedding for you both?
Conway: The most memorable event for me was the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. We had so many friends and family members who came, so we opened up the microphone to let everyone give toasts. It was an opportunity to say whatever was in their hearts and tell their stories about us. Martha went through each of her bridesmaids and told her story about how they met and what their relationship meant to her and I did the same thing for my groomsmen.
Martha: All twelve of them!
Conway: It was an opportunity to help people get to know each other, and know a bit more about us too.
Martha: I remember at the church our pastor asking for our rings during the ceremony and then blessing them. That’s when I knew I needed to remember this moment. So I turned around and looked at everyone and I thought, “This is exactly what I wanted, all my family and friends here and my pastor blessing the rings I’m going to wear for the rest of my life.” That was the most magical moment for me.
What was the registry process like?
Conway: I’m all about efficiency, so I liked to do it online. It was quick and it was easy.
Martha: I preferred to go into the stores so I could feel things really look at them in person. So, I’d do that and then we would actually register for them together at home. Sometimes we’d sleep on it and then wake up and change our minds, so it was nice to know we could easily edit it online.
How did you decide what to register for?
Conway: We were pretty good at self-editing and thinking about what we really needed. I think some couples will just start picking random things and not realizing that after the wedding all of this stuff is will have to fit in your home! Especially in New York City, where space is limited, you have to give some thought about what you really want.
Martha: We thought a lot about what we wanted to replace, rather than things we wanted to add to our space. Especially when we were registering for cookware, it was a lot of, “You brought this into the relationship, I brought this, and they both suck.” That’s when we’d decide to just get rid of it and register for something great and new.
Any advice for other couples who are registering?
Martha: Make sure you choose items that you won’t get tired of and that you know are well made and will last for years. You don’t want to turn around three years from now and think, “Oh, we need pots because the ones we registered for aren’t lasting well.” Make sure you do your research and read reviews on the website and talk to friends and just really think about your decisions. I think your friends will appreciate that too, because they’ll come into your space and see that their gifts are actually being used and have become a part of your lives together.
Right now, we’re also running our Win Your Registry Sweepstakes. Simply create your own registry in one of our stores or online, and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win your entire registry! See more details here.