A few days ago, I had the bright idea to open up 3 Books, 3 Blogs to some groovy guest bloggers.
I’m (really) quite excited about featuring other people’s book and blog choices, and hope you enjoy them, too.
Since the fam and I are off to NY THIS WEEKEND I thought we’d start with Claire at Wed In Central Park.
And so here’s 3 Books, 3 Blogs from Claire…I’ve got to go pack. And ask Neil if we can renew our vows in New York!
Hi I’m Claire and I run a small business planning weddings for couples who want to get married in Central Park, New York.
Lorna and her family are visiting New York very soon, so it seemed appropriate for me to write my piece with a strong New York theme.
I moved to New York City with my boyfriend in January 2011. I love to read.
One of the first books I read after moving to NYC was Edward Rutherford’s New York – the Novel.
I like historical fiction in this vein, popularised by the likes of Ken Follett and Philippa Gregory, where the reader can get the best of both worlds and enjoy a captivating story while learning a little history along the way, as long as we are aware that it might not be 100% factual.
This novel tells the story of New York, from the city’s very inception, up to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that changed everything for so many. He uses a central core of characters from one major family and a few families surrounding them to show us the rich and fascinating history of this city. Each of the characters’ stories illustrates various social, cultural and political changes in the city.
Way before even visiting New York seemed possible to me I read The Catcher in the Rye. I’ve re-read it numerous times since. I’m a little bit in love with troubled teen Holden Caulfield. He’s an unforgettable tragic character. The majority of the novel is set in Manhattan in Winter 1949. Holden wanders the city streets dealing with the classic, timeless teenage issues of angst, alienation, and rebellion, showing that some things never change. While skipping school he visits Central Park, to go to the Pond near Gapstow Bridge, a lovely spot where some of the weddings I have planned have taken place, and wondered where the ducks go when the pond freezes over.
We lived on Upper East Side Manhattan, which contains some of the most expensive real estate in the world. It is also the most densely populated part of Manhattan, so it’s also where some of the cheapest places to rent are. We lived close to the East River, quite a few blocks from the beautiful Central Park. We would go running there, take our dog for walks there, generally hang out there, and when we decided to get married, it seemed natural for us to get married there.
As you walk East out of Central Park, you pass through 5th Avenue and the buildings on the blocks next to it. Many of those buildings are incredibly beautiful and date from the time of Edith Wharton’s classic The Age of Innocence.
The story is set in the 1870s and revolves around a couple’s impending marriage, and the arrival of a scandalous woman who may threaten their position in society. In my opinion this book was hard work to get through; not my idea of fun, but it is lauded for its accurate portrayal of how the 19th-century upper classes lived in this part of the world. It’s set around the time that Central Park and many of the beautiful mansions on the Upper East and West sides were built, that are in a similar style to the architecture of Central Park, so it gives a vivid picture of that time. Some of these grand houses are now museums, so it is possible to see the insides of these places and the book helps you to imagine what life was like when they were first built.
And onto the Blogs
I read quite a few parenting blogs, since my full-time job is being a mum. But my part-time job in the wedding industry means that I read lots of wedding blogs, too. I am not a woman who swoons over a perfectly-executed but completely false styled shoot with beautiful models and perfect settings, although I do see their inspirational value.
I like practical, helpful information for people to plan the ceremony that signifies the beginning of their married lives together.
In particular I like blogs that help couples to go against the grain a little, should they wish to do so, after all, saying your vows in a public park is quite untraditional.
Epic Elopement provides information and inspiration for the growing number of couples who choose not to have the traditional big wedding at home, for whatever reason, and instead elope to somewhere exciting, either just the two of them or with a small group of family and close friends.
I Do On A Budget offers advice and real wedding examples of how couples can avoid the over-inflated prices some wedding suppliers can charge. I wrote a piece for this blog with my ideas on how a couple could get married in Central Park and keep to a budget. (Click here to read Claire’s article)
A blog I really like about New York culture, city living, food and experiences is Used York City. The writer, Jess, lives in New York and loves her city; the aim of the blog is to showcase the best of New York, as used by New Yorkers, so it’s a great resource for locals and visitors alike. She got married on an Upper East Side hotel rooftop, you can read about it here.
If you are in any way considering getting married in Central Park, then check out my own blog at or the website . Or follow me on all the socials, I share a lot of photos of happy, smiling couples who have just made special promises to each other in the world’s most iconic public park.
A huge thank you to Claire for this tour of NYC through books and blogs and beautiful wedding photos.
Claire, we need to chat about that vow renewal!
Connect with Claire on:
(Text, photos, and blog links for this post were provided by Claire, and I have added links to further info on the books mentioned.)
What are some of your favourite New Yorkish books and blogs?
If you’d be interested in guest posting for a future 3 Books, 3 Blogs, let me know in the comments, or get in touch here.