Donna and Alexis did not have the best luck planning their Fort Tryon Park wedding. They originally scheduled their wedding for December 18th of last year. Covid had other plans, however. After rescheduling THREE times due to various family members catching Covid on each subsequent date, we finally settled on a new wedding date of March 11th. Of course, this is the day it decided to snow. So did Donna and Alexis finally walk down the aisle? Find out how it all turned out in today’s blog post.
Meet Donna and Alexis
Let’s start off today’s post with an introduction to the lovely couple, Donna and Alexis. These two met in 2017 in Boston when Donna came to town to visit a mutual friend. But just one week after their romance began, Donna went back to New Jersey. With Alexis still in Boston, they launched a long-distance love affair. The back-and-forth commute continued until 2019 when they officially moved in together in New York City. While living in Washington Heights, they often visited Fort Tryon Park, so it was just natural to say their vows in a place so special to them both.
But you can’t have a wedding without first having a proposal. Donna and Alexis’s proposal took place in April of 2022 during a trip to Spain for a friend’s wedding. Alexis had everything planned so that the couple’s first European adventure together would also be the perfect destination proposal. Though Alexis had to carefully carry the ring from city to city throughout their Spain sojourn, he finally got down on one knee and proposed on the Don Quixote trail in Toledo. Donna, of course, said ‘yes’.
Fort Tryon Park Wedding – The Portraits
The sunny skies of Spain seemed a million miles away on Donna and Alexis’s wedding day, unfortunately. When the snow began that morning, the couple smartly chose to push their ceremony back an hour to 11:00 a.m. This was just enough time for the snow, sleet, and rain to stop so that I could capture a few portraits of Donna and Alexis in the Heather Garden. And while there wasn’t much in bloom this time of year, I had scouted a beautiful forsythia tree in the corner of the garden.
From here we then moved to the Linden Terrace to keep the couple out of sight of the rest of the wedding party that had begun to arrive. The front corner of the Linden Terrace has a view over the George Washington Bridge of which I am particular fond. In this corner I had the couple practice their ‘first dance.’ I’ll note that Donna and Alexis were absolute troopers to keep their smiles on despite the cold, blustery weather.
Fort Tryon Park Wedding – The Ceremony
Since we knew the weather would be quite cold, we planned only thirty minutes for bride and groom portraits before the start of the ceremony, held in the Billings Arcade. In addition to being a spectacular architectural feature, the couple chose the Billings Arcade since it is the only covered area in the park aside from the gazebo adjacent to the dog run. If you are planning your own Fort Tryon Park wedding, however, note that you are technically not allowed to block any walkway. Since we had the park pretty much all to ourselves, we knew that traffic wasn’t going to be an issue during the ceremony.
Despite the near freezing temperatures, Donna and Alexis were brave to say their vows without wearing coats. The beautiful ceremony included a hand-holding ceremony whereby the couple held each other’s hands to physically create the infinity symbol. The ceremony also featured readings in English by Donna’s mother and in Spanish by Alexis’s mother. Alex Perez, the officiant for the day, did a great job segueing seamlessly between English and Spanish.
Fort Tryon Park Wedding – The Reception
After the ceremony, I took a few more photos of the bride and groom underneath the magnificent arcade. Donna and Alexis had reached their limit, temperature-wise, so it was time to head off to Tsion Café for the reception. Thanks to the outdoor temperature we decided to take all the family photos inside the restaurant. The colorful paintings on the wall of the restaurant made for great pops of color.
Though Donna and Alexis only had ten guests total, they did not want to miss out on any wedding traditions. They started the reception by cutting the cake and feeding each other. Next they took a twirl on the dance floor for a ‘first dance,’ and finally Donna’s father made a heartwarming toast to the couple. After his wonderful toast, Donna’s father gave a locket to the couple holding photos of Donna’s mother and paternal grandmother.
Fort Tryon Park – A Construction Update
Finally, although we did not take photos all over Fort Tryon Park due to the cold weather, I can give you an update on the park construction projects. When I visited Fort Tryon Park last October for Helen and Sean’s engagement shoot, there was monumental construction underway on the Cloisters Lawn. This construction now appears to be complete. All of the orange tape is gone and the fencing at the bottom of Linden Terrace has now been removed. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to visit the park again in April to give a more complete update.
I wish Donna and Alexis the very best as they start their lives together. These two busy students won’t have time for a honeymoon at the moment, but hopefully they will take some time for themselves when the weather gets a bit warmer. In the meantime, check out this article I wrote last year for all the details on how to get married in Fort Tryon Park.
Enjoy the rest of the images from Donna and Alexis’s Fort Tryon Park wedding, and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week!
- Ceremony venue – Fort Tryon Park
- Officiant – Alex Perez
- Reception venue – Tsion Café
- Bride’s dress – Pion Dress Shop, Etsy
- Bride’s shoes – Sultan Shoes, Etsy
- Bride’s hair stylist – Jordyn Rose at Vito Mazza Salon
- Wedding rings – Catbird
- Invitation – Canva and Staples
Are you planning to tie the knot in Fort Tryon Park? Drop me a line and let’s talk about your photography needs.
If you would like to view more images from my wedding portrait portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com