A night to remember: “It was a journey, an escape,” says planner Bronson Van Wyck of this wedding on Roosevelt Island. “From one island to another, guests escaped the rough and loud streets of Manhattan to a glowing tent twinkling with candles, cocooned in the shimmering city lights of Manhattan and Queens.
Sometimes the most unexpected spaces are right in your backyard. At the beginning of the planning process, Emily Tisch Sussman, the campaign director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and Kevin Craw, a foreign policy analyst, knew they wanted an atypical wedding venue that still felt like New York. Planner Bronson Van Wyck (212-675-8601) looked beyond the usual locales to Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, creating a magical oasis with picturesque views of the Manhattan skyline.
The chance to be the park’s first wedding added to its allure for the couple. Close proximity to the city made travel easy for both New Yorkers and out-of-towners, and Senator Cory Booker, a close friend, acted as officiant, giving the ceremony an intimate and friendly feeling.
The removed stillness of Roosevelt Island made it seem like an escape, and the tent, full of twinkling candles, added to the sense of romantic seclusion. “Just on the other side of the park, next to our after-party tent, are some of the only structural ruins left in the city,” says Van Wyck. “We got permission to light [them] to incorporate them into part of the décor.”
When choosing a conventional space in the city, says Van Wyck, “You have access to fabulous food, beautiful spaces, and great service. You basically start on third base.” For couples that go an alternate route, he continues, “It’s important to take into consideration that they may not provide items that are taken for granted at other wedding venues.... Think about a way to make it yours—put your signature icing on the cake so it stands out from the rest.”