Atop The William Vale last night, I noticed a bunch of formally-dressed guys wearing kilts. They were in a roped-off area of Westlight’s west-facing balcony, with excellent views centered on midtown manhattan on this clear, cool evening.
“Is this a wedding party?” I asked the one guy wearing pants.
“Yes. I just got married today.” Then we talked for about half an hour. Mark Hayton hails from England but he met his Scottish wife when they worked together as police officers in Edinburgh, Scotland. Most of his groomsmen were co-workers from the police force. Mark’s father was the best man. I was curious as to how they ended up on this rooftop on their wedding night when there is so much beauty in Great Britain, especially Scotland.
“Well, my… wife… and I vacationed here and I proposed to her in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. She obviously said ‘Yes’ and then she said ‘We have to get married in Brooklyn!’ We got married right by Jane’s Carousel.”
How did you arrange that from Scotland?
“We just searched online and found New York Dream Weddings. The guy we dealt with was great, and he was also the videographer. The father of the bride very generously paid for the whole thing but it wasn’t so expensive.”
How did you convince all of your friends to come? It must have been expensive for them.
“They loved it! A lot of them had never been to New York, or even the States. Some friends or family in Boston or Washington DC, and they’re combining their visit to New York City with other locations.”
And you’re all staying here?
“Nah. This place would cost a fortune. We’re just having the After Party here. Everyone is staying in different places. A lot of Airbnb.”
I still have to ask—Why Brooklyn?
“Look, Manhattan is fantastic and everyone should see the iconic sights there when they first visit New York, like Radio City, the museums, and whatnot. Brooklyn has a more relaxed vibe and you feel more in touch with real people. For instance, I love beer, and there are so many great breweries and pubs in Brooklyn where you can just hang out. We went to The Other Half last night and it was aces. Also, I love seeing where movies and TV shows are filmed, and there are loads of locations in Brooklyn. Especially with that Manhattan skyline in the background.”
Yeah. Steiner studios is just down the coast at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and they’re always filming exteriors there, and here in Williamsburg.
“My wife and I watch Blue Bloods, and…
That films in Brooklyn a lot.
Well, when we went to get our marriage license in lower Manhattan, we recognized the courthouse that Erin works out of. That’s Tom Selleck’s [character’s] daughter. She’s an assistant D.A.”
We talked more about Mark’s plans to transition to detective in a couple of years and how his wife already left the force and now works for Bobbi Brown cosmetics. Today, they’re heading down to Cancun for their honeymoon, for another environment very different from home.
The Brooklyn Bridge and its park are very popular for weddings and sometimes, just wedding portraits. More unique locations to get married include nearby Barge Music, Bushwick’s House of Yes, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Palm House and the New York Aquarium in Coney Island.