Having dated for eight years, Molly Gao and Paul Tran already knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. As she was expecting to be engaged a few years later, Molly was taken completely by surprise when Paul proposed. As they live in Melbourne, Australia, Paul surprised his beloved while on holiday in New York City, popping the question at a quiet spot in Central Park. Of course, she said yes, and the lovebirds dedicated 18 months to planning their sweet soirée in the city they became engaged. 

“Since we were planning a destination wedding from afar, we sought out vendors who were familiar with the venue, particularly as it was a clean space and you need to bring in vendors for everything,” explains the bride of their celebration at an exquisite space in the “Big Apple.” Wanting the day to feel both intimate and casual for their 44 attendees, Molly and Paul selected a color palette of neutrals, blush, and dusty rose for their September soirée. 

As loved ones gathered on the beautiful rooftop with views of the city, they awaited the arrival of the bride at 4PM. Friends and family were seated in bright white chairs arranged on a lush, manicured lawn, as Molly began her walk down the aisle; she looked resplendent in a classic gown paired with an elegant wedding bouquet of florals in vanilla and soft blush, which complemented the elegant arrangements of hydrangeas, dahlias, garden roses, lisianthus, stock, and orchids that lined the space. At last, she met her groom beneath a lovely arch adorned with blush blooms and the beautiful backdrop of New York City for the personalized vow exchange. 

“We specifically wanted the event to be low-key and almost like a special dinner party held with our closest family and friends.”

After they were pronounced husband and wife, Molly and Paul joined their friends and family for an elegant sit-down dinner. Carrying over the same fresh tones from the wedding ceremony, loved ones found their seats at long rectangular tables showcasing low arrangements accented with seasonal greenery displayed in gold urns that graced each table, interspersed with ambient candlelight. 

With no desire to carry out traditional wedding customs such as a first dance, the pair opted for a night surrounded by their loved ones complete with beautiful speeches and delicious food. “We specifically wanted the event to be low-key and almost like a special dinner party held with our closest family and friends,” shares the couple. “The fact that it was a destination wedding in New York, where virtually all our guests and ourselves included, flew from Australia or London to be there to share the day with us, we felt incredibly privileged and grateful for this.” 

While in a perfect world, the newlyweds would have liked to have picked a day without rain, the celebration of their marriage was otherwise everything they could have wanted. For couples planning their own weddings, Molly urges, “Plan it the way you want it to be – at the end of the day, it’s a celebration of the two of you and your decisions are the most important.”