Well to get started, have you looked through all the information?
Visas for the UK
(The New York consulate, which you'll apply to, you won't go there, but apply online.)
visa4UK :: Welcome
This links you to the online application.
You cannot apply in person or with a print out. Your to-be-wife must apply online, print the application (it goes in your supporting packet of info), set up a bio-metrics, then once bio-metrics are done, send in the supporting package.
Its about $800-900. Biometrics are free.
An expediter has access to deliver packages to the visa unit. Our cost $200, but his advice (listed here on other posts) was invaluable.
Now my random thoughts.
1. Proving relationship is not an issue. However, proving why you are marrying is the key. Any whiff of marriage for a visa is a no-no. We did provide emails that did show more than a friendship, letters from people in UK and USA that know us and attested to our character and intent of marriage, and for us, GP reports of his fertility/sperm tests (we want children - future British tax-paying citizens!) Make a narrative, make it concise (no more than a page, your post here was rambling.) You both have to make it clear (we did ours in two voices, his and mine) that she is seeking a visa to fulfill her marriage and life to you, be a part of constructive and productive society and do her part as a new Brit.
2. She needs to play up her profession to be a productive part of society, however not so much that it sounds like she's coming to steal a job from a natural born Brit.
3. Timing is pain. After the wedding, remember it takes time to get all the recorders to do the paperwork. We forgot that, and had to wait 2 weeks to get the marriage certificate. (No need for Apostille, thank God as that would have been another few weeks. UK recognizes marriages from a registered place or an ordained minister that take place in USA.)
4. Once she sends in her application and payment, the next screen is biometrics appointment. For me in Las Vegas, it was 3 weeks after!!! That was the first available appointment. Upon advice from my visa agent, I went there the next day and smiled, please may I be added to the list, and they were fine as so many people never show up. Remember she must travel to the biometrics site....so depending where that is...that can take time. (It only takes 30 min with waiting.)
5. Once biometrics are done, the package must go. So you must have all your supporting documents in order. All this is provided in checklists on any UK visa site, here and the checklist with the spouse visa application is a bit scanty. A few forms you have to sign (mostly identity.)
6. My visa agent recommended my UK husband's passport to go in the package (hers must. Be sure it doesn't expire in the next 6 months.) - but he was going back to the UK, but we'd already had a copy of his passport certified by his solicitor in UK. We later found that a notarized copy from USA was fine too. One thing the visa agent was adamant - long form original UK birth certificate (if you are natural.) Once the marriage is over, you are not really necessary to the process - meaning you don't have to physically be there.
7. She then must wait for the visa to come back after the paperwork goes in. Read here about cases. Some are easy - 2 days to a week, others have requests for paperwork.
8. I see questions asked about why you two are 8 years and rarely together, not live together, now marrying. (I know, you explained to us, but remember, you will need to give 'personal' information why in your application.) Narrate that in the application. Most visa sites state at least 6 months living together as man and wife...(not a rule.) We lived together 6 months, married in USA then put in the paperwork. That is just how it ended up. Any thought to having her move over to show intent of permanency?
9. Finally, you need to show how you will support her when she comes to UK. She cannot go near any government dole for two years of residency. You need to have documentation of abode, transportation, income, savings, etc. You need to get her on your council tax bill, which is a biggie - that really does show intent to have her with you in UK.
Hope that is a start.... good luck. I know you've waited a long time, but visas aren't given out for length of time with someone, it tends to care more if the person getting the visa will not take advantage of the situation, use government resources, or want a visa for personal benefit. You must show how you will support her.
Again - huge good luck!!!
And read alot here. Lots of great advice for folks who've BTDT.