Sometimes when we’re planning our dream wedding, we can get tired of other people’s opinions. Suddenly it’s not just you and your spouse’s wedding, it’s your family’s, their family’s, your friends, the neighbour’s cat and more. It can be overwhelming and, quite frankly, annoying. Elopement can be the ultimate solution.
Now, the word elopement can have a few connotations. Firstly, it might be that it brings to mind quick and cheap town hall weddings. It could be that you, your spouse and your closest circle flee to the mountains or the beach to have a small, destination wedding. However, city-based elopements are on the rise, and there’s not a quick and cheap town hall element in sight.
Couples are increasingly eloping to cities they love and using the money they’ve saved on the guest list to buy designer wedding dresses and suits and beautiful bouquets to run around the city with a photographer, capturing their adventure. It’s a kind of freeing way to get married that’s very editorial and, in the case of New York City elopements, brings to mind shows like Sex and the City, Girls, The Bold Type and more.
For the fashion girl among us, this might be the wedding for you, but how do you make it a reality? Let’s find out.
First things first, you’ve got to work out the logistics. Especially if you’re not a New York state resident, you might have to apply for a different wedding license. You’ll have to book into city hall or get a registrar booked way ahead of time. New York City has so many people and will have plenty of weddings every single day, so as relaxed and spur of the moment as elopements seem, you are going to have to actively plan in advance.
Also if you’re flying into the city, you need to think about whether you're ordering your wedding dress to NYC for pickup, bringing it with you from home, or coming to the city early to buy it there. You’re also going to have to find wedding vendors for things like flowers, photographers, wedding cake, transport – unless you’re relying on the iconic yellow cabs like our bride did here – and somewhere to sign the wedding registry.
There’s a lot to think about, not as much as a full wedding, but if you’re getting married in a place you’re not familiar with, it can be more difficult to get a feel for products.
Considering that you don’t have your loved ones and family in attendance at your New York City elopement, you’re going to want to capture the entire process to share with them when you get home. You can hire a photographer to follow you around the city, capturing the day as if it’s a city-based montage in a film.
You can still get all the traditional shots such as the getting ready photos, aisle shots and first dance images, but they’ll just be a little bit different. The getting ready photos might be you topping up your lipstick before you get out of the cab. The aisle might be the steps of the city hall or emerging from the subway.
The first dance might be in the square outside the hall or in a rooftop bar nearby. There are plenty of options and if your wedding photographer is a local, they’ll know the best places to get these shots. Remember to give your photographer plenty of reference shots ahead of time at your consultation to make the most of the time you have with them.
Okay, one of the weird things about eloping is seemingly the limitations on the wedding dress. If you look at a lot of elopements, the brides are either in tea-length dresses, floaty a-lines that they can wear hiking boots with, or a white suit to look effortless chic without standing out too much. With this New York City elopement, those limitations are gone.
NYC is the home of US fashion, and there’s a street-based fashion shoot happening nearly all the time somewhere in the city, so seeing a bride in a huge, designer dress isn’t going to be massively surprising to the locals. Just make sure that you can move around in your chosen wedding dress, especially if you’re planning on running around the city from location to location.
Also, there are tons of wedding dress shops in New York so you can buy your dress there and not have to risk travelling with it on a plane, either as oversized baggage or leaving it to the whims of FedEx. Simply pick it up when you arrive!
If you’re wanting to go for a huge designer dress, you might want to have a different reception dress on hand to change into. Especially if you’re planning on going to a restaurant or bar after the ceremony, there might not be enough space for a puffy princess dress, so take this into consideration!
Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you can’t have a baller reception. In fact, you can go for a super fancy, Michelin-starred meal with the money you’re saving – there are plenty of those in the city. Keep in mind, if this is something you want to do, you’ll need to book months in advance at least.
Alternatively, if you and your new spouse want to eat from a food truck and drink the night away in a cool rooftop bar, there’s no one to tell you that’s not okay. It’s your day, you guys can do whatever makes you happy.
Another option is to go to a bakery after your ceremony and eat all the delicious cakes and pastries without having to buy a full wedding cake for just the two of us. Especially if you’re getting married during the daytime or in the summer, this might be a more laid back option that matches the overall vibe of your New York City elopement wedding.
Sex and The City Styled NYC Elopemen
I can’t think of a better way to spend a day in than reliving my favourite modern fairy tale – that of Carrie Bradshaw & Big!
This gorgeous NYC elopement inspiration shoot by Cyrience Photography channels the love, excitement, and fabulous fashion of Sex and the City perfectly. Grab a Cosmopolitan and enjoy!
From Ashley of Dulce Dream Events – “From the blush coloured Valentino gown to the contrasting black heels and long strands of pearls – with every detail, we tried to channel what Patricia Field would put together for the character of Carrie, if she were playing Cinderella and running off to meet her groom at City Hall.
We even tried to include details that spoke directly to Carrie’s character, including the sparkling feather in her hair (reminiscent of the peacock feather she adorned for her non-wedding in the first movie) to the ‘love’ cake topper made from silver craft wire that her groom surprises her that is inspired by the famous ‘Carrie’ necklace.
We set the story with the bride and groom coming from different areas of Manhattan, her from an Upper West Side Brownstone and him from the famous Helmsley Building. We wanted to include some NYC landmarks and give a real feeling for a couple meetings to elope midweek. After, they have an intimate celebration at City Hall Park with champagne, a cake, and a dance by the fountain!”
Credits: Photography: Cyrience Photography // Event & Floral Design: Dulce Dream Events // Wedding Dress: Valentino Blush Rosette Gown from Nearly Newlywed // Groom’s Suit: John Varvatos // Clutch: Petite Platinum Embossed Clutch by Merci New York for Madame Mathilde from Nearly Newlywed // Hair Accessory: Logan Hair Clip by Untamed Petals, Merci New York // Earrings: Lily Crystal Earrings by Elizabeth Bower, Merci New York // Cake: Billy’s Bakery // “Love” Cake Topper & Balloons: DIY by Dulce Dream Events // Stationary & Banners: Nightingale Projects // Videography: Augusto F. Menezes Photography, video editing by Cyrience Creative Studios // Makeup: Anabelle LaGuardia // Hair: Styles on B // Bride: Jennifer Glasgow // Groom: Bobby O’Donnell.