There is a line in the 1999 movie Runaway Bride that has stuck with me since I was 12 years old. Julia Roberts character says “I hate big weddings with everybody staring. I would like to get married on a weekday while everybody is at work. And if I ride off into the sunset, I want my own horse.” It took me another 24 years to get there (and alas, we shared a cab) but in the end, Adam and I were married in City Hall, at 10AM on a grey Thursday – while everyone else in Manhattan was at work.

I’ve been meaning to share the wedding details with you all, and then one thing lead to another (work’s busy season, a few curveballs from life) and now we’re nearly to our two month anniversary. But I hope you’ll still indulge me. It’s going to come in two parts as the day was distinctly split that way.

But first, I’ll pick up where I last left off – at the engagement. When we first decided to get married I was hesitant to share the news at all (I think I waited about a month to do so publicly). I know that most people scream about their diamond rings from the rooftops, but ours wasn’t like that and I think it just felt so precious, so delicate – that I wasn’t sure I wanted it out there in the world. I’m glad I reconsidered because one of the most surprising things about this entire endeavor was the outpouring of well wishes from you all – extended family, old friends, internet acquaintances. So many people who I honestly wouldn’t have guessed thought of us at all, went out of their way to say that they were earnestly happy for us. It really was bolstering, especially since the 3 months leading up to the wedding day proved to be more challenging than I had anticipated. While almost all of it was out of our control (the death of two grandparents, work stress, a stomach ulcer and small hernia, family stuff, the stress of planning and organizing the wedding and the honeymoon very quickly) – that surrounding joy helped me to feel more celebratory in that engagement period when I chose not to have the traditional bridal shower, bachelorette, etc. Needless to say, by the time September 28th rolled around Adam and I were running on fumes, and I presume had checked the weather more times than most meteorologists in the tri-state area.

That being said, the morning of the wedding we woke up to a sweeping view of downtown Manhattan from a beautiful suite in the Ludlow Hotel, and all of that started to fade away. We’d visited the rooftop where we were set to hold the dinner reception the night before with my parents and sister and made the tenuous decision to stick to original plans despite scattered rain in the forecast. And so, with nothing more than a blind trust in what was to come, we began the day. Adam had, in signature fashion, forgotten the shirt that he was going to wear that morning at our apartment so he had to run back home, which left me to get ready alone in our room. What I remember: listening to our wedding playlist, the smallest ray of sunlight parting through the clouds, pinning my curls into a loose bun with a handful of bobby pins, kneeling on the carpet to make a bouquet out of flowers I’d bought the day before at the Union Square farmer’s market, wrapping it with lace from the sleeve of my Mom’s wedding dress and securing the lace with a blue crystal earring from my late Nan (my sister had the other sleeve and half pair on her wedding bouquet 9 years ago), stepping into those ivory lace Manolos.

Adam wore a vintage navy pinstripe 3-piece suit we’d found in a charity shop a few weeks prior and he had tailored. I wore an ivory wool button front dress from New York brand Lein, a subtle flared skirt and puffed sleeves its only “flourish”, aforementioned Manolos, small pearl earrings borrowed from my sister and a vintage satin navy handbag I found on Etsy the week before. For the morning at City Hall I wanted a nod to the 1940s-1960s (my favorite eras) but with a modern twist. Ultimately, I wanted us to look really timeless in the photos, and I’m so happy with how it came together.

We’d built a pretty tight itinerary for the day and so we met our immediate families in the lobby at 9:00AM sharp and got in cars headed for City Hall. We were allowed 4 witnesses, meaning our parents could join us inside while our siblings waited outside. My Dad signed our marriage license with us and in doing so, Adam officially took our last name. From there, we watched the ticker boards until our number (C017) was called. The thing I loved about getting married at City Hall is what I love about New York – there are a million intersecting stories at any given moment. Down the hall was a young bride in chunky black Prada loafers, white knee socks and a white mini dress. Next to us was a bride well into her second or third trimester in a form fitting ivory sweater dress – her and the groom both beaming with love. Behind us – a bride in a full length lace gown, her groom in a sharp suit. We all had our own versions of that day – but we all shared in the excitement of that morning together.

The ceremony itself was brief and straight to the point. I hadn’t looked up exactly what the officiant would say but was happily surprised that we did in fact get to say “I do”, exchange rings – Adam’s a simple black band, mine a tiny row of diamond baguettes – and have an official kiss at the end. The whole thing took no more than 5 minutes and was perfect to me.

We exited City Hall into a snow globe of white confetti (I’d ordered small poppers ahead of time and our family and our amazing photographer Leandra all got into place before we came out the doors) – which was one of my favorite moments of the day. We were officially married and everything after that was icing on the cake of it all.

We took photos on the steps of City Hall and then left with Leandra for photos in Washington Square Park – a place that feels very ‘us’. It’s our local park, the one we’ve been walking to most weekends for a decade, the one where we sat on a bench and decided to get married on a hot night in July while lightning bugs flickered around us. Partially because it was overcast and partially because it was a Thursday at 11AM we miraculously had the place almost to ourselves.. which never happens. We danced by the fountain, paused under the arch, and were generally just sort of swept along with happiness during that photo hour.

From there we dipped into Washington Mews – one of my favorite tucked away streets that you’ll likely recognize as we’ve taken plenty of blog photos there over the year. Again, it was blessedly empty so we could really just relax into the moment.

Our last shot of the morning was a recreation of one of Adam’s grandparent’s wedding photos. A small tribute to his Nana that we lost a few weeks earlier.

Afterwards, Leandra left for a break before returning later and Adam and I were alone. One of the things that was most important to me that day was that we actually get to spend as much of it together as possible. And so, on a corner of Washington Square Park, I changed into little lace ballet flats and we walked to pick up lunch. We stood in line, me holding a bouquet, him holding a cardboard ‘just married’ sign – ordering salads to go. Then we grabbed a cab and took them back to our hotel suite where we promptly changed into robes, ate lunch, talked about the morning, listened to our wedding playlist for that night and just reveled in it together for about an hour. It was one of the best parts of the day.

Then it was time for the shift to the second half of the day.. where time would begin to move much faster. Adam left to move to my sister’s hotel room with my brother in law, and my sister came to our room to start getting ready for the evening. The rest coming in part two!

A few photos from my own camera and iphone, but the majority are from Leandra Creative Co. – she was a dream to work with and we can’t recommend her enough!


  1. I adore that you concentrated on having your wedding your way. My oldest daughter recently got married and it took me some time to get over it not being “traditional “. Once I let go and reminded myself of what a competent woman she is, the magic took over. Let me just say, it’s about damn time, couples marry their own way. Thrilled that you found the magic too❤️

    1. Thank you! I’m sure it felt out of the ordinary for some people, but it felt perfectly ‘us’ in the end. Congrats to your family too!

Comments are closed.