Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the ELOPER'S GUIDE to nyc

Hello Lady,

So, I got engaged to my boy last year and we started the crazy wedding planning journey. Well, didn't that just turn into some kind of monster! It all got crazy, people involved got crazy and it was turning out to not be very much fun. Cut to me saying to the boy in a moment of total fed upedness 'we should just run away and get married in New York' and so WE ARE! Eeeek! Total excitement!

So, I was wondering if I could get a bit of advice from you and your lovely readers. We are Australians and neither of us have never been to New York before....I haven't been to America before. Sooo, we are planning on getting married at City Hall. We are tossing up about getting a photographer to come and photograph the ceremony and then maybe take some photos after......

Also, what to do once we're married? We don't know......we're thinking of somewhere nice to go and eat, drink and just be giddy about the fact we just got married. Suggestions?

Would totally appreciate any advice you may have.....we would love the day to just be rad!


I brought in a expert for you.

Matthew Downes (who's a friend of my lady Jamie) is a Brooklyn chef inspired by the seasons, and he just put up a brand spankin gorgeous new blog over here.

Here are Matt's recommendations:

Planning on eloping in New York City? Well, if all that wedding planning (or non-wedding planning) has got you hungry, you’ve come to the right spot. There is no dearth of restaurants in this great city, but here’s a helpful guide to put the finishing touch on that magical day.

Located in an eighteenth century carriage house in the West Village, One If By Land, Two If By Sea is remarkably romantic, with fireside dining and live piano music. The food, while not the most spectacular gustatory event in the city, is modern enough to delight the senses. But, it is the old-world atmosphere, the feeling of being transported to another time, even another place, that whisks you away and may just be the topper to your wedding day.

Blue Hill is known for their simple, yet elegant, farm-focused food, and their location near Washington Square Park is fitting for a wedding day feast that will still leave you light enough for some late night frolicking. The dining room is spacious enough, by Manhattan standards, that won’t leave you competing to hear your new spouse’s voice, and the kitchen is very accommodating, which makes for the perfect spot for any vegetarians, vegans or anyone with food allergies.

(Blue Hill at Stone Barns)

For a truly spectacular dinner, head to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, about an hour north of Manhattan by train/cab. Located on a former Rockefeller estate, Stone Barns is an absolute delight if you really want to spoil yourself. I recommend making an early reservation (5:30 or 6 pm) and arriving around 3 pm. Walk around the farm, visit the greenhouse, get lost in the woods, say hello to the pigs. Once the dining room doors open, enjoy a cocktail on the terrace before the kitchen takes you on a culinary tour that is influenced by that day’s harvest. And after dinner, retire to the terrace for tea service. They’ll roll out a cart of potted herbs for you to choose, mix and match.

For the vegetarians and vegans out there looking for a meal befitting of your wedding day, the only true vegetarian restaurant I would recommend is Kajitsu, located in the East Village. Old school Shojin principles meet modern techniques to create a memorable dinner. The atmosphere, while not traditionally romantic, is quiet and Zen-like. Try heading to The Bourgeois Pig for a glass of wine before or after dinner…or both! Located only a couple blocks from Kajitsu, the dark burgundy décor and candlelight will compensate for any overly romantic atmosphere that Kajitsu may lack.

Want to kick it in Brooklyn after a trip to City Hall? Once you tie the knot, take a water taxi to Fulton Ferry landing in DUMBO and dine at The River Café. Watch the sun set over the East River and the Manhattan skyline while dining at one of New York’s storied restaurants. The food is good, the view is even better!

(Andrew Field + Rockaway Taco by The Selby)

And finally, for those of you that just want to catch your first waves as newlyweds, head to Rockaway Beach. Take in some surfing, and when you’ve worked up an appetite, hit up Rockaway Taco. Open seasonally from May to October, they serve up some of the best tacos in the city, only blocks from the beach. Be warned, with lines down the block, and limited seating, you may be parking your wedding dress curbside.


  1. uh, will it be problematic that they're not citizens?

  2. @Anon dude, it's all i can manage (or: more than i can manage) to answer the questions i'm ASKED

  3. Hi - we're British and married at City Hall 9 years ago - no worries about not being American citizens. Grabbed flowers from a flower shop and jumped in a cab and queued with everyone else to get married. We only took a few photos with a disposable camera and I do wish we had more, so book a photographer. We went to the Russian Tea Rooms for lunch, went on the roof of our hotel to take more pics and enjoy the moment and had dinner in the dinner over the road....it was amazing. But and this may have changed, the area that we waited in to get married was very officey and grubby but the room for the ceremony itself was fine. You have to remember that alongside the lovely Art Deco it's a working building, so don't be shocked by plastic chairs and carpets and having your bouquet put through the X-ray machine. We also had some family 'issues' and I'm so happy we got married in NY it was so special.

  4. can't speak to the getting married-in-nyc-as-a-non-citizen part, but i CAN note that you can't just show up and get married; there's a mandatory period of 24h. between getting your license and getting married at the clerk's office.

  5. Great city hall wedding

  6. ny local here: we used alexandra meseke for our photography - http://www.alexandrameseke.com/ - and she recently did a city hall session that is featured on her website.

    also, for major old school ny elegance: the campbell apartments at grand central station. the room is amazing, and you can have drinks there, grab oysters ( and lunch) downstairs at the grand central oyster bar and take some beautiful photos in the station as well.

  7. Also: Joanna is rolling out her Guide to New York City. Today's post was about where to stay... it might be worth checking out her series this week. Good luck! Sounds fabulous! And you know we all love a good elopement story, so please report back to us! xo.

  8. I recently eloped in Chicago, and I would definitely recommend getting a photographer - the photos were lovely and it was great being able to share them with friends and family. These guys do a photographer and registered officiant package, if you want to go somewhere a bit more picturesque than City Hall.

    We did go to City Hall, and the atmosphere was lovely - lots of excited and happy people. We then went for fancy brunch, did some sightseeing, and a fancy dinner which was just perfect. Oh, and don't forget to carry around your bouquet ALL DAY - you'd be amazed at all the free stuff and extra service people give you when they realise you've just got hitched.


  9. @Kitty?/T plus it is just FUN to carry around a bouquet

  10. Fab! Thanks for all your help. I am the Elopee in the above story. We will be in New York next Saturday and are marrying the week after and I simply cannot wait!

    Yes, we can get married at City Hall even though we are Aussies and yes, you do have to go in 24 hours before for your marriage licence.

    We have our photog sorted ( thanks for that ESB!) and I have been tossing up r.e. Bouquet......but sounds like that might be a really fun thing to do.

    We are finishing our wedding day by going to see The Rosebuds at Bowery Ballroom.

    Aaaah, can't wait!