As you might have noticed, I was recently in New York – it was a holiday, and also a honeymoon. You see, we eloped to America to have a teeny, tiny wedding – just the two of us, with our photographer as a witness. No one knew about it beforehand (aside from two of Mrs H’s friends), we were going to just tell everyone on our return. Here’s what happened –
Eloping is Fun!
We enlisted the help of a small company called ‘Eloping is Fun‘. As the name suggests, they look after ‘elopement’ weddings of all sizes. Getting married in NYC is pretty straightforward really, most public venues, inside or out don’t require you to have a permit. The only paperwork required is the marriage licence. There’s a lot less faff to ceremonies there compared to what we have over here. Eloping is Fun provided us with Joel, our Celebrant (the person who performs the ceremony), and Jonica, our witness / photographer. They provide straightforward packages, with different ‘add-ons’ – plus a whole host of helpful advice on suppliers and what you need to get married in NYC.
We stayed in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in a fantastic hotel called The Box House Hotel. We’d chosen a duplex apartment which gave us a living space and kitchen on one floor and a second floor with a bedroom. It was nicer to have some more room to ‘live’ in. I struggled with jet lag on our first few days, and I liked being able to pop downstairs and write without disturbing Mrs H. It also meant we could rustle up a few meals, or get take-away delivered to our room, without sitting on the bed eating. The Box House Hotel was amazing, probably one of the best hotels I’ve stayed in. The rooms were great, the staff were fantastic, and they have drivers that will transport you (for free) within a 1 mile radius of the hotel. It was handy to use this service after a long day to have a driver come and collect us from the nearest subway.
It was so QUIET around the hotel – we were only one subway stop from Grand Central Terminal, which is one of the main transport hubs in New York. However, the hotel was in a fairly residential area just across the river. It was lovely escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, but not being too far from the action.
Bring on the Glam Squad!
Mrs H called upon the Glamsquad to do her hair and make-up on the big day. A make-up artist and hair stylist arrived at our hotel room and did her hair and make-up. I just did my hair in-front of the mirror.
To keep the element of surprise, I hadn’t see the dress at all, and we were keeping it that way. So, I got suited and booted and headed off to our ‘venue’ – which was Grand Central Terminal. Mrs H stayed at the hotel and got dressed (with the assistance of some staff at the hotel). I met up with Jonica and Joel and they walked me to the Biltmore Room. in Grand Central. For such a busy place, the Biltmore Room is very quiet, it’s the home of a gorgeous old clock and an original arrivals board where the train arrivals used to be written on in chalk.
Jonica had instructed me to stand with my back to the entrance, so she could capture my reaction when Mrs H arrived.
Joel went quiet, and I could hear the clip clop of approaching heels, and there she was. Looking amazing. The ceremony was brilliant – Eloping is Fun had sent us both a questionnaire prior to the big day to find out a bit more about us. The entire ceremony was built around our answers, so sweet and personal. There was a teeny issue with getting married in a public space. It would seem that our exact spot was used by some Jewish guys to pray, for exactly 13 minutes. It was very surreal to see a surge of men gathering behind Mrs H and quietly praying as the ceremony took place. As we finished and Joel went through the paperwork, a MASSIVE tour group then arrived and whooped and cheered our nuptials.
That was a continuing theme – we walked to the main concourse for some more pictures. The whole time we had passers by shouting ‘Congratulations!’ or ‘Best Wishes!’, and a few even taking our photo. The weather that day was beautiful, bright and sunny – with a slight chill in the air, but dry at least. We took a stroll from Grand Central to Bryant Park, with a mixture of well wishers shouting, and many more not batting an eyelid that a bride and groom were strolling down the streets.
Bryant Park is a lovely place to hang out. In the winter there is a Christmas Market and Ice Rink, we stopped for a few photos in front of the fountain. Our next stop was ‘Top of the Rock’, we were going to have some pictures at the top of the Rockefeller building. As it was a few blocks away, Mrs H hailed a cab and we jumped in. The driver was very excited to have some newlyweds in the back. He gave me an apple (I’m not sure why) and didn’t charge us for our journey. We had some time before we would be allowed to the Top of the Rock, so we had some more pictures taken, and grabbed a coffee. So many passers-by were stopping to take our pictures, ask questions and have a chat. It was very sweet to have such a fuss made by so many people who didn’t know us.
Top of the Rock
After some fun photos on the street, we made our way to the Top of the Rock. The staff let us queue jump and head straight up. Sunset is a BUSY time, because you get incredible views across the city, and with the right kind of sunset it looks AMAZING. Jonica took lots of pictures of us, thankfully, most of the time the crowds parted and in some of the pictures, it just looks like it’s the two of us are up there. It was a perfect spot to end our time with Jonica. As we went back down to ground level, we stopped in a bar at the base of Rockefeller for a glass of champagne and a chance to catch our breath, and reflect on the day.
I’m not going to lie, I was pretty bloody hungry – I hadn’t eaten since lunchtime. We’d got dinner booked at Print – a ‘farm to table’ restaurant in Hells Kitchen. They also have a rooftop bar – ‘The Print Lounge’, where patrons of the restaurant can relax with a city view after dinner. We had an INCREDIBLE meal. However – jet lag struck, I was SO tired. I just couldn’t muster the energy to go up to the Lounge for more drinks. We took a car back to the Hotel and swung by the attached bar for a glass of wine to take back to our room. As we ordered our drinks, a very excited couple approached us and explained they’d recently got married and wanted to pay for our drinks. It was a lovely way to end a wonderful day.
I was worried that I’d miss having family and friends around us at the ceremony, and to share our big day. However, it wasn’t really the case. It was great to not have to worry about anything, other than getting to the venue. It all worked so well, there was no fussing over table plans, or worrying if people would be at the right place at the right time. We just got up, got dressed, and did it – it was effortless, and easy. The day was exactly what we wanted – it was perfect.