Kelly and Mark’s NYC City Hall Elopement

Having both been married before, Kelly and Mark decided that a big extravagant wedding was not the route that they wanted to take. In the words of the groom: “Been there, done that!”

Instead, the couple chose to elope in one of their favorite cities – New York – with a simple civil ceremony. They followed up their city hall nuptials by wandering around the city with their photographer Tahni in tow, riding the subway, eating pizza, and toasting their marriage with local patrons at an Irish pub. Now that’s what we call love, Big Apple style!

New York City Elopement

Kelly, 42 & Mark, 48

New York City, NY

Wedding Date: October 10, 2013

Number of guests: 1,  Tahni (our photographer)

Wedding Cost: Marriage license, flowers, and photographer, totaling $1100

Wedding Ceremony Location: New York City Hall

Wedding Reception Location: We held our ‘reception’ three weeks later at our home in Newport Beach, CA

New York City bride outside New York City Hall bride's shoes bride and groom kissing at city hall bride and groom kissing in New York street bride and groom sitting on subway bench bride and groom in New York pizzeria

Why did you have an intimate wedding?   

Well, we’d been-there-done-that as far as a big extravagant wedding goes, twice. We’re both in our  forties and we just wanted something for us and for us only. We both love New York, and we were already planning a trip to NY in Oct ’13, so we both said “Let’s get married there!”  Plus, I, the groom, have family roots in NY, so it all seemed too perfect, and very romantic.

New York City Hall bride and groom waiting line at city hall bride and groom at city hall groom signing marriage licence bride signing marriage licence

What are some challenges you faced planning an intimate wedding?  

Not many, really, except one: Everyone so loved us together that they wanted to see us get married. But we stayed firm: We’ll get married in NY and come back and have a big, fun, informal reception at home.

groom with lily boutonniere white lily wedding bouquet bride waiting at city hall bride and groom waiting at city hall

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?  

Not at all. ZEE-ROE guests!

bride portrait at city hall bride and groom portrait at city hall bride and groom at city hall

Did you have any issues with the small guest list?  

Not after everyone understood what we wanted, and that we’d have a reception here in Newport Beach.

New York City Hall Elopement
NYC City Hall elopement

What were the highlights of the ceremony?  

Oh gosh, so many.  For me, the groom, it was the entire day leading up to the moment we said “I do.”  While my wife-to-be was getting ready in the apartment we rented in the West Village, I walked to Very Special Flowers off Bleecker St. on W 11th and picked up her bouquet and my boutonniere, and on the walk back to meet her and our car to the courthouse, I was on cloud nine.  The entire day after that was heaven, from waiting at the courthouse with my bride-to-be and our photographer Tahni, the ceremony itself, our photo shoot around the streets of TriBeCa and the West Village, to walking back to our apartment married at last. The best part, though, was how my beautiful bride giggled in joy and nervousness all day long.  I had never seen her so bubbly.

For me, the bride, seeing my husband-to-be for the first time in his suit standing in front of the courthouse with anticipation, waiting for our number and names to be called, watching all the happy people at the courthouse, and seeing how months of planning were finally coming to fruition. I was so happy, and nervous!

City Hall wedding ceremony
groom putting ring on bride's finger
bride and groom first kiss
NYC City Hall elopement ceremony
bride and groom with marriage certificate

What were the highlights of the reception?     

For me, the groom, the entire day was the highlight. We held the party on Nov 2, 2013, a beautiful Saturday in Newport Beach, and it was a huge high. We did a New York, Married in Manhattan themed party. We had a huge canopy covering our front yard and we hired a bartender, but everything else was DIY. We had flowers from Trader Joe’s, cocktail tables all over, a little lounge area near the canopy, homemade cupcakes from our good friend and neighbor, New York themed cocktails, and pizza from a local pizza place that happens to be owned by a New Yorker – the real thing. We also did a good ol’ New York hotdog stand.  And, after sunset, we had When Harry Met Sally and then Woody Allen’s Manhattan playing on a big screen near the ‘lounge’ while our music list played from our Bose and iPhones.  Guests started arriving at 4, and the last of us hung around until midnight.  It was a blast.  The best part? Seeing my beautiful wife mingling and smiling and dancing and posing for pictures in her red skirt. Gorgeous.

For me, the bride, I’ll remember my red skirt, and dancing around in it. And my handsome husband in his John Lennon NYC t-shirt and suit jacket! Hubba bubba. And our hostess, our friend Melanie, and her so-sweet toast to the two of us. And our dance to Elton John’s That’s Why They Call It the Blues – it was the wrong song, but it was a great dance.  And setting up the canopy for the first time, the night before, and seeing how beautiful our party would be.  And arranging flowers with our friend and neighbor Lisa. And feeling so much love and support for our union from all of our friends. It was such a special day.

Bride and groom outside NYC City Hall
bride and
bride and groom in New York
NYC elopement portrait

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding? 

We got to plan it according to how we wanted it.  We decided it wasn’t about pleasing friends and family, it was about pleasing the two of us as a couple.  It may sound selfish, but considering how we’d both been-there-done-that, we wanted something that we could revel in, enjoy in the moment, and not worry about all the hoopla and circumstance of a big wedding.  We wanted it intimate, just us, so we could truly savor what we were doing as partners.  And it was perfect.  As that day went on, and even more today, we are so happy we did it the way we did it.  The memories of that day will live with us forever.

NYC Wedding portrait
NYC wedding portrait
NYC wedding portrait
bride walking in New York
bride and groom entering NYC pub
bride and groom in pub
groom with martini
bride and groom in pub window
bartender pouring shots
bride and groom toasting with pub patrons
bride and groom outside subway entrance
bride and groom in subway station
bride and groom in front in subway
bride and groom on subway
bride and groom crossing street

 What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding? 

Do it how you want it.  Don’t compromise.  Its all about the two of you and how you want to enjoy and remember the day, not about what everyone else wants.  Do what’s important to you and your future spouse.  Do something original; meaning, something unique to the two of you as a couple.

bride and groom in NYC pizzeria
pizza slices
bride and groom at pizzeria
NYC elopement portrait
Photography: Joyeuse Photography

License and Ceremony: The NYC Marriage Bureau 



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We like to think of peach as blush pink’s slightly cooler big sister. Equally pretty as pink, but without the same girly girl associations, it’s an incredibly versatile color that easily pairs with muted pastels, but has no problem playing with big statement colors as well. We’ve put together 5 color palettes to show you just how versatile and perfect it can be for your wedding day.

Now, just because we think peach is pink’s cooler sister, doesn’t mean we don’t love pairing them together! In fact, we think they go together like two peas in a pod, and this fun pastel palette benefits from not just one, but two shades of pink. To finish it off, throw in a dose of mint for good measure.

Peach Color Board

Next, we have another peach and pink pastel palette, this time with cool overtones thanks to the addition of dusty lilac. It’s a slightly more muted color scheme than the one above, but just as lovely.

Peach Color Board

We think navy and peach are a color match made in heaven and this palette hits the perfect balance between feminine and masculine hues.

Peach Color Board

Looking for something with a bit more kick? Why not throw in a little red to the mix?

Peach Color Board

Finally, if you’re looking for a color palette that packs a lot of punch, this one is for you! Complementary colors come together in this orange and blue filled color scheme that is sure to make a statement on your wedding day.

Peach Color Board

Photo one:; Photo two:; Photo three:; Photo four:; Photo five:

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diy menu and place cards

Intimate Weddings was invited to participate in the “Say ‘I Do’ with Xyron and Anna Griffin” blogger design challenge. Our task was to come up with a DIY menu and place card setting design using products that were provided to us from Xyron and Anna Griffin.

You can vote for our project here.

There were so many gorgeous papers, cut-outs, embellishments and other fun craft supplies that arrived at our doorstep, it took us a full day just to decide on which products to use.  If you haven’t seen Anna Griffin’s stationery, you must take a look! It is perfect for DIY wedding invitations, as well as a myriad of other wedding-related projects.  The paper designs are inspired by antique textiles and prints and there is truly only one word to describe them: luxurious!

Xyron’s Creative Station is also a handy item to have if you are crafty type. Not only does it make magnets and stickers, it also laminates your projects. We used the Xyron Creative Station for our magnetic name cards (as you can see, we are Downton Abbey fans!). The beauty of making magnetic name cards is that when the wedding is over, they will end up on the fridge instead of in the garbage.

For both the menu and the name cards, we created a feather motif using Anna Griffin’s metallic paper and velvety floral paper.

 DIY Feather Motif Menu Instructions

You will need:

  • decorative paper from Anna Griffin collection
  • paper from Anna Griffin Soft Hues Metallic Paper Kit
  • rounded punch
  • glue stick
  • scissors
  • paper trimmer
  • printer (We used Adorn Garland font from Laura Worthington’s Adorn Collection. We highly recommend this font collection for anyone creating DIY wedding stationery!)
diy menu

Print your menu on a piece of 8.5″ x 11″ Soft Metallic Hues Anna Griffin paper. Try to fit two on a page to conserve paper. Cut to 4.5″ x 4″.

menu diy

Place on another sheet of Soft Metallic Hues paper. We used a darker shade of silver. Leave a 3/4″border around the edges and glue menu onto paper.


Round edges using a corner punch.

diy menu

Choose your paper to create the feather motif.

anna griffin paper

Draw a feather shape on the back of the paper. Our feather was 1.5″ x .5″.

diy name cards

Cut out shape and create a feather fringe around the outside.

diy name cards

Cut out a thin, stem-like piece of paper and glue in the middle of the feather.

diy name cards

Adhere feathers around the border of the menu. We used eight feathers.

diy menu cards

Lovely, isn’t it?

diy menu anna griffin

Now for the Feather Motif Escort Cards.

Glue paper feather onto a 2.5″ x 3.5″ piece of paper from Anna Griffin Soft Hues Metallic Paper Kit. Add name.


diy name cards

Place name cards (you can create three at a time) in the Xyron Creative Station and slowly turn the handle.

diy name cards

Presto! They are now laminated magnets! Cut around edges.

diy name cards

What do you think?

diy escort cards

Our little ode to one of our favourite Downton Abbey characters: name-card-2


We’d love for you to vote for our project. Again, you can cast your vote here.

*Intimate Weddings did not receive monetary compensation for this post, but we did receive free products from Xyron and Anna Griffin to create this DIY project.



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Romance in Mexico: Win a Trip to Puerto Vallarta

Looking for the perfect slice of paradise to say your ‘I do’s’? Think Mexico!  Only a few short hours by plane from many American and Canadian cities, you won’t have to travel far to find that little piece of heaven you’ve been looking for.

There are many wonderful cities to choose from in Mexico, but one of our personal favorites is Puerto Vallarta. Surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra Madre on one side and the azure coastline of the Pacific Ocean on the other, Puerto Vallarta makes for a pretty dreamy destination for your wedding day. Whether you’re looking for a romantic beach setting or something a little different, Visit Puerto Vallarta can help you plan your perfect dream wedding.

bride and groom in Puerto Vallarta couple in Puerto Vallarta Marina in Puerto Vallarta

One of the things about a destination wedding is that your honeymoon is included if you want it to be. So once your vows are said and done, why not spend some time and explore all that Puerto Vallarta has to offer? From excellent golf courses, to eco-adventures on both land and sea, to a pampering day at one of Puerto Vallarta’s many spas, your stay in Puerto Vallarta is guaranteed to be one you’ll remember for years to come.

couple on a boat in puerto vallarta

To learn more about Puerto Vallarta and how to plan your dream wedding there, make sure to check out the Visit Puerto Vallarta site and don’t forget to enter their giveaway for your chance to win a romantic getaway for two.

couple watching fireworks in Puerto Vallarta

Sponsored Post.

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Kari and Duncan had hoped to elope in order to avoid being the center of attention of their large extended family on their wedding day. In the end, however, they chose to compromise and have a small backyard wedding with just 12 guests instead. With only immediate family present, the couple was able to enjoy their day and really focus on each other, even taking time to steal away for a quick ride on their tandem bicycle as newlyweds.

A huge thanks to De Nueva Photography for sending over all the beautiful photos so we could share them with you!

New York Backyard Wedding

Kari, 27 & Duncan, 30

Westchester, NY

Wedding Date: May 9, 2014

Number of Guests: 12

Wedding Cost: $2,500

Wedding Ceremony Location: Bride’s parents’ backyard in Mamaroneck, NY and then pictures were taken at Manor Park in Larchmont, NY.

Wedding Reception Location: Bride’s parents’ house in Mamaroneck, NY

Tandem bicycle with painted just married sign sunflowers in bike basket bride and groom hugging in backyard bride and groom hggin bride and groom by the lake bride and groom walking in the park bride and groom with tandem bicycle

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We were originally planning on eloping to Scotland. We both have really big close families and don’t like being the center of attention. We knew that if we had everyone there, we would be too worried about everyone else and wouldn’t be able to focus on each other and enjoy the day.

vintage bicycle tandem bicycle with flowers

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

We initially faced some pressure from extended family members to make it a larger affair.

yellow boutonniere wildflower wedding bouquet wedding rings groom toasting with bridal party

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

The guest list was very easy once we decided that we were only going to have immediate family.

bride and groom first look bride and groom first look bride and groom first look bride pinning boutonniere on groom

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

We felt bad that we couldn’t invite some of our really close family members, but we decided to have two more parties later in the summer, one at Duncan’s parents’ house and one at my parents’ house so that we could celebrate the special occasion with everyone.

bride walking down steps with her father

backyard wedding ceremony

backyard wedding ceremony

parents at backyard wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The ceremony was casual and very personal since we had it in my parents’ backyard with our good friend officiating. We wrote our own vows that we read one line at a time back and forth to each other which felt very special and intimate.

groom reading his vows

backyard wedding ceremony

backyard wedding ceremony

bride and groom first kiss

groom breaking the glass

backyard wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

Our favorite part of the day was riding the tandem bicycle back to my parents’ house after taking pictures in the park. We were able to have 15 minutes to ourselves away from the group which was really nice. It was also fun having strangers clap and congratulate us as we rode by. Once we returned to the house, we had a really great homemade dinner and both families got along amazingly and celebrated late into the night. It felt really special having them all gathered around the same table together and having such a good time.

Bride and groom portraits bride and groom walking by the water bride and groom by the sea bride and groom by the sea bride and groom kissing by the water bride and groom sitting on the rocks bride and groom sitting on a bench bride and groom by the water

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

The best part about having an intimate wedding was that we were able to make it extremely personal. Everything was handmade by us and our family including my headpiece, the bouquet, boutonniere, the sign and flower arrangements for the bike, star decorations, pie stands, cake toppers, centerpieces, all of the food and the pies for dessert! It really felt like everyone was working to make this the best day ever and then we all got to enjoy it together.

bride and groom walking through the park bride and groom in the park bride and groom embracing wedding portrait in the park bride and groom with tandem bicycle brie and groom riding tandem bike bride and groom riding away on tandem bike

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Go for it!

couple kissing behind just married sign


Photography: De Nueva Photography

Flowers: Trader Joe’s (My mom and I went over to Trader Joe’s in the morning and bought what we thought looked best that day. Then we went home and made our own bouquet and boutonniere and used the rest for centerpieces and decorations for the bicycle.)

Groom’s Outfit: Zara (pants & jacket), Express (vest), H&M (shirt), Macy’s (shoes/socks)

Bride’s Outfit: Lilly Pulitzer dress (with a handmade belt), Seychelles Shoes

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