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Our $2.5K Fairytale Holiday Elopement in New York

Just us, the skyline, and the city

Michelle, dog walker  & Michael, pilates instructor

sum-up of the wedding vibe: Our intimate and romantic elopement

Planned Budget: £2,000 (approx. $2,600) including flights from UK
Actual Budget: £2,000 (approx. $2,600)
Number of Guests: 0
Location: Top of the Rock, New York City, New York
photographer: De Nueva Photography 

Where we allocated the most funds:

Obviously our biggest expenditure was our flights from London to NYC but we planned well ahead and spent less on our Airbnb. Secondly, we splashed out on our very special wedding rings, which were made for us by British jewelry designer Mabel Hasell. Thirdly, the groom’s cashmere suit from Agnes B of Paris was stylish and expensive but kept him warm at 9:00 a.m. on a freezing New York December morning, so we thought it was well worth it.

Where we allocated the least funds:

Flowers. We expected to walk straight into a florist on 5th Avenue but couldn’t find one anywhere. I improvised and bought some white roses and gold ribbon from a corner store and made my own bouquet!

What was totally worth it:

Unquestionably our NYC photographer Nicki Fietzer of De Nueva Photography. She switched dates at the last minute to accommodate the weather. She put us at our ease and exceeded our expectation of the kind of photographs we would have. We love her work and treasure our memories of the day through her magic.

What was totally not worth it:

It was all worth it.

A few things that helped us along the way:

The internet! We planned everything online from acquiring a marriage license, admission tickets for the Top of The Rock where we had our private ceremony, sourcing our officiant and photographer, and also tickets for a show on Broadway the evening of our wedding day. Everything went perfectly.

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Plan ahead! Writing everything down in one notebook and keep important documents safe while traveling.

Favorite thing about the wedding:

The venue. The Top of The Rock at 9:00 a.m. on a crisp clear December morning was awesome. It was just the two of us and our lovely officiant and photographer. However, a small group of well-wishers were quietly watching and applauded us at the end of the ceremony… it was a perfect place to wed!

Anything else:

Michelle didn’t buy her dress until the day before the ceremony. Just walked into Saks Fifth Avenue, headed for occasion dresses and had selected, tried it on and purchased within five minutes! Perfect! After the ceremony, we went back to the department to see the store ladies that helped us, and they were so happy to see us all dressed up and newlywed. They took photos and applauded us! Too lovely.

We both trained as dancers, and met in London when we just in our twenties, working as dancers in a ballet company. Michael had just completed his ballet scholarship studying in Houston, Texas. After a brief romance, we went our separate paths as is often the way in the world of theatre. Michelle continued performing with Vienna Festival Ballet and Michael went on to star in London’s West End in the leading role of Cats. Time passed… and 35 years later we met again through a mutual friend. When we decided to get married it just had to be in New York City, it is so iconic and stylish, the most exciting city in the world, full of friendly helpful people. We’re saving up to visit again next year!

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