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Real Weddings: Ailbhe and Phil elope to New York City

Real Weddings: Ailbhe and Phil elope to New York City


by Shayna Sappington
04th May 2024

After 10 years together, Ailbhe and Phil decided to take the plunge and elope to New York City. They tied the knot in City Hall and celebrated in a vibrant restaurant in Chinatown.

THE COUPLE
Ailbhe, communications manager at Glenveagh Properties plc, and Phil, owner of Hey Darling Coffee.

THEY LIVE
in Co Kildare.

THE VENUE
City Hall, New York City.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Kristy May.

Our photographer was great! We set up a Zoom call in advance to let her know the vibe we were looking for. She ended up taking us to Chinatown and then to the Lower East Side to get classic NYC pics, which worked really well. She was also our witness in City Hall too, which was helpful!

THEY MET
I knew Phil’s sister and always knew of him, but we met properly at a 30th birthday party back in 2013. We’re ten years together this year!

THE PROPOSAL
It was in September 2021 when we had one of the breaks from lockdown and we were allowed travel in Ireland. We went down to Sheen Falls in Kerry and Phil proposed on a walk after lunch and a couple of glasses of wine. He didn’t get down on one knee as the “ground was wet”, but that’s okay, we’re not very traditional.

THE WEDDING ATTIRE
My white blazer is from Zara but I got it taken in slightly at the Zipyard in Maynooth. It was very affordable, so I decided to splash out on the shoes which are Jimmy Choo. They were so worth it as I’ve gotten so much wear out of them since.

Phil’s tuxedo was Hugo Boss and his shoes were Loake.

THE CEREMONY
We had our ceremony at New York City Hall (The Office of the City Clerk – NYC Marriage Bureau). We’ve had a lot of questions about how we planned this, so I’ve made a little checklist for anyone who is interested. To get married in City Hall in Manhattan you will need:

  • A license is issued by the State of New York (can be NYC or another clerk’s office) and you can apply for an appointment for a marriage license at nyc.gov/cupid – this in-person appointment has to be done no more than 60 days but at least 24 before your ceremony – we did it 48 hours in advance of our ceremony.
  • Then, you’ve to book the actual ceremony on nyc.gov/cupid.
  • Both can be obtained a maximum of about three weeks before the date you are looking for.
  • Remember you need one marriage witness in City Hall and we used our photographer for this. She was also a registered officiant so if we did want to get married in Central Park, for example, she could have done this for us.

 

THE RECEPTION
After the ceremony, we went back to our hotel, The Ludlow, for some Champagne to celebrate. We then went to a really fun restaurant in Chinatown called Chinese Tuxedo for dinner, drinks and cocktails.

THE ENTERTAINMENT
Our good friend came down from Boston. He was our only official guest on the day and it was so much fun to have him there to celebrate and drink margaritas with.

THEIR TOP TIPS

  • Book hair and make-up as far in advance as possible as they get booked up really quickly.
  • Make sure you’ve most things organised before you go out to New York so you get some time to just chill out and do the fun things you want to do in New York rather than last-minute wedding shopping.
  • Book a photographer who has done elopements and knows how it all works – this process can be slightly complicated, so it was really helpful to run things like the City Hall booking process by her. 

 

THEY WISH THEY HAD…
Taken even more photos and videos on the day! You can never have enough so even get snapping on your own phone if you can (especially if it’s just the two of you). The memories are so special – you want as much to look back on as possible when you get back to reality.

THEIR BEST MOMENTS
Walking around NYC afterwards getting our photos taken – everyone was so nice and friendly and it was so much fun to walk around the city as a ‘just married’ couple. It was also fun to pop the bottle of Champagne in our hotel afterwards and video call our families back home who thankfully weren’t too miffed we decided to elope!

THE CREW
Ailbhe’s Blazer: Zara. Phil’s Tuxedo: Hugo Boss. Florist: BLOOM BLOOM Studio. Make-Up & Hair: Pre-Dame Beauty.

See more photographs from Ailbhe and Phil’s wedding in the gallery below.

Photography by Kristy May.

Want to see your Real Wedding on IMAGE.ie? Email shayna.sappington@image.ie with the subject line ‘Real Wedding’.

This article was originally published in June 2023.

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