There are all kinds of reasons a couple might decide to elope, but whatever the reason, it is certainly one way to cut costs. For this budget wedding inspiration board, I imagined an elopement/mini-moon to New York City, full of classic New York elements and plenty of romantic details. A huge wedding extravaganza is one way to go, but…

Who says…you have to tell people about your wedding and invite them to it?

Mood: spontaneously romantic
Palette: gold, green, pink

{click image to enlarge}


Top row from left: photo by Dave Robbins, dress from Delia’s, New York Postcards photo by Raquel Reis, The Met rooftop photo from Phil Jones’ flickr
Row 2: marriage certificate photo by Our Labor of Love, camera photo by One Love Photo, cupcakes via Daisy Pink Cupcake
Row 3: Central Park Boathouse Restaurant, bouquet by Saipua, Catherine Rapetti leather clutch from Bluefly
Row 4: gold Manolo Blahnik from Barneys, Express Design Studio suit from GQ via East Side Bride, gold band from Sundance, photo from Ozzdo’s flickr

The Paper: There are no invitations to send out, but if you plan on having a celebration of some kind later with friends and family, pick up some New York postcards for as little as 5 for a $1. You can either hand write the invitations, or have a rubber stamp made of all the information the way the Nole and Andrew did. Of course, there’s that key piece of paper that says you’re married… no matter where you might elope to, find out what paperwork you need and when you’ll need it.

The Fashion: How about an adorable short dress that will travel well? This one from Delia‘s is only $35! If you want something a little more formal and unique, how about this one by Phillip Lim for $750? Pair it with a perfectly-sized leather clutch – one you’ll certainly use again – for $161 from Bluefly (a great site to find deals on accessories and even dresses). Buy the groom a suit he can wear again for only $250, and follow GQ’s tips for making a less-expensive suit “look like a million bucks.”

The Decor: With a venue like Central Park, there’s no need to decorate anything. Besides, who are you trying to impress – it’s an elopement!

The Flowers: You can do with or without a bouquet, but it’s a nice detail to add. Either plan ahead and call a local floral designer, or stop in to a flower shop and hope they have something available, or can whip something up for you (at her new shop, Ink & Peat, Pam sells pre-made bouquets for around $30, so it’s worth a shot!).

The Food: Grab lunch at the Central Park Boathouse – or any number of incredible restaurants in the city – followed by a cupcake from one of the many bakeries all over Manhattan (I don’t care how cliché it is, Magnolia Bakery is still my personal favorite). Later, head to the roof of the Met for cocktail hour.

Other Details: How about a simple gold band for only $168? After lunch, rent a boat and spend some time on the lake in Central Park – for only $10 an hour! For other fun ideas of what to do for a romantic trip to New York, check out this romantic itinerary from New York Magazine.

Splurges: How about a pair of pricey gold Manolo Blahnik’s from Barneys? $665 is a lot of money to spend on shoes any day, no matter what, whether you’ll wear them again or not – but if it’s your sort of thing, New York City is the place to do it. Also, just because it’s an elopement doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire a photographer – you’re still creating memories worth capturing on film, and New York is full of incredible backdrops. Also, if your elopement is a spontaneous event, you might be able to get a deal by booking someone at the last minute (though you might not be able to get exactly who you want).

For Free: With a small group of people, you might skip getting a permit for a wedding ceremony in Central Park and keep your fingers crossed that the location you’ve chosen is available – or don’t choose a location until you get there!

Real Wedding Inspiration: Tina & Brian

A Note: I didn’t create this New York-inspired board with the intention of posting it today, but I think it is fitting. It doesn’t feel like seven years since I woke up in my dorm room in Manhattan on that Tuesday morning, because I can still remember everything. No matter how 9/11 has been used to justify hate and to promote agendas and careers, it does not change that for me, today will always be a day to remember and honor those who lost their lives and their loved ones. I hope that you will do the same, and may peace be with you.

10 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Budget Friendly, Inspiration Boards
  1. DomestiGals

    Kathryn, you hit the nail on the head here. As a former NYer, this would be the PERFECT way to elope there! Magnolia cupcakes are the best in the world, and I love the Met roof. One of the most romantic and breathtaking views in the city. I also love that you embrace the shoe splurge… I have a feeling I will be spending more on my shoes (with the intent of wearing them all the time) than my dress!Also, the last part of your post gives me goosebumps. What a wonderful way for you to recognize this day – by designing a board that brings out the best in New York City.Best wishes to you, Jen

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  2. manon

    je peux vous faire parvenir des photos d’un mariage en provencetrés Coté sudun échantillon sur mon nouveau blogmanon

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  3. City Hall Bride

    Kathryn, so happy you’ve done this board today, and the City Hall Champagne Friday one a while back. I’m set for City Hall this Monday! They’ve both given me ideas for photos I want, and the splurges. And I get even more excited about the choice we made when I see them. Even though we live in NYC, it will be so much fun to have the day to spend in the city celebrating together. Not to mention a great reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful place, especially today when we stop and remember what it means to be a New Yorker.

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  4. christine@wishpot

    Weddings can be so costly and impersonal- this board is beautiful and it shows a softer side to NY! I love it.

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  5. southern daze

    I love all of your boards but this is one of my all-time favorites! Nicely done.

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  6. Meg

    First, I love this board.Second, I worked at magnolia. That picture on the board is giving me stress hives, from the memories of icing those suckers for hours on end.Third, did we go to school together? I was in my dorm, just blocks away, inside, during the whole thing.

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  7. Liz Libré

    I really love this post. And think what you said about 9/11 was spot on.

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  8. Victoria Lynn

    Kathryn, I LOVE this post–referenced it on Victoria with Roses so I could keep a record of it–love it sooo much!

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  9. The City Sage

    We eloped at Manhattan’s City Hall last October. It was a wonderful, magical weekend filled with so much love and fun—and we really made it all about us: the ceremony Friday morning, followed by pancakes at the Clinton Street Baking Company, massages at the Great Jones Spa, and a night at the Bowery Hotel!Then, two weeks ago we celebrated in a big ceremony, pancake breakfast, and evening reception for all our family and friends—so now we have TWO anniversaries to celebrate! And both couldn’t have been more perfect…

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  10. One Love Photo

    So perfect that my camera is on this board since Jon and I totally eloped! We managed to not tell a single soul until we returned. But we didn’t do it NYC style we did it Napa Valley style at Harbin Hot Springs. Hmmmm, maybe you need to do another board with some grapes!

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