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Where to Eat Lunch After You Elope in Manhattan *spring edition*

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Since most of my clients elope in the morning Monday through Friday, they want to have lunch right after to celebrate and often turn to me for suggestions. One of the great joys of New York City in the spring is al fresco dining, so here I’ve rounded up my official picks for a romantic noontime meal outside to celebrate your newly married status.

My requirements for this list was that a place that

  • is open for lunch,
  • has outdoor seating, and
  • has sparkling wine on the menu. I firmly believe in champagne toasts.

In addition, a place has to have a wonderful feel to it; not too fancy, not too casual. Happy dining!

Narcissa
The Standard Hotel, 25 Cooper Square

This cozy spot is attached to the Standard Hotel where Austin and Daniel got ready for their wedding back in December. The menu is California cuisine and you can sit on their beautifully decorated patio.

Lunch is served from 11:30 until 3pm.

Hudson Clearwater
447 Hudson Street

“We must have the wrong place!” you’ll exclaim, looking frantically for some sort of signage confirming you’ve found it.

There is no sign.

I’m not sure if I’ll get in trouble with the other New Yorkers for telling you this, but Hudson Clearwater is kind of a hidden gem; the door is around the side; it’s green on bright red painted brick. Push it open – just trust me! – and go through the garden to get to the dining room to check in. You can then request a patio table for one of the most romantic spots I’ve ever dined in.

Breakfast is served from 7:30 until 11:30 and lunch is served from 12 until 3.

Tartine
253 West 11th Street

New Yorkers are split on this place; I love it. Some say it’s cramped but I think it’s cozy. Some say it’s annoying to have to BYOB, but I enjoy the experience of picking my own prosecco and taking it with me to eat. The venue is cash only, but that’s no bother, and the wait is never as long as they tell you it’s going to be. The food is delicious and very filling. Plan for a nap afterward.

Alexandra Restaurant
445 Hudson Street

It’s loud inside, but the tables outdoors are just right for people watching and marveling at your new rings.

They serve breakfast starting at 8am and don’t close until midnight.

Loeb Boat House
Central Park

The ultimate New York City dining experience. Park yourself next to the lake and enjoy the view of row boats from this iconic al fresco dining deck. Yes, this is where Carrie fell into the pond to avoid an awkward kiss with Mr. Big. Please don’t fall in, too.

Lunch is served from 12 – 4pm, and outdoors weather permitting.

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Wings & Beer | Greenpoint Brooklyn Engagement Photos | Stephanie & Trevor

I met Stephanie years ago at Word Brooklyn in Greenpoint where she was working as the manager. We visited the bookstore again for their engagement photos. We also went to Red Star, the pub that that Stephanie and Trevor go to on Sundays to watch football games from around the world.

One of the things I like to ask clients for their engagement sessions is “What do you like to do together?” so we can incorporate that into their engagement photos. When they mentioned Sunday afternoon wings + beer I thought, “Why not?”

This photographer has never said no to an afternoon in a pub.

I can’t wait for their wedding in September!

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East Village Elopement Photos | Jane & Oli

What I love about these elopement photos (and maybe no one would notice but me) is that we have gorgeous muted tones: in the dusky sky on the Brooklyn Bridge, the foliage in Central Park and the Sixth Street and Avenue B Community Garden, and on some of the stone buildings. We also have the bright punchy colors of New York City cabs, murals, signs and bright walls of the East Village, and Jane’s wonderful red wedding shoes.  

What I love about Jane and Oli is that they couldn’t stop grinning at each other! They eloped in the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park, officiated by my future husband Marley Jay and surrounded by a few close family members who had traveled with them from Australia. The couple and I (and Marley, who I wrangled as photo assistant) then traveled to the East Village for some photos. I didn’t know about the Sixth Street and Avenue B Community Garden until we stumbled upon it, and it felt like finding a hidden gem in New York City for their wedding photos.

Congratulations Jane and Oli!

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Elopement in Washington Square Park | Laura & Ryan

Easy-going Newfoundlanders Laura and Ryan eloped to New York City on a day that threatened to completely rain them out. I had never completely moved someone’s wedding before, but in the interest of best case scenario, I suggested they switch getting married to the morning. This worked out well; by 4pm when they were originally scheduled it ended up pouring rain. Thank goodness for the flexibility of elopements.

Laura rocked her Nicole Miller gown, and they were married in Washington Square Park by Judie Guild

I scouted an itinerary for them: East Village, West Village, Washington Square Park and beer at the Upright Brew House. (In the interest of research, I went the week before and had a beer there with some friends: it gets two Marlow thumbs up.)

The “bad sex” graffiti we found and thought was hilarious!

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Pub Tip: Walk Through a Wedding Workshop, hosted by Justin and Mary

This post is written for other photographers. I’m writing a series of “pro tips” here, but calling them “pub tips” as I’m usually spouting them off while perched on a bar stool, sipping on a beer. These are the things I would tell you if we were having a pint together.

It is important to me to reinvest my business earnings back into furthering my education. Learning about my craft is wonderful for me, and I believe that my clients deserve a well-educated photographer.

I attended Walk Through a Wedding hosted by Justin and Mary. It was an intense two days filled with learning and laughter, and I enjoyed the education, being back in my home state of Connecticut and meeting people from all across the US and Canada. During the breaks, we attendees sipped coffee and chatted about our businesses, our lives at home, and our hopes for the future. I left with my heart brimming.

The Marantzes love opening their home up to photographers. I know this because I asked them point blank, “Seriously? You invite all these people into your home?” and they laughed and said, “Yeah!” and it showed that they genuinely enjoyed having us there in their living room. They even made us a delicious, beautifully set dinner the night before. This is very much in keeping with my mentality of “do all things with love”.

They set up two days worth of photo sessions for us and we shot at the Lighthouse Point Carousel in New Haven, CT. Here are some of the photos I shot; all of them were processed using only the free VSCO 00 presets I told you about in the last Pub Tip, because I thought it would be fun to see them in action in a wedding setting.

(I also turned my camera on my surroundings, some other photographers, and Justin himself who was teaching me some off-camera techniques.)

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Design & Planning: Stacie Shea Events | Florals: Carrie Wilcox Floral Design | Centerpiece holder: FP Flourishes | Paper: The Pink Orange |Linens: La Tavola Linens | Cake: Erica O’Brien Cake Design | Rentals: Smith Party Rentals | Venue: The Carousel Building at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, CT | Dress & Accessories: A Little Something White Bridal Couture | Hair and Make Up: That Girl