When my (now husband) Matt & I decided to have a destination wedding in Mexico, we realized that getting *legally* married South of the Border would be really fucking complicated. The process apparently involves mucho paperwork, and—for reasons that still remain unclear—you also have to get a series of BLOOD TESTS to make the thing official.
Like…come again? Weddings are logistically complicated enough as it is—especially when yours is in ANOTHER COUNTRY—so clearly I was not having any of it. The easy solution for us was to get married at City Hall in NYC a month before our destination wedding in Mexico. (Fun fact: City Hall is not technically called City Hall, but rather the City Clerk—very sterile-sounding if you ask me.)
I was totally into the City Hall/Clerk idea anyway; something about it felt very “New York,” you know?
PRO TIP: You can’t schedule an appointment for your ceremony in advance in Manhattan (not sure if that’s the case for other cities too) so we picked a random Tuesday about a month before the wedding and that was that.
I had a really cute floral mini-dress picked out for the “big day,” but when I woke up that morning, I decided that wearing a girly dress was soooo painfully basic and I just couldn’t bring myself to put it on.
Thus, I ended up in the “ensemble” seen above: a white linen DVF blouse (bought it a hundred years ago so I don’t think it exists anywhere online); white cropped J Brand skinny jeans (the BEST); Stan Smith sneakers (my dad claims he had the same ones in the 70s?); this FRAME denim jacket (a limited edition that I got while covering a Fashion Week party for The Wall Street Journal.)
Now a bit of background on these photos.
I was really nervous about having a million pictures taken of me on the wedding day, because I tend to feel super awkward in front of a camera (I fake it well on Instagram, don’t I?) so I thought it might ease my nerves if we got to know our photographer Aaron Morris beforehand.
But I couldn’t get down with engagement photos—they always seem so staged, uncomfortable, and cheesy—and honestly, what do you even do with them afterward?
Instead, we just invited Aaron to third-wheel-it and join us at the Clerk. The pics are cool, Aaron was the shit, and we felt instantly comfortable with him.
PRO TIP FOR IMPATIENT BRIDES:
If you hate to wait on lines like me, the idea of sitting around at the clerk’s office for hours sounds like torture. Wanna bypass that? Go first thing in the morning (Manhattan opened at 8:30am) and early in the week (rather than, say, on a Friday.) I know this, because when we initially went to get the marriage certificate—that part happens before the legal ceremony, v. confusing right?—I asked the guy at the counter how to beat the system.
People rolled up with aunts, uncles, cousins once-removed, babies in strollers, props…we saw full-blown family reunion photoshoots, I kid you not. It was completely absurd and completely amazing at the same time.
Have you ever been to Katz’s Deli, or like… ordered a half-pound of Boar’s Head at Whole Foods? Getting married at City Hall = same thing.
The people-watching that goes down here ranks among the best I’ve ever encountered. I’m talking NEXT. LEVEL. SHIT. Exhibit A: the woman far left. She was Brazilian; her husband was from Italy. They both wore superhero costumes.
In case you haven’t yet had your fill, here are more pics from our day at City Hall or Clerk or whatever: