A Glam Big-City Elopement at the Breslin in New York, New York

Cali O’Rourke (28 and an HR consultant and a wedding calligrapher) and John Wu (29 and a managing consultant) planned an intimate City Hall affair for their summer wedding in New York City. “We live in Chicago, my family lives in Michigan, and his family lives in Florida. Once we started doing research on venues, it all started—we never argued more than we did while we were wedding planning. Soon, we were losing sight about what the day meant to us by compromising for family and friends,” Cali says. “That’s how we decided on a City Hall wedding in New York City; it was a neutral location, and it provided the urban setting we love. Once we decided on a location, everything fell into place, and we wanted to get married as soon as possible.” With the location settled, the couple got to work on the details. Old New York with a hint of "Sex and the City" glamour was the inspiration for the day, complete with traditional New York City transit, a photo session in Grand Central Terminal and drinks at the Campbell Apartment. The couple headed to City Hall for the ceremony, then joined their guests—after a pit stop at Campbell Apartment for a glass of rose—for a decadent luncheon at the Breslin. Hitting up New York City landmarks and riding public transportation were essential for the urbanites. “John is a big foodie, so I knew we couldn’t just serve chicken,” Cali says. “Besides, after traveling to New York and running around the city with us, our guests deserved a phenomenal meal.” Cali said. The couple served a decadent spread of prime rib, sheep’s milk and broccoli ricotta frittata and duck-fat-fried potatoes, followed by red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. “The ambiance was so fun and intimate, the food delicious and the open bar with craft beer beyond awesome,” Cali says. A tip from Cali: “Do whatever you want to do—there is no one way to have a wedding, and there is no way to please everyone. We don’t feel like we missed out on anything. We’re so happy that we were able to pay for the wedding in cash, and we’re spending the money we saved by traveling more and saving for a house. The day truly represented who we are, and at the end of it, we were worried about marrying each other. We had great food, great friends and family, and we had so much fun running around the city in our wedding attire. We’ve never felt so loved—and glamorous! At the of the day, do what makes you both happy.” —Libby MacCarthy