Sometimes when a girl gets married she needs to do it with the vibrant city of Manahattan as a backdrop. Do you know what coordinates perfectly with white tulle? Yellow taxi cabs.
I belong to a very secretive group of people in society known as "married (twice) before Pinterest". Way back in 2002 when I was a wee childbride of 20 - There was no pinning of cute crafty wedding day creations, or collecting of bridesmaid looks, or reception themes. Oh no. There was only Davids Bridal, and the long ago dreams of childhood to plan my wedding. I would share a photo of my first wedding with you except that all the evidence of that event was somehow destroyed in a mysterious fire. In fact all that remains from that day over 13 years ago - is some super attractive emotional baggage...and a crumpled up, very dirty, worn outside in a park, size 2 wedding dress. Which has been stored away in an old plastic zippered bag in the dark recesses of the guest room closet.
After my first marriage I swore off wedding receptions (and also "love") forever. I just came to the conclusion that a girl only needs so many therapy sessions and toaster ovens in her life, you know? And after suffocating in a house outfitted with all the Bed Bath and Beyond a registry could handle - I knew the next time I decided to legally lose my mind I would at least have the common sense to pick out my own towels.
Lucky for me I got a complete relationship and wedding do-over a few years later, after I had figured out exactly who I was and what the heck I wanted out of life. It involved a short hibernation in Paris (another GREAT post for another day!) and then on to sweet sweet southern California, where I bought myself a white leather couch, a silver doll faced Persian kitty for a companion, and a closet full of designer jeans. It was the perfect formula for reinvention! I was recovered from my divorce in no time!
And so when I met my charming husband-to-be late one night at a church function, and quickly fell bald head over short heels in like with him....I knew if our love continued to bloom, that I would have to someday be really honest with him - about my disdain for all things wedding related. 
(Here is a picture of us during the dating era - we look like babies!!!)
I don't recall how this topic actually came up, but by some giant heart shaped miracle, Gabe wasn't too interested in the idea of a traditional wedding reception either. We were living in California as Idaho transplants, and our large families and scope of friends were residing in a variety of zip codes - making choosing a marital location virtually impossible. So as things got more serious, so did our plans to elope. We decided to get married in New York City at the Manhattan LDS temple, hang out and experience the city for 4 days, then hop a plane to Paris for a week long honeymoon. It was the stuff that a shopping addict's dreams are made of. 
(Welcome to new york! as Taylor Swift says: It been waiting for me)
As the secret wedding date loomed closer and closer, our guilt started to mound over not, at the very least, informing our parents of our plan. So we modified our elopement to include inviting our parents to join us in NYC - knowing with a surety that Gabe's travel-phobic mother would never ever in 10 million years agree to board an airplane. We were completely shocked and thrilled when by some great miracle our parents all agreed they wanted to come with us to New York. 
(Here we are freezing to death at a Mets baseball game the night before we got married)
And thus my wedding dreams all miraculously came to fruition as I spent every single penny meant for catering, a florist, a venue, bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen tuxes, --- all on my sweet self.
My thinking went something like this: I could send out wedding announcements...OR I could buy 5  pairs of True Religion jeans.I could pay for a hotel room for my friends so they could be a part of the wedding party ...OR I could buy this amazing Marc Jacobs bag! And therefore I shopped H&M in times square with reckless abandon, Zara like it was the last store on earth, and splurged on professional hair and makeup artists for the big day. 
Instead of wedding cake, we exchanged bites of hot dogs. 
 I had an Audrey Inspired hairstyle and dress, and felt oh so Holly Golightly (minus the prostitution part) on my perfect New York day.
 We ended the night by eating at the Rainbow room at 30 Rockefeller Plaza,
and then whisking away in a cab to the anniversary suite at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. 
I may not have married the 6 foot 2 inch tall Anesthesiologist  who looked like Paul McCartney reincarnated with a penchant for serving medical missions to orphanages in underdeveloped countries that I had planned on - but I did get the guy who loved me for all my wild crazy ways, baggage included. Who overlooked my need to buy "just one more pair!" and who ultimately has proven to be a dang good shoe collector himself. I wouldn't trade our fashionable start for any Pinterest wedding in the world! 
Happy Valentines week to all you lovelies out there. Marriage is SUPER hard and takes TONS of effort and patience and most importantly - you have to become a gold medalist in the forgiveness Olympics on a daily basis if you want to survive it. But its good to look back on the good ol days and remember why you signed up to do exactly just that! 
I'd LOVE to see your wedding day! If you're game throw a picture on Instagram and tag me (christyatthetopknot) so I can marvel at your beauty! 
xoxo Christy
February 11, 2015 — Christy Beal


MaLyn said:

You’re so fabulous I can’t even handle it!!

I got married before Pinterest too…frumpiest wedding ever. We totally should have eloped! My wedding pictures are hysterically terrible.

Courtney said:

This post made my heart happy. You are one of my idols. You do things the way you want while in impeccable style. Love it! Love you!

Jessica said:

I love that you made your wedding absolutely perfect for you and your husband. That’s really what it should be about at the end of the day. Very stylish (like you), fun and surrounded by the people that you two wanted to have with you the most.

Kelly said:

Oh how I remember this as though it was YESTERDAY! I have to this day adored your entire wedding approach and when anyone asks me about “throwing a wedding” I just reference my sweet friend Christy. Eloping-ish is the best way to get hitched! Uh, let me see what I can find from my wedding…I think you just inspired me to write a love post!

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