When author Julia Bainbridge and chef Alan Delgado — of double proposal fame — got engaged, they decided to get married at City Hall. “It’s so classic New York,” Julia told us. “It felt good to be in the room with such a diverse group of people all there for the same reason. Some were in blue jeans, some were in big gowns.” Here, Julia and Alan — plus, three more couples — share their wedding photos…
Julia and Alan
(Photos by Liz Devine)
Tell us about the day.
Julia: I just finished graduate school for psychotherapy and, funnily enough, we married on my last day of classes. So, I had to go up to Harlem to give a final presentation at 9 a.m.! Then I came back and we got ready in our Brooklyn apartment. We met our photographer Liz and my friend Patrick, who was our witness, for the ceremony. Afterward, we went to the Marlton Hotel, where we were staying the night, for a drink before celebrating with an incredible meal at Oiji Mi.
How did you decide on your look?
Julia: I’m a big collared shirts person. This LaPointe set just felt like me, but wedding appropriate.
Where was your bouquet from?
Julia: We went with a little place called Stem, near our apartment. It was Alan’s lovely suggestion – that was where we used to get flowers for each other when we were courting one another.
Do you have a favorite photo?
Julia: I love the one of us sitting on the Marriage Bureau’s green couch, just looking at one another. It was a natural moment, and I think it reflects well how we felt on that day: calm, confident in this choice, and looking forward to the next phase of our relationship. I also love any photo in which Alan is laughing, because he has the best laugh. You can see that his head goes back and his mouth is wide open — it’s a whole-body laugh.
Christine (pink dress) and Twiggy
*Photos by Sylvie Rosokoff)
After Twiggy and Christine’s ceremony at City Hall, they wanted to treat Christine’s parents to dinner. “We went full on NYC style and ate at a food truck,” says Twiggy.
How did you meet?
Twiggy: In college. We were 18 years old, bright-eyed, ready to take on the world and definitely not planning to be in a relationship.
Christine: Exactly. But it was an instant connection and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
When did you get engaged?
Twiggy: We were upstate with my family. We stepped outside so my aunt could take a photo of us in front of the mountains.
Christine: I didn’t think anything of it, because Twiggy loves taking pictures.
Twiggy: But my aunt knew what I was planning, and we made eye contact, so she got the camera ready. Then I proposed.
Christine: I turned my head for one second and she was down on one knee!
Christine, how did you find your dress?
Christine: I was scrolling on Pinterest and found this dress, and I was like, this is absolutely gorgeous. I hope it looks like that on me. And it was perfect.
What do you remember about your wedding day?
Christine: While we were walking around, people were rolling their windows down and saying congratulations and stopping to say how beautiful we looked. Men and women, young and old, people of all races — everyone was so supportive. I think about all the love we felt, even from complete strangers — it’s a big reason why I love this city.
Liz and Dax
(Photos by Sylvie Rosokoff)
Liz and Dax married at City Hall on the one-year anniversary of their engagement. Dax had proposed while they were sitting in a park eating ice cream. “I remember thinking, this park will be around a long time,” he says. “It’s a place we can return to.”
What was important to you while wedding planning?
Liz: We wanted to have a private moment. So, before walking to City Hall, we sat on a bench and read our vows together. We knew we’d feel self-conscious if people were watching.
Dax: We read them quietly, and it felt very focused and emotional.
How did you find your dress?
Liz: My sister and I made appointments at a few boutiques. This was the third dress I tried on. I loved it, so we canceled the rest of the appointments, and my sister and I just spent the day together.
And your earrings?
The woman who altered my dress saved some of the leftover flowers, and I turned them into earrings. It was the perfect finishing touch.
What do you look back on the most?
Liz: When we opened the doors after the ceremony, our family was waiting outside and they threw confetti. It was super fun. And I was surprised by how intense it all felt. Originally, we’d planned to do a City Hall wedding and then hold a much bigger wedding reception. But now the idea of having any other kind of celebration feels weird because we experienced all those emotions that day.
Gabriella and Raphael
(Photos by Sylvie Rosokoff)
Gabriella and Raphael hoped for a sweet and simple wedding. “We wanted to have our own little thing, just the two of us,” says Gabriella. So, the couple ate pizza and drank champagne while getting ready at home. After their City Hall ceremony, they celebrated with donuts.
Can you tell me about your dress?
Gabriella: I found my dress for $10 at a thrift store in New Jersey. The dressing room was closed because of COVID, and the dress was way too big. But I figured, for $10, what’s the worst that could happen?
When did you know you wanted to get married?
Raphael: I was just like, you know what? Gab is amazing, the most wonderful person I’ve ever met, and I can’t lose her. So, I planned a trip for us to visit my California hometown. We spent the day at the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where thousands of sandhill cranes were migrating. They fly in every evening and blanket the sky.
Gabriella: It was very casual and sweet. He literally was just like, ‘I have to ask you a question.’ There was also this couple getting engaged down the road from us. They had this whole elaborate picnic.
Raphael: Oh my god, they had champagne. And I was, like, on the side of the road. I was like, I’m being stunted on!
Gabriella: But it was really great. I’d never seen a crane before. They are weird dinosaur birds and sound very strange.
What do you love about each other?
Gabriella: Raph is the most kind-hearted person I’ve ever met. I cannot believe I found him on Tinder. I was on Tinder for six years going through all this crap, and then I was like his second Tinder date. He didn’t have to go through any of it!
Raphael: When I’m with her, I do things I wouldn’t normally do. She’s taken me all around the world.
Gabriella: We’ve only been to Scotland.
Raphael: That’s around! [laughter] I’m just a better person when I’m with her and I see so much more of the beautiful world around me.
Gabriella: Thank you, Raph, wow.
Raphael: She’s the key that opens doors.
Gabriella: Oh god. I wish you could meet his dad, because this is where he gets all the smushy stuff from. He’s so sappy but so sweet.
Congratulations to the happy couples! Would you (or did you) get married at City Hall?
P.S. Seven more City Hall weddings and a stoop wedding in Brooklyn.
(Photos of Julia and Alan by Liz Devine. All other photos by Sylvie Rosokoff.)