I was so elated when Taiyo and Neil emailed about photographing their elopement at the Ludlow Hotel and the Untermyer Gardens! I first met these cuties about a year ago, when I put out a giveaway call on Instagram for a free couple’s session and they were the lucky winners. They decided to make it their engagement session and we went back to the bar where they first met and it was the most fun afternoon. Taiyo and Neil are literally the coolest humans. She’s an art director and he’s a musician so the creative vibes were flowing when we were together!
Getting Ready at the Ludlow Hotel
The day started at the super modern Ludlow Hotel in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was really important that they capture the buzz of New York City. Taiyo has been living and working here while Neil has been based in Canada, so there love story has spanned both locations. To represent both, their official elopement was on this day and they had their reception a couple days later in Toronto! They also included several little details to represent their heritage! Taiyo selected a Japanese hair piece and Neil a Scottish tie (he said the kilt was dirty lmao).
First Look with a City View
So the timing of T and N’s day was also when the Canada wild fire smoke was spreading THICK into the city. But, as luck would have it the smoke cleared just enough to create the most beautiful soft skyline glow. Not only were the views for the first look immaculate, but the reactions between Taiyo and Neil were among the sweetest I’ve ever seen. After the initial butterflies of first look, we took some photos on the roof and then a few more in the lounge of the Ludlow before heading out for some city vibes in the Lower East Side.
A Romantic Elopement at the Untermyer Gardens
While a lot of people in NYC elope at City Hall (which is GREAT), this elopement at the ludlow and the Untermyer Gardens was a unique way to highlight the romance of New York in a romantic way. The gardens are often overlooked as they are actually located in Yonkers but it’s only an hour’s drive from the heart of the city. And honestly? It’s so worth it. I felt like I was in a dream walking through the beautiful architecture and garden florals.
After Taiyo and Neil along with a group of their closest friends arrived at the gardens, we stopped in the walled garden for a poetry reading. Finally, Taiyo and Neil had an intimate ceremony on the vista overlooking the Hudson River giving off the most European vibes. Through smiles, laughter, and tears the two exchanged vows and wedding bands before we finished the day with more photos of them in the gardens and a champagne pop with their friends. Truly, it was a perfect day.
If you’d like some more inspo, check out some of my other elopements!