Kristine + Justin

On a completely random night, he turns to me and goes "do you want to get married this Saturday?" 

I first met Justin at a 4th of July party in 2007. I was aggressively hitting wiffle balls into the yard, beer in hand. Justin was there visiting his best friend from college. When we first met, I immediately noticed how incredible his smile was.

He was also wearing a fitted Yankee hat, which I’m a sucker for. Our first official date was two years later, at a little Italian place in the West Village. I’m pretty sure I broke a glass by accident.

I fell for Justin at the Walk4love, a 5k I helped organize in honor of my best friend who lost her battle to cancer. I definitely didn’t expect to see Justin there, as I was dating someone else at the time. But he showed up and not only did he take the train out from the city at 5:30am, he also won a medal and made it back in time for a 1pm Giants game.   

I was the first person to say ‘I love you’. I actually wrote it in a Valentine’s Day card I gave him a month after we started dating. I was SO nervous to give it to him. I pretty much poured my heart out, but his card was like “Happy Valentines Day, Kristine! Love, Justin”  When we joked about it later that night he thought writing "Love, Justin" was a HUGE deal. Then he told me he loved me for real.

I knew that marriage was our end goal but Justin doesn’t ever rush into anything. We dated for eight years. But then, we went to Greece in October and Justin casually “popped the question”- in his own way…. which didn’t include a ring, a proposal or a wedding. So yeah, I was a bit taken aback.  I’ve never been the girl who dreamt about her wedding, but I suddenly thought about not dancing with my dad and I started to tear up. I knew Justin’s parents had eloped in the 60’s and this spur of the moment romance inspired him. But after nearly a decade together and having attended well over 50 weddings, I kind of wanted something...anything really.  So we decided we would have a secret elopement with just our parents as our witnesses, surprise all our family and friends, and throw a party later on.  I had no idea how or when it was going to happen, though. Then, one completely random night, when my stomach was in knots and I felt like I might die from the Chinese food I ate, he turns to me and goes “…do you want to get married on Saturday?”

We eloped at The Maritime Hotel in downtown Manhattan. I walked in five days before and asked if I could get married in a suite and they were beyond accommodating.  There was a nor'easter the day before so we were crossing our fingers and toes that it would clear up. And it did! It was a little chilly but it turned out to be a beautiful day. It was just the six of us. His parents, my parents and us.

I didn’t even have time to go dress shopping but few people at work found out about my little secret. I work for Cynthia Rowley and once she heard, she ran down to my desk, and insisted on making it!  The whole office was involved. By Friday night I had my first/last fitting and Saturday I threw it on and tied the knot. I later discovered that Cynthia had hand embroidered a little heart in the back for something blue.

The day we eloped we woke up late, ordered in breakfast and cracked open a RISE nitro cold brew coffee. My dad walked me out to the terrace for the ceremony and I’m pretty sure Frank Sinatra was playing in the background. Afterwards, we went to Raoul’s in Soho, had a champagne toast, ordered steak au poivre and drank epic red wine.




Pics by: Sylvie Rosokoff

Dress: Cynthia Rowley

Floral Design: East Olivia

Officiant: Alisa Tongg

Suit: Bonobos

Venue: The Maritime Hotel

Coffee: Rise Brewing Co