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Mr. & Mrs. Economopoulos, a New York City Elopement!

“To be someone’s first love may be nice, but to be their last is beyond perfect.”

Saying YES to marrying Costaki Economopoulos back in August was an easy choice to make.

Whether or not to elope, however, was a tough call. But once we made the decision, it felt so right.

The location was an easy pick. We met in NY, fell in love in NY, live here and LOVE this city.

We wanted our wedding to be memorable, fun, light, quintessential New York City, and us.

Eloping in the city, just by it’s nature, was immediately so romantic, fun, beautiful, and sexy. And most of all, just so perfectly us.

We had just two weeks to plan it.

Even so, it came together smoothly. The only thing that really mattered, we got right already. Costaki and I are the perfect match for each other, and we each were marrying our favorite person on earth.

I was in California at an event until just a few days before the wedding, so we did most of the planning by phone and purchases online. My friend Natasha laughed at me, saying that only I would be planning my wedding while at Tony Robbin’s “Date with Destiny.” So appropriate!

Our wedding day started in a beautiful suite at the Surrey Hotel, a relaxing bath for two, and late breakfast in bed with my sweet hubby to be. It was a crisp clear day, about forty degrees, with a beautiful blue sky.

We had two photographers for two different parts of the day. We loved having Heather Waraksa shoot the daytime getting ready shots, wedding portraits and ceremony pics. Jerry Zalez did all the post-ceremony pictures. They both did an amazing job, and we couldn’t be happier with the photographs!

Heather’s pictures immediately follow. Jerry’s farther below.

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The stylists arrived around noon, as well as my assistant, Jerry, and it made me so happy to have my whole CMP team there. My mamma arrived also, our one and only guest. She helped me get ready in the separate bedroom suite area, so Costaki wouldn’t see me, while Heather took beautiful portraits as I was getting dressed.

Costaki had chosen the same tux his dad wore to his parent’s wedding in December 1966. Costaki explains: My folks had one of the best marriages I’ve ever seen, and I wanted to be connected to that. Plus, I love and miss that guy. I strive to be like him in life. To be a great husband. To be a great dad. To be a great guy.

I just loved that sentiment so much, and we took a cue from his dad’s retro tux to inspire the style of the entire wedding. Vintage and classic.

Here, Costaki and my mom are making sure his pocket square is just right and exactly like his dad’s.

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The one day I was in LA before the Tony Robbins conference, my friend and stylist Grasie Mercedes went shopping with me to find THE dress. We didn’t have an appointment, but fortunately, the boutique we went to squeezed us in for a few minutes and a few dresses to try on. Luckily, the last one was just IT. I absolutely loved it and didn’t want to take it off at the end of the night. Thank you Grasie!

christa_meola_costaki_economopoulos_8 christa_meola_costaki_economopoulos_111How can you say no to heart-covered high-heeled shooties? You cannot. So it was Badgley Mishka’s (below) for the ceremony, and the rocking shooties (above) til dawn.

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My mom is here helping me fasten “the pearl.” This necklace is a family heirloom and has been passed down and around from bride to bride in Costaki’s mom’s family. His mom wore it on her wedding day too, and I was honored to be a part of that.

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Look at that face. Costaki is the sweetest, sexiest, smartest, funniest, most adorable, thoughtful and loving guy I know. I’m a lucky girl!

christa_meola_costaki_economopoulos_000012Every step of the way was such a little memorable story in itself, but if I have to choose my favorite moment, it’s the evening before our wedding trying on the dress at the tailor’s in the tiny dressing room with my mom, and Ava (my beloved little 5 year old step daughter), and Costaki sitting nearby. I had given Ava the big task of making sure Costaki didn’t see me in the dress. She ooh’d and ahh’d at the gown and snuck her way into the tiny dressing room, crawling under the curtain. She helped me put on my shoes. She made sure daddy wasn’t looking. My mom was there too. It just felt so cozy, so loving. It was the happiest moment of contentment. All I needed was right there. My family.

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christa_meola_costaki_economopoulos_003Costaki’s favorite part: When Christa talked me out of worrying about the wedding. She said it’s going to be fine, whatever it is. It took the weight off and I enjoyed it after that. Plus it spoke to what a cool chick she is. To think that. And to recognize that I needed that.

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We hired the coolest vintage ’69 NYC taxicab, and an even cooler driver, Peter, to drive us around (see credits below). We loved the cab and driver and had so much fun. Peter had thought of everything… he decorated the car with a wreath and seasonal greenery, brought a special white marker for us to write “Just Married” on the back windshield, and had waters and bubbly in a champagne bucket in the backseat. Man, we had a blast riding around in that car!

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When we arrived at the Met just before the ceremony, we realized we were both starving, so we grabbed a hot dog and warm pretzel… so satisfying and yummy.

We chose the Met because it’s iconic. It’s beautiful, sacred, gorgeous, and it’s just my favorite place to be in all of New York. It’s a unique choice too because, well, no one gets married there really. They don’t rent out the space to “wedding parties.”  But we were’t really a wedding party…

We were super nervous that we might get kicked out, but once inside…

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…we went about our business and straight to the pre-determined perfect spot, where we enjoyed a beautiful albeit very brief ceremony and celebrated every step of the way!

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After the ceremony, we rode around the city, played in the snow a bit and stopped for cocktails at Carmine’s, the site of our first blind date.
Note: all photographs that follow by Jerry Zalez.

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Ok, Costaki, c’mon. Did you have to make it look so hard?

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We continued the evening with a fancy pants late night dinner and running around the hotel. Back in our suite, we exchanged longer personal vows, looked fondly back on our day, played and laughed til dawn.

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Saying it was a memorable and beautiful day filled with meaning and love feels like such an understatement. It was all of that, and it was perfectly us.

And although we eloped somewhat privately, we had the presence of love from so many, and couldn’t have done it without the help of them all!

We truly loved every vendor we had the pleasure of working with, and felt like everyone who was a part of our wedding was perfectly cast. Each person felt like an old friend or family member, and was so personable and giving of their time, taking such special care to give us a wonderful experience.

Thank you for adding such warmth, kindness and love to our day!
We’re forever grateful.
Love,
Christa and Costaki Economopoulos
Daytime and ceremony photography
Heather Waraksa is such a talented photographer. We absolutely LOVE the photographs! She delivered exactly what we wanted in pictures: authentic, timeless, fun, simple, soft, and beautiful moments.
Post-ceremony photography
My dear friend, Jerry Zalez, did the photography from The Met onward and such an incredible job! A great talent for capturing real and endearing moments.
Officiant
Reverand Will – what a great guy! He was willing to do something risky and made the ceremony completely our own.
Vintage taxicab
Peter at Film Cars was like an old school buddy of C’s. Super relaxed and so dedicated to us having a great time. He had water and bubbly in a champagne bucket in the backseat for us. Nice touch.
Tux
The gentlemen at Jack Silver’s tux shop had the greatest of patience with our trying on every tux in the joint and making sure C looked like a million bucks.
Rings
Ask for Mel at Wedding Ring Originals. You’ll love him. He’s like your favorite uncle who’s always telling great stories.
Birdcage veil and crystal hair comb
These pieces were custom-made by the most adorable older woman, Basia, who works from her home, and is like an aunt who fusses over you with great care. 212.874.6720
Hair styling
Griselle Rosario is on my stylist team for CMP, and is one of the most talented and fun stylists you’ll ever want to meet.
Make-up artistry
Another essential part of my stylist team, Kristin Mirabelle, is my go-to for creating the most beautiful natural look. Love her and her work.
Stylist
Grasie Mercedes rocks my world and makes me look and feel beautiful every time we go shopping or work together.
Tailor
The experts at Mandana Boutique went above and beyond to do wonderful overnight tailoring on my dress and made it fit like a glove!
Cake
Local bakery Soutine created the most delicious cake and were generous to accommodate our mini two-tiered buttercream cake request.
Bouquet and cake flowers
Taylor at Fox Fodder Farm is a sweet and talented Brooklyn artist, who created exactly what we wanted, flowers that were a bit messy and wild.
Suite decor
Lastly, thanks to my awesome mom for making our suite feel festive and gorgeous with wreaths and romantic votives.
Dress and slip
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