Our secret wedding. In New York!!

Yep that’s right we had a secret wedding in New York.


Here’s how it all happened…

The wedding proposal

We were sitting on the sofa at our farm house sit in Canada. The log fire is roaring and we have a cup of tea in hand. Rob turns to me and asks…

“Do you want to do something fun when we’re in New York?”

Me: “Yeah, ok, what have you got in mind?”

I was thinking it would be some sort of food tour.

Rob: “Do you want to get married?”

Me: “Shut up…no…are you serious?…no…do you mean that…no.”

I said no a lot.

Rob: “Yeah I’m serious, let’s do it, just you and me… somewhere cool!”

Tiniest of pauses.

Me: “Okay let’s do it” as I leapt into to Rob’s arms screaming!

And so that was it, we were getting married in New York. Our favourite city. In six weeks time!!

A change of heart

Marriage wasn’t on our radar. If I’m honest it terrified us both. All the organising, the pressure to do things a certain way, inviting your third cousin twice removed and being centre of attention for an entire day. Nope, it just wasn’t for us.

Being married however is something we could do. We’ve travelled together for 16 months, spending pretty much 24/7 together. If there was a test you had to pass before you got married, I think that we’d ace it.

Plus I’ve known from an early stage, Rob and me are going the distance. Previous crap boyfriends helped make this decision easy.

Once Rob popped the question in his typical understated way, something changed. I instantly felt much more secure and closer to him. I was shocked how a simple question can make you feel so different.

Our little secret…

We’d decided early on this was just going to our little secret. This made the build up even more special for us. It felt like ours. Something that was just about the two of us, which was just how we wanted it to be.

The ‘lengthy’ six week engagement flew by. We spent the time searching online, cobbling together some funky threads for the big day, as well as finding the all important wedding meal venue, putting together our favourite ‘Us’ tunes on a Spotify playlist, and finding cool vintage shops for last minute outfit purchases.

Before we knew it we were saying goodbye to our house sitting duties and jumping on a plane, New York bound.

Our journey to New York was not without event. Our flight from Toronto to New York was cancelled as we sat on the plane on the tarmac. Gutted is not the word. Snow has a lot to answer for.

A night in an average airport hotel was what we were in for, instead of our lovely Airbnb apartment in Brooklyn. The following morning we awoke bleary eyed at 3am to hop on a red eye flight.

The grumpiness didn’t last long once our flight was off the tarmac and 100% on the way to NYC.


Every now and then we would just look at each with giddy smiles.

No amount of giddiness could stave off sleep. Our plans to take The Big Apple by storm were halted by an essential power nap, as we finally reached our apartment a day late. A couple of hours later we began our New York story.

We landed on the Saturday and spent 3 days exploring, before our wedding on the Tuesday. The whole trip had a completely different focus to our last tourist filled trip 4 years ago.

We almost completely ignored the usual sights. Instead we discovered the cool Williamsburg area, packed full of vintage shops (which are incredible by the way. Cheap and full of clothes thanks to the hipsters who frequent the area).

We also had to sort out the paperwork, heading to the City Clerks office to pick up our marriage license, which you have to do at least 24hrs in advance of the ceremony.

The wedding day

On Tuesday 24th March we practically leapt out of bed, both on a high.

The day was perfect and although not traditional in any sense, it was exactly how we wanted it. We ate breakfast together, drank bucks fizz and listened to our favorite music whilst dressing in the finest clothes we could find. After 16 months of living out of a backpack, I’d like to think we rocked it with our wedding outfits!

We organised a carriage to our wedding… Sorry, I mean we caught the subway train! And walked passed the impressive City Hall and all the grand court buildings to the City Clerk’s office.


Can I get a witness?

Now, one of the problems you have when organising a secret wedding is the fact that you need a witness. A willing witness complete with identification.

I think this was the only thing that brought nerves to the day. The witness would in fact also have to be our photographer, and filmographer. Quite an important job for a complete stranger.

We stepped into the City Clerks office with some trepidation. The first person we spotted was a lady leaning against the art deco walls reading a book. She could read! This surely was a good sign.

Rob approached her and got straight to the point, “We are getting married today and would love you to be our witness.”

She beamed from ear to ear, “are you serious? I would love too! Oh my God this is amazing! I’m just about to become a Minister so I can marry my friends next week! Oh wow!”

This was Uli. Somehow this complete stranger managed to make our amazing day even more awesome as she agreed to be our witness. Uli has the energy and excitement of someone who loves life. I can see why her friends had asked her to marry them.

She took our camera and immediately began snapping pictures and getting us to pose, in between complimenting even the tiniest details of our outfits. Then handed us a little book of inspiration she carries with her, as we waited to be called for our ceremony.

When you pick someone random to be part of your wedding day, you take a chance. Our roll of the dice paid off, I could not have been happier. Uli truly enhanced our day and I’ll be forever grateful she was part of it.


The wedding ceremony

We weren’t really sure what to expect from the ceremony, however I probably could have given Rob a heads up as to what finger the wedding ring goes on.

This awkward moment was quickly followed by the stunned silence of Rob when the Clerk asked him if he wanted to say anything to me. His off the cuff bumbling was full of sentiment and love…although he’ll tell you different. My teary eyes told the full story.

We then headed out onto the steps outside as Uli snapped more pictures. The whole thing flashed by.

Then our star witness was gone, and it was just the two of us again hugging on a park bench surrounded by the incredible New York skyline.

“You want to go eat Mrs Ward?” Rob said.

We went uptown for steak and cocktails, before heading back to our apartment where I made a cup of tea and put my slippers on. Not the normal end to a wedding day, but we had a flight to catch that very evening. Jetting back home to spread our exciting news to our shocked family and friends.

Our day was perfect; I wouldn’t have done a single thing differently. I’m incredibly lucky to have met such a wonderful, kind, funny and tolerant person and I’m even luckier that I get to call this man my husband.

wedding-proud wedding-pigeon wedding-park-benchwedding-shoe

So what’s next? A honeymoon of course! Probably not your typical honeymoon.

Next week we head off to Europe, with a tandem bike! A three month cycling adventure is the plan… More to come very soon.

45 Replies to “Our secret wedding. In New York!!”

  1. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!! I’m so happy for you two. I love everything about this story. You look absolutely blissful and gorgeous. You two are so right for each other and it makes me unbelievably happy that you’ve made this huge, wonderful commitment to each other. Hooray!!

    1. Congratulations and Hooray!!!! You look stunning. What a fantastic wedding idea! I wished I could have dared to think that way 43 years ago. Times were different. You both look stunning. Your dress!!

      We send you love and happiness and wish you a fabulous long wonderful life with beautiful children
      once you are settled!
      If it happens that you cycle through Germany we would love to meet you. Our house has room
      for you any time.
      We are the parents of your stranger witness Uli. XX

      1. Thank you so much. I totally love my dress too, can’t wait to wear it again! Our day was just amazing and made perfect by the addition of your wonderful daughter. We couldn’t have wished for a better witness.

        We have such a longing to visit Germany, if we come your way we will definitely come and visit, we’d love to meet you too and take you up on your kind offer of a room 🙂

  2. Congratulations Rob and Kellie,
    What a beautiful story and amazing wedding. So personnel and unique. I wish you
    a long and beautiful life together. I so happy for you two.

  3. Congratulations! My arms are covered in goose bumps after reading this beautiful account of your wedding! I’m in love with your outfits – you two look stunningly in love. All the best to you both!

  4. Ahhh… Congratulations!!! What a perfect wedding!!! I remember my wedding day as one of the best of my life. So blessed you are to have love.

  5. What big news!!! It’s hard to describe the difference between dating and being married, but I like what you said about feeling more secure and close. As humans, rituals and ceremonies are an important part of our past, and marriage is definitely one of the biggest. Even though the “modern trend” is to potential stay together without any kind of “relationship celebration” (however the couple chooses for that to look–big dinner or wedding or dressing up or eloping, etc), it seems like an integral part of who we are to celebrate big life decisions. To just slide into a (potentially) lifelong decision without ever celebrating it… It just seems too far from our human roots. But just my thoughts about why marriage feels different! 🙂 Congrats on celebrating the great thing you guys have got going! 😀

    1. Thank you Vanessa.

      There was just something different about it as soon as I knew we were going to get married, I just felt more content. I’m glad we found our own way to do and even more happy that I got to buy an awesome dress 😉

  6. Congrats you two! What a fantastic way to wrap up your North-American travels and leave this continent with a bang. (Ahem.) It’s so nice that the past 16 months have strengthened your relationship and bonded you in such a wonderful way, and that after naysaying weddings, you were able to make one happen that was just perfect for the two of you. 😉 You kind of make me a tiny bit sad that Tony and I were already hitched when we set out on our big trip… still, it’s fun celebrating anniversaries on the road! All the best to you both and I look forward to seeing where your epic honeymoon takes you!

    1. Thanks Steph, it wasn’t a bad way to end this part of our adventure. I’m glad we managed to find our own way and celebrate in the perfect way for us.

      I’m hoping to start a tradition of a different country for each anniversary…this could get expensive!

  7. Congratulations you two! Sounds like an absolute blast. Kell, you looked simply stunning and the lad didn’t scrub up too bad either! Wishing you both happiness and success in your future adventures together xxx

    1. Thanks Sarah.

      I am a little bit in love with my dress and CAN’T wait to wear it again, maybe I’ll not take on the tandem adventure though…

    1. Thank you Victoria.

      After living out of backpack for 16 months, it was great to dress up for the day. I love my dress too, it’ll be out again for other weddings we have to go to this year too 🙂

  8. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you guys – it sounds like the perfect day and the photos show a completely happy couple! By the way – the dress and shoes? Perfect – were they finds in NYC?

    1. Thanks Emily.

      The dress was an internet find at Unique Vintage and I already owned the shoes. I lied to my mum and got her to send them to me 😉

  9. You guys really liked to do things on the fly. Good on ya. Felicidades. Wishing you many years of love and happiness.
    Will you be in Italy anytime soon????

    1. Thanks Judy!! We plan to make it there, maybe July…. But it depends how fast our legs can carry us. When are you heading there?

  10. How utterly lovely! I’m surprised how easy the paperwork seems to have been…and a question, is your marriage recognised everywhere now, even though you’re not residents on the USA? When Zab and I considered getting married, it was before the UK had introduced marriage equality meaning we couldn’t get married there, and so we considered doing in another country like the Netherlands, but discovered that you first had to have been resident here for 6 months to be able to do that. Boo! Anyway, hopefully you can tell us all about it in person soon if you’re headed to the Netherlands next week. Congratulations!

  11. Incredible! Congratulations guys! I’ve never been interested in getting married, partly because of the fuss, hassle and expense which it looks like you successfully managed to avoid. I’d definitely do it like you guys if I was planning to get married. Were any of your relatives peeved that you kept it a secret and didn’t invite them?

    1. Thank you Amy, we are on the same page, and having poo pooed weddings in the past for those very I can thouroughly recommend doing it this way.

      Not a single person was peeved. We hear stories about dreaded mother in laws, but ours are not included in this, everyone has been really happy. I think we are very lucky.

  12. Absolutely adorable! Congratulations and best wishes for a lifetime of happiness! Hubby and I have been married for 38 years and we are currently walking the Camino de Santiago, just the two of us, together. I’m looking forward to following your tandem honeymoon adventure!

  13. You guys! I am amazed that you were able to hold back to only 2 exclamation points for the title of this post. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I obviously lack your willpower. I love that you broke down your reaction to the proposal. When Tom proposed to me it was also very unexpected and I just said “really? really?…..really?” for about 7 minutes until I realized that I actually needed to answer the question.

    1. Thanks Jenny. I’m now regretting the lack of exclamation marks we used, stupid restraint.

      It was totally unexpected, we’d talked about marriage before but I thought we’d decided that it wasn’t for us, so I didn’t really know what to say. Clearly no was my first reaction, on reflection probably not the reaction Rob was hoping for…

  14. You rock! Really, I had so much fun reading this…just happened to see it after I found your site via the FB bicycle group. Yes, you totally rock…and I’m old…have been around a while…have seen it all. The best to you both. We have been married for 43 years, and I can tell you it hasn’t always been easy. I can also tell you it’s worth the effort you both put into it together! Congrats…and keep having fun!

    1. Thank you Deborah. We had such an amazing day and wouldn’t have done it any other way.

      Wow 43 years, congratulations!

      The tandem cycling is certainly a test but so far working as a team is seeing us through.

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