Home PeopleBridal This Mile Square Couple Got Married at the W Hoboken During Pride Month

This Mile Square Couple Got Married at the W Hoboken During Pride Month

by Samantha Impaglia
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Meet Chris Woodyard and Austin Nelson — a Hoboken couple that got married at the W Hoboken Hotel during LGBTQ+ Pride Month this June. From meeting on a dating app, to attending Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour on the day they moved in together, to getting married on the 7th anniversary of their first date, these two Mile Square residents have an amazing story to tell. We had the chance to talk with Chris and Austin to learn all about their relationship. Read on to learn more about this Hoboken couple’s love story — including details about their engagement, wedding, and more.

Photo Credit: Miotti Studio (@miottistudio)

The Hoboken Girl: What do you both do for a living?

CW + AN: Chris works in tech as a director of product management and I’m a recruiter for a medical tech company.

HG: What city do you both live in + for how long have you lived there?

CW + AN: Chris moved to Hoboken in 2017 and then I joined him later in 2018. The first day I moved in with him we went to see the Taylor Swift Reputation tour at MetLife, it rained most of the show, but was life-changing.

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HG: When/where did you + your partner meet?

AN: We matched on the dating app Tinder. We had one mutual friend in common.

CW: Tinder brought us together. After a few bad dates prior to meeting Austin, I reached out to a mutual friend to learn a bit more about Austin before sending the first message to him. I’m so happy Austin and I connected on Tinder otherwise we probably wouldn’t have met.

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HG: Was there an instant connection/chemistry between you two?

AN: Yes, I had been traveling for summer so we chatted a lot before actually meeting in person. We met up in Manhattan at a restaurant called Fish (now closed). Chris planned the entire thing which was nice. Then we ended up hanging out for the entire weekend — which was Pride in NYC.

CW: I can still remember seeing him for the first time crossing the street to meet me at Fish. I was instantly attracted to him and getting to know him more over that weekend and the many that followed further solidified our connection.

HG: How long have you been together?

CW + AN: 7 years and fun fact, we got married on the 7-year anniversary of our first date. We were married on June 24th, 2023.

Photo credit: Alexander Cabrera

HG: When was the moment you knew you were meant to marry each other?

AN: After a few dates I knew I was interested in Chris forever. Also, it was nice when our families finally met as well as when we started to meet each other’s friends.

CW: I think I started asking myself that question the first weekend we met. I can’t think of a specific moment, but it was something that grew with time. Seeing him interact with my family and friends, it just felt so natural.

HG: Tell us about your proposal.

AN: After Chris had the rings we decided he would propose… I love ice skating so on Valentine’s Day, he took me to Rockefeller Plaza in NYC to ice skate. I quickly was like “something is happening” because the building and ice rink were lit up in Tiffany blue. He popped the question, and then we popped champagne and ate at our fav restaurant — Quality Bistro.

Photo credit: Photo Courtesy of Tiffany & Co

CW: Once we had the rings, I was struggling with how best to propose. I also wanted to make sure I asked Austin’s parents for their permission, which took longer than expected since I wanted to ask them in person… they lived in South Carolina and we lived in New Jersey. After a planned trip down to see his family, I was able to ask his parents and they were both so supportive. From there, it was just finding the correct venue to pop the question. I considered our lake house, but it crossed my mind that we might not own that house in the years that come and I wanted a venue that we could visit over and over again to tell our story. It was pure luck that our Tiffany advisor texted me about their Valentine’s Day event and I gave the thumbs it. From there, Mery at Tiffany + Co Hudson Yards said she would handle all the planning and it was more than I could’ve imagined.

HG: Was it a total surprise?

AN: Yes and no, I’m pretty good about figuring out things so I was like “here we go” but I was very happy!

CW: Austin knew we had the rings, but the timing was still a bit unknown. We had planned a Valentine’s Day night in the city and I think it became more obvious when Austin asked what I wanted from the hotel minibar before we went on our ice skating adventure and I couldn’t find my words. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve known exactly what I wanted without pause. 🙂

Photo credit: Photo Courtesy of Tiffany & Co

HG: How long was your engagement?

AN: Almost a year and a half, but that time flew by. I used to work in events so I quickly was like “we need to just book the venue” so we got the date we wanted.

CW: It was a longer engagement, but we had a few dates in mind and we also didn’t want to rush anything. The 1.5-year engagement gave us the time we needed to get everything organized the way we wanted and to research what we did and didn’t want at our wedding. We attended several weddings during our engagement period and we were able to point to things we loved about each and include in our own planning.

HG: Where did you get married + why that venue?

CW + AN: We got married at the W Hoboken Hotel — which was truly amazing! We were going back and forth with doing a farm wedding or hotel, but thought having it in Hoboken was special because it’s where we live, and wanted friends to experience it. Ariel was our point of contact at the W and I must say — she was simply the best. We wanted it to be easy for guests to fly and get to + people were able to make a fun weekend of it exploring Hoboken, NYC, and attending the various events we hosted. Ariel guided us throughout the process and over-communicated — which I apprenticed. Kudos to Kat, Hugo, Ariel, and the rest of the team there at the W Hoboken Hotel. We got married on Pride weekend and they had a custom Pride flag made for us among other things — it was about the little touches and service.

Photo Credit: Miotti Studio (@miottistudio)

HG: How many people did you have at your wedding?

CW + AN: 130 family and friends were there.

HG: What was your favorite moment of the day?

AN: I really enjoyed walking into the reception room for the first time and seeing everything come together. It was so neat seeing the flowers, the band, the lighting, and the sparklers + was just an overwhelmingly positive experience. We used various spaces in the W to make it an experience for guests — we got married on the deck, had cocktail hour in LuLus, had the reception in the great room, and then had an afterparty back in LuLus/deck. We also did vows together privately in our suite right before the ceremony which was a special private moment. My best friend (Mari Vick) officiated and suggested we do that.

CW: Narrowing to one favorite moment feels impossible, since it was such a magical day. I really loved our first dance and thought it was a special moment between Austin and I. We talked to one another the entire dance in amazement at the ceremony, the love we felt around us, and the “wow” moment we both felt progressing into the great room as newlyweds.

Photo Credit: Miotti Studio (@miottistudio)

HG: Did you work with a wedding planner? If so, who + how was that experience?

CW + AN: We did. Jo from Square Mile Events was the best (@squaremilevents). We did her day-of package and it was perfect for us. So I just handed off all the contracts and vendor info and she made it happen. Taylor (Jo’s assistant) and her were there the day of and really suggested some fun changes. We made a last-minute decision for me to wear a white dress for a bouquet toss.

HG: Did you use any local vendors?

Photo credit: Alexander Cabrera

CW + AN: We did — we tried to tap into local vendors to support NJ. Friday night (before our Saturday wedding) we used Antique Loft (@antiquelofthoboken) to host our Family Dinner + Welcome Party with DJ Mike L’s there (@mikelnyc) + Chris’s mom/friend did the beautiful flowers. For the main event — our main wedding venue was local (W Hoboken Hotel — @whoboken), we used Russ Bennet’s band from Hank Lane (@hanklanemusic) and they were fab + highlight. We used Mystical Entertainment (@mysticalentertainmentgroup) and worked with Co for uplighting/logo lighting/dance lighting/sparklers (which were so neat) — they really turned the ballroom into a party room! We used Kait Thomson (@kait_thomson) for flowers who we found via The Hoboken Girl. We used Perfectly Draped (@perfectlydraped) for glitter draping for behind the band. Miotti Studio (@miottistudio) did our photos/video and Monica + Chriz were the best to work with. Jersey Photo Booth Rental (@jerseyphotoboothrental) for the Glam Booth which was such a hit with our guests. We used Good Times Productions (@imthaaadj) for our after-party DJ — Anthony was great. We used Tiffany from Tom James clothing for our custom outfits (@guidetofashions).

Photo credit: Alexander Cabrera

HG: Any advice for couples planning a wedding locally or in general?

AN: Make it your day — do what you want. Don’t listen to the opinions of others. Go all out, order the koozies, the lighting, and the draping. Don’t feel as though you need to fit into the normal wedding stereotype — this is your day and make it a day where you can have fun. We didn’t have a wedding party but we had our friends involved in various ways which was special.

CW: Agree with everything Austin shared. Having a wedding planner, or at minimum a day of planner like we had, was a huge relief to us. Jo from Square Mile Events attended our vendor calls and asked questions of the vendors only a seasoned wedding planner would know to ask. It made all the planning in advance much smoother and led to a truly seamless wedding day. Austin and I could truly step away and just enjoy our day knowing Jo and Taylor (her assistant) had everything under control.

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HG: What are you looking forward to most as a married couple?

CW + AN: We can’t wait to travel more and it’s fun saying “this is my husband”. Goose (our big pup) is happy his dads are finally married too.

Photo Credit: Miotti Studio (@miottistudio)

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