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Inside Bridget Bahl and Michael Chiodo’s Viral NYC Wedding


Bridget Bahl and Mike Chiodo wanted a New York wedding. A very New York wedding. Though the couple is now primarily based in Dallas, they met there and wanted to show it to their families in the most beautiful way possible.

“We really wanted it to feel like us, really down to earth, but in a really nice setting. I’m from Pittsburgh, Mike is from Southern Illinois. We’re from blue collar families. We fell in love and met in New York—that’s where our love story started. So we had to have a wedding in New York,” Bahl, creative director of the fashion brand The Bar, tells ELLE.com. “Which they’re all going to complain about, we knew for sure,” added Dr. Chiodo, a plastic surgeon.

“We didn’t want it to be just this formal thing that our families would feel very uncomfortable at. We both come from these big, crazy families,” Chiodo says. “Every wedding that we’ve gone to, like any of our cousins or aunts or uncles, any of these things have been these big, fun, crazy parties that everybody loved being at. That’s what we wanted to create. But we just happened to want to do it in the middle of New York City.”

reception transport

Jose Villa

The couple worked with planner Laurie Arons and Birch Event Design to pull off a very ambitious event. Early on, Bahl decided she wanted to do something different for the rehearsal dinner. Her vision? A formal seated dinner right on the cobblestone streets of Soho. A series of logistical miracles aligned and resulted in a flawlessly executed dinner for 40 held right at the door of the Dior store.

The wedding ceremony, which took place at 620 Loft & Garden, was the highlight of the weekend for Bahl. “It’s just this secret little hidden gem in the middle of Manhattan, and you’re right next to St. Patrick’s. It’s beautiful,” she says of the space, which is located on a roof overlooking Rockefeller Center.

Read on for all the details on the Plaza Hotel reception, the many dresses (vintage Dior and Oscar de la Renta), and how they managed to pull off that rehearsal dinner.

The Rehearsal Dinner

rehearsal dinner

Jose Villa

Bahl was thrilled to work with Arons, who she’d long admired. “She was like, ‘Well, what’s something you always do in New York?’ And I named a few things we always do. And she’s like, ‘So, let’s not do any of those things. What’s something you haven’t done in New York?’”

The idea for the dinner in the street came from Bahl and required permitting to fully close down a block of Soho’s Greene Street to traffic. It was a big feat, but Birch Event Design’s Creative Director Josh Spiegel wasn’t fazed. “He was telling us, ‘I know I can get it done. I know I can get it done. I know.’ We literally got the confirmation two days before. It was all on a prayer, but he was very confident he could get it done,” Chiodo says. (“He just knows everyone. I was like, ‘Do you know the mayor? How did you do this?’” Bahl says of Spiegel.) Acquolina Catering provided a three-course dinner out of a mobile kitchen and Arons custom made the tablecloth with a box pleat to match the pleats on Bahl’s dress.

The Ceremony

ceremony

Jose Villa

The couple is religious, and Bridget was thrilled that Pastor Ron Carpenter, who she’d come to love through YouTube, was able to officiate the wedding. “People were crying. I didn’t know people were crying, I was having my own little moment. But they all told us after, and it was just so mega, you could feel it,” she says. “I thought people were going to say like, ‘oh, it was so sunny, or it was so hot.’ But they literally were all like, ‘I had chills. I cried.’ It just really set the tone for such a special evening.”

Bahl’s mother had foot surgery weeks before the wedding, and it wasn’t clear whether she’d be healed in time to walk her down the aisle. “She stayed with us for six weeks while we were wedding planning, which was the ultimate test of capacity and patience. She got herself off her walker and everything just in time to walk me down the aisle,” Bahl says. “She raised Bridget, so it was really, really, really special,” Chiodo adds.

The Dresses

the dresses

Jose Villa

Bahl worked with top stylist Micaela Erlanger on all of her wedding looks. In their first conversation, Erlanger said she knew immediately the dress Bahl would end up in. It was a gown from Oscar de la Renta’s spring/summer 2019 collection. There were many modifications to it, from reworking the neckline to adding a train.

For the reception, Bahl wore a second Oscar de la Renta dress that she first tried on during a trunk show at Neiman Marcus in Dallas. “I put it on, and I was literally obsessed with it. It needed no adjustments. It fit me perfectly. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Micaela, I have to get it,’” she recalls. She was like, ‘Your wedding is in three months. It’s not happening.’ And somehow, the fashion gods let it be.”

Bahl wore a vintage 1994 Dior corset dress from Shrimpton Couture to the after-party. She also went to Shrimpton for her rehearsal dinner gown.

The Reception

reception

Jose Villa

“It’s so funny, because if you would’ve told me ever like, ‘Oh, you’re going to get married one day at the Plaza, I would say, ‘I would never get married at the Plaza.’ It just doesn’t sound like me,” says Bahl. She has long disliked ballrooms and instead took advantage of some of the hotel’s less commonly used event spaces.

The cocktail hour took place in the Oak Room, followed by the reception, which was in the Plaza’s Edwardian Room, an oak-paneled Spanish Renaissance Revival-style space, which Arons and Birch Events revamped while maintaining the historical aspects. “They kept all the beautiful brown oak structure on the ceiling and on the walls,” she says. “They laid carpeting and put antique mirrors where they didn’t love the walls so much.” The space was also filled with candelabras. (Something Bahl absolutely loved about the Plaza was that they allow open flames, so candles didn’t require hurricane glass holders.)

The After-Party

after party

Jose Villa

During the reception, Arons and the Birch Events team had transformed the 620 Loft & Garden space, building a dance floor, creating a DJ booth where the altar had been, and bringing in a pizza station and photo booth.

Guests traveled to the party on New York City pedicabs that traveled down 5th Avenue from the Plaza. “They lined up outside and they were blasting music and they were all decorated. They said, ‘I Love New York,’ and they had bubble machines and all of these fun things,” Bahl recounts. “Everyone just jumped on them. One of my best friends told me, ‘That was the best experience of my life.’ And she’s married with two children. I was like, ‘What about your kids?’ And she was like, ‘Nope.’” We were just driving down Fifth Avenue with all of our friends and family. Everyone was on the road next to each other. There were no cars. It was wild. Midtown at 11:30 P.M.”

Lettermark

Features Editor

Adrienne Gaffney is the features editor at ELLE and previously worked at WSJ Magazine and Vanity Fair.



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