Dan Koday met Yves Yakoubyan on OKCupid back in 2009. "I was working my first publishing job at Seventeen, and Yves was getting his MBA at Pace University while working for FreshDirect," Dan says. It was an instant match, and they were together for eight years before Dan proposed on a trip to Paris on December 26, 2017.
After Dan's romantic proposal in Paris ( a nod to Yves's French roots!), the couple began planning a wedding close to their new home in New Jersey. "We had been saving up to buy a place together and bought our apartment in Weehawken, New Jersey, and a few months after I popped the question," Dan says. "It's just across the river from Manhattan and has the cutest town hall, and we thought it would be so great to bridge the river and marry in our two worlds by tying the knot at Weehawkan Town Hall and then celebrating in New York City." They set the date for exactly a year after Dan's proposal, and invited just 15 guests to join them.
"The guest list was just our immediate family and a few friends," Dan adds.
Keep reading to see Yves and Dan's intimate ceremony in New Jersey and cocktail reception in New York City. Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography was on hand to capture the special day, below.
The couple chose to coordinate their attire for their ceremony at Weehawkan Town Hall. Dan wore a Hugo Boss herringbone wool dinner jacket with black pants and black combat boots. "The jacket was warm and cozy, and just luxe enough to mark the occasion," he says. Yves opted for rich burgundy, choosing a velvet Bonobos jacket and gray wool pants for the winter wedding festivities.
"Weehawken has the most adorable courtroom in town hall," says Dan. "Even better: It's right near our house!" That said, some guests almost didn't make it! "Our photographer and our siblings got in an Uber to head to Town Hall, but the app had the driver taking them to 400 Park Avenue in New York, not in Weehawken," Dan says with a laugh. "They got into the lane to go through the Lincoln Tunnel, which is the point of no return as it can take over an hour to get into the city and back. Everyone got out of the car and ran up a steep hill to get to the ceremony on time."
The mayor of Weehawken happened to be in town the day after Christmas, so he performed Yves and Dan's ceremony. "Apparently he loves doing weddings," Dan says.
After the ceremony, guests gathered at Yves and Dan's home for an impromptu toast. "We love to entertain and always have Champagne in the fridge," Dan says. "It was the perfect way to spend the time between saying our vows and celebrating." After, guests made their way into Manhattan to celebrate at Dear Irving on Hudson, a cocktail bar with a James Bond, 1960s vibe. "The views were incredible! Yves's family came from France so getting to see the place we call home from the 40th floor was pretty special," he says.
Everyone sipped Palomas, Manhattans and Moscow mules as they dined on a small plate menu of bourbon-smoked salmon, Siberian sturgeon caviar, and rillettes. Fittingly, they ended the night with a group field trip to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
While Yves and Dan plan on celebrating in the South of France at a later time, Dan says that starting small was the right call for he and Yves. "We'll still have a reception there at some point, but this more intimate celebration was a way to mentally prepare for the bigger party we're planning," he says. "It has taken a lot of the pressure off. I'd absolutely recommend it if you're Type A like we are!"
Ceremony Venue: Weehawken Town Hall || Reception Venue: Dear Irving on Hudson || Dan's Attire: Hugo Boss, COS, Church's || Yves' Attire: Bonobos, Club Monaco || Wedding Bands: Cartier || Catering: Dear Irving on Hudson || Photography: Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography