7/25 Real Wedding: Jeremy and Nagehan’s Super Intimate, Laid-Back Wedding in Manhattan on a $5,000 Budget

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Saying “I do” should be a celebration shared with those you love. Jeremy and Nagehan decided to invite only a small group of family and friends – 24 people who traveled from different states and even across an ocean – with whom to share their Manhattan journey to become man and wife. With a small guest list and a $5,000 budget, this pair both kept the money in check but were able to make a few fun splurges along the way. Lucky for them, New York offers a wonderfully colorful backdrop for any couple celebrating their first moments as man and wife.

Names: Jeremy Hill & Nagehan Bayindir Hill
Occupations: Jeremy: Ph.D candidate-neuroscience; Nagehan: Professor at Drexel University and Columbia University
Wedding location: County Clerk’s Office of Manhattan
Wedding date: June 8, 2012
Wedding budget: $5,000
Approximate guest count: 24


How would you describe your wedding? Laid back, intimate, and private.

What was your favorite part of your wedding? There were so many moments from our wedding day we loved. One thing that we absolutely enjoyed so much was that we were able to spend time with every single one of our guests.

What did you splurge on? Photography! It was very important for us to work with a photographer whom we trusted and felt comfortable to be around. Her passion and high energy approach to photography definitely enabled us to trust Kimberly’s vision. Although she had amazing ideas, she was very open to hearing our ideas and answering our questions.

What did you save on? We decided against having a large reception. Instead, we had a very intimate dinner at one of our favorite New York City restaurants with our immediate families and close friends.

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? Absolutely not. We had our dream wedding!

What was your biggest challenge in planning? Helping our families who were flying in from Turkey, Wisconsin and Illinois find comfortable accommodations during a high travel and tourism season in New York City.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? A wedding shouldn’t be a stressful event to plan. The bride and groom must have the ultimate say in who they would like to spend their big day with. In our case, inviting only our immediate families and our best friends proved to be the best idea.


What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

  • Our ceremony
  • Photo shoot
  • Dinner
  • Very intimate, tear-jerking speeches given by our parents.
  • Spending the whole day with the most important people in our lives.

Top 5 least favorite? Although it was a gorgeous day, getting around the city in the heat was challenging. (We can’t come up with 5 things! Everything was perfect!)


What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? When we received unsolicited advice on who to invite to our wedding.

The best? Plan a day that is true to your personalities.


If you’ve been married for more than a year, what have been some challenges? Although this wasn’t much of a challenge per se, but realizing that we have to make sacrifices and compromises in helping one another reaching our ultimate potential, goals and self-fulfillment have been some of the most valuable lessons we’ve learned so far.

Any other bits of wisdom? Always, always be honest with one another.

Venue and Food: Pisticci NYC
Decor and Flowers: The bride arranged her own flowers that she purchased from a local corner store.


DressAudrey Hepburn Funny Face Ballgown from Light In the Box
Fascinator & Birdcage Veil: Purchased separately from Etsy.
Shoes: Christian Louboutin (Splurge in addition to photography! But oh so worth it.)
Jewelry: Groom’s late grandmothers’ earrings and bracelets.
Hair: Our friend and hairdresser of (then on Broadway) “How to Succeed in Business” and currently “Pippin,” Katie Beatty
Makeup: Bride did her own makeup.

Invitations and Stationary: Because we wanted to keep our wedding private and intimate, we sent our guests their invitations via email.
Photographer: Kimberly Mufferi

Surrounded by loved ones, Jeremy and Nagehan took to the streets of Manhattan to celebrate their love. It wasn’t an over-the-top affair. Instead, it was an intimate celebration of all that’s wonderful in life. Over a year later, it’s still the perfect celebration for them. That’s a great reminder for those planning their own weddings: a wedding simply needs to make you happy. (Congrats to Jeremy and Nageham, and special thanks to NYC wedding photographer Kimberly Mufferi for sharing these fab photos!) 

Congrats, kids!