Featured Elopement: Jade & Shaina

Eloping in NYC at Top of the Rock

New York City might be one of our favorite spots to elope! There are so many venue choices to consider from an elopement in Central Park, to any of the iconic hotels or rooftops, and even popular landmarks. When Jade and Shaina chose the Top of The Rock for their elopement location, we were so excited! This hotspot in the heart of the city offers panoramic views of Manhattan, along with an impressive look over all of Central Park. 


Prior to deciding to elope with The Epic Elopement, Jade and Shaina’s wedding planning process was complicated to say the least. Amidst the craziness of the coronavirus pandemic, their original plans for a large wedding in Austin, Texas were canceled. They considered eloping in Greece and Las Vegas, but after a lot of consideration, landed on rescheduling their wedding for September 2020 in Shaina’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Everything was booked and as a special touch, her grandfather was planning to officiate the ceremony. Sadly, Shaina’s grandfather passed away in February of that year and things changed. They heard that The Epic Elopement was having a giveaway for an elopement ceremony and they applied as soon as they heard. It was fate! They won our elopement giveaway, canceled their Nashville wedding plans, and started planning their intimate elopement in New York City. 


Jade said, “As crazy as it was trying to get Impression Bridal to agree to sell me the sample dress off the rack, and getting a wedding dress altered in a matter of days, everything worked out perfectly!” We asked her to tell us more about how they met and their elopement experiences.

Here are some pictures from their elopement:

Here’s what they had to say about their elopement:

How did you two meet? Tell us your love story!

When Shaina and I met it felt like fate. It all started when I had a traumatic brain injury. I used to play volleyball at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We were playing in a game against the Ragin’ Cajuns, when I dove for a ball and hit my head on the floor instead of having my arm catch my dive. After my injury, I ended up being in the hospital for two and a half months. During my stay, I was overdosed on pain medicine and ended up having a stroke and almost passed away. Thankfully after four brain surgeries, I made it out of the hospital. Although the doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to play volleyball again, I was determined to learn how to walk again and be able to play again. After eight months of recovery and self-guided physical therapy, I reached out to Martin Methodist College (the school that one of my former teammates attended) to see if the program had any volleyball scholarships for the upcoming school year. Oddly enough, they had room for one more player and offered me a full scholarship to move from San Antonio, Texas to Pulaski, Tennessee. Shaina is from Nashville, Tennessee and ended up attending Martin Methodist College to play basketball the following year. 


Fast forward a couple of months to an Amish restaurant called The Yellow Deli in our small college town of Pulaski, Tennessee. We were out with a group of friends on our respective teams. We were both fresh out of relationships at the time (and not really looking for new relationships) but we couldn’t ignore the sparks we felt in the room that night. After one date with her, I knew that she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The connection was spiritual, the type of connection that can not be replicated. After swearing for months that she didn’t like me, and didn’t want to be in a relationship, she decided to follow her heart and give it a try. After dating for three years we got engaged during a surprise photoshoot at the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee right after finding out that I got my dream job back in Texas!

What was the elopement day like? Give us the details from your point of view!

We flew to New York City, and set out on the adventure of a lifetime! The day of our elopement was so perfect! I was up at 4am for hair and makeup. Shaina went downstairs and waited for me in the lobby while I put on my dress. Being in my dress, and seeing Shaina in her tuxedo was magical. We then took an Uber to Top of The Rock! We met our coordinator, officiant and photographer the day of and everyone made us feel so comfortable, supported and beautiful. As we recited our vows to each other it felt like we were the only people there. There is something so special about making a lifetime commitment to the one you live in the intimate setting that we had. After our ceremony, we were allowed to get creative with our photographer and spent the rest of the morning telling our stories through the pictures we captured. Our elopement experience was absolutely perfect!

What was one of the most memorable moments of the day?

After the pictures were done I was STARVING, and galivanting through Brooklyn in my huge dress dragging along the streets just wasn’t happening. As we were walking to catch an Uber, I found a hot dog stand and proceeded to order a hot dog (all the way), roasted corn and a pretzel. Passersby saw me and begged to take pictures of me because it was so “New York”.

Any advice for couples considering an elopement?

Our elopement was perfect, stress free, and adventurous! I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it!! This journey with the love of my life has been, and always will be, my absolute favorite. As we approach this new adventure we can’t help but feel as though the intertwining of our lives is nothing but fate. I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any other way. We are two of the luckiest people in the world, with a love story for the books.

Elopement Credits:



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