Kelsey Smotzer, a merchandise director at Walmart e-commerce, and Emily Nahas, the VP of growth at Saks.com, first met during their first week as buyers for Gilt. Two years later, their relationship developed when Emily was the buyer for men’s designer ready-to-wear and Kelsey was the buyer for women’s designer ready-to-wear. “We were getting drinks near our office down in Battery Park City, and after a few too many, there was a confession of feelings and our first kiss,” Kelsey shares. “That was almost five years ago, and we’ve been inseparable since.”
After dating for three years, Kelsey proposed to Emily at one of their favorite staycation spots, The New York Edition, after an abbreviated scavenger hunt that started at her office. “I had one of Emily’s coworkers conspire with her boss to interrupt their touch-base and give her a rose and a clue,” Kesley explains. She headed to the bar where they shared their first kiss, and the bartender held the next clue, directing her to the hotel.
“I gave her the final clue card, letting her know that I had reservations at Eleven Madison Park for us, and presented her with a fabulous dress by The Vampire’s Wife to wear for the occasion.” The next day, Kelsey came home to all of her favorite foods, and Emily proposed to her with two stunning rings by Felice Capon.
The week after the proposal, both Kelsey and Emily were sent home from work, and New York City was locked down due to Covid-19. The couple held off planning a wedding until 2021. After the initial vaccine rollout, they decided on a City Hall ceremony, followed by a family-only lunch and a large party. However, the Delta variant shifted their plans—two weeks out from their early October date—to a more intimate ceremony on the terrace at the penthouse suite at The Roxy Hotel, lunch at Carbone, and a cocktail party at Gilligan’s.
For their wedding wardrobes, they initially shied away from wearing white during the ceremony but wanted to achieve a City Hall–chic vibe. But after a lot of browsing online, they both ultimately opted for little white dresses. Emily found a midi cowl-neck slip dress from Fleur du Mal and paired it with a blazer from The Frankie Shop, beige Bottega Veneta Lido sandals, her grandmothers’ rings, and her mother’s wedding band.
Kelsey found Emilia Wickstead’s Birch off-the-shoulder cloqué midi wedding dress and matched her fiancée in a different pair of Bottega Veneta heels. Both brides got ready with Glamsquad, which fittingly has the same founder as Gilt.com, where they first met.
On October 8, 2021, Kelsey’s sister and maid of honor complemented Kelsey in a navy floral Self-Portrait style, and Kelsey’s mother looked beautiful in a navy Dries Van Noten dress. Emily’s mother, Helen, wore an elegant Carolina Herrera look.
With around 16 guests, Kelsey and Emily were married by Kelsey’s brother, Patrick, who had gotten ordained in New York City just in case they needed an officiant—it paid off. Élan Flowers elevated the already impeccably decorated suite with floral arrangements. “We also brought in a few keepsakes and decorative items, like family photos, a custom Veuve Clicquot tin that said ‘Williamsburg,’ and two copies of By Invitation Only—the book we both received upon starting at Gilt.com, written by founders Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and Alexis Maybank,” Kelsey shares.
During the service, each of the brides’ best friends, Sara and Christina, spoke. Then, violinist Susan Keser—who Kelsey discovered at the Union Square subway station four days prior—provided sweet music after the “I dos.”
Afterward, the newlyweds and their immediate families all went to Carbone for a wedding lunch of Michelin-star Italian food and excellent wines. That evening, the festivities continued with a cocktail party at Gilligan’s at the Soho Grand Hotel. “We had booked it less than a week out from our wedding date, but it ended up being a great spot!” Kelsey exclaims.
Both brides changed into two very different black minidresses. “We were in downtown Manhattan, after all!” Emily exclaims. Kelsey dazzled in a sequin style by Loulou, while Emily donned a Jacquemus design with a plunging neckline.
The after-party kicked off at The Django jazz club at The Roxy Hotel with a smaller group. Kelsey concludes: “It was the perfect NYC day and night.”