The Wall Street Journal's headline for the weekend was, "Decade of Job Gains Erased in April." Needless to say May of 2020 in New York City was not the best place to be. However, it was our home and amidst all the sadness, we wanted to get married. What we were seeing happen on the streets of NYC and the news only brought us closer together. We didn't want to wait, we wanted to go through this pandemic as Husband and Wife.
Thankfully, Steve and I got our marriage license on March 17th, the day City Hall was deciding to close their doors. To be honest, it was such a beautiful day! The street in front of downtown City Hall was lined with couples dressed up, ready to get married. There were street vendors making flower bouquets for the brides and handing out wedding bands to anyone who needed them. Strangers were taking pictures for each other so they had something to share with their loved ones. And...the workers at City Hall waived the "24 hour restriction" on having to get your license one day prior to marriage so everyone who wanted to say "I do," could!
Being a Wedding Planner, you can only imagine the amount of times I've envisioned our big day and no, this was not one of them. However, now I couldn't imagine it any other way! In just two in a half weeks, we pulled together a venue, a minister, photographer, florist, hair & make up, a dress, a cake and a "reception space / hotel" for the weekend.
Keep in mind, we were still at a pretty heightened period of the pandemic in early May so I was extremely thankful for our vendors who came out during this time. I had to start with securing a Minister first because of course, we couldn't do it without him. Thankfully, Mark from One Heart Ceremonies agreed to come out and preform the ceremony! We talked about social distant and outdoor locations. Steve and I were between either Central Park or Carl Schurz Park on the UES right down the street from us. We took some time to walk around the parks, as that had been our main source of sanity checks at the time, and when we saw Shakespeare's Garden, we knew that's where we would get married!
Then, I reached out to Fred Marcus Studios to see if there were any photographers willing to come out and photograph our ceremony along with some memorial shots through the park. Our incredible and hilarious photographer Felix said yes and truly made it a day to remember! Along with the fact that he was one of our signed witnesses! I then contacted the florist, Karla with QG Floral, that we planned to use for our original wedding and she was able to put together a contactless delivery of a bridal bouquet, a boutonniere and some loose flowers I could scatter around our hotel room for the "reception".
Another big question was, what am I going to wear? My wedding dress was still at the bridal shop that was closed down and deliveries were taking way longer than normal so I did what any other bride would do...I ordered 6-7 white dresses and just hoped one would show up on time and fit! VERY thankful this one from Lulu's came just in time! I was also so happy that Maira Ortiz, a fellow Wedding Pro from the WeddingWire agreed to come and do my hair and makeup the morning of! She wore her mask and sanitized everything which made me feel comfortable having her there. Originally, I was excited to get ready with my family and friends, the circumstances were different but I was happy to still have Maira there so I wasn't alone.
Now to the fun part! We broke some traditions...we woke up the morning of our wedding and coffee with one another. It's one of our favorite things to do together to start the day and we didn't want to stray away from that on a day that's supposed to represent us! Steve also walked me down (up) the "aisle." We got ready in separate locations but he picked me up from the JW Essex House and it only seemed fitting to walk together. We wanted it to symbolize us walking into this marriage together, especially during such unknown times, we were each others partner for better or for worse.
To our surprise, we did have some guests!! There were garden workers from Central Park watching our ceremony and at the end, they surprised us by throwing tulip pedals behind us. It was so cute and genuinely sweet of them to join in on our day! Additionally, during our post ceremony Central Park walk, we found two musicians who played songs for us and we were able to have our First (and second) dance!
After our incredible morning in Central Park, we came back to the JW Marriott Essex House that was THANKFULLY open for the weekend and we had ourselves a little reception. Since it was early, we ordered all that Dunkin' Donuts had to offer! Then, in between our back and forth shuffling to our apartment to spend time with our dog (who couldn't go to day care since everything was closed), FaceTime'd with our families, played some champagne pong, ordered from our favorite Italian restaurant in the city (Arturo's) and cut our wedding cake! We wanted to have some Italian food to represent what we would've had at our original wedding reception and we got a Cannoli cake from Veniero's, who was originally going to do our wedding deserts!
The day was truly unforgettable and one that I wouldn't change for the world! I got to marry the love of my life and now, we've been able to go through all that life has to throw at us, together! It was honestly poetic how everything turned out and we're extremely excited to continue planning our "Sequel Wedding" where we can celebrate with all our family and friends!