Brides and Mothers of Brides – do not despair! It may feel like another loss during the time of the Pandemic. Something else you are giving up. First, someone raises the issue of postponing the wedding. Next, the tears, the hand wringing, the bifurcated wedding (ceremony now, party later). Finally, acceptance and resolution. This rollercoaster of emotions can lead to an intimate, beautiful and unforgettable wedding and we experienced just that.
To be sure…. love CANNOT be canceled. March 1st seems like forever ago – when the mother of the bride’s best friends threw a bridal shower for Emily. Her wedding day, May 24,th, seemed so far off – of course the virus would be under control. Emily and Sam, two peas in a pod, would be married as planned.
But, as life has thrown us many a curveball these days, the wedding took multiple iterations. The kids’ dream wedding plan had to be nixed. Their CHAPTER ONE: a full-blown affair on May 24, 2020 at Artists for Humanity (AFH) in Boston, MA with over 200 people. P.S. Designs, the event design firm her mother co-owns, was collaborating with AE Events of Boston and no detail was left to chance.
Once COVID-19 hit, it was onto CHAPTER TWO: a small civil ceremony, on May 24th with just family and a full religious ceremony and celebration on September 6th at AFH.
As COVID continued to rage with full force, there was the FINAL CHAPTER: a religious ceremony in Emily’s backyard with immediate family present, all wedding guests on Zoom, a drive by celebration to follow, and an elegant dinner celebration with just the family to conclude the day.
When love is all anyone cares about – anything is possible. Emily’s bridesmaids and grandmothers watched her put on her dress by Zoom. The Rabbi, who had presided at Emily’s Bat Mitzvah and was still recuperating from open heart surgery, conducted the ceremony with a mask over his full gray beard. And the few guests in attendance sat in chairs spread more than six feet apart around the backyard.
At 5pm on May 24th, there was not a dry eye on Zoom – in MA, FL, IL, NY, CT, RI, CA, TX, DC. Sam’s parents walked him down the aisle. Emily’s parents did the same. Zooms guests, some in bow ties and dresses, lifted glasses to toast the happy couple. When the ceremony ended, Emily and Sam danced to James Taylor’s Something in the Way She Moves on the backyard patio as the Zoom guests watched.
When the Zoom call ended, the parade began. Dozens of cars drove by the house with friends and family hanging out of windows and sunroofs, some with masks on. The paraders held signs and brought balloons. Wedding gifts were thrown across the street to abide by social distancing guidelines. Emily looked on in curiosity as a red pick-up truck slowly inched forward and before she knew it, her childhood idol, soccer star Kristine Lilly (a surprise that Emily’s brother Justin arranged) was hanging out of her window to give Emily and Sam a thumbs up. As the sun set and the air chilled, Emily changed from her high heels to her bridal sneakers and white denim jacket.
Only Jeff and Carolyn (parents of the bride) could make a wedding party in their garage look like the new standard for the perfect wedding. A single table for ten was set exactly like the tables were to be set for the big event with flowers by Sarah’s Garden and place settings and candles from PEAK Event Services. Jeff hung bistro lights and MAX Catering delivered the meal. Sam’s Aunt made a beautiful cake and the eight guests were able to lift Sam and Emily in a raucous hora dance. Not wanting the night to end, the 10 guests moved back to the backyard for a late night bonfire. What at first felt like a compromise ended up being, according to the bride, the “most magical day ever.”
Whether you were there in person or were one of the more than 150 tiny Zoom squares, it was an intimate, celebratory night to remember. Indeed when love is the main event, there is only one constant….Love is not canceled.