Now that it’s crystal clear that hosting a big wedding at this time is just not possible due to the spread of COVID-19, we’re sharing the experiences of real couples navigating the re-scheduling, cancellation, and civil and commemorative wedding processes in an attempt to help others make informed decisions and to spread our support to all during this time.
Anna Johnston postponed her September 19th wedding in Southampton because of the spread of COVID-19. Here, she’s sharing how she and her husband, Benjamin Rogers, made the final call and decided to have a micro-wedding in August.
The contemporary art advisor and her fiancé, who works in private equity, were quick to postpone in early April. “A few people said I was crazy and should wait it out to see what would happen, but I’m so glad we moved the wedding when we did because it gave me peace of mind to know we had a new date secured,” Anna explains. The two have rescheduled for September 10th, 2021, and the day will serve as a vow renewal and black-tie party.
Anna and Ben agreed that they should still get married this year as planned, and the bride, her mother, and their family friends planned the entire micro-wedding in Southampton. On the morning of the 15th of August, Anna put on a white linen Rebecca Taylor dress that had been sitting in her closet for about a year and paired it with Stubbs & Wootton wedges and a silk hair bow from Zitomer. Her “something old” was her grandmother’s pink tourmaline and ruby cocktail ring, and her “something borrowed” was a pair of her mother’s diamond studs that her father had given her.
With a bouquet of chrysanthemums from Topiaire Flower Shop, the bride and Ben were married at St. John’s Episcopal Church, surrounded by their family. “It was so intimate and lovely,” Anna says. “I was so touched at the minister’s willingness to marry us and to make the ceremony so special, despite having never met either of us before.”
After being announced as husband and wife, the new Mrs. got her beauty done by La Carezza Salon DaSpa and changed into a Rosie Assoulin dress that she had initially purchased for her rehearsal dinner, a finger-length Daphne Newman veil, and Delpozo heels for the backyard ceremony at her family friends’ house. Ben looked handsome in a Suitsupply jacket, Hermès tie and watch, and Crockett & Jones drivers.
In the evening, the bride’s sister walked down the aisle first with the couple’s dachshund puppy, Freddy, followed by Anna and her father, while “Here Comes the Sun” played. “The ceremony was filled with inside jokes, touching references to the 50-plus years of friendship between our families, and, of course, an inevitable blooper—me putting Ben’s ring on the wrong finger, which he had done to me when he proposed,” Anna remarks. After saying, “I do,” again, guests made their way to the elegant setting by Elite Tent & Party Rental.
Dinner was catered by Peter Ambrose, who also created a custom ginger margarita, called the “Rogerita.” “One of the staples at dinner was shrimp and grits, a nod to my Southern grandparents who traveled to Southampton to be with us, and it was a huge hit,” the bride says. For dessert, a delicious three-tier coconut cake and six peach cream pies from Briermere Farms were served.
Once full, a playlist, curated by Anna and her god brother, starting blasting, getting people up and moving. They danced to everything from ’70s Motown to Harry Styles’s “Watermelon Sugar” until far past midnight.
“I felt so overwhelmed with love before, during, and after our two ceremonies; I couldn’t even imagine how things could get any better or how the beginning of our marriage could have started any more perfectly,” Anna says. “For a few hours, we all forgot that we were living in the midst of a pandemic and were simply able to enjoy and appreciate our love for one another and the fact that we were finally able to come together in one way or another.”
Looking back on everything, the former “ultimate big, fancy wedding bride” now thinks “there’s nothing better than a small, intimate wedding, followed by a nice, big rager later on!”