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.
Elizabeth Bryant called off her May 15th wedding at Blue Hill Stone Barns in New York because of the spread of COVID-19. Here, she’s sharing how she and her husband, Kyle Kraus, made the final call and decided to have a micro-wedding in their Brooklyn apartment on their original date.
The executive producer of events at Lewis Miller Designs and her husband met 10 years ago in Portland. After college, they did long distance for three years, as she moved to New York for work and he went to play professional baseball for the Boston Red Sox. “When Kyle ‘retired’ from baseball, he moved to New York full time with me,” she explains. En route to a friend’s wedding in Hawaii, he proposed on the dock of Alki Beach in her hometown of Seattle with help from her sisters.
After getting engaged, the two planned out their perfect wedding with a welcome party at their favorite restaurant, LaRina Pastificio & Vino, and after-party at The Long Island Bar in Brooklyn. When COVID-19 hit, they waited until April to make the final call to postpone. “We decided to still send out our invitations,” Elizabeth explains. “We had so much fun working on them with the brilliant Bernard Maisner, who we now consider a friend, and they were too pretty not to be shared! We added a note inside notifying guests that we were planning to postpone. Many of our friends still sent back their RSVPs with sweet notes and messages that kept us smiling throughout the process.”
As their May date was during a height of the pandemic, their venue couldn’t even accommodate a micro-wedding, so when the two realized they wanted to be married soon, they decided to host one at home in their apartment. “The week prior, Governor Cuomo introduced Project Cupid, enabling to get our marriage license online over video chat, and we decided to jump on it,” Elizabeth says, “It also didn’t hurt that our wedding bands were already engraved with the date.”
The planning was so quick, there wasn’t time to stress. Their friend and officiant, Shira Citron, acted as their voice of reason, as they navigated the new plans, and helped them remember what was most important to them as a couple.
Since Elizabeth’s original dress wasn’t ready and was too formal for an at-home occasion, she decided it was the perfect time to wear her grandmother’s wedding dress from 1953. “She is now 97 and watched the ceremony over Zoom, so it was very special,” the bride says. Elizabeth paired the dress with a delicate, gold heart necklace that her mother wore at her own wedding in 1973 and a vintage Gucci watch from her late grandmother, Joy. Her friend, Irini, gifted her a beautiful Jennifer Behr circlet for her hair, and she completed the look with Roger Vivier shoes. Kyle wore a J.Crew suit that he had in his closet and an Hermès tie that Elizabeth gifted him.
On the day-of, their dear friend, Jess Rizzuti, helped to fill their home with beautiful florals, and Irini Arakas Greenbaum helped the bride get ready and styled. Then Elizabeth took her trip down the aisle, through the living room, to their ceremony space, which was captured on Zoom. During the service there was a surprise musical performance, and after the two were announced as husband and wife, they spent some time with their friends and family online.
The two then moved to their stoop to toast with neighbors. “We live in a pretty close-knit neighborhood, and everyone got really involved,” Elizabeth explains. “Kids made signs and threw rose petals. Our neighbor down the street even offered to give Kyle a much needed haircut on her stoop that morning when she found out about our plans.” Shira even decorated her convertible, so the new Mr. and Mrs. could take a spin around the block. At 7:00 p.m., everyone shifted their focus to cheering for essential workers—it ended up being louder that day with the added wedding party in attendance.
For dinner, the newlyweds had LaRina delivered by their friends, Silvia and Luca, and pizza from Lucali, which is right around the corner from their place. Matthew Anderson from Blue Hill Stone Barns also helped them organized a wedding cake and snacks from the farm, which helped bring a touch of their original plans into the day. And they ended the night with martinis, in honor of their would-be after-party at The Long Island Bar.
The two are hoping to get married in the spring of 2021, but looking back at their micro-wedding, they are “so happy to finally be married.” “After nearly four months in our apartment, we are very much looking forward to a honeymoon someday but are thankful for the opportunity to spend so much time together,” Elizabeth says. “Our neighbors told us after the wedding that the celebration was a bright spot during difficult times, and we have received so many heartfelt and supportive messages from our family and friends that have made us feel that we made the right decision.”