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.
Emmaline Kuo Ranzman, founder of accessories brand Emm Kuo, postponed her April NYC civil ceremony and May 23rd, 2020 destination wedding in Florence due to the spread of COVID-19. Here, she’s sharing how she and her husband, David Weinberg, shifted their vision to a micro-wedding in October.
Like a lot of couples based in New York City, when lockdowns started in March, Emmaline and David decided to postpone their Italy wedding. “So many of our friends and family live in Asia, Canada, and Europe,” she explains. “And with the whole world on lockdown, we knew a May wedding was not possible.”
Their bigger wedding will take place in Italy later this year or in 2022. “With so much uncertainty, I didn’t want to set a firm date,” Emmaline says. “I think it’s best to have a flexible time frame.”
In late August, the couple decided they wanted to have a small civil ceremony and started planning for an October event. The first order of business was obtaining a marriage license, which turned out to be no easy feat in New York, so the two drove to Bedford to get one.
The couple knew that they wanted an outdoor wedding, and their apartment’s rooftop was the perfect location—it’s also where David proposed. “We wanted to support the small businesses in our neighborhood, and thus picked florists, caterers, etc. that we had used in the past and frequented often,” Emmaline remarks.
Before the ceremony on October 8th, Emmaline and David had a quick engagement shoot, where she wore a Balmain blazer, Reformation silk skirt, Jimmy Choos, and a handbag of her design. And then, to say, “I do,” the bride wore a custom dress by Sandra Mansour, who she shared a showroom with during Paris Fashion Week. On the day-of, Emmaline got ready with Kevin Cheah, who gave her a Rodarte-inspired hair style with baby’s breath incorporated between her waves. She finally completed her bridal ensemble with earrings by Cindy Chao and a Jennifer Behr headpiece.
David wore a custom suit by Zenga with shoes by John Lobb, and since they didn’t have a wedding party, Emmaline asked the ladies attending to wear her favorite color—pink.
Since the groom is Jewish, it was important to the couple to have a Jewish ceremony with a chuppah. On the rooftop, decorated with florals by Designs by Ahn, four members of the New York Philharmonic played as Emmaline walked down the aisle. “I was filled with such a sense of happiness…no nervousness at all!” the bride exclaims. “After so many months of uncertainty and the unknown, it was so good to know that our legal marriage was finally happening, and we were able to host an intimate event with our closest friends and family.”
Once announced as husband and wife, an intimate lunch was held at Osteria 57. Indoor dining had just become available again, but to ensure everyone felt comfortable, they reserved the entire restaurant for the luncheon. Dessert and the wedding cake was provided by the owner of Mah Ze Dahr Bakery, where David goes to get coffee nearly every morning.
Looking back on everything now, Emmaline is so happy they decided to have a micro-wedding. “Originally, we planned to have it be a very simple affair,” she says. “I’m really glad we added elements that made the day feel extra special!”