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.
Hannah Barr called off her September 12th wedding at her family’s home in Stowe, Vermont because of the spread of COVID-19. Here, she’s sharing how she and her husband, Wills Klein, made the final call and decided to have a micro-wedding at the same location.
Around late-March, the engaged pair made the decision to cancel their original wedding, which seemed like a premature decision to them at the time. “Our number one priority is the health of our friends and family and ultimately is what informed our decision,” Hannah explains. “My father in-law is immunocompromised, and we had family traveling from all over, so we knew early on that we would need to pivot.”
While they haven’t rescheduled a bigger celebration, at the beginning of the summer, they felt comfortable going ahead with a micro-wedding in Vermont. Thankfully, the couple was able to keep most of their vendors and deposits for their new August 23rd ceremony. And once they knew they were downsizing, Wills’s mother, who owns interior design firm Antar Klein Design, helped the bride design the tablescape, and Hannah ordered tableware from off their registry from Heath Ceramics.
Hannah and Wills also brought on their original planner, Sophia Morton of Wink & Willow, to help coordinate on the day, and the mother-of-the-bride was instrumental in pulling off the new plan.
For her original dress, Hannah wanted something classic with clean lines and made an appointment at the Markarian showroom, where she fell in love with the fabrics and the fit of the designs. With assistant designer Annelise Koch’s guidance, they started the dress-making process, and the week before lockdown, she had her measurements taken. Once things started to close, Markarian’s production halted, but celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger encouraged Hannah to wait it out for her custom look. Luckily, the dress was ready in time for the micro-wedding, as restrictions eased up.
With the dress all sorted, Hannah also wanted to wear a headband in honor of her mother, who wore one on her own wedding day, and Annelise arranged a Zoom call with Gigi Burris for a custom piece. She completed the ensemble with Castaner espadrille satin wedges and her mother’s sapphire and diamond bracelet, as her “something borrowed” and “something blue.”
On the day-of, the bride did a full skin care regiment with her sister, who works for Tata Harper Skincare, and also got ready with makeup artist Monica Emmons and hair stylist Amanda Hopcraft at Edson Hill, where they were staying for the weekend.
On Sunday, under a weeping willow that Hannah’s father had planted years ago in honor of her grandmother, the two were married by their rabbi under a chuppah, built by a family friend and decorated with florals from Birds of a Flower. “We didn’t do a first look, so the first time we saw each other all day was as I was walking down the aisle,” the bride remarks. “Wills started crying almost immediately, which then in turn made me cry. We both cried pretty consistently throughout the ceremony.”
After sharing personal vows, the newlyweds jumped in a 1950s military jeep, borrowed from a family friend, but it unfortunately didn’t end up starting. Cocktail hour was by the pool with music from Toby Aronson, and then guests made their way through a secret garden to the dinner tent for the delicious, local meal cooked by The Hindquarter on an open fire. Chef Luke even recreated their favorite salad from Via Carota, where they had their second date.
During the reception, the new Mr. and Mrs. also FaceTimed family members, including Wills’s grandmother, who sang them a song, which is a wedding tradition in his family. Friends who were quarantining in Vermont joined the party at the end of the night for s’mores around a bonfire and the Hora in the barn. And Hannah’s two best friends from college also sent the couple a custom shot-ski with their last name engraved on it for added enjoyment through until the early hours.
Looking back at everything now, the couple have no regrets. “During speeches, Wills and I looked at each other and agreed that aside from missing so many people, we wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Hannah says. “While it wasn’t what we envisioned without many friends and family members, the intimacy of the evening was truly one of a kind and was more memorable than anything we could have imagined.”