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.
Influencer Lauren Bruno, postponed her May 15th, 2020 wedding at Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, NJ three times in 2020, due to the spread of COVID-19. Here, she’s sharing how she and her husband, Vincent Capelli, managed all the rescheduling and decided to have a micro-wedding in her parents’ backyard in September.
Around one-and-a-half years before there were talks about postponing, however, Vincent proposed in front of the Bryant Park Christmas Tree on the ice rink. “We were surrounded by true NYC magic, and all random people cheering us on,” Lauren remembers. “After I said yes, I turned around and all of our family and friends were waiting there for us with a sign that read, ‘SHE SAID YES,’ screaming of joy for us.”
Then in April, 2020, the engaged couple saw how bad COVID cases had gotten in New Jersey and decided to postpone to June 13th, 2020. They, of course, had to change that date again to August 24th, 2020 and finally April 19th, 2021. “We moved back to New Jersey in September, and hoped to have it then,” Lauren says. “We were concerned for our family and friends health and just did not want to risk having 200 people in an indoor venue.”
Once their venue called confirming that an indoor August event wasn’t going to be possible, Lauren and Vincent decided they wanted to do something small. “It was time to just get married and not be so discouraged by all the wedding planning,” she explains.
Since the bride was saving her wedding dress for 2021, she went with something more simple for the backyard event. For the ceremony, Lauren worked with a small, female, Black-owned company from Rwanda called Maison Munezero to design something chic and classy—it even had pockets! And for the reception, she chose a jumpsuit by Rime Arodaky. “I reached out to them and they were amazing enough to gift me one for a collaboration on our special day, and that is what I wore the rest of the night,” Lauren explains.
On September 19th, 2020, the bride got ready with her makeup artist and hair stylist to create her beauty look with a Jennifer Behr headband. To complete her look, she accessorized with pearl Chanel earrings and Loeffler Randall Camellia sandals. And Vincent put on the outfit Lauren had picked out for him from Zara.
The ceremony in the bride’s parents’ yard was better than Lauren ever expected. The couple walked down the aisle together to “Can’t Help Falling in Love”—saving the father-daughter promenade for the church wedding. And Vincent’s cousin created a beautiful flower arch to get married under and was also the officiant. “I never thought that was how my wedding would be, and after postponing so many times, I felt like I had some sort of trauma like it was just never going to happen, so it was nice that it finally DID. It was extremely meaningful and intimate,” Lauren says. “Truly, I am so thankful we were able to do this before our big wedding.”
After saying, “I do,” the couple walked out to “Love Me Like You Do,” and a mini cocktail hour commenced, followed by an al-fresco dinner, catered by Vincent’s best friend’s Italian restaurant, Joey D’s Pizza Brick. And music was supplied by Michael Veccia.
Looking back, Lauren feels relieved and amazed that it all fell into place. She’s also excited to put the finishing touches on her April 19th, 2021 wedding. “Everything happens for a reason, and I am truly thankful we were able to have a small ceremony and, now, our big one in April,” she says. “We can celebrate TWICE—[I] always want to look at the positives.”