Love conquers all, even a pandemic! For our team, documenting this unique wedding was definitely the highlight of the year 2020! Even though the event had to be rescheduled due to COVID, everything worked out beautifully in the end.

We were well prepared to face any possible challenges of the day. A comprehensive time line, a detailed shot list, a list of local photo shoot locations that could comfortably accommodate the family’s social distancing requests, sanitized equipment and mandatory face masks made the experience safe and unique.

From the couple,

My husband and I like to joke that we met in a “cabin in the woods.”  Similar to the horror comedy film, we both were invited by friends to join them on a cabin trip. Unlike the movie, this trip had a better outcome. We went to the cabin to meet new friends, but we ended up leaving meeting our soulmate. After the trip, we chatted for months until we finally were able to meet in person again for another group outing, my birthday dinner. We were both hesitant at first to pursue dating, but those that were closest to us, my mother and his friends encouraged us to pursue. We would later look back being grateful for the nudge we both received as it ultimately led to us following in love and getting married.

Gabriel and I had to get creative when we first started dating. He was recovering from a knee injury, so he couldn’t walk too far. Luckily we lived in New York City, filled with options reachable by cabs. The two of us love to make memories, so our first dates involved picnics with memorable views. We then showcased our memories together into wedding centerpieces with hand-drawn illustrations by @misamisatoto.

Our first date was on the pier, as we admired the boats passing with the sunsetting in the background. Looking back, it must have been fate, because in the end we got married on a boat at sunset.

A sunset wedding was not in our original plans. But none of our original plans for our wedding remained the same. We definitely ran into some tough obstacles during our wedding planning, but nothing was as hard as coping with life when my Father passed. My father passed a few years into me and Gabriel’s relationship. It was a hard hit for us both emotionally, but after this I knew that together we could weather any storms in life. Later I would use his ties (handmade painted ties made by my mother and I) as a bouquet, so that he could still “walk me down the aisle” with my mother by my side.

Our original wedding date was going to be in May. When the pandemic hit in March, I was in Connecticut for the weekend visiting my mother and yiayia (grandma). My job went into mandatory work from home that week and I ended up staying in CT amidst the chaos. With NYC then quickly going into lockdown, me and Gabriel found ourselves having to reschedule a wedding while being apart. Being optimistic, we rescheduled our wedding date to August 8th, 2020.

We were apart for 4 months during the pandemic. We were only able to see each other in person again just two months before our new date. Back together again, we began attempting to plan our wedding. Despite our efforts, the majority of our planning happened within the week of our wedding.

With state regulations changing daily, we had to follow guidelines and be open to pivoting key details. Our location, time, and guest count were not confirmed until the day before our wedding. We worked closely with our venue, Aqua Azul Yacht, and respected how quickly they notified us of any COVID-19 policy changes. As soon as they found out anything, they would call or text us right away. However, we had to accept very unconventional wedding planning.

One of the biggest obstacles we faced was having to downsize from a 160 person guest-list to a 50 person micro-wedding within 48 hours of our wedding. This involved having to cringely call each person and essentially uninvite them. Explaining that due to NYC guidelines we were only having close family & bridal parties in attendance.

Due to the pandemic, we also lost our hotel block for guests. The first hotel choice remained closed and was not prepared to open the first week of August. Thankfully we were able to book with the AC Hotel Downtown Manhattan on such short notice. When we checked into our hotels the night before, we received a phone call from our vendor saying that we would need to set sail from New Jersey instead. If it couldn’t get any crazier, we now had to call all of the remaining 50 guests and tell them to meet us at the new location for our wedding.

Besides all of these obstacles, we also changed the time of our wedding from morning to evening, received our marriage license in CT for a minimony with my yiayia; NYC had no available virtual time slots to receive a license for 2020 and my yiayia could not attend the wedding since she was elderly and prone to COVID-19, re-considered our international honeymoon, spent hours on the phone to get our money back, and then booked locally, and then of course we had to plan with safety precautions in mind due to COVID-19, which included having all of our guests sign COVID-19 release forms within 24 hours of arriving and delivering them to us.