Photo by Felix Feygin/Fred Marcus Studio
From spur-of-the-moment ceremonies to firework-fueled fetes, these small Westchester and upstate weddings were big on style.
As the saying goes, big things come in small packages. While many couples postponed their nuptials in light of the pandemic, others reimagined their dream day into a micro-wedding to adhere to New York’s safety guidelines. But just because weddings were smaller in 2020 doesn’t mean they were any less special. Here, six couples share how they executed their grand ideas with a smaller guest list.
Alexa Persico & Frank Cipolla
As a makeup artist with an eponymous cosmetics line, Alexa Persico has a knack for finding the beauty in life’s biggest (and smallest) moments. Despite shifting gears due to the pandemic — she pushed back the wedding two months and traded in a 10-piece band for DJ/singer Josh Greyson from Hank Lane — her wedding to Frank Cipolla was a fete to remember.
The festivities took place over Labor Day weekend at the Westchester Country Club in Rye. At sunset, Alexa and Frank stood in front of 50 guests and swapped vows at the club’s outdoor theater.
“It was pretty much all close family, which made the day even more special,” Persico explains.
Cocktail hour began promptly after the ceremony, followed by the reception. Brooklyn’s Konstantinos Floral Design transformed the venue into a botanical paradise, complete with lush, white, flower arrangements descending from the ceiling. While dancing was limited in order to promote the safety of their guests, the bride and groom were able to have their first dance and share a special moment with their parents.
Despite the restrictions, Persico wouldn’t change a thing. “The entire day was so relaxed; it truly was everything I ever wanted, and it felt like that day was meant to be,” she shares.
Rounding out the festivities was a surprise fireworks show that Cipolla arranged for Persico. “It was the perfect ending to a perfect day,” the bride says.
Jacqueline Vazquez, Lifetime Events by Jacqueline
Fred Marcus Studio Videographer
Shutter & Sound
Amanda Rivera/ DryLuxe Beauty Bar
Alexa Persico Cosmetics
Konstantino’s Floral Decorators
Josh Greyson, Hank Lane Music
LNJ Tech Services/Weddings
Westchester Country Club
Lauren B Jewelry
Jennifer D’Ambrosio & Randy Shull
Jennifer D’Ambrosio and Randy Shull kept the celebratory spirit alive all weekend long at Emerald’s Farm in Katonah. The couple checked into the farmhouse on Friday night and woke up bright and early to transform the spacious backyard into an idyllic venue. Colorful arrangements from Armonk’s Joseph Richard Florals brightened up the space, while a party tent, linens, and rustic wooden arch from Party Line Rentals in Elmsford complemented the farmhouse’s rustic aesthetic.
Since Emerald’s Farm was the site of the ceremony, reception, and lodging, the festivities had a relaxed feel. Once Shull’s dad, who is a minister, married the happy couple, the intimate crowd enjoyed a long, laid-back reception.
“We had the place for the entire weekend, so there was no specific end time, which was nice,” D’Ambrosio says.
The couple started planning their nuptials long before the pandemic hit New York. Fortunately, the couple didn’t have to stray too far away from their original plans: The only big difference was the guest list. While the bride and groom initially invited 70 people, they whittled their list down to 21 and streamed the ceremony for the rest of their guests on Zoom.
“Life is too short, so we decided to move forward,” D’Ambrosio says. “We wish we could have had the rest of our family and friends with us in person, but it was still beautiful.”
Party Line Rentals
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Hal Prince Music & Entertainment
Joseph Richard Florals
Photography & Videography
Adam Ramirez, Enormous Creative
Caitlin & James Duggan
Caitlin Duggan and husband, James, always wanted to get married on the 10th anniversary of their relationship, June 16, 2020. However, the couple decided to hold off on throwing a big party until she received her master’s degree the following year. Though they didn’t have a set plan, Caitlin slowly started putting the pieces together — and picked up her wedding dress a few weeks before New York issued its shelter-in-place order.
“I spent the months of March, April, and May looking at [the dress] every time I opened my closet, wondering if I would get a chance to wear it,” she shares.
Caitlin’s husband underwent surgery in early June, but a streak of good luck put their wedding plans back on track. “On June 12, my husband was in dramatically better shape, and we had picked up a marriage license right before his surgery from the City of Yonkers. I turned to him on the couch and said, ‘Should we get married on Tuesday?’ I then got to work on planning the entire wedding in 48 hours.”
The couple got married at their reverend’s home and restricted the guest list to photographer Riley McCarthy and Caitlin’s sister as their witness. After taking photos at Hart Brook’s Nature Preserve, the happy couple hosted a 10-person outdoor lunch at L’inizio in Ardsley.
“This was not the June wedding we had planned for, but it was a beautiful, intimate celebration we will never forget,” she says.
Santa Fe Flower Shop
Cosmic Cosmo by Lissa
Michelle & Robert DiRoma Jr.
Michelle and Robert DiRoma Jr. initially planned a traditional, 100-person wedding at Vittoria’Z on the Lake in Jefferson Valley. Although she was tempted to postpone her nuptials in light of the pandemic, Michelle warmed up to having a micro-wedding three weeks before the original date. As the couple shifted their plans to adhere to the state’s safety guidelines — and cut their guest list in half — they leaned on their community to create a special day. Friends and family members took on different jobs to make sure the celebration ran as smoothly as possible: A florist friend spearheaded decorations, Michelle’s cousin baked a wedding cake and cookies, and her bridal party doubled as the glam squad. Michelle even drove down to DC to pick up her best friend who got ordained for the occasion.
“I was really able to make the ceremony reflect us personally, since we worked on it together,” Michelle says.
Set at a friend’s property in Greenwich, the day was a perfect representation of the couple. The ceremony began with a meditation moment, her late mother’s wind chime singing in the background. As guests dined on an eclectic mix of Italian and Peruvian food, Robert’s best man performed a song he wrote with his daughter. The night ended with a sparkler send-off and bonfire, complete with an acoustic performance from a friend.
“This day we planned in the backyard seemed perfect, and I never would have pictured my perfect wedding to happen in a backyard,” Michelle says. “No pressure, no stress, simply perfect.”
Bow & Rose
Kara Delfino, Beauty Alchemy
Le Salon Bleu
Latusion Food Truck, Frank’s Pizza
Sarah Churchill Photography
Maureen Cannon & Kevin True
Shortly after New Yorkʼs shelter-in-place order went into effect, Maureen Cannon and Kevin True pushed back their May 9 nuptials to October 30. However, as the state began to introduce a reopening plan, the couple decided to switch gears again and have a summer wedding. Planning a wedding in three weeks’ time sounds like a tall order, but New York City–based event planner Tzo Ai Ang worked hard to ensure the new wedding stayed true to the couple’s vision.
“Tzo Ai reached out to all our vendors to see if they were available but, more importantly, that they felt safe and comfortable,” Cannon says.
While Maureen and Kevin had to change their venue and several vendors, the wedding stuck close to their original plans. The festivities began with a ceremony at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Wyckoff, NJ, led by a family friend. From there, the couple’s 40 guests headed to Valley Rock Inn in Sloatsburg for an intimate reception. The venue was in full bloom, thanks to arrangements from Poppies & Posies in New York City and a flower-adorned cake from Brooklyn studio Nine Cakes.
For the bride, it was those small, intimate moments that made the day extra special. “We drove ourselves from the church to the reception,” she shares. “Not what I would have pictured, but I loved it. It was relaxed; we listened to our music and could really just be ourselves rather than get chauffeured.”
She also had a similar moment with her dad, who drove her to the ceremony. “It was so special and to hear him say how happy he was that I was marrying Kevin — even though I knew it already,” she adds.
Tzo Ai Ang, Ang Weddings
Blaire Reinhard Band
Poppies & Posies
Sara Wight Photography
Kiss the Bride Films
Valley Rock Inn
Face Time Beauty
Styles on B
Sarah & Nico Theofanidis
For Sarah and Nico Theofanidis, family was at the heart of their special day. Though the couple was scheduled to wed at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, they shifted gears and held an outdoor ceremony at Sarah’s family home in Pelham. An intimate party of 12, the festivities kicked off with a short cocktail hour, where guests could enjoy childhood photos of the couple.
Once the drinks were poured, guests were asked to migrate to the backyard and take a seat for the ceremony. Poppies & Posies, a New York City–based floral company, created an altar with an array of full, colorful bouquets. Nico’s brother, Lambros, officiated the wedding, while each of the couple’s sisters recited a reading for the occasion. After, the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed an intimate dinner alfresco, complete with verdant linens and etched glassware from Party Rentals, Ltd.
However, the party didn’t really start until after dinner, when Nico serenaded Sarah with a rendition of “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific. The festivities ended with a family-wide dance party, which was a clear highlight of the night.
“We had so much fun on the ‘dance floor,’ which was my parents’ living room,” Sarah says. Nico agrees: “I loved dancing together as a family.”
Tory Williams Photography
Mike Zhu Films
Party Rentals Ltd.
Mrs. Morgan’s Flower Shop
Poppies & Posies
Lulu Cake Boutique