The Lockdown Wedding of JULIE SAMUELS and BEN SCHLANG

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Here is a conversation with Julie, the lockdown bride, who along with her partner Ben have already carved a niche by having a lockdown wedding!

What would be an ideal lockdown wedding according to you?
Well, not having a lockdown wedding! And if I had to, one where I could still have all of my guests present.

Do you feel lockdown has narrowed down redundant expenses on big fat weddings?
Well, of course. We barely spent any money for our quarantine wedding.

Please tell us about your wedding plan (during COVID 19)?
It was just me, Ben and my parents. We included close family and friends on Zoom. We had our Rabbi on the TV. It was all about the love and living in the moment

What was your wedding celebration like?
Since we got married during the height of the epidemic on April 18, we did not invite anyone to be there in person except for my parents, who we were living with at the time. We had our photographer wear a mask and stay 6 feet away.

How can one make their celebration intimate yet memorable given the current circumstances?
Focus on the love and the significance instead of all of the things (flowers, clothing, etc).

Now that the summer wedding events have been postponed, what are the alternate dates available for the wedding celebrations? Are venues’ still available in November and December, considering these are busy wedding months?
Depending on your venue, it will vary. Some are very booked up and some might have some availability. Would likely need to reach out and find out directly!

With your own experience, please share how can brides keep their outfits ‘up-to-date’ with weddings getting postponed?
Hopefully your wedding dress makes you feel happy and brings you joy and is “timeless” in your eyes, so postponing in a year or so wouldn’t make much of a difference!

Many weddings have been postponed to winter months (later part of the year); would the brides need to change jewellery to follow the season’s trend?
It depends on what jewellery they were planning to wear. Again, if it was timeless and not trendy or seasonal, then maybe not!

What do you miss the most about pre-lockdown life, personally and professionally?
Being with the people I love – the ability to hug, kiss and celebrate in person.

Take us through your journey of actual wedding date and how you decided to have a Zoom wedding?
We got engaged on 12/31/2018 and were planning to have a large wedding in Brooklyn on 4/18/2020. On 3/16/2020 we decided to postpone the wedding to 9/6/2020. We have a backup date on hold in late 2021 – we are not optimistic about 9/6/2020 happening. We thought we wanted to still get legally married on 4/18 so we got our marriage license in March, while we still could. We went back and forth about doing it. Since Ben’s family is in Florida, we weren’t sure if we wanted to do it without them. As the pandemic continued and we became more and more uncertain about actually being able to have our large wedding in September, we decided to get married on 4/18. We made that decision just a few days prior, Wednesday, 4/15. We knew we had to do it virtual because we wanted Ben’s parents to be involved.

So how were guests invited to your Zoom wedding? Did you make personal calls?
We decided to invite close family and our bridal party to the live wedding, but we sent a video and pictures out to all of our invited wedding guests the next day. We sent emails!

How was your experience of having a virtual wedding?
I am so glad we did it. It turned a potentially very disappointing day into something I will never forget. Our friends and family were so supportive and made us feel really loved and appreciated. To be honest, however, it was very hard to focus during the ceremony! I had so many thoughts running through my head – I was worried about everyone being able to hear us, hear the rabbi, see us, see the rabbi, etc. In addition, although it is incredibly special and wonderful, it was a little anticlimactic! Usually, you follow a ceremony with a big celebration with tons of friends and family, but we only had my parents physically with us.

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