We are consistently so, SO impressed with the gorgeous Jewish micro weddings flooding our inbox these days. We know not too many 2020 couples planned on getting married in a backyard with a guest count that, in some cases, barely climbs above the single digits – and yet you’re all totally rocking it.
Take Rebecca, a consultant, and Yosef, a third-year law student. These two had originally planned a big wedding near the bride’s home of Potomac, Maryland, but when the pandemic struck they had to go back to the drawing board to come up with a COVID-safe outdoor affair for 25.
The couple, who live in the New York area, found the perfect solution in a Connecticut Airbnb that happened to have not only a stunning backyard, where the festivities were held, but also super considerate owners who went above and beyond to make Rebecca and Yosef feel at home on their big day.
Rebecca’s dad, who happens to be a rabbi, not only married the couple but also built their chuppah, Rebecca did her own makeup and found the perfect simple white dress to wear in lieu of her gown – which she’s planning on saving for the bigger celebration she and Yosef hope to have when it’s safe to do so – and Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor C. Schvarcz photographed the day SO beautifully. Initially, Rebecca and Yosef were considering skipping pro photography altogether, given the tight limit on the number of people who could be present, but now, looking back, they are unreservedly delighted that they opted to work with Chaim. In Rebecca’s words, “Having the photos to look back on feels like the only sense of normalcy from the entire event.”
Relatedly, we love Rebecca’s advice that, even though a micro wedding will likely feel very different than the wedding you had originally hoped for, it’s still absolutely worth treating it like the real thing! Whether or not you plan to have a big celebration later on, don’t skimp on the touches that will make your small wedding special – whether that’s hiring an amazing photographer like C. Schvarcz, wearing something that makes you feel amazing, having an epic cake, or anything else.
Now over to the bride…
How we Met
Rebecca, the bride: We met 3 years ago at a Simchat Torah party, we actually lived a block away from each other so he offered to walk me home, and then we ended up seeing each other a lot after that and naturally drew closer to each other.
Change of Plans
We were planning on getting married in Baltimore MD (I grew up in Potomac MD) at the American Visionary Arts Museum (a complete dream!) but because of covid we needed to act fast and find an alternate solution. Yosef and I live in the NY area and his parents do as well, so it was easier to have something in the NY area if it was just going to be our immediate family.
We ended up renting an Airbnb in CT with a stunning backyard. The Airbnb that we rented from was truly a dream! The couple ordered us flowers and left us the sweetest card. They really went above and beyond to make us feel special and at home! Was such a lucky find!
The day before our wedding the rule changed that you can have up to 25 people gathering together – so we were luckily able to invite our siblings and their spouses as well!
For the covid wedding, all I cared about was that it felt special in some way. Its hard to know what will happen in our futures and when we will be able to actually celebrate, so I told myself I wanted this wedding to feel like a real wedding just in case this is it!
We had beautiful elegant flowers, and the backyard was stunning on its own – that it really felt like a dream.
My very close friend Liora Cher designed them – but they never got sent out ☹
Hair + Makeup
I did my own makeup! Watched a few youtube videos, went to Target (only store open at the time that sold a variety of products) and practiced! I think I did a good job!
Yosef’s sister got married in December and we all got our hair done by this amazing woman named Amina Montoya. She did a great job and I felt comfortable using her again so she came to the house and we were all wearing masks and she did our hair – was so thankful that she came!
I decided not to wear my original dress – felt that it would be a bit out of place, but I am excited to eventually wear it!
During the initial months of the pandemic supply chains were slow, there wasn’t much new inventory coming out …. So I really struggled to find something I must say. After weeks of looking I found my dress on Shop Bop and was IN LOVE it came out perfectly and luckily did not need any alterations,,… don’t know how I would have done that during these times!
I wore earrings that my aunt bought me!
The handsome groom
Yosef wore a navy suite! Was very fitting with the vibe of the day
My sisters were all there! But no, I did not make anyone wear anything particular. I guess I’ll save that for the big day
My dad is a rabbi and he married us, was really special! He built the chuppah in the morning and decorated it himself, jack of many trades!
Well, our ketubah has Baltimore MD on it! So last minute my dad just printed one offline that we will hang up next to the pretty one that we had made for us.
We had to build it ourselves so I tried for something that was easy and pretty
Our music choice
We couldn’t have a band so I just asked friends to send me songs that they enjoyed at their weddings and I made a playlist on my phone and my sister DJed.
Chaim Schvarcz was our photographer – given the constraint we had on the number of people that could attend + the nature of the times we are living in, we went back and forth on whether or not to even have a photographer. From the bottom of my heart, I cannot imagine what this day would have been like without Chaim. Having the photos to look back on feels like the only sense of normalcy from the entire event.
Having so much change, and having so many typical wedding elements out of our control, it was so nice to be able to have a photographer at the wedding to capture the pure beauty of the event. Chaim was truly a pleasure to work with. He is fun and makes you feel comfortable from the beginning! And the photos were simply amazing!
Food and cake
This was a tough one… we didn’t know how people would feel sitting next to others, so we wanted to make it as fluid as possible (sit where and when you want to!) So, we decided to have it be all small bites to fit with the fluid nature. Maadan is a local caterer in NJ who we have a strong relationship with, we called him 2 weeks before the wedding and he put together a great menu that fit perfectly with the day!
Just the recorded music, we didn’t do much dancing as we tried to social distance
We were going to Bali! But had to postpone that. We are now going to go to Yellowstone and Jackson Hole for a mini moon!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Advice is – during these covid times, try to make your mini wedding (ceremony with just family + some friends) feel as special as possible. When we were first planning, the mindset was this was just to get married, but the event that we pushed out will be the real thing. And I am still hoping that that is the case! But really, who knows when life will be “normal” again.
So I said to myself, if this is it, I don’t want to look back and regret not making it the best version that it could possibly be. And I don’t think that means you HAVE to have the same level of fanciness that you were expecting for the real event, but more making sure that the guests treat it as a special day, you wear something special and do your hair and makeup more than the norm, just to signal to yourself – this is my wedding!
REBECCA & YOSEF’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
If you’re a Jewish or Jew-ish bride-to-be, you’ll want to join Smashing The Glass’ Brides Club. Guided by the world’s number 1 Jewish wedding expert, Karen Cinnamon, Brides Club is the private community for Jewish and Jew-ish brides that removes wedstress and indecision and gives you what you need to plan with confidence during these uncertain times. Join our Brides Club here.