We’re totally and completely in love with the beautiful backyard micro wedding of Brides Club member Sara, a social media coordinator at a jewelry company, and Ian, a special education middle school teacher.
These two had originally planned a 150-person wedding for October, but due to the pandemic they opted to postpone their big celebration to next year and proceed with a 20-person minimony held in Sara’s father’s backyard.
On a perfect, sunny autumn day, Sara and Ian gathered with their families – including their beloved grandparents – for an intimate outdoor celebration, complete with COVID safety precautions: everyone wearing masks, hand sanitizer everywhere, and each household assigned to their own space. They streamed the proceedings on Zoom so those on their original guest list who couldn’t be there in person could still take part in the day.
For the in-person guests, Sara and Ian provided individual boxed lunches – and, best of all, Sara’s aunt gifted the gluten-free bride a super chocolatey, super delicious gluten-free cake from one of her favorite places, Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor By The Way Bakery– known far and wide for the tastiest and most beautiful GF wedding cakes around.
We love all the DIY touches – Sara not only did her own hair and makeup, she also hand painted her denim wedding jacket with a moon, stars, hearts, and the words “Written in the Stars” to wear as a coverup – and you can just feel the joy exuding from each and every one of the photos by Tohid Rasel of Monolith Images Studio.
We’ll let the bride fill you in on the rest…
How we met
Sara, the bride: Ian and I started chatting on JSwipe in 2017 and we’ve talked everyday since. We had an immediate connection, went on a few dates, and just two weeks later we were exclusive.
Our 2020 wedding plans went from a big 150-person wedding to an intimate 20-person minimony. We were originally supposed to have a fancy affair at the end of October, but Ian and I postponed our big wedding to next year and decided to have a mini wedding at my dad’s house with just our immediate family in Yonkers, NY. We both knew my dad’s garden-like backyard would be a lovely and special place to get married. October 4th was a perfect fall day: sunny, breezy, and cool but not too cool, with the leaves already starting to change.
While we’re excited to celebrate with everyone next year, it was so special having just our immediate family there in person with us on October 4th. One of the most important things to us was to have our grandparents there to see us get married, so we did it safely with every precaution needed: everyone wearing masks, hand sanitizer everywhere, and each household had their own space.
Though the rest of our family and friends couldn’t be there in person, they were able to watch over Zoom. We set up an iPad and had microphones and a guitar amp so that we knew everyone there in person and virtually would be able to hear our ceremony.
What ‘Smashing The Glass Brides Club’ Did For Us
I loved being a part of the Brides Club! The Facebook group especially was so much fun and such a wonderful, kind, insightful community of people. I loved the tips and ideas on how to personalize our wedding I got from Brides Club and the people in the group.
Since it was a mini ceremony, there wasn’t a theme or style, but we still made it our own by adding white flowy fabric and pink and red fake flowers to our chuppah, choosing a beautiful ketubah that spoke to us, and making our ceremony special and personal to us.
Hair + Make-up
I did my own hair and makeup, and by doing my own hair I mean adding lots of leave-in conditioner so it didn’t get too frizzy and keeping my hair in its natural waves.
My vintage-inspired dress was purchased second hand on Poshmark because I loved it the moment I saw it. It was perfect for a backyard wedding. I’m considering wearing it again next year, but two weddings might require two dresses! Might as well, right? I paired it with a a beautiful floral hairpiece and velvety light blue heels, both from Amazon.
As a creative outlet during quarantine, I painted my own wedding jacket with a large moon, stars, hearts, and “Written in the Stars” to wear if it got chilly and for some fun photos.
The handsome groom
Ian wore the same colorful tallit and yarmulke that he wore to his bat mitzvah to our wedding. Now it’s been a part of all of his most important life events so far. He paired it with a blue suit and a blue and purple floral tie that made his blue eyes stand out.
My maid of honor Rachel was the only friend there that day since we were keeping the number of people at our wedding to under 20 people. Ian’s best man is both his friend and his younger brother Sean. Since we’re waiting for our big wedding next year to having our bridesmaids and groomsmen get their plum-colored dresses and black tuxedos, Rachel wore her own pretty floral dress to our mini wedding and Sean wore a black suit.
Our family friend Terri was already planning to be our officiant for our big wedding and she was thrilled to do it for our mini wedding. The three of us went over ceremony details a few weeks before the big day in order to make it our own. It was a short 20-minute ceremony, but it was packed with so many special moments: walking with my dad to an instrumental version of The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes The Sun’ circling each other, sipping from the wedding cup my aunt got for us, reading our heartfelt vows, and then sharing our first dance together right after the ceremony.
We danced to Ingrid Michaelson’s ‘The Way I Am’ since it reminds us of our relationship: sweet, fun, kind, and romantic. The whole ceremony was so memorable, but my favorite part was dancing with Ian at the end — it felt like the whole world melted away except for us.
Since Ian and I had our first kiss under the “stars” of Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and first said, “I love you” under the stars while sitting on a bench in Union Square Park, the night sky has always held meaning for us. We like to say our love was written in the stars, so of course we had to choose a ketubah with a watercolor night sky. Ruth Becker makes gorgeous ketubahs and we were so lucky she made our watercolor one before she transitioned to only doing laser cut paper ketubahs.
Our Music Choice
I walked up the steps with my dad to an instrumental version of The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun” because Ian and I both love The Beatles so much. It’s a band that has a special meaning to us. I especially love this song because it’s happy and upbeat and reminds me up the pet name Ian calls me: Sunstar. At the end of the ceremony, Ian and I danced to our song, which is Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am.”
I also made a Spotify playlist with our favorite romance songs to play in the background as we took family photos, cut the cake, cheered with mini bottles of bubbly pink moscato, and ate our individual boxed lunch catered from Così.
Since I’m a book nerd and Ian is a music lover, I knew we needed to incorporate books and music in a subtle way. I carried a bouquet made from book paper and sola wood in an array of purples and blues from My Dinosaur Dreams. Ian wore a boutonniere made of music paper from Bella Luna’s Flowers. We can use both for next year’s wedding and hold onto them for years to come.
Since one of my closest friends, whom I’ve known since 3rd grade, couldn’t be there in person and makes adorable tea infusers at Artemis Design Shop, Jackie made me a lovely charm with light blue beads and interlocking hearts to put on my bouquet so I could have her there with me as I walked down the aisle.
We have to shoutout our wedding photographer Tohid Rasel at Monolith Images Studio, who captured all of the special moments of our day in such captivating and warm photos that we’ll treasure forever. We found him through the app Thumbtack since it was a last minute decision to have a photographer there for two hours to capture this day for us. Ian and I saw his bright and colorful photos on the app and loved them, so we were so glad he was available on our day.
Food and Cake
My amazing aunt Donna surprised us with a wedding cake and a cute “Mr. & Mrs. Feldman” cake topper! Since I’m gluten-free, she got us a super chocolatey, super delicious gluten-free cake from one of my favorite places, By The Way Bakery. We kept a slice and put it in the freezer to have two weeks later and it was just as delicious. Since we wanted to feed our families, but keep things easy and safe, we got individual boxed lunch catered from Così with a chicken or veggie wrap, fruit, a bag of chips, and a brownie.
As a thank you to our family for coming to our wedding in the middle of a pandemic, we handed out a gift bag to everyone with COVID wedding essentials: a personalized mini bottle of hand sanitizer, a mini bottle of Prosecco, adorable (and delicious) personalized cookies from Annie’s Sweet Stuff, personalized M&Ms, and a cute cup that said “Sip Sip Hooray.” Everyone loved the little details and of course the treats since we all have a sweet tooth.
One of my favorite moments of the day was when Ian and I did our first look. It meant so much that we got a private moment to see each other before the ceremony and say how much we love each other.
The day before the wedding Ian and I put together our chuppah and made sure it looked perfect. Of course, the morning of our wedding we get to my dad’s house early in order to get ready and it’s fallen down. Ian told me not to worry and instead to get ready, so that he and my dad could fix it. I loved that they worked together to put it back together and when I saw it later you would never even know what had happened.
It was a perfect mini wedding: laid-back, romantic, and absolutely magical.
Unfortunately, we haven’t gone anywhere for our honeymoon yet. We want to take a long trip next summer, possibly to Colorado or California, but for now we’re thinking of having a staycation in our own city. We live in South Brooklyn, so we want to explore DUMBO and Williamburg, eat at some cool restaurants, and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge hand-in-hand.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Us 2020 brides haven’t exactly gotten the weddings we planned for and we’ve had to change plans at least once, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful, meaningful, and romantic wedding with the love of your life. It’s not about the perfect details you envisioned that you can’t have, the dancing you can’t do, or the people who can’t be there.
It’s about your love leading to this moment and the people who can be there to celebrate with you. It’s about making your wedding special no matter what. And focusing on our love and the special details and knowing that afterwards we would be husband and wife made planning our minimony a lot less stressful.
SARA & IAN’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Monolith Images Studio
Cake – By The Way Bakery
Venue – Sara’s dad’s backyard
Bride’s dress – Secondhand via Poshmark
Bride’s shoes – Amazon
Bride’s accessories – Amazon
Bouquet – My Dinosaur Dreams
Bouquet Charm – Artemis Design Shop
Boutonniere – Bella Luna’s Flowers
Catering – Così
Ketubah – Ruth Becker
Officiant – Terri Sperber
Personalized Cookies – Annie’s Sweet Stuff
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.