THREE FACTS: (1) Jenna + Mat have known each other all their lives – they met when they were both one-year-old at a baby class! (2) Their relationship began at the University of Arizona in March 2012 (3) Mat proposed at Jenna’s parents house in December 2018
It’s so crazy to think that our wedding was supposed to be in 16 days (from the date I’m writing this post, 8/21/20). September 6, 2020 was supposed to be our wedding date. But we postponed at the end of May to June 13, 2021 due to being cautious with Covid (the dreaded C-word), and that we wouldn’t be able to have the wedding we dreamed of with all our friends and family there. For my fiancé and I, while we hate having to wait 9 extra months to get married, not having all of our friends and family at our ceremony especially (and the fact that dancing looked like it wouldn’t be able to happen) made us feel strongly that we wanted to postpone the wedding.
Now, I may seem like an outlier to most dealing with postponing their wedding in that I was not and am not sad to have done so. The sense of relief alone with all the stress of not knowing what things would be like in September was wonderful. At the time, I was still on furlough with no idea when I’d be back at work, and the pay cut being on unemployment was hard. Now that it is almost September, I’ve been back at work since the middle of June and we’ve even started back with virtual choir rehearsals for the choir at my synagogue.
Mat and I have gone on the NYC ferry to get out of our neighborhood, taken walks and explored areas we haven’t checked out yet, relaxed in the park, spoiled our cat, and binged many a TV show. I’ve also been baking up a storm, and we may be letting us treat ourselves to a little more ice cream that we usually do. I feel like things have been busy enough that I haven’t really had time to sulk about the wedding.
Right after we chose the new date and broke the news to our officiating rabbi, I made a realization about our new wedding date: the date 6/13 is like the 613 mitzvot, commandments, in the Torah. So, I just kind of began taking off with our new #mitzvahwedding as I’ve been calling it. Finding a silver lining in our new date has definitely helped me to embrace the situation and feel excited about what it will be. It feels like we were meant to have that date – we just didn’t know it at first. I’ve even had a little more time to take care of little details from afar with a lot of help from my mom, as Mat and I live in NYC, but our wedding is in our hometown, Tucson, AZ. She’s been like a wedding planner for me, as we don’t plan on hiring anyone.
I have the idea for our rehearsal dinner to use these plastic stand frames that you can place a photo in each side along with reusing the cute votives my aunt actually made for my cousin’s bar mitzvah with battery tea lights inside as the table centerpieces. The idea is to spray paint the white plastic frames metallic rose gold and pick photos of Mat and I growing up to place inside the frames.
I had ordered the stand frames for pickup from the store, she drove all the way down there to pick them up, and then had all ten frames perfectly spray painted that weekend. Just knowing we have the time to get things like this done now without rushing feels amazing. Plus, I now know I should just ask my mom to do all the crafty projects for me (I did always ask her to help cut out things for my poster boards in school – she’s the best at straight lines and curved corners).
I think another reason I’ve not been so focused on the original wedding date is that my fiancé’s birthday is September 3rd, three days before our original wedding date. I originally had planned that we’d either stay an extra day or two at the hotel or maybe drive up to Sedona for a little mini-moon for a few days. Plus some Topgolf on his birthday and a homemade birthday treat made by yours truly (must contain Oreo of some form – it’s a tradition I started with his first birthday cake on his first birthday while we were dating).
Now that those plans are obviously postponed as well (we still plan to do the mini-moon or staycation right after the wedding) and Mat planned the best birthday surprise for me (one of my best friends from college/sorority grand little/bridesmaid drove down from Boston to surprise me), I’ve been planning his birthday the past few weeks!
And it’s been good to think about planning something other than the wedding for a change. While I can’t divulge all of my plans, there are a few details I can share. Mat has been wanting to eat outside in Little Italy, ever since we first saw outdoor dining on the streets during the big festival, The Feast of San Gennaro. So I found a deal for a spot, checked the reviews that they have been doing proper outdoor dining, and scheduled that for dinner on his actual birthday (so we’ll both have to be good and stop work with time to hop on over from Brooklyn to Little Italy).
The next day being Friday and me being an avid challah baker, I have planned to make an extra special birthday challah: deli roll challah, marrying two Shabbat treats, deli roll (pastry dough brushed with deli mustard and filled with deli meats) and challah. Plus his birthday “cake” this year of a pizookie. If you don’t know what a pizookie is, it was created by BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, and it consists of a just undercooked cookie in a deep dish pizza pan topped with scoops of ice cream.
Mat’s request is a funfetti cookie base (which will be anything but simple) with Ben & Jerry’s Milk & Cookies ice cream, topped with Oreo crumbles and Mat’s other candy choice: butterfinger. The sugar coma will be 100% worth it! The following Saturday, we have plans to socially distant hang out at the local park with friends. All these plans for Mat’s birthday make me just want to veg out on the couch Sunday, which is totally ok by me, but maybe we’ll do brunch or something.
I know so many of brides and grooms that have had to postpone have gone through the sadness of their former wedding date. While I may not be focused on it, it does still hurt a bit that we won’t be in Tucson getting married – our aufruf would have been on 8/29. I still have concerns and worries. It’s 100% ok to admit that and that it all just sucks.
But, what I have found for myself is that I just didn’t feel the need to be sad about our original date. Everyone is processing their own feelings how the need to, and it’s ok to feel however one needs or wants to feel. For me, I am excited about our #mitzvahwedding and know we made the right choices for us. And right now, I plan to try to just enjoy the rest of summer as best I can – anyone up for a socially distant trip to the beach? (We actually did go the other weekend…despite all the sunscreen, we still returned pink, but happy from that sea salt air!)
8/28 edit: This extra time has been great! I just came up with a new and better idea for our wedding favors! I honestly don’t know if I would have thought of this idea if the wedding had been in 9 days. And it includes food, like all I’ve been doing all summer!
Click here to read all Jenna’s planning posts to date.
Jenna & Mat’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:
Photography – Shelley Welander of She.We Studios
Videography – Tad of TS Cinema
Wedding venue – The Lodge at Ventana Canyon
Cake: Ambrosia Cakes
Hair: Sharon Walton (family friend & hairdresser)
Makeup: Amanda Nolan (freelance)
DJ: Fantastic Five Entertainment
Rabbi: Rabbi Billy Lewkowicz
Invitations: purchased, but not yet completed from Minted
Dress: Grace Loves Lace
Suits: The Black Tux
Florist: SavOn Flowers (not yet booked officially)
Ketubah: Susie Lubell on Etsy (shop name: SusieLubell)
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