The big, white wedding was so 2019.
In the age of COVID-19, outsize formal affairs have suddenly morphed into quickie ceremonies done on the fly and on a need-to-know basis. But with New York City’s Marriage Bureau closed until further notice, betrothed couples are coming up with creative ways to tie the knot, whether it’s taking off from work to marry at the beach or hitting up City Hall in another state.
“We attempted to apply for a marriage license online through the NYC Marriage Bureau, but the next available booking for a virtual meeting was in September,” 32-year-old fashion publicist Edeana Mombrun told The Post.
And so she and fiancé Fitz Blaku, a 33-year-old software engineer, contacted a town clerk’s office upstate to circumvent the protracted process.
With a family friend officiating, the pair got married on June 25 in Battery Park in front of just five guests — instead of the 200 they initially planned to have.
“I think it made it a little more special and unique and memorable, because of all the challenges with City Hall [and] the pandemic,” Mombrun said.
Similarly, Laura Valencia’s last-minute wedding had just three guests: the justice of the peace and her parents, with Dad doubling as the event’s photographer.
Valencia, 29, and her fiancé, Colin Malcolm, 30, got hitched in a barefoot-on-the-beach Westport, Connecticut, ceremony held on a Tuesday morning in late July.
“The day was just so perfect — it was intimate and just for us,” she said. But the couple still wanted to share the surprise with friends: They set up an iPhone on a tripod and streamed the event on Facebook Live, a fitting way to broadcast the big day for the bride, who works as a video editor.
“We really just wanted to be married,” said Valencia, who wore a $238 white dress from Revolve and carried a $79 “minimalist” bouquet that she ordered online. “We said, ‘Let’s just do it. Why wait?’ ”
Laura Valencia and Colin Malcolm took their nuptials to a beach in Connecticut.Hernan ValenciaThat was the reasoning behind David Seth Cohen’s quickie marriage.
“We didn’t want to wait two years,” said Cohen, a 44-year-old filmmaker who lives in Turtle Bay and recently wed his girlfriend, Hilary Korman Cohen, 37, after popping the question in June.
While visiting Florida’s Delray Beach, the pair tied the knot at the local courthouse while wearing matching high-tops and T-shirts bought on Amazon.
While the fluorescent walls and temperature checks weren’t exactly what the bride had envisioned for her big day, Hilary didn’t regret a thing.
“It feels great,” she said. “I left New York a girlfriend and I came back a wife.”
Hilary Korman Cohen and David Seth Cohen got engaged not long ago — in June.Jana Rae SchwalbOthers have relied on help from friends and family to pull off their last-minute nuptials.
Michael Braun, 37, and new husband, Corey Gingue, 39, had originally planned a lavish wedding in a French Champagne vineyard — then pivoted to a winery in Brooklyn in a matter of weeks.
Several of their family members even toted along shears to help the couple do some onsite flower arranging just before the July 18 ceremony at the Red Hook Winery. (The pair picked up last-minute blooms at Chelsea’s Flower District and vases from World Market and Target.)
“We all, collectively, put together a wedding,” Braun said. “And you know what? I was fine with it.”
“The day was just so perfect — it was intimate and just for us.”
For one couple, the challenging circumstances gave them the push that they needed.
Charlene Almeida, 30, and Xavier Lopez, 32, are high school sweethearts who started dating as teens in their native Puerto Rico. Even though the couple, who moved to New York together in 2011, had been engaged for five years, no plans for a wedding ever coalesced.
But with recent crises, including the pandemic, affecting their families, the couple finally sprang into action.
“Xavier and I were joking about the idea of getting married in the middle of the pandemic. A week after, Xavier sent me an article about Gov. Cuomo issuing an executive order allowing New Yorkers to get a marriage license remotely. I quickly responded, ‘That’s it, let’s do it!’ ” she said. “All of a sudden, it all made sense. We ordered our wedding rings and started researching right away.”
The bride ordered a smart cream pantsuit for the June 27 ceremony held inside the couple’s Brooklyn apartment, which was transformed into a floral wonderland.
Lopez’s best friend officiated, while a photographer the couple had hired filmed the event for Zoom, with guests participating remotely using digital green screens. The couple’s rescue dog, Sabio, looked on.
“I’m beyond happy,” said Almeida, a digital artist. “We have beautiful memories, and we’re finally official.”
Among the witnesses for wedding of Charlene Almeida and Xavier Lopez was their dog, Sabio.Eddie Winter of Readyluck
The big, white wedding was so 2019.