Photography by Heather Bohm-Tallman Photography
the COVID-19 pandemic derailed Annie and Colin's wedding plans, our bride and groom opted for an intimate ceremony with their closest family and friends right in their parents' backyard. We recently caught up with Annie to hear about her planning experience.
Where did you originally plan to hold your wedding?
We planned on having it at The Mansion of Saratoga. We found it after visiting several venues and talking with friends about where they got married. It was reasonably priced, beautiful, and the chef had an incredible reputation.
How were your wedding plans altered by COVID-19 and the restrictions in place?
We ultimately had to cancel our venue because each week brought a new restriction. We had originally planned on 150 guests and cut it down to 130 after being in contact with the venue, who at the time, believed they would fall under the 50% capacity rule but felt more comfortable at 40%. A few weeks later, we had to adhere to the 50 person gathering rule. Within another week, it became no dancing, wearing masks down the aisle and while standing, to really no standing at all.
After a lot of discussion, we decided that we'd cancel the venue (they very generously returned our deposit), but to still have the wedding at my parents' house, which they suggested. My cousin and Maid of Honor called a few places for catering, but couldn't find anyone who would cook the food on-site. We would have to pick it up and place it on a table under the tent that day. One friend suggested Mazzone, and I emailed and then talked to Amy and was finally able to get excited again that this might actually happen.
What made you ultimately decide to have a more intimate affair?
We decided early on that we didn't want to postpone because who knows what the future will hold in regards to COVID-19. It's likely to continue for another year or more. We considered having a small ceremony now and a party/reception later, but in truth, we didn't want to get married and then later on "get married" again. We had our hearts set on getting married on the date we had originally picked when we got engaged, and we decided we'd go ahead with it whatever that meant.
Did you do anything creative to make your wedding day special while keeping guests safe?
My husband and I wore custom Bride and Groom masks and we placed hand sanitizer and soap in the bathrooms, but we didn't do anything different with our guests because we didn't want the slant of the day to be about COVID.
What advice would you give to other couples getting married this year?
I would say to other brides, just go for it. In the end, Colin and I agreed that even though it wasn't what we had planned or anticipated it would be, it was actually perfect. I can't say enough about Mazzone. Amy, and then especially Lindsay, made the event the success that it was. Lindsay was on top of every single detail, running everything so smoothly and remembering things I had forgotten. She noticed a sign in the basement and asked if it should be out somewhere. She even held the train of my dress before we got to the aisle. I didn't know that until I saw the video afterwards. She is a gem and we felt so lucky to have her there, calmly taking care of timing, guests, food, coordinating with our sound guy, Steve (we canceled our DJ), photographer and videographer.
Our guests also raved about the food. If you can't dance or really walk around, the food better be good we thought, and it was excellent. An entire working kitchen sprang up in my parents' garage! Each member of the staff was happy, kind, and accommodating. In short, my advice would be to go ahead with a smaller wedding, and have Mazzone cater it.
What was your favorite part of your wedding?
It was a whirlwind, but my favorite part of the wedding was looking around the tent at our friends and family and having it sink in that we were married. We did it! All of that disappointment and fear and anxiety was over and it had worked out perfectly.