620 Loft & Garden; William Vale Hotel, Manhattan, New York

This New York wedding was originally planned as a wine country wedding in Calistoga, CA, in May. After making the hard decision to postpone, then cancel, their wedding at the beginning of the pandemic shutdown, Jennifer and Michal’s plans took on many different forms. There was a lot to consider: keeping older relatives safe; having a small guest count to decrease the chance of spreading the virus, and then navigating New York’s travel ban and 2-week quarantine mandate, as their photographers (us) were coming from South Carolina, one of the no-no states for New York. 

Its final incarnation was a rooftop wedding ceremony in November at 620 Loft & Garden in Manhattan, with a tented reception outdoors at the William Vale Hotel in Brooklyn. 

We have grown to love these two over the past year. They spent a few days in Charleston before the pandemic, for engagement photos in downtown Charleston. And we had been in constant contact while their wedding plans changed, and then changed again. I think we all breathed a huge sigh of happiness and relief to witness these two finally say their vows. There were many happy tears all day as the impact of the day truly set in. Jenn was utterly stunning, and emotional, and oh so happy. Michal was like a little kid on Christmas – wide-eyed with wonder at his good fortune. 

Jenn and Michal’s family and friends seemed to cherish this day where they could celebrate two people they care so deeply about, in a year that has been so hard on everyone. They shared a great meal together, toasted the bride and groom, and watched as the cake was cut. But of course, the wedding finished in true 2020 style. Toward the end of the reception, a crazy windstorm passed through that threatened to bring the tent down. Guests ran to the tables to hold down centerpieces and keep wine glasses from being blown away. Then we all agreed it was best to just end this thing and get out of there while we were still ahead. 

It may not have been the wedding they originally dreamed of, and they may have been missing some important guests who otherwise would have been there, but there was love, excitement, beauty and joy just the same.  And Jenn and Michal married in the city they call home, which, when they look back at this day years from now, will feel way more sentimental and important than a destination wedding across the country. 

Authored by: Photographed by: Ben & ErinCategory:  WeddingsDestination:  Manhattan, New YorkSetting:  Rooftop WeddingVenue:  620 Loft & Garden; William Vale Hotel