There shouldn't be a lockdown on love, even during a pandemic, right?
That is what Mark Van Name and Jen O’Leary of Long Island City thought when their fairytale wedding had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Buzzfeed reports that the couple, who got engaged approximately a year ago, had been planning their gala wedding when the country was put under a lockdown owing to the viral outbreak.
They had postponed their wedding to September, but were understandably sad they couldn't marry when they hoped they would.
However, earlier this month, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order allowing couples to obtain marriage license remotely and also permitted clerks to perform the weddings virtually. This is part of a project, titled Project Cupid, which has been launched by the city of New York.
NEW: I am issuing an Executive Order allowing New Yorkers to obtain a marriage license remotely and allowing clerks to perform ceremonies via video conference.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 18, 2020
And it was just the inspiration Mark and Jen needed. Within a week, they had sent out invites virtually and planned a wedding, quite different from the one they'd planned earlier, but beautiful and special nonetheless.
A member of the local council, Jimmy Van Bramer, agreed to marry them in person in his backyard. The dress code for the wedding, for friends who were joining in from around the country, was Zoom formal and pants were optional!
On the big day, the couple, dressed in their wedding attire, headed to Bramer's house where they were legally declared man and wife as neighbours cheered on. The couple also decided to ditch their masks for a few minutes as they kissed after the wedding.
Then, the newlyweds walked back home and repeated the ceremony in front of their friends and family who were only too glad to be a part of their happy day. Without a tripod or a stand to help stream the ceremony seamlessly, Mark and Jen stacked a few books on top of one another, placed a laptop over it and said 'I do' in front of their loved ones, who were as emotional as you probably are reading this.
With support from all around, the ceremony ceased to be just another Zoom wedding - there were flowers, champagne and relatives. Most importantly, there was love.
Van Bramer also shared a few photos from the wedding on Twitter:
Here are some photos of the wedding I just performed in my backyard! I teared up as I married Jennie O’Leary & Mark Van Name! So grateful I could officiate today as they scrambled to keep their wedding date even though the big party will have to come later! #LoveWins #QueensWins pic.twitter.com/n3quMKacsR— Jimmy Van Bramer (@JimmyVanBramer) April 25, 2020