We got engaged in Amsterdam in December 2019. Mat’s band was on tour there, so I flew out so we could spend some time together in the city. He’d arrived before me and scouted out a few potential proposal spots. One night while walking to dinner we passed over a little bridge on one of the canals. For a moment, we had the whole place to ourselves. He dropped to one knee and caught me totally off guard.
We were living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at the time, and Mat went to Catbird, one of our favourite neighbourhood jewellery stores. They feature local, female designers whose pieces are handmade in the city using ethically sourced materials. He chose a beautiful ring by Satomi Kawakita – it’s really elegant.
The Original Plan
Our original wedding was planned for 18th September, 2020. It was going to be at St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club in Williamsburg – one of our favorite spots, with a fun, warm and non-conventional atmosphere. We loved the idea of being able to walk to our wedding – plus, it would have been a great place to take both of our families who were flying in from Massachusetts and California.
We’d always wanted to have more of a party than a traditional wedding, so we were planning on roughly 100 guests and skipping the big formal dinner, reception and speeches. The venue also had a small stage for a quick ceremony. One of my sisters was going to officiate, and we were going to have a couple of Mat’s friends play live and DJ the rest ourselves. We had planned for a standing reception with mezze platters and tropical drinks. Afterwards, we were all going to go for pizza and dancing.
When Covid first hit, we were hesitant to change or cancel anything, since we weren’t sure how things were going to turn out. The timing was such that we’d only set the date and put a deposit down on the venue, so luckily we had a bit of breathing space. Once it became clear it couldn’t happen, we let everyone know and started planning our next move. The more we thought about it, we realised the whole point was simply getting married. Craving some stability during all the uncertainty made it easier to let go of some of the plans we’d made. So, we started from scratch and planned a micro wedding in a month.
The Micro Wedding
Having worked as an events director, I stepped in to be our wedding planner. Once we decided to go down the micro route, it was easier to keep everything very simple. We rented an Airbnb in San Francisco, hired a driver and his antique car (a yellow ‘74 Cadillac Eldorado convertible) for the day, and had a close friend take photos. It was fun and empowering to take charge of things. We ended up getting married on the 20th August 2020.
We had two laptops set up – one for the San Francisco County clerk and his witness, and another for our families. It was quite stressful making sure all the connections were working properly as we waited for our appointment. Thankfully, it all worked out perfectly.
We rented a beautiful house in San Francisco’s Potrero Heights neighborhood and set up for the actual ceremony in front of a sunny bay window. The city has always been a special place for us – it’s where we first met and had some of our first dates. At the time of the wedding, we had no idea we’d eventually move back – now we have, we couldn’t be happier.
Once the ceremony was over, we didn’t have a proper reception. Instead, we spent the rest of the day cruising around in the Cadillac, drinking natural wine, walking along Ocean Beach, taking pictures and just generally having fun together. We ended up at a spot called Verjus for some more wine and food in the late afternoon, walked around North Beach (where we had our first date) and then ate seafood towers at Foreign Cinema in the evening (it has the best patio area).
I’d started looking for my dress after we got engaged. I wanted something elegant but unconventional and fell in love with the brand Kamperett. Their showroom in California is minimal and modern, and the dresses are all ethically made. I picked out a silk organza wrap dress with full, elbow-length sleeves. It wasn’t certain it would be ready in time, so I ordered another as a backup. The day before the wedding my dress arrived at the shop – it was fate. Mat wore a classic black shawl-collar tuxedo from J. Crew, paired with a simple white shirt and black loafers.
The Wedding Party
Sadly we couldn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen, but we were lucky enough to have a very special flower boy – our dog, Kevin. He mainly stayed on the sofa but we joked that his bespoke flower necklace accounted for almost half of the entire budget.
I wore simple diamond earrings that Mat’s mom had bought me. I love them so much and wear them every day. My shoes were from Shop-Peche, a small Brooklyn company – white and strappy, they were so comfortable. Mat’s wedding band was given to him by his mother. It’s been in her family for a few generations – it’s an heirloom he didn’t even know existed.
The Make-Up & Hair
Since we were limiting any unnecessary contact with other people, I did my hair and make-up myself. I’m usually terrible at it, but it ended up looking pretty good – I definitely went for more of a natural look.
Our photographer was a friend, Connor Bruce. He’s an amazing photographer but had never worked on a wedding before. We just wanted someone who had a great eye and was easy to be around. It really felt like we were doing our own thing and he captured those moments perfectly.
My flowers were from Flora & Flour, a Bay Area design studio run by florist Kimmy Le. I was on Instagram one day, looking for bouquet inspiration, and stumbled across her page. I sent her a few ideas and colours like dark pink, green and yellow. They were delivered on our wedding morning, and it was the easiest and most-stress free detail of the day. I absolutely loved them.
The Day Before/After The Wedding
After the wedding we spent a few more days in San Francisco before heading up to Calistoga for a mini-moon.
Advice For Other Couples
The most important thing is to remember to focus on yourselves. The day is supposed to be about your commitment to each other – not seating arrangements and cake budgets. At first, the idea that our wedding might be compromised was crushing, but once those concerns fell away, we were able to put together the perfect day. After all the uncertainty and darkness of the past year, it felt like we’d taken some control back. The circumstances brought us even closer and made everything more meaningful, too.