Getting married during a global pandemic was such a sobering experience and one I will never forget. It took an army of friends, family and professionals to get us down the aisle. There was so much red tape to go through before our wedding ceremony in France, which was made even harder because of COVID-19 related changes to the way couples could get married. Due to the residency restrictions and administrative formalities involved in getting legally married in France, we choose to have a legal wedding in Brooklyn prior to our symbolic wedding in France. Technically, we could have gone through the French route because Thomas is a French citizen but we decided to make it official in the United States to avoid any lengthy administrative battles with City Hall.
In order to get married in New York City, we needed to apply for a marriage license online because the Office of the City Clerk was closed to the public. It took us several weeks to get an appointment, but we were able to get one in late July, two weeks before I was to leave for France. We applied for a marriage license appointment on Project Cupid and set the date and time for our virtual interview from a City Clerk via Microsoft Teams. On the day of our interview, we had to show our ID’s and answer some simple questions in order to be approved. The interview lasted roughly 20 minutes.
We then needed to find an officiant or an ordained minister who was permitted to perform ceremonies in New York to marry us. Lucky for us our friend Ben recommended his friend Eric, an ordained minister, to marry us so that we could get our marriage certificate. He agreed to perform the ceremony on the day I was to leave for France, which was Tuesday, August 3, 2021. My maid of honor Love Muwwakkil was our witness and the amazingly talented photographer Allie Provost dropped everything to capture the moment for us.
Our legal ceremony lasted just 10 minutes but it felt so romantic to be standing on the empty pier of the Brooklyn Bridge with Manhattan on one side and DUMBO on the other. Our wedding bands had not been delivered yet so Thomas and I exchanged the Baublebar Alida Ring (for me) and the Pretty Connected Boss Ring (for him). I still wanted to feel like a bride even though it was a legal formality. We were becoming officially husband and wife and I wanted the occasion to be special. I wore this beautiful illusion gown by Galina for David’s Bridal (love the shorter version for a bridal brunch or rehearsal dinner).
I had the alterations specialists at The Wedding Dresser in Industry City alter the dress for me. They made the sleeves three-quarter length, removed the padded bra and lined the bodice so it wasn’t so sheer. They also hemmed it for me because it was too long for my 5’4″ frame. I wore my Tabitha Simmons silver sandals and accessorized with a pearl headband from Etsy and vintage earrings from Julia Vaughn that mimicked the floral details on my gown. Thomas wore a Hugo Boss suit, Louis Vuitton shirt and Zara dress shoes.
I’ll be sharing photos of our Ghanaian Traditional Ceremony in my next post. Are you a pandemic bride? Have you postponed your wedding or are you plowing ahead with the planning?
PHOTOS by Allie Provost