Covid-19 has definitely put a wrench in the wedding plans of many couples. Happy endings can still be found, however, as Jocelyn and Rob’s Brooklyn Winery wedding photos will attest. While these two lovebirds had originally planned a much larger wedding in 2020, their big day turned out to be just as magical as expected. In today’s blog post I have all the details of their pandemic wedding and plenty of photos to boot.
Meet Jocelyn and Rob
Let me start by introducing you to Jocelyn and Rob. These two met in high school and have been together ever since. As Jocelyn tells it, “Rob and I met when we were teenagers growing up in Queens. We actually went to each other’s senior proms. Though we never officially dated back then, we were always good friends. After high school I went away to college in Miami but then had to return to Queens for my grandfather’s funeral. Rob showed up in support, and the rest is history.”
Their proposal was a practical affair, but still romantic. Jocelyn: “The proposal happened unofficially, in October/November 2021. No formal proposal, we simply decided to get married. Jump to December 11, and Rob proposed – officially – in front of our Christmas tree with our dog and a ring.”
As Rob’s grandparents were getting on in years, they decided to plan their wedding for January of 2021 so that all of their loved ones could be with them on their big day. The pandemic, however, had other plans for this couple. Due to restrictions on indoor dining, Jocelyn and Rob had to postpone their reception until April.
Since even this date was uncertain, the couple decided to go ahead and say their vows in their grandparents’ backyard. Luckily, the Covid-19 numbers in New York City have remained manageable, and Jocelyn and Rob were finally able to celebrate their nuptials at the Brooklyn Winery, albeit a much smaller scale wedding with only 22 guests. Nevertheless, their wedding reception was a special moment surrounded by friends and family as they said their personally-written vows to each other.
Getting Ready at the William Vale Hotel
I am excited to share with you Jocelyn and Rob’s Brooklyn Winery wedding photos, but let’s start at the beginning. Jocelyn booked a fantastic wraparound corner suite at the William Vale Hotel in order to get ready for her wedding. These suites offer sweeping views of Brooklyn and the Manhattan skyline. In addition to making the room feel enormous, the outside terrace provides the perfect location for a first look. Best of all, the terrace allowed me to take my new favorite shot: a panoramic image with the couple in the middle. (Check out Jocelyn’s mom, aunt, and cousin watching the first look from the corner of the terrace.)
And did you know the William Vale Hotel accepts pets? Jocelyn and Rob’s fur-baby, Lulu, was so well behaved while Jocelyn was getting ready.
Brooklyn Winery Ceremony & Reception
Jocelyn and Rob’s Brooklyn Winery wedding had the same festive feel of pre-pandemic weddings, but on a smaller scale. The venue was beautiful as always, with lots of natural light streaming in through the windows. The plant wall and and beautiful floral arrangements provided a nice contrast to the industrial look of the space. The staff was fantastic, as always.
The wedding began with a lovely ceremony. Jocelyn and Rob’s personal vows brought tears all around. The love continued into the reception with some heartfelt speeches and a fun cake cutting. And even though this was a wedding held during the day with only 22 guests, there was plenty of action on the dance floor. Indeed, one of my favorite segments of the wedding was to see the synchronized dance moves of Rob and his father.
Love in the Time of Covid
So let’s take a brief moment to discuss Covid-19 restrictions for weddings in New York City. As per Governor Cuomo’s announcement, beginning March 15, 2021:
- Venues are restricted to 50% capacity, with no more than 150 attendees per event
- All attendees must have proof of recent negative test result or proof of immunization prior to the event
- Sign-in with contact information required to assist with potential contact tracing
- Venues must notify local health departments of large events, above the social gathering limit, in advance
- Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking
- Ceremonial and socially-distanced dancing allowed in designated areas
The staff at the Brooklyn Winery (and I) kept their masks on the entire time. In addition, the Brooklyn Winery did take my contact information before the wedding. However, I was not asked to provide a negative Covid-19 test. Guests did keep their masks on throughout the ceremony, but since a wedding reception involves plenty of eating, the masks were off and on throughout the day. I will say that I felt safe at every point during the wedding.
When I was researching the Covid-19 wedding restrictions, I came upon this link provided by the city specifically noting that indoor dining is not permitted. As of April 2021, of course, indoor dining is indeed allowed up to 50% capacity of the venue. Needless to say, the conflicting information is very confusing. I think the main point to take away is that your best means of pandemic prevention at any wedding is to keep your guest count low. Also, things are changing rapidly and were there to be an increase in the number of cases, these rules could quickly change. So if you have a wedding planned for 2021 or early 2022, make sure you keep on top of the news.
Enjoy the memories of Jocelyn and Rob’s joyous day, and I’ll have plenty of new photo adventures to share with you next week!
- Bride’s dress: Odalis gown, BHLDN
- Bride’s shoes: Jasmine crystal pumps, Sophia Webster
- Mother-of-the-bride dress: Tahari
- Hair stylist: Evyenia Moshouris
- Ceremony & reception venue: Brooklyn Winery
- Caterer: Brooklyn Winery
- Florist: Hanato Floral Design
- Cake/dessert: Lucky Bird Cakes
- Guest favors: Bast & Bruin
- DJ/band: Another Level DJ
- Invitation designer: Minted
Interested in seeing more of my Brooklyn Winery wedding photos…before the pandemic began? Check out images from Danielle and Rich’s wedding here.
Are you going to be walking down the aisle at the Brooklyn Winery? Drop me a line and let’s chat about your photography needs.
If you would like to see more images from my wedding photojournalism portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com