When covid struck in 2020, rather than canceling their wedding, Maddie & Wes decided to have two weddings! First an intimate family wedding and then later a big blowout party. To experience their very meaningful and colorful first event click here.
How did an Indiana guy meet a Long Island girl? Short answer, Cincinnati, OH …
In 2020 I surprised my groomsmen with their wedding outfits...To my surprise, they all loved them!
When and how did the two of you meet, and what is most memorable about your first meeting?
Maddie: We met in the summer of 2013; I had been living in Cincinnati for a year and Wes moved into my apartment complex, where I lived with several colleagues and friends. He instantly befriended his neighbors, who were 3 guy friends of mine (and are some of Wes’ best friends today), so he became a mutual friend quickly, and we started dating about a month later.
Wes: I get this question a lot … how did an Indiana guy meet a Long Island girl? Short answer, Cincinnati, OH … To be honest, it took me a month before I had enough courage (maybe a few drinks) to finally ask Maddie out for … ice cream. Luckily, she said yes, and 6 years later I proposed to her at the same ice cream parlor in Cincinnati.
What was the original plan for your wedding?
Maddie: We had planned to get married on June 6, 2020, in the church in my hometown in Long Island, and the reception at my beach club, with about 200 guests.
We pivoted, and on July 31, 2020, we got married in the same church (we probably had about 80-90 people there, which was well within the COVID restrictions given the size) and had 40 guests, our closest friends and family, in my parents’ backyard afterwards (the limit at the time was 50), the house I grew up in from age 11.
We threw our larger celebration a year later, on July 9, 2021, at Tribeca Rooftop, with about 180 guests.
Wes: When we first pushed the wedding back in March 2020, we thought 8 weeks would be plenty of time for things to clear up, which we all know much better now. Having the small gathering of 40 in 2020 was perfect, and being able to enjoy the larger party in 2021 – I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
How did you make the decision to have the two celebrations?
Maddie: We had so many moving pieces in 2020, with changing rules, capacity, etc. We had already decided we’d move the reception to 2021 and get married in 2020 in the church – even if it was just the two of us and a priest. As the capacity limits started to loosen, we realized we’d be able to have people in the church, and a small gathering in my parents’ backyard after the ceremony. That day ended up being such a picture- perfect day and night – definitely, best day of my life – and we were so happy with it, I couldn’t imagine it getting any better.
Even though that day stood on its own, we knew we’d want to have everyone all together for a larger party in 2021 – and I’m so glad we did. That was a party I’ll never forget! – and another amazing feeling of love that I cherish.
Wes: I really couldn’t wait any longer to marry, Maddie, and we both really wanted to get married in 2020. So, we decided to do whatever we could do from a Covid- friendly perspective in 2020, and this ended up being a great decision. We had a great intimate celebration with close friends and family; this day by far ended up being the best day of my life.
After the event we really missed not being able to celebrate with a lot of my family and our friends who were unable to come NY due to the Covid and decided to have a second celebration in Tribeca in 2021 – we had a very short ceremony, by the same deacon who married Maddie and I, and had a heck of party.
Now everyone keeps asking what we have in store for 2022 … Ira, do you have any suggestions?
For 2021 celebration in Tribeca, I really wanted to wear the dress again. I realized I could actually shorten my current dress and keep the dress I love.
My favorite part of each day was carving off time to spend just with Maddie. This was Ira’s idea and I can’t thank him enough for it.
How did you choose what you wore for both celebrations?
Maddie: Carolina Herrera was the easiest decision – I didn’t look anywhere else, because her style is so chic and timeless. My mom had worn Carolina Herrera to her wedding. I tried and loved three very different dresses, and while I was torn, my friends, sister, mom, and aunt all were clear on the one-should with the dramatic bow.
For the first celebration, the wedding in the church and backyard party, we made the bow less voluminous. When it came time for the second celebration in Tribeca, I really wanted to wear the dress again – I love it so much, I want to wear it all the time! I was seeing a lot of designers, including Carolina Herrera, creating “shortie” wedding dresses – short dresses for more informal/ smaller occasions, that people were having because of the pandemic – and realized I could actually shorten my current dress and keep the dress I love, and make it a little bit more festive and party-forward. Rachel Shelton at Carolina Herrera was amazing, and advised with the tailoring – we thought about going super mini short, but decided to keep it a little more classic right above the knee, and poof-ed up the bow. It was such a hit, and I have so much joy looking at both pictures now – the dress was so right for both occasions.
Wes: I have to give all the props to Maddie’s aunt Maura, who works at Ralph Lauren. She came up with the idea for me to wear a white dinner jacket with navy pants, navy linen slip on shoes, and a navy silk bow tie. This was by far the nicest outfit I’ve purchased and one I really felt like a million bucks in. I also had help from Basha at the men’s mansion, he made sure everything fit perfectly.
In 2021, with the help of Ira, and my good friend Basha at Ralph Lauren, I decided to rock the same dinner jacket/pants but wear a crisp white shirt under the jacket for our photo shoot, which happened before the reception. I then added the bow tie and changed into a white tuxedo shirt for the reception.
What did your bridal party wear?
Maddie: The women wore Amsale long crepe navy dresses, and the men wore different color Ralph Lauren linen dinner jackets, with navy silk bow ties and navy linen pants, which was my aunt Maura’s amazing idea she shared with us. Everyone totally leaned into the color theme and it was so much fun.
Wes: In 2020 I surprised my groomsmen with their wedding outfits. I had asked each groomsman for his size and said I would ship the blue Ralph Lauren suit to them, but it wasn’t a blue suit, instead it was either an orange, green, pink, yellow or blue dinner jacket. To my surprise, they all loved them, and the 6 groomsmen who were able to make it to the first celebration rocked them all night and then rocked them again at our second celebration along with the 4 groomsmen who weren’t able to make it in 2022. Needless to say, we couldn’t have looked so good without the help of Maura and Basha from Ralph Lauren, and I know the guys will be rocking their dinner jackets in the years to come.
What wedding planning decision was the easiest one to make? What was the most difficult?
Maddie: The hardest was definitely moving the dates and venues … really when to make the changes we didn’t want to have to make, and finally pull the trigger. Our wedding planner Cristina Capone was so instrumental in us making the right decisions as the right times.
The easiest decision was to work with Ira. I remember when I saw his work from another wedding reception he had shot at my beach club, I was blown away. We made the decision, thankfully early, and were able to have Ira and Lina for both 2020 and 2021. Years from now, these pictures will be our strongest memory from the day, and they are so special to us.
Wes: The most difficult decision was moving around the dates due to Covid, but as I said earlier I really wanted to marry Maddie; we had waited over 18 months since being engaged and didn’t want to wait any longer so we forged again and did what we could in 2020. I’ll have to copy Maddie and say working with Ira and working with our wedding planner Cristina were the easiest. They both made both of our days so easy and so enjoyable. Ira captured amazing photos, and simply put is just the man. Cristina did an amazing job helping us plan and throw both celebrations without a hitch. We couldn’t have had both days go so smoothly without them.
We really missed not being able to celebrate with a lot of my family and our friends in 2020 and decided to have a second celebration in Tribeca in 2021 - we had a very short ceremony, by the same deacon who married Maddie and I, and had a heck of party. Now everyone keeps asking what we have in store for 2022 … Ira, do you have any suggestions?
During our reception, we took solo shots and had a mini dance session on the rooftop in the twilight, which ended being my favorite part of the evening.
What are your most memorable moments from both celebrations?
Maddie: In July 2021 in Tribeca, our larger celebration, I remember, the transition from the rooftop down to dinner … our guests were being seated, and Wes and I and the bridal party were still up on the roof and could see everyone downstairs through the skylight – it was a beautiful summer evening and the sun was shining, and looking down seeing everyone who was important to us all together, after so long being separated, everyone dressed super colorfully – the scene was just so special and something I realized then wouldn’t happen again. Then the music began to play “Back in the New York Groove” and we all came down the stairs to begin the reception – and the energy and joy of being together again, in the city, was amazing.
In 2020, similarly, I looked down the dinner table in my parent’s backyard, as the sun was starting to set on the golf course in the summer – I was sitting next to my husband, I had my favorite cocktail, and I was looking at my closest family and friends all having such a great time – I just felt so much joy. That evening was so intimate, I’ll never forget it.
Wes: Outside of what I said earlier, in 2020 I had two: the first was watching Maddie walk down the aisle and realize how lucky of a guy I was; the second and perhaps the funniest was watching my good friend do the “inchworm” during the party on brick on the back patio and fully commit … he had us all laughing, and he may even have a scar to show for it.
In 2021, I also have two. One was the short ceremony we had on the rooftop before heading inside for eating, dancing and partying, by Deacon Jack. The second was, that same friend from 2020 doing the inchworm, yet again, and once again fully committing, and possibly gaining a new scar.
What is your advice for brides and grooms planning their own celebration?
Maddie: Great advice from our amazing wedding planner, Cristina Capone, was that guests only care about a few things: the food and the “vibes” (music, etc.) I really didn’t sweat the small stuff or try to make every detail as unique as possible. I just focused on those things for the guests, and the things Wes and I cared about (the ceremony, maximizing time with our guests, our outfits, and of course, our photos – Ira and Lina made this part so easy!) Also, at both events, I sat down and ate my full dinner, and had the cake – definitely recommend!
After our wedding ceremony in 2020, Ira made sure we had a solo photo session, where Wes and I got to spend time just the two of us with Ira. That time was so amazing, and Ira made sure it was in the schedule for the day – he gave us that advice that many couples don’t have alone time at all on the day, which is really what it is all about! Right after walking out of the church was such an amazing feeling that you just want to bask in together. I’m so thankful for his advice and arranging our time in that way.
We did something similar on the rooftop in 2021 in the twilight downtown, and it was magical.
Wes: Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the day; it goes by way too fast. My favorite part of each day was carving off time to spend just with Maddie. This was Ira’s idea and I can’t thank him enough for it. On our wedding day in 2020, we took solo pictures right after our ceremony and rode in the car solo back to Maddie’s parents’ house. In 2021 at our big reception, we took solo shots while guests were eating and had a mini dance session on the rooftop in the twilight, which ended being my favorite part of the evening.
Even though the 2020 wedding stood on its own, we knew we’d want to have everyone all together for a larger party in 2021 – and I’m so glad we did. That was a party I’ll never forget!
One of the most memorable moments from 2021 celebration was that same friend from 2020 doing the inchworm, and once again fully committing, and possibly gaining a new scar.
What do you hope your guests most about your wedding day?
Maddie: We were so lucky with timing, because for both celebrations, the COVID rates were really at their lowest, and restrictions were such that we could celebrate more easily than if our events were a few weeks earlier or later – and thankfully nobody got sick.
In 2021 in Tribeca, I really hope that everyone felt the joy of the first big celebration that we could have safely and comfortably as allowed by the restrictions. As far as I could see, every person I saw was having a great time, which was really the most important to me.
In 2020, the small church ceremony and even smaller gathering in my backyard, I just hope that everyone who came knows how appreciative we were for their presence – and that those we couldn’t have given the small numbers allowed for gatherings, know how much we appreciate their support and understanding. It was really hard to limit given our large family and great friends, people’s spouses weren’t included, etc. – nobody who cares about us gave us any complaints about the arrangements, which meant a lot.
Wes: In 2020, I hope they know how much I appreciated each and every one of them for coming to our ceremony. That meant to the world to me. I also hope they enjoyed the small reception we had afterword; judging by the great photos from Ira, something tells they definitely did.
2021: I hope they know how much I appreciate their flexibility and wiliness to come to NYC to help us finally have our big reception. We displayed the video from our ceremony so that everyone could feel the love from that day and continue the party on that evening. The band brought the (amazing) music but our guests brought the party; someone’s shirt may or may not have been ripped off, and everyone seemed to really have enjoyed themselves.
How would you describe your wedding day to your future children?
Maddie: I woke up feeling so calm and light, and thought to myself, “this is going to be the best day of my life.” And it was. The morning was so peaceful, I had my closest family and friends around, I married the guy I couldn’t live without. Our priest, Father Scolaro, and our Deacon, Jack McKenna, had such a beautiful mass, and Deacon Jack gave a homily I will never forget, that was so personal and touching.
There wasn’t one annoyance or hiccup – I would do it 100 times the same way.
Wes: I woke up not thinking about a pandemic that was going on or anything else in the world, but my focus was on marrying the woman I couldn’t live without. We had a beautiful wedding ceremony at the same place her grandmother and great grandmother were married, and then had a great reception in her grandparents backyard surrounded by family and close friends. It was a dream day, and an even better night as we danced and partied until the wee hours of the evening.
- Venue Tribeca Rooftop
- Planner Cristina Capone
- Dress Carolina Herrera
- Floral Design Honeysuckle and Roses
- Cake The Sweet Peace
- Catering Tribeca Rooftop
- Hair Sonia Amor
- Makeup Danielle Librizzi
- Lighting Tribeca Rooftop
- Music Hank Lane - Liberty Sound
- Video Shuttersound Pictures