Big fancy weddings are so 2019. With COVID-19 canceling or cutting events down to size, engaged couples were forced to get creative with impromptu elopements and “micro-weddings” on sailboats, in backyards, around pools, on farms and more, with ceremonies Zoomed to faraway family and friends.
“The pandemic has caused people to reflect on what, and who, is really important in their lives, and to celebrate that joy,” says wedding vendor Jenny Marchese of Wildflower Events.
In our ongoing series, Northforker is spotlighting some of the sweetest micro-weddings on the East End.
The family greenhouse wedding
“If our plans weren’t changed, we never would have had our puppy be our ring bearer. He definitely stole the show!”
Kim Lariviere, 29, is a 7th grade math teacher at ISAAC (Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication) in New London, Connecticut. Her husband Andrew Lariviere, 30, is a territory manager for Patterson Veterinary. The pair scaled their plans for a large wedding down to size, but one thing wasn’t negotiable: the original location at Kim’s family’s business: C. J. Van Bourgondien Greenhouses in Peconic. She told us about how their micro-wedding came together on the nursery property and nearby beach.
“We currently live in Connecticut, but I always wanted to get married on my family’s property and business. I grew up on it with all my siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents — I’m the 4th generation. Andrew and I had our first date there, in the field behind the greenhouse, so it was very special.
We originally planned a 250-person wedding but cut that back to 50. We were going to get married in the hop field that is owned by my brother-in-law Peter Barraud and cousin Ian Van Bourgondien, who own North Fork Brewing Company, and have the reception behind that greenhouse. But COVID changed our plans. We ended up with an intimate ceremony on the beach and reception behind the greenhouse. And it was just as beautiful and perfect as it could have been under the circumstances.
While we didn’t plan for a micro-wedding, we loved everything about it, especially how relaxed it was when we officially become husband and wife. Plus, if our plans weren’t changed, we never would have had our puppy — aka 6-year-old pure-bred lab/mutt — be our ring bearer. He definitely stole the show!
We thought about broadcasting our wedding ceremony on Zoom, but decided to record it instead (shout out to my little sister Cyndi Van Bourgondien for doing that) so now we have the ability to watch it back ourselves and relive all those amazing memories.
That said, we’re absolutely planning a bigger party next year! We want to celebrate our marriage with all of our loved ones, friends and family that weren’t able to make it the first time.”