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Danny and Sarah Paray on their micro-wedding day at the Peconic Bay Yacht Club. (Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Ferris)

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 reimagined three-day multicultural wedding

“How in the world were we going to postpone a three-day, Catholic-Hindu wedding?!”

Sarah Paray, category manager at the e-commerce company Rue Gilt Groupe, and Danny Paray, senior project manager at real estate service firm Cushman & Wakefield, managed to pivot their multi-day, multi-venue Catholic/Hindu wedding into an intimate affair. The couple, both 27, have known each other virtually their entire lives; they recently relocated from Brooklyn and are house-hunting back home on Long Island. Sarah Paray told us about their reimagined ceremony — which took all of six minutes! — at Peconic Bay Yacht Club this summer.

“We met in elementary school in Mount Sinai, Long Island. We became best friends when young, fell in love in college (a three-hour drive apart) and got engaged as adults. Every summer since we turned 21, we hosted a North Fork wine tour with all of our friends and eventually family, always joking how in 2020 we were going to replace the wine tour with a North Fork wedding!

As an interfaith, multi-cultural couple, we planned multiple celebrations with separate ceremonies. Day 1: A Hindu ceremony (Vivaah Sanskar) followed by a cocktail style reception with dancing and singing at Duck Walk Vineyard; Day 2: A Catholic ceremony followed by a formal reception at Peconic Bay Yacht Club; and Day 3: A Kanghan (post-wedding celebration) at Danny’s parent’s house. Then COVID-19 struck! Just 60 days before our wedding, Peconic Bay Yacht Club called explaining we had to postpone.

How in the world were we going to postpone a three-day, Catholic-Hindu wedding? We called our second venue, Duck Walk Vineyard, and then it was a domino effect: postponing our wedding(s), cancelling our bachelor and bachelorette parties, losing some vendors and re-signing contracts.

We pivoted to an intimate ceremony and pizza party. Peconic Bay Yacht Club graciously offered up their lawn for our six-minute ceremony with just immediate family.

After the ceremony, we went back to a bridesmaid’s house in Mattituck and celebrated with immediate family, our bridal party and some pizzas from Grana and a chocolate chip cookie wedding cake from Cupcakes & Everything Chocolate.

As my father said in his speech — which we joke lasted longer than our entire ceremony — ‘A deadly pandemic cannot destroy or suppress true love and that’s why we are here today.’

Looking ahead to May 2021, we have our Hindu ceremony at Duckwalk Vineyard in Southold and our Catholic ceremony and reception at Peconic Bay Yacht Club to look forward to with all of our friends and family by our side.”