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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 Game of Thrones wedding

“When the DJ played the music from the Red Wedding episode, guests were like, ‘Are we gonna die now?’”

Call it the House of Hanusch. Meghan Hanusch, 27, a hair stylist at Parlour Hair Boutique in Oakdale, and Greg Hanusch, 29, a LIRR Signal Maintainer in Deer Park, live in Ronkonkoma but dream about the Seven Kingdoms. HBO’s award-winning series “Game of Thrones” factored strongly into their love story, so the couple decided to incorporate sweet little touches inspired by the show into their wedding.

Despite attending the same middle and high school in Bayport, they officially met on a dating app three years ago. “Game of Thrones was the first thing we really bonded over,” says Meghan. “We were both big fans.”

Held at Jamesport Manor Inn, their planned 190-person wedding was cut down to 50 as per Covid regulations, but they are planning a big party next spring. They didn’t announce their Game of Throne plans on the wedding invitations (“We didn’t want it to seem like a costume party,” says Greg), but the touches were unmistakable.

A “throne-like” sweetheart table from Lil Red Rentals set the mood, as did the ancient Celtic wedding tradition of hand-fasting, where the couple’s hands were tied to symbolize a life bound together.

Meghan wore a tasteful crown and cape, with bridesmaids in velvet gowns and flowing braids. Instead of basic table numbers, the Hanusches featured a different House and crest (like House of Lannister with the signature lion) for each. Meghan’s signature drink was a beet margarita “Red Wedding” from the infamous bloody episode, while Greg’s signature Tequila Sunrise was renamed “Tequila Sunspear” after the stronghold of House Martell. They kept things classy with traditional glassware instead of more medieval steins.

Some guests did raise eyebrows, however, when the DJ started playing the music from “The Red Wedding” scene. “We were laughing,” says Meghan. “People were looking over at us like, ‘Are we gonna die now?’”

And what would a Game of Thrones wedding be without swords? The couple rented 10 metal swords from a prop house, using one to cut the cake complete with “House of Hanusch” topper. Later, each bridesmaid and groomsman crossed swords to create a dramatic exit arch for the newlyweds. Yes, Winter is Coming, but this North Fork tale warms all hearts.