In Brides of Long Island’s Monthly “Mrs.” series, we profile some of our members’ unforgettable weddings. This month, Leigh Regan explains why she still got married in 2020, and how an extra year of planning allowed her to add so many details on her wedding day.
Just like all COVID couples, when Matt and Leigh Regan got engaged in 2019, they had no idea how the next year of planning for a December 2020 wedding would play out. But careful planning and the decision to postpone turned their wedding day into something even better than they imagined.
An Intimate Gathering
Leigh and Matt met through mutual friends. Their first date was at Sangria 71 in Williston Park, and Leigh says it was the best first date she ever had. Three years later, Matt proposed in June 2019, and within several days, they booked their wedding date for Dec. 11, 2020 at the Inn at New Hyde Park, a BOLI preferred vendor. After booking most of the big vendors – photographer, videographer and DJ – they took a breather. But like many other couples in 2020, once the pandemic hit, Leigh and Matt held their breath as they waited to see what would happen toward the end of the year. “We spoke with Giancarlo at the Inn at New Hyde Park frequently, and by September of 2020, we were worried we wouldn’t be able to have the wedding we envisioned,” Leigh says. Luckily, the Inn at New Hyde Park had Dec. 10, 2021 available – and everything could be transferred over. “Before we officially made the decision to postpone, I called all of my booked vendors,” says Leigh. “And we lucked out, as everyone had that new date available. It was a very seamless transition.”
Despite postponing, Leigh says that they still wanted to get married in 2020. “We weren’t sure how to go about it, but with the pandemic we learned that life is too short,” Leigh explains. “So, the Hempstead Town supervisor married us via Zoom on our living room couch on Dec. 10, 2020, and the next day, we had a small gathering in our backyard with a few close friends and family.” And Leigh says she’s so glad she did it.
Extra Time to Plan
Before the pandemic hit, Leigh made sure to book her DJ first – right after the Inn at New Hyde Park. “We’re a fun couple, we love to dance,” says Leigh. “It was important that we had a great DJ and entertainment at our wedding.” And they actually found their DJ at a friend’s wedding. “We were at a wedding right before we got engaged, and we really liked the DJ,” Leigh says. “Matt made sure to make note of SEDJ, so we could book them for our own day.”
But the DJ wasn’t the only recommendation through friends. “We were at that stage of life where all of our friends were getting married, so part of my shopping around was just asking friends for the pros and cons of their vendors.” Ultimately, though, they only booked vendors they felt comfortable with. “We needed people who made us feel like family – and we got that with all of our vendors.”
Even though Leigh had everything booked by the time the pandemic hit, she found herself adding more and more details to her wedding day – as she had a full extra year to plan everything out. “I feel as if we had gotten married on our original date, I don’t think I would have had as many details as I did.”
Some of those details? Their groomsmen changed into fun Christmas blazers for their reception entrance. And Matt wasn’t left out, as he wore a red velvet blazer for the reception. Keeping with the Christmas theme – one of their groomsmen dressed up as Santa, which was a hit.
Better Than She Could Imagine
Even with all of the extra planning, Leigh says her wedding day was better than she ever could have imagined. “There were definitely moments of doubt while planning with the pandemic, but we made it, and it truly was better than we had envisioned.”
Leigh says all of her vendors went above and beyond. “Raquel from Platinum Affairs was such a pleasure to work with,” Leigh says. “I knew I wanted a backdrop behind our sweetheart table, but I couldn’t articulate what that was. Raquel spent hours on the phone with me to hash it out and bring it to life.”
In fact, Leigh says each vendor she worked with made her feel as if it was her wedding was the only one that mattered to them. “Obviously, every wedding is important to them, but they all just made us feel like we were their only couple.”
A special moment for Leigh was when her Uncle John drove her and her parents to the church in his antique Rolls Royce. “My uncle was such a huge part of my wedding, and it stands out because he passed away unexpectedly a year later. When I look back at the photos of Matt and me with the car, I’m so grateful that we did that.”
Enjoy the Stress
Leigh knows it’s an oxymoron when she tells other brides to enjoy the stress. But, she wants all brides to know that even though wedding planning can be stressful, it’s supposed to be fun. And know that everything will work out in the end.
She also urges brides to make sure they’re comfortable with their vendors. “You need to feel comfortable picking up the phone to change your mind however many times you want, without feeling judged or like a bother.” So, meet with those vendors, ask those questions and go with the ones who make you feel like yourself. In the end, Leigh says, “I genuinely felt that our vendors wanted us to have the best day ever.” And it truly was.
Venue: The Inn at New Hyde Park, a BOLI preferred vendor
Photographer: Capture the Moment Studios, a BOLI preferred vendor
Videography: Capture the Moment Studios, a BOLI preferred vendor
Dress: The Bridal World – Justin Alexander, a BOLI preferred vendor
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair: Styles by Nicole Stew
Makeup: Nicole R. makeup_by_cole_
Transportation: All Star Limousine, a BOLI preferred vendor
Cake: Dortoni Bakery
Backdrop creation: Platinum Affairs – Raquel