Proposals & I Dos

Mrs. November: Timing Was Everything For this BOLI’s Pandemic Mini-mony

In Brides of Long Island’s Monthly “Mrs.” series, we profile some of our members’ unforgettable weddings! This month, we spoke with BOLI Lindsay DeStefano about how the tough decision of postponing her wedding turned into a vendor dream.

(Courtesy of Michael Cassara)

When Lindsay and John got engaged at her 30th birthday party on Feb. 1, 2020, they had no idea that the world would literally shut down a month later and at the start of their wedding planning. Having secured a date in June of 2021, Lindsay went ahead and booked her vendors hoping that everything would be back to normal. And when she had to make the hard decision to postpone, she quickly learned that timing really is everything when it comes to wedding planning.

The Start of Wedding Planning & A Pandemic

Lindsay and John met on Bumble, but as fate would have it, they actually realized they had friends and family members in common. In fact, they had been friends on Facebook for 10 years, and didn’t even know it. When they got engaged, it was only fitting that all of their friends and family were waiting at home to celebrate not only her new engagement, but also her 30th birthday. She and John jumped into wedding planning, setting a date and booking their venue a few weeks later. “One of the last things we did before the full shutdown was go to a bridal expo at our venue, because I had decided on the Barn at Old Bethpage,” says Lindsay. The expo was on March 8, 2020 – and the world shut down a few days later.

Even with the pandemic, Lindsay had Zoom meetings with vendors for her June 12, 2021 wedding at the Barn. She was also planning to have a church ceremony on June 18, 2021. She credits Brides of Long Island for their detailed reviews and recommendations. However, she didn’t realize how hard it would be to book vendors – and with the pandemic, it made it much harder. A few vendors she really wanted to work with were booked, this included photographer Michael Cassara and hair stylist Ashley Glazer. However, by June, Lindsay was able to finally meet a florist in person, and she says she ‘finally felt like a bride again.’

(Courtesy of Michael Cassara)

MORE: How Coronavirus Changed My Wedding

Balancing Realistic Expectations

While things started to look up in June 2020, Lindsay says she was trying to balance realistic expectations and the exciting feeling of being a bride. “If you let yourself get too excited, it would be disappointing. But if you robbed yourself of all the excitement, what is the fun in that?” she says. By the end of 2020, as cases started to increase again, Lindsay and John started to think about whether they would need to postpone. “I was panicking between if I don’t pull the trigger early enough, are there going to be any dates left?”

In early 2021, though she made the decision to postpone, Lindsay quickly realized that timing is everything! She says the Barn worked with her to transfer the site fee to another date – which as luck would have it they had June 18, 2022 available! Lindsay quickly took the date, knowing it was a good sign, “because then we could move forward with our church ceremony this year, as planned. And then next year, get married on June 18, which would be a Saturday and we would have one anniversary,” Lindsay explains.

(Courtesy of Michael Cassara)

 MORE: Planning a Wedding in a New Reality

As Fate Would Have It

Once the date was changed, Lindsay worked with her vendors to see if they were available for her new date. She had been working with Heartfelt Studios for photo and video, and unfortunately they were not available for photography on the new date. Lindsay reached out to Michael Cassara, her dream photographer, on a whim and it turns out, he was available. And as a bonus, in lieu of engagement photos, Michael Cassara was their photographer at their church ceremony this year on June 18, 2021.

Lindsay also got to work with Ashley Glazer and Nikki Orlando for her wedding this year. “It was awesome because now I’m working with a bunch of different vendors and kind of getting to do it twice, which is amazing.”

Despite the pandemic, Lindsay did have some ‘wow’ moments during planning. Two of her favorite parts were saying yes to the dress at North Fork Bridal with her mother and maid of honor, and when her husband visited the Barn and loved it as much as she did. “It was my dream venue,” Lindsay says of the Barn. She says she was excited that Lessing’s took it over, which made the venue right within their budget. “It was like a dream. That was really exciting.”

(Courtesy of Michael Cassara)

An Intimate and Romantic Celebration

On June 18, Lindsay and John said their vows at St. Francis of Assisi in Greenlawn. She used Pedestals to decorate the church, as well as her in-laws’ backyard with candles and floral arrangements. And she got to wear a jumpsuit she had had her eye on that she originally couldn’t justify purchasing for her original wedding date. They were surrounded by just their parents, siblings and John’s nephews. “It was a beautiful day,” says Lindsay. “We just did the church and then took photos at Sunken Meadow at sunset.”

With food catered from Babylon Meat Market, and a cake from Torta Fina, Lindsay says they just enjoyed time with their families, eating, drinking and toasting. “It was the most romantic and intimate and beautiful ceremony and celebration.”

(Courtesy of Michael Cassara)

MORE: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

It’s About Marrying Your Soulmate

Lindsay wants other brides to know that ‘no amount of stress is worth the happiness that you will feel’ on your wedding day. She believes at the end of the day your wedding day is just about marrying your soulmate.

Seeing him when I walked down the aisle was the most surreal moment of my whole life.”

Lindsay says that if you’re a COVID bride like her, who held a mini-mony, remember that “we’re lucky enough to get to do this twice.” She adds that right after she postponed her wedding to 2022, she immediately felt more relaxed. “For me, it was really amazing and special to have two.”

(Courtesy of Michael Cassara)

6/18/21 Vendors:
Photos: Michael Cassara
Hair: Ashley Glazer
Makeup: Nikki Orlando
Flowers/church decor: Pedestals- Joseph Campbell
Church: St Francis of Assisi in Greenlawn
Caterer: Babylon Meat Market
Cake: Torta Fina
Limo: Allstar, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Jumpsuit: Rime Arodaky from The Mews Bridal NYC
Hair pieces: Ulyana Aster
Spray Tan: Tanned by Taylor, a BOLI Preferred Vendor

6/18/22 Vendors:
Photos: Michael Cassara
Video: Heartfelt Studios, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Hair – Bride – Jessica of Bridal Rush, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Hair – Bridesmaids- Jessica Pantanjo
Makeup: Makeup by Mariel
Venue: The Barn at Old Bethpage, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Flowers: Pedestals – Joseph Campbell
Cake: Torta Fina
Officiant: John Spiciarich
DJ: Genesis Events, a BOLI Preferred Vendor