Love-Filled, Socially Distant Wedding | Jennifer + Ryan

Planning a 2020 wedding got hairy for everyone—all of a sudden, the ceremony and reception envisioned could not be a thing. Which is, understandably, a HUGE disappointment. In the face of that, for many of our wonderful brides, not getting married as planned also wasn’t a thing. So, what’s an engaged, excited-to-say-I-Do couple to do during a pandemic? Change the plan!

Jennifer and her honey Ryan have been together since they met in college. Since then, they’ve added a cutie pup named Brewster into the mix (more about him from Jennifer below—he crashed their ceremony!). Before Ryan proposed, there was a bit of a kerfuffle—a huge blizzard had delayed the arrival of the ring he’d ordered. He’d planned a sweet proposal to take place on one of his and Jennifer’s favorite walking trails, but now the ring was in danger of not arriving on time. Explained Jennifer, “After pleading with FedEx for two days, the ring finally arrived on the morning of the proposal (talk about stressful!) All the while I was completely oblivious to all of the phone calls and stress—but it all worked out in the end!”

These two clearly weather life’s ups and downs with aplomb, and their wedding day was no different. They decided to postpone their evening reception for a later date and hold their May ceremony as planned…with a few adjustments. Only immediate family attended in person, and everyone else got to watch via a live stream!

Jennifer, who fell for our Celine gown during a trunk show, shares the details of her ceremony, how she met Ryan, and more below:


How did you guys meet?


“Ryan and I met a few weeks into our freshman year at college in Rhode Island. We had originally bonded over living a few towns over from each other in Connecticut, which made it easy to keep in touch and see one another on breaks from school and over the summer. Last year marks ten years since we first met, and since then we’ve lived in three different towns and added a dog to the mix!”

bridal gown: Lea-Ann Belter Celine via The Persnickety Bride | photographer: Joanna Fisher Photography | full vendor list at bottom

How did you choose your gown?


“I had set up an appointment to visit The Persnickety Bride with my mom in the winter of 2019. After trying on a few amazing dresses (many of them Lea-Ann Belter) but not deciding on “the one,” the owner Denise let me know that Lea-Ann Belter would actually be hosting a trunk show the next weekend. She suggested that I go online to Lea-Ann’s website to get a feel for some of the other dresses to see if I wanted to come back the next weekend to try any more on. That night, I logged on and immediately fell in love with the Celine dress from the Summer in Provence collection, and asked Denise if that might be one that could come down as part of the trunk show. She told me yes! The next weekend I tried it on, and the rest is history!”


Tell us about your day!


“We were originally supposed to get married on May 23rd with a church ceremony in the afternoon and a reception in the evening. Once everything started happening related to COVID-19, we made the decision to postpone our reception and move forward with holding the church ceremony privately, with only immediate family members in attendance. While the day wasn’t what we had envisioned while planning our wedding over the last two years, it ended up being a wonderful, intimate ceremony and we were both overjoyed to finally “make it official” after ten years! As an added touch, our church was able to live stream the ceremony for our guests who couldn’t be there in person, and we are so glad we were able to share our special day with everyone given the circumstances.”


Describe your wedding day in five words or fewer:


“Exciting, Fun, Emotional, Intimate, Sunny.”


What was the funniest moment of your day?


“Our family had all planned to stay over in a hotel for the night of the wedding as the church was not local to us. Originally, we’d planned to have our dog Brewster stay back at home with a pet sitter. Long story short, Brewster had a few health issues in the week leading up to our wedding which resulted in him needing to wear the “cone of shame.” Because of this, Brewster ended up needing to come stay at the hotel with us at the last minute so we could keep an eye on him. We didn’t envision that Brewster would be part of our special day, but it was fun to be able to go back to the hotel after the ceremony and strut him out for a mini photo op (bow tie and all!) and we’ll laugh at and cherish those pictures forever.”


What was your something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue?


“Something Old: My grandmother’s vintage hat pin that I pinned into the bodice of my dress
Something New: The dress!
Something Borrowed: The veil, borrowed from my sister-in-law Annie
Something Blue: My grandmother’s hat pin”


Three words that best describe your partner:


“For Ryan: Smart, Goofy, Kind
For Jen: Caring, Silly, Thoughtful”

Jennifer + Ryan’s Socially Distant Wedding Ceremony Vendors

wedding gown: Lea-Ann Belter Celine via The Persnickety Bride | photographer: Joanna Fisher Photography | video: Millside Wedding Films | ceremony venue: Saint Teresa’s Church, Woodbury | florals: Bantam Blooms | tux: Indochino | stationary: Minted

Were you a Lea-Ann Belter bride? We’d love to see your pictures and share your story! Email