The Bride Wore an Ethereal Lace Dress for Her Formal Garden Party Wedding Overlooking the Long Island Sound

1 month ago 34
google news Flipboard

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vogue’s goal in our coverage is to celebrate responsible wedding planning, showcase a love story, and shed light on the questions that engaged couples are asking themselves now.

For those who are wedding planning, be sure to comply with all applicable state and local laws, guidelines, and CDC recommendations to ensure safety and reduce the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19.

Environmental educator and activist Sarah Michler met film director Henry-Alex Rubin when she was working as a production assistant in 2014. “I helped produce commercials and PSAs he directed and then co-produced the movie Semper Fi, which he wrote,” Sarah recalls. “I fell out of love with production, but I fell in love with Henry!” 

After a surprise picnic engagement on Nantucket in June, they initially discussed waiting until next summer to get married in the hopes that the pandemic would be over, and they could have the big wedding they’d always imagined. “But the more that seemed uncertain, the more we leaned into having a tiny wedding in October,” Sarah says. “This probably sounds ridiculous, but 2020 has been such a bad year that I wanted to fight back with the most giant act of positivity—getting married to the person I love. Because of official state guidelines, we could only have a very small amount of people outdoors in the backyard of my family’s home. Even so, I thought perhaps a small wedding with only a few family and friends might be even more meaningful than the large wedding we had always envisioned.”

They chose October 10, 2020 for the date because it was the last weekend that might be warm enough. “We also liked that the date and month added up—10+10=20!” Sarah says.

Known for being a meticulous planner, the bride’s mother worked tirelessly on the event alongside Hannah Elsaesser of Eloquence Events. “My mom had only three months to put everything together, and she pulled it off. They were some of the best months of my life,” Sarah says. “She made the whole process so much fun. I already miss our daily planning meetings! She thinks of everything, considers every detail and always has multiple contingency plans. Henry joked that she would make a brilliant film producer.”

Sarah’s father is the surgeon-in-chief of the Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, so the couple looked to him for guidance on how to properly COVID test all of their guests two days before the wedding. “We set up PCR testing stations at our apartment in NYC and in our home in Connecticut,” Sarah explains. “After each person tested, they got a sticker: ‘I Swabbed for Henry and Sarah!’”

Having the wedding at her family’s home in Connecticut was particularly emotional for Sarah. “In the backyard overlooking the Long Island Sound, there’s a kidney shaped pool that I learned how to swim in before I could walk,” she says. “Next to the pool is a looming, two hundred-foot tall sweetgum tree that used to hold a rope swing where my sisters and I spent our childhoods playing.” The sweetgum tree was featured prominently on the invitations, which were made of plantable seed paper,  and her friend, the artist Andie Dinkin, made a watercolor illustration of the couple sitting under it for the wedding program.

In the lead up to the intimate event, guests were told to think of the wedding as a “formal garden party,” and the bride dressed the part, wearing an ethereal, long-sleeve lace look by Santos Costura, a designer from Barcelona. “I fell in love with the dress when I saw it at Spina Bridal,” Sarah remembers. “Santos was so collaborative and made some custom alterations in order to make it feel even more like me. I really wanted to try and outshine the dark times, and this dress felt like I was wearing thousands of tiny lights because of the way the sequins were stitched into the floral lace. I don’t love having people look at me, but when I finally stepped out onto our back porch balcony, this dress made me feel like I was in a movie.”

The bride’s two sisters were her maids of honor, with older sister Allie (Vogue’s director of fashion development) wearing Brock Collection and younger sibling Lizzy wearing Cara Cara. “My sister Allie is my style guru and fashion inspiration,” Sarah says. “She helped me to fulfill my vision of individual designs that complemented one another to create the feeling of a garden party.” 

On the day of the wedding, Sarah and her father walked down the stairs from the back porch to the tree where Henry was waiting. A quartet played Stanley Meyer’s “Cavatina” from The Deer Hunter, the couple’s favorite movie theme song, and during the ceremony, two readings were shared: the first from Bronte’s Jane Eyre. “It’s the greatest love story I’ve ever read,” Sarah says. The second was from Saint-Exupery’s Le Petit Prince—one of Henry’s favorite books and a nod to his French family. “I felt surprisingly calm during the ceremony,” the bride says. “Being at my home made me so comfortable, as if this was always where I was meant to be married. I really tried to enjoy every moment of it and I did.”

After the couple exchanged vows, the Columbia Kingsmen, a student quartet from Henry’s alma mater, sang an a cappella version of “God Only Knows.” Much like in that famous wedding scene in Love Actually, a lone trumpet player surprised guests and stepped onto the widow’s walk to accompany the finale. 

The group then gathered around the pool for cocktails and the quartet switched to Django Reinhardt-style jazz while Sarah and Henry retreated into the house for a toast over Zoom with friends and family. “It was a joyful chaos to greet so many friends and family; there were over 300 participants from all over the world,” Sarah says. “We recorded the live feed and the hilarious chat that went along with it and this has now become our wedding video.”

As the sun set, guests headed to a tent at the edge of our property for dinner where the newlyweds made their entrance to Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose.” Tables were covered in bouquets of white ranunculus, foxglove, and forget-me-nots, and giant bamboo branches swayed overhead, bouncing shadows on the ceiling. In an effort to think more sustainably, the caterer used only locally sourced foods, and menus were again printed on plantable seed paper, which blooms into flowers in the spring. Natural wine from Henry’s family’s village in Alsace, France accompanied dinner, and while dancing was omitted from the program because of the pandemic, the meal was magical. After dessert, guests lit sparklers, creating a gauntlet leading towards the waterfront, where the couple hopped into Sarah’s family’s boat and floated off into the Long Island Sound.

  1. Homepage
  2. Lifestyle