This Virtual Wedding at The Ludlow Hotel in New York City Included a Champagne Toast in a Bathtub
Emilie and Obinna had a completely virtual wedding at The Ludlow in New York City. Beyond their officiant, Emilie and Obinna were the only in-person attendees for their rooftop wedding ceremony which was followed by a virtual dance party. However, despite most guests having to attend remotely, that didn't stop the couple from including their loved ones in their big day—Emilie actually had some dried flowers from her mother's wedding day included in her bouquet and even tied the bouquet with the same ribbon her mother had used. "We knew we didn't want a big wedding," explains Emilie. "Prior to the pandemic, we talked about a City Hall wedding and then restaurant hopping to some of our favorite places. City Hall was still closed when we got engaged, so we planned our own elopement day and included all our friends and family from across the globe over Zoom. It was a great compromise to get the intimate and special day we wanted, but still include our nearest and dearest. We got married in the neighborhood where we first met, which also held a lot of memories from each of our histories living in New York City. We chose the 4-year anniversary of our first date, just to pile on some more sentimentality. The whole wedding was really a collaborative project between Obinna and myself. We chose everything together and really worked to make sure the day represented us both and that we felt great about it."
The couple mainly allowed the charm of Manhattan to serve as the decor and backdrop for the wedding. However, they also wanted the virtual guest experience to be a special one and so they collaborated on lots of details, from curated music to a virtual program, to ensure remote attendees felt included. "Obinna and I collaborated on the virtual visuals for the day. We made a slideshow of pictures from baby days to the current. I created and shot the backgrounds, then Obinna worked on the design. We also made our own virtual wedding program—Obinna did the graphic design and I drew a map of the neighborhood highlighting locations of note—the bar where we had our first date, a few favorite restaurants, Obinna's apartment and the Ludlow Hotel where we got married. We also spent a long time crafting the perfect playlist together. We really wanted to set a great tone and experience for our virtual guests."
The few floral details the couple included were another special way they managed to include family members who couldn't be present on the wedding day. "I did all the flowers for our wedding myself," explains Emilie. "Thanks to a few friends and my mom, I had elements from several special places. A friend in Maine sent me some dried flowers from a farm I work at in the summertime. My mom sent me some branches and dried bits from the woods around my childhood home. I had some dried flowers from my parents wedding and I dried and saved the first flowers Obinna sent to me. I combined all these special items with a mix of spring flowers in whites, dark purples and a few pops of yellow daffodils. I used some dried palms and lots of calla lilies, as a nod to Obinna's Nigerian heritage. All the vessels were either family heirlooms or made by friends."
Looking back on their intimate virtual wedding in New York City, Emilie encourages current to-be-weds to "remember what is most important—starting a life with the person you love. We leaned on each other to make all the choices and decisions, which brought us even closer leading up to the wedding."