Erica Weinstein and Adam Cervenka’s courtship has been filled with pleasant surprises, from their fateful swipe right on Coffee Meets Bagel in 2016 to their engagement three years later, which happened while Erica’s hands were full of mail and dry cleaning.
“Adam surprised me on a Friday after work proposing at home,” she recalls. “The icing on the cake was the song Adam wrote for me, which recollected our love story from the day we first met. We left the next day for a trip to Jackson Hole!”
However, when the couple began planning their 150-person wedding, they had no idea their October 2020 nuptials would fall in the middle of the Covid pandemic. Despite the need for a venue change, the pair kept their original date and pivoted to an intimate, 12-person party. "October 11 would always hold a special place in our hearts and we knew that the uncertainty of the world did not impact our uncertainty about each other," says Erica. But, just because the couple trimmed down their guest list doesn’t mean they had to sacrifice style.
In light of Covid, the couple pivoted from a black-tie at the Barnes Foundation to an elegant and modern evening with close family and friends at Erica's family home. “We chose vendors with strong creative visions that we knew would come together in an incredible way and they anticipated every detail to make the event as personable and intimate as possible,” Erica shares.
Branding studio House of Catherine worked closely with the couple to make their day feel special for the invited guests who could attend and those who could not due to Covid restrictions. "It was really important to us that all of the family and friends that could not be with us in person, felt included in our day," says Erica. "House of Catherine mailed custom designed champagne boxes so our virtual guests could feel a part of our day as they watched and toasted our celebration."
“We knew that while our dream wedding at the Barnes would not be possible, we still wanted to get married on our original date,” Erica explains. The couple shifted gears and swapped vows at the bride’s family home in Devon, Pennsylvania.
Although our venue ultimately changed and Covid nearly prevented my gown from arriving in time for the wedding day, I was beyond thrilled to be wearing my dress!
The bride looked radiant in a fitted gown by Mira Zwillinger. “After going to several bridal salons in Boston and trying on various designer gowns, not one seemed like ‘the one’ for what we had planned for our black tie wedding at the Barnes Foundation,” she explains. “When I met with Marina Zlatnicky, my bridal consultant at Elizabeth Johns Bridal who carried Mira couture gowns, I finally had found my dream wedding dress. Although our venue ultimately changed and Covid nearly prevented my gown from arriving in time for the wedding day, I was beyond thrilled to be wearing my dress! It was the magical moment every bride envisions!”
It was unlike anything we had imagined our wedding day would be like, in the best possible way.
The couple soaked in the surreal moment during their first look. “ It was unlike anything we had imagined our wedding day would be like, in the best possible way,” shares Erica.
“It really felt like a day that was just for the two of us,” the couple shares. “We took turns getting ready upstairs in our rooms and FaceTiming with friends before the ceremony."
Philadelphia-based floral company Texture Florals created a lush bouquet that paired well with the wedding’s burnt orange, sunset yellow, and blush palette. “The beginning of October can still be quite warm in Philadelphia, so the florist wanted to introduce an autumnal selection that really embraces that transitional time between summer and fall,” the bride explains. The bouquet also had a charm of Erica's father, so she could have him with her throughout the ceremony.
Barnes, the couple's pup who was named after their initial venue, played a stealthy role in the big day. “Barnes found his way into several elements of the wedding, including stationery and [the] signage reminding guests to sanitize,” Erica shares.
The couple’s dream of an outdoor wedding was almost foiled by the remnants of Hurricane Delta. Fortunately, the vendors worked quickly to adapt to Mother Nature. "Our original plan was to have the ceremony outside along a long walkway we constructed that was covered with rugs, but unfortunately with the remnants of Hurricane Delta approaching the weather didn’t hold up," says Erica. "The entire ceremony had to be moved at nearly the last minute, and all the vendors did an amazing job reconfiguring things under a tent." Guests were also given umbrellas for good measure.
Throughout the day, the couple incorporated several moments to honor Erica’s dad, who passed away prior to the wedding. A remembrance table featured photographs of the father of the bride, as well as other family members whose legacies live on.
The reception space was composed of small tables that could fit up to four guests to adhere to social-distancing protocol. The tables were dressed with flax linens as well as custom acrylic chargers, menus, and mirrored-acrylic place cards by House of Catherine. Bistro lighting and amber candles completed the look, creating the atmosphere of an intimate dinner party.
“We worked closely with Meghan Papiano from House of Catherine to transform the backyard,” the bride says. Highlights include personalized signage throughout the venue and a custom backdrop with flowers, courtesy of Texture Florals.
In addition to a blooming backdrop, Texture Florals also designed a coordinating chuppah for the altar.
As self-proclaimed music lovers, Erica and Adam originally reserved a 14-piece band for their big day. But, due to Covid restrictions, they opted for a curated playlist. The couple highlighted their favorite band by playing Dawes’ “If You Let Me Be Your Anchor” during the groom’s processional.
The bride was escorted down the aisle by her mother. “As we made our way down to the chuppah, we passed by the remembrance table that included a photo of my dad,” Erica shares. “I also chose to walk down the aisle to one of his favorite songs, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,’ so I really felt he was there by my side, too.”
Since the couple’s wedding was so intimate, they wanted the day to be filled with personal moments. One way to make the ceremony feel more meaningful was choosing Erica’s father’s close friend to officiate.
We also included the Ketubah signing during our ceremony so that all our family and friends on Zoom could be a part of that.
“We also included the Ketubah signing during our ceremony so that all our family and friends on Zoom could be a part of that,” the bride shares. “We are obsessed with this beautiful custom work of art, which was created by Ketubah designer Stephanie Caplan, to symbolize our love. [It’s] now hanging in our home.”
Unlike most weddings, this ceremony requested audience participation. Each guest read one of the Sheva Brachot or Jewish Seven Blessings during the ceremony to offer blessings for the couple’s life together.
Since the couple wanted the ceremony to be reflective of their relationship, they wrote their vows together—but added their own flair along the way.
The happy couple walked down the aisle to The California Honeydrops’ “Brokedown” during the recessional.
In between photo-ops, guests sipped on negronis and dirty martini, Adam and Erica’ favorite cocktails.
As for the menu? Constellation Culinary Group worked with the couple to comply with Covid guidelines. Individual plated hors d’oeuvres samplers were served to each guest. Dinner featured a harvest burrata salad, pan-seared salmon, and green market-braised short rib. A family-style dessert tapas was offered to each table to be enjoyed with the wedding cake.
As guests enjoyed dinner, they listened to a playlist, curated by the groom himself. “Adam still plays guitar and trumpet in a band with some of his college friends called The Buffers,” the bride adds.
The couple performed their first dance to “All Because of You” by Bill Withers. To keep things socially distant, family members danced along at their tables.
While the couple had a few nights to themselves at a resort in Cape May, they plan to have an "official" honeymoon once things are safe. "Don’t lose sight of what matters most," shares Erica. "Everything else will fall into place, changes and all!"
Wedding Planner Clover Event Co.
Bridal Gown Designer Mira Zwillinger
Jewelry Gary Mann Jewelers
Hair Jaclyn Grasso at Aleksandra Ambrozy Makeup & Hair
Groom’s Attire Blank Label
Engagement Ring Gary Mann Jewelers
Wedding Bands Gary Mann Jewelers
Floral Design Texture Florals
Stationery and Paper Products House of Catherine
Ketubah Stephanie Caplan
Catering Constellation Culinary
Cake Nutmeg Cake Design
Photography Pat Furey Photography