Katie Cameron and Joshua “Josh” Diamond had to re-organize their 2020 nuptials, but it sure didn’t seem like it. When COVID-19 halted their original wedding plans for a 300-person event at the St. Regis Bal Harbour in Florida in November, the Chicago-based pair and their planner, Eva Clark of Eva Clark Events, quickly moved the wedding to August 20, 2020, at Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado.
Along with a new venue and pandemic-related restrictions, the couple had to completely reimagine their wedding aesthetic and slash the guest list to just 50 people. It was, Katie says, overwhelming, but so worth it.
“Our emotions ranged daily from excitement to fear of disappointment,” the bride adds. “It was hard to plan a celebratory event while knowing that so many people in the world were suffering greatly due to the pandemic. We made a conscious effort to stay grounded and calm while continuing with the process.”
Katie credits her planning team at Eva Clark Events for pulling it all off. The couple said “I do” in the courtyard of Hotel Jerome, surrounded by decor that recalled an enchanted garden, then toasted with signature cocktails and slices of vanilla cake with raspberry filling during an alfresco reception. Though they didn’t expect dancing, Katie and Josh did get to fulfill one tradition: the horah. With everyone in masks, their friends surprised them by lifting the newlyweds into chairs and dancing in a circle.
“I feel so lucky that even during such a crazy time in the world we still had a good planning experience,” Katie says “We had an incredible team of vendors and the support of our friends and families.”
TPD Design House handled all of the paper goods, including what calls the "program packet. "The packets were individualized so that no one had to share," she explains. "Inside, each guest had their name, table number, ceremony program, mask, hand wipe and bar menu."
Katie says that she and Josh had fun creating their personalized invitations and welcome baskets, which included a custom mixology kit for a smoked BBQ old Fashioned and, of course, fabric masks.
“I saw layers of tulle that were elegant and beautiful and knew I had to try this dress on,” Katie says of first seeing her strapless Amsale gown at Ultimate Bride in Chicago. However, she wasn’t completely sold as she liked two other dresses at the bridal salon as well. She went back later that day with her brother-in-law in tow—unconventional, she says—who helped her decide that the tulle gown was indeed “the dress.”
“I was enamored with my veil,” Katie admits of the veil, which featured floating pearls that matched those on her gown.
Katie added only pearl earrings and her diamond engagement ring to her look along with a pair of Aquazurra heels. And, of course, a mask!
Being that Katie and Josh wanted overgrown florals as part of their enchanted garden decor, Katie’s bouquet by Shean Strong was "a big deal." It featured garden roses, dahlias, peonies, lisianthus, eucalyptus, and stipa grass.
Aspen is a very special place for us, and as soon as we decided to downsize the wedding, we agreed it was where we wanted to get married.
“Aspen is a very special place for us, and as soon as we decided to downsize the wedding, we agreed it was where we wanted to get married,” Katie says.
Even though the event is smaller and so different than you may have pictured it, the day feels even more special.
“The day becomes just about the two of you,” Katie says of marrying during the pandemic. “Even though the event is smaller and so different than you may have pictured it, the day feels even more special.”
Though Katie and Josh had to also downsize their wedding party, they kept two very important members: their two nephews served as ring bearers in black suits and sneakers.
As mentioned, the couple offered masks and programs to guests as they entered the ceremony space.
They also displayed their ketubah, which was customized with their wedding logo and the Aspen landscape, and a custom sign to welcome guests.
Pulling inspiration from Meghan Markle, Katie entered solo then met her parents halfway down the aisle to escort her to Josh, standing at the chuppah. A string quartet played a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”
“We loved that the courtyard was able to facilitate a feeling of a very intimate romantic wedding while still being in nature with a stunning backdrop of the mountains,” Katie says. The planning team covered the area in lush overgrown florals and adorned the chuppah with a soft color palette of fresh blooms.
The couple wed in a traditional Jewish ceremony right down to the breaking of the glass.
“After the wedding day we received a bunch of videos and pictures from our family and friends who watched the live stream of our ceremony,” Katie says. “Some of the videos were people dressed up in formal outfits, with table settings and pictures of us to feel part of the day from afar. Our virtual guests made it a special experience.”
The enchanted garden theme extended to the outdoor reception, where massive arrangements of flowers and greenery adorned the guest tables and the newlyweds’ sweetheart table. A self-proclaimed lover of pink, Katie admits she couldn’t help but add a rose-hued goblet to the tables to accent the mint green linens, gold flatware, and laser-cut menus.
As guests munched on appetizers and sipped cocktails, they were given a laugh by cheeky signs, like one noting the irony that dancing was outlawed by marijuana is legal in Colorado.
To provide entertainment at a dance-less reception, the couple hosted a cigar lounge—complete with custom matchboxes.
At the reception, guests dined on a Colorado-inspired menu that included sweet corn ravioli, roasted halibut with lemon butter, and wedding cake.
“Even though it is very sad not being able to have all of your friends and family with you in person for your wedding day, you will feel so surrounded by love and support from all of those people both near and far,” Katie adds.
The newlyweds cut into a vanilla buttercream cake that was designed to mimic Katie’s tulle gown, including sugar pearls.
In a complete 2020 turn of events, the couple’s honeymoon to California’s Napa Valley also needed a last-minute swap. The wildfires in wine country meant a detour to the Four Seasons Santa Fe, followed by a road trip to the Amangiri in Utah for a “magical” six nights, to which Katie says: “It all ended up working out even better than we could have imagined.”
Planning & Design Eva Clark Events
Venue & Cake Hotel Jerome
Floral Design Shean Strong
Paper Goods TPD Design House
Veil Erin Cole
Hair Ana Belén
Makeup Lindsay Gallagher
Rings JK and Co. Jewelers
Live Stream Colorado Audio Visual & Design
Hair Ana Belén
Makeup Lindsay Gallagher
Videography Justin Peay Productions
Photography Harwell Photography
Editor's Note: In the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, this couple decided to do what they felt was best for them based on the individual guidelines of their state and the information available at the time of their wedding. For more up-to-date guidelines, check the CDC and your state's website.