Celebrating in a pandemic has created yet another layer in our “new” reality.
Wedding postponements or rescheduling have been especially prevalent. Alex and Leslie Fischbach planned their nuptials for 180 people in St. Louis a year in advance and were committed to sticking with the original May date. Aunt Michele Fischbach stepped in to reengineer a micro-wedding in her Sandy Springs front yard on the wayside of large gatherings in times of COVID.
Also on short notice, Added Touch Catering rose to the occasion, going quickly to work to make the day special for Alex and Leslie among a myriad of new safety regulations.
Erin Lis, vice president of sales, said, “Events might be smaller, but it doesn’t mean they have to be any less fabulous! Added Touch recently had the honor of being a part of two May 2020 weddings. We feel like we haven’t heard good news like this in a while.”
The Wedding Backdrop
Aunt and Uncle Michele and Bobby Fischbach played a key role by volunteering to host this micro-wedding in a scaled-down version at their home.
Michele said, “Sadly, both the bride and groom had lost their mothers. Leslie’s passed away since the wedding was planned. That was the chief reason that she wanted to stay with the original date. She felt that was the one thing that she could control, that could not be taken away from her. By default, I stepped in.”
Involved from the start, Michele cautioned Leslie in March to not send out the invitations. The ketubah, or marriage contract, was inscripted for May 23, so May 23 it was. “We waited a bit, then sent out do-it-yourself evites for 28 guests,” Michele said.
Rabbi Samantha Shabman Trief of Temple Sinai came in at the last minute. “She was warm and wonderful; but to be cautious of handling [money], she was the only rabbi I have ever Venmoed,” Michele said. “We took every possible precaution to keep guests safe, starting with measuring the yard and dividing by the number of people to mark standing points. We gave out gloves and masks and had an outdoor handwashing station. Some guests chose to sit in their cars, and our friendly neighbors allowed others to park in their driveways.
Another emotional element is that the chuppah was the trellis in front of the Fischbach home. “This is the exact trellis that Bobby and I were married under,” Michele said. “So here we were a second time.”
The Added Touch
“Having dined on appetizers and a fully stocked bar, replete with a variety of craft canned cocktails, guests were invited for the ceremony, which was followed by champagne toasts and speeches,” Lis said. “To allow guests who wanted to maintain their distance and keep their attendance short, the bride and groom cut the cake, and guests were offered a delicious boxed, branded Added Touch dinner to take home.” The Fischbachs’ guests box was Mediterranean chicken breasts with artichoke lemon caper sauce, blended Israeli couscous, chopped Israeli salad, mini grilled vegetable stacks with balsamic reduction and basil chiffonade, and fresh pita with hummus.
Added Touch’s guide for safely hosting micro events:
• Keep it Outdoors: For now, events at home are the way to go. Backyard, front yard, or even driveway. Keep the tables spread out and fresh air flowing.
• Hand Wash Station: Greet guests with a hand wash station with wipes to sanitize phones.
• Packaged passed apps are served in closed containers to keep the germs away.
• End with healthy swag bag gift bags packed with COVID-fighting goodies: Take it further and order branded facemasks or personalized hand sanitizers with event monogram or logo.
While overflowing open-air buffets are the way of the past, Added Touch stations will now be behind a plexiglass screen (think sneeze guard on steroids). There is the option of a classic, seated, plated served meal covered with a silver dome to keep it ultra fresh and hot.
“People are searching for the peace of mind to have a good time,” said Added Touch Owner Sandra Bank. “Safety is the new luxury, and you can still have a delicious micro-event but make it a macro experience. Many couples or bar/bat mitzvahs are upgrading with ‘added touches’ that larger events might not have afforded. From salmon to sea bass, burgers to lamb chops, hydrangeas to peonies, folks now more than ever want to find a way connect and find joy in creative ways.”