Surprise Vow Renewal, COVID-Style

Surprise Vow Renewal, COVID-Style

Dr. Cary Goldstein started with the intention of executing a huge 25-year wedding re-creation, until reality set in.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

The wedding chuppah included golden doodle attendants Lacy and Kosmo.
The wedding chuppah included golden doodle attendants Lacy and Kosmo.

On Oct. 29, Cary Goldstein surprised his wife Jody with a second wedding/vow renewal at Temple Sinai. He had to pivot this wedding from a crowd of over 200 people inside the temple to only 10 of their closest friends, outside of the temple, staggered on the staircase. Hundreds more family and friends were on a Zoom call.

“Because our original wedding was small and in our living room, he really wanted to outshine with a big ‘to do,’ ” Jody said. “It’s certainly ironic that this one turned out to be even smaller.”

When a big storm in Sandy Springs knocked out the power that day, other dominos fell. The bakery Sugar Benders, where the cake was being prepared, was closed with no operational ovens; and the internet at Temple Sinai was dysfunctional. Then onto the Publix bakery for frantic backup confection.

Jody recalled, “My son Max Goldstein and his girlfriend Caroline Solomon had to use a cellphone hotspot to make the Zoom work. They were worried all day because of the power/internet outage, but in the end, they made it work beautifully. Fortunately, in addition to being the Georgia Tech assistant resident basketball coach, Max is also a technical whiz.”

In preparation, Cary had Rabbi Ron Segal call Jody the day of the anniversary to tell her to “stop” by Temple Sinai on their way to a planned dinner. Jody recalled, “When we pulled up to Temple Sinai, there was a small chuppah set up on the staircase. Good friend Allison Olim handed me a bouquet, and Cary escorted me under the chuppah, where our two golden doodles, Lacy and Kosmo, who wore “dog of honor” attendant sashes, were waiting.”

Jody’s friends arranged the last-minute cake as the power outage presented new challenges. Son Max used a hot spot to Zoom without power.

Other close friends were there to cheer the couple on while Cary read the emotional vows. Jody elaborated, “Cary told me to look at my son’s computer, where over 200 people were on a Zoom from all over the country.”

Other friends were in on the scheme. One dressed and transported the dogs, another procured the white rose and lily bridal bouquet. Another created the evite invitation. A small glitch happened when Cary, unlike son Max in the technology department, released the evite to his entire contact list.

Jody joked, “I’m sure the yard maintenance crew wondered why they got it.”

Then the party of 10 proceeded to Kaiser’s Chophouse for a small outdoor wedding dinner. Kaiser extended their outdoor patio on the sidewalk to accommodate a table for 10.

The first wedding was only about 20 people, Jody recounted.

“I was so happy Max and Caroline made the zoom call work because seeing all of our loved ones on Zoom made the wedding seem big!” The Goldsteins’ two other children Graci and Landon Zoomed from the University of Texas in Austin.

Cary reminisced, “What can you give a woman after 25 years? She’s not a jewelry person. I wanted something meaningful and special.”

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