Wedding wishes are shouted from windows in Crown Heights as the newlyweds celebrate with a drive through the streets instead of holding a crowded reception.
Similar scenes are playing out throughout Brooklyn`s Orthodox Jewish community as couples find creative ways to say I do with a limited guest list.
Shevi Katzman and Yacoov Behrman invited family and friends to live stream their ceremony.
“Being that my grandmothers who are over 65 were unable to attend we decided to create a live stream video so they can be part of the ceremony,” said bride Shevi Katzman.
And thousands tuned in. 2600 watched the nuptials online, toasting the happy couple from the safety of their homes. Some dressed up in wedding attire to participate from afar.
“They tried to live the moment to the best of their ability. It wasn`t just about watching it, but being a part of it,” said groom Yaacov Behrman.
The scaled-down ceremony took place in a backyard with just immediate family, a rabbi and two witnesses. Everyone but the bride and groom stood six feet apart.
“Typically a wedding there`s something called a chupah. It`s basically a cloth that covers over the bride and the groom with four poles. So for safety reasons we had a standalone chupah, which means they were attached the ground and nobody had to hold it,” said Behrman.
No mic holding. No shared wine. Dinner packed in individual lunch boxes. And dancing at a distance.
One of the livestream guests was journalist and Brooklynite Jacob Kornbluh.
“I very much wanted to go to his wedding and in normal circumstances I would`ve spent some significant time of my evening enjoying myself at the wedding. Instead of that, I was home watching the live stream and even shedding some tears because it is an emotional moment,” said Kornbluh.
The newlyweds say they plan to have a large reception after the pandemic is over. But they`re glad they safely tied the knot and shared their bliss virtually.
“I`m happy we brought so much joy and light to people in these times of darkness,” said Behrman.
“We`re showing people that you can stay safe and still do what you planned to do even if it`s very different that you planned,” said Katzman.