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To Have and to HOLDEN: David and Erica (and their grandmas)

To Have and to HOLDEN is our series where we interview real couples about their romance, weddings, and whatever else comes up along the way. Enjoy! 

After freelance creatives David and Erica got married, David edited their wedding video footage to include the reactions of the couple's 90+ year old grandmas. It went viral. We learned more about their love story, their creative backgrounds, and of course, the inspiration behind their wedding video.

How did you meet and start dating?

Erica: We first matched on a dating app, and after a bit of small talk, we met at Tacombi in the West Village for dinner. It wasn’t supposed to be dinner - just drinks at a bar - but I got off work really late that day after a music video shoot and realized I was going to need some food. David anticipated that, since he’s a video guy and all video shoots run late. So, he had already lined up Tacombi as a potential dinner spot and we met there on the fly. We bonded over tacos and had such a good time talking that we weren’t ready for the date to end, so we wandered around the village afterwards.

David: Even from our very first dating app conversation, I could tell how big her personality was, and our first date was awesome. We were so comfortable from day one - I think in part because we both can relate to the creative lifestyle. We went on a few more dates in the first few weeks that were all great, but I was traveling a ton for work at the time, so we both agreed to take a break for a little while. Erica played me pretty well honestly… I think we both had each other in the back of our minds (I did at least) and every once in a while she’d text me to ask for random things like headphone recommendations. I’d give her my thoughts and then, obviously, I’d ask if she wanted to meet up… which she would then reject and tell me to text her in a few months. That happened a few times until eventually we started dating for good.

David and Erica

How did you get engaged?

Erica: Coincidentally, we both grew up going with our families to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a week most summers. David’s family lives 3 hours away while my family drove a whopping 8-11 hours. Even more of a true coincidence is that both our families booked an overlapping week there in August 2020. Naturally I had a hunch David would propose that week, but he completely threw me off my tracks by telling me he knew I wanted to celebrate with family, but because my ring finger was so small (3.5!), I needed something custom made that would take months. Having ring shopped and never been able to try my size in a shop, I believed him. One morning, my sister and I decided to wake up for sunrise. Ten minutes in, David surprised me and showed up on the beach to propose… except I still had no idea what was going on, so I immediately gave him my phone and told him to take pictures of me and Carly (my sister) during the sunrise. Hilariously, he had no choice and actually did start taking pictures of us. Thankfully, he had planned the proposal with Carly, so with a bit of improv, she offered to take a picture of just me and David. As we posed for a picture, David started saying the nicest things to me. I only realized he was proposing when he got down on one knee.

David: Yeah, pretty much that’s the story, minus the part about how stressful it was to figure out the right time to actually propose during that beach week. Our parents had never met before that week, and we all planned a big cookout in the middle of the week for everyone to finally get a chance to get to know each other. That would have been the obvious time and place to propose, but I just really didn’t want to propose in front of so many people… I wanted it to be much smaller and more intimate. So, Carly (Erica’s sister) and I tried to figure out the best way to do it… but the problem was Erica was working crazy hours that week and had meetings all day, every day. There was never a good time to get her away for a nice sunset walk or anything even remotely romantic. As we started getting pretty close to the end of the week, I was getting nervous and thought I might have to just propose very un-romantically in the beach house in between her meetings. Thankfully, Erica felt bad that she was so busy and hadn’t spent much time with her sister, so she actually suggested, herself, that the two of them wake up early and watch the sunrise on the beach together. I took that as my opportunity to sneak to the beach a few minutes behind them - which is not so easy when you’re trying to time everything with the sunrise - and thankfully it all worked out perfectly. Long story short, you could say Erica accidentally planned her own proposal.

David and Erica's HOLDEN Rings

What’s a moment from your wedding day that you’ll remember forever?

David: Right after the actual ceremony, it’s tradition in Jewish weddings for the bride and groom to spend 10-15 minutes alone together. It’s called “Yichud.” I think that time was probably the most memorable for me, just going from all of this crazy excitement and build up of the day (and months before) to getting a few minutes to totally decompress and be by ourselves in our very first moments as a married couple… that was such a fun, lowkey island of an experience smack in the middle of this crazy hectic day. Being able to immediately reflect on this enormous, life-changing thing you just did… you don’t really get many opportunities in life to do that in the moment.

Erica: Our wedding was supposed to be outside in a garden by a big tree, but it rained that morning and muddied up the space, so we moved things around at the last minute. The alternate space had limited seating, so most of our guests had to stand. It felt so intimate and right out of a movie. The room was obviously crowded, but as soon as I made my way to David, I felt like we were in our own bubble. Can I cheat and say a second? In Jewish weddings there’s a tradition called shtick where guests try to make the bride and groom laugh. People bring in props, dance for the couple, and groups of friends/family work together. What I didn’t expect was for our families to work together! Our two families came in wearing my dad's collection of OBX sweatshirts with blown up duck pool floats around their necks and completely blew me away. The Outer Banks is such a magical place for all of us - it was such a silly and fun way to celebrate.

David and Erica's Wedding Party

What advice do you have for a couple planning a wedding right now?

Have fun with it and make it your own :) Use different fonts, colors, and designs than the ones you always see. There are no rules, so don’t follow any. We spent a lot of time writing all our guests individual thank you notes as place cards, which was a really nice surprise for everyone and made the night feel so much more our own creation. And if you want something done a certain way, don’t be afraid to politely ask your venue or your vendors - they can’t read your mind.

What was important to you in choosing a ring? What made you choose HOLDEN?

Erica: Our top priorities were comfort, fit, and cost. I have a low set engagement ring and wanted both of my rings to sit side by side without a gap, so I was searching for something very specific that curved. David didn’t want to wear a wedding ring because the men in his family don’t and he’s never worn jewelry and didn’t want anything flashy. HOLDEN had exactly what we wanted. Something that curved perfectly around my engagement ring and a nice subtle matte ring for David. We both wear our rings every day. The cherry on top to picking HOLDEN was the connection to The Trevor Project and the focus on sustainability. I loved feeling good about the purchase.

David and Erica's HOLDEN Rings

What does love mean to you?

Erica: To me, it’s about partnership and being fully yourself around someone else and knowing they’ll support you no matter what.

David: Ditto - it really is a partnership and a commitment to full emotional support. And it’s nice to have someone to cook with and to help you figure out what you should eat for dinner ;)

Your wedding video went viral! Tell us more about how this video came to be and why it was so important for you to include your grandmothers.

Erica: Early in our wedding planning, David learned that his 93 year old Granny Annette in Atlanta wouldn’t be able to attend. He was disappointed, but being the creative filmmaker he is, he started thinking about ways to include her in the big day and got creative ;) During the week after the wedding, David edited together a traditional wedding video (shot by Chad George), and we flew down to Atlanta and then back to NJ to film both of our grandmas reacting to the wedding footage.

David: We knew the footage was going to be pretty hilarious given how candid our grandmas both are, and it worked out pretty well! It was funny though…while I had explained the concept to both of them beforehand, they had no idea what I was doing once we started rolling the camera. They both thought I was there to interview them about their ancestors, so I think they were kinda confused, but they both ended up loving the finished product.

David and Erica

Both of you are clearly very creative. Tell us about some of the projects that you’ve both worked on. What made them fun and what have you learned from working together?

David: Both of us are full time freelance creatives. Erica’s a singer/songwriter for kids’ TV shows like Cocomelon, and I left Google a few years ago to start my own video production company. We mostly work separately, but every now and then we work on personal projects together - our first collaboration was actually born out of our first date at Tacombi. While eating tacos, we naturally started talking about our favorite tacos. Mine was a tuna taco from this place called Turf n’ Surf in Austin, and it just so happens that Erica had been there before and loved their tuna taco as well. A Taco Told In Texas was born from that - and it did pretty well online, getting a Vimeo Staff Pick and licensed by The Atlantic. From there, we collaborated on an animated music video for a kids’ song Erica wrote called “You’re Not Alone” and lots of small things like album art and then, of course, our wedding video.

Erica: Working with David and watching him work has shown me how much time and intentionality goes into every detail and decision he makes. Nothing happens by accident and he’s so crafty! The day we filmed my grandma, she was more interested in feeding the crew than watching our video and didn’t really give David much to work with…so I thought. He cleverly turned lemons into lemonade and no one would know. He’s also so thoughtful. David learned how to animate for my kids’ music video because he thought a good song deserved a good video. He also surprised me by redesigning my website and commissioning original artwork for my birthday one year.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you?

For the past 18 months, we’ve been working remotely and renting homes month to month all over the place! We’ve stayed in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, California, New York, and Tel Aviv so far! Right now, we’re in LA for the next few months…after that, who knows?!

David and Erica's Wedding Venue

Shop David and Erica's ring's: The Curved and The Domed 

Want to read more? Check out some of our other couple interviews:

A DIY Wedding With Nate and Felix

A Waterfall Microwedding with Korene and Nathan

Tea Ceremonies with Jen and Jesse

Want to be featured in our next post? Shoot us an email at help@hiholden.com! Want to read more? Check out the rest of our blog.


Wedding Video and Photography:

Directed and Edited by: David Gorvy

Produced by: Erica Rabner

Film: Chad George, David Parker, Jordan T. Parrott

Photography: Cheyanna De Nicola

Wedding Vendors:

Catering: Above and Beyond Catering

Venue: Waterloo Village Weddings

Music/Entertainment: Silver Pro Entertainment

Floral Arrangements: Strange Vine Studio

Invitations: Nib and Pixel

Wedding Dress: Kleinfeld BridalRita Vinieres

Hair Stylist: Hair by Casey Veda

Make Up Artist: Lena Kaptein

Suits: My Suit