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To Have and to HOLDEN: How to Throw a Zoom Wedding with Ruth and Dario

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!

Dario and Ruth were married this spring in their New York City apartment (Dario wore our Square Profile in yellow gold), but thanks to modern technology, they were able to celebrate with friends all over the world. Ruth was kind enough to walk us through their love story and to give tips on throwing a Zoom wedding.

How did you two meet and start dating?

I’d seen Dario before around our local church, helping out with the production team and as part of the musicians team, but we officially met in May 2017. Me and my friends would have “family dinners” and take turns hosting them, and that one Saturday evening was my turn. My friend Freddy invited Dario and gave me a last minute heads up, which I found weird because we don’t usually invite strangers to family dinners, but I thought, “Oh well, the more the merrier, I guess.” For his contribution to the dinner, I asked Freddy if he could bring some cans of Prickly Pear and Orange San Pellegrino, as it is my favorite drink and I could not find it in my neighborhood. Without telling me, he assigned the task to Dario. So there Dario was, standing at my door with A CASE OF PRICKLY PEAR & ORANGE SAN PELLEGRINO. He apparently scoured all of the Upper East Side delis and Italian stores looking for them and found the last case from the last store he called. He brought it downtown to my apartment, and I just blurted, “Oh my gosh, you’re my favorite person!” as soon as he handed me the case. Dario turned bright red, and I thought, “Weird, but okay.” I had no idea that he'd asked our friend Freddy to introduce us, and that he’d really like to meet me and get to know me.

The rest of the dinner went well - our friends orchestrated for us to sit next to each other around the table. He slyly asked for my number that night but got mine mixed up with another friend. The next day, he texted that friend thinking that it was me. She was so kind telling him he texted the wrong number and gave my actual number to him. He finally got a hold of me and invited me to grab coffee the following weekend. We ended up talking for five hours and decided to meet up again, and again. He kissed me and asked me to be his girlfriend one night, and we’ve been inseparable since.

Ruth and Dario for HOLDEN

How did you get engaged?

We always knew we would get married and live the rest of our lives together. When the pandemic hit and NYC cases surged, I had to travel for work and could not come back home due to shelter in place orders. So one day, Dario called me and “unofficially” asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes and that I would marry him anytime, anywhere. We were being practical and wanted to get everything in order, but the city was shut down. We ended up not seeing each other for two months, and when I finally got to go home to him, he took me to the Brooklyn Bridge Park under the guise of me taking some photos to get us out of the house. He found a secluded path and said we should walk that way, then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. This time it was official with the ring and everything. :)

Tell us about your decision to pivot your wedding. How did you choose to celebrate over Zoom?

We originally agreed to meet at City Hall, contact one of our friends to be the witness, and call it a day. However, right after Dario called me, the city shut down. We kept our eyes peeled on the news to see if the governor of New York or the mayor of New York City would do something about giving out marriage licenses or having a way to get married online. Fortunately, #ProjectCupid was signed into law and launched by the local government, and we jumped right into the process. We anticipated it would take quite some time to get an appointment with the City Clerk’s Office, and it did. We got our appointment six weeks from the day we completed our application online.

We ended up deciding a week from the appointment to get married via Zoom the day after we got our marriage license. Everyone is using Zoom to catch up with friends and hold meetings - why not host a wedding there, right? So we bought our outfits, made invites to send via email to all our friends, set up a registry, called some friends to help us with brainstorming logistics of the flow of the ceremony and setting our living room as the makeshift chapel remotely, called some more friends to borrow lighting equipment, and after two trips to the local nursery, we got our Zoom wedding setup done!

Ruth and Dario for HOLDEN

Walk us through the ceremony! How did it work, how many people attended, what other details would you like to share with us? We saw you had a musician through Zoom - what other elements did you turn online as well?

Our goal was to make it feel like a traditional wedding ceremony in the comfort of everybody’s homes. We were originally just going to invite our best friends, but one of them brought up the idea that people in our world would love to celebrate alongside us, and we could all use a reason to dress up and celebrate. So we did our best to compile everybody’s email addresses and sent our invite to all 80 plus of them. I was in charge of setting up the backdrop and creating some dried floral arrangements, and Dario was in charge of all the lighting and camera setup, as he does work in production as well. We picked five of our favorite songs as our ‘waiting room’ music and asked Dario’s best friend Nate if he could sing Coldplay’s “Til Kingdom Come” for us. Our friend Amber was the MC, and she flawlessly guided the whole ceremony according to the logistics we came up with.

While everyone was logging into the Zoom meeting, we had the playlist playing, and Amber would from time to time remind everyone to mute themselves so as not to disrupt the flow of the ceremony. She then introduced the bride and groom and our officiant, and the ceremony began. We had three of our friends share a word of encouragement during the ceremony as well. And after the “I do’s” and our kiss, we asked everyone to share a toast with us as we popped open our champagne and drank. Dario said a few thank yous to everybody, and we all said our goodbyes. :)

Ruth and Dario for HOLDEN

What’s some advice you have for couples throwing a Zoom wedding?

Do it your way, whatever that may look like. There isn’t a rulebook on this, so have it your way and enjoy the process! Dario is very good with production, so he took it to heart and made sure all the technical details were taken care of. I took care of all the creative details of the ceremony, making sure the floral arch looked good and taking photos of everything that was used to commemorate the day.

Ruth and Dario for HOLDEN

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

We agreed that we would buy each other’s rings. I wanted to find a minimal ring for my minimalist husband-to-be. So I went on an instagram search for a local company that checked the design I had in mind, had integrity, valued their ethics, and had good customer service. So I typed #minimalweddingband, HOLDEN was fifth on the posts, and I got hooked. True story: I stalked the Instagram page, website, and read every single review. I finally reached out and got a response very quickly and the rest was history.

Ruth and Dario for HOLDEN

What does love mean to you?

Love means getting up in the middle of the night to get them a glass of water, being their biggest encourager and cheerleader, holding their hands through both their best and worst days, and everything in between. Love means a commitment that whatever happens, you’ll always be in their corner. I say all of this not because I did them, but because I am on the receiving side of it. :)

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