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May 27, 2023
New York, NY
#theraazwedding
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Watercolor Highlight

Neal Raaz

and

Jessica Zayas

#theraazwedding

May 27, 2023

New York, NY

Our Wedding Story

From DC to NYC

We are so excited to celebrate with you, finally! As you know, we were supposed to get married at Sequoia in Washington, D.C. on our 6 year anniversary (April 25, 2020). We picked Sequoia because it was right near where we had our first date (at the gelato shop across the fountain). With all of the uncertainty brewing and realizations that we wanted to get legally married as soon as possible (NY at the time was so scary and we feared something happening to our loved ones), we applied for and were granted a remote marriage license application through the local courthouse in Maryland. Unsure of when the application would be approved and license would then be MAILED, we were surprised it was in our mailbox just a few days later. Without any hesitation, we said “let’s get married this weekend!” So on April 18, 2020 we eloped to "take care of the legal parts" of the wedding with our immediate families watching safely from Zoom in their homes. What was supposed to be “just a license signing” turned into one of the most memorable days in our lives, standing on our front doorstep on a windy day with the sun peeking out from the clouds onto us, we exchanged rings. Our wedding florist delivered us a bouquet and boutonnière, Jess did her own hair/makeup (thanks Dory for all of the supplies and thanks YouTube for showing her what to do), and she put on a dress from her bachelorette weekend. To our surprise, Jess' mom ordered us all Harry & David cakes so we could each have a piece of the “wedding cake” and it created a shared experience to watch our families all enjoy the same cake at the same time from each of their homes. We bonded as a new combined family in a way that we always dreamed of. After this impromptu time with our immediate families, we whisked away to our “honeymoon at home” (read: our guest room) where we indulged in pizza, wings, and The Great Gatsby. Going to bed that night knowing that we were finally married (a week earlier than expected!) was surreal. We topped off the honeymoon weekend with copious amounts of fresh pasta courtesy of our pasta maker and let the butterflies continue as we kept this a secret from many (because we were planning something for everyone else on April 25!) The uncertainty of rescheduling our big wedding was too much to handle on a daily basis- the constant watching of the news and worrying if a new date would be okay/ if our loved ones could be there. Despite the roller coaster of emotions, we still wanted to share this special time with our wedding guests so we had a “virtual wedding” on April 25 (our original wedding date) with almost all of our guests! At our Zoom wedding, we exchanged personalized vows in our living room (we saved these for the zoom wedding and there were all the tears). We had our first dance in our kitchen, cut our cake at our dining table, and listened to the heartfelt toasts from our loved ones. Everyone was dressed up with drinks in hand ready to cheers, and cheers we did!

Our Wedding Celebration!

When we were cutting cake at the kitchen table, we told you all to stay tuned for the in-person party, the time has come!

We feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to celebrate with you all in our new city. See you on May 27, 2023 at Glasshouse Chelsea!

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