From overbooked weekend evenings to crowd concerns, a small garden party is a perfect setting for a pandemic-era wedding.

Our spring/summer 2021 issue—available on newsstands and to Countdown Club members this month—features a styled shoot with a new, COVID-compliant take on wedding receptions. Instead of a large, lavish, indoor, evening affair, the feature focuses on a small-scale brunch setup. But the masterminds behind the shoot didn’t stop there; they also styled an afternoon tea party reception, perfect for anyone who isn’t an early riser but still wants a beautiful and intimate fête. 

Photographers and shoot hosts, Broc and Alexa Pickering of Broc and Alexa Photography, worked with Dana Watts of Thyme & Details Sustainable Event Planning to conceptualize the scene. Broc even went so far as to create a custom teacup wall, featuring adorable vintage teacups that served as escort cards. 

“That was super cute,” says Watts. “We were inspired by something on Pinterest and thought it would be cool to bring that to life.” 

Smaller guest lists have more benefits than just being safer in the time of coronavirus, Watts adds. 

“You’re able to—hopefully—have a nice, quality, sincere conversation with everyone; you don’t feel like you’re just running around saying, ‘Hi, bye, thank you very much,’ ” she says. “There are less traditions and formality, and it’s a lot more casual. You get to enjoy the food; you get to enjoy your people.” 

VENDORS

Photographers/hosts: Broc and Alexa Photography 

Planner: Thyme & Details Sustainable Event Planning 

Floral design: Stem Floral Studio 

Venue: The Henry Manor 

Table and flatware: Lasting Impressions Event Rental  

Buffet: Aiden & Grace 

Chairs: Queen City Vignette 

Linens: Nüage Designs  

Dinnerware and glasses: HomeGoods 

Desserts: Lavender & Honey Wedding Cakes / Sweetie Girls Treatery 

Invitations: On Paper 

Gown: A Bride’s Design 

Makeup: J. Rice Makeup Artistry 

Hair: Lauren Wolff Hair Design 

Suit: The Groomsman Suit 

Rings: Worthington Jewelers  

Models: Tony and Hana D’Amico