One Family, Three Weddings: Ellie and Justin Hod

The Hods made concessions on their original wedding plans, but it hardly put a damper on their day.

Sarah Steimer
Ellie and Justin Hod married on Aug. 16, 2020, at Cherry Valley Hotel.

Aug. 16, 2020 | The incidents that led up to Justin and Ellie (Chase) Hod’s wedding day were, in a word, Biblical. 

First, there was the pandemic itself: The Hods were supposed to be married in May 2020, but they knew by the end of March that they needed to find a new date. They rescheduled their Cherry Valley Hotel wedding to Aug. 16, 2020, and began a series of tweaks to the big day to accommodate the latest CDC recommendations. 

Then came the frogs and the flood. But it really sounds more dramatic than it was: Heavy rains caused some leaking in the ceremony space, and a few frogs—driven to find shelter from the storm, no doubt—hopped into guests’ rooms. In another, more comical snafu, the couple’s printer sent them a poster for a hip hop artist, rather than their ketubah (a ceremonial Jewish marriage contract).

More:One Family, Three Weddings: How the Chase Family Got Through Three Nuptials and a Pandemic

But everything was so quickly rectified by wedding planner Courtney Heibel of Rooted Together that Justin, a wealth manager, and Ellie, a media planner, are able to focus their memories of the weekend on the joy it brought them. 

To tackle the issue of a pandemic-era wedding, the couple reduced their guest list, which was further shortened due to travel restrictions. But for those who were able to make it, the couple, their families and Heibel were careful to make all necessary changes to ensure everyone would be safe and comfortable. 

This included signs that clarified social distance expectations, along with appropriate seating arrangements to reduce the spread of germs. They even purchased a 100-foot rope at Lowe's and tied a knot every 11 feet so attendees could hold a knot and be socially distanced, allowing certain Jewish wedding dance traditions to continue safely. 

Instead of traditional favors like Jordan almonds, the couple gave guests care packages that included hand sanitizer and a mask, both emblazoned with the couple’s wedding logo—a utilitarian souvenir to remember the day. 

“The sight of our friends walking around wearing the masks from our wedding—it actually just brings us joy,” Ellie says. 

Vendors 

Ceremony and reception: Cherry Valley Hotel 

Planner: Rooted Together  

Photographer: Lauren Lee Photography 

Caterer and cake: Catering by Chani 

Florist: Fezz & Hazel 

Rentals: Got Ya Covered Linens, Lasting Impressions Event Rentals, Events 2NV, Aiden and Grace 

Stationery: Zazzle.com and Nutis Visual Communications Group 

Music: Singer Shlomie Dachs and violinist Arkadiy Gips 

Videography: Columbus Wedding Videos 

Photo booth and trivia: Excesss Productions 

Rehearsal dinner and overnight accommodations: Cherry Valley Hotel 

Bride's attire: Casablanca gown and veil from Sisters Bridal Boutique (Garfield, NJ), Betsey Johnson shoes, her mother’s earrings 

Groom’s attire: Jos. A. Bank suit, cufflinks from Uncommon Goods 

Rings: Bride’s rings are family heirlooms; groom’s ring is from Koulian Jewelers 

Bridesmaids’ attire: Various 

Groomsmen’s attire: Jos. A. Bank