Love In The Time of Corona: Max Levy And Izaskun Fontanals' Wedding
True love will not be thwarted by a pandemic. While some couples are postponing or cancelling their weddings, others are embracing the new normal by conducting their ceremonies online via Zoom or Instagram—like Max Levy, chef-owner of Okra, and sake sommelier Izaskun Fontanals.
They said “I do” at the Cotton Tree Drive marriage registry in April, after the virus foiled their plans to marry this summer in Ibiza, where they first met. “We were in Ibiza in February scouting for locations, and we watched as flights were being cancelled all over the world,” Levy says. “It was going to be a stretch to expect our friends and family to make a trip to Ibiza for our wedding. We decided we would just get married at the government office in Hong Kong and stream it on Instagram and Facebook.”
Fittingly, the couple tied the knot on the day of Sant Jordi festival, a traditional celebration of love and literature in Fontanals’ native Catalonia.
With her wearing a black lace dress and a leather jacket with the words “Till death” on the back and him dressed in a navy suit, the couple exchanged vows in front of two witnesses and a virtual crowd of friends and family who tuned in from 33 places across the world— from Beijing to Brazil, Melbourne to Moscow. “Some guests dressed up; others made a point of watching the ceremony naked, so that they could finally say they attended a casual wedding,” Levy says.
That wasn’t the only surprise element: Fontanals created a virtual seating chart using Hasbro’s family classic Guess Who? game, sticking photos of each guest onto the pop-up deck to mimic a congregation.
“We were having trouble finding a way to display our guests in a fun and easily transportable way,” says Levy. “The plan was to film Lego men with all their headshots but we couldn’t find enough Lego pieces. We then thought gummy bear guests, but finally a friend suggested Guess Who?. We made sure to treat the seating arrangement as if it were real too. Certain people would definitely be upset sitting next to others—even virtually,” says Levy.
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and friends headed to Okra, where they shared a meal of homemade family recipes, which included tortilla de patatas and shrimp creole, washed down with their favourite sake. Instead of a white, tiered confection, they cut into a gluten-free carrot and pecan cake with cream cheese icing prepared by their friend, chef Conor Beach.
After an exhausting day, the couple took a nap at 6pm, waking up in time for their private sushi dinner at Michelin-starred restaurant Ryota Kappou Modern.
Looking ahead, Levy says the intimate day was a prelude to a larger celebration—whenever that may be. “Ibiza may need to stay on hold until next summer but it will definitely happen. Right now, our honeymoon is a toss-up between no-quarantine destinations Kowloon or Lamma Island.”
See also: Real Weddings: Inside Rina Hiranand & Aaron Davis's Chiang Mai Celebration
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