Virtual Happily Ever After


Alexandra Silva, Editor

During the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been difficult for Waterford locals to find something to smile about, but Taylor and Tom Ortolani have done exactly that. After days of debating and researching the spread of the virus, they came to the conclusion to have their wedding ceremony on Facebook Live. 

“It was a team decision, of course. Concerns were brought up when we were going to have the bridal shower in New Jersey, which was when word started to spread,” explains Taylor. After conversing with the attending guests to the wedding, it was obvious travel would be close to impossible, especially considering the friend that would marry the two and a few others of her party would be coming from as far as California. Friends from other states soon began to experience rapid spread of the virus. Once the president announced groups over 50 were prohibited, “that was when we knew the wedding couldn’t happen,” says Taylor. 

The Ortolanis were faced with major financial issues when attempting refunds for the wedding expenses, but were able to piece the day together. While following proper social distancing requirements, the scheduled photographer was able to capture beautiful photos of the wedding ceremony. The original venue unfortunately was unable to provide space for the couple to perform the ceremony.

A letter was sent out to everyone invited to the wedding as confirmed guests. In it there was information on when the guests may tune into the ceremony. After discussing with the owner of Great Neck Country Club, the Ortolanis were able to use a section of the ballroom. Judge Ken Shluger, superior court judge in New London, and the uncle of the friend who was originally planned to marry the two performed the ceremony. 

“With the wedding part over it was a giant sigh of relief,” explains Taylor. After their broadcast of the ceremony the newly-wed couple ended their day with take out on the couch in the peace of their own home. “We got a mini cake from Stop and Shop, and went to bed.”

Even though the form of the wedding was not ideal, the purpose of the ceremony had not changed. “At the end of the day all it’s about is sharing a bond with each other,” says Taylor. The couple plans on having a gathering with friends and family to celebrate after quarantine guidelines are taken down. “I’m excited to be able to see everyone again and celebrate this with them, but at this moment I am simply happy to be married to the man I love.”