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As Coronavirus Restrictions Ease, Small Weddings Are Having A Big Moment In Hempstead

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - Waiting to walk down the aisle has been a long road for some engaged couples during the coronavirus restrictions.

Many of them have wedding dates they don't want to cancel, so a town on Long Island is trying to make tying the knot possible and affordable, despite some rules.

The flower girl glides down the dock in Seaford. The couple's "I do"s in Merrick. Under a gazebo or Levittown, or a Hempstead Town park in Valley Stream.


Kaitlin and Stephane Passalacqua are newlyweds, since last Saturday.

"When we learned they were doing outdoor ceremonies, we jumped at it," Kaitlin said.

Historic Hempstead Town Hall is another venue for weddings.

"Right next door we have our town clerk office , we will be able to process the paperwork then bring out our couples and their families and be able to marry them in a very pretty setting," said Hempstead Town Clerk Kate Murray.

Near the town fountain, a tiny temporary office is open for curbside walk-up marriage licenses. Even during the early months of COVID-19, Murray says they performed more than 100 Zoom and FaceTime weddings.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

And now?

"We just knew from the hundreds and hundreds of phone calls we received from disappointed couples," Murray said.

They called wanting in-person wedding ceremonies.

Hempsted Town now has a multitude of outdoor dates booked through the end of August.

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And couples say it's economically feasible too. $40 for the state marriage license, and just $65 for the Hempstead Town facility fee, reported CBS2's Jennifer McLogan.

Even at ocean sites like Point Lookout.

The Passalacquas say despite the pandemic, a simple ceremony with 25 loved ones outdoors was a day they will forever cherish.

"It was nice because it was the first time I saw him so emotional. He was so nervous," Kaitlin said.

Nervous, in love, tying the knot... perhaps made a little bit easier, despite the turmoil in our nation.

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