Sayaka Fukudu is a 41-year-old East Harlem shoe designer behind the company Sand by Saya New York. She married her fiancé James Storr Brown, a financier, on April 18 — just hours after Gov. Cuomo announced the legalization of video wedding ceremonies.
We got our marriage license in December 2019 and it was due to expire on April 18, 2020. We had planned to have a small wedding upstate, followed by parties in both Tokyo and New York, but all that had to be canceled. So when James saw on Twitter that the governor was allowing Zoom weddings because of COVID-19, we sprang into action. It felt like fate he’d chosen that day — the day our license expired — for the announcement.
We immediately alerted our friend and officiant, Scott Brindley, and sent emails to our family and friends in the UK, Australia, Japan and America to say the ceremony was happening that afternoon.
I wore a white Helmut Lang dress and matched it with a headband and sandals I made myself. James put a jacket over a button-down shirt and jeans.
It was a beautiful occasion which meant so much because around 45 people — guests from so many different countries who we’d never have gotten together in one spot physically — were able to watch us on Zoom.
Now we’re rescheduling our parties for 2021. Looking on the bright side, the extra time gives us a chance to save money to make the events even more special than they would have been. — As told to Jane Ridley