Paige Philipson and Mitchell Alterman grew up in Atlanta, minutes apart. They went to Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School and Riverwood High School just blocks apart, attended the same synagogue, became b’nai mitzvah the same month in the same year. Yet they didn’t meet until after college.
Paige recalled, “We briefly met at a bar and shared a ‘hello,’ but it wasn’t until we matched on JSwipe that our love story began.” The love story became a milestone on Nov. 21 at the St. Regis Hotel in an all-too-new-normal COVID Plan B. The beauty, emotion and details were all intact.
Prior to that, Mitchell, the director of business development at The Icebox, proposed on Sept. 1, 2019, in Hilton Head, S.C. Paige, a senior talent acquisition specialist at Tinuiti, recounted the special moment. “Hilton Head is my favorite place in the world. My grandfather (Harry Maziar) takes our extended family on an annual summer beach trip. We stay in the same house; and it’s the absolute best week spent together! Mitchell surprised me and got down on one knee right on the beach in front of my parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and his mom, dad and brother!”
The wedding was originally planned for June 27, 2020, but postponed to November with COVID on the rise. As the date inched closer and after much consideration, they decided to keep the new wedding date, changing several details to make it safer. They went from 300 guests down to 70 with only wedding party and family. The actual ceremony was private and open only to immediate family. Guests watched a livestream of the ceremony from outside the doors while they attended a mini cocktail hour with champagne and canapés.
Then all moved to a full cocktail hour with seafood bar, mini stations and safely passed hor d’oeuvres. Dinner was a four-course meal starting with potato leek potage soup. The second course was seafood and the third, a hand-carved beef tenderloin. They finished with a vanilla chiffon cake with Bavarian cream, raspberry jam and fresh strawberries. Paige said, “We are total foodies! The food was incredibly important to us. “
J. Wilbur Smith at EventScapes handled the décor and flowers for the entire weekend. The bride and groom wanted a wedding full of color: roses, hydrangea, dahlias, nerine lilies, peonies, hot pink bouvardia, spray roses and cherry blossom branches. Paige emoted, “Smith made all of our dreams come true.”
Terry Saxe at SpecialTevents was the wedding consultant. Paige recalled, “My mom and I would not have gotten through the planning process without Terry. She was faced with so many challenges throughout the process and handled every one of them with poise and grace. During such a trying time, she kept us calm and confident that this day would not only happen, but would be safe and flawless. While faced with the challenges of COVID, she provided innovative and creative ideas to ensure the most wonderful and safe environment to celebrate our marriage.”
In terms of handling stress, Paige noted, “Planning a wedding is hard enough; add a pandemic on top of it, and it’s daunting. Mitchell and I had a lot of twists and turns thrown our way, but made sure to always support each other at every single one. We always focused on the fact that we were getting married and starting our lives together as husband and wife – nothing else mattered.”
Parents and grandparents present were Hal and Lisa Philipson, Harry and Sherry Maziar, Richard and Marty Alterman. Author and community leader Maziar, aka Pop, made the rehearsal dinner toast: “Marriage is and should be the most important thing in your lives. Absolutely, never forget that. The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
Mitchell concluded, “I loved how intimate the wedding was. We were able to create a safe space to celebrate becoming husband and wife surrounded by some of the most important people in our lives.”