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Couple's elderly neighbors couldn't attend their wedding, so they 'married' them at home

The two women held the sweetest, most hilarious "wedding" for Dave and Elena in their apartment.

apartment wedding

Terri and Jean threw a private "wedding" for Elena and Dave.

When Elena and Dave moved into their apartment in northern Manhattan in January of 2023, they had no idea their new neighbor would be the one to officiate their wedding—sort of.

Terri, the neighbor, introduced herself to the Dave and Elena right away, and they immediately thought she was a character.

"We started visiting her and the older woman, Jean, she takes care of and lives with—they love our dog," Elena tells Upworthy. "Dave would sometimes cook them dinner, and we would eat together. Jean, who is 86, calls us her grandma. Both have lived in the neighborhood for decades—Jean since the '80s and Terri her whole life."

When the time came for the young couple to get married, Terri and Jean were all about it.


"They loved talking about our upcoming wedding and paid attention to every single part of the planning process, from the dress to the first dance," says Elena.

However, Jean has mobility issues that made it impossible for the women to attend the wedding. So instead, they threw a private marriage ceremony for the couple in their apartment. Terri and Jean decorated from "the 99 cent store" as Terri calls it. They played all the different roles in the wedding, and it's an absolute riot.

Watch the video Elena shared on Instagram:

From Terri playing the father, officiant and bouquet-catcher to Jean's a capella serenade for them to dance to, it was a perfect "wedding."

"It was lots of fun and definitely got us ready for our 'real' wedding two weeks later," says Elena. "We dressed up, read vows, laughed throughout the ceremony and had pizza all together."

Clearly, their getting married meant a lot to Terri and Jean, and the fact that they figured out a way to be a part of it is so heartwarming.


"The experience definitely showed me that weddings are NOT about the money you spend but the feeling behind it and the people who are present," says Elena. "These two women were so supportive of our relationship and we felt surrounded by pure love. There were no expectations and hurt feelings and complications like in our real wedding—just simple awesomeness."

"Whoever said New Yorkers were unfriendly have never lived here!" she adds.

Commenters agreed.

"Everybody shits on the big city but I’ve seen more heart and neighborliness in NYC in the last 9 years than anywhere else I’ve ever lived 😍 this is adorable and SO New York," wrote one person.

"Our Brooklyn neighbors became our bonus grandparents," shared another. "We would cook for each other and shared many COVID holidays together when traveling to be with family wasn’t safe. They’re the best 🥹"

Others just adored everything about it.

"This is the most loving, wholesome thing I’ve seen in ages," wrote one person. "Brings me back to my 'aunt' Rose, the elderly lady who lived next door. She would have me to over parties and tea and it was a magnificent existence."

"This might be the most precious thing I’ve seen in my entire life," wrote another.

"THIS was the wedding. Anything after was a bonus celebration of love," shared another.

man and woman in wedding clothes sitting on a sofa

Dave and Elena, united in neighborly matrimony.

Courtesy of Elena Nicolaou

Here's to the kindness of neighbors, to Elena and Dave's union, and to these two precious ladies who are so delightfully full of life and love.

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