A high-profile New York Times wedding announcement featuring a couple who married in an October ceremony that included 200 guests despite the coronavirus pandemic has prompted criticism on social media of both the couple and the newspaper.
On Friday, The Times style section shared the story of Kaitlyn Folmer and Jonathan Morris, a couple who wed in New York City on 17 October after dating for little over a year.
In the article, Folmer, an investigative producer in New York for ABC News, and Morris, a Roman Catholic priest, reflect on their first introduction, as well as their eventual progression into a couple.
“In June 2020, a year after they reconnected, Ms Folmer and Mr Morris became engaged at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar resort in San Diego,” the article reads. “The couple were married 17 Oct at one of Mr Morris’s old stomping grounds, St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.”
For the occasion, the couple invited 200 friends and family members, “all of whom were socially distanced and seated in every third pew marked by flower arrangements”.
Following the ceremony, the couple hosted a meet-and-greet reception at 15 Hudson Yards’ Skytop, before sitting down to dinner with 50 of their guests at Winged Foot Golf Club’s outdoor terrace in Mamaroneck, New York.
On social media, the wedding announcement has prompted incredulous reactions, with many questioning why the couple felt it was appropriate to have their wedding at a time when coronavirus cases in the country are at an all-time high.
“Sunday Styles! The NYTimes has a charming story today with photos of a 200-person wedding in NYC. Also, approx 160,000 people diagnosed with covid yesterday,” sports journalist Jane McManus tweeted.
She followed up her original tweet with photos from the ceremony, including one in which the couple, who are not wearing masks, can be seen sharing a close hug with a priest.
“My favorite photo is of a priest hugging the couple after the ceremony,” she continued, adding: “At least one of them has a mask in a socially-distanced bearhug.”
Another person wrote: “Truly still cannot wrap my head around the horrid selfishness of people who think they deserve (or can find loopholes to ‘make safe’) a massive wedding while thousands of people are dying. And sacrificing to keep others safe.
“Then being fine to PUT IT IN THE PAPER.”
“I might never see my grandmother again but okay,” someone else said.
Others criticised the newspaper for publishing the story as health officials continue to urge Americans to follow safety precautions and social distancing.
“Yeah, maybe the Times shouldn’t be casually glamorising such reckless behaviour at the same time public health experts are trying to get people to act responsibly,” one person wrote.
Another said: “You would never know there was a raging pandemic going on from reading this story.”
As of 15 November, there have been more than 11m coronavirus cases in the US, with the number of new daily cases now regularly reaching more than 100,000.