When the coronavirus forced Ariella Segal and Eli Shapiro to move their May 24 wedding to July 5, a rehearsal dinner was no longer necessary. But they did need an oil change.
The couple, both 29, also switched gears regarding their wedding location, leaving the Marriott Albany in upstate New York in their rearview mirror for the Jericho Drive-In movie theater in Glenmont, N.Y. About 150 guests (down from 250) are to be spread out in 72 cars, each assigned a parking spot.
Everyone will be revved up for a once-in-a-lifetime scene at the site of the couple’s most embarrassing date: One summer night while watching a movie there, Mr. Shapiro left his car radio on without the engine running. His battery died, but his relationship with Ms. Segal survived.
Standing behind a mask and in front of the couple, Rabbi Roy Feldman is to officiate near the theater’s huge outdoor screen. The bride, a creative producer and content creator from Slingerlands, N.Y., and the groom, a filmmaker from West Orange, N.J., are sure to be showered with thunderous honks and flashing high beams when they step out of their 2014 Toyota RAV4 and walk beneath a huppah. Eight bridesmaids and seven groomsmen are to proceed down a makeshift aisle, each a safe distance of six feet apart.
The entire ceremony, in which members of both immediate families will stand at a distance at the sides of a wedding canopy, some to make toasts and speeches and others to sing and play musical instruments for the couple’s first dance, will be piped into everyone’s car radio and livestreamed on YouTube. (It’s a daytime wedding, so it won’t be on the big screen.)
Popcorn and gourmet boxed lunches will be delivered and parked just outside each guest’s car doors, while a live band will play from a distance.
“Dancing inside vehicles is strongly encouraged,” said Mr. Shapiro, who met Ms. Segal in 2009, as freshmen at N.Y.U., where she studied drama, and he film.
“Ariella is someone who is extremely warm and outgoing,” he said. “She’s someone who wears her heart on her sleeve, unlike me, who is much more the neurotic, analytical type.”
Ms. Segal, who is 10 days younger than Mr. Shapiro, said, “We are each other’s first loves, and though it’s hard to find love as young as we did, we were really struck by this immediate connection we had.”
“There was never a question in our minds that each of us wanted to be with, and stay with, each other,” she added. “We see the world in a very similar way. He’s an every-single-day support system for me.”
Three years ago, they moved to Los Angeles to pursue careers in entertainment. Mr. Shapiro had already written his first short film “Ike Interviews God” (2015), which became a Vimeo staff pick, and two months ago released his second, “That Friend You Hate,” which was featured on Film Shortage.
Ms. Segal, who is to take her husband’s name, wrote, produced and starred in a digital series, “One Woman Show,” in 2016.
“I always feel so lucky that we met so young, at a pivotal time in our lives,” Ms. Segal said. “We’ve just grown together, side by side over the years, always there to offer one another so much support, love, insight, advice and guidance.”