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Wedding bells for an Oyster Bay couple amidst the coronavirus


The bride wore white, a dress she bought on the internet, and her wedding band was her grandmother’s. The groom’s ring arrived in the mail courtesy of his father, who lives in Arizona. And a friend brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers because the florists were all closed. When the actual ceremony was held it was beautiful, even amidst the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps because love conquers all.

Valerie Yarczower and Ron Becker were married on Sunday, May 17, in the gazebo outside Town Hall, with Town Clerk Richard LaMarca officiating. The skies were sunny and the couple were surrounded by a small group of loving relatives. The wedding ended up being a magical day, one that even LaMarca, who had officiated many weddings during Covid-19, said he would remember.

“They said they wanted a rabbi at first but then changed their minds and asked me,” he said. “When they asked if I could do the breaking of the glass. I told them, ‘People are referring to me as the Pope of Oyster Bay.’ They laughed.” 

Before the coronavirus, weddings were held in the town board room but during the pandemic they were performed in Theodore Roosevelt Park or the gazebo. Yarczower and Becker chose the latter, because of the possibility of rain and they said the park is often crowded.

The couple had been together a long time and lived in Oyster Bay for 11 years. They first met at Far Rockaway High School and became friends. With many friends in common later in life they saw each other once a year at a party, and remained friends, even though Becker was married by then.

“Then a mutual high school friend had a stroke and I was the health care proxy for him,” Yarczower said. “He was in a wheelchair and I called Ron to tell him what happened to our friend.”

During the course of the conversation Becker told Yarczower that his marriage had ended. They met in Manhattan and it went so well they decided to start dating. Soon they moved in together. 

Yarczower, 60, is a respiratory therapist at Northport Veterans Hospital. Worried that she might contract Covit-19 or bring it home to Becker, 61, the couple discussed marriage. “The pandemic led me to say like, ‘Hey, what are we waiting for?’” Yarczower said.

Becker, who works in information technology for a consulting firm, said he wondered if they could even care for each other unmarried, if one of them were to become infected with the virus. If they married they could get a Health Care Proxy or utilize the Family Leave Act to be there for each other.

But really, he loved her so much he wanted to get married anyway. “She is the kindest, sweetest, caring person I’ve ever met,” Becker said. “She is a very special person.”

Yarczower said she felt similarly about Becker. “I feel so safe with Ron,” she said. “He is the most stable, pragmatic, trusting, loving person. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

On the big day the couple had representatives from both of their families present. There was sparkling peach juice and a wedding cake too. A bottle of hand sanitizer was placed nearby the cake because after all, there was still a coronavirus pandemic.