JACOB LEWKOW and Lucas Aguera’s relationship is truly a modern romance: They met on the internet and they married on the internet. They didn’t intend to livestream their wedding ceremony on Zoom, but like many couples who tied the knot in 2020, planning a wedding during the Covid-19 pandemic required creativity and a little technology.
“Usually people who dream to get married can postpone their wedding for a year or two, but because I’m foreign, if we waited until the pandemic was over, my immigration status might not have been valid,” says Aguera, a mechanical engineer who is from Brazil.
Lewkow and Aguera met in 2015 when Lewkow, a Detroit-based photographer, moved to Brush Park and Aguera was at Wayne State University’s campus for an internship with General Motors through an exchange program. Their worlds collided via Tinder: they both swiped right.
“When I met Lucas, I immediately felt a sense of kindness and warmth,” Lewkow says. “I learned he devoted time to terminally ill cancer patients in Brazil. He showed me pictures, Patch Adams style, of him dressed up in costumes. That really touched my heart.”
Aguera’s internship ended and he returned to Brazil to finish his degree, so the couple decided to give a long distance relationship a shot. A turning point in their relationship was a trip to Europe — realizing they were compatible travel buddies, they decided they’d do whatever it took to make it work. Luckily, a few years later Aguera was able to return to Detroit on a work permit.
“We’re very much yin and yang,” Lewkow says. “I’m the extrovert, Lucas is the introvert. I’m creative, he’s logical. I wear my heart on my sleeve, he’s reserved. If he is the anchor, I am the kite. I think that’s what makes us such a dynamic team.”
Lewkow proposed in August 2020 while at a friend’s cottage in Marquette. They had gone out for a scenic kayak ride, complete with sake and a marijuana pipe. Kayaking had been a big theme during the pandemic, as it was one way the couple could get together with friends while feeling safe and responsible. This time, however, it was a diversion tactic to give their friends time to set the scene with music and food. When they were ready, one of Lewkow’s friends flew a drone, signaling it was time to paddle back to shore. “I got down on one knee — although I forgot to put down my sake, so I was falling around in the sand,” Lewkow says. “It was a mess, but in the best way.”
They set the wedding date for December 27 at Lewkow’s parents’ home in West Bloomfield. Saturated with natural light and plenty of plants, their family room provided the perfect, lush surroundings for the intimate nuptials. Floral arrangements by Graham Stanton complimented the scenery and, in lieu of suits, the couple wore brightly embroidered Mexican shirts, made even brighter against the winter backdrop. Six people attended the wedding in person: Lewkow’s mom and dad (who officiated the ceremony), along with his sister and his sister’s boyfriend. Everyone else attended via Zoom.
“The ceremony was at 3 p.m., and at 2:57 p.m., I hear my mom in the other room coaching my 93-year-old grandma to get on the Zoom call,” Lewkow says with a laugh. “The whole Zoom situation was hilariously not well produced. The guest list was made quickly, so we probably left some people off who we would’ve otherwise invited in person. And we didn’t have a professional photographer — it was so cute how my friends were screenshotting the Zoom screen. My friend Josh was like, ‘I got the first shot of you guys kissing!’”
They ended the day with sushi from Sharaku. “It was very special, it was our style — it was perfectly imperfect, and having our friends and family there on Zoom made us excited to plan a bigger wedding in the future,” Lewkow says. “We do want the big, grandiose celebration, because we feel an extreme embarrassment of riches of everyone supporting us, especially my family. I don’t take it for granted one second. They really spoil us when it comes to showing love, support and compassion.”
But they’ll always have their Zoom wedding, which they feel extremely lucky for (“and which we’ll be watching for years to come,” Aguera adds). And one day, they’ll be able to tell their grandchildren they were among the first couples to get married on the internet.
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