Singer and dynasty actress Elizabeth “Liz” Gillies met producer and composer Michael Corcoran years ago – but it was a while before they met. “I always had a crush on him,” says Liz. “But I played it cool.” They had been together for six years when they decided it was finally time to get married. Liz had worked in Atlanta for the past two years and had traveled over the weekend to see Michael and her dogs in Los Angeles. “When Dynasty was picked up for a third season, I wasn’t so subtle in suggesting that he move so we could start a new chapter in Atlanta,” admits Liz. “Fortunately, he agreed and we bought a house together. He’s a Californian through and through, so leaving LA and moving to the Southeast was a big deal for him. “
The day after they closed the house, Michael arrived in town and they went over to look again. “When we got there, he led me into the back yard,” recalls Liz. “I had no idea what he was doing. Suddenly he fell to one knee and suggested me right there. I was totally surprised. It was a perfect suggestion. “
“I had to travel all day with the ring in my pocket,” says Michael. “It stumbled me to have it with me for so long. I was definitely relieved when I finally got a suggestion, and she said yes. “
They have set a date for April 25, 2020, which is also the birthday of their French bulldog, Otis. They planned to get married at the St. Regis in Atlanta, but like so many couples planning to get married last spring, they had to postpone the wedding because of the pandemic. “When we saw how bad the situation was, we knew we had to postpone,” says Liz. “It was a breeze for us. Aside from the obvious travel and audience restrictions, it didn’t feel right to party this big when the world was so busy. It would have been in bad taste to incriminate people by asking them to risk their lives to come to our wedding. There were more important things to focus on. Our wedding could wait. “
“It really focused everything on what’s important in life,” adds Michael. “One big, flamboyant experience in the middle of a pandemic didn’t make sense.”
They still managed to celebrate their original date with a small celebration among a small group of family members and friends who had quarantined together. And then they set a new wedding date for August 8, 2020. “At first we wanted to postpone a year,” explains Liz. “Then we decided over time that a big wedding no longer made sense to us. The virus really put things into perspective. That being said, we wanted to get married as long as it was possible to do so in a safe and intimate setting with a group we trusted. “
In July, Liz and Michael began looking for outdoor venues on the east coast that offered micro-weddings for their families to drive to the site. “I was a little bit extremist during this whole quarantine thing and at that point I hadn’t left the house in over four months, so safety was my top priority,” explains Liz. She called and emailed a few different venues and ended up at the Inn at Fernbrook Farms – a quaint colonial farm in the middle of New Jersey. “It looked so picturesque,” she says. “And since my family lives there, I let them come over and check it out. They called me after the tour and told me how perfect it was. “Liz and Michael finally decided to have the ceremony there with a total of 10 guests, and it was planned to be in less than a month.
They weren’t comfortable to fly, so they pulled up their dogs in a huge Class A RV. “We had never driven before so it was a bit crazy, but Michael did a great job,” says Liz. “We were tested before we left and we were quarantined for two weeks before the wedding. With everything, it was so nice to be at home in my childhood with nothing to do but relax before the big day. We cooked and took the dogs for long walks, really just enjoying each other’s company. It felt good to slow down. Overall, we were very lucky to be able to spend this time safely with the family. It was incredibly special. “
As for choosing a dress, Liz was a bit dressed in wedding attire. “I’d worn so many spectacular wedding dresses over the course of three years at Dynasty that I kept saying I would wear black on my wedding day,” she jokes. “But as I got older I realized that my tastes are actually very classic and simple, so that’s what I looked for.” She wanted a nice, clean silhouette with a touch of vintage flair and ended up with a one-of-a-kind satin dress with a cape from Britt Wood Designs in Atlanta. “I loved the cape, but when I put on the Oscar de la Renta veil, I sold it for myself,” says Liz. “It was like that in the 1960s.” She completed the look with blue jewels and Jimmy Choos satin slip-ons.
The wedding day was a family affair. Everyone arrived at the inn a few hours before the ceremony and got ready in their respective rooms. At first Liz and Michael thought they were going to tell their guests to dress informally, but then they decided why not? Their mothers wore the clothes they bought to wear to the April wedding. The men wore their suits. The bride did her own hair and makeup, as well as that of her mother and grandmother.
The ceremony took place in the garden at 7:30 p.m. The couple’s dogs wore flower collars from Twisted Willow Flowers, and their eldest, Bubba, served as the ring bearer. “My mother and nephew walked down the aisle with Bubba,” says Michael. “I’ve had him for 16 years and was glad he made it to the wedding.”
In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, Liz’s father had been ordained and written a thoughtful, loving ceremony for the couple. “He led me down the aisle and then quickly switched roles to get us married,” says Liz. “It was very cute! My brother also gave a lovely reading that meant a lot to me. I also had the great privilege of having my two grandmothers there. Although we weren’t many, we were surrounded by family. It was all I could have asked for. “
“It was all it had to be and nothing it wasn’t,” adds Michael.
“It’s been such a long journey for us and sometimes [it] It felt like an utter impossibility that it was hard to believe that we had actually got to the moment when it really happened, ”says Liz. “After we exchanged our vows, I realized that my father married us and our loved ones were there. I think I turned to Michael and said, ‘Oh my god, we actually did it. ‘We were so happy. “
A reception followed. The fun challenge was to make the large outdoor tent area warm and inviting without a large group having to fill it. The couple worked closely with the inn’s general manager, Teri Lands, to make it happen. They opted for a long farmer’s table rather than separate tables to bring it all together. It was rustic, classic, and low-key with lots of soft pinks, greens, and natural textures.
After dinner, from farm to table everyone danced to music by Pat and Sean Kelly, two brothers who play acoustic guitars and drums. “Not only did they share our musical tastes and play all of the songs we loved, but they performed them with the right balance between originality and respect for the original,” says Liz. “They made the perfect soundtrack for our wedding.”
As soon as the reception was over, the women put on cute jeans and the boys smoked cigars and drank scotch while everyone hung out by the fire and ate s’mores. “As painful as it is to throw off something you’ve spent so much time looking forward to, I believe it’s the right – and only – decision,” says Liz. “I am very satisfied with the result. I don’t think I would have had it any other way. At the end of the day, it’s about you and the person you love. The rest doesn’t matter. “