Monthly Archives: May 2011

Real Weddings | Scottsdale, AZ

Mike and Kelly met the second week of her freshman year at Arizona State University. Who knew standing in line at Einstein’s Bagels would lead to a marriage? With Michael being from Northern California, and Kelly from New Jersey, it’s hard to believe that two people from opposite sides of the country would have so much in common! Mike proposed four years into their relationship with a beautiful customized ring featuring a family stone. After a two-year engagement, their big day finally came, and it was a perfect weekend joining the East and West Coast families.

Not only was Mike and Kelly’s wedding a symbolic merging of the two geographical backgrounds, but with Mike’s Jewish background, and Kelly being raised Roman Catholic, they knew they wanted to ensure both traditions were honored. During the ceremony, the couple performed the lighting of the unity candle and the traditional breaking of the glass, and two close family members performed readings, one, a verse from the Bible, and the second, the traditional seven Jewish wedding blessings. Mike and Kelly were married by her Uncle Ron, a Magistrate from Alaska.

Mazel tov, Kelly and Mike!

Venue- DoubleTree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, AZ
Photographer- Tara Keator Photography
Florist- Flowers by Jodi
Cake- Piece of Cake
Videographer- Legacy Videography
Bride’s Engagement Ring and Wedding Band- Derco
Groom’s Wedding Band- Weisfield Jewelers
Entertainment Music- Got You Covered!
Bride’s Gown- Casablanca at I Do, I Do Bridal
Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist- Kensington Makeup
Invitations / Stationery- The Wedding Accessory Superstore
Bridesmaids’ Dresses- Val Stefani at I Do, I Do Bridal
Tuxedos- The Wedding Accessory Superstore
Honeymoon Travel- Riu Palace at Cabo San Lucas

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  • Cindy says:

    Hey, I know those people — they’re my cousins!! Great job Alison.

Memorial Day Monday

It’s a long weekend for most of us, celebrating Memorial Day and honoring our fallen American heroes.

Princeton, the Yenta Dog, salutes his country!

It’s also considered the official start of summer! For those of you with weddings coming up, it’s time to get in gear for your final steps of planning. Memorial Day is free game for wearing white (even non-wedding dress white), pool parties, and super cute flip-flops. And today, as you enjoy your day off, it’s also the day to forget about your wedding diet and indulge!

Pick up a Hebrew national hot dog, dunk your chips into salsa, and slurp your sillies away with some sips of sangria!

Happy Everything!

Yentas Click with JDate!

A year ago, marriage got a little larger than life. How much larger? Well, about 50-feet-off-the-ground-and-as-wide-as-my-house larger. I’m not blowing this out of proportion, but my husband and I were literally blown up… on a billboard in Times Square.

As most readers know by now, Bryan and I are products of JDate. We should’ve met a dozen times offline: we grew up in the same town, had mutual friends, went to the same Hebrew school… his dad even played guitar at my Bat Mitzvah! A friend tried to set me up with him on a blind date, but I said “nah” and decided to continue to shop for boyfriends online. Turns out, the friend knew what she was talking about because the Internet insisted on bringing us together. The very guy my friend thought would be a good match for me was the very guy I clicked with on JDate and married three years later. Is this a JDate success? You bet.

So during this anniversary week of looooove, I encourage those of you who are planning your weddings before securing your groom (I’ll admit I was one of those! I totally browsed wedding blogs before I even met the hubster!) to check out JDate. You never know who you’re going to meet and even if you’ve done it before, there’s always a new “shipment” of “inventory” coming in so the experience is always fresh. Be active. Spice up your profile. Be honest. Open your mind. Shrug and say “why not?” You never know! And if some of your ideal matches include your best friend from Jewish summer camp or that kid from Sunday school from 15 years ago, you can enjoy a good laugh… or a rekindled spark!

And if you did find success on JDate, I encourage you to send your story over to them. JDate is always looking for new couples to showcase and your tale of love helps so many others. It’s actually cool: you send your photos in, you write up a little narrative, and get a link to share with all your people.

And, sometimes, you might even get a billboard.

Did you find love on JDate? Leave a comment below and share!

  • Talya says:

    I met my fiance on JDate and we’re getting married in October of 2012. I will send a success story in — I thought you had to be married already. Thanks JDate and The Wedding Yentas.

Anniversary Traditions: An Epiphany

Today, May 25th, is my wedding anniversary and the traditional gift for a third wedding anniversary is leather.

Hmmm. Well, I Googled ideas for leather-themed gifts and my search turned out to be pretty unfruitful. A new leather wallet? Nah, he already has one that’s fine. A leather belt? Not very exciting. A leather bound journal? Please, I didn’t marry Shakespeare. Thanks a lot, Google.

So then I tried to think outside the box. For a split second, my mind did go to some cute-and-sexy leather outfit, but I’m 8 months pregnant and that’s never a good idea even when I’m unpregnant. Then I gave myself a chuckle and thought, well, darn, I’ll just go big and buy him a cow. That’s kind of leather, right? No, no, I was getting silly.

Then I thought to myself, why do I need to follow this tradition at all? Why stick to a rule or follow a guideline when the outcome wouldn’t be personal or sincere? I then thought about all of the traditions we did follow on our wedding day, and felt proud to be Jewish, knowing our wedding day was filled with traditions that were meaningful to us and our marriage ahead.

Prior to the chuppah ceremony, we signed the ketubah with our rabbi, in the presence of our immediate families and witnesses.
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During the processional, Bryan and I were escorted by both of our parents as we walked down the aisle.
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We stood under the chuppah with both sets of parents, and the mothers wrapped us in Bryan’s tallit, which symbolically brings the bride and groom together. This was one of my favorite moments.
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We exchanged rings! We updated the tradition and I gave him a ring (which isn’t mandatory), and he placed my grandma’s solid gold band on my pointer finger per the original custom.
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With a hearty stomp, Bryan stepped on the glass as the guests shouted out a spirited “mazel tov!” This is always a crowd favorite when it comes to following Jewish wedding traditions!
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When we entered the room for the reception, the guests jumped onto the dance floor and a loud, rambunctious, festive hora took place with family and friends joining hands in dance!
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And then we were vaulted into armchairs and lifted by strong men who bounced us around as we laughed and enjoyed the moment. It was so fun to look out and see all of our favorite people.
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Before dinner, my grandpa came up to our 10-foot long challah and recited the blessing, the Ha-motzi. As the oldest member of my family, it was touching to have him as part of our series of wedding day traditions.
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Taking a walk down wedding memory lane has become its own tradition. Bryan and I relive our big day each year by revisiting our photos and watching our video, and I realize we’ve made our own annual tradition. Sure, many couples probably do this, but I’m not looking to be unique. I’m also not trying to create a mold. We just do what works for us and we know that’s how we’ll live happily ever after. And that’s what I suggest to all brides and grooms: do what works for you as individuals who are becoming a team and focus on what’s actually important to you.

Bryan, I love you. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to be your wife for the past three years. Our wedding day was the most perfect day I’ve had because, yes the flowers were gorgeous, we cleaned up nicely, the weather turned out to be beautiful, the music was jammin’, and the food was delicious, but really, it’s because you were at the other end of the chuppah. And having you at the other end of my life journey is no different — it’s perfection.

Happy 3rd anniversary to you, my love. May we grow old and, well, leathery, together.

*All photos by eight20 photography.

  • Mom says:

    Thanks for reliving what was a fabulous day for me & daddy as well. Especially when remembered in a touching and humorous way that only you can convey!! We read this with tears rolling down our cheeks and laughing simultaneously while sitting on the plane–we must have looked very silly. Love you both. Happy #3.

  • Jen says:

    Happy Anniversary Alison! You and your husband make a great couple. I love reading your personal accounts and advice on wedding planning. Mazel tov.

  • stefanie says:

    This is my favorite blog on the internet. The writing style is great and easy. Pix are fun to look at. Greatt job Wedding Yentas. Alison, you should write more about your planning.. cus your wedding was a good one with goo dideas.

  • Mom-in-law says:

    Yes….what a beautiful and memorable day it was! It’s hard to believe it has been three years….it has gone by quickly. Now, we’re looking forward to the next upcoming adventure in the lives of Bryan and Alison!

  • Michele says:

    Just found this blog and it’s now bookmarked! Wonderful job!

  • Sarah says:

    You were a beautiful bride. Keep up the great work!

Real Weddings | Washington, DC

They met as so many in DC do – working on Capitol Hill. Well, Jessica was the only one technically employed while Michael was an intern during college. But still, the Hill has heart. After becoming friends over email, the two drifted apart when Michael fell off the radar — Jessica realized he joined the U.S. Marine Corps! She had no idea she was literally meeting her knight in shining armor. Before heading off to training, they reconnected in person and Jessica drove down to visit him almost every weekend.

After a deployment to Iraq, Michael moved to a tiny condo with Jessica and Lucy, their mastiff rescue. After just over two-and-a-half years of dating, Michael proposed like a nice Jewish boy — during Shabbat oneg at synagogue! They walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “Don’t Stop Believing” in March of 2011, and of course, the very important Lucy was our ring bearer. Now that’s puppy love.

Mazel tov, Jessica and Michael!

Venue- Hotel Palomar DC
Photographer- Madeline Marshall
Music- Chris Laich
Day-of Coordinator- Invited Event Design
Cake- Fluffy Thoughts
Yarmulke- Mazel Tops
Rings- Fabuluster
Hair- Christophe at St Germain
Make-up Artist- Flami
Ketubah- Jerise
Stationery Suite- Little Spark Creations

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  • JoAnn Erfer says:

    A beautiful bride, a handsome groom…after deployment maybe a honeymoon. Keep on making whoopie. It was a great wedding.