Monthly Archives: November 2011

Tales From The Veil: A Production of a Proposal

Ali is newly engaged and was proposed to at her dream location: the empty stage of a Broadway theatre! The 20-something-year-old actress met her soon-to-be husband while working on a show together, and they love to spend time seeing theatre, taking in a baseball game, and playing pop culture trivia. Ali also nannies for several families in the Los Angeles area, looks forward to Disneyland trips, and enjoys a good deli lunch. She is excited to begin the journey of planning her wedding and learning about the details that go into the big day. In order to successfully achieve her vision, Ali plans to use resources like The Wedding Yentas, family and friends who’ve been-there-done-that, and bridal magazines. Ali is aiming for a Fall 2012 wedding in Southern California.

I’ve always seen it in the movies when the female main character knows with a simple glance who she will marry someday, and this seemingly cinematic storyline is my reality. It was almost two-and-a-half years ago that I first saw Michael performing on stage in a show for which I was about to start rehearsing. At one glance I thought to myself, “I’m gonna marry that guy one day.” Just like that. It didn’t matter that I had never met him. You know where this is going.

We met after the show, and as they say, the rest is history. He is my perfect man in every way, completing all the things I lack, and is my stronger, better half. For me, getting engaged was the next logical step in our relationship, and I knew that he felt the same way. It was just a matter of when.

He has made it clear to me through our few years together that Thanksgiving is his favorite time of year. I had a feeling that a proposal might happen that week. By “that week,” I mean last week. (This is all very, very recent). It was also the perfect time since we would both be back in New York for Thanksgiving, which is where we had met (we have since moved to California) and where Michael is from. It was Tuesday night in NYC, and Michael had planned an incredible date night for us. First, we had dinner at one of his favorite restaurants, and then he had plans to take me to see a Broadway show; the quintessential evening in New York.

After an incredible dinner had ended, we walked in the rain to the Majestic Theatre where we had 8th row center seats to see a childhood friend of mine who was starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. The show was truly incredible. I had seen it a few times before, but this particular performance really made me more emotional than usual. It might have been due to the fact that I was sitting next to my incredible man and I had a feeling that something was up. Perhaps it was the fact that he was wearing my favorite outfit, or the way he insisted on taking his jacket everywhere with him that night instead of checking it or leaving it with me. Either way, seeing Phantom again resonated something sentimental.

After the last notes of the show were sung and the curtain call had ended, we went to the stage door where my friend met us and took us up to her dressing room and gave us a full stage tour. Being the theatre people that Michael and I are (it is, after all, how we had met) we were inspired and excited to see the behind-the-scenes of one of the most famous Broadway shows. We finally arrived at the stage of the theatre, which was absolutely bare. No people. No sets. It was just us on stage, and the giant chandelier was hauntingly raised above the first few rows of seats.

My friend had conveniently found a reason to leave so that Michael and I were completely alone on the stage. I looked out into the empty seats where just moments before an audience had enjoyed the show. It was then, with every possible emotion at its peak, that he turned to me and said, “I think this is the perfect time to ask…” and got down on one knee. Everything was so wonderfully overwhelming that I couldn’t even answer his question. He showed me the exact ring that I had wanted as we stood in my dream location, down and center on a Broadway stage. How does one speak at this moment? All I could mutter was, “I think you know the answer,” and I threw my arms around him in a state of complete joy and shock. He finally asked me to please at least say “yes,” so he could hear it, and asked if I wanted the ring, since, you know, it was for me. I was kvelling to such a degree that I had forgotten to take the ring, which had fit perfectly.

So now, as we begin to plan the wedding, I just can’t stop smiling about my perfect moment from my perfect man! I am going to enjoy being engaged for a while and then dive deep into planning with Michael and, of course, The Wedding Yentas. This is such an exciting time in a bride’s life, and I’m so glad it’s finally my turn.

  • Rachel says:

    Mazel tov Ali! What a fabulous proposal! I am sure your sister-in-law, the fabulous Yenta Ali, will give you all the support you need once you start the planning process! Enjoy this time. While it seems like forever until you tie the knot, the time will pass by very quickly!

  • Lois Green says:

    Mazel Tov! Wishing you both tons of love and happiness. What a great story! You sound perfect for each other. Love and hugs, Lois and family

  • Paula says:

    This is the most beautiful story. To watch someone that we’ve known since she was 1, we’re so very excited that you have such a wonderful man in your life. He’s THE one you’ve been wishing for for MANY years. Your journey with Michael has just begun. You have many, MANY wonderful adventures in front of you. I can’t wait to follow your story on this exciting, WONDERFUL site. xoxo

  • Lei-Ann Salter says:

    Just love a good LOVE STORY! Congratulations!
    Have fun with the whole journey of planning a wedding. You already made one good choice of having Allison as your Matron of Honor!

  • Shari says:

    Congrats!!! What a beutiful story – I had tears in my eyes reading it and I don’t even know you!!! But I am a fellow theatre lover – and my fiancee proposed to me in a playbill! so your story touched my heart!. MAZEL TOV!

  • Dana K says:

    Reading this just made me smile from ear to ear! Such a great engagement story!

  • Laura says:

    A “happy” tear drop is threatening to spill onto my lashes….what a wonderful story – proposal, and I am soooo happy for you! I can tell you are beaming with Joy! Mazel Tov :)

  • Alison says:

    Love every part of this story starting with the title of this post to the very last word! Enjoy and have fun with the wedding planning. I am so happy for you both—I’m sending you a standing ovation!

  • Ava Edwards says:

    What a wonderful story. What a thoughtful wonderful person to give you that moment. I am sure that is just going to be the “opening line” in a fabulous life long play.

  • Pingback: A Groom With A View: Directing A Wedding | The Wedding Yentas™ | A Guide for the Jewish Bride!™

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Real Jewish Weddings | Milwaukee, WI

Jamie and Jason’s relationship is one for the story books. They first met 16 years ago when they both attended a youth group convention. Their midwest long-distance friendship bloomed, as Jamie was from Wisconsin and Jason was from Michigan. Two years later they met at camp in Pennsylvania where they developed a closer relationship. They stayed in touch throughout high school and ended up attending Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) where they continued to maintain their friendship. After college both went separate ways, but still managed to bump into each other on rare occasions.

And just like most love stories go, their adoration for each other persisted. Fate cut in when Jamie visited New York three summers ago, where Jason happened to be interning. After reconnecting, the sparks flew and the rest is history!

Mazel tov, Jamie and Jason!

Venue- Boerner Botanical Gardens
Photographer- Reminisce Studios by Miranda & Adam
Cake- Brookfield Cakes
Videographer- Charms video
Entertainment / Music- Sway Chicago
Caterer- Bartolotta’s
Officiant- David Brusin
Bridesmaids’ Dresses- Dessy

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  • Rachel says:

    Beautiful story! As someone who met her husband over 15 years ago (too young to say that, yikes!), it is wonderful to have such a rich history with someone before spending the rest of your lives together. And I must say, it looked like a rocking fun party!

  • Miranda & Adam ~ Reminisce Studio says:

    Thanks so much for sharing Jamie & Jason’s wedding with your readers! We had SO much fun photographing their day, and they are such a sweet couple :)

All Inclusive Wedding Day

This is a very good problem: You have childhood pals you’ve known since nursery school and you have sorority sisters from your time away at college. You have a cousin who’s like your clone and you have high school friends who you are still in close touch with. And then you and your partner both have siblings and they’re also in your inner circle. Poor you! You are loved by too many people and you can’t possibly have them all in your bridal party. Well, you could, but not only would your processional be longer than your ceremony, but your photographer might kill you. (Am I right, photographers?)

First, pick your bridal party. This may be difficult because you really have to narrow down your fan club, but check out this recent post that may help you feel better about it. After you’ve secured a reasonable amount of bridesmaids and groomsmen, then think about who else you’d like to honor with VIP status.

Is one of your favorite people a good singer, speechmaker, or musician? Ask them to “perform” at some point during your wedding weekend. You may ask someone close to you to give a speech or sing a song at your rehearsal dinner. There might be a point in the ceremony that someone could recite your favorite poem, or sing as you walk down the aisle. Someone special could also do the motzi over the challah or the Birkat HaMazon, the blessing after meals, thanking God for the food and His support in general. You’ll want to limit the amount of speeches during your reception (too many makes it a snoozer!), but think of other special times during your wedding event that can include putting your favorite people in the spotlight.

Pick your ketubah signers! Typically, there are two of them, and this is a huge honor. Their signatures will be on your beautiful ketubah forever and if you choose to hang it in your home, you will be reminded of these people whenever you look at it. They are invited into the room where you sign the ketubah and this is usually a private event before the chuppah ceremony. I’ve personally signed the ketubah twice for my two best friends and it was a joy to be part of the official Jewish marriage portion of the day. Remember, the ketubah signers must be Jewish and not be blood relatives. Your ketubah signers should be able to tell your rabbi or cantor their Hebrew names, and can receive help on the wedding day if the ketubah calls for writing their name in Hebrew.

Choose your marriage license witnesses. These can be the same people as your ketubah signers or you can extend the honors to two separate people. These people don’t have to be Jewish and are there to sign the marriage license that you must have with you on the day of your wedding. Your officiant should mail it in for you, and after the wedding, you should receive the certificate of marriage, but you’ll need two witnesses. This is also a really big deal for the signers since the document makes the marriage official in “the system.”

For fellas who are close to the bride or groom, there is a job for them that makes them some of the most popular men at the party. Designate some hefty dudes to hold you two up in the chair during the Hora. This doesn’t always have to be an invitation-only ritual, but it might be a fun way to honor some men who didn’t make it into the wedding party. Plus, they’ll be in all the fun photos of the chair lifts!

There are always the more job-like honors: ceremony ushers, guestbook facilitators, and escort cards host. These really are more like tasks, though, so think long and hard if it’s more of an honor or a chore for the people you ask to do this. Depending on the size of the wedding, and the style and locale, you may or may not want to ask people to do this. Sometimes it’s not necessary, but you know your wedding and your friends best, so make the decision based on the facts. These are just last-ditch ideas.

Think outside the box, too! Perhaps there are fun and unique details you’re choosing to include in your wedding day. Ask yourself how you might weave in your favorite people to honor them and then create an exciting way to ask them. Hopefully, this solves your terribly unfortunate problem of having so many wonderful people in your life!

Happy Thanksgiving

From this little web site to the warmth of your home, The Wedding Yentas wishes you a happy Thanksgiving with the ones you love. You have much to be thankful for this year, whether it’s your prosperous wedding business or the love that awaits you under your chuppah. And here, in this little corner of the Internet, gratitude for your loyalty and friendship is abundant.

Indulge in the delicacies. Enjoy the scents of the season. Hug your favorite people. It’s all about warm fuzzies today, and The Wedding Yentas hopes you’ll continue to be showered with goodness today and always.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Destination: Married

Planning a destination wedding sounds like an involved and complicated task, but if you’re hesitating about making your wedding a dream vacation come true, don’t. We want to soothe your worries and calm your concerns with a breakdown of things to think about as you plan your destination wedding.

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It’s likely that you and your circle of friends and family are sprinkled throughout the world. Thanks to Facebook and other social media sites and applications, you are able to stay in touch and keep up with each other’s lives. But there’s nothing like face-to-face time and being together in person. A local, in-town wedding will typically only last one day, and that’s a short amount of time to cram in hellos and hugs with your loved ones. A destination wedding, however, usually spans across a larger chunk of time, so take comfort in knowing that you’ll have more than a frenzied day to make the rounds and spend quality moments with your posse. It’s like a group vacation with all your favorite people. Embrace this concept as you plan your out-of-town nuptials and know that your wedding will be an intimate experience for everyone!

Believe it or not, it’s likely that you’ll spend less money on a destination wedding. We’re not guaranteeing your bank account will have more digits than a traditional at-home wedding; we’re just saying that it’s very likely you’ll have fewer people coming which means you won’t be spending the money on meals and tables (which means linens, centerpieces, chair covers, and favors). Destination weddings tend to be light on the guest list and RSVPs because some invitees aren’t able to spend the money to travel to be at your wedding. Knowing this possibility, you can account for a smaller turnout than you would at a local wedding. This may be what you want to hear — or not — but you should keep this in mind as you budget your wedding elements and vendors. It’s possible that even with travel costs, depending on the vendors you hire, you may still come out under budget with a destination wedding than with a local affair.

To keep costs down further, you can choose to get married at vacation spot during its off season. Most hotels will have better deals and airfare might not be so sky-high (no pun intended… okay, yes it was). You could even score some better deals during the off season if you play your cards right. Just be flexible in knowing that weather may be against you, since that’s usually the determining factor behind high and off seasons for vacation destinations.

Give your guests plenty of notice! Usually, the rule of thumb is to send guests a save the date notice about six months out from your wedding date, but that’s if your wedding is going to be in town. For a destination wedding, you really need to give more than six months so that your guests can begin looking for the best travel options. Make sure to provide as much information as possible including, of course, the date, city, hotel, and even wedding weekend event if possible (rehearsal dinner, family picnic, beach bonfire, etc.). This is also the appropriate place to include a wedding website if you have one. We love the wedding wed-sites over at MyWedding. You can create personal sites with a wide range of thematic choices that represent you as a couple!

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Get help. No really, unless you plan on flying to your wedding location every few months, you’re going to need someone to help you plan while you’re living your life far from your venue. This is definitely a time to hire a coordinator or, if you have a friend or family member that happens to live near your wedding spot, this is the time to be needy! You’ll need someone nearby to help you delegate with other wedding vendors. If you’re not sure how to go about hiring a wedding coordinator abroad, I’m sure your venue will have contact to refer you to. If you’re getting married at a hotel property, you can use the venue’s coordinator. Either way, this is when you’ll need a chief of staff.

Find the right amount of activities for your guests. You want to give them substantial reasons to travel for your destination wedding, so you may consider planning group activities like a canoeing adventure on a lake or wine tasting event at a vineyard. A beach volleyball tournament or golf at the resort are also fun recreational activities. However, it is your guests’ vacation, too, and you don’t want to bog them down with too much that they feel they have no time to themselves. Your wedding is not their sleep away camp, so try to cut back on the tendency to be their counselor. A couple hosted meals and an activity should provide enough group bonding opportunities in addition to the main event: tying the knot!

Register with a twist. When it comes to your gift registry, keep in mind that tangible presents don’t travel well. Breakables, fancy wrapping, and packing restrictions make traveling with gifts a difficult task for your guests. And then, you have to shlep it back home when the wedding getaway is all over. Does this mean you shouldn’t register? No! Definitely not! Register to your heart’s content, but make it easy on your guests and you! Our friends at Deposit a Gift have a solution for you. This cash gift registry is helpful because it gives guests an option for a gift that they don’t have to worry about lugging or shipping. They can just pay with their credit card and go! Gift givers like Deposit a Gift because it helps them give a nice gift when they don’t have a lot of time to put tons of thought into it because they are more focused on the travel logistics of actually getting to the wedding. The chances of a gift getting lost or stolen is possible with at-home weddings, but gift safety is even more of a concern at destination weddings where you don’t have your bearings. And a lot of guests wouldn’t want to bring cash or checks to a destination because of the same concern. Basically, Deposit a Gift is super helpful because engaged couples can show guests what they want to buy when they settle down, but not have to contend with shipping a bunch of stuff or registering to appease people, only to return it all. Deposit a Gift takes away all that hassle. We love great companies with great ideas.

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Don’t forget, your destination wedding isn’t all about umbrella drinks or ski lodge hot chocolate. You still have the “business” side of the wedding to conquer, and we want to make sure you’re ready. If you’re getting married out of state or even out of the country, you’ll still need to obtain a marriage license. Don’t forget your passport if you’re leaving the U.S. either! Passports aren’t quick on the turnaround, so make sure to plan way ahead and give the office enough time to return your passport to you well before travel time. Obtaining a local marriage license varies based on the city. We suggest you contact the local city hall and find out what the process is to be a resident of your state and get married in theirs. Be sure you’ve completed all necessary tasks before hand; some states or countries still require blood tests or other health screenings.

Your destination wedding will be fabulous no matter where you are, who’s with you, and what it looks like. Because despite what it says on the plane ticket, your final destination is married!

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  • Wendy says:

    Your articles are so informative! Thanks Yentas.

  • Cohen says:

    Love your site template!

  • Amber says:

    Just wanted to tell you that this a great article! Awesome!

  • Jessica says:

    When we got married in the Bahamas we used Zankyou cash wedding registry because they had better service and better rates than Deposit A Gift and also allow foreign guests to send a gift in their own currency and language.