Monthly Archives: May 2012

What Yichud Is All About

I endearingly called May 25, 2008 The Wedding Olympics. No one was competing for any scores. There was no torch to light and pass. A Beatles medley played in place of national anthems. However, the day was full of events that had us leaping from place to place and it was tiring. We made it through on adrenaline and love, so the long jumps and the synchronized swimmings and badmintons of the day did not feel too exhausting. So as true athletes do (ohmygosh, I just had the audacity to compare my husband and myself to athletes… true ones, even), we basked in our glory and winnings (each other) and enjoyed some nice, quiet alone time after the ceremony, otherwise known as the yichud.

I’ll explain the traditional significance of the yichud, but I’m telling you now, that’s not exactly what we did!

The yichud translates in Hebrew to the word seclusion. Traditionally, unmarried men and women should never be secluded together so, in theory, the wedding day is the first time this ever happens between the bride and groom. This law came about after the rape of King David’s daughter when she was left alone with her half brother. It was then that David and his high court extended this prohibition to all unmarried girls. Typically, the laws of yichud are followed by Orthodox Jews but all Jews may interpret the laws to fit their ceremony or beliefs. In early historical times, the yichud was when the just-married couple would consummate the marriage and witnesses would be there to guarantee privacy and verify that it indeed happened because technically, this was a legal and required act.

Fast forward to 2012. Modern day traditional brides and grooms leave the chuppah and go directly to a private area or room for their yichud. For couples who chose to fast on their wedding day in order to start their life anew, this is when they would also break the fast and exchange gifts. Typically, the bride will bless the groom, saying “May you merit to have a long life, and to unite with me in love from now until eternity. May I merit to dwell with you forever.”

Not every modern Jewish couple chooses to enjoy a yichud after the ceremony, and that’s okay, too! Some just want to get right to the party or have to continue with photographs. My groom and I chose to do a very short and sweet yichud and it was one of the highlights of our day. Those ten minutes marked the first time we got to really talk and rehash our mornings and afternoons when we were apart. And we reminisced about the ceremony and the vows we said to each other and how the weather perfectly cleared up as we left the chuppah to “Here Comes The Sun.” We sat in a garden 50 feet away from our flower-kissed chuppah, hand in hand, excited for the kick ass party that was about to start inside, and gushed about the gold medal event that had just taken place: becoming husband and wife.

Image courtesy of Marlin Munoz

Four Years Ago

Special Guest Blogger and Mr. Yenta himself, Bryan, is here to share a little nostalgia with the recent four-year wedding anniversary that came and went on May 25th. So much of the conversation on The Wedding Yentas is from the woman’s point of view before the wedding actually happens. Today is different because we have the man’s point of view coming from 48 months after the wedding. Way way way after the wedding. A wedding, an adopted dog, and a baby girl four years later and a guy’s got a lot to say. Weddings are wonderful, but anniversaries are apropos times to reflect.

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Before Alison and I got married, if you said the names Madelyn or Princeton to me, I would have never associated them with a baby and a dog because I didn’t have a baby or a dog. Now, though, when I hear those names, my heart basically melts. They are my family.

On, May 25, 2012, Alison and I celebrated our four-year anniversary. Four years. Married. It’s not a significant milestone year like our first anniversary, or even our fifth anniversary. It has its own sort of significance this year though — it’s one year longer than we were together before we got married, and that one year has been quite a difference.

Before Alison, I was never a husband. She made me a husband just by being my wife. But she has also made me into the husband (and the man) I am today by being a really great wife.

The day we got married was such a special day. It sounds so cliche when I read it back, but it was seriously such a special day. It laid the foundation for so many things we share today. For one thing, Princeton, the dog, “conceived” on our wedding day, as that was the day I presented Alison with a surprise dog collar and tag telling her that we’d adopt a puppy together. She has always been a dog lover and I was on the fence, but I decided we’d emBARK on the dog adventure together. Another reason why our day was so special was because I think the success of our wedding day directly led to The Wedding Yentas, if only so she could try to extend the great experience she had planning the events and details. We shared our passion for music and theatre with a choreographed first dance and my surprise heartfelt (but not so solid) piano/vocal performance of She’s Got A Way. And perhaps most significantly, Clayton Kershaw debuted for the Dodgers on that day, pitched six innings, gave up two earned runs, struck out seven, and the Dodgers won the game 4-3… only we didn’t get to see it because we were walking down the aisle.

The day after we were married, we embarked on our honeymoon to Hawaii, where we documented the [PG-rated portions of the] trip on my trusty [non-HD] video camera. It was our favorite vacation ever, so we had to make sure to preserve the memory as best we could. Of course, it’s been well-preserved alright… on my MacBook hard drive, where it has lived for quite a while as I’ve worked on editing the “Alison and Bryan: A Honeymoon Adventure” video on and off for the last four years, promising myself right before every anniversary that this will be the year I finish it…

…well, this will be the year I finish it. Not before our anniversary, unfortunately, but soon after undoubtedly. I guess I got inspired this year, as I’ve made more progress on it in the last two weeks than in the last two years. And maybe part of the reason for my surge in effort is that I feel like I have to check it off my list so I can move on to newer video projects with a different star at the center of them. I think you know who I’m talking about.

Before Madelyn, I was never a father. She made me a father just by being my daughter. Madelyn has helped to make this last year the most thrilling ride of our marriage since we took off on that plane to Maui four years ago. I can’t even imagine my life without her, or even without Princeton for that matter, and yet on that most special day four years ago, we were without them.

As I watched the many hours of honeymoon footage we took and edited it together, I often found myself wondering “Who are those people?” because we seem so different then. Younger. Skinnier. More naive. Less tired.

So here’s a tribute to us on our anniversary — the opening sequence of our soon-to-be-finished honeymoon video… a sequence I’ve had done for just about four years. It’s us, just Alison and Bryan, on our special day of the past without our special pieces of the present.


Venue & Caterer – Spanish Hills Country Club, Photographer – Eight20 Photography, Floral Design – Happy Flowers, Cake – Skiff’s Cakes, Bridal Salon – Bridal Elegance

Real Jewish Weddings | Dana Point, CA

After a year of dating and some chit-chat about marriage, Erica knew a proposal was around the corner so, like any Jewish girl with weddings on the brain, she always had her nails done, ready to go. But like any Jewish boy who wants to surprise his lady, Adi never asked when she thought he would! After convincing Erica to go to ahem, a “party” at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles, she went to meet their friends at the “pre-party” room where Adi was standing and got down on one knee. She jumped up and down with that cute girly excitement you see in the movies and she asked him to do it again. Because, really, it’s a vision.

For her wedding day plans, Erica had the help of the amazing event coordinator, Mindy Weiss, and she didn’t let a thing pass by without her own personal Erica touch. Erica planned every detail to the T making sure that the weekend was everything she wanted it to be. And it was! The first time Erica and Adi saw each other dressed and ready was a magical, dream-like moment. The couple wrote their own vows and Adi’s dad married them, which really made the ceremony so personal and special.

It should be noted that Erica is a sweet bride who loves her sweets. After all, she is the owner of Sweet E’s Bake Shop in Los Angeles where anyone with a love for sugar and spice and everything nice would find their happy place! Naturally, the sweets table at Erica and Adi’s wedding was a display of the best of the best. Her amazing pearly six-level wedding cake, surprise groom’s cake which was a replica of the couple’s furry loves, and collection of yummies like cookie dough cake pops and chocolate dipped marshmallows all delighted guests at the confectionary centerpiece of the wedding reception.

Mazel tov, Erica and Adi!

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Location – St. Regis, Monarch Beach
Photographer – Duke Photography
Cake & Dessert Table – Sweet E’s Bake Shop
Coordinator – Mindy Weiss Party Consultants
Bridal Gown – Monique Lhuillier
Bridal Shoes – Stuart Weitzman
Formal Wear – Theory
Wedding Rings & Jewelry – Zadok Jewelers
Floral Design – Tick Toc Couture Florals
Videographer – Vidicam Productions
Stationery – 2HeartsB1
Ketubah – Gallery Judaica
Entertainment – West Coast Music
Caterer – Someone’s in the Kitchen
Make-up – Jeanine Canter

From the Bride:
I grew up in Houston. So Jewish geography had Adi’s cousin from Houston make the connection and scheme up a plan to set us up. Got that? Adi’s cousin called me to place an “order”. At that time he happened to somehow get my permission to have his cousin Adi call me and needless to say an “order” was never placed. Adi and I were both burnt out after being set up on many dates, but because family was involved we had to meet. And so glad we did. An hour long phone call led to our first date and from then on we pretty much never left each other’s side.

  • Gallery Judaica says:

    Mazel Tov, Erica and Adi! The photos are gorgeous! Looks like the wedding was a great success, and we wish you all the best in your new life together!

  • Robin says:

    What a gorgeous wedding! The photos capture the beautiful details of the flowers & tables and the detailed pics of the sweet table made my mouth water. It looked like a really fun wedding.

  • Kelly says:

    What a beautiful wedding!!! Your wedding cake looked amazing!

  • Lily says:

    Everything about this wedding is gorgeous!

Hot Weather, Cool Wedding

Happy Memorial Day and a big thank you goes out to all those who have served our country. We remember our heroes and wish the best to their families. Most of us have the day off (a Yenta never has a day off. Yenta-ing is a 24/7 gig) and are spending the day with hungry pals around a grill, by the pool, and wearing next to nothing (your 10 seconds away from your mother calling to tell you to put on a jacket). We’re in the throes of spring, but there’s something about Memorial Day that makes us ready for summer! So, with the pending summer weddings and their accompanying summer temps, you’re going to want to do everything you can to keep your guests cool… so they don’t lose their cool.

If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception, your guests will need some relief from the heat. While your wedding coordinator holds the key to power on your special day, she can’t do much about the weather. However, you and your wedding planning team can help your guests stay comfortable as they try to wipe sweat mustaches off their faces in case of impromptu photos.

Leave Chinese fans on each seat so that a breeze — even if it’s a hot breeze — can help move the air on their bodies. You can usually find them in cute colors and styles to match your wedding and can also serve as nice favors. Oriental Trading Company carries all different kinds in bulk. We also like Good Orient‘s selection of light wooden fans. Both styles work well for spreading a little air around.

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Help your guests hydrate themselves with canisters of water, lemonades, iced teas, or juices. Not only does a beverage table to the entrance of your ceremony site make the area appear inviting and hospitable, but will also keep everyone standing and alert instead of passed out from heat stroke! Ushers can help pass out beverages to guests as they are seated in the ceremony area.

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Take it a step further and also have water bottles at each seat. Some guests may pass on the beverage canisters, but once they’re sitting and you’re midway through the seven circles, someone will no doubt start getting thirsty and kick themselves for not getting a drink when they could. Therefore, have mini water bottles ready for such instances tucked under each chair to stay in the shade. What a happy little discovery that will be when thirsty Uncle Murray notices his treasure of H20.

If you anticipate that your wedding will be on a toasty day — July weddings, well, everywhere tend to be that way — you may want to let your guests know that part or all of your wedding day will be outside so that they’ll know how to dress. This information can be relayed on your wedding website if you choose to make one. Also, you can remind friends and family you speak to before the wedding that they should dress lightly.

If your ceremony is in an open space, make sure to ask your venue or rental company about overhead, free-standing umbrellas to cover the area with shade. Your guests will be sitting for 20 or so minutes and will roast under the sun if they don’t have any shade. A little bit of coverage can make such a big difference in the high temperatures, so for the sake of their comfort, coordinating umbrella rentals is a good idea.

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And don’t forget that you need to drink a lot of water on your wedding day!! You are running around, busier than you can imagine, and full of excitement. Make sure you get enough liquids because the last think you need is to accessorize your wedding dress with some IV bags in the emergency room. We don’t need to sound like your Jewish mother, but eat! Drink water! And don’t overdo it with the alcohol, as it won’t help you in the least on a hot day.

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But what if it’s spicy hot on your honeymoon? Oh, well then, by all means, keep turnin’ up the heat!

  • Carmen says:

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Purple Wedding Inspiration Boards

One day in a hurry, Blue brushed by Red, they collided, and it was love at first sight. Blue and Red realized they were attractive by themselves, but even better looking as a couple. One thing lead to another… bow chicka bow bow… and they had a baby named Purple.

Enter Purple: she has many moods. She can be dark and sexy. She can be light and romantic. She can be bright and playful. She has many nicknames like Lavender, Lilac, Plum, Fuchsia, and Violet. Sometimes, she even boasts a hint of royalty with regal attitudes or borderline patriotism.

Purple is also one of those that just always looks great whatever she’s on. Shoes? Sassy! Flowers? Beautiful! Dresses? Festive! Purple is always easy on the eyes.

No matter the season, Purple is always there for you. Purple can warm you up in the Fall or Winter if she’s glazed in dark and heavy tones. Purple will be the fresh and ethereal shade you need in the Spring or Summer when you’re looking to cool off and feel carefree.

Purple is also a very good and loyal friend who also plays well with others. She especially gets along with Pink, Blue, Orange, and Green and all of their family members like Turquoise and Coral. Purple truly is a dedicated member of her community.

So if you’re curious about asking Purple to join you on your wedding day, rest easy knowing that you’ve made a good choice. Rebecca from Tuesday’s Real Wedding pulled off Purple just perfectly! Purple is beautiful and can serve many purposes in her eager-to-please, accommodating ways. She’ll look great as a headliner or as a complementary player.

Perchance planning for Purple? Peek below for a point in the right direction!


Project Wedding, My Inspired Wedding, Your Perfect Day, Weddingbee, CA Chic Design


Events by Social Graces, Darin Fong Photography, Mad Baker, Wed Bits, Chelsea Elizabeth Photography


CA Chic Design, United with Love, Twirl Boutique, My Inspired Wedding, Top Trends Fashion