Monthly Archives: July 2012

Real Jewish Weddings | Washington, D.C.

********** GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW THROUGH AUGUST 2nd!!! ***********

Don’t forget your chance to enter to win! Krystal of Stella & Dot is giving away a gift certificate to her store! Just check out all the goodies at Stella & Dot and report back by leaving a comment here and sharing what you would choose!

Entries will be accepted through Thursday, August 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner is selected at random and announced on Facebook on August 3rd. Good luck!

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We met at a non-profit networking event a little over three years ago and started dating a few months after that. We got engaged on December 4th at 2:30 a.m., at home after a friend’s party. It was completely spontaneous.

It was important that we pay homage to my Jewish heritage and Simon’s Scottish heritage. When trying to incorporate both of our religions, we really lucked out and had an amazing minister and rabbi who walked us through the process. Simon and I spent hours going over what was important to us and finding the right vows, readings, and ceremony elements that would reflect us as a couple. Designing our ceremony was an amazing part of the planning process and I would recommend it to any bride. It made it that much more special and something that was just “ours.” It wasn’t an easy or short process, but our ceremony was definitely “us” and I can’t imagine it any other way.

I was inspired by quite a few incredible wedding blogs. I became a wedding blog addict! I subscribed to so many including The Wedding Yentas, of course. I also would get magazines and clip the pictures that I liked and put them in a wedding (eventually dubbed “The Wedding Box”). Finalizing the colors was the most difficult part (I changed colors at least 15 times) but we finally drew from the colors in Simon’s kilt (blue, purple, green).

My favorite memory of the wedding day was the Hora, and everyone immediately jumped on the dance floor. Being up on the chair with Simon was fantastic! I just remember being so incredibly happy and that’s when being married became a reality. The best part of all of it was that we didn’t tell his parents (who are not Jewish) about the tradition of lifting both the parents of the bride AND the parents of the groom in the chairs, so the look on his parents’ faces were priceless! They looked like they were having so much fun.

Mazel tov, Stacia and Simon!

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Venue: Dupont Circle Hotel
Photography: Sweet Tea Photography
Day of Planner: Perfect Detail Event Planning
Florist: Edge Floral Event Designers
Make-up: Real Doll Makeup
CupCakes: Curbside Cupcakes
Wedding Gown: Brides Against Breast Cancer
DJ & Photobooth: Bialek’s Music

Your Wedding Kiss

********** GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW THROUGH AUGUST 2nd!!! ***********

Don’t forget your chance to enter to win! Krystal of Stella & Dot is giving away a gift certificate to her store! Just check out all the goodies at Stella & Dot and report back by leaving a comment here and sharing what you would choose!

Entries will be accepted through Thursday, August 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner is selected at random and announced on Facebook on August 3rd. Good luck!

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Maybe it’s all the hubbub of Magic Mike or those fine-looking athletes who are doing their thaaaang at the Olympics (hello, Matt Anderson Who Plays Volleyball For Team USA And By The Way, Does He Like Nice Jewish Girls?), but there are some good lookin’ dudes in the media right now. Made me think back to when I younger — circa Bat Mitzvah 1996 — and my crush of the time was JTT. Please. Girls of the 90s. Who did NOT like JTT? I even had his poster from Teen Beat taped to the ceiling of my room (Devon Sawa was in the same issue. Good times). There may or may not have been a lipstick mark on his face. I think our moms all did this with Paul McCartney posters, so please, this age of practicing kissing has gone on for, like, generations. I’m sure Sarah and Rachel and Rebecca practiced kissing stone tablets or something, no?

Practicing kissing is not just a funny and innocent blip from your childhood. Did you ever think about doing some practice kissing with the lucky duck at the other end of the chuppah?

Hey, go for a mitzvah on Shabbat and take it as far as you want — we don’t need to discuss the nitty gritty of what practice kissing leads to. But there are benefits… besides the obvious.

Let’s be honest: were a jumble of nerves on the big wedding day. The nerves all stem from excitement, of course, but that adrenaline is running on turbo. In the same way couples may discuss the cake cutting (to smash or not to smash?) or the first dance (to choreograph or to wing it?) , it is probably beneficial to have a chat — or a kiss! — about the first smooch as newlyweds.

So what’s it gonna be? Passionate and steamy? A sweet peck, 7th grade style? With spaghetti between you like Lady and the Tramp? Okay, kidding (but really, you could practice with a kugel!), but better to chat about it now than to be humiliated about the way you were kissed and didn’t want to be on the wedding day.

Keep in mind, too, that you’re going to be surrounded by your family and friends. And if you’re doing the traditional chuppah thing, your parents are going to be under the canopy with you! And your grandparents will probably be in the front row! So, really, up to you, but you can always save the oo la la for your honeymoon. Just sayin’…

Are you a couple who’s usually participating in PDA to begin with? Those who are frequently in your company might be used to it and won’t even blink about a touchy-feely kiss. My husband and I are not quite the PDA type because we are always on the go, we don’t have time to get all mushy gushy. However, we are a playful and silly couple, so our first kiss was short and sweet with multiple pecks. I only know this from watching the video. It could have been a drinking game: take a shot every time Alison goes in for another!!

Maybe marry a few different styles of kisses. Instead of showing your passion that resembles a the cover of a Fabio romance novel, share a kiss or two that has impact with lips and add in some hand holding or neck hugging. A nice little dip at the end will get a perfect 10 from the judges/wedding guess.

Okay, okay, I’m not going to choreograph your first kiss for you. Just sharing some ideas and things to think about as you seal the deal.

If anything, just say that The Wedding Yentas demands you do a few test drives for your first kiss. I doubt there’ll be an argument about it and who knows, it could end in your own personal Magic Mike show!

Choosing Your Wedding Veil

********** GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW THROUGH AUGUST 2nd!!! ***********

Don’t forget your chance to enter to win! Krystal of Stella & Dot is giving away a gift certificate to her store! Just check out all the goodies at Stella & Dot and report back by leaving a comment here and sharing what you would choose!

Entries will be accepted through Thursday, August 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner is selected at random and announced on Facebook on August 3rd. Good luck!

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Let’s talk about veils. To wear one or not to wear one? If you choose to wear a veil, then which kind of veil should you were? There are, like, a zillion styles. So what should you go with? What’s the terminology? Does the veil have to match the dress?

There’s so much to think about for an accessory that’s pretty to look at and serves a cultural purpose. Read on for information… unveiled.

Camo is a No No
If you choose to wear a detailed wedding gown that sparkles with beading or has serious texture like lace, consider wearing a veil that doesn’t clash or hide those elements. What a shame it would be to select your dream dress and then cover it up with a veil that hides jewels or fancy buttons. An elbow-length veil will still serve its purpose but then also not upstage your dress.

Caw! Caw! Wear a Birdcage
For serious drama or a vintage look, the birdcage veil is a classic. If you want a more traditional veil for your ceremony, you could always model a birdcage piece for photos or the reception. It’s a super-chic look that many brides love, but think they can’t pull off!! Just make sure your dress is in the same category of style. A very full and conservative gown might not mesh (haha, get it?) well with a birdcage veil, so go with a dress that’s sleek or sexy or vintage.

Image courtesy of Holladay Photo

Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Don’t let your dress fight with your veil. Instead, they should complement each other! If your dress has beading or pretty, sparkly doodads on it, then your veil should lean toward the plain side. If your dress provides simple beauty without jewels or lots of lacy additions, then your veil can have elaborate extras. But if you combine both, the veil and the dress will end up in a one-upping competition and you’ll lose the splendor altogether. This goes for your jewelry, too. The more detailed your veil is, the softer and simpler your jewelry must be. All three elements should definitely play well together, and not against each other. There is definitely such thing as too much of a good… bling.

Color Me Bride
Make sure to color coordinate! While you don’t want your dress and veil details to be too matchy-matchy, you definitely have to make sure your colors are! If you are wearing an ivory dress, it would be no bueno to wear a diamond white veil. Many bridal salons will offer you swatch samples to compare and be sure that both items match. There is no wrong color — it’s up to you to decide what works for your style and skin tone — but you definitely want to be sure that the color is consistent for both beauties.

Veil Types
You’d think that a drapey piece of mesh would be a no-brainer shopping experience. Wrong! If you’ve just started shopping for a veil, you’ll start to hear lots of body part-centric lingo that you didn’t know could describe a wedding day accessory. Basically, many veils are described by the body part they reach. There’s shoulder length, elbow length, fingertip length, knee length, and floor length (not a body part, but toe-length just sounds weird). Then, there’s church lingo that describes two other varieties of veils and let’s face it, Hebrew school didn’t prepare you for that kind of information. Chapel length veils extend to the floor, about seven feet from the top/head piece. A cathedral length veil trails anywhere from one to three yards behind the dress. The most formal style of veil is the cathedral length.

Bride, Groom… and Veil Photos?
You and your beloved will be taking a day’s worth of photos together. From posed shots to candid snaps, the two of you will get total paparazzi treatment and it’s your big opportunity to be fierce! Your veil can be a character in your photos, too! From romantic to playful, make sure to include your veil in your happy day. You’ll be happy you did… from head to toe. Here are some camera must haves to run by your photographer.

Image courtesy of eight20 photography

Image courtesy of Meghan Aileen Photography

Image courtesy of Jessica Claire

Image courtesy of Jessica Claire

Image courtesy of Brian Dorsey Studios

Image courtesy of Jennifer Bowen Photography

Who Should Be In Your Wedding Party?

********** GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW THROUGH AUGUST 2nd!!! ***********

Don’t forget your chance to enter to win! Krystal of Stella & Dot is giving away a gift certificate to her store! Just check out all the goodies at Stella & Dot and report back by leaving a comment here and sharing what you would choose!

Entries will be accepted through Thursday, August 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner is selected at random and announced on Facebook on August 3rd. Good luck!

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Before my sister-in-law got engaged last Fall, there was a night when my husband and I sat around the table eating and talking (it’s what our people do best, no?) with her and her then-boyfriend-now-fiance who are getting married this October. She is now a bride who scours wedding blogs (and we all know which one is her favorite, right? RIGHT???), and is constantly tasked with the millions of decisions that go into planning a wedding.

During our dinner table chat before she was engaged, we were discussing the difficult choices of selecting a wedding party. For SIL’s then-boyfriend-now-fiance, the options were pretty simple and easily assumed. For SIL, the situation was different: should she pick bridesmaids who she had history with and has known a long time, but isn’t currently close to? Or should she choose gals who she knows are true friends right now, but maybe don’t have seniority compared to others? Naturally one of her options was easy (ahem! MOH represent!), but rounding out the rest of her party required more thought. And then, it dawned on her: should the amount of bridesmaids equal to the amount of groomsmen? This round table conversation went in spirals as we analyzed the ins and outs of choosing the wedding party.

I don’t necessarily think there’s one right or wrong answer. But for discussion’s sake, I’ll share our conversation and what it came down to.

The bridesmaids are part of an exciting time in a bride’s life. They definitely have a required presence on the wedding day, but usually play parts in the months leading up to the chuppah as there are dress shopping, bridal showers, and bachelorette party dates to add to the calendar. Since that’s a pretty hefty commitment, it’s in the bride’s best interest to choose women who will be around for a long time, preferably, ya know, for life. So, the tennis partner du jour at the country club is probably not the best option.

We also agreed that friends come in many different categories. Friends from the category called We’ve Known Each Other Forever And Passed Notes In Sixth Grade During Math Class And You Were There For Me When I Got My First Period And We Saw Each Other During Our Breaks Home From College But Don’t Really Talk As Much Anymore, well, as nice as it is to know people from that far back, probably don’t belong in your bridal party either.

So there’s a fine line. The Way Backs and the Right Nows. SIL and I decided that the Right Nows who will certainly turn into In The Long Runs are the best option. They are excited for your bridal adventure and they know you best as a bride and, most likely, your husband-to-be as well. The odds are in your favor that you have more in common with them during this stage of your life and that the quality of friendship is equitable on both sides. If you are a lucky girl to have that lifelong friend that you’ve stayed closed with through all the stages of life, then by all means, that is a girl who is going to be one rockstar bridesmaid. But don’t let nostalgia take over your wedding party. Embrace your current friends and tell them that they mean so much to you and you’ll enjoy the experience even more with them by your side on your wedding day, but also throughout your marriage.

As for the equal amount of ladies and gents in the wedding party: personal preference! SIL and her then-boyfriend-now-fiance were pairing up their potential bridesmaids and groomsmen together to walk down the aisle two by two, but when their amounts didn’t even up and there were some men without a lady, they scratched their heads — conundrum!– and I said “Feh! Why do they need to pair up? Give each one their time in the spotlight and let them do a solo mosey down the aisle!” (for the record: since they’ve gotten engaged, it worked out that they have four and four and will be walking down in couples. I didn’t wan you to lose sleep over this so I thought it was relevant to share the outcome of their decision). Eureka! So, there’s that. Don’t have an equal group? That’s so okay. Pair some up? Sure! Make them all go solo? Fine! Do a three-way saunter, linked arms, Wizard of Oz-style? Why not!

And then we realized there are no rules. When it comes to picking out your bridesmaids or choreographing who walks with who and when, just remember, it’s your wedding! I seem to preach that a lot here on The Wedding Yentas, but it’s true. It’s. Your. Wedding. Yours. YOU. Yours.

It’s going to be unique anyway because there are no two people like you and your lovey in the world. So, why should your wedding be like every other wedding in the world? Make decisions that suit you best, that you feel comfortable with, and that will make you happy for years to come as you look back on your wedding day. And the people who stand by your sides should be just as excited for you as you are for your special day!

Real Jewish Weddings | Westlake Village, CA

********** GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW THROUGH AUGUST 2nd!!! ***********

Don’t forget your chance to enter to win! Krystal of Stella & Dot is giving away a gift certificate to her store! Just check out all the goodies at Stella & Dot and report back by leaving a comment here and sharing what you would choose!

Entries will be accepted through Thursday, August 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner is selected at random and announced on Facebook on August 3rd. Good luck!

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Sean is a native Colorado boy who is a lawyer and a pilot, and is extroverted, witty, and energetic. Jaynee is a California girl and works as an interior designer. She is a sophisticated traditionalist, with a calm disposition yet opinionated tongue. They met at Sean’s Zeta Beta Tau Fall Formal while they were both attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. Despite being with another date (not to worry, just a friend), Jaynee was immediately drawn to Sean’s big smile and easy going personality. Jaynee was too nervous to go up and talk to him, though, so she just admired him from afar. Sean, however, with his outgoing nature, approached Jaynee and started talking. The next day Sean politely asked for Jaynee’s phone number and soon after they went on their first date.

Fast forward six years, Sean and Jaynee headed to Vail for a ski weekend, but their first stop was a snow hike with their goldendoodle, Jet. Sean had planned to propose at the top of the mountain; however, barely one third of the way up the mountain, Sean could no longer wait and proposed. Jaynee was shocked, cried, and, of course, said “Yes!”

After seven years together, they tied the knot in Jaynee’s hometown on a beautiful summer evening. The wedding day was full of meaningful sentiments and traditional Jewish customs. The couple drank their ceremonial wine from the silver Kiddush Cup from Sean’s Bar Mitzvah and the Chuppah was draped with a family Tallit. Friends and family traveled across the country to share the special day with Jaynee and Sean and it could not have been more perfect.

Mazel tov, Jaynee and Sean!

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Venue, Caterer, & Cake: Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village
Photographer: Mi Belle Photography
Coordinator: Peggy Shevlin
Florist: All About Flowers
Videographer: Skyline Videography
Jeweler: Jay Feder Jewelers
Ceremony & Reception Music: West Coast Music
Dance Floor: A Rental Connection
Lighting: Swank Audio Visuals
Dress & Veil Boutique: R-Mine Bridal
Shoes: Kate Spade
Makeup Artist / Hair Stylist – Yamaguchi, Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village
Officiant: Rabbi Richard Spiegel, Temple Etz Chaim
Yarmulkes: A1 Skullcap Co.
Ketubah: Enya Keshet, Gallery Judaica

  • Groom's Brother says:

    THANK YOU FOR THIS!

    Wow, sure helps me relive that day!