Monthly Archives: February 2013

{Real Jewish Weddings} Seattle, WA

Tamar and Raphael met at the Moscow Nights party sponsored by JConnect Seattle. After more than a year of dating, traveling, having fun and sharing friends, Raphael knew that Tamar was the one. Raphael scheduled a dinner at a fancy restaurant to commemorate Tamar’s birthday and during dinner he surprised her with tickets to go to Brazil so they could visit his parents. Tamar was delighted by the romantic birthday evening and excited about the upcoming trip to Brazil. The surprises continued and before the evening ended, Raphael was proposing marriage and Tamar happily accepted.

For their wedding, the couple felt strongly about incorporating Jewish traditions in their wedding ceremony. They had a ketubah signing and a beautiful ceremony under the chuppah. Keeping with family tradition, the wedding was officiated by the cantor which Tamar had her bat mitzvah with as a young girl. The wedding and reception were held in a magical venue among their family and friends.

Mazel tov, Tamar and Raphael!

Seattle Jewish Weddings

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Venue: Arctic Club Hotel
Photographer: Alante Photography
Day of Coordinator: Simplicity Events
Kosher Catering: Nosh Away
DJ: Braden Landon
Florist: Florarama
Hair and Makeup: Salon Maison
Cantor: Bradlee Kurland
Cake: Larsen’s Bakery

You Have a Junior Bridesmaid. Now What?

Your younger, but not thaaaaat much younger cousin whose hair you used to french braid for dance class every Thursday. The cute girls down the street who considered you their favorite babysitter when they were tiny and you used to gossip with their mom after she’d come home from work. Your fiance’s only niece and the other cute girl in his life who takes him up on every offer for a piggy back ride and tea party. None of these girls are young enough to be the toddling and cute-but-clueless flower girl who walks down the aisle. But they’re also not old enough to be a bridesmaid who can do and afford all of the bridesmaid-y events. So, you have an epiphany and say to yourself, “Self! I know! [Insert Name Here] can be a JUNIOR BRIDESMAID!”

Genius idea, but what the blintzes does a junior bridesmaid even do?

Well, a junior bridesmaid is like a watered down version of an adult bridesmaid and a totally upgraded model of a flower girl. She’s cute and gets time to shine like a flower girl, but fits in more with the adult bridesmaids. Best of both worlds, right?

Usually, the over/under for the age of a junior bridesmaid is between 9 and 14. None of the traditions are requirements, but you can take what you need and make up your own rules about how to include your junior bridesmaid on your wedding day.

Because a junior bridesmaid is not, like, working for The Man, she probably has no income to throw you a shower. Unless your junior bridesmaid is Dakota Fanning. Wait, I think she’s older than 14 now. But you know what I mean. So, even though she won’t dish out cash to help sponsor the shower, she should be included by planning to attend and assist with bridal shower duties like set-up and clean-up, making favors, cooking and baking, helping with gifts, and other very important tasks.

You can even include your junior bridesmaid when you go wedding gown shopping. Now, you are not required to follow her opinions or let her pick out The Dress, but certainly she can be there as part of the experience. This is really more appropriate if your junior bridesmaid is a sister or a daughter, but it’s a nice and special way to include her. And she’ll love all the pretty dresses!

Speaking of dresses, she’ll get to wear a similar, if not the same, dress as the bridesmaids! Sometimes, brides select a dress for the junior bridesmaid that may be a bit longer in length or something with straps. It can be the same fabric and color as the adult bridesmaids, but if your gals are sporting a sexy dress, nothing says “tacky wedding” like allowing the junior bridesmaid to wear the identical frock. So, you know, good judgement yada yada yada.

She can also hold a smaller version of the adult bridesmaids’ bouquet. There’s always the corsage option, but that’s a little too prom for my personal taste. Most would agree.

When it comes to the wedding events, the junior bridesmaid will be at your rehearsal dinner like the rest of the bridal party and she can also hang with the ushers (what younger girl wouldn’t want to rub elbows with cool, older, cute guys in suits?) by also seating guests, handing out programs, or standing by the yarmulkes. She’ll definitely charm the old Jewish men that way.

Your junior bridesmaid can walk alone down the aisle, with another young man (junior groomsman?), or with another adult member of the wedding party. No rule here. It’s up to you and how symmetrical you are in your planning.

Just keep in mind — and this is a reminder because most of us have tried to forget — that your junior bridesmaid might be going through the, you know, change. Puberty. So, when it comes to picking out her look for day, be cognizant of the fact that she might be self-conscious or unable to pull off the style you have in mind. Remember when we were figuring it all out? Yeah, that’s probably what she’s going through right now. She might be brushing her curls… not something I ever did. No, no. I would have never done that because it causes really annoying frizzy hair, which makes awkward pubescent years even more traumatic. Sigh.

So, even though she may be a wee bit underage to join you for your bachelorette party at Guido’s Chippendales, your favorite younger gal pal can experience your bridal experience in a more G-rated fashion. She’ll be honored to be by your side as you say “I do” to your love, and maybe even learn a thing or to about how to be the coolest bride ever for when it’s her turn in 15-ish years.

Los Angeles Jewish Wedding Video Teaser

Tuesday, you were treated to Kim Fox‘s amazing photos of Barrie and Daniel’s traditional Los Angeles Jewish wedding. I mean, was it not beautiful?! As bride and groom, they looked like the epitome of true love — of b’shert — through Kim’s lens.

Today, we get to see those gorgeous details and true love in live action thanks to this perfect wedding video teaser from Ahava Films!

Barrie + Daniel from Ahava Films on Vimeo.

Los Angeles Jewish Weddings by Kim Fox

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Venue: Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel
Photographer: Kim Fox Photography
Florist: Efren at Elegant Thorn
Music: Robby Helperin, Simcha Orchestra
Caterer: Pat’s
Hair: Juliana Eckblad
Makeup: Jenna Keller
Cinematographer: Ahava Films
Officiant – Groom’s brother-in-law, Rabbi Stephen Burg

An American In Jerusalem: Falling In Love In Israel

Anna Abramzon StudioToday, Anna Abramzon of Anna Abramzon Studio chimes in as a ketubah expert on The Wedding Yentas! They say she started drawing before she started walking, but that may be an exaggeration. As soon as she did start walking though, Anna started traveling, sketchbook in hand. She has lived all over the place and her travels have infused her artwork with color and life. Anna specialize in mixed media, combining collage with gouache, watercolor, pencil and ink. Anna met and married her husband in Jerusalem, Israel, and thought their wedding was a wonderful opportunity to create some love-inspired art, so she painted their ketubah, their invites, their thank you notes, and pretty much everything else that she possibly could for their wedding. Next thing she knew, other people started asking her to create artwork for their weddings. And that’s how Anna became a ketubah artist. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and daughter. Shop for your ketubah and keepsake art at Anna Abramzon Studio.

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One of the strangest phone calls I’ve ever had to make was to my parents to tell them I was getting married. The ultimate weirdness of this phone call can be summed up with my mom’s response… after a tense pause she said, “to whom?”

So here’s the story:

Once upon a time, an oblivious Russian-American Jewish girl spent a summer in an office in Jerusalem at a desk next to an Argentinean-Israeli boy who kept trying to get her attention. The girl was so oblivious, that even when the cute Argentisraeli asked her on a “date,” she eagerly accepted and even brought a friend along. But in her defense, the plan for this “date” was to go hear a panel on Palestinian Reform at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) — not exactly your typical dinner and a movie, so no wonder the girl was confused! The boy, however, was right in figuring that this kind of unusual event was the only way to get the Russian space cadet’s attention. During that non-date, the Argentine boy casually joked that he was eventually planning on marrying the girl, who at that moment finally realized that the boy might be interested in her as more than a coworker who shared his interest in Mideast politics. The third-wheeler friend tactfully made her exit right around then, and the boy and girl spent a lovely evening in a Jerusalem coffee shop, talking about life and finishing each others’ sketchpad doodles (they also both loved to draw). After the boy walked the girl home, as a perfect finish to a perfect non-date, the girl got a flu and left Israel without ever coming back to the office. To her dismay, the cute Argentisraeli boy never called.

One might think the story would have ended there, except that Fate intervened. The girl left Israel and spent that year in New York, becoming somewhat of an expert JDater. Her dream was to move to Israel, so she found every excuse not to get too attached to any local boys and to fly to Israel as often as possible. About a year after the non-date with the Argentinian boy, the girl was on another visit to Israel and was walking down the boardwalk in Eilat (a southern resort town) with her girlfriends and her little brother who had come on the trip with her.

It is important to this story to mention that the New York year had not been kind to the Russian-American girl and in her struggle with conquering the Big Apple, she had gained twenty pounds. It’s also important to mention that her skin was not reacting well to travel and was therefore beginning to resemble a greasy slice of NY pepperoni pizza, and due to the very tight travel budget of a recent college grad trying to live in Manhattan, she had also not showered in a little too long.

It was probably the last possible moment that she would have wanted to run into the cute boy from the summer before, but as fate would have it, they literally bumped into each other on that boardwalk. She quickly noticed the statuesque model-thin, blonde, Goddess of a girl accompanying the boy, which of course made her feel all that much more frumpy. The boy, however, quickly introduced the Goddess as his sister, visiting from Argentina (what a relief!) and suggested that they meet back on the boardwalk at 9 o’clock that evening. The girl gladly agreed. (As a side note, in her future life together with an Argentinian boy, the girl would learn that all Argentine women look like Goddesses. She still doesn’t know what unfair distribution of genes causes this effect, but it’s a fact).

At nine o’clock that evening, the freshly showered and shaved boy waited at the meeting point for what he thought was his second date with the oblivious cartoon and politics-lover from the summer before. To his dismay, the girl showed up freshly showered and made up (a good sign), but with an entourage of her two girlfriends and eleven year old brother (surely not a good sign). The boy was starting to wonder what exactly was wrong with this girl and why she felt compelled to bring backup to every date. The girl on the other hand, was wondering where the boy’s sister was? She had assumed that when he suggested “they” meet up, he had meant all of them.

Lucky for him, it didn’t take long for the girl’s friends to sense the situation and claim “sudden, overwhelming and inexplicable exhaustion,” retreating to their hotel and taking her little brother with them.

That night, over red wine on the white sands of an Eilat beach, under a full moon (I am not making this up!), the South American professed his plans to “wait for her,” and threw around words like “destiny” and “forever” while his cynical, Ukranian-American date, struggled desperately to shut out the earsplitting warning sirens in her head (not to mention the overwhelming gag reflex).

And that’s how the relationship continued, with the boy always a step ahead. While the girl was comprising schemes to find out if they were “exclusive” and if she could consider him her “boyfriend” (she was too American to flat out ask), the boy casually told her that he was planning to marry her (for the second time since they met). It didn’t take long for the girl to catch up, though, and to realize that this romantic, strangely decisive, macho teddy bear of a man was the one for her. She moved to Israel two months later and within six days of her arrival they were officially engaged.

That’s when I had to make the crazy phone call to my parents.

Anna Abramzon Studio

{Real Jewish Weddings} Los Angeles, CA

Barrie and Daniel met when they were in high school and have spent countless hours laughing together over the last 12 years. After their five-year courtship, they were thrilled to finally make things official while on vacation in San Jose del Cabo.

The bride and groom spent the wedding day surrounded by their closest friends and family. The bridal party consisted of 10 brothers, sisters and in-laws, as well as the bride and groom’s 14 nieces and nephews. The day was even more special with personal touches such as the groom’s brother-in-law as the officiant and a close family friend who designed the gorgeous ketubah.

They are looking forward to a delayed honeymoon to Paris in March, and many exciting vacations over the years to come.

Mazel tov, Barrie and Daniel!

Los Angeles Jewish Weddings by Kim Fox

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Venue: Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel
Photographer: Kim Fox Photography
Florist: Efren at Elegant Thorn
Music: Robby Helperin, Simcha Orchestra
Caterer: Pat’s
Hair: Juliana Eckblad
Makeup: Jenna Keller
Cinematographer: Ahava Films
Officiant – Groom’s brother-in-law, Rabbi Stephen Burg