Sara and Ben met in Jerusalem while she was living there and he was visiting on vacation. Sara was taking classes in Jerusalem, and while Ben was in town, he wanted to sit in on a class, since he had attended the same school a few years earlier. One morning in January, Sara walked into her usual class and a cute guy was sitting next to her regular seat. They struck up a conversation and ended up being chevruta (study buddies) that day, but spent most of their study time chatting and getting to know each other. By the end of class, they had exchanged emails. After Ben returned to the US, they started getting to know each other first on email and Gchat, and then long hours over the phone. Several months later, when Sara arrived back in NYC, Ben was waiting for her at the airport with a bouquet of flowers. They’ve been together ever since.
Sara and Ben wanted their wedding to be honest to their values and their backgrounds. Sara is from Los Angeles and Ben is from New York. The wedding was held in Pasadena, CA, but they made sure to incorporate elements of New York, too (they ended the chuppah ceremony with “I Love LA” and made their grand entrance to “New York, New York.”) Whenever possible, Sara and Ben tried to select vendors that were local (the cake was from a Chinese bakery Sara grew up going to), green and/or recycled (eco-suede kippot, rings from Sara’s grandmother), and incorporating friends and family (Sara’s junior high friend made the invitations; Ben’s family’s rabbi flew in from New York to lead the ceremony; Sara’s mom made the chuppah).
It was important to the couple to be married in a traditional Jewish ceremony that infused a spirit of inclusivity and pluralism. Sara comes from a mixed family, and many of the guests were not Jewish; those who are represented different streams of Judaism. A program accompanied the ceremony to explain the rituals, and the rabbi also provided fun and interesting commentary. They were able to incorporate their good friends and family in ways that would make them comfortable – for example, those who knew Hebrew said the sheva brachot, while other read the English translations. Ultimately, they were both proud of holding a ceremony that was welcoming to a diverse group of people.
Sara says her favorite moment was the bedeken, where the rabbi led a guided meditation for the couple to truly see each other before Ben veiled Sara.
Mazel tov, Sara and Ben!
Photographer: bycherry photography
Venue: Castle Green
Coordinator: La Bella Dia
Florist: Flowers by Leah
Cake: Fortune Bakery
Videographer: Today’s the Day
Caterer: Simply Elegant
Dress: Dolly Couture
Veil: Custom-made by Bridal Veil Falls
Makeup Artist / Hair Stylist: Kelly Zhang
Officiant: Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky of Ansche Chesed in Manhattan
Invitations / Stationery: Fresh Baked Paper Goods
Yarmulkes: eco suede kippot from Jessy Judaica
Ketubah: Melanie Dankowicz ; ketubah text was Gordon Tucker’s ketubah text
Honeymoon Travel: Registered for Argentina honeymoon on honeyfund.com