Monthly Archives: September 2013

{Real Jewish Weddings} Burlington, VT

Ben and Cambria’s wedding was a beautiful, sunny, summer wedding! In addition to hiring awesome photographers to document their love in still pictures, these two film and photo buffs included Super Eight cameras to capture the day in all of its vintage and handmade glory. So many of the details were creatively and heartfully designed and assembled by the couple themselves, and they were so lucky to have wonderful friends who helped in all facets of the getting ready time, ceremony, and reception. Thinking outside the box allows a couple to keep a wedding reasonably priced and also still beautifully memorable. Hard work clearly went into this wedding, but that’s why their love looks easy! What a wedding to be proud of and a life ahead to enjoy together.

Mazel tov, Cambria and Ben!

Vermont Jewish Weddings

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Photographer: Ampersand Wedding Photography
Venue: Intervale Center
Cake: Caketopia Cakes
Jeweler: VK Designs

  • Romulo says:

    You say that you do pre shoots so that a colupe can reminice about the love that bought them together 5-10-15 years ago These pictures capture ALL the emotions that are associated with our love All the emotions that we feel and that you shot will echo through these photos forever ever and ever Thanking you will only belittle our appreciation, words simply cannot express our feelings

Jewish Wedding Traditions Should Not Be Greek To Your Vendor Team

The Wedding Yentas was one of the inaugural editors of Two Bright Lights. For non-industry folks, Two Bright Lights is a fabulous site that connects photographers and their works with many different kinds of blogs, allowing for quick and easy transfers of photos and info. In fact, over half the weddings published on this here little blog have been matches made by Two Bright Lights, so it’s a system I’ve been loving since Day 1.

On Two Bright Lights, there’s a little profile for The Wedding Yentas — it explains that it’s a wedding blog for Jewish and interfaith weddings and then also includes info about what’s required for submissions. It’s pretty simple, but it’s no secret that it’s a Jewish wedding blog.

I love getting new submissions and it’s so exciting to pour over a batch of photos, getting to know a couple through the photographer’s point of view. Once in a blue moon, I’ll get a submission that’s a tease — a beautiful wedding, great details, wonderful vendor info… but it’s not a Jewish wedding. The wedding is usually submitted to 50 other blogs and you can tell that the photographer took no time to personalize the submission, pretty much just clicking a bunch of boxes to see what sticks. These photographers are lazy jerks.

But then I just decline the submission, click “Not a fit” and “Submitted to too many publications” and hope they understand what they did and learn a lesson.

Last week, I received a submission from a photographer and like all the other times for the past three years, I opened it up, excited to see what I might be able to share with all of you!

It was tagged as a Jewish wedding and it was only submitted to The Wedding Yentas. This was a good sign.

I looked at the names of the couple. Hmm… not exactly a Silverstein or a Goldenberg, but OK, Judasim and its affiliations can cross over many cultures, right?

I waited for the photos to load and while my MacBook gave me Pinwheel shpilkes, I looked at my editorial calendar to see when I had an opening to publish this wedding. Two weeks. Perfect.

Finally, I worked my way into the album. Good looking couple. Brunette. Very elaborate details. Gorgeous dress. Beaming family of women surrounding the bride as she got ready.

Indoor ceremony. Big crowd sitting in… pews? Hmmm. OK, they must be in a synagogue but the photographer didn’t list it as a venue. Must remember to follow up in an email about that for proper credit.

The decor inside had a stained glass window like so many synagogues have and then my eye skimmed down to a wall of gold plated murals of — record screech — Jesus?

Lots of Jesus and Jesus-like figures. Lots of crosses. Lots of not-a-Jewish-wedding symbols.

The wedding officiant was definitely not wearing a yarmulke and his version of a tallit had even more crosses on it. This was no rabbi.

It was then that I recognized the setting from a fabulous and funny movie that starred Aidan Shaw when he wasn’t Aidan (and yes, I was Team Aidan and not Team Big. Sue me). And it was confirmed when I saw the beautiful wreaths draped over the bride and groom’s head — the Greek Orthodox crowning ceremony.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

This was not a Jewish wedding. It was a beautiful wedding. It made me wish I was the publisher for a Greek wedding planning blog. It was a lot of things, but it was not a Jewish wedding.

But you know, ethnic rituals, big family, lots of celebrating… sure, why not intentionally submit to a Jewish wedding planning blog and even tag it as a Jewish wedding?

This is not OK.

And this is why I tell you: make sure your vendors — ESPECIALLY your photographer! — know you’re having a Jewish wedding. Or another kind of wedding. Or is clued into what you’re doing at your wedding if it includes any other wedding tradition than a kiss.

You are paying someone a lot of money to follow you throughout the day. This vendor will use you for marketing tools (which is fine) and will blog about you and put your face on social media pages. This vendor will spend time with you and get to know your likes, dislikes, quirks, and family (sometimes the former two can be redundant — ha ha). Do you really want to hire someone who isn’t even going to understand the values and traditions on which your marriage begins?

I don’t know if this photographer was trying to pull one over on me or if the photographer was actually just really ignorant about cultural differences among the many different wedding ceremonies that photographers have the privilege to document. I also feel badly for the couple, who was clearly not respected enough for the photographer to even know the uniqueness and traditions of their special day and their heritage that fueled it.

Most of us are required to practice cultural sensitivity in the workplace, whether it’s at school or a corporate environment. Shouldn’t it be the same for professionals in the wedding industry?

Luckily, this was the first time I’ve come across something like this in the life of The Wedding Yentas, so I suppose that track record is pretty good. But all it takes is one. So that’s why I beg all of you to not only get to know your vendors, but make sure your vendors get to know you! You deserve it.

{Real Jewish Weddings} Pasadena, CA

Claire and Ilia enjoyed a classic and romantic Pasadena wedding. They infused a touch of Jewish traditions into the ceremony to honor Ilia’s heritage. He wore a yarmulke and stepped on the glass at the end as these are festive Jewish groom traits. They also performed their own version of a mitzvah buy donating their flowers to the local nursing and convalescent hospital. What a wonderful idea! Claire had seen this practice when she was younger while doing volunteer work in convalescent homes. One time she came in and the whole place was full of these beautiful post-wedding flowers! The residents seemed to really get a kick out of having the flowers, and the director said that people occasionally donated their flowers after events. So it seemed like a much better option to donate them rather than just throw them away!!

Mazel tov, Claire and Ilia!

California Jewish Weddings

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Photographer:  Pepper Nix Photography
Venue: Annandale Golf Club
Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell
Floral Designer: Jerry Palmer Floral Design
Bakery: Pastries by Nancy
Invitation Designer: Vroman’s

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

  • Pepper Nix says:

    Thank you for the wonderful feature Alison! It was such an honor to be able to document Claire and Ilia’s gorgeous wedding, and I’m over the moon that The Wedding Yentas wanted to share it too!

  • Jules Peterson says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous event! I especially LOVE the one of the bride and groom out on the grass with the lovely sun flare. So Romantic! And I also love the donation of the flowers. I think I will do that too!

  • Becca Skorney says:

    What a gorgeous wedding day! I love that the couple donated their flowers too. A great idea! And the bride’s dress was stellar. Love this post!

  • Joel says:

    Beautiful images! I’m impressed!

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  • Pingback: Classic and romantic Jewish wedding at Annandale Country Club » Pepper Nix Photography

What’s the Difference Between an Escort Card & a Place Card?

Are you ready to have your mind blown?

Those little cards you pick up at the beginning of a wedding reception with your name on them that have a table number assigned? Yeah. What are they called?

{listening for your response}

You answered “place card” didn’t you?

Eeeeehhhhhhhhhhhh (that’s the “wrong” buzzer).

Those little cards that you pick up at the beginning of a wedding reception with your name on them that have a table number assigned are NOT called place cards. They are called escort cards. And you are now going to sound really freakin’ smart at the next wedding you attend. You’rewelcomeverymuch.

So what are place cards?

Place cards are not very common actually. Usually, only very formal or black tie events provide place cards and they literally dictate the place you will be sitting. The hosts have taken it upon themselves to place you at a seat at your assigned table. The place cards are set in advance to receive you as you find your assigned table.

You’ll do a little mosey around the table to find your name at a place setting. That’s your seat. All for you. Your own little piece of wedding reception real estate.

Easy way to remember: PLACE card puts you in your PLACE.

Alexan Events

Ann Hamilton Photography

Homemade Simple

And now that I’ve put you in your place, let me explain escort cards. Escort cards identify the table at which you’ll be sitting. The people frolic into your reception, all giddy and stoked about the glass you just broke and the mazels they just yelled. Then they pass a table with beautifully displayed cards or other items that say their names and table numbers. Then — this part is important — they pick up the card, read it, and walk away, taking it with them. Keyword: Walk away.

The card escorts them to their table. It’s almost as if the card is their friend and whispers in their ear, “Pssst! You! Yes, you! You are sitting at Table 6. It’s near the open bar. Score!”

And that’s how you remember escort cards: they escort you to your table.

Evoke Photography

Martha Stewart Weddings

Christa Kimble Photography

Some weddings may not assign any tables or seats to anyone. Free for all. Grab a seat at any table you like. These weddings will not have escort cards or place cards.

Most weddings will assign you a table. You’ll pick up your escort card, find your table, and choose a seat there.

The most formal weddings will assign you a table and a place card. After you find your table listed on your escort card, you’ll then find your place at the table that’s been preselected.

So next time you’re at a wedding, flex your knowledge and tell your friends, “Let’s go find our escort cards to see what table we’re sitting at!”

Except… your grammar-correcting friend is going to correct you, the wedding term-correcting friend, and say, “No. Let’s go find our escort card to see at which table we’ll be sitting.”

Tales From The Veil: You’re Engaged? Mazel Tov! Now Take A Deep Breath.

I am a newly engaged woman! I have entered the ranks of ladies who have found their one and only, ladies who are committing themselves to one person and one person only, and yes, ladies who wear sparkly diamond rings on their left hand! It’s surreal!

When it became clear to me that my boyfriend – I mean FIANCE! – was the one and we started having discussions about making it official in the near future, I did what any normal, self-respecting future bride would do: got on the Internet and started doing research! I started scouring wedding blogs (including our dear Wedding Yentas), casually made mental notes at every wedding we attended, and of course, made my secret “I Do!” Pinterest board. I was ready! Bring on the rock!

My boyfriend – I mean FIANCE! #oy – proposed two weeks ago onstage at our regular monthly comedy show in front of 200 people (if you are so inclined, you are welcome to view the video here)! He loves the spotlight and I love being the center of attention so it was perfect. After the ring was safely on my finger and I had said “Yes!” it was time to start letting everyone know the good news. We started calling and texting people immediately, as I had known we would. And in came the “congrats!” and the “woo-hoos!” and the “mazel tovs!” We posted a picture of us up on Facebook and within 24 hours, it had more than 500 likes. #kindacrazy

Queen of L.A.

For months, I had thought about and dreamed about how I would feel after we got engaged. Happy? Joyful? Over the moon excited? Of course! I love my boyfriend – FIANCE! #imtheworst – more than anything. He is truly the yin to my yang, the frosting to my cupcake, and the absolute best guy I know. The fact that I get to marry him and have him as my husband for the rest of my life fills me with happiness.

But here’s what I wasn’t prepared for. I wasn’t prepared for the massive feeling of “overwhelmed-ness” that settled in a couple of days later. The phone calls kept coming! The emails poured in! Everyone was asking if we had chosen a date yet – and we hadn’t even been engaged for 28 hours! Cue the anxiety…

I’m a girl who loves hosting get-togethers and parties and grew up in a home where I refer to my mama as “Martha Jew-art” because of her amazing abilities as a hostess, but I knew nothing – nothing! – about throwing a wedding. The thought and preparation and attention to detail that go into planning a wedding are extraordinary, and I didn’t even know where to begin. For someone like me who prides herself on her planning abilities and lives and breathes by her day planner, this feeling was disconcerting and quite frankly, uncomfortable. I had a crazy, goody, huge smile plastered on my face, but inside my thoughts were swirling like a crazy person.

And then, I happened to bump into a friend and former colleague in the elevator at work. She squealed, I squealed, we hugged, she grabbed my finger and oohed and ahhed over the ring. And then she said something that instantly made me feel better:

“You doing okay? Two days after I got engaged I had a massive panic attack. It’s totally normal.”

Queen of L.A.

I can’t even begin to tell you all the feeling of relief that coursed through my body. None of the blogs mention this. No wedding magazine covers it. I had been feeling like I was the only one who ever felt this way!

After work that day I went home and kissed my FIANCE – there, I did it! – and we snuggled on the couch. We ordered in dinner from our favorite takeout place and watched a rerun on the Food Network. I felt better not only knowing that I wasn’t alone in my nervousness, but also just better knowing that no matter what, I had my partner by my side. Anxiety about picking a date? Trouble finding the perfect venue? We are going to get through it and we’re going to do it together.

So my advice to brides-to-be – though I have only been engaged for two weeks and therefore have no real business doling out tips – is to take a deep breath. The phone calls and the emails and the texts might seem overwhelming, but it’s because you and your fiancée are loved beyond measure. The thought of planning a wedding celebration might be daunting, but it’s the best kind of hard work. And no matter what, as long as the two of you have each other, everything is going to be fine.

No… I take it back.

Everything is not going to be fine. Everything is going to be amazing.

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IMG_0675_2Jordan Silverman is a newly engaged bride-to-be who works in nonprofit marketing & communications by day and blogs at Queen of LA by night. A native of Los Angeles and a proud Arizona Wildcat for life, Jordan has always loved to write and host fun events, so it goes without saying that she is very excited for wedding planning! Jordan lives with her fiancee, Rami, in Brentwood, California. When they are not watching reruns of Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives, attending alt-comedy shows, cooking, traveling, or watching movies, they’re dreaming about their future purchase of a French bulldog puppy.