Category Archives: Planning

Making It Their Own: My Friend’s Awesome Wedding

I recently attended a beautiful wedding of my friends, Abby and Matt, and the whole event was super impressive, despite my iPhone photos that really don’t do it justice. It wasn’t over the top that I was nauseated by too many fancy-shmancy details, but it was formal and special that the entire ceremony and reception felt like a sacred and magical space. The decor was gorgeous with pastel roses in pinks and creams accompanied by birch branches and silver chargers. Sparkly papers for menus and escort cards added a little shimmer and presentation of food was extremely appetizing and creative. It didn’t hurt that the bride and groom were aching in the cheeks from constant smiles and that the chemistry of the crowd was energetic, supportive, and loving. So from aesthetics to attitude, I give this wedding an A+.

Abby & Matt

Abby & Matt

It really was a fabulous night to witness the beginning of a new chapter in Abby and Matt’s love story.

What was really special about this wedding was that even though the bride and groom followed the traditional blueprint of a Jewish wedding, they also sprinkled their own style, family dynamics, and creative spin on the entire evening. I appreciate that because while all weddings are truly unique since no same couple is under the same chuppah, when they follow a step-by-step How To Jewish Wedding Tutorial, the experience can feel too predictable and therefore, sort of impersonal. My friends’ wedding was the exact opposite of that, and that is why it gets such a rave from this Jewish wedding fangirl.

Don’t worry, the official coverage of the wedding with brilliant-I’m-sure pro photos from Michael Brannigan of David Michael Photography will hit The Wedding Yentas soon enough, but I had to take a premature moment to gush now.

Some of the “so very them” elements:

The bride wore a dress that fit her like a glove, physically and stylistically. It was so beautifully traditional: white with lace in a fit-and-flare cut including an open back and a sweetheart neckline and then… just as you’re like, “Oh, it’s the style of dress I love on every bride,” it became modern with a sheer covering above the sweetheart line up to her neck with a sassy and chic collar edged in matching lace. My amateur iPhone photos don’t do it justice. It was just a gorgeous dress that was just “sooooo Abby” in every way.

Abby & Matt

Abby & Matt

Abby’s sister shared the English interpretation of the Sheva Brachot, the seven blessings. While the Rabbi traditionally recited them in Hebrew, Abby honored her sister with reading these sacred blessings. She was not part of the wedding party, and I thought this was a special way to highlight and honor her sister that’s even more lasting than bridesmaiding. We don’t always hear the English translation of these blessings and it was nice to know what the meanings of the Rabbi’s prayers were. Plus, her sister did an excellent job with a clear and pleasant performance.

Abby and Matt have a big family! With three sets of parents, lots of friends, and a plethora of siblings and cousins, a lot of people spoke on their behalf with toasts! Who doesn’t like toasts? It’s a way to learn a new nugget about the couple or a chance to see a friend shine at the microphone or, hell, it’s a time to drink Champagne so, that’s a good enough reason right there. But the big bad wedding rule book would say that there can’t be too many speeches; that it’s usually a welcome speech by the father of the bride, followed by two more toasts from the Maid of Honor and the Best Man. Well guess what? There were more speeches than that at Abby and Matt’s wedding and it was O.K.! They were well coordinated and placed so that they didn’t take place all at once and were spaced among various courses of the meal. None of them were too long and all of them had a unique angle, and that’s what’s neat about hearing from the parents of the groom, the mother and stepfather of the bride, and the father and stepmother of the groom in addition to siblings and members of the bridal party. And there must be special props to the toast-turned-surprise-group-dance that featured dancing grandmas and cousins with streamers.

Abby & Matt

I’m so happy for my friends and know they’re in for one wonderful adventure together as husband and wife and it all started on the day that they made all about them!

Abby & Matt

Modern Weddings: Hooking Up and On The Grid

No, today’s post is not about a subject involving friends, alcohol, and late night shenanigans. We are finding, though, that modern weddings are hooking up — to the Internet!

Are you and your partner Facebook-a-holics? Did you meet online? Did your proposal require Twitter? These days, it’s not uncommon to see tech savvy couples include social networking and media on their wedding days. If you’re wondering how much is too much or if it’s easy to pull off, keep on reading for some tips and guidelines to, literally, hook up at your wedding.

hooking-up-at-your-wedding

If you have a big bridal party or lots of out-of-town family coming together for the first time in a while, it might be fun to set up an online “tailgate party” for your wedding day. Facebook has a “groups” function and you can set up your own wedding group for those who may want to connect before showing up for the big day. This is also an easy way to communicate to your guests and/or bridal party. Also, your group can chat and get to know each other before they meet IRL (in real life) at your wedding. This ice-breaker style function allows for photo albums and chats just like a personal Facebook page!

For more comprehensive pre-wedding tech, create a wedding website to provide information to your guests, introduce the wedding party, link to your registry, and even receive messages through a guestbook. There are varying versions of wedding websites available, and our favorites are found on MyWedding.com. With a plethora of templates to choose from, you and your partner are in control of what you want to share on the Internet!

hooking-up-at-your-wedding

Now, as far as being a techie on your actual wedding day, you and your posse can be linked in various ways. Have a tech-happy member of the wedding party be your Chief Of Tweet. If someone has a Twitter account, it’s more than appropriate to Tweet about the day’s events.

“11:25 a.m. Makeup artist is here! Sarah is lookin’ hot”
“2:08 p.m. Just arrived at venue – chuppah looks fab & sarah’s crying already”
“5:15 p.m. It’s almost go-time. Sarah’s gonna be a Mrs. in 15 mins!”
“6:00 p.m. Holy wow. these appetizers are delish. Oh and happy bride & groom!”
“7:24 p.m. 1 more drink then it’s MOH speech time. Wish me luck. GULP.”
“9:30 p.m. BOUQUET TIME. It’s all mine ladiessssss”
“11:00 p.m. Happy Honeymoon Sarah and David. Okay, time for afterparty”

You can even let your guests know upon arrival that if they want to Tweet or Instagram about the wedding day as it happens, they can use a common hashtag so that all the Tweets related to the wedding day are bunched together. The hashtag suggestion (#SarahandDavidsWedding or #Oct10SarahDavid or #DandSWedding, etc.) can be noted in the program or on a notice that guests can see as they enter the ceremony space. And while it takes more than 140 characters to describe how simply perfect the day is at every point, the Twitterverse will be lucky to have in-the-trenches updates about each milestone from your nuptials.

Your friends and family who are unable to travel to your wedding will no doubt be disappointed to have to miss the big day. Well, don’t let them! Set up a livestream of the event so that they can attend in their PJs from their living room across the country. They won’t be able to sip your signature drink, but at least they can toast to you as it all happens. Ustream is a site we recommend and all you’ll need is an Internet connection and a camera. With a little prep in advance, this should be cake to set up at your venue. You’ll need to provide a link to your at-home viewers and just like that, your attending list can be global. And if you’re a little weirded out about anyone in the world being able to access your wedding online, you can password protect it and still keep the intimacy of your special day. Is that ridiculously cool, or what?!

In the 90s, THE thing to do for weddings was to provide disposable cameras on each table for guests to document their wedding experience. More than likely, couples would return from their honeymoon and develop half-used film that showed Uncle Larry drunk off his tushie or fuzzy images from little cousins snapping away at anything sans flash. We’re going to go out on a limb and say that not only is this costly (cameras and developing aren’t cheap!) commodity tacky, but it’s passe and irrelevant! Why litter your tablescapes with old fashioned disposable cameras when most of your guests are toting their own digital cameras and documenting the entire day for themselves? So, instead, include a small card on each table that tells guests to upload their digital photos to a common Flickr account so that all the images can be compiled in one place for you and your attendees to view and share. While you wait for your pro pics to come in, it’ll be fun to watch your account grow with your guests’ images and you’ll enjoy seeing the wedding through their point of view.

Lastly, get excited to note your marriage online! And no, that doesn’t mean you can change your name at the DMV’s or Social Security Office’s websites. We’re talking about making your marriage Facebook official. It’s never too soon to change your status from Engaged to Married and bask in the Internet glow of newlywed bliss!

Wedding Aisle Decor Ideas

Before you’ll have your eye on the prize under that chuppah, your guests will have an eye on the aisle. The space on which you’ll walk to say “I do” will be the first hint of what’s in store for the evening. This is the place to set the mood, express your vision, and impress your guests. So show your style down the aisle!

Your friends and family arrive at your venue and whether it’s a synagogue, garden, country club, museum, or hotel patio, they will no doubt comment on the arrangements you’ve chosen for the chairs and aisle. The overall set up may be traditional with rows of chairs, interactive with an in-the-round arrangement, or, even, innovative with a spiral seating pattern. It can be fun to think about how you want your guests to be seated and view your ceremony under the chuppah. If it’s your personality to be different, here’s your chance!

Then think about what you’re actually going to walk on as you mosey down the aisle. Runner or no runner? If you’d like a runner, do you want it to be a simple, solid color or white? Or, would you rather choose a runner that has a pattern stitched in like a damask or a floral motif? Is your head hurting yet?

Flowers! Rarely do we see weddings that just don’t have flowers. Flowers are a must, right? But are they a must down your aisle? Up to you! If you do choose to have flowers on your aisle, perhaps you’ll be inspired by these images of petals lining the perimeter, scattered randomly, heavily carpeted, or in a design. Florists and event designers can execute so many different creations!

You might forgo petals and use other types of arrangements. Glass containers with flowers or even fruit add splashes of color down the aisle. These can be reused in your reception, too, so you’re saving money and a little bit of Mother Nature as well. Go green and save green? Win-win!

Shepherd’s hooks are also popular down the aisle. Pomanders can be hung from the hooks for floral accents that also have depth, adding a 3D quality. Shepherd’s hooks look great especially in garden settings because they’re soft and almost fairytale-like. If you want hanging flowers, but want to nix the hooks, just hang some floral pomanders from the frames of the chairs. Super delicate and dainty — and that’s just divine!

Lit lanterns hanging from the hooks could also look formal and romantic for a dusk or night time ceremony where flowers may not be as visible. Evening ceremonies might also feature giant votives clustered down the aisle for a very dramatic effect.

If you want to minimize the tsotchkes down the aisle and prefer a cleaner and simpler look, you can just do bunches of flowers attached to every few rows of chairs, threaded together by chiffon. This is a classic look that also allows for flower repurposing at the reception.

There are so many ways you can establish your wedding look at the ceremony! Don’t be afraid to try new things, but also remember to stay true to yourselves as a couple. Voice your ideas to your florist or coordinator, but trust their experience. Remember, they’ve most likely worked the same venue before and they know what’s possible and what looks great on the property.

Ceremony decor down the aisle is a perfect environment to utilize your color scheme. You can neutralize other areas of your wedding, but flowers, ribbons, fabrics, and hard materials like jars and aluminums are perfect for producing a finished color palette. As soon as they sit their tushies down in the chairs, your guests should be able to tell if your wedding is going to be vintage and rustic, timeless and formal, modern and chic. By implementing your ideas through your ceremony decor, your wedding will become a unique representation of you!

And don’t forget about the Blue Nile gift card that’s up for grabs! Check out the Leave Nothing To Chance app and then get your entry on!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rain On Your Wedding Day

Happy unofficial winter, folks. It’s dark and cold, and with that weather usually comes the wentess. Oh, rainstorms. It’s like the worst kind of wedding crasher: violent, loud, and soggy. It’s more than possible that couples may have to endure some rain on their wedding day, and even if you know it’s in the forecast and can plan for it at the last minute, it still makes steam come out of your ears because it’s your wedding day and you imported Chilean flamingoes for your tropical beach nuptials! Humpf!

The predictability of winter is safe in some parts (I’m looking at you, East Coast). But Californians can be seen wearing flip-flops in December here and there! The southwest gets cold, but still, it’s the southwest! And Washington, well, you’re always rainy, aren’t you? Overall, wintertime could bring you showers even when you didn’t purposely integrate them in your wedding date, and that can be annoying.

So, The Wedding Yentas is here to be that obnoxious silver lining of positive thinking when all you want to do is mope and eat chocolate and play your miniature violin (which you totally deserve to do). The silver lining? Umbrellas!

Say what?

If rain is in the forecast, have a team meeting with your photographer and venue coordinator so you can plan for the best locations for photos. Then, once you’ve determined your dry photo spots, loop in your photographer for ideas about how to include umbrellas or rain slickers. Fun poses, bright colors, personalized props: modeling on a rainy day does not have to be gloomy. Most likely, people will see your photos and think they’re adorable and memorable instead of cookie cutter or generic. Take that, rain! You will not ruin Kodak moments!

Edyta Photography

KGoodPhoto

Pop Quiz: Beautiful, blooming flowers that have cost you some substantial green love oven-like temperatures with matzah-dry air. True or false? FALSE! So, a damp day with clouds overhead and cool, crisp temps are like hugs and kisses to flowers! Be grateful. Your flowers will last longer and thrive in rainy day weather. Droopy, wilting flowers are never what you want to see, and you probably won’t if there’s a sprinkly sky on the day you’ve chosen to furnish your event with arrangements, bouquets, centerpieces, and a chuppah!

Maybe this is TMI, but I’m a sweaty beast if the sun blasts me for more than five minutes. It’s really not pretty. I went to a wedding a few summers ago, got all dolled up, and looked horrible in photos that I viewed after because I had eyeliner smudged and creamy, white moisturizer dripping down my face. And that was only by cocktail hour! It was a hot, hot day and all my hard work to dress up and look good went to waste. I was just a measly guest, so my appearance didn’t really matter, but if I had been the one getting married, I would have looked like a zombie bride on a day that wasn’t Halloween! So, the point to embarrassing myself and telling you this story: cool weather and wet air means dewy, delicious, moisturized skin! Your makeup will go on beautifully and, even more importantly, it will stay on. Take comfort in knowing that the uglier the weather, the prettier you’ll look!

With shoe shots being a must have photo opp, how cute would rainboots be under your dress? We’ve seen everything from classic wedding shoes to Converse to cowboy boots, so why not a little rubber under your gown? With so many cute prints, you could keep your tootsies dry by splashing in wedding day puddles. Buy them just in case. And if it doesn’t rain on your wedding day then I guess, oh well, you’re stuck with really cute boots to wear when there is a drizzle in the air!

via Kate Miller Events

via Kate Miller Events

Take your rainy wedding day in stride. If you have a smile on your face and you feel relaxed, everyone will be so impressed with the way you’ve accepted the wedding weather with grace. Being called the opposite of Bridezilla has never been a bad thing for anyone’s ego, right?

Rainy days happen. There might be rain on your romantic, tropical honeymoon where you stay in a straw hut or on your 50th anniversary cruise you take with your mahjongg girls and their husbands. There will probably even be figurative rain in your marriage. But the better you weather the storm, the stronger you come out of it. Rain or shine, you’re marrying your love and that’s what matters most because after that “mazel tov!” you two will be glowing brighter than the sun!

Leslee Mitchell Photography

And don’t forget about the Blue Nile gift card that’s up for grabs! Check out the Leave Nothing To Chance app and then get your entry on!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a Ball at a New Year’s Eve Themed Wedding

I’m going to a wedding three days before New Year’s Eve and I know it will be a festive and fun wedding because the couple is in love and happy, of course, but also because there’s something special and warm about this time of year. Everyone’s in a good mood; work is typically light; dressing up is a treat; drinks and dancing are what make people happy; and the magic of a new year upon us is inspiring. So I’m really looking forward to attending a friend’s wedding who I’ve known since I was a teenager at Jewish summer camp! While the wedding isn’t quite New Year’s Eve, it’s close enough that the festive vibe will be ringing loud and clear and will be one of the last weddings of 2013!

If you’re weeks away from your big day or are planning a near-New-Year’s-Eve wedding for 2014 into 2015, take away some of these tips and inspiration! Must-have photos? A celebratory kiss, of course! And there’s also something fun and classy about the details that go into a NYE wedding. Lots of black and white, crisp textures, sparkly accessories, and bright accents of confetti or bling. Those who are simple or more muted in their design preferences need not apply to have a New Year’s Eve wedding. A celebration that starts in one year and ends in the next is anything but boring!

So whether you’ll be celebrating a new year and a new marriage this year or planning for one next year, indulge in some New Year’s Eve wedding photos!

Studio Starling

Studio Starling

Braden Harris

Braden Harris

Ryan Estes Photography

Ryan Estes Photography

Natalie Williams Photography

Natalie Williams Photography

Miller + Miller

Miller + Miller

Lucy Dylan Weddings

Lucy Dylan Weddings

Jessica Claire

Jessica Claire

Colin Lyons Wedding Photography

Colin Lyons Wedding Photography

Grazier Photography

Grazier Photography

And don’t forget about the Blue Nile gift card that’s up for grabs! Check out the Leave Nothing To Chance app and then get your entry on!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Deb says:

    We went to a new years eve wedding in 2012, and the couple did a cute book where we could write down new years’ resolutions for them to try to keep up with for their first year *(things like go on date night once a week, kiss goodnight EVERY night, etc.) It was a cute book to have from their first NYE together!