It’s true, as Andy joked, the wedding was equally inconvenient for everyone. Even from the nearest airport, people drove past several vineyards, the occasional corn field, and plenty of woods until they reached the giant lake and the little town: Chautauqua. It may be far, but it is truly a sanctuary, with its tightly-clustered houses referencing a wide array of historical periods. The roads are more like paths, built for walking and biking, not driving. Chautauqua was specifically created as a place for education and enrichment, and still to this day, it’s home to an annual classical music festival, which Raquel’s parents (both musicians) have attended for 40 years.
Every summer growing up, Raquel and her family would make the nine hour journey from New York City to this completely different version of New York. So when Raquel was getting married, she knew this would be the place. The guests were easily seduced into this slower pace of life for the weekend. It was a beautiful wedding filled to the brim with Jewish traditions, and all around there was a sense of being anchored in something bigger, something special.
The ceremonies began with Raquel and Andy in separate rooms for the parallel Kabbalat Panim and Tisch until Andy’s friends and family escorted him into Raquel’s part of the room to see her for the first time. After the signing of the ketubah, the couple and the guests headed to Chautauqua’s Hall of Philosophy for the wedding ceremony. In addition to the Jewish traditions in the ceremony, Raquel’s family contributed their musical talents throughout: her sister sang Schumann’s Widmung as she walked down the aisle, and her family sang a couple of a capella songs for the bride and groom. Later, in the reception, the couple entered to a giant celebratory dance set. The very end of the night concluded with grace after meals, with friends reciting the seven Hebrew blessings.
Mazel tov, Raquel and Andy!
Ceremony Venue- Hall of Philosophy, Chautauqua, NY
Photographer- Anna Wu Photography
Reception Venue & Catering- Athenaeum Hotel
Hair & Makeup- Iris Conradi, Natural Look Salon & Spa
Ketubah- Ketubah Studio MP Artworks
Cake- Brick Village Gourmet