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+.
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’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.
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!