Sarah and Mark’s wedding was full of sunflowers, traditions, lots of love and a special surprise song at the reception that ended up being one of their favorite parts of the wedding day.
The couple shared a first look outside of the synagogue.
The bride and groom each had their own Tish and then Mark danced his way to see Sarah for the Bedeken.
They signed the Ketubah, their parents blessed them and then Mark put the veil over Sarah just before they began the Chuppah marriage ceremony.
During cocktail hour the couple went to Riverside Park for some portraits.
The ceremony space was transformed into a beautiful reception with stunning florals and a large dance floor.
Sarah was the last child to be married among her siblings which means her parents were honored with a special, joyous dance called the Mizinke. Brooms are used to portray the children being swept out the door.
The dancing is so energetic that the couple needs a break! Sarah and Mark sat in chairs while their friends and family performed a shtick with skits and silly costumes to make the couple laugh.
They shared their first dance to “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen.
Sarah shares, “We had a traditional Jewish wedding but we tried to make it unique to us as a couple in certain ways, to reflect our fun and silly natures. At a friend’s wedding a few years ago, she performed a song on guitar for her new bride, and I was inspired to do something similar, so I prepared a musical number, “5,000 Candles in the Wind” from the TV show Parks & Recreation, to play on the piano and sing to Mark. At the end of the toasts, I made a speech saying that I had a song for him to express the way I felt about him (if you’ve never seen Parks & Rec, the song is an elegy for a miniature horse named Li’l Sebastian, by the way), while my niece and nephews handed out glow sticks to the guests to wave during the performance. I had been practicing for months and, although I was nervous, it was so much fun to see the surprise on Mark’s face, and to have everyone wave their glow sticks and sing along. At the end, Mark and I ran to the middle of the dance floor to hug each other and everyone threw their glow sticks; even though I got beaned on the head a few times, it was a beautiful moment.”
Mark shares, “I LOVED the Li’l Sebastian surprise. I had noticed Maddie, Sarah’s niece, handing out some glow sticks during the toasts and I wasn’t sure what that was all about. When I looked around the room later, as Sarah sang the song and everyone was swaying back and forth with the glow sticks, I felt so lucky to have someone like Sarah in my life. I thought to myself, “I am so excited for a lifetime of surprises like this one.”
My other favorite moment was our first dance. From the very beginning, Sarah has always said that I’m a great dancer and that she is not. I wanted our first dance to not only be fun, but to show her that she can do an awesome job of ripping it up on the dance floor if she works at it. We practiced our routine quite a bit (even once in the rain in Riverside Park because why not) and when the moment arrived, we not only did a great job, but had a fantastic time!”
Congratulations Sarah and Mark!
Check out their engagement photos here.
Special thanks to the team:
Venue: B’nai Jeshurun
Coordinator: Carly Levine
Officiant: Rabbi Anne Ebersman
Caterer: Simply Divine
Band: Ken Gross Orchestras
Florist: FLO NY Events
Invitations: Blacker and Kooby
Hair and Makeup: Pin It Up and Pout
Bride’s gown: Leanne Marshall
Groom’s Attire: Victor Talbots
Videography: NST Films
Photography: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz
Clarissa and Stephen were married at the New York State Museum in Albany. The day began at the Renaissance Hotel.
The couple shared a really sweet first look outside the Capitol Building.
Clarissa shares, “It was important to us that we throw a really fun party for our guests. Community, friends and family are really important to us. Having so many of the people we care about all together in one place to celebrate our partnership was a gift.
We loved our venue, the New York State Museum. The weather cooperated and we were able to host our celebration on the terrace in view of the State Capitol and the Empire State Plaza – we didn’t need to set up a photo booth! I don’t have just one favorite moment. The whole celebration was incredible. And as we were warned, it went by too quickly. A couple of my favorite memories include dancing with both my Mom and my Dad during the father-daughter dance and posing for pictures with friends on the carousel.”
Stephen shares: “What a great way to have our special day! Clarissa and I worked so hard to set up this day and it was exhilarating to share our commitment to each other with our community of family and friends. I’ll always remember setting up for the photo of all our guests celebrating with us on the steps of the museum. We couldn’t have done it without the assistance of Frank the dog.
We kept the decorations simple. My sister made table numbers and, along with the flowers from our favorite farm, they really brightened up the space. I can’t believe how fast the night went and I’ll never forget sharing the first slice of cake with Clarissa – delicious (also the cakes looked great – WOW)! With assistance from our awesome DJ who made the trip up from Brooklyn, our nieces and nephews made the dance floor jump when they weren’t taking Polaroids of the party. It was a Wertloch party to remember!”
When I first met Clarissa and Stephen they told me they wanted to have a really fun day, and they definitely did! Complete with a YAY! cake!
Clarissa and Stephen shared their first dance to “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers.
Congratulations Clarissa and Stephen!
Special thank you to the team:
Venue: New York State Museum
Coordinator: Danielle Grasso Events
Officiant: Jeff Dupee
Caterer: More Perreca’s Catering
Cake: Baking You Crazy
DJ: DJ Mikey Palms
Florist: Windflower Farm
Groom’s Ring: Market Square Jewelers
Bride’s Dress: Ida’s Bridal Boutique
Bride’s Shoes: The Frye Company
Bridesmaid Dresses Designer: Alfred Sung
Groom’s Suit Designer/Shop: Indochino
Photographer: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz
We are moving to Denver, Colorado!
My husband received a wonderful job opportunity and we are looking forward to a new adventure. We are happy to be getting a lot more space in our new home, go on hikes in the mountains and find new places to explore this October.
It will be hard to leave NYC, where I have lived since 2001. I earned my degree in Brooklyn, said “I do” in Central Park, grew my business throughout the area, and gave birth to my son at New York Presbyterian. So many corners of the city are laced with memories. The energy and heart of the city has fueled me for almost 2 decades.
We love it here. It is going to be so hard to be far from family and friends and to say goodbye to such a magical city, but we are also ready for the next chapter.
We live in a one-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side and are trading it in for a three-bedroom home in Denver that has a huge kitchen, room for our son to run and play and its own washer and dryer (of all things! haha)!
We picked a wonderful neighborhood in Stapleton that just so happens to be within walking distance to a Starbucks–so the culture shock won’t be quite as severe! Although, I am feeling not at all excited about getting a car. We’ll see how it goes…
I am excited about the outdoors. As one friend put it, “You will walk outside and not smell hot, wet garbage! You will smell fresh air!”
I’m also looking forward to photographing some gorgeous mountain weddings, and still coming back East for some city weddings. And, of course, visits with people I will miss incredibly, the best food in the entire world, and as many Broadway shows as I can pack into each trip.
For updates about our adventure please follow me on instagram at our new family profile: OurAdventuresBigAndSmall
Check insta this Thursday when I will be documenting our 26 foot long moving truck coming to West 74th street! EEK! And Throwback Thursdays that will include some of my favorite NYC memories.
I met Lara and Ryan at the iconic Grand Army Plaza to begin their Brooklyn engagement session.
Lara shares, “Ryan and I met freshmen year at Boston University. We lived on the same floor and the first night in our dorms we had a mandatory floor meeting. Everyone had to go around and say what they did that summer. Almost everyone (including me) had responses like, ‘I went on vacation,’ or ‘I worked at,’ and, of course, ‘I hung out with my friends.’ But when it was Ryan’s turn, I remember he had this sweet response of ‘I just did a lot of walking this summer.’ I’m not sure why this is one of my favorite memories of Ryan. I think it is because he was so honest and genuine and I remember thinking, ‘I want that guy to be my friend.’ What really attracts me to Ryan is how unique and authentic he is. He is also someone who is always striving to do or learn something new. It’s a personality trait that I find very attractive and admire and want to be more like myself.”
Ryan shares, “The truth is, it’s only thanks to Lara’s perspective that I can recall more on that first meeting than being extremely nervous about what I’d have to show for my summer. I can tend to be a bit self-involved. I can clearly recall the first time I wanted to be Lara’s partner, though. For graduation, her father rented a minivan and me and a whole lot of Diaz’s piled in for our travels around Boston that weekend. The way they made each other laugh throughout the trips were some of the warmest moments I’ve been a part of. And they were telling of the times Lara and I would share in the years to follow. We spend a lot of time trying to make each other laugh. Around Lara, I’m funny, and I really have her to thank for so many good times together, where I otherwise might have been just staring at my shoes. …however, she did reject my initial draft of “Two goofs, one lawn” for this bio, so it’s not all roses either.
It was an easy decision for us to choose Prospect Park as our location for our engagement shoot. We live in the neighborhood and we love coming to the park to dog watch on the weekends. Our first summer here we rode our bikes around the bike trail almost every weekend and we go to Celebrate Brooklyn concerts whenever we can. When figuring out what locations to go to for the session, we discovered the Natural Exploration Area, which is off the beaten path, and were amazed at how beautiful this spot is. It’s like we traveled to a different part of the country. We’re so lucky to have this park as our backyard!”
Lara and Ryan are getting married in Manhattan this September. Happy engagement, you two!