Jordana and Jonathan were married on a beautiful fall day at the Temple Emanu-El in New Jersey.

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I love Jordana’s dad’s expression when he saw her for the first time in her wedding dress.

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Jordana and Jonathan shared a first look in the courtyard.

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Jonathan shares, “One of my favorite moments from the wedding day was definitely the first look—when I saw Jordana for the first time in her unbelievably exquisite dress. Surrounded by friends and family, it was an incredibly special moment. I had anticipated seeing Jordana in her dress for the longest time. Upon turning around after Jordana tapped me on the shoulder—when the moment finally arrived—I immediately began to tear up as I first laid eyes on my gorgeous best friend, the love of my life.

From the very start, Jordana and I knew that we wanted a wedding that was simple and elegant, traditional and vegan. Veganism is important to both of us and we wanted a wedding that would showcase delicious vegan food—we also happen to be big foodies—without compromising on flavor or the variety of offerings. We were both delighted with how everything turned out and was received.

The band and music throughout the night was really above and beyond our expectations. The dancing was so lively and energetic—we both enjoyed every minute of it. We also both really enjoyed the shtick, a Jewish tradition where guests dance with props and posters as a way to entertain the bride and groom. It definitely will be a day we will always remember.”

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Jordana shares, “Jonathan and I had a traditional Jewish wedding with many Jewish traditions and customs. A moment I was most looking forward to on our wedding day was one such tradition, called the Bedeken, the veiling ceremony. Before the ceremony during the cocktail hour, Jonathan was with mostly male guests, relatives and groomsmen at the groom’s reception or Ḥatan’s Tisch — literally “Groom’s Table.” The Ḥatan’s Tisch is held at a table laden with food and drink, and the guests present toasts to the groom and sing. While Jonathan was at his Ḥatan’s Tisch, I was escorted by my mother, mother-in-law and bridesmaids to the Bedeken stage, where guests came up to greet me. I was so happy to greet everyone there and see all my friends and family who had come from near and far to be there that day.

Throughout that time, I was greatly anticipating the moment Jonathan would be danced by friends and family from the Ḥatan’s Tisch to the Bedeken stage to veil me. This moment always makes me cry at other weddings, so I knew I had to try to keep my composure — I didn’t want to ruin my makeup! Despite my best efforts, as soon as I heard the first notes of the horns signifying Jonathan was beginning his journey to me, though I didn’t even catch a glimpse of him coming, I began to tear up. The route taken from the Ḥatan’s Tisch was quite long, so the anticipation of seeing Jonathan continued to grow as I started to see the mass of men dancing towards us. At the last moment, the men dancing in front split, revealing Jonathan arm-in-arm with his father and my father. I don’t think I have every smiled so wide in my whole life as I stared at Jonathan and he stared back. Jonathan came forward and veiled me as I continued to well up with tears — thankfully none spilled over. It was a perfect moment and was an absolute highlight of the wedding.”

The florist created an amazing tree full of flowers that was a centerpiece of the bedeken ceremony.

After the bedeken everyone went inside the temple for the chuppah ceremony.

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The reception was held in the ballroom surrounded by gorgeous centerpieces by Adam Leffel Productions.

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During the dancing, the bride and groom sit while their friends and family perform a shtick to entertain them.

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Congratulations Jonathan and Jordana!

Check out their Prospect Park engagement session here.

Special thanks to the team:
Venue: Temple Emanu-El of Closter
Officiant: Rabbi Ysoscher Katz
Caterer: Northern Valley Affairs
DJ/Band: Craig Scott Entertainment
Florist: Adam Leffel Productions
Invitations: The Write Impression
Makeup: Chelsea Jordan Reiss
Hair: Bellula Salon
Rings: Jangmi
Bride’s Dress: Sophia Tolli from RK Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff
Groom’s Suit: Indochino
Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux
Tie: Tom Ford
Pocket Squares: Clip A BowTie
Shot glasses: My Personal Memories
Photographer: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz

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I met Alix and Alex at Red Rocks National Park to get some beautiful portraits with the gorgeous Colorado scenery and to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary.

This was my first shoot in Colorado after moving from NYC and I was so excited!

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Alix shares, “Hello my name is Alix Naber. My husband’s name is Alex Naber. Ya, that happened. Alex and I were both born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. We met near the end of our senior year of high school. He went to an all-boys school and I went to an all-girls school; a fairly common thing in Cincinnati. People have asked me, “Was it love at first sight? Did you know you were going to marry him?” I always answer the same way, “Of course not. We were 18 years old and we have the same name!” I always knew Alex was an awesome guy but I didn’t know until we got older that this relationship was going somewhere. After high school, we both went to Miami University in Oxford, OH–not to be confused with University of Miami (Little known fact: Miami University was actually founded in 1809 when Florida was still owned by Spain). After college, we had a long-distance relationship. Alex had studied biomedical engineering and got a job in Warsaw, IN – The Orthopedic Capital of the World. I got a job in our hometown of Cincinnati.

We had a four-hour drive to see each other, so maybe it was a medium-distance relationship. For two years, we made it work and I actually think it made our love stronger. We appreciated more the time we did have together, phone calls, and even time apart. During this time apart is when we both realized we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. On December 23, 2015, Alex was home for the holidays – like he normally would be – and we went out to lunch together. After lunch, he took me on a stroll through our favorite park. It was there that he asked me to be his wife! It took me completely by surprise. He had recently had surgery on his shoulder and had kept the ring tucked in his sling the whole day. Shortly after, I moved to Warsaw.

We lived there for another year together and made great memories with lifelong friends, but we knew
we wanted to get away from the small-town life. Alex was lucky enough to get a job with his company
that moved us to Denver. It felt like home right away! I’ll never forget how fake I kept thinking the mountains looked. They still do sometimes!”

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Alix adds, “Alex and I had to plan our Cincinnati wedding from Warsaw, IN and then Denver, CO. We definitely had our challenges but having a long engagement helped and families full of super heroes helped even more. Whenever we couldn’t be there to meet a vendor or do something, they were there! And when we could be home, they made sure the dates worked for them to meet us with the vendors and help us get a lot done in short windows of time. People ask me if wedding planning was extremely stressful and I honestly tell them no. It has its moments, yes. But if you just take it in chunks and make it fun, you will have the day you want! Our actual wedding day was a dream. I remember waking up and thinking, this is the best day ever! It really did go so smoothly from start to finish. It felt like a blur. I wouldn’t change a thing. We had Alex’s uncle, Deacon John, perform the ceremony. We danced the night away at our favorite brewery, Rhinegeist, with our favorite people surrounding us! If you are ever there, try a Cougar (my favorite beer) or a Truth (Alex’s favorite beer). After our wedding, Alex and I spent our honeymoon driving the California coast from San Francisco to L.A. on Pacific 1 and making stops in cities along the way. We rented a cute convertible and put the top down whenever the weather allowed. I think our favorite few days were spent a short drive north of San Francisco in Sonoma Valley, drinking delicious wine for 3 days. The entire coast was gorgeous, though, and we plan to go back.”

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The couple just celebrated their one year anniversary. Alix continues,  “Married life hasn’t been much different than being engaged! We had already been living together. I just had to remember to say, “Alex, my husband,” instead of “Alex, my fiancé.” The biggest change has been sharing basically the same name! Our insurance company and doctors’ offices have gotten a kick out of it, with me being on Alex’s insurance. “Yes, I’m looking to confirm the time of my appointment tomorrow. My name is Alix Naber.” “Ma’am I’m not seeing an appointment for you tomorrow.” “Oohh. I’m actually the other Alix Naber.”

Some of our favorite things to do are rock climbing, hiking, wine tastings, trying new breweries, going to Red Rocks concerts, listening to vinyl, and being outside whenever we can! Some of my favorite moments are coming home after work and dancing in the kitchen to one of our records. As I reflect on our first anniversary, I feel thankful more than ever for the partners we’ve become as well as the individuals we’ve become. I see us as very strong and supportive people for each other that make this life a lot more fun! I feel so incredibly lucky to get to spend this life with Alex and I can’t wait to see what it brings for us here in Denver.”

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Alix and Alex are so sweet, kind and easy-going. It was such a pleasure to work with them and I hope to see them again soon and get some tips on fun places to check out in the Denver area. Happy anniversary you guys!

If you have any favorite places to visit, eat, or have fun in Colorado, please leave me a comment below or share with me on instagram at: photosbyjs.

You can also read more about our big cross-country move here.

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Sandra and Dustin were married at the historic Metropolitan Building in NYC. Their style, joy and love made for a very special wedding day.

Sandra and Dustin shared their first look on the third floor.

  

Sandra shares, “We chose our venue first and that inspired a lot of our style decisions like wedding colors, floral design, typography, etc. When we started looking at venues, we visited the Metropolitan Building first without knowing a lot about it. It impressed us right away. The light was perfect, we loved the ease of the layout, colorful walls and decor items, and the place had a timeless quality that felt right. We looked around, but the Metropolitan Building stuck in our minds and, when we made our choice, we knew it was the right one.

I was pretty obsessive about figuring out what our wedding style was going to be. I am an art director, so I wanted to design as much as I could without driving myself crazy. The goal was to keep everything cohesive, but not in a way that would become cumbersome or feel generic. The colors helped guide things at first, bright primary blue, aqua green, white and grey as main colors and deep red as a pop of contrast. I don’t know how much that came across in the end but it did at least make some graphic design choices easier later on down the line.

My dress and hair plans also helped me figure out how I wanted the invitations to look: evocative of the past, but contemporary and classic without being too traditional or expected. The main design inspiration comes from the Vienna Secession (Kolomon Moser, Gustav Klimt, Alfred Roller, etc.), and the palm leaves motif was inspired by our initial meeting with my wonderful friends and floral decor geniuses, Mikey and Darroch Putnam of Putnam & Putnam.

It was a really wonderful surprise to hear our officiant, the Reverend D, open the ceremony with a quote from Ann Druyan. Dustin and I had no idea what she had prepared and it was the perfect mix of funny, sweet and nerdy.

I also loved having our first look and couple photos before the ceremony. It gave us a moment together before the guests arrived and was a reminder that all of this fanfare was to celebrate the two of us and our relationship. Having all of our friends in our wedding party together to take group photos before the ceremony was also a really special moment. It felt like we were getting the party started and setting the mood for the rest of the festivities.

There were so many other things about the wedding that were amazing: the vine backdrop and flowers and the photo booth, the dancing and music was bananas! I loved looking out and seeing all the people I love together celebrating and having a blast. It was also so great to have my little nephew, Hercules, there wearing his stormtrooper mask running around and being hilarious. I am so glad he could be a part of our big day.”

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You can just see the happiness on Dustin’s face! He shares one of his favorite moments from the day, “At the end of the ceremony, when we were walking out to The Throne Room (End Scene from A New Hope) by the London Symphony Orchestra with John Williams, it was so amazing seeing all our smiling friends and family.”

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Sandra continues, “I knew a lot of the graphic design, decor and floral ideas were foreign to Dustin and hard for him to give an opinion on. To better reflect both our personalities, we found ways to work sci-fi (which we both love) into our wedding. One of Dustin’s groomsmen, Josh, is a super talented stop-motion animator, director and production designer (among other things) and we commissioned him to create a space-window diorama installation in a little stage space in the dining room. When I saw it I was really touched by how amazing it looked and how perfectly he had created all the elements, infusing it with little details like our names and the wedding date. It was a hit with our friends, but elicited much debate over whether or not the Enterprise D and Millennium Falcon could coexist in the same universe…. We also named our tables after sci-fi spaceships from movies, TV, and books. It was fun but exhausting to illustrate each one for the table cards, so I hope our guests liked them!”

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One of Dustin’s favorite moments from the day was seeing Sandra and her dad dance together. He says, “Sandra‘s dad’s dancing was amazing and I’ve never seen him so happy.”

Congratulations Sandra and Dustin!

Check out their cherry blossom engagement session here.

Special thanks to the team:
Venue: Metropolitan Building
Coordinator: Ashley M Chamblin
Officiant: The Reverend D
Caterer: Sasha at the Metropolitan Building
DJ/Band: DJ Colleen Crumbcake
Florist: Putnam & Putnam
Invitations and Stationery: Designed by Sandra
Hair and Makeup: Mabel Pang
Engagement Ring: Wwake
Sandra’s Wedding Band: Laurie Flemming; Dustin’s Wedding Band: Yayoi Forest, Catbird
Bride’s Dress Designer/Shop: Carol Hannah
Bride’s Shoes: The Row
Earrings: AU Rate
Groom’s Suit Designer and Tie: Enzo Custom
Groomsmen Suit Designer/Shop: The Black Tux
Bomb Pins: Camopins
Skull Socks: Aland
Space Installation: Josh Mahan
Photography: Jessica Schmitt with Eric Swartz

 

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I met Rachel and Michael at the top of Manhattan for a scenic engagement session at the Met Cloisters. We had a beautiful fall day with warm weather and leaves just beginning to change color.

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Rachel shares, “Michael and I met a little over four years ago on a dating app. He was my first and only “app date,” and I feel so lucky and thankful that I took the chance! We met for our first date at Maysville in Flatiron (now one of our favorite spots!). As soon as we sat down the conversation was effortless, and it turned out that we had a lot in common including mutual friends and a love for all things food and travel. At the end of our first date, Michael ended the evening by asking me on a second date, and the rest is pretty much history. After dating for a few months, we soon became inseparable.”

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Rachel continues, “We have spent the past four years exploring together, trying new things, and visiting new places. We have been to Brazil, Argentina, and Thailand just to name a few, and soon will be heading off on a trip to Australia. Not only do we love venturing overseas, but we also love exploring in our own city, which is how we first came across the Met Cloisters a few years ago. We visited in the fall, and we immediately fell in love with the beautiful architecture and scenic views. It felt like the perfect place to come back to for our engagement shoot.

Michael proposed in March after a busy couple of weeks of travel. We had just come back from vacation, and I had to travel for work immediately after. Needless to say, I was excited to have a relaxing weekend at home. Michael told me that we would spend that Sunday having brunch and then going to the David Bowie Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum near Prospect Park. We went to brunch in Dumbo at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the waterfront with incredible views of the city. After brunch he suggested we go for a walk since we had “some time before we needed to get to the museum” (luckily for Michael I am not the best with geography and did not realize that brunch was nowhere near the Brooklyn Museum!). We walked together on the waterfront, and while I really can’t remember exactly what he said, he got down on one knee, with our beautiful city as the backdrop, and asked me to marry him. It was the most perfect, beautiful moment that I ever could have asked for. Afterwards, we continued the celebrations at a bar back in Manhattan, and Michael surprised me by having all of our friends and family there waiting for us. I am still so impressed that Michael was able to pull off the whole day without me suspecting a thing–not an easy thing to do! It really shows how well he knows me, and for that I am forever grateful.”

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Rachel and Michael will be getting married in September of 2019. Happy engagement, you two!

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Jordana and Jonathan both live in Brooklyn and love Prospect Park. We spent a beautiful autumn afternoon walking through the park and around the boathouse.

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Jonathan shares, “When I met Jordana, I had been living in Brooklyn for a little over a year to attend NYU for a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. At that point, I had been on my fair share of dates in search for the one. Jordana—having started med school at SUNY Downstate just two months prior—was new to the New York Jewish dating scene when she downloaded Coffee Meets Bagel. Jordana later told me that she had the app for less than a week when I got matched with her in October 2016. Actually, it was Jordana’s first and only Coffee Meets Bagel date. After a few messages back and forth, we decided to meet for coffee at Cafe Regular du Nord in Park Slope. It was drizzling that day, a perfect day to sip some hot coffee. On the date, we spoke about our lives, interests, families, and values. I was really struck by how easy it was to talk to Jordana and how comfortable we were with each other. To conclude our first date, we walked around for a little bit in Prospect Park—making it the perfect place to have our engagement photos taken. We met for a second date later that week and, with each subsequent date, I realized more and more the extent to which we connected on every level, just how perfectly compatible we are. I think it’s fair to say that we are thoroughly obsessed with each other.”

It was time to pop the question.

Jordana shares, “About a month before the proposal, Jonathan asked me to join him at the annual welcome party for his academic department at NYU over Labor Day weekend. Jonathan also told me he had training all day for his teaching assistant gig prior to the party. He said that the plan was for him to travel with his peers from training and meet me at a colleague’s apartment in Park Slope before we all headed to the party as one large group. Throughout the day, Jonathan texted me about the details of his training, fully convincing me that he was actually there. I got all ready for the party, hoping to make a good impression on Jonathan’s colleagues and professors.

After Jonathan told me that he had returned from training, he ordered me an Uber to meet him at his colleague’s apartment. I saw that the Uber was going near Café Regular du Nord, the café where we had our first date and thought it was a funny coincidence that the apartment was next door. As the Uber pulled up to its destination, Jonathan sent me a text, ‘Meet me where our paths first crossed.’ I was so oblivious—I realized nothing at this point and thought the cute text was Jonathan’s way of letting me know he was waiting by the café. When I got out of the car, I was pretty confused because Jonathan was nowhere in sight. I did see a photographer out of the corner of my eye, but assumed it was just a ‘Brooklyn thing.’ To my surprise, I looked into Cafe Regular du Nord and saw Jonathan standing inside smiling, waiting for me to come in. I opened the door to find the cafe decorated with flowers, framed pictures of the two of us, tea lights and rose petals. After professing his love to me, Jonathan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him—I said yes!”

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Their laughter was infectious. How can you look at this photo and not smile!? You guys are so sweet and so full of love for each other—it was a joy to capture!

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The couple is getting married next October.

Congratulations Jordana and Jonathan!

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