Every wedding day has moments of joy, but this wedding seemed to be bursting with happiness from beginning to end. The exuberant dancing and singing, the personal touches that reflected the couple’s values, and all the love from family and friends made for a gorgeous wedding day.

The couple shares, “We cared a lot about the ritual pieces of the wedding, and that people have fun, so those were the areas that got most of our attention. We wanted a traditional Jewish wedding, but a lot of the ritual is built around the man’s obligations to the woman, and less about the woman’s obligations to the man. Since we envision our relationship as a partnership, we tried to be creative about how to integrate the bride’s voice into the ceremony more, while maintaining the infrastructure that people have used to get married according to Jewish law for hundreds and hundreds of years.

We began with two tischen, where our guests sang with us and offered words of teaching and blessing as we prepared to see each other for the first time in a week. Because of that period of separation, the bedeken–where we saw each other for the first time–was a really magical moment. Following our ceremony, we had some particularly raucous dancing, including the traditional wedding shtick, where guests danced in front of us in funny outfits or holding signs to fulfill the commandment of rejoicing with the bride and groom.”

The groom’s favorite moment from the day was giving his bride a gift. Traditionally, the groom receives a full set of the Talmud for his wedding, but since the bride is the one who studies Talmud the most, the groom’s parents decided to get her the set she wanted instead. The groom adds, “Rather than just presenting her with a single volume, I arranged to have my father read the inscription he wrote for her, and then surprised her by sending out five family members and close friends, each with a giant box, to give her the whole set. I wasn’t there to see it since I was upstairs at my tisch, but I watched the video and it was definitely the best moment of the day.”

The bride’s sister shared some lovely words about her kindness and compassion, her love for the Torah, a hope for the couple to build their lives together like a sanctuary, a mishkan, while working to make the world a better place, and finally about a sister’s love.

She read, “When describing the building of the tabernacle, God commands that ten strips of cloth be joined together ish el’achotah, like a woman to her sister. It must be, in some ways, fated that this parasha comes on the weekend that my sister is getting married. The commentators basically dismiss this phrase, saying that it is just a way that something is attached to something else, but I think God was onto something here about the nature of a relationship between sisters. This phrase is used to connote two things that are attached so tightly and specifically that they cannot be undone. And that is how I feel about you. You are a part of who I am. An inescapable, irremovable part of my being. And I know that, even though you are moving on to build a mishkan with your husband, that you are a part of my mishkan and I am a part of yours, and that it is our bond that makes our families stronger.”

  

The groom and his family and friends danced and sang as they brought the groom to the bride. The couple then saw each other for the first time in a week.

The bride’s favorite moments came from the beginning of the day as well. “I really loved my tisch. Having the chance to complete a tractate of Talmud, sing and dance with some of my best friends, and look out on the hundreds of people who had come to celebrate with us was really magical. When I was surprised by the gift of the Talmud, that was an incredible moment. And then, at the end, I finally got to see the man I was moments away from marrying for the first time in a week! It was like everyone else there melted away and all I could see was him in that moment.”

The bride shares, “Last November, there was a retreat for alumni of a fellowship. Every year the group gathers, and this time a program leader asked, “There are a lot of people here who know a lot of people. This might not be comfortable for everyone, but if you are single and you don’t want to be and you feel comfortable, raise your hand. That way everyone can see who is looking.” Thankfully, my now husband, was brave enough to raise his hand! Our friend Yaffa saw him, and told him they should talk about what he was looking for. She texted me that night to ask if I wanted to get set up. I said yes, he called, and we made our first date for the day after the 2016 election. The election didn’t have the outcome we expected, which put a bit of a damper on the date, but the second date was much better and things only improved from there.

A year later, we decided to get married!”

The Chuppah wedding ceremony took place in the sanctuary and included many blessings by family and friends.

  

After special prayers were said by family and friends, the festivities were over and we escaped outside for some nighttime portraits.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Special thanks to the team:
Venue: Lincoln Square Synagogue
Coordinator: Carly Levine
Officiant: Rabbi Aryeh Klapper
Caterer: Simply Divine
DJ/Band: Soulfarm
Florist: Flowers By Special Arrangement
Bride’s Bouquet: Heartfelt Blooms
Bridesmaids’ Bouquets: Global Goods Partners
Invitations: By Invitation Only
Hair and Makeup: Pin It Up and Pout
Engagement Ring: Dearest Darling Co
Wedding Rings: Leo Ingwer
Bride’s Dress: Borrowed from a friend
Bride’s Shoes: J. Renee for the ceremony, Converse for the reception
Jewelry: All family jewelry
Groom’s Suit Designer/Shop: Black Lapel
Photographer: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz

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Valentine’s Day is today! This means chocolates, paper hearts and, of course, flowers!  I pulled together some of my favorite wedding flower and cake photos from last year. Enjoy!

Happy Valenetine’s Day!

Carla and Ben had a beautiful winter wedding in a loft in Union Square.

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Ben shares, “Our winter wedding in NYC took place at the loft space above Tarallucci e Vino, Union Square. We chose it because we fell in love with its beautiful exposed brick and huge windows. The space has a classic New York City vibe!

Our wedding ceremony was simple and intimate, with only our immediate family attending. Carla’s best friend Tiffany officiated. Our florist created a lovely arrangement of branches and candles to frame us against the brick wall.”

The couple’s unique wedding vows  included their love of playing board games together.

Ben adds, “We decided to both take each other’s name, so we are now Carla and Ben Moy-Turner. It was important to us to share the same name, but we didn’t want either of us to lose our existing name. Moy-Turner just sounds right!”

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Ben continues, “After the ceremony, we made the short walk over to Union Square Park for a few outdoor photos. At this point we were ruing our decision to get married in January! In the end, braving the cold was worth it for a memorable and unique series of photos.

The reception followed soon after with dinner, drinks and dancing for 100 guests. We love Italian cuisine, and the chef and staff at Tarallucci delivered a delicious meal. Everything tasted wonderful.

Our custom cake topper featured things central to our relationship: our beloved dog Bessie; some of our favorite board games (we originally met through a group of friends who gather for weekly game nights); and a pair of passports to represent our love of travel. The travel theme extended to the table decorations and place cards. Each of the four long tables was designated as a country or region that we’ve visited, and each guest’s seat was marked with a photograph taken by the two of us. It was a fun way to share the memories we have made in our adventures!”

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It was freezing out, but they were so happy, you would never know by looking at the photos!

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FLO Events created a beautiful tablescape with mixed bouquets of purple flowers, greenery, berries and eucalyptus. Carla and Ben didn’t plan to be so on trend, but they ended up incorporating the Pantone color of the year–ultraviolet!

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The first dance was set to the Magnetic Field’s “The Book of Love” from 69 love songs.

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Congratulations Carla and Ben!

Also, check out their Riverside Park engagement here.

Special thanks to the team:
Venue(s): Tarallucci e Vino arranged for Third Floor Loft of Home Studios at 873 Broadway
Coordinator: Basia Biddle of Tarallucci e Vino
Officiant: Tiffany Sameyah Sankari (friend of the couple)
Caterer: Tarallucci e Vino, www.taralluccievino.net
Florist: Caroline Groppe of FLO NY
Cake: Milk Bar
Cake topper: Keren Becker
DJ: Enrique Colon of BTL DJs
Photo booth: Teho Yoo from Amazebooths www.amazebooths.com
Invitations: Minted
Hair and Makeup: Talia of MG Hair & Makeup
Rings: Brilliant Earth
Bride’s Dress: Purchased from ModCloth made amazing by Bevin Dillon
Bride’s Shoes: Corso Como
Jewelry: hair comb: YunBoutique ; Belt: FashionaryDesign
Photographer: Jessica Schmitt Photography

I’m so happy to announce I have won the WeddingWire award for the 8th year in a row! A huge thank you goes out to all my amazing couples I worked with this past year!

“WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® recipients represent the top five percent of wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism.”

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Snow! Christmas! And lots of love! Sarah and Will had a beautiful, elegant, winter wedding with just the right touches of the holiday season. Sarah got ready for the day at the couple’s home in Alexandria, Virginia.

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The ceremony took place at the Falls Church Presbyterian in Falls Church, Virginia. The stone church is surrounded by holly bushes and the grounds were covered in fresh white snow.

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A sword arch is a special military tradition that requires the couple to kiss in order to pass under each set of swords. The tradition is meant to salute the newly married couple.

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Sarah shares, “We chose to do a December wedding because that was the timeline our lives was leading us towards and we both love the holidays and liked the idea of capitalizing on the excitement and joy of the season. That said, we deliberately sought to go light on Christmas up until the reception, that way we could have some pictures and memories that weren’t entirely associated with Christmas!

I went to college in Scotland and we both have Scottish heritage so the thistle between all of the bouquets and boutonnières seemed appropriate. Another common theme in the flowers was the boxwood, which was included in honor of my dad (who loves and collects boxwood). We also weaved William’s family tartan into the aesthetic too, using it to wrap the bouquets, boutonnières, and for the flower girl sashes—I even had my shoes covered in it!

William added, “Sarah made me special chocolate chip cookies for the wedding reception (because I love her cookies and she spoils me!) but they were accidentally delivered to me early before the ceremony. While this was slightly distressing to Sarah when she caught wind of what happened, they were actually the perfect sugar pick me up that I needed to make it through the ceremony.”

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William shares, “Our reception was at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington. We chose the club for several reasons. Growing up, I spent a lot of time there because my dad was also in the Navy and he was stationed in Northern Virginia for most of my childhood. When Sarah and I started dating we began going to the club together more and more and it quickly became a special place for us as a couple. Also, when we decided on December we gravitated towards the club because it looks particularly awesome at Christmas time.”

Sarah adds, “When it came to the reception we completely embraced Christmas! The club made that easy though since they had decorated for the season already with garland and Christmas trees everywhere. For the centerpieces we had boxwood wreaths and hurricanes with cranberries in water and floating candles. We had the guests take the wreaths for their doors at the end of the reception which was pretty fun! My favorite touch though was that we put together stockings for all of the kids who came and hung them on the fireplaces for them to open after dinner.”

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Sarah and William danced their first dance to “Sleep on the Floor,” by The Lumineers.

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The club looked particularly beautiful with all the Christmas decorations.

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A blessing was said before dinner and then Sarah and her dad and William and his mom shared special parent dances.

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The cake topper was custom made by the groom’s sister to represent the couple’s childhood stuffed bears that they both have to this day.

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At the end of the evening guests were given little carol books and asked to join the bride and groom in the main lobby to sing some of their favorite Christmas songs. It was such a sweet and unique way to end the evening!

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Congratulations Sarah and William!

You can also check out their engagement photos here.

Special thanks to the team:
Church: Falls Church Presbyterian
Reception Location: Army Navy Country Club, Arlington
Day-of Coordinator: Kim Trombly
Flowers: The Virginia Florist, Alexandria
Cake: Sweet Ladies Bakery
Music: Bryan George Music
Bride’s coat: Kim Trombly
Hair: KC Felton
Makeup: Conceptual Beauty, Christin Birckhead
Photography: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz

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