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
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