Angel Orensanz Wedding

I really enjoyed working with Katie and Adam.  Their Jewish wedding was full of symbolism and meaning.  It was a spectacular venue and they had a fun-loving bridal party.  Seeing a couple so much in love being joined in marriage is always a joy and an honour.The bridal party got ready at the Thompson LES hotel, just a few blocks away from the wedding venue.  They had a penthouse suite, which also served nicely as their after party venue after the wedding.  The floor to ceiling windows and balcony offered sweeping views of downtown New York.

The dress was designed by Birnbaum and Bullock, personal friends of the Bride.  An elegant strapless jewel encrusted lace gown with a lace edged veil.

Katie and Adam had their first look on the balcony of the hotel suite. It had an incredible view of the city with the Empire State Building in the background.

Portraits were taken around the stylish hotel.

The Bridesmaids wore Two Birds bridesmaid dresses in silver, with the Maids of Honour wearing dresses with an ivory bodice.  The bridal party joined the Bride and Groom for portraits on the New York streets around the hotel.  I love the contrast of the beautifully dressed group against the graffiti covered walls and grungy streets downtown.  Anthony and Barbara from Anthony Vazquez Photography captured the day beautifully with a striking edgy style.

Looking sharp guys.

I always remind my couples to eat the morning of the wedding.  Thank goodness nothing from the pizza dripped on the white gown!

The wedding ceremony and reception took place at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts.  The Foundation is housed in one of the oldest surviving gothic-revival synagogues in New York, and has proudly kept its architectural integrity.  When it opened in 1849, it was the largest synagogue in the United States.

The chuppah was decorated using sheer white draped fabric with orchid blossoms and hanging votives.  A family heirloom, a talis, was incorporated into the roof of the chuppah.  The hanging chandeliers were draped with a mix of ivy and passionflower vine.

The tables were named for different cities that the Bride and Groom had visited together.  Each table had a framed name of the city and a framed photograph of the couple there.  The floral design for the long tables was a combination of vanda orchids, purple sweet pea, lavender snapdragon and lavender spray roses in antiqued silver vases.  A friend of the couple made the paper goods for the wedding.

Adam had proposed to Katie at a John Mayer concert a year prior.  When John Mayer saw this was happening, he made up a song on the spot and serenaded the newly engaged couple from the stage.  This was caught on video, which went viral after being uploaded to YouTube.  We played the video on four plasma screens just before the introduction of the Bride and Groom to a huge round of applause and laughter from the guests.  Later during the reception, the Adam surprised the Katie by jumping on stage, picking up his electric guitar and singing Wonderwall to her.  Together with the touching speeches from family and friends, it was an incredibly meaningful evening, so full of love.

Bernard Brim and the New York Players from Starlight Orchestras kept the dance floor packed the entire night.

Nine Cakes created a beautiful dessert table of five different flavored cakes on stands of varying heights and a selection of mini desserts.  The cakes were decorated with jewels in purples and blues with accents of silver.  It was a feast for the eyes and just as tasty.

Photography: Anthony Vazquez Photography / Event Planning: Ang Weddings and Events / Getting Ready Hotel: Thompson LES / Ceremony + Reception Location: Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts / Bride Dress: Birnbaum and Bullock / Cake: Nine Cakes / Caterer: The Secret Chef / Flowers: Studio Artiflora / Officiant: Rabbi Meir Berger / Cinematography: Well Spun Weddings / Rentals: Something Different Party Rentals / Band: Bernard Brim and the New York Players, Starlight Orchestras / Hair + Makeup: Beauty Collective / Bridesmaid Dress: Two Birds

A Jewish Wedding

I had the pleasure of doing the month of coordination for a wedding where the bride and groom were clearly so much in love.  It was my first Jewish wedding and I was so touched by the many symbolic traditions that took place.  I did not understand the words that the Rabbi was singing as he walked down the aisle to begin the ceremony, but I do know that it was beautiful.

  • The Ketubah - While the guests were waiting for the ceremony to begin, a small ceremony took place behind the scenes with the Bride and Groom signing the Ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract.  The Ketubah specifies their mutual promises and commitments and is one of the oldest elements of a Jewish wedding.
  • The Chuppah - The marriage canopy under which the ceremony takes place.  It dates back to the Jewish nomadic days in the desert.  The temporary nature of its construction reminds one that the most important thing about a home is the people in it who love one another and choose to be together, to be a family.  Since the chuppah represents the couple's new home together, having no walls, it signifies that their home is open to all.  The couple integrated a tallis - a family heirloom - into the chuppah.
  • The Breaking of the Glass - Depending on whom you ask, you will get many answers for the meaning of this ritual.  It signifies the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.  It also serves as a reminder that the bonds of marriage are fragile and can easily be shattered.  The hope is that the breaking of the wedding glass will be the only thing shattered during the marriage.  It is the official signal to shout "Mazel Tov" and start the party!