Eli and I saw our wedding as a way to share our relationship with all the amazing people in our lives, so we wanted our personality to shine in every little detail of the day. It took a whole lot of work, but it was undoubtedly worth it.
We started with the design, which is kind of like eating dessert first. We made tons of inspiration boards and filled a little booklet with pictures we loved or words that we hoped would describe the day. That made it easy for our florist, Barb, to bring our vision to life.
Our favorite idea was the mailboxes, and Barb got really into it. She found the mailboxes on a road trip to Boston and lugged them all the way back home, where she turned the beat-up silver row of boxes into the gorgeous creation they became. We filled them with handwritten notes that did double duty as place cards for every guest (a huge hit, even if they did take several weeks to write).
One of Eli’s friends, Etsy seller Joel Zimmer Photo, took the pictures for our save the date cards. The photo shoot took place on the lovely Brooklyn Heights promenade, one of our favorite places in the city. We also had a great time getting the boutonnieres from Etsy seller Just Ann’s. We saw some of her items that we loved, but none was just right, so we reached out to see if she could put together a custom set. She was totally amenable, and the end result was gorgeous. As a best man gift, Eli also purchased a lovely leather-bound journal from Etsy seller Dancing Grey Studio.
Both of our families pitched in to personalize the day: my brother made our wooden ring box by hand (and even sewed the pillow inside); my mom quilted the gorgeous chuppah – including 64 sun rays with stitching in the shape of music notes to represent our song, “When I’m 64.” I made the bridesmaid necklaces, which had each of our birthstones woven into the clasp; and Eli performed his own arrangement of Bob Dylan’s “The Man in Me” at our reception. My dad also helped us make a light-up “On Air” sign for the recording booth we subbed in for a guest book, and Eli made the witty little place cards that accompanied the record station. Eli also made our wedding website from scratch (with some design guidance from me, naturally).
In the last few months before the wedding, we spent a lot of time making the ceremony our own with help from our rabbi. We wrote our own translation of the seven blessings. For our vows, we talked about what we wanted them to say, and then we each wrote them in our own words. Our ketubah was handcrafted by Tsilli Pines of New Ketubah, with beautiful hand-sewn sun rays.
When it came to the actual day, everything came together beautifully. The weather was perfect, the setting was idyllic, and joy was palpable in the air. All of the effort and hard work we had put in made for so many memorable moments: the songs, the vows, the food, the band — all decisions we agonized over, and all factors that contributed to an amazing day.
I just remember laughing, dancing, and being surrounded by the people that I love most. I remembered a passage that we came across when planning our ceremony – in the Jewish tradition, a marriage is a preview of the return to perfection. It really felt like that.
Photographs by Robert Sukrachand