What we love here at Smashing The Glass, are that no two couples Jewish weddings we feature are EVER the same! Some prefer to keep things simple, some fill their weddings with ‘in’ jokes and items that have personal meaning to them, and some, like Sheila and Alex, create stunning aesthetics, with intense attention-to-detail that makes their Jewish wedding look fresh from the pages of Pinterest, or a luxury magazine.
First introduced by their best man, Sheila and Alex have been besotted with one another since they first laid eyes on each other. Their ‘desert chic’-inspired real day paid homage to their home state of Arizona, with a stunning color scheme and gorgeous, succulent (see what we did there?) décor details.
The happy couple had a moving and beautiful outdoor sunset Jewish ceremony under the chuppah and the breathtaking bistro lights at their venue, Chateau Luxe. The rabbi’s touching words can be heard in the cinematic wedding film below, provided by Ryan Blake Films.
We simply LOVE that the wedding’s sweet treats were provided by bride Sheila’s family deli – how incredible is that?
Photographer Ryan Nicole Photography captured every moment, creating a dreamy set of images that you won’t be able to stop yourself from Pinning, while bride Sheila provided the writeup with every detail of the planning process and big day itself. We’ll leave you in their capable hands. Enjoy!
How we met
Sheila, the bride: We were introduced by a mutual friend who had been trying to set us up for years. Our friend, Ari Psez, was visiting AZ staying with Alex. Ari invited me over to catch up with him. Unbeknownst to me, Ari had a ploy to have me meet Alex in hopes of setting us up. We met that night at Alex’s house, and he asked for my phone number. We went on our first date a few days later. Alex proposed in the same house we met in, and we now live there together.
A versatile venue with a view
We got married in Phoenix Arizona at a venue called Chateau Lux. We knew we would get married in Phoenix, because that is where we met and live together.
The venue space was picked because of all of the different spaces available to us. Our favorite parts of the venue were where we held our ceremony outdoors above the bistro lights with the mountains in the distance.
We also picked this venue because I liked that the carpets in the ballroom were brown with beige accents, which matched my color scheme. Almost every other venue had some ugly red colors and accents in their carpets, and I don’t really care for the color red.
A ‘desert chic’ theme
We used a wedding planner, but we worked together to make our wedding dream come true. I wanted a ‘desert chic’ wedding. I wanted it to be elegant, yet not to over the top.
We used mostly cacti and some different types of flowers to decorate, and my color scheme was a dusty green, a light peach, gold, white, and a pop of verdigris.
I love the way verdigris looks, so that was must for me to work in. We had lanterns and some other elements that brought in that color.
Invitations made by mom
My mom does wedding invitations, so it was special to work with her. My husband also had his art director/graphic designer create an image/logo that was a desert scene. This was printed on our invitation and on the outside envelope. It was also on a lot of different signs throughout our wedding venue, as well as projected on the wall with our names in the ballroom.
Natural hair and makeup
Jessica Parker of Crowns Hair Salon is who I always see for my hair. She is amazing and super talented. I knew I wanted her to do the hair for my wedding because of how great she is with my thick long hair.
My makeup was done by Nicole Fisk. We did a trial and the thing I liked the most was that my makeup was simple and not overdone.
A wedding dress fit for a princess
I was pretty easy going when it came to my dress. We went to one place, and I found my dress. I loved the beading and how flowey it was on the bottom. It made me feel like a princess.
The handsome groom
Alex’s dad bought him a Hugo Boss suit, and he looked incredible. It was tailored to him perfectly.
My best friend gave me her veil to wear. It was perfect, because it was long and simple. I didn’t want it to be over the top, because I the beading and detail on my dress to draw attention.
I wore a small hair piece in order to pull my hair out of my face. I also wore a Kendra Scott necklace that I literally got last minute (the day before our wedding). It ended up being my favorite thing that I wore. My aunt gave me her earrings and bracelet to wear.
Cute kitten heels
My bridesmaids’ outfits were another favorite of mine. There were three different color dresses. I chose which color dress the girls would wear, but they were able to choose their style.
The colors fit with my theme: dusty green, peach, and then one was a subtle floral bohemian look that had accents of those colors. Each girl wore a necklace that I bought as their gifts. Some were opal, pearl, and turquoise.
Lights, camera, chuppah!
I wanted to keep our chuppah simple, with subtle foliage. I wanted it to be open so people could see. The bistro lights above us were real showstoppers.
A sunset ceremony
My favorite part of the ceremony was the badeken. I loved being surrounded by all the women who were most important to me, and then my husband came dancing out to me with all the men I love so much. It was such a special and joyous moment to be blessed together by the Rabbi and by my father. My brothers and in-laws lifted up my husband in the air before we all exited to head towards the ceremony.
My favorite part of the actual ceremony was listening to my Rabbi speak. His definition of what it means to be married in the Jewish religion was so beautiful. It felt like it was just the two of us standing their listening to what our future held.
My brothers, cousins, and brother-in law had some trouble tying the tallit to the chuppah. It was a pretty windy day and they couldn’t get them to stay up. Two hours before the ceremony, it had sprinkled a little bit and some wind picked up. They had to run outside and fix it all over again. They spent hours making it work.
That little bit of rain brought in some gorgeous clouds and made for a perfect backdrop during out ceremony. We walked down the aisle right at sunset and the ceremony went right into dusk. The natural setting was absolutely magnificent.
A heartfelt ketubah signing
Classic music choices
I walked down the aisle to – The Wind (instrumental), Cat Stevens
Our recessional was You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Stevie Wonder
Our first dance was to Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
Juliet Le Fleur did our flowers. My bouquet had balsa wood flower, huckleberry, hypericum berries, pepperberry foliage, ranunculus, garden spirit roses, scabiosa pods,seeded eucalyptus, stock and thistle. The boutonnieres followed the theme, as did the centerpieces with additions of succulents and moss, beads and pebbles.
Our photographer and videographer
Our photographer, Ryan Nicole, was incredible. She took time to make sure everything would be captured how we wanted it. We knew we wanted both Ryans to work with us for our wedding based on meeting them. They had good examples of their work, and they were down to earth.
Our videographer was Ryan Blake he did a great job capturing our special day.
A very sweet sendoff
Our cake was 16″ bottom pink velvet cake with cream cheese filling and white buttercream frosting. The middle was a 14″ yellow cake with fudge filling, and white buttercream frosting and the top was 8″ with the pink velvet and cream cheese again.
It was created by my family’s Jewish deli/bakery business: Chompies. They also did all of our mini desserts: carrot cakes, cannolis, chocolate box cakes, napoleons, fruit tarts, crème brulée, rainbows, chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate s’mores. They also provided delicious cookies. Chompies also did our ‘bride & groom’ cactus cookies that were on each guest’s plate to take home.
Enough to feed a small army
The rest of the catering was done by the venue. There was a huge cocktail reception to begin the night during the badeken where there were three large stations of food one Mexican station with different choices like tamales, quesadillas, chips, mini chimis.
There was a Jewish food station with mini potato latkes with smoked salmon and creme fraiche and mini knishes. There was a breads and dip station, almost like a build your own bruschetta. Then there were four or five different passed apps. The dinner was done beautifully as well. We love food obviously!
Another thing we did was have bean and cheese burritos for people to take as they left the venue… no need to stop at Taco Bell on the way home! We also has a corned beef slider station on mini challah rolls, towards the end of the night. We had a sign that said “Cheers to the Bergers’ future sliders!”
We spent an extremely long time looking for a band that we loved. We wanted a band with soul and a great horn section. I wanted great singers with a smooth sound. We went and watched over eight bands before choosing Outside the Line. They were fabulous. They played the music we wanted and even learned the Hava Nagila. We were their first Jewish wedding ever and loved every second of it!
The other form of entertainment we had was during the badeken and during the ceremony. I found a singer/songwriter guy playing at a restaurant one night and fell in love with his voice. I asked if he did weddings, and he was open and willing. He played and sang a bunch of our favorite songs during the cocktail hour and down the aisle. Nothing is better than a really good voice and an acoustic guitar.
A caricaturist and a couple’sspeech
The whole day was truly special. We had some special touches by having a caricature artist for guests. We brought in a lot of tradition thanks to my older brother. My husband and I made a speech together. He has planned out his and then handed me the mic where I began my speech by saying “I am going to shoot from the hip…” It ended up being a great speech.
I will never forget taking a step back to take in everything. Seeing my family and Alex’s family celebrating and dancing together with big smiles on their faces was what brought the most joy to me. The joyous feeling that was present on that day wasn’t just because of our wedding but because of all the people we love who came together to celebrate us.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
The best advice I can give for how to enjoy your day, is to delegate. Don’t do anything. If something is wrong or you need help with your lip gloss, or you are hungry – ask your bridesmaids and family. Don’t stress. In retrospect, the most important thing is being present in the moment and trying to remember how you felt in that moment.
Sheila & Alex’s little white book
Photographer – Ryan Nicole Photography
Videographer – Ryan Blake Films
Wedding planner – Your Jubilee
Venue – Chateau Luxe
Bride’s dress – Justin Alexander purchased at Almond Tree Wedding Boutique
Bride’s shoes – Adrianna Papell and Tory Burch
Bride’s jewellery – Kendra Scott
Groom’s Attire – Hugo Boss
Bridesmaids dresses – Jenny Yoo, Dessy, Joanna August purchased at Bella Bridesmaids Scottsdale
Hair + Makeup – Jessica Parker of Crowns Hair Salon and Nicole Fisk
Flowers – Juliet Le Fleur
Entertainment – Outside the Lines and Adam Simons Music
Cake – Chompies
Invitations – eInvite.com
Lighting – Karma Event Lighting
Linens – Southwick Linens
Transportation – Dunn Transportation
Rentals – Us to U
Ketubah – Ketubah.com