Art Deco Jewish wedding in an airport museum and hangar, at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum, Houston, Texas, USA

It goes without saying that your choice of venue is one of the most important pieces of your wedding puzzle. I personally love unusual wedding venues so when Elisheva Golani‘s submission dropped into my inbox, and I saw a wedding that took place in an Airplane Museum and hanger, I literally squealed with joy!

And it gets better – one of Talia’s bridesmaids was Balushka of the incredible Balushka Paper Floral Artistry who created an abundance of paper flowers to adorn the chuppah as well as decor for the entire space. Her work is totally and utterly gorgeous, and the paper floristry fills the space brilliantly.

There’s also a blush-coloured wedding gown, a surprise bottle dance choreographed by the groom and his friends, a sparkly confetti canon, and a bride and groom entrance from a vintage airplane to the sound of Rocky’s Theme Tune!

Talia and Barry are one super cool, super creative couple and I cannot wait to show your their W Day. Fasten your seat belts folks!

paper decor flowers Airport Museum Wedding paper flower decor Fiddler on the Roof bottle dance
How we met

Talia, the Bride: Ours is an interesting story – we were first set up 10 years prior to our engagement, by my dad and his tennis partner in 2005. We went on our first date and Barry took me to an Ethiopian restaurant, opened doors, brought me flowers… the whole 9. He was a total gentleman, but alas I was just beginning to explore life as an adult and so was he – needless to say we were both very different people back then. After one date, he called, but I wasn’t interested. Of course, years later, he stuck in my mind as being the kind of guy I needed to date,  we reached out to each other on a few occasions- but we were never able to meet up. Finally, we were able to meet for coffee and we were together ever since… He proposed 10 years to the day of our first date- we even went to that same Ethiopian Restaurant! (good thing about engineers is that they keep EVERYTHING).

Airport Museum Wedding
Choosing to get married in a 1940’s airport terminal museum

Once we got engaged we immediately agreed that we didn’t want to get married in a “usual” space. Both of us had been to countless weddings and were over the idea of a hotel reception. Based on the calendar we also knew that if we were to have a Sunday wedding with a Monday holiday we were going to have to have it in the Winter time, which limited our options. We initially loved the idea of an indoor/outdoor space, but there were few and far between that could accommodate a 300+ wedding.

So, once we finalised the date we began looking at unique spaces and one of them happened to be The 1940’s Air Terminal Museum. Originally I thought it would be a great place for the rehearsal dinner so we made our way, fell in love, and then the coordinator said “why don’t you look at the hangar while you’re here”. The minute we walked inside this 8000 sq ft, dirty, drafty, space I immediately envisioned my wedding and all that we could do. The vintage planes, the huge sliding hangar doors sold me… yes, we would have to bring in our own kitchen, heating, comfort stations etc… but it was totally worth it!

Going into this I knew that if we were going to use the hangar, we would literally have to create everything we wanted to see. I designed the ceiling draping to take advantage of the unused space up there and found a gigantic beaded chandelier. This was the focus of the room for me and set the tone. We also pipe and draped all of the walls 24-feet high to make the room feel like you stepped into another dimension – the hangar is near the airport and in an industrial area… so to come from outside where it looks deserted and old to this beautiful room of light was fantastic.

Airport Museum Wedding
An Art Deco theme, and hand made paper flower decor

One of my bridesmaids was Balushka of Balushka Paper Floral Artistry. We had been roommates some time before, but we always talked about how she would decorate my wedding. So when the time came, I told her I was leaving it up to her and I would fill in the details.

She came up with the most gorgeous panels of hand made paper flowers in shades of blush, plum, ivory and gold. I knew that I wanted a blush dress and we both worked from there. We loved the art deco/40’s fabulousness of the museum and hangar, but we didn’t want to go overboard on any airplane themes (even though my husband works for Nasa 🙂 We instead chose to keep everything classic with a hint of art deco in the details. Even though I had friends in the industry to help, I could not have done it without our wedding planner Sharlene Barris. She literally made my vision a reality and saved the day on numerous occasions.

paper flower decor

We worked with Julie at Ten Four Paper to create our awesome invites. We asked her to design hem with a dash of deco and we wanted to use ivory with a hint of blush. She came up with some great ideas and we so pleased with the outcome.

Airport Museum Wedding
Hair + Make-up

I loved the idea of having my hair down, but knew it would be bothersome later in the night – so I compromised and did half-up and swept to the side. I have a lot of hair and i wanted an intricate design which my hair stylist, Sisa Armendariz of Craze Salon, totally nailed. As far as makeup, all of my friends recommended Rivki of Rivki Makeup Artistry and for good reason. She really did a beautiful job and my makeup looked as fresh at 2 in the morning as it did at 4pm that afternoon.

Airport Museum Wedding
A blush wedding dress

I was really uncomfortable with the idea of going into a bridal salon and being overwhelmed with all the choices. Knowing me, it would easily turn into a nightmare. I had been looking online at dresses I liked and finally found one that I thought would work. Balushka (being in the industry) convinced me to visit her friend and local designer David Peck before I visited any stores just to get his input.

I met with him, showed him what I liked and he said – “let’s do this!”. Not only did he make the dress of my dreams, but we were able to incorporate some details that really made it mine. The colour, and the fact that he hand-draped and hand stitched every pleat on that dress to fit my body. He and his team were amazing to work with and I continue to keep in touch with them today.

Airport Museum Wedding

I’ve been a bit obsessed with Etsy because it allows me to find unique items that you wouldn’t find in most stores – I found these fabulous, hand-made hair-pins from a designer in Canada. I’ve never been a veil-girl so I wasn’t too worried about finding one… but one of our close family friends said that she had her daughter’s veil preserved and it would be her honour if I borrowed it. It was a gorgeous cathedral-length, silk tulle veil with teardrop Swarovski crystals hand beaded from top to bottom.  I literally sparkled from head to toe! While my dress was strapless, i needed a cover-up for the chuppah, so I managed to find a deco-inspired caplet from BHLDN that worked perfectly.

Airport Museum Wedding
Gold heels

I used to teach dance so while i knew i could manage the sky-high heels, I also knew i would appreciate being comfortable. I chose to go with pewter-gold 2.5 inch heels from Nina that worked out beautifully.

Airport Museum Wedding
The handsome groom

Barry also liked the idea of wearing a non-traditional tux, and in going with our “dash of deco” theme, he easily decided on a white tux jacket with black bow-tie, vest and pants. He was totally channeling James Bond that day.

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Bridesmaides / bridesmate and groomsmen / groomsladies

We each had five bridesmaides/bridesmate and groomsmen/groomsladies. I had my four best girlfriends and my best guy friend from high school. They wore beautiful strapless dresses in gray from BHLDN – he wore a gray suit. Barry had three of his best friends as groomsmen, and two of his best girlfriends as groomsladies. They wore the same dress in black, and the guys wore black suits.

Airport Museum Wedding
The ceremony

Unbeknownst to the family or wedding party, we asked Barry’s brother if he would play me down the aisle on the piano – he is an incredibly talented pianist and he played my favourite song Hallelujah as I walked down. Then, as a surprise for me, Barry asked him to play one of our favourite songs from Aerosmith as the two of us walked down after the ceremony.

I wanted to be able to display my ketubah for years to come, regardless of decor and after a lot of searching we found Ruth Mergi from Israel. She uses lasers to cut paper in such intricate detail. It is probably one of my most favorite pieces in our home.

Ruth Mergi ketubah
A paper flower-filled chuppah

Balushka was in charge of this, we gave her the dimensions and I said fill it with flowers… and she did! The museum itself was very light-filled and had huge vaulted ceilings, so the details of her flowers really stood out.

Paper flower chuppah Airport Museum Wedding
Music for the ceremony

For the processional we played All You Need Is Love by the Beatles. Our parents came in ontoYerushalayim Shel Zahav – then came Barry came in on his favourite song The Luckiest by Ben Folds and his brother played Hallelujah for me on the piano – super special.

Airport Museum Wedding

I knew that i wanted to create my own centrepieces using Balushka‘s paper flowers. We created willow branches adorned with gorgeous paper flowers and hand beaded crystals. To accent these 6 foot creations we had AJ’s Urban Petal add fresh flowers around, along with candelabras and art deco glass lanterns. He chose O’hara roses in blush to compliment the tables as well as my bridal bouquet. He and his crew also were responsible for transforming that space into a warm, light-filled, beautiful atmosphere – I will always be grateful to him and his team.

Airport Museum Wedding
Our fabulous photographer

Ever since I began seeing her photos from friends on Facebook, I’ve been obsessed with Elisheva Golani‘s photos. They are ethereal! She did such a great job capturing our special day and all the unique moments throughout!

Airport Museum Wedding
A four-tier wedding cake

Surprisingly there are only a handful of places that bake (good) kosher cakes so we trusted Three Brothers Bakery. We went with a 4-tier, round vanilla cake with white buttercream – each layer decorated with a different design in champagne/blush. Each tier had its’ own flavor (apricot, lemon, almond and strawberry).

Airport Museum Wedding
First Dance

As a dance instructor, everyone expected a routine – which I was happy to do! We mixed 3 songs with 3 different dances: Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, Celine Dion’s Le Ballet and then a Salsa mix. We danced nightclub 2-step, west coast swing and salsa.

Airport Museum Wedding

One of the 3 top things of our wedding was the DJ. Damon Pompalino came highly recommended and he did not disappoint. We met with him a few times to give him an idea of what music we liked, who would be at our wedding etc. He did an excellent job playing some South African songs, Israeli music, latin, oldies, blues etc… it was totally us.  But Barry and his boys threw in some surprises as well – a bottle dance 🙂

Airport Museum Wedding
The Bride’s speech… in Afrikaans!

My husbands family is from South Africa, as was my wedding coordinator – she helped me come up with a funny speech in Afrikaans that I can only assume went well with the guests as they were laughing the whole time – Barry did the same in Hebrew for my family and friends.

Airport Museum Wedding
Advice to brides and grooms currently planning their wedding

I guess being a bit older and having seen so many weddings, my practicality kicked in a bit more than I thought it would. When faced with decisions, I really steered towards what would make sense and what would work rather than what I hoped would work. This left only a few things up to chance and everything else went as expected. While we did have some snafu’s they weren’t anything we couldn’t handle, particularly because my team was amazing and so experienced. If you’re going to use a coordinator, use one that friends have used before and try to imagine them in different situations – would their personality and decisions be one’s you would agree with – I had to trust mine to make quite a few when I couldn’t.

Airport Museum Wedding

Talia & Barry’s Little White Book

Photography – Elisheva Golani
Venue – The 1940’s Air Terminal Museum
Caterer – Jenny Tavor
Paper flower decor – Balushka Paper Floral Artistry
Wedding planner – Sharlene Barris
Invitations – Ten Four Paper
Bride’s dress – local designer David Peck of Miles David Atelier
Bride’s shoes – Nina
Bride’s accessories – handmade hair pins from Etsy, veil borrowed from a friend, BHLDN caplet
Make-up – Rivki Makeup Artistry
Hair – Sisa Armendariz of Craze Salon
Bridesmaid dresses – BHLDN
Cake – Three Brothers Bakery
Flowers – AJ’s Urban Petal
Chuppah – Balushka Paper Floral Artistry
Ketubah – Ruth Mergi
DJ – Damon Pompalino