A traditional Jewish New York wedding with some sex and a lot of city

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Happy Valentine’s Day, STG gang! We have a very, very special real wedding to share with you today. It’s such a doozy, that we’ve been sitting on it and waiting for the right moment to publish since 2003. How’s that for restraint?

Charlotte and Harry met under rather unusual circumstances and couldn’t have been more different from one another. But, as the old saying goes, opposites attract, and Charlotte soon found that she had met her one true love in Harry.

Bride Charlotte is a hopeless romantic at heart, and so her wedding was, of course, the definition of tradition. Every detail was planned to perfection by wedding planner and very shouty man, Anthony, who brought Charlotte’s vision to life.

Even though we’re not the New York Times (sorry, Charlotte), we’ve done our very best to do this post justice, so we’ll quit while we’re ahead and hand over to Charlotte to tell us all about her big day.

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How we met

Harry was my divorce lawyer from my first marriage to my ex-husband, Trey who… let’s just say… didn’t last long. Harry and I hit a few stumbles at first: for example, the fact that I wasn’t Jewish and Harry’s profuse sweating. But, in the end, I converted to Judaism and we always keep the the thermostat at 64.4 degrees. Fairytales do exist, people!

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A New York synagogue wedding

We decided on a traditional synagogue wedding in our hometown of New York. As the space was already so spectacular, we just had a simple white, fabric chuppah under the bimah with some elegant arrangements of lilies.

I wanted to do everything according to Jewish tradition. I wanted to smash the glass, sign the Ketubah and dance the Hora, even if it involved getting thrown around on a chair in a most unladylike way.

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It was the best of New York Times

We had our engagement shoot sitting on a stone in Central Park with an unnamed photographer using a surprisingly antiquated camera. Harry kept giving it too much teeth. That’ll never make the Sunday Times wedding announcements, which I read religiously because I’m the hopelessly romantic one.

I was worried Harry would think I was being neurotic, but he said he couldn’t wait to marry me and kissed me, which was amazing in theory, but also really annoying because he smudged my lipstick and the photographer almost caught a sincere moment of affection between us, which everyone knows is just plain tacky.

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A helpful groom

Harry was really helpful in the run up to the wedding. He and his cousin Howie took on lots of little last-minute tasks, like taking the place cards to the calligrapher the day before the wedding, which kind of seems like something we probably should have sorted out months in advance.

He even found time to stop by where I was having brunch and say hi to me and my best gals, Carrie, Samantha and the other one.

Howie made a hilarious and charming wedding planning joke about making another stop to go around the corner and find his balls and we all laughed and laughed and laughed because helping out with your own wedding day is so emasculating, obvs.

Harry then took the opportunity to set up Carrie and Howie, because they’re both so funny. I won’t tell you how that romantic entanglement turned out, needless to say, Carrie should have stuck to her initial plan of trapeze-ing her way outta there.

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A convenient event planner

Luckily for me, one of my besties, Anthony, is a high-end event planner and he took charge for the day, giving it a “Yentl chic” theme.

He was just amazing, he didn’t even need to plan the wedding in advance nor build any positive relationships with suppliers, he just spent the day before the wedding shouting things into a phone, like: “We want candles, candles, candles, and I don’t want want short, stubby little broken up dick candles, I want long tapers.” I can’t think of a better way to get results, can you?

While we were hanging out, the New York Times called to confirm the engagement announcement and we danced around the room to that famous Jewish folk song – Haga Kakaka Kalaga.

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An off-the-shoulder Badgley Mischka wedding dress

I wore a classic, lacey off-the-shoulder Badgley Mischka gown, which Anthony nearly ruined by being vulgar in front of it (even if he did say I was Audrey Hepburn… owitz) and Harry nearly ruined by fleetingly catching sight of it before the wedding. Can we please just respect the dress?? Fortunately, I’m just small enough to hide my whole body behind Anthony, or it would have been a disaster.

I had my hair down in soft, movie-star curls and simple, but elegant makeup. I couldn’t believe how pretty I looked – TV pretty, some might say.

For my accessories, I wore a mid-length white veil with a beaded edge and some simple diamond-drop earrings. I carried a simple, baby’s breath bouquet because I LOVE BABIES.

As for shoes? Well, those are more my friend Carrie’s thing. Speaking of which, I had three bridesmaids, my bestest buds Carrie, Samantha and Miranda. I let them wear what they want, because you can’t cut and paste a true fashionista.

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All the bad luck…

It wouldn’t be a proper Jewish wedding without a few minor mishaps. For example, a bizarre misprint on my hard-earned wedding announcement giving me a moustache akin toa certain WWII dictator of all things.

Then there was hilarious cousin Howie mouthing expletives at Carrie during the ceremony because she didn’t want to sleep with him again – that guy was a real hoot, I tell ya.

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The wedding ceremony

Then Harry spilled red wine on my dress, he couldn’t smash the glass (although it was worth it for the huge round of applause when he finally managed it) and Samantha broke her bracelet all over the bimah, causing me to slip on the beads.

I had a little cry in the toilets because I wanted everything to be perfect, but luckily Carrie was on hand and said something so perfect, she might as well have been reading from a script: the worse the wedding, the better the marriage – she reminded me of what really matters.

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Embracing the mayhem!

After that, I decided to embrace the chaos. I didn’t even mind Howie’s drunk and aggressive toast, which Carrie coined a Mazel Tov Cocktail (Carrie’s a political prophet, it would seem).

Miranda’s toast was so great that it set the house on fire. No, literally, Miranda’s toast caught fire. Damn Anthony and his long, tapered candles.

I got my revenge, though – when I threw the bouquet, I aimed it squarely at Miranda’s head. Whoops.

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The Hora! 

We had Israeli dancing, of course. Anthony had put it in my head that I might fall off the chair (the Hora! the Hora!) but Harry called over: “What’s the worst that can happen? We’ll live happily ever after?”

I’m not sure why that made me feel better, because, now that I think about it, he didn’t actually say anything reassuring, but it sounded romantic enough that it calmed me down.

So, I clung on for dear life and remembered Anthony’s sage words of wisdom: “Just remember when you’re up there, pretend you’re having a good time, hold on for dear life and for f*** sake, keep your legs together. Nobody wants to see the bride’s beaver.”

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Advice to brides and grooms currently planning their wedding

No matter how many things go wrong on the day, if you’re married at the end of it, it went perfectly. 

Oh, and if you’re having doubts, go ahead with the wedding anyway. You never know – you might just fall in love with your divorce lawyer.

All images courtesy of HBO


 

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