Today on the blog we’re introducing our 1st gorgeous bride from our crop of 2019 Real Jewish Brides! Please give a warm welcome to Alexandra, who will be marrying Jordan on 26th May 2019 at The Grove in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.
THREE FACTS: (1) Alexandra and Jordan met in college and have been together ever since. (2) They are planning a romantic fairy tale garden wedding inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream – LOVE! (3) Alexandra’s wearing Galia Lahav for the big day – one of our absolute fave Israeli designers!
We met at a party in college – he was the social chair of his fraternity who wanted to develop a relationship with my sorority, and I was the vice president of my sorority who was hungry for a change of social scenery!
We developed a close friendship that quickly blossomed into true love, and spent our junior and senior year as a couple. We were long distance the year following graduation, gaining firsthand experience behind the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
I then moved from New Jersey to Boston to be with Jordan and we have happily lived together for over three years!
Our Engagement in Rome
To celebrate our five year anniversary, we took a trip to Europe, where we explored Rome, Positano, Florence, Venice, and Paris.
It was the first morning of our trip (7AM) and we were staying steps away from the Trevi Fountain, so we planned to start the day with an early visit to avoid the crowds. I remember feeling frustrated that Jordan was rushing me to get ready, thinking “What’s the rush?!” Nonetheless, we quickly headed out and pleasantly arrived to a nearly empty monument.
Jordan set up our GoPro tripod for photos and asked me if I knew the legend of the Trevi Fountain. I thought I had, but playfully asked to hear his perspective anyway. He spoke of three coins, the first to guarantee a return trip to Rome accompanied by a granted wish (this was the only part of the legend that I actually knew).
He took out two Euro coins prompting us to close our eyes, make a wish, and toss the coins in. He began explaining the meaning behind the second coin, but I was distracted by a man inching closer and closer to our GoPro, wondering if he was going to steal it. Turning back to Jordan, he now had two more coins from his bag. Rather than Euros, these were small silver discs that he had written on.
He handed me one that read “per siempre, mi amor” which translates to, “my love, forever” and explained that it represented the second legendary coin of a new or continued romance. Those were tossed and he gave me the third coin which read, “will you” on the front and “marry me?” on the back.
Now down on one knee, holding the most beautiful ring, he explained the third coin of marriage, asking if I would be his wife. I was so overwhelmed with love for Jordan and excitement for our future together. He slipped the ring onto my finger, literally and figuratively sweeping me off my feet.
Image by Catullo Photography
The man I thought might try to steal our GoPro was a photographer hired by Jordan who was simply trying to get central shots of us. Gianfranco of Catullo Photography was one of the kindest and most memorable people we met on our trip.
A driver accompanied him, and we explored romantic spots around the Colosseum and Borghese Gardens together for two hours – of course taking plenty of photos along the way! It had been a spectacular day, and it was only morning! We then adventured through the city of Rome, taking in the beauty of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
We ate the best arancini, explored hidden streets of Rome, and cooled off in the shade of the fountains at Piazza Navona while devouring tartufo from the spot that invented it! After visiting the Pantheon and the Spanish Steps, we took a short break to relax.
Back at the hotel, a box awaited, reading “All of Me, Loves All of You” (swoon) filled with rose petals and photos from our five years together. There were about two-hundred photos in the box (probably why his luggage was overweight) that we looked through, reminiscing and reflecting.
A delicious dinner of homemade cacio e pepe pasta served in a parmesan bowl (yes, you read that correctly!) followed at Roma Sparita. Everything was spectacular! I didn’t think that the day could get any better until seeing the Colosseum at night – WHAT A SITE! We gallivanted while drinking champagne, stopped by a club for drinks and dancing, and finished off the night with gelato at the Trevi Fountain.
Waking up the next morning, it all felt like a dream, until a sparkle of light caught my eye – the ring! I looked over at Jordan and could not feel more loved or grateful. It was the best day of our lives!
Image by Catullo Photography
A Midsummer Night’s Wedding
Exactly two years from the date of our engagement, Jordan and I are getting married on 26th May 2019 at The Grove in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.
The ambiance of our wedding will be a romantic fairy tale garden. Inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” there will be plenty of candles, greenery, and florals. The ceremony will (hopefully) be outside, and the cocktail hour, reception, and after party will follow in three different indoor spaces. We have a passion for food (both cooking and eating) and will have an extensive and unique array at our wedding.
We will be having a Jewish wedding, however, Jordan and I are not afraid to forego some traditions and make a few of our own! We will sign a ketubah, provide yarmulkes for the ceremony, recite our vows beneath a chuppah, smash the glass, and dance the hora, but are unsure if anything else will be Jew-ish.
The rabbi from our Birthright trip will be officiating, which will be very special to both Jordan and me. We hold our time in Israel with Rabbi Cohen dear to our hearts, as he officiated my Bat Mitzvah at the Western Wall, practiced morning bus-ride Shema with Jordan while wrapped in tefillin, and often joked that he would one day marry us! Religion amongst our families varies from Jewish conservative, Jewish orthodox, atheist, mixed religion-marriage, etc. which lends an interesting dynamic to our family unity.
- Venue → We have chosen the beautifully elegant The Grove in Cedar Grove, NJ.
- Photography/Cinematography → John Bacolo of Gabelli Studio will capture our special day. It is important to us to have a blend of traditional, journalistic, and candid moments, which is why we chose John.
- Band → The Hank Lane band’s Frank Simmons will entertain our guests and are sure to boost our party up a notch!
- Makeup → Lauren Vena, a highly recommended artist, will help get us ready.
- Gown → My gown is Galia Lahav – I have always admired her work and I love that she is based in Israel (I even passed by her shop when I was in Tel Aviv)! I purchased my gown at Bridal Reflections, GL’s flagship store in NYC.
My Current Wedding Priorities
My top 3 priorities before the New Year are:
- Lock in a florist → we have met with a couple of florists and are SO close to making a decision!
- Select MOH/Bridesmaid dresses → my bridal party consists of two MOHs who will wear one dress and eight bridesmaids who will wear another. Our main struggle has been finding bridesmaid dresses to complement favorite MOH dresses! My shop of choice is Bella Bridesmaids, because I love their variety of locations that offers convenience to all of my ladies.
- Book our honeymoon → contenders are Bali and Greece! I would love your thoughts and ideas on these and/or suggestions for other destinations.
What Marriage Means to Me
To me, marriage means unity of everlasting love, devotion, and partnership. It is a commitment to constantly challenge one another to develop as individual people and as a team. Above all else, it is learning to love every aspect of the other and remembering to be grateful and present through the best times and patient and devoted through the worst.
Follow our wedding journey on Instagram @theyWINNtheGOLD!
Image by Catullo Photography
Click here to read all Alexandra’s planning posts to date.
Alexandra & Jordan’s Wedding Vendors booked so far: