Can you believe it’s Erev Passover this evening? How did that happen already?! And what are you doing for seder night tonight? I’ve just arrived home from 10 days in Israel on a family holiday, and heading to my in-laws in South London for our Erev Seder (I’ll be sharing snippets from our evening over on our Instagram Stories!)
And onto today’s gorgeous Texan interfaith Jewish wedding: Rachel, who works in marketing at Microsoft, and Joshua, an entrepreneur and founder of Standout Authority (#isntsheloveLEEatx), crafted a very special wedding reflecting the merging of their two backgrounds.
The couple had a totally gorgeous chuppah that perfectly combined tradition and modernity in some unexpected but beautiful ways – which Rachel felt was especially fitting in light of the pair’s interfaith relationship (she’s Jewish, he isn’t). Between the gold base, white drapery, and asymmetrical florals, they absolutely succeeded in their goal to come up with something just a little bit different – a perfect reflection of the new chapter of their lives marked by this wonderful celebration.
From the dramatic autumnal jewel tones to the emotion and love, photographer Misty Mclendon and videographer Lauren Maria did such a fantastic job capturing all the moments of this meaningful day.
We love what these two did for their “guest book”: they had a beautiful drawing of a tree and had their guests “leaf a thumbprint” to sign! Now, instead of a book that rarely gets opened, they have a unique piece of art to display in their home. Another great touch? Rachel and Joshua left a box for people to share their bucket list ideas!
Also, how cool is it that the rabbi wore cowboy boots? Doesn’t get much more Texas than that!
We’ll leave it to the bride – who looked so elegant in her Daalarna Couture gown – to fill you in on the rest… Oh, and before we go, Team STG wishes you a very happy Passover, however you’re celebrating!
An Austin Wedding
Rachel, the bride: Joshua and I got married at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas. We wanted a venue that was in Austin, not too far from the center of the city since we wanted to show our out-of-town family and friends what the city is all about.
We had seen about 5 places before going to the Hotel Ella and the second we saw the room, we knew it was it. We loved the mix of old and new – the colonial feel of the boutique hotel with the eclectic and modern design inside. It really represented our classic and modern attitude with Rachel being from Los Angeles and Joshua being from Texas.
We had a fall wedding so I wanted a modern feel using jewel tones and gold pieces. Eclipse Events helped me plan and were awesome. The Hotel Ella has so much charm without anything, so I really wanted to amplify the beauty and colors already there.
A Daalarna Couture Dress
My dress was from Serendipity Bridal and designed by Daalarna Couture. The dress was elegant and glamourous with a low sheer back enclosed by 20+ buttons and a deep front neck. I knew the dress was the one when I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted something that was sleek and modern given the venue and fall wedding vibe and this back delivered!
I borrowed a J. Crew hair piece from my matron of honor that she wore at her wedding in Chicago. I also wore my grandmother’s antique ruby and gold ring from the early 1900s and my mothers diamond tennis bracelets. It was really special to have a piece of these important ladies on me throughout the wedding day.
Badgley Mischka Shoes
I wore wedge, open toed, off white Badgley Mischka shoes that I bought from Nordstrom and looked awesome. I knew I was walking on grass for the ceremony so I needed something comfortable plus I wanted something I could dance the night away in. These did the trick!
Hair + Makeup
My dress was sexy and modern with a low back and front, so I knew I wanted my hair up to showcase the dress and my features. I went with a low romantic bun to the side that wasn’t too structured and a bold wine lip to balance the glam with some class. Jenny from Kara Sanchez Beauty did it and was amazing. My color theme was jewel tones with gold, navy, dark green, burgundy, white and wine, so the lip looked incredible with my bouquet. I love makeup and wear bold lips often, so it felt like Rachel.
The handsome groom
Joshua wore a custom blue suite from the Suit Supply with a white shirt and burgundy tie to bring in our color scheme. He completely surprised me by creating a custom silk lining inside his suit jacket, using our engagement photos. When he opened his suit jacket during our first look, I was completely in shock. It was one of the sweetest and craziest things he’s ever done for me.
Bridesmaids in Jenny Yoo
I had 5 bridesmaids and 1 bridesman. They wore Jenny Yoo dresses in Caspian Sea. I loved this color so so much. It went with the fall wedding and jewel tone theme and wasn’t a typical color I saw brides use.
A Modern Chuppah
With a modern fall wedding, I wanted a little something different and loved the asymmetrical design and gold chuppah with white drapery. It was a perfect balance of tradition and new, since Joshua isn’t Jewish and we were creating a new chapter.
My 2 close friends played the processional music during the ceremony. They sang and played violin and guitar, and learned special songs just for us. The processional walked to Of Monsters and Men, ‘Love Love Love’, and I walked down to Latch by Disclosure, which is my favorite group and all time favorite song. It was incredible.
As we left, they played ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ by Stevie Wonder which tied to our hashtag #isntsheloveLEE. We also had family members from both sides recite the 7 blessings which we loved. And our ketubah was absolutely gorgeous and designed by Once Upon a Paper. Two incredibly important people who have been in each of our lives forever signed it.
Photographer and videographer
Misty Mclendon did our photography and Lauren Maria did our video. Both were amazing. I wanted our photos to be more dramatic with the fall look and feel and really pop, which is why I loved Misty’s work. With Lauren, she just has a way to capture the love in such a real, beautiful way and it really showed!
Chocolate and Vanilla Cake
Our cake was from Polkadots and had two types of flavors: vanilla cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate chips in the mousse and then a ding dong kind of chocolate cake with vanilla filling. SO good. Joshua is a huge superhero fan and wanted the cake to be half superhero. Of course I wanted a modern clean look with gold and blues so we compromised by having a Deadpool character coming out of the bottom. It was pretty memorable.
Cap City Band was amazing. My top priority above all else was dancing and they did exactly what I wanted. They played a mix of old and new and had the crowed bumping all night long!
For our engagement photos we went to various murals and special spots in Austin. One of the most well-known spots is You’re my Butter Half, and we used a photo from there for our Save The Date. To carry that idea through, we had Hayley Cakes and Cookies made You’re my Butter Half cookies.
Leaf a thumbprint
We had a drawing of a tree as our guest book and had people “leaf a thumbprint” as their way of signing in. It’s now hanging in our house and is such a cool way to remember our day. We also had a box for people to share their bucket list ideas that was really fun to look at afterwards.
Honeymoon in Italy
Joshua and I went to the Hyatt Ziva in Cancun for a mini-moon after the wedding and loved it. We are planning a longer honeymoon for the spring in southern Italy!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Having great people in your wedding party made my day so special. When I got nervous or needed some help, they had my back every moment and made me feel calm. Also having a wedding planner is essential to not worrying as much; you’re still going to worry when you’re super involved and planned for so long, but at some point you just let go and have fun. All of the small mistakes aren’t remembered so you have to take it all in and enjoy the process!
Rachel & Joshua’s little white book
Photography – Misty Mclendon Photography
Videography – Lauren Maria Films
Wedding planner – Eclipse Event Co.
Venue – Hotel Ella
Bride’s dress – Daalarna Couture found and fitted at Serendipity Bridal
Bride’s accessories – J. Crew
Bride’s shoes – Badgley Mischka purchased at Nordstrom
Groom’s attire – Suit Supply
Bridesmaids – Jenny Yoo
Hair + Makeup – Jenny from Kara Sanchez Beauty
Band – Cap City Band
Flowers – The Bloom Bar
Cake – Polkadots Cupcake Factory
Ketubah – Once Upon a Paper
Favours – Hayley Cakes and Cookies
Linens – Premiere Events
Chuppah rental – Mancino Iron
Photobooth – Pixter
Hotel – Hyatt Ziva
Rabbi-Cantor Robbi Sherwin says
As Rachel and Josh’s Rabbi (and Cantor!), it was so much fun to work with them for a year! As I do weddings all over the world, I loved being at home in Austin, which meant many in-person meetings. We really formed a very close bond, as I am proud to do with all my couples- To me, the rabbi is helping create a new life
together , not just a moment in time. (And yes, I always wear boots!) Warmly, Rabbi Cantor Robbi Sherwin, firstname.lastname@example.org.