Combining Jewish tradition with your own 21st-century style isn’t always easy. That’s one of the reasons Smashing The Glass was founded. So we’re always excited to see couples finding creative ways to merge their contemporary lives with Judaism’s beautiful, if sometimes baffling, traditions.
Today’s couple, a Leigh, middle-school teacher and Ian, an attorney, did SUCH an amazing job of it with their Jewish wedding. Their wedding, at super cool Greenpoint Loft in the trendy Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood by the same name, exudes contemporary cool at the same time as it embraces tradition.
The couple found a kosher caterer able to provide a fun, of-the-moment menu featuring herb and bitters infused cocktails, bao buns, and chicken and waffles. And their music? This duo had a cantor, a klezmer band, AND a DJ to play all their favorite current hits.
Their understated, nature-inspired chuppah, wrapped in greenery with some accent florals, is totally Brooklyn chic, too—and guests got to watch the sun set over Manhattan through the windows behind the couple during the ceremony!
We also adore Leigh and Ian’s playful approach to the day – you’ve GOT to check out their impromptu Oktoberfest photo shoot, brilliantly captured by Unique Lapin Photography. And you won’t want to miss the super fun story of how it all came about.
How We Met
Leigh, the bride: Although we usually don’t admit it, we met on a dating app, way before they became the dating “norm” that they are today!
A Brooklyn Wedding
Our wedding was at Greenpoint Loft, a pre-war rope factory on the Brooklyn waterfront that had a major “wow” factor for friends and family who were used to more traditional wedding settings. We live locally and spend a lot of time in the area, so it was perfect for us. We had our badeken, ceremony, cocktail hour, and party all in the same space, which took a lot of interesting and creative planning.
Jewish Soul, Brooklyn Style
Everything about our wedding was a unique combination of Jewish tradition and Brooklyn style. We had a klezmer band and cantor for our cocktail hour and ceremony, but an amazing DJ from 74 Events who played our favorites for the party. We found a caterer (Marcey Brownstein Catering) who created a fun, modern menu that included options like herb and bitters infused cocktails, bao buns, and chicken and waffles. Both of us are huge coffee fanatics and travel all around the city (and country) for our fix, so our wedding favors were small bags of our favorite beans and Brooklyn tea that we put together ourselves.
As for decor, we wanted to highlight the natural beauty of the space as much as possible. We opted for long tables with off-white tablecloths and wooden chairs. Our tablescape included votive candles and seasonal flowers – deep berries, light pinks, and greenery. We brought the outdoors in with greenery installations hanging from the ceiling, from iron chandeliers, and inside the chuppah.
We used a great day-of-coordinator, Ashley Chamblin, who met with us several times before the big day. Our caterer was amazing and went above and beyond to make us happy every step of the way!
Hair + Makeup
Margie of Truly Happy Beauty did hair and makeup for all of the ladies! I initially was set to wear my hair up and ultimately decided that it didn’t feel like “me” when I looked in the mirror. At the last minute, I opted to wear my hair loose and to the side to highlight the dress’s unique back.
As for makeup, I hardly wear any in my day-to-day life, so it was important to me to look as natural as possible. My makeup artist listened to exactly what I wanted and perfected that look.
A Monique Lhuillier Dress
I was looking for a romantic, long-sleeved lace dress to fit our late-fall wedding weather and venue. The dress that I ultimately picked was a Monique Lhuillier from Kleinfeld. It was only the 4th or so dress that I tried on.
As for jewelry, I was lucky enough to borrow stunning diamond cluster earrings from Verstolo to complete my look.
J. Crew Kitten Heels
I am very much not a “shoe” person and comfort was important to me. As all of my friends and family know, my entire wardrobe is J. Crew, so I knew that I had to somehow include their brand on my wedding day and luckily, I found the perfect chic kitten heel that fit both of my requirements.
The handsome groom
Bridesmaids in Jenny Yoo
My bridesmaids wore flowy Jenny Yoo gowns in a deep berry color that matched the décor of our wedding. They selected any style that worked best for them and wore their own shoes and jewelry.
A Floral Chuppah
During our ceremony, we were lucky enough to have an incredible klezmer band and cantor alongside our rabbi. Our florist (August, Sage and Violet) created what felt like a beautiful, romantic garden as we stood underneath it. It was made from simple wood, greenery, and lush florals. The sun set over Manhattan through the windows behind us during the ceremony.
Bringing the Outdoors In
We wanted to highlight the natural beauty of the space as much as possible. We opted for long tables with off-white tablecloths and wooden chairs (Broadway Party Rentals).
Our centerpieces (designed by August, Sage and Violet) included votive candles and seasonal flowers – deep berries, light pinks, and greenery. We brought the outdoors in with greenery installations hanging from the ceiling, from iron chandeliers, and inside the chuppah.
In addition to chandeliers, our lighting designer filled the space with warm string lights and amber up-lighting (Universal Light and Sound).
Our fabulous photographer
We picked Unique Lapin Photography because we simply loved her past work – and her! She was a blast to work with, made us comfortable, and captured some very “real” moments. We never felt like we had to pose throughout the night. She just caught everyone having fun.
She utilized the incredible Brooklyn street art and factory as a backdrop. Additionally, she didn’t shy away from unique opportunities for awesome photos. As we were outside taking photos, we found out that there was an Oktoberfest event happening next door, who ultimately invited us in to have a beer and dance with them before our ceremony! It was definitely one of the funniest moments of our wedding… hours before the wedding began!
We decided not to have a cake since our wedding was dairy-free, so instead, our caterer created some delicious mini desserts (apple cobbler, donut holes, sorbet cones) that were a big hit! For some “extra” late-night sweets, we brought in some of our favorite dairy-free cookies from By The Way Bakery.
Our caterer was outstanding in terms of both food and service. They nailed exactly what we were looking for. They infused the flavors and scents of fall into all of our cocktails and dishes, including ingredients like apples, squash, and pumpkin.
Klezmer, Cantor, DJ
We had a klezmer band and an incredibly talented cantor, Yaakov Lemmer, for our ceremony and a DJ (74 Events) for the rest of the party. We wanted a mix of tradition and modern entertainment. All three were so different and equally special.
Both of us are huge coffee fanatics and travel all around the city (and country) for our fix, so our wedding favors were small bags of our favorite beans and tea that we put together ourselves.
Inspired by Pinterest
We made our own seating chart (courtesy of Pinterest)! We purchased old windows, super glue, twine, and clothespins, and within minutes, had a really cool handmade piece that would have cost hundreds otherwise.
One of the parts of our wedding that was truly special was our “entrance” back into the room for dinner. Unbeknownst to us, our brothers and sisters made and purchased tons of crazy “props” to welcome us in such as signs, huge blow up pencils/crayons (I’m a teacher), and Giants banners and jerseys!
A Delayed Honeymoon
We went on our honeymoon almost a year after our wedding! We wanted to really take the time to not only get away for a while, but also enjoy the planning of the trip, which we really were not able to do while planning a wedding too. We decided to go to Morocco, Spain, and Portugal and had the best time!
Leigh & Ian’s little white book
Photography – Unique Lapin Photography
Venue – Greenpoint Loft
Wedding planner – Ashley Chamblin
Bride’s dress – Monique Lhuillier purchased at Kleinfeld
Bride’s accessories – Verstolo and Vera Wang
Bride’s shoes – J. Crew
Groom’s attire – Enzo Custom Clothiers, Cego Custom Shirtmaker, Crockett Jones and Drake’s
Bridesmaids – Jenny Yoo
Hair + Makeup – Truly Happy Beauty
Flowers – August, Sage and Violet
Catering – Marcey Brownstein Catering
Desserts – By The Way Bakery
Klezmer Band –Litvakus Klezmer Band
DJ – 74 Events
Lighting – Universal Light and Sound
Rentals – Broadway Party Rentals
Invitations – Lion in the Sun
Ketubah – Jennifer Raichman