Who’s missing traveling right about now? Yep, thought so. Until we can get back to it, here’s the next best thing: the fabulous travel-themed Jewish wedding of Melissa, a regulatory specialist, and Adam, an account manager.
These two may have chosen to wed close to home in New Jersey, but they highlighted their love of travel with adorable touches like luggage tag escort cards, luggage used as baskets, and even a globe guest book – which Melissa and Adam now proudly display in their living room. How cool is that?! Photographer Gabelli Studio captured everything so beautifully, and we’re in love with Studio 94 Video’s moving trailer.
There are so many more wonderful details – from Melissa’s gorgeous Pronovias gown to the couple’s adorably named signature drink, The Frozen Rosen, but we’ll leave it to the bride to tell you about all of that…
How we Met
Melissa, the bride: In the spring of 2017 we both swiped right on JSwipe and had our first date at End of Elm in Morristown. On September 2nd, 2018 Adam surprised me and proposed on the top of High Point National Park in Sussex, New Jersey.
A Timeless Venue
The first venue we toured was The Park Savoy Estate located in Florham Park, New Jersey. As soon as we walked in, we knew it was perfect. The timeless mansion, gardens, and ballroom were breath taking, we couldn’t picture being married anywhere else. We had a traditional Conservative Jewish wedding ceremony in the estate’s gardens. The ceremony was presided over by Rabbi Mark Finkel from my family’s congregation
Our wedding had a summer garden theme. We also highlighted our love of travel, both for work and enjoyment, by including little travel themed details throughout the wedding. The escort cards were luggage tags, the guest book was a globe (which we have displayed in our living room), and all baskets used were different sized luggage.
We got all our save the dates, stationary and invitations through Minted. They were super helpful and easy to work with. The wedding invite was an easy and instantaneous choice as it featured a floral design that looked like a chuppah. We had received so many compliments on our invites and I am so pleased at how it all came together.
Hair + Make-up
For hair and makeup we used the amazingly talented team at Bliss Hair Salon located in Towaco, New Jersey. Because it was summer and hot out, I went with a flowing up do and a floral headpiece. All the bridesmaids wore their hair in different braided updos. Our hair and makeup inspiration was Maria Menounos.
A Pronovias Dress
I wore the Pronovias Eladia Spanish-floral lace dress with a custom neckline. It was the first dress I tried on and knew it was the one because it was so beautiful and comfortable.
The diamond and pearls earrings I wore are a family heirloom from my great-grandmother. My mother wore these earrings on her wedding day so it was very sentimental and special that I was able to also wear them on my wedding day.
For my “something blue” I wore navy blue flats during the ceremony. For the party I changed into Rifle Paper x Keds.
The handsome groom
Adam wore a navy tux from The Black Tux with a sage green tie and vest along with brown shoes.
The bridesmaids wore floor length floral gowns from Lulus and the groomsmen wore navy tuxes with sage green ties and vests to compliment the summer garden wedding.
The kiddush cups used during the ceremony were from Adam’s bar mitzvah and from my parents. My favourite part of the ceremony was circling my soon-to-be husband seven times. By circling him seven times, it symbolized that I am the foundation of our home and then when I joined Adam in the center of the chuppah, it showed that the preparations for building the home is completed by the “protective walls” I created by circling him.
During the ceremony, Rabbi Mark Finkel also told that traditionally the chupah is made of two types of wood – oak and pine. This is because a marriage should be strong like oak but also flexible like pine. This stuck with us as it showcases what a marriage truly needs.
Our Mickie Caspi ketubah and was purchased at CBL Fine Art in West Orange, NJ. We chose this one because of the beautiful artwork and that incorporated ‘Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li’
To complement the garden, our wooden chuppah was adorned with white flowers and greenery.
Our Music Choice
For the processional the wedding party walked down to ‘Ani Lo’dodi’ by Eitan Katz. My parents and I walked down to ‘Boi B’Shalom’ by Eytan. The recessional was the all-time classic Siman Tov u’Mazel Tov. As the reception began, everyone danced into ‘Acappella – Benny Benassi Remix’ by Kelis.
Our first dance was ‘That’s How Strong My Love Is’ by Otis Redding. The Father-daughter dance was to ‘Forever Young – Demo Version’ by Bob Dylan and the Mother-Son dance was to ‘Have it All’ by Jason Mraz.
Also, since we love a good hora we had our DJ do a mash up of the classic Hava Negila with ‘Hava Negila’ by Gad Elbaz, ‘Baruch Hasem’ by Zushz, Pumpidisa, Matt Dubb, and ‘L’shana Habaa’ by Leonardo Gonçalves.
Since there were so many beautiful flowers in the garden and all over the estate, I really wanted to keep the bouquets and centrepieces simple with only white flowers. We worked with Vito from The Potted Geranium Florist located in East Hanover, New Jersey.
Vito was amazing as he took our descriptions and inspiration pictures and truly created our vision for the day. We trusted in his expertise and let him take the lead on our floral arrangements. The centrepieces and chuppah turned out more beautiful than we ever could have imagined.
Photographer and videographer
Gabelli Studio is a preferred vendor at our wedding venue. We saw a lot of Gabelli’s beautiful photos online and he has the kind of landscape, bold style we enjoy. Booking John at Gabelli was an easy decision and they were great to work with.
Our wedding venue posted a highlight video on their Facebook from Studio 94 Video and I loved it. I went on their Vimeo to see what other weddings they had done and found one from Adam’s work colleague wedding. We reached out to him to ask how he liked working with Studio 94 and he could not have said anything nicer about them. We then scheduled an appointment with the owner Tim and booked shortly after. Tim’s work is truly beautiful and he did an amazing job capturing our special day.
Food and Cake
The venue worked with us to create the perfect menu for our Kosher Style wedding. During cocktail hour there were 24 passed item, chafing dishes, and numerous food stations that ranged from Mediterranean to Oriental and Thai. Everyone’s favorites were Boardwalk, NY Deli, and Fresh Mozzarella. Guests also enjoyed drinks from the martini ice luge as well as the inside and outside bars that served our signature drink The Frozen Rosen.
Dinner was a choice between chateaubriand, double roasted garlic breast of chicken, ginger glazed salmon, or an eggplant tower. After the cake cutting, a Viennese table featuring every kind of dessert was set up. One special item featured at the dessert table was chocolate, caramel, and strawberry syrups from the food manufacturing company I had worked for.
For our reception, we chose to use a DJ in order to achieve the fun, dance, party vibe we wanted. We used Bryan from White Isle Events, which is located in Elmwood Park, New Jersey. Bryan and White Isle Events were recommended to us by a co-worker who attended a wedding he was working at.
From that wedding alone, Bryan booked three other weddings, so to say he came highly recommended is an understatement. Bryan was great to work with and was super responsive. He was able to create a party atmosphere by creating a blend of classic, disco, and EDM music. Our guests spent the whole reception dancing and in true New Jersey fashion, fist pumping!
The favours were luggage tags that doubled as escort cards by Letter and Leather via Etsy.
While the men were getting ready in the “man cave” downstairs, they partook in a family tradition of taking shots of Yukon Jack. This is something that dates back to when Adam’s father and uncle were college roommates. Adam and I planned and created everything for the wedding together. We designed all the signs, fan programs, and all the special details.
We had a quick mini-moon in London. There we toured Buckingham Palace, went to the Tower of London, had tea at the Savoy Hotel, and walked all over the different neighbourhoods. This was during the High Holidays we were able to attend Rosh Hashanah services at a temple close to our hotel. It was very special spending our first Rosh Hashanah as a married couple together in Europe.
The following month for our honeymoon we took a two and a half week trip to Italy and Croatia. We flew to Venice (right before the crazy floods started) and spent two and a half days sightseeing. Then we boarded a Celebrity Cruise that stopped in different ports in Croatia, Malta, Greece, and Southern Italy. Once the ship ported we spent three days in Rome sightseeing everywhere.
Our favourite highlights were visiting Malta (which is a gorgeous hidden gem of a country), touring the Colosseum and Roman Forum, eating in a hole in the wall in Greece, seeing all the Game of Throne sites in Croatia, visiting all of the Jewish Quarters along the Dalmatian Coast, and all the gelato!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
We took all the family and wedding party photos before the ceremony, so this was especially helpful. We worked with our vendors to time everything out precisely and wound up running ahead of schedule.
I read the Smashing the Glass blog and followed all social media accounts to help get ideas for the ceremony and wedding. The Facebook group was especially helpful during the planning process. The group was even great after the wedding when my husband and I were visiting London and needed to find a synagogue to attend Rosh Hashanah services.
MELISSA & ADAM’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Gabelli Studio
Videography – Studio 94 Video
Venue – The Park Savoy Estate
Bride’s dress – Pronovias
Bride’s shoes – Keds
Bride’s accessories – KEDRflo, Yuri C
Groom’s attire – The Black Tux
Bridesmaids – Lulus
Hair + Makeup – Bliss Hair
Flowers – The Potted Geranium Florist
DJ – White Isle Events
Catering – The Park Savoy
Cake – Palermo Bakery
Ketubah – CBL Fine Art
Stationery/Invitation – Minted
Rabbi – Rabbi Mark Finkel
Wedding favors – Letter and Leather
If you’re a Jewish or Jew-ish bride-to-be, you’ll want to join Smashing The Glass’ Brides Club. Guided by the world’s number 1 Jewish wedding expert, Karen Cinnamon, Brides Club is the private community for Jewish and Jew-ish brides that removes wedstress and indecision and gives you what you need to plan with confidence during these uncertain times. Join our Brides Club here.