This gorgeous Jewish wedding is just the absolute essence of summer. Between the idyllic lakefront setting, the soft pastel color scheme ranging through everything from the lovely bridesmaid dresses to the romantic papercut ketubah from Smashing the Glass Recommended Vendor Ketubah.com to the gorgeous in-season blooms — we’re pretty smitten with this one.
We love that Emelia, a 4th-grade teacher, and Jon, an engineer, took full advantage of their July wedding date. This wedding is positively bursting with roses, peonies, and hydrangeas — some of our summertime faves — and Shaina Lee Photography and videographer Mark Holst from Your Event Matters captured that summer sunlight exquisitely.
This duo also had a fantastic hora — no mean feat considering that Emelia converted and few members of her family had never so much as attended a Jewish wedding before! After a bit of initial confusion, Jon’s family and the couple’s friends showed them the ropes, and pretty soon everyone was joining in and having a blast.
So if you’re planning a wedding where, for whatever reason, the bulk of your guests may not be familiar with Jewish wedding customs — don’t worry! The moral of this very happy story is that Israeli dancing is easy to pick up and pretty much universally enjoyed.
Now over to Emelia, who struck the perfect balance between refined elegance and laid-back summer style in her strapless lace Stella York gown…
How We Met
Emelia, the bride: We went to the same college, had many mutual friends (including Jon’s sister, who was in my sorority!) but didn’t meet until a few years after we graduated – on JDate!
A Wedding on the Water
We got married at The Waterview in Monroe, CT. We chose it because we wanted to be near the water and it is located on a beautiful lake. We also knew that we wanted to do our ceremony and reception at the same place, and The Waterview offers this option.
We really liked that we could do our ceremony outside and then move inside (out of the July heat!) for the cocktail hour and reception. Finally we knew the amazing staff would help us have the most beautiful, stress-free day! They truly went above and beyond to make our day perfect.
We really wanted our day to be romantic, elegant, and classic. We chose the colors blush pink and navy, with pops of gold (since our last name is Goldman). We did not use a wedding planner.
We wanted our invitation to match the rest of our wedding style – classic, romantic, and elegant. We went with a very simple (budget friendly!) design that matched the aesthetic perfectly.
Hair + Makeup
I used Belle Noelle Beauty from Branford, CT, for hair and makeup. Our photographer recommended her because they have worked together many times before. Kiki was amazing and really helped my vision come to life. I felt so beautiful all day long!
A Stella York Dress
My dress was from The Wedding Embassy in Watertown, CT. It was a Stella York A-line, strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. I knew that, again, I wanted something classic and romantic. I also wanted something flowy with lace. There wasn’t anything that made me realize it was the one, I just had a feeling when I put it on. My sister and a friend were with me when I found it and they said my face lit up when I saw myself in it.
My jewelry was a bracelet from Etsy and earrings from Macy’s. The earrings were a teardrop/pear shape. I got them because I liked how classic they looked. I opted to wear a tie-in jeweled headband so that I would still have something in my hair when the veil came out. That was also from Etsy. The veil I wore was from the same place I got my dress.
Jack Rogers Shoes
I saw a pair of gold monogrammed Jack Rogers during one of my many Pinterest searches and knew I had to have them! My mom got them for me and I wore them as my wedding shoes. They were so comfortable and definitely one of my favorite pieces from the day!
The handsome groom
Jon wore a navy tux from Men’s Wearhouse. I wanted him to wear a champagne-colored tie to set him apart from his groomsmen – who were all wearing blush pink ties. At first he didn’t think it would look good but when he saw everything together he loved it! The tie was from Macy’s.
However my favorite part of Jon’s outfit was the custom cufflinks I had made for him. One has a picture with a map of our town, the other says “Our First Home. I love you always. – Me.” He also wore a simple yarmulke that we found on Etsy.
Bridesmaids in Blush
I had 4 bridesmaids. They wore long, flowy blush pink chiffon dresses from Azazie that worked perfectly with our aesthetic. I told them the color and the fabric, but let them choose a style that they felt comfortable in!
An Heirloom Ring
We used Jon’s paternal grandmother’s wedding ring to get married, since mine has stones in it. This was easily the most sentimental touch of our ceremony. Besides this, we also used two kiddush cups – Jon drank out of the one from his bar mitzvah, while I used a new one that we received as a gift that we will continue to use in our home. My favorite part of the ceremony was definitely the badeken during the ketubah signing, but also exchanging rings.
A Papercut Ketubah
The DJ played lots of popular songs! We didn’t want anything to “old.” The bridesmaids and Jon walked down to Storybook Love by the Vitamin String Quartet (the theme song from The Princess Bride). I walked down to The Piano Guys’ version of A Thousand Years. Our recessional was On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons and our first dance was Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk.
Learning the Hora
One of our favorite parts of the day was when we did the hora. Since I converted, no one in my (very large) family is Jewish and only a handful of them had ever even been to a Jewish wedding before. When the hora started, almost no one from my side of the family (which was over half the guests!) knew what to do!! We had to rely on our friends and Jon’s side of the family to teach them. They caught on quickly and it was a blast!
Just like with everything else, I wanted our flowers to be romantic, flowy, airy, and organic. I asked our florist to use in-season blooms to keep the cost affordable. She used lots of big garden roses, and two of my favorites – hydrangeas and peonies. There was also lots of greenery. Our florist was Justine Johnson, the owner of Flowers by Justine.
Our fabulous photographer and videographer
Our photographer was Shaina Lee Photography. I found her on Instagram and immediately fell in love with her classic, romantic, elegant style. We had a conversation on the phone and I decided less than an hour later that I wanted to use her! She was so warm and open and made us feel so comfortable. Beyond this she was very knowledgeable and professional. We love every single image she sent of our day!
We also used a videographer – Mark Holst from Your Event Matters.
The cake was made by the pastry chef at our venue (The Waterview takes care of all catering as well)! We went with a funfetti cake with chocolate mousse filling. We chose this because it has always been my favorite kind of cake/frosting combination! Also because it’s fun (and yummy!).
A DJ and Live Music
We chose a DJ because we like the variety of music they can provide. We went with Dave from Spin Doctor Entertainment. We also had Jon’s sister’s fiancà©, Sheen Righter, play live music during our cocktail hour! He is such a talented musician and we were so happy to include him in our day in that way!
We wanted a favor that wouldn’t just be thrown away or shoved on a shelf. We had warm cookies for our guests to take as they left!
A Hawaiian Honeymoon
We went to Maui, Hawaii for our honeymoon. We chose it because we have both always wanted to go and figured this would be the best time to do it!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Try to find a venue with an on-site coordinator if you are not having a wedding planner. Ours, along with the two bridal attendants the venue provided, made our day completely, absolutely stress-free. We knew they would take care of the set up, break down, and everything in between, and it took SO much pressure off us and really let us enjoy the day!
Also, remember that it’s just one day. The important part is that you are marrying the person you love! Nothing is worth the stress! Go with the flow and remember things happen for a reason.
Emelia & Jon’s little white book
Photography – Shaina Lee Photography
Ketubah – Ketubah.com
Videography – Your Event Matters
Venue – The Waterview
Bride’s dress – Stella York purchased at The Wedding Embassy
Bride’s shoes – Jack Rogers
Bride’s accessories – The Ivory Willow Co and Givenchy purchased at Macy’s
Groom’s attire – Men’s Wearhouse, Joseph Abboud and A. Jaffe
Bridesmaids – Azazie
Hair + Makeup – Belle Noelle Beauty
Flowers – Flowers by Justine
Musician – Sheen Righter
DJ – Spin Doctor Entertainment
Yamulke – Design Kippah
Invitations – Aceti Design Co
Rings – Becker’s Jewelers
Rabbi – Rabbi Kari Tuling