We are absolutely and unequivocally in love with today’s gorgeous outdoor Jewish wedding. The garden chuppah, the California vibes, the perfect summer light… just WOW. Miki and Sonja Photography captured it all SO perfectly, and videographer Stavro Productions made such a moving recording.
But this awesome celebration was about so much more than the magnificent surroundings. Lisa, a therapist who works with Holocaust survivors in addition to running her own concierge practice, FeelingConfidential, and Alexander, a personal injury attorney, also made sure their big day was full of unique personal touches.
For instance, we love how the duo designed their ceremony programs to be folded into fans, so that guests could use them to keep cool during the outdoor ceremony.
And how sweet is it that Lisa recorded herself reciting a blessing, and then arranged to have it played while guests (and the groom, of course) were waiting for her to walk down the aisle?!
Now over to beautiful Lisa, who looked like an absolute modern day princess in her gorgeous Vera Wang…
How We Met
Lisa, the bride: Although we both lived in NYC at the same time, lived in Israel at the same time, and attended various parties and events over the last 10 years, we had never met.
3 years ago Lisa was living in Los Angeles, and Alex in his hometown of Las Vegas. My best friend and Alex’s best friend set us up the old fashioned way. We went on our first date in Las Vegas on the strip… the date lasted 7 hours 🙂
Flash forward a few months later, Alex knew he couldn’t take the LA girl out of LA, so he quit his job, passed the CA state bar, and started anew in LA to be with me. The ultimate sacrifice for love 🙂
An Outdoor Wedding
Alex and I got married at a spectacularly beautiful wedding venue called The Vineyards in Simi Valley. It is a magical outdoor vineyard and garden venue filled with natural beauty all around.
Nestled along the hills of Simi Valley, the venue offered a picturesque setting for our elegant, intimate wedding. The outdoor patios, gardens, and waterfalls created a magnificently beautiful setting for our wedding.
Alex’s tisch was held in the stargaze room, and my badeken was held in the all white romantic indoor room (with a waterfall behind me). After the guests enjoyed their cocktails and shmorg food, they were escorted down an outdoor romantically lit pathway filled with large gorgeous trees, twinkle lights, and waterfalls until they came to the magically adorned garden where our chuppah took place.
Both of us being lovers of wine and mountains, this venue seemed like the most perfect mix of what the two of us love.
Cream and Blush
I planned the entire wedding from start to finish 🙂 We really wanted an intimate wedding where we knew by name every guest that attended. Because the venue was so naturally beautiful, I had the bridal party wear all types of dresses/tuxes in the blush family.
Our wedding was in the summer in Simi Valley so keeping it a summer vibe was important to us. The florals for the chuppah, badeken, and all indoor centerpieces were kept in line with the cream and blush colors. (I did have a day of wedding coordinator as well, Erin Braggason.)
Hair + Makeup
Cindy Hernandez did both of my hairstyles… Cindy has been doing hair for all the women in my family for years 🙂
Pamela Brogardi did my makeup and she transformed me, haha!
A Vera Wang Dress
I wore the Vera Wang Esther dress and felt like an absolute modern day princess in it!
I added a sheer bolero and sash for the ceremony (for religious observance) and then took the top covering off for the rest of the wedding.
As soon as I tried on this dress, I cried and felt an overwhelming sense of being a bride. It was the perfect balance of being elegant, sexy, and princess-like all at the same time.
A Cathedral-Length Veil
I wore a Vera Wang cathedral-length lace veil that took my husband’s breath away. I circled Alex under the chuppah seven times. It was quite a challenge to get around him that many times with my 12-foot veil 🙂 But it was regal.
Bridesmaids in Blush
I had 12 bridesmaids! I love my girlfriends 🙂
All the women come in different shapes and sizes so I had them all pick their own dresses to wear. I asked that they all keep the blush color scheme. It was a beautiful array of different shades of blush to match with the flowers and nature surrounding us.
The groomsmen wore sleek black tuxedos with blush bow ties and corsages.
Our bridal party was absolutely incredible, took care of Alex and me the entire day, and brought the most amazing energy to the party.
A Spiritual Ceremony
Our ceremony was the most spiritual experience of both of our lives. I surprised Alex with a pre-recorded blessing with my own voice. As all the guests waited for me to begin walking down the aisle, my recorded blessing played to the instrumental background of A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. Alex definitely shed some tears 🙂
During the badeken, when my father blessed me, I broke down into tears with him. There is something so emotionally charged in that moment.
An Israeli Ketubah
Our ketubah was bought on Etsy but designed by a female Jewish artist in Jerusalem, Israel. We wanted to incorporate the Land of Israel into our ceremony, and we very much did! Not only was the ketubah painted in Israel by an Israeli artist, but it has the city of Jerusalem on the bottom rim.
We had a total mix of songs played at our wedding. For the cocktail hour/badeken we had the violinist and saxophonist play Hebrew and English instrumental music. We had a very traditional Jewish wedding with all the traditional Jewish Ashkenaz songs played.
For the ceremony we mixed traditional Jewish songs with contemporary secular music that we liked.
For the reception we had everything from the hora to Israeli middle eastern music to John Legend and the cha-cha slide.
During reception, my dad and I danced our “father daughter” dance to My Girl.
Miki and Sonja Photography was an absolute blast to work with and we now have the most amazing photos because of them!
Our videographer team (Stavro Productions) was also incredible, using a drone and six cameramen to capture every angle of our amazing day.
Program that Doubled as Fans
I designed our ceremony programs to be made into a fan so that guests could fan themselves during the outdoor ceremony 🙂
We also gave out personalized L&A water bottles as a special touch.
A Moving Speech
Alex made a beautiful speech about destiny and the concept of “meant to be.” He spoke about how he and I had been in the same places over the past 10 years but had never met, until it was time to meet.
A Honeymoon in Italy
We went on a minimoon a few days after the wedding to Cabo San Lucas to just SLEEP and relax 🙂
This past May we planned a two-week unbelievable romantic honeymoon all over Italy. It was my first time ever in Italy… I was saving it for my honeymoon! We traveled to Rome, Venice, Florence, Siena, Tuscany Region, and the Amalfi Coast.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
I know many people say this but truly: the day goes by so quickly. Enjoy EVERY SINGLE moment 🙂 The spirit, energy, and love is what truly makes a wedding, so don’t stress about the detailed touches… those are just icing on the cake!
The only thing we would have changed about our wedding is that we wished it could have gone on for many more days! That’s how much we enjoyed it 🙂
Lisa & Alexander’s little white book
Photography – Miki and Sonja Photography
Videography – Stavro Productions
Venue – The Vineyards
Bride’s dress and veil – Vera Wang
Bride’s shoes – Badgley Mischka
Makeup – Pamela Brogardi
Ketubah – Etsy