Today’s Jewish bride has got one of the most incredible wedding dress stories we’ve encountered yet. Her gorgeous vintage gown was worn not only by her mother, but by her grandmother and aunt too.. I mean WOW!
It’s hard to believe that Alana’s dress dates all the way back to 1949 (!) – but with some modifications, which the dress’s previous wearers kindly permitted, it’s the perfect blend of contemporary and vintage, and just the thing for an outdoor winery wedding. You’ve got to check out all the lovely details in Nightingale Photography’s pics.
Alana, a customer success manager, and Ben, a landscape architect, initially planned on renting their synagogue’s chuppah, but it turned out it was broken and out of commission! This setback turned out to be a blessing in disguise, since it prompted Ben to build one from scratch – and it turned out just tremendously. We love the modern design, and those flowers in the corners? Perfection!
Now over to Alana for the rest of their gorgeous Jewish wedding story…
How we met
Alana, the bride: We met online on Jdate!
A Winery Venue
We got married at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, CA. We were looking for a winery and once we toured Wente, we loved the outdoor space and the food was fantastic!
A Laid-Back Day
We didn’t have a wedding planner apart from the venue coordinator. The colors were centered around light pink/blush and off-white to match my vintage dress. We didn’t choose a particular theme but wanted to embrace the outdoor winery setting and not make anything too formal.
An Heirloom Dress
I wore my maternal grandmother’s dress from 1949. It is very meaningful as my grandmother, mother, and aunt were all married in the same dress! I was lucky that they let me modify it a bit. We took in the waist, removed the long satin sleeves (too hot for an August wedding!), added beading on the top, and added a v-neck in the back. However, I think the dress is still very similar as we kept the skirt, lace detail, and most of the structure. I was so lucky that our seamstress was amazing; once I put on the dress for the wedding day I felt incredible and the fit was perfect!
I wore earrings (pearl and gold) that my mother had purchased many years ago in Florence, Italy. I also wore an art-deco bracelet of emerald and diamond that belonged to my maternal grandmother. My hair piece with flowers on it was purchased from our seamstress, as well as the veil – they matched the dress so perfectly!
J. Crew Shoes
I wore gold shoes from J.Crew.
A Homemade Chuppah
Ben built our chuppah from scratch. I had called the synagogue to rent theirs, and it was broken! We thought about renting elsewhere, but all the rentals were very expensive. Ben did an amazing job putting together the wood, staining it, and adding a spot to place the flowers. I was very impressed!
A Meaningful Ceremony
My favorite part of the ceremony was our personal vows. I also loved that we both did 3 circles around each other and one together, instead of the bride doing 7 circles around the groom.
We loved including popular Persian songs for Ben’s family (all Persian). There is a great tradition, where you play a specific Persian song and everyone throws flower petals at the bride and groom. It was so much fun!
Bringing the Rabbi Out of Retirement
We were lucky to have Rabbi Chester agree to officiate our ceremony even though he is retired. I used to attend the synagogue where he was the senior rabbi, and we loved how he included personal tidbits about us as a couple in the ceremony, and made it feel unique and special, while incorporating all the normal Jewish traditions.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
As soon as I handed off the wedding binder to our venue’s coordinator, I felt I could finally relax! I was confident they would execute the details perfectly. I was able to enjoy a full Saturday wine tasting with family before the wedding on Sunday.
Alana & Ben’s little white book
Photography – Nightingale Photography
Venue – Wente Vineyards
Bride’s shoes – J.Crew
Bridesmaids – purchased at Bella Bridesmaids
Hair + Makeup – Huntress and Eliza Desch Makeup and Hair
Flowers – The Flower House
DJ and Photo booth – Verducci Event Productions