Like lots of 2020 couples, Eunice, a Brazilian criminal lawyer, and Louis, a Dutch mathematician (who met in Hebrew class in Bremen, Germany!) had a very different wedding than the one they’d originally planned. However, in their case it wasn’t due to the pandemic: tragically, Louis’s father, Theo, was diagnosed with terminal cancer this year. Getting married without him there was, in the bride’s words, “not an option,” and so the couple shifted their plans from a June 2021 beach wedding in the Netherlands to a local affair close to home in Bremen in September 2020.
It wasn’t easy – not least since, due to COVID, only Eunice’s mother was able to make it to the wedding from Brazil – but Eunice and Louis managed to plan the most incredibly beautiful, joyous day with Theo present to bless them, deliver an ultra-moving speech, and even dance with them in his wheelchair. It was incredibly bittersweet – Theo passed away just three days after the chuppah – but the couple were so grateful to have him present, and for the way their photography and videography team, made up of Sabine Lange and her sister Beate of Photo Lauricella, managed to capture not only the love and happiness of the day but also the sorrow of the pair’s impending loss.
Every so often, we come across a wedding that really shows us what it’s all about – and this was most certainly one of them. In Eunice’s words:
I honestly can say it was the best day of my life. I can’t say it was the setting I dreamed, but it was the setting I needed to grow and to become a stronger woman and closer to G’d. For that I’m grateful.
Read on for more wisdom from this wonderful bride.
How we met
Eunice the bride: We met while trying to improve our Hebrew. We ended up signing up for the same class at the university of Bremen, where we met, live and got married.
Change of Plans
We got married at Dorint Park Hotel in Bremen. At first, our plan was to have a beach wedding in the Netherlands on the 25th of June 2021. However, my father-in-law, Theo Z’l, was diagnosed with terminal cancer (just a year after my mother-in-law passed away). We didn’t have much time and not having him around was not an option. He was the one that was walking me to the chuppah.
We had to push our wedding forward twice because Theo’s condition ended up progressing quicker than expected. We ended up getting married on the 11th of September. With the pandemic, Eunice unfortunately couldn’t have guests coming from Brazil aside from her mom. Fortunately a few friends and family were also living in Europe and were able to make it.
A Fab Planner
We had a marvellous wedding planner, Anja Huemer. She was a true rock star dealing with our many change of plans and difficulties with Theo’s health. We wanted a timeless, minimalistic, and romantic decoration.
Louis designed our invitations himself. We only had time to send them out online. Our beautiful stationary was made by Tuell & Tassel. We had a beautiful flowery menu and a wedding program for those who were not familiar with a Jewish wedding.
Hair + Make-up
I have curly hair that I absolute LOVE. So I wanted to be true to myself. Other than that I wanted a very natural look. Makeup Visions was the perfect choice.
An Alexandra Grecco Dress
I found my dress at Wild at Heart Bridal in the Netherlands and the designer was Alexandra Grecco from New York. I am a real life woman with a real life body. As a Latina living in Europe, I was really worried I wouldn’t find a gown that would honor my curves and yet made me feel comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to wear something classy, timeless and effortlessly chic. Minimalistic. And I’m obsessed with flowers so that should be a part of it as well.
It turns out my Sabine gown was the perfect match. The fabric was absolutely amazing and it hugged my body in all the right places. The design was so incredibly elegant. It was the second dress I saw (it was an online appointment) and the ONLY dressed I tried it on.
My father-in-law was still able to make it to my first appointment in person to try out the dress. He was the one that had the idea of us adding a small delicate belt. That was really special for me.
The jewellery I wore were a gift from both my mom and my grandmother. Pearl and diamond earrings and a delicate matching Magen David.
Beautiful skyscrapers I found at Zalando.
The handsome groom
Louis had an Italian tailor-made suit from Salvatore Vacerra in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. We picked every small detail together with my father-in-law. It was a really nice process because I honestly had no idea how many details a suit entailed. He was absolutely gorgeous. The blue was just right to highlight his eyes.
We had a beautiful inclusive and egalitarian ceremony. Our chazan, Jalda Rebling was a marvelous spiritual guide throughout our process. I think my favourite part, aside from smashing the glass, of course, was to walk to the chuppah with all my guests singing. Jalda planned, as a surprise for us, that every guest sang a small excerpt from the Song of Songs.
Our ketubah was absolutely amazing. We wrote the text ourselves alongside and with the guidance of Jalda. It was a very special process and I’m really glad we didn’t chose the traditional text. Nothing about the circumstances of our wedding was traditional or “normal”. It takes a lot of faith in each other to decide to celebrate love and life despite all our losses.
Our Ketubah was designed by Anna Adam, Jalda’s wife and a marvellous artist based in Berlin. It was also an interesting process, because the final art was a surprise for us. We only gave her some references. I could not be happier
I did a lot of research on Smashing the Glass, to be honest. I wanted something simple and very minimalistic. I was incredibly happy with the result.
We had a Klezmer Band band that played on the reception and also a wonderful Horah. Later a DJ with many Latin, pop, and classic hits.
The main choice was eucalyptus leaves that we chose to match with white and a slightly pinkish flowers. Sarah Shütte from Stilvoll was my angel in all things decoration. She also put my chuppah together.
Photographer and videographer
Maybe all brides say so, but they’re truly special. So special I actually terminated the contract with the photographer I already had (no money back) just to be sure my wedding pictures would be absolutely what I dreamed of. Aside from saying yes to Louis, it was the best choice I made. Sabine and Beate’s sensibility to capture not only our love, joy and happiness but also the sorrow of our impending loss was absolutely mesmerising.
They also were responsible for our highlight video, and that was such a happy choice for us because they manage to capture the last day my father-in-law was with us and his wonderful speech. Unfortunately he passed away 3 days after our chuppah. May his memory be a blessing.
Food and Cake
The hotel took care of the food, which was amazing and our dear friend and witness Roni Levy, an Israeli with a bakery, Delicious Bremen, here in Bremen made our cake.
I think three moments were really special for me, aside marrying the love of my life, of course. The first was finally reuniting with my mom and getting ready for the big day with her. Because of the pandemic and our family situation I planned the wedding all by myself. It was very hard not having her on my dress appointments or having her to help me with all the choices I had to make. It’s something I always dreamed of sharing with her, so finally having her there was really emotional for me.
The second one was receiving a blessing from both my mom and my father-in-law under the chuppah. It was a moment that brought not only us but all our guests to tears and a moment I’ll carry with my for the rest of my life.
The third was Theo’s speech that ended with him being the one to start our horah. Even in his wheelchair he danced and rejoiced with us. Even though 2 other speeches were expected after him, no one dared to. He finalised his toast with “let’s celebrate life” and called in the Klezmer band.
Unfortunately Theo passed away 3 days after our wedding. We were expecting this, so we didn’t plan anything big so far. Since we decided to get married in Denmark to run away from the German bureaucracy, we made a minimoon out of it.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Celebrate life. Celebrate the love you have for each other and don’t let anything stop you. I hope the biggest concern you have is Corona. Unfortunately, for us, this wasn’t the case. But I honestly can say it was the best day of my life. I can’t say it was the setting I dreamed, but it was the setting I needed to grow and to become a stronger woman and closer to G’d. For that I’m grateful.
EUNICE & LOUIS’ LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Sabine Lange, Photo Lauricella
Videography – Sabine Lange, Photo Lauricella
Wedding planner – Anja Huemer
Venue – Dorint Park Hotel
Bride’s dress – Alexandra Grecco found at Wild at Heart Bridal
Bride’s shoes – Lulipa Shoes
Bride’s accessories – Alexandra Grecco, Prea James Bridal, Vivara
Groom’s attire – Salvatore Vacerra
Hair + Makeup – Makeup Visions
Flowers – Stilvoll
Band – Mark Kovnatskiy Klezmer Band
Catering – Dorint Park Hotel
Cake – Delicious Bremen
Ketubah – Anna Adam
Stationery/Invitation – Tuell & Tassel
Rabbi – Jalda Rebling
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