Nalda is a member of Smashing Life, our community membership club for Jewish + Jew(ish) women.
Where are you from? I was born in Kingston, Jamaica but I’ve lived most of my life in Bridgeport, CT.
What do you do for a living? I’m a licensed massage therapist, with my own little practice. I adore it!
How did you meet your partner? We met on Hinge!
When did you first know you were in love? About 2 weeks after our first date. We sat down to discuss whether we had a future and we agreed this was likely short lived because of our differences in religion (I’m Christian, he is Jewish). 2 weeks later we admitted we’d both lied because we were already in love. We became exclusive that same day, and haven’t looked back since.
ABOUT YOUR WEDDING
When and where did you get married? May 23, 2021, in Wallingford, CT. The same town where we had our very first date!
What was your wedding song for walking down the aisle? A live, cello and violin version of Hawaiian Over The Rainbow
How many guests did you invite to your wedding? We invited about 200, expecting the pandemic to not be a thing by wedding day. We ended up with about 85 attendees in person, while the rest of our guests (most of who were international) were able to attend virtually, via live stream.
What was your favorite part of/thing about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle for sure! I was cool as a cucumber until that moment, when I saw my 10yo son in his tux matching Dan’s, waiting to walk me down. Then Dan and I purposely went to the effort of planning the day with no first look, for the authentic reaction. His face when we finally saw each other was everything. I’ll never forget it!
Best wedding planning tip? Be flexible, and don’t take anything too seriously. No single detail is really worth stressing over… As long as you end the day married to your love, everything will be beautiful!
Wedding vendors you would recommend? We picked very small, local vendors wherever we could. We loved Etsy for personalized decor though, and Flutterbye Prints was amazing for our guestbook alternative. We also highly recommend a day of coordinator that you get along with, in your budget! Ours was absolutely invaluable
Where did you go on honeymoon? We used Whym, (a surprise travel agent that we also highly recommend!) for our minimoon. They sent us to Seattle for 4 nights. We’re planning a Panama cruise for January 2022 (if possible) for our official honeymoon.
What does marriage mean to you? Marriage means having a teammate in all things. A confidante, a partner, a best friend, and a second vote. It’s such a comfort knowing I always have someone I respect and adore (who I know also respects and adores me) to confer with and to offer support, guidance, and insight.
Has your relationship with your partner changed since you got married? If anything, it’s gotten sillier! We now constantly joke about how surreal this all is, that we’re actual married adults – with whole spouses, grown up jobs, a preteen, retirement plans, credit cards, and booking our own doctors appointments. It’s all bananas!
Secret to a happy relationship? I think it was Michelle Obama who I first heard nail it – truly and honestly just liking your spouse. There are unfortunately so many people in relationships who don’t *like* their significant others, it boggles my mind! They dislike their viewpoints or their hobbies, their families or their friends. Yes I love my husband, I’m attracted to him, I’m committed to him, I’m impressed by him, and I respect him. But before all that, I truly just like the guy! He’s my best friend.
ABOUT YOUR JEWISH LIFE
Fave meal to eat together on Friday night? So we have a weekly schedule with daily themes, lol and Friday is air-fryDay – so we usually break out the air fryer. Frozen tater tots and burgers with all the fixings is always a winner!
Fave Jewish festival Purim! Noise, costumes, and alcohol for the win!
Fave piece of Judaica in your home Does my office count? The first thing that comes to mind is the hamsa for my office my SIL bought me in Israel, not long after I started dating her brother, and it hangs right over my desk. In our apartment, I’d have to say our ketubah.
Fave Jewish food Bagels, easily. We always have at least 2 varieties on hand.
Fave Jewish tradition Going to my in-laws’ for Seders.
Fave wedding gift you received for your home A really fun gift we received that wasn’t on our registry, was a digital picture frame. Family and friends can email photos right to it, so it’s like a constantly updating slideshow in our living room.
What do you love most about being a SMASHING LIFE member?
Connecting with incredible women from all over the world, and learning from them. It’s such a diverse, interesting community.
Top of your Bucket List: Buying a home with more space! Our apartment is bursting at the seams after all our wedding gifts, and my husband and all his stuff moving in after the wedding. Hopefully the housing market calms down soon and we can purchase our first home by this time next year.
Perfect weekend is… Takeout sushi and marvel movies with my husband and son. Saturdays are “Sloth Saturday” on our schedule, so it’s our one day to stay in pajamas, order in, and to truly be lazy. Then on Sunday mornings we listen to the puzzle on NPR and watch CBS Sunday morning together!
Happiness is… My choice! I could choose to focus on negative things, but there will always be something if you look for it. I instead choose to be happy we have everything we need, and most of what we want. We are incredibly blessed and I’m just so grateful.
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