Despite having a very traditional Jewish Orthodox Wedding, they still wanted to play around on the margins, and incorporate as many of their own details into their W-day as they could.
One of the creative elements I love most is their invitations which Juliana designed herself. She incorporated the most delicious intertwined Hebrew calligraphy and combined it with an english font inspired by Elie’s favourite brand of scotch! Their invitation suite also included a map highlighting milestones in their relationship and had lots of lovely production finishes like a letterpress finish and a wax seal on each envelope.
I also love their idea of ‘donation’ favours where in place of traditional favours they made a contribution to a charity close to their hearts, and placed small notes at each plate with a picture of themselves, explaining the donation.
Juliana and Elie were set up on a blind date by Juliana’s roommate, Rena, who had gone to high school with Elie. Rena thought that Elie might be a good person for Juliana to meet, and she was evidently right! Let’s hear all about the couple’s special day from the lovely bride herself…
A GLAMOROUS VENUE
Juliana the Bride: Our wedding was at the The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Since our wedding was in February, we wanted the location to still be accessible in the event of inclement weather. We loved the Roosevelt as soon as we walked through it; it was the first of the many venues we’d looked at that we could actually envision ourselves getting married in. They had many distinct rooms available, and a fantastic balcony / hallway between the tish room and where the badeken was. Elie being danced down that hallway was one of my favourite moments of the wedding. As one of my friends remarked on her video of the badeken: “That was epic”.
BEAUTIFULLY CHIC COLOUR SCHEME
Since it was a winter wedding, we kept it simple with black, grey, ivory and hits of gold. We also incorporated hot pink into the floral arrangements as well as the Bridesmaid’s dresses.
I wanted to design the entire invitation suite myself, which Elie supported completely. Early on, we had found a picture of an old Ketubah with the Hebrew calligraphy intertwined, and used this as the inspiration for our invitations. I loved the idea of our names becoming one, to symbolise the start of our marriage.
I also loved the font and colour palette on the label of one of Elie’s favourite brands of scotch, The Singleton, so we used that in addition to an old Hebrew font we’d found online. I designed the invitation suite, which included a map highlighting milestones in our relationship – our first date, where we were engaged, and the location of the wedding. We also decided to wax seal each envelope a time-consuming task but well worth it (especially if you’re drinking a good bottle of wine). The suite was then letter pressed by the wonderful people at Boxcar Lettepress.
A PERFECT DRESS
My dress was from Augusta Jones at Kleinfelds. I was all set to design my own – I had even sketched it out and requested pricing. On a whim, I went to Kleinfelds to meet with Rochel Leah (she is the consultant to meet with if you want any sort of sleeve build up on your gown.) I saw the dress on a mannequin, and when I tried it on it was literally everything I wanted.
The dress was initially sleeveless, but I did want some kind of sleeve. I could have opted for a jacket or bolero, but since it was a winter wedding, I liked the idea of having a real sleeve on my gown. Since all I do all day is design shirts, I knew that the hardest part of a garment to get right, is the arm hole. I was incredibly nervous before my first fitting, but Rochel Leah and Kleinfelds are the absolute experts!
My dress fit so perfectly, it was like it was moulded to my body. I also ended up buying lace yardage and having it sent overseas (through a company called Brochade Creations) to be beaded, which I then added as a lace trim to my hem and train. I opted to do this myself the week before the wedding, which lead to many lost sequins scattered around my living room floor!
A STUNNING BEADED VEIL
I wanted a very dramatic veil (when else in life will I ever get the chance to wear one?) I love the look of beaded veils, but they were cost prohibitive. Then I realised I could buy my own tulle, design my own pattern and have it sent out for beading. The wonderful people at Brochade Creations attached the same lace I used on my dress to my tulle yardage, and then beaded it. When I received it back, I then attached the comb and cut the front curve, so I would have a blusher for the badeken. Brochade Creations basically created an instant heirloom for me, I was stunned at how beautifully it turned out.
DESIGNING MY BRIDESMAIDS’ OUTFITS
In order to match the groomsmen, all of the bridesmaids were in floor length gowns. I wanted them to look more like a bouquet of beautiful flowers instead of all wearing the same dress, so I designed each of them their own individual skirts based on their specific likes and personalities. I also wanted all of them to wear their own black tops or sweaters, which were more seasonally appropriate and wearable in the future.
THE PERFECT PAIR OF SHOES
I wore ivory 4″ heeled shoes with tulle ankle ties from BHLDN, which I then glued more of my beaded lace to. I initially planned on wearing grey shoes, but when I saw these the week before the wedding, i had to have them. I changed into sparkle flats for dancing. Luckily my husband is even taller than I am, so I was able to rock the skyscraper heels as I walked down the aisle.
HAIR + MAKE-UP
For both hair and make-up I wanted to look like the best version of myself, so I went with people I had used before. Ben Yeo did my hair, I have been getting my hair cut by him for many years, and he is fantastic. Jill at JK Flashy did the make up for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s wedding as well, so i knew she was very talented!
Elie has know the Rabbi who married us since he was 3 (he used to baby-sit for him, and had been the officiant at his brother’s wedding the year before ours) Our ceremony was fairly traditional, but I did give Elie a ring in the yichud room afterwards. Elie also filled out our ketubah himself, which was a beautiful laser cut paper in ivory and gold by Danny Azoulay.
PERSONALISED WEDDING PROGRAMS
Elie wrote the programs, and I designed the covers in keeping with the theme of the invitations. We then had them printed at FedEx, but decided to add little ties to the bindings and monogramed tags. Our guests very much seemed to appreciate the explanations for the various parts of the ceremony.
Our chuppah was very simple, we didn’t want anything to compete with how beautiful the room was. The tallit in the chuppah belonged to Elie’s maternal grandfather, and had been specially kept for this purpose.
We had two different kinds of kippot for guests to choose from. We had light grey suede to go with the decor and since he can’t let an opportunity go by to throw some Irish green in, Elie had some bright green felt kippot with “All the Love” – Julie ‘n Elie imprinted on the inside. It’s a wonderful reminder of our wedding when we see people wearing the bright green kippot.
MUSIC CHOICES FOR OUR CEREMONY
We were very particular with the music; neither of us wanted anything “traditional”. We asked Bodi (from Spicerack Productions), our bandleader to reinterpret a few songs we really like and the band did an amazing job. The groomsmen and our brothers walked down to “Off He Goes” by Pearl Jam, Elie walked down to Led Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills and Far Away”. My bridesmaid’s used “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by The Police and for a little humour we had the flower girls walk down to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”. Finally, I chose to walk down to “Closer to You” by The Wallflowers. Elie once played it for me in the car when we driving somewhere and I just fell in love with it.
THE GORGEOUS GROOM
Elie decided he (and the groom’s party) had to wear a morning suit because he “didn’t know when else he’d ever get the opportunity”. I was entirely supportive since it added some additional class and matched the turn of the century dà©cor of the Roosevelt Hotel. His suit was from Charles Tyrwhitt, shoes were from Cole Haan and he picked out the shirts and ties for the entire grooms party, our fathers and himself at Brooks Brothers. But seeing him in the glowing white kittel under the chuppah is really what made me swoon.
PERSONALISED DECOR AND OTHER CREATIVE TOUCHES
My mother painted the flowers, which we used as the back ground for our table numbers. I then layered the numbers over the paintings in the same font from our invites. We also made little signs placed at the bar, pointing our guests to where Elie was holding court at the tish.
We also wanted to include our parents’ and grandparents’ wedding photos at the escort card table, since they got us to where we are today
MY FAVOURITE WINTER FLOWERS
I really love peonies and roses, which our florist was able to incorporate into my bouquet. She also used a number of soft winter foliage and berries, which I thought was fantastic. The bridesmaids and the tables had brighter pink flowers, as well as little winter kumquats. Our fabulous florist was Verde Custom Flowers, in New York.
OUR FANTASTIC PHOTOGRAPHER
Jenni and Ulysses at Ulysses Photography were absolutely fantastic. The photographer was something that was most important to us, since at the end of day all that remains are the photos. We went on a tremendous search, but as soon as we had met them and seen their work, we knew they were the ones. We also had an engagement session with them, which were honestly the best photos ever taken of us (until the wedding day of course!).
Jenni and Ulysses were so comforting and easy to work with on such a high-action day, and were completely un-obtrusive (no ladders or giant lights being dragged around our dance floor.) Also, I had no idea that this is even an issue until I started talking to other brides, but we received our album very quickly. We had a fully completed album in an unheard of three months after our wedding, which is all the more impressive when some friends of ours still don’t have albums three years after their weddings.
We had a fantastic band called Spice Rack and we had a mix of simcha music, classic rock music, and some dance music thrown in at the end. Bodi from Spice Rack is able to build any sort of mix you like, so we were able to customise and have exactly what we wanted.
We then had all our friends and invited others who we could not invite to the wedding to join us for an after-party immediately following the wedding. Although Elie and I were both exhausted it was incredibly fun to dance, drink and relax with friends before calling it a night.
COOKIE FAVOURS + A DONATIONS TO THE JNF
We gave out freshly made warm chocolate chip cookies to our guests on their way out, and in lieu of a traditional favour we made a donation to the Jewish National Fund. Elie was a co-founder of their young leadership organisation, JNFuture, and we remain very involved with the organisation.
Our photographers, Jenni and Ulysses printed out small business card sized notes that were placed at each plate with a picture of us, and explaining the donation. We thought a lasting gift would be better token of our appreciation than small individual gifts.
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES
Make it your own! We had a fairly traditional wedding, but we still wanted to play around the margins. Be creative and add details that you love!
JULIANA + ELIE’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Venue — The Roosevelt Hotel
Photography — Ulysses Photography
Flowers — Verde Custom Flowers
Bride’s dress — Augusta Jones at Kleinfeld bridal
Dress beading — Brochade Creations
Bride’s dress + veil lace — Glenmore Lace
Bridesmaids skirts — designed by the bride
Bride’s shoes — Something Bleu
Grooms Morning suit — Charles Tyrwhitt
Grooms waistcoat — Clermont Direct
Grooms shoes — Cole Haan
Groomsmen morning suits — Baldwin Formals
Shirts and ties — Brooks Brothers
Make-up — Jill at JK Flashy
Hair — Ben Yeo
Invitations + stationery — Design by the bride, letterpress by Boxcar Press
Catering — Prestige Caterers
Music — Spice Rack
I love Juliana’s advice. She’s spot on – however traditional your celebration is, make sure you inject your own personality into it and include your own unique details, personal to you both.
Thank you to Jenni at Ulysses Photography for drawing my attention to this wonderful Manhattan winter wedding, and thank you to Juliana and Elie for sharing their amorous story with us!