Today on the blog we’re introducing our 1st gorgeous bride from our crop of 2018 and 2019 Real Jewish Brides! Please give a warm welcome to Alyssa who will be marrying Colin on July 20th 2018 at Latitude 41 in Mystic, CT, under a chuppah right on the water…
THREE FACTS: (1) Alyssa first met Colin when she was just 13 years old! (2) They are planning a Jew-ish wedding where they hope to highlight the religious traditions most important to them as an interfaith couple (3) They envision their wedding to have a nautical theme with a relaxed summer atmosphere, great seafood, a fire pit complete with a s’mores station (oh yes!), and lots of drinking and dancing with their nearest and dearest.
How We Met
I met my fiancà© Colin at just 13 years old. He was a silly kid in the back of the school bus and to be honest one of the only Jewish people I knew. We spent countless rides to school laughing and teasing each other relentlessly. Senior year of high school we reconnected and rekindled our friendship. I was drawn to his humor, easy-going demeanor, kind nature, and his ability to be friends with everyone! Our friendship effortlessly evolved into an amazing relationship that I never expected.
Our Dating Days
The sweet summer quickly faded and we were abruptly faced with the decision of either calling it quits or maintaining a relationship at different colleges. Colin had been offered a golf scholarship to the University of New Haven where as I had wanted to pursue teaching at Central Connecticut State University. We decided to follow our hearts and see where the future would take us as a couple. Yet, in the back of my mind I always knew the reality of high school sweethearts lasting was extremely slim. Dating somewhat long distance provided it’s slight hiccups, but being with Colin was almost suspiciously easy.
A majority of our dates both then and now have been simple nights at home involving a home cooked meal and a movie. But no matter how basic the dates were we always found ourselves in a fit of belly laughter. After dating throughout all 4 years of college I realized this was much more than teenaged puppy love, this relationship was different. From the college daze, to the post college unemployment, and now full time adulting we have already been through so much together and I cannot wait to see what life has in store for us as a married couple!
To celebrate our birthdays we decided to take a trip to one of our all time favorite locations, Cape Cod. In planning the trip, Colin suggested we visit a quaint part of Falmouth called Woods Hole. Of course I then Instagram researched the area and discovered the picturesque Nobska Lighthouse. When I suggested we visit the lighthouse during our trip, Colin convincingly led me to believe he was only saying yes to appease me. Little did I know he had already planned a private tour of the lighthouse two months prior where he would propose at the very top in view of the ocean. To continue the most perfect evening Colin had picked a restaurant specifically with my favorites: clam chowder, a charcuterie board, and champagne to toast the occasion. We spent the night celebrating in the charming little Cape town that we will now forever cherish.
Our Upcoming Jew-ish Wedding
Our wedding is this summer, July 20, in Mystic, CT. We will be getting married under a chuppah (made by my dad and the help of Google) right on the water in the quintessential New England town. We will have a co-officiated wedding where we hope to highlight the religious traditions most important to us as an interfaith couple. Our wedding will have a rustic nautical theme yet remain timeless with classic elements. Our venue is called Latitude 41 at the Mystic Seaport, which Colin suggested we tour! The selling point for us was the spacious lawn area right along the water. Not only will our ceremony take place outside on the lawn but we intend to have lawn games and a fire pit complete with a s’mores station! We envision a relaxed summer atmosphere filled with good seafood, lots of drinks, and dancing all night long with our friends and family!
The first vendor we booked was our photographer!
Crazy enough the vendor we booked first was our photographer. As a lover of photography and an avid scrapbooker, pictures have always been so important to me. One of my favorite past times is looking back on my camera roll and feeling all the nostalgia of the amazing trips we’ve taken, the things we’ve seen, and the love we’ve shared.
When deciding on a photographer I knew I wanted someone who uses natural light to capture a bright and airy feel. Our friend Anne Lee is a wedding photographer, of Anne Lee Photography, and embodies all of those qualities. However, we wanted her to attend our wedding as a guest, so I decided to look through her Instagram to see if she followed anyone with a similar esthetic.
I stumbled upon Taylor Dunn, of Taylor Dunn Photography, and after scrolling through only a handful of her pictures knew I needed to book her. Every picture she had taken had a light and romantic feel, but what sold me most was the pure joy and candidness she captured in each photo. When shooting our engagement photos, Taylor and her soon-to-be husband Chris did not disappoint. They were both so personable and lighthearted which made what we thought would be an awkward experience actually fun. We cannot wait for what they have in store for us on our big day!
Wedding Stationery With Nautical Components
Choosing the company to create our wedding paper products was the easiest decision thus far. Two of our closest friends Danielle and Justin Lappen recently started their own wedding stationery company called, My Wed Ink. After getting married themselves, they found an absence in the market of beautifully designed wedding stationery at an affordable price for the everyday bride. They decided to create their own invitations and fell in love with the process. Knowing the Lappens personally I knew that their easy-going personalities, creative talent, and professionalism would be the perfect combination to create a stress free experience along with beautiful designed products. They did not disappoint! They perfectly captured our vision of highlighting nautical components while still feeling clean and timeless. I can be extremely indecisive and when it came to the design process of both our save the date and invitations, Justin and Danielle were so accommodating. They provided us with various designs, multiple proofs, and a hefty dose of reassurance that our end product would be perfect! Together we designed a custom save the date and wedding invitations that exceeded my every expectation!
Hairstyle For My Big Day
My sister and I have a three-year age difference yet ended up getting engaged only one month apart from each other! To spare our parents from a full on heart attack, we gave them a few months to breathe (and save) in between each wedding. My sister got married this past September and the whole day was perfection! When it came to her hairstyle for the big day, she turned to a friend, Allison Neves of Beautifully Unafraid. Allison’s ability to listen, visualize, and execute each girl’s particular hair requests was astounding! My sister, mom, and I received many compliments on our hair styles even when reaching the late hours of the night. Allison’s calm nature and sweet manner helped ease our morning full of jitters, and it is exactly why I called her when planning my own wedding!
When The DJ Is The Quarterback Of The Event
Finding a DJ was a bit of a challenge for me. My dad had been putting on the pressure by constantly reminding me, “The DJ is the quarterback of the whole event”. Of course he would bring it all back to sports, but he did make sense. The DJ controls the entire vibe of the evening. They not only need to get the party started, but need to keep the party going as well. Without being able to really know what a DJ is like or see their finished product, I went to our wedding coordinator Jenna Landon for a recommendation. She was so helpful in giving me a few options of DJs she truly enjoyed herself. I researched her choices and found Neil Roma of Spin Enterprise to have the best reviews. Every review stated how pleased they were with his professionalism, energy, and his ability to create a perfect party atmosphere. We are confident that picking Neil will be a touchdown for not only my dad but everyone as well!
Flowers With Organic Yet Classic Look
Wedding flowers have been one thing during this planning process that Colin and I disagreed on. I believe flowers are the focal point of the decor whereas Colin believes no one notices flowers, typical guy response! We were able to come to a compromise with choosing flowers by Ladybug Designs. I found the company via The Knot and loved the organic yet classic look and Colin loved the affordable price range. We are both so thrilled we found Wanda of Ladybug Designs who has answered our every email in record time! We can’t wait to see her beautiful work on the big day, even Colin!
Wedding Planning So Far…
So far the hardest part of wedding planning for me has been accommodating everyone. It is not just Colin and I’s special day but our families too. While I value everyone’s ideas and opinions, ultimately I want to make decisions we are happy with first and foremost. I absolutely hate letting people down, and when I choose something that others do not love or didn’t want me to pick I have a sense of guilt. I am trying to remind myself that it is nearly impossible to make everyone happy but it can be difficult at times.
What Marriage Means To Me
I used to believe that marriage was the natural next step in a committed relationship. Something your family, your friends, and society expect you to do when you reach a certain age. As a little girl I was surrounded by the most amazing examples of marriage; my parents who are the perfect balance of yin and yang, and my grandparents who just celebrated 61 years married. Viewing relationships like these I just figured marriage was in the cards for everyone. Over time and with age I have realized just how naà¯ve I was to assume all relationships ended in marriage. Watching people close to me go through break-up after break-up, I recognized I had somehow lucked out like my family and had fallen in love with my best friend. I began to view marriage not as a milestone you were expected to achieve but a milestone you were fortunate enough to achieve. Growing up with Colin for the past 11 years I have realized just how fortunate I really am. The future can be filled with such uncertainty, and as a kindergarten teacher, structure and planning are in my nature. It can be extremely scary not knowing what lies ahead but when I look at Colin I know he is my future. With him by my side I know I can handle any uncertainty that comes my way, and that is the beauty of marriage.
Alyssa and Colin’s Engagement Photos by Taylor Dunn who will be their wedding photographer too.
Click here to read all Alyssa’s planning posts to date.