Chris will be marrying Ariel on 6th June 2021 in Chris’ Aunt and Uncle’s front yard. Click here to read all Chris’ planning posts to date.
THREE FACTS: (1) Ariel proposed to Chris in November 2020 (2) Chris swiped right on Ariel and the rest is history! (3) Chris + Ariel will be having an intimate 10-person wedding.
While visiting her parents during a holiday from Northwestern University, Lucille met a dapper, charming, German Jew named Lothar, who had moved to the States in 1937 after graduating from University of Frankfurt, Germany. On June 28th, 1942, Lothar & Lucille were married at the Erie Tennis and Country Club in Pennsylvania, surrounded by 400 of their closest friends and family. Lucille wore an ivory satin gown with a train and a bodice of lace embroidered with seed pearl. Their altar was adorned with palms and ferns.
Almost 80 years later Pat, the daughter of Lucille and Lothar, asked me how I felt about her mother’s wedding dress. It was beautiful. The dress had some slight discoloration and a few stains on the bodice which may have come from the wedding itself or from the cedar chest it had called home for the better part of the last 80 years. Pat asked us if we wanted my mother, Carol, a master art quilter, to turn the wedding dress into our chuppah. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I looked at Ariel and we both were on the same page. Yes! 1000% yes!
A chuppah is a Jewish wedding canopy. It’s a symbol of the home the couple will create. The openness on all four sides harkens back to Abraham’s tent, which was open on all sides to signify that visitors were welcome into his home.The chuppah is a symbol of G-d’s presence at a wedding, and in the home being established under the canopy. It was said that the divine Name hovers above it, sanctifying the space below. Making your own chuppah is a mitzvah but the gift of one is priceless
When that gift consists of a family heirloom being deconstructed and then reconstructed in the form of a Chuppah by the mothers of the brides, the word “priceless” doesn’t even come close.
Due to the pandemic our parents have not yet met each other in-person. However, the chuppah collaboration has sparked Carol and Pat to text all the time, and share ideas and thoughts on how to move the project forward. Pat, a life long knitter, knit a beautiful centerpiece for the chuppah and lace for along the edge. Carol, with the assistance of her costume designer friend Rosalind Spann, transformed the dress and knitted pieces into our Chuppah.
Since the chuppah is a symbol of the home we want to create together, we wanted to imbue the chuppah with words of meaning. One of the techniques that my mother uses in her projects is to embroider words and phrases into the fabric. The first quilt my mother ever made, was the quilt she made for me when I went off to college. It’s covered in symbols and phrases of love and family. Ariel suggested that embroidered words would be a perfect way to add our personal touch to the layers of history and family forming our chuppah.
My mother has promised to include as many of these words as she can fit. Ariel and I sat down together and came up with this list: Intertwined, Love, Kindness, Respect, Empathy, Communication, Support, Honesty, Acceptance, Gratitude, Joy, Play, Compromise, Patience, Curiosity, Compassion, Dreams, Celebration, Laughter, Faith, Trust, Companionship, Grief, Family, Community, Fun, and Cuddles. These are the words we hope to use to build our life together in the present and in the future, knowing that we are building on a foundation created by family and generations past.
We will be married on an altar adorned with a chuppah made from the wedding dress of Lucille, constructed by the hands of Carol, and decorated with the artisanship of Pat. Our chuppah will be open on all sides making it clear all are welcome. Our altar will be sanctified by Ha Shem and blessed by the generations of women that came before us.
Click here to read all Chris’ planning posts to date.
Chris & Ariel’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:
Photography: Amanda Macchia Photography
Rabbi: Rabbi Getzel Davis
Save the Dates: Greenvelope
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