Madeline and Alex met through their shared Jewish faith and, after a long friendship, their romance began followed by a beautifully planned literary proposal.
As a wedding planner, bride Madeline had a real head start and the couple had no problems planning their perfect day. From the breathtaking location with its stunning autumnal colours to the grand entrance made by groom Alex on the couple’s boat, affectionately dubbed the ‘Oar Vey’.
Their ‘book of love’ theme was captured by photographer Ben Keeling and incorporated a plethora of literary and library-related details, to celebrate the couple’s shared love of reading and, of course, their unique proposal.
We adore the idea of having themed ID badges to help the wedding party stand out so that people knew where to direct their questions — that’s definitely an idea to steal, especially for festival-themed celebrations!
We’re also totally in love with incredible Smashing Supplier, Ink With Intent’s beautifully crafted Ketubah and the couple’s ‘Tree of Life’ Chuppah, onto which they sewed personal materials, packed with meaning and memories.
Madeline and Alex wrote a beautifully eloquent account of their wedding planning journey, so we’ll hand over to them to tell you all about it! Enjoy!
How we met
Madeline and Alex, the bride and groom: Alex sat on the interview panel when Madeline applied as choir director at our synagogue. He rolled his eyes and asked snide questions, showed up late for the first rehearsal, and convinced Madeline that he hated her. However, we quickly formed an unconditional friendship. Four years later, in an ironic twist, the friendship went on hiatus when Alex thought Madeline hated him. Convinced Alex was angry with her, Madeline avoided temple for the next two years.
Alex finally called on 25 September, 2015 to let Madeline know a mutual friend had suddenly passed away. He didn’t expect her to answer, and she nearly didn’t. During the brief conversation, she felt prompted to ask him to meet. He told her to call back in an hour, after Erev Shabbat services. She drove to temple and stood in the sukkah as a cold rain began to fall. Alex stood next to her with his arms crossed as she apologised for ending their friendship. He brushed the apology aside, then gave the greatest impromptu, heartfelt speech a man has ever made.
“I had to stop looking for you. I wanted you to be there. I wanted you to be there so bad, and you weren’t. So I had to put it away. I had to put all that in a box, and put it up on the shelf, and close the door. Because I couldn’t keep looking for you anymore.”
After a few minutes of uncertain conversation, we parted. Alex’s final words were, “Call me every five minutes.” Four months later, on a trip to meet her mother in Washington, DC, Alex visited the Library of Congress with Madeline. Having made almost a full circle of the mezzanine, he stopped her in her tracks.
“This is the place for questions, right?” he asked.