We love it when a couple plans a Jewish wedding that’s thoroughly, completely them. Which is exactly what Sarah, a bioethicist for a non-profit advocating for dignity at the end of life, and Joshua, a patient care manager for a specialty pharmacy, did.
They involved friends and family in their day as much as possible, and even their venue, Crested Hen Farms, is located in New York’s Catskills, where the groom grew up. Lots of vendors came from the pair’s own circles: the couple found their photographer, Sloane Dakota, through a friend of a friend, and Joshua grew up with videographer Sam Falconi. It was important to Sarah and Joshua to have an egalitarian ceremony – each circled the other three times, and they did one circle together – and they had special people in their lives bless them with the Sheva Brachot.
We’re especially in love with Sarah and Joshua’s incredible hamsa ketubah, featuring gorgeous stained glass elements and sunset colors, which they worked to design alongside Britt Yudel of Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor BritColors. In Sarah’s words, “Britt was so amazing in how she helped make our vision a reality. Our ketubah very much feels like our hearts living outside of our bodies in the form of original art.”
Now over to Sarah, who looked so elegant in her ivory crepe gown from designer Robert Bullock…
How we Met
Sarah, the bride: We met in New York City at a synagogue named Romemu on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Joshua had been attending Romemu for years, since it was founded in 2006, and Sarah started attending after she moved to the city for graduate school in bioethics, in the fall of 2015. They were both in relationships at the time that Sarah started attending. One day that Fall, Sarah brought a friend from school to shabbat services on Friday night, who elbowed her and said, “Sarah, look at that guy…I want a partner like that.” Joshua doesn’t remember making eye-contact with Sarah, but she remembers it vividly. We didn’t meet until three years later.
We officially greeted each other in that same Friday-night shabbat space at Romemu in June of 2018, with a smile and a big hug. Most everyone else had left the space for the night, and Joshua was slowly packing up his things. Sarah was helping to tidy up in preparation for shabbat services the next morning. When she saw Joshua, they made eye contact again, and she introduced herself: “Hi, I’ve seen you around but I don’t think we’ve actually met. I’m Sarah. Shabbat shalom.” Joshua smiled, introduced himself, and gave her the biggest, warmest hug.
From there, they slowly started to circle in each other’s orbit, joining community potluck meals and striking up a friendship. By the early spring of 2019, Joshua asked Sarah if she wanted to join him at an event by his favorite Israeli Rabbi, Reb Doniel Katz. But Sarah didn’t realize that Reb Katz’ event was a date… until Joshua again asked her to join him at a performance of Freestyle Love Supreme – an improv comedy rap performance led by Hamilton’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda – at 10pm on a Monday. They ended up going on fun dates for about a month — like going to the Morgan Museum and eating sushi at Kazu Nori (delicious, highly recommend when you are in Manhattan!) – before they shared their first kiss.
Joshua had always desired a partnership that was rooted in seeing what was possible to create in a relationship instead of what’s lacking. Sarah always yearned for a kindred spirit to share life with and grow old together, surrounded by family and community. Today, there remains an underlying resonance of the importance of Judaism to both Sarah and Joshua. Since the beginning, with Sarah’s “Shabbat Shalom,” everything that encompasses Shabbat and larger Jewish life cycle events creates an underlying foundation in their lives. Shabbat, for example, is an important pause from the working bustle of their life, arriving every week like the steady beat of a metronome.