Yeeehaw! Get ready for a cool cultural collision you just don’t see every day.
Taylor and David were best friends for several years before a fateful kiss after a West Wing marathon prompted them to realise what had been right in front of them all along.
Their Texas-meets-Jewish wedding, captured by husband-and-wife photography team, Shane and Lauren Photography, was planned specifically to fall on March 14th, a.k.a. Pi Day.
Pi, a number that goes on indefinitely, was the perfect choice to echo Jewish wedding traditions, such as the breaking of the glass under the Chuppah with the sentiment “may your marriage last as long as it would take to repair this glass” (forever). We reckon the idea is a must-steal for math-loving Jewish couples everywhere!
In keeping with the Pi theme, the couple served… you guessed it — pie! Mini pies in mason jars were served for dessert and the couple cut an apple pie instead of a wedding cake. In fact, good luck reading this entire post without getting hungry — if you manage it, you’ve done better than the Smashing the Glass team.
To honour San Diego’s growing craft beer scene, they also had an epic beer bar and gave out koozies (fabric sleeves designed to keep a drink warm, for any non-Texan natives out there) as favours.
Over to Taylor to take us through all the details of her and David’s big day…
From best friends to husband and wife
Taylor, the bride: David and I met in law school. We were both student representatives for Kaplan Bar Review and got to know each other better by working there. I graduated school and then came back two years later to work in San Diego for Kaplan Bar Review in a full-time position. He was in his last year of school and was still a student representative and we reconnected.
We were best friends for over a year and a half with no romantic involvement. I dated other guys (that he knew), he dated other girls (that I knew) but no spark was there.
Then, eventually, something changed. A few days after Valentine’s Day in 2013, we were both single (him very newly so having just broken up with a long-distance girlfriend) and hanging out at his house watching The West Wing and we kissed.
We became even more inseparable after that day, got a dog named Bartlett (named after the president on The West Wing), and got married a little over two years later.
Let them eat pie at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, San Diego
We got married at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. My wedding planner took me to two hotels and this was the second one.
The second I walked in I got a great feeling about the place. The wedding coordinator, Meredith Van der Walt, immediately felt like a friend, the space was gorgeous, it had a fantastic flow for what we were wanting to do – it was everything we wanted in a space without even knowing what we wanted yet.
We didn’t really have a theme – we wanted it to be simple. We kept saying we wanted three things out of the day: to be married to each other, to have an awesome dance party with all our friends and family and to eat pie. We got all of that and more! We did use a wedding planner – Roxi Link of The Party Link.
Invitations with quotes from the Book of Ruth
We ordered our invitations from Wedding Paper Divas and selected the one we did because it has a quote from the Book of Ruth on it. That was very important to us as I had converted to Judaism so when we found the invitations that completely matched our style plus had that quote, we stopped looking because we knew we had found the one.
Investing in airbrush makeup
If I had to do it all over again, the first call I would make would be to Amanda Thorne Prichard and book Thorne Artistry again to do my make-up.
I wanted airbrush make-up because I knew it would last through the day and night.
My make-up was perfect as was my mother’s makeup and the other bridesmaids who used her services. She did the makeup for my younger cousins who served as the house party and she made them look even more gorgeous than they already are while not making them look overdone or older than their respective ages of 14 and 11 years old.
Amanda was a ton of fun and fit right in with my crazy group of friends while we were all getting ready. She gossiped and joked with all the girls and helped make the group feel complete. My hair was done by an old friend, Holly Taylor, who had done my hair in Texas for years. It was simple but pretty in a half-up, half-down style which was exactly what I wanted.
Shopping for the dress: fulfilling a childhood dream
My dress was from Neiman Marcus and was designed by Judd Waddell.
I’m from Texas originally and had grown up going to the original Neiman Marcus in downtown Dallas on Main St. That Neimans has a bridal department on the 2nd floor and I remember growing up and going up the escalators and seeing all the white lace and tulle and always wanting to shop and play in there.
So, shortly after we got engaged, I made an appointment and went with my mother, maid of honour and matron of honour.
I knew I had found the dress when I had it narrowed down to two and my Matron of Honour, Whitney, said “go put on the other dress for comparison” and I said “No, I don’t want to take this off!” We knew we had a winner at that point and they broke out (more) champagne for us. It was a fantastic day!
A something-borrowed veil
The veil I wore for the ceremony was my “something borrowed” from my sister-in-law. It had been made for her by her mother-in-law for her wedding five years prior to ours and I loved the look. I only wore it for the ceremony though. For pictures and the reception, I added a jeweled belt by Blossom Veils and Accessories.
Christian Louboutin heels, with love from me to me
Shoes are my obsession! My wedding gift from me to me was a pair of Christian Louboutin black patent 120 mm Very Prive peep toe pumps with a pop of red in the peep toe.
For the reception, I got back to my roots and switched into a pair of Lucchese boots that are especially designed for The University of Texas at Austin and sold at The Co-Op. They feature the school seal and a longhorn on the boot and were perfect for dancing in the rest of the night.
A crash course in how to tie a bow tie
My husband and his friends all purchased their suits from Jos. A. Bank – they found a great sale so everyone got an awesome three-piece suit for cheaper than what it would have been to rent a tux for the day.
The men were all instructed to wear brown shoes of their own. We gave them brightly patterned socks from Nordstrom Rack the night before at the rehearsal.
They were also gifted their bow ties from The Tie Bar – they were proper bow ties, not pre-tied ones. There are many hilarious pictures of my husband trying to teach all of the groomsmen and dads how to tie their ties… and then him ending up having to tie many of them himself.
He also did have one groomslady who wore a dress with the same requirements the bridesmaids had but she got a pre-tied bowtie to match the rest of the groomsmen and had it worked into her hairstyle for the day.
David wore a pair of ostrich cowboy boots my father had gifted him for the ceremony and then changed into brown dress shoes for the reception.
Bridesmaids in grey
I had a maid of honour, a matron of honour and three bridesmaids. They were given the instruction to wear a grey dress that was knee length and not shiny.
My girls did great! They all sent me pictures before they ordered or purchased their dresses and each one got an immediate thumbs up from me! I loved the variety in the dresses and it helped each of them look and feel more comfortable at the end of the day.
A family Chuppah
The Chuppah was one that David’s sister had made for her wedding along with the help of many family and friends. We knew we wanted to use it. Our florist, Mary from Design Essentials, handled the design. I’m not a big fan of flowers, which is an odd statement to make to a florist, but she did a wonderful job with the design and keeping it simple, clean and elegant.
Our Jewish ceremony
The most “special touch” part of our ceremony was when our Rabbi spoke to us at the end, and we weren’t ready for it which made it even better.
Our Rabbi, Avi Libman of Beth El in San Diego, had known us for a while helping with my conversion process and we also did pre-marital meetings with him.
He incorporated so much of that into what he said but then at the end he turned to my husband and said “Just remember David, no matter what you do, Don’t Mess With Texas.” The room exploded in laughter, my family and bridal party and many friends threw up Hook Em Horns and it was all in all a fantastic moment.
We also were lucky enough to incorporate family into the ceremony. David’s sister and brother-in-law sang the seven blessings for us. Also, our ketubah language was language we mostly borrowed from theirs except for a few small changes.
Eclectic music choices
Our processional was music that was arranged by David’s brother-in-law, Jeremy Gimbel, who is a rabbinical student. The music was an arrangement of Erev Shel Shoshamin (Hadar) and Dodi Li (Chen).
For the recessional we walked out to Safe and Sound by Capitol Cities – a song we both love and I had always said reminded me of David and made me happy. For our entrance into the the ballroom we walked in to Home by Edward Sharpe (which was also a song we used in our wedding video).
Our first dance was to Texas Woman of Mine” by Kyle Redd. Kyle is my cousin and is a country singer. I had taken David to see one of his shows while we were visiting my family in Ft. Worth and he said as soon as he heard that song, he knew he wanted it to be our first dance.
The song for my father/daughter dance with my dad was Stardust by Willie Nelson since that had been his parent’s song and it was a way to honor them as they’re no longer with us.
David and his mother took dance lessons and danced a waltz. For the music during dinner, it was primarily Texas Country playing in the background as a way to incorporate my roots and a lot of my favorite songs – a lot of people asked for the playlist after the wedding in fact!
Our DJ, Zack Gitler of ZG Productions, had done a great job finding songs on a list I had given him. For when the dancing started, he did a FANTASTIC job. We had people dancing for over 3 hours that night which was exactly what we wanted. And only one line dance got accidentally played so we’ll count that as a win.
Our fabulous photographer…
We used Shane and Lauren Photography and the second call I would make if I had to do this all over again would be to them. They had previously done some friend’s engagement and wedding pictures and they were a non-negotiable on my list, I knew I wanted them to be there.
We had a blast doing our engagement pictures in Little Italy in San Diego with them and they fit in perfectly for the big day. Shane was great – he had gone to the hotel the week before the wedding to find locations for everything.
He found a quiet and private place where we could do our first look and then found a tucked away parking lot that had gorgeous ivy growing on the wall that was more than we could have expected for the rest of our photos with our bridal party and families.
The pictures he and his wife Lauren got during the ceremony and reception were perfect and captured the moment so well.
Zack Gitler, our DJ, also did the videography (ZG Productions). He hired videographers to capture the footage and then he edited it together.
It was great because we had met and talked about music together already so much, he really understood the vibe of the event and I feel that really came across in the video we received.
We got a highlight video as well as raw footage of the ceremony, all of the toasts and then dancing at the reception. I would pay for it all over again for the reception footage and watching everyone dance – it’s epic!
Pie on Pi Day
So – we didn’t have cake. We had long decided we were going to do pie. Neither of us are big fans of cake but always enjoy pie. Then, after we had selected our wedding date, I got a gchat from my husband that said “BABE. BABE. BABE. WE’RE GETTING MARRIED ON PI DAY AND WE’RE SERVING PIE!!!!!” Clearly it was meant to be.
The Hyatt did all of our food and we were blow away when it was time for our tasting – the food was all fantastic. For dessert they brought out three different types of pie, each with two different options for crust.
The pie was served in small mason jars and we had a pie station where people could go and pick what type of pie they wanted and then top it with what they wanted.
They also baked full-sized pies for us so we were able to do a pie cutting and share first bites with one another.
Koozies for favours
We chose to do koozies for our favours. As a Texas girl, koozies are one of those things you always have available. It’s hot and you want your drink cold!
David has learned to love these so we decided it was the perfect favour. We found ones on Etsy that featured a bow tie (something David is known for wearing) and had those available for all of our guests.
We had a craft beer bar featured at our wedding, so having koozies available for all of the beers were key. Big thanks to Hess Brewing and Stone Brewing and our great friends who work there for their help in making that happen. We also did a photo booth which is always fun and people love being able to take the photo strips home with them!
A Texas-meets-Jewish wedding
It was a Texas meets Jewish wedding – it was definitely fun to mix the two traditions together. Watching my dad in his cowboy boots go up during the hora is something I will never forget!
Or having my matron of honour yell with me at the guests who started doing a line dance to Cotton Eye Joe that they were all wrong and when they replied they learnt it at Jewish camp, they were REALLY wrong and then proceeding to link arms with a few other Texans to show them how it’s really done.
Or having my mother-in-law stand there with her Horns Up during the Eyes of Texas and Texas Fight as we all sang the alma mater and fight song of The University of Texas at Austin.
My dad in his toast said “David and Taylor come from very similar backgrounds,” at which point the whole place laughed, including me and David. But he followed up with, “yes, it is true. If you ignore the fact that she is devoted to Longhorn Football and he just does not understand the whole thing after the tailgate party, they share many things. Parents who love them very much, ancestors who worked very hard to make sure we enjoyed a much better life than they had, and a love of baseball.” It was a perfect way to tie everything together.
Advice to brides and grooms currently planning their wedding
Everyone is going to give you advice and everyone thinks they’re always right. Instead of countering everything they say, instead just smile, nod, thank them and say you’ll think about it/take it into consideration. Things die right there and they walk away thinking they imparted their wisdom on you while you can still feel good about doing whatever it is you want to have your day your way.
If you can have a short engagement, do it. We were engaged 5 months and we are SO happy we did that instead of a year long engagement. It was stressful and busy and everyone has opinions and wants to tell you them. That all stops once your big day comes and life gets a lot happier again!
Stick to your guns and do what you want. I was adamant I wanted a Saturday wedding and there would be a way to work to make that happen given Shabbat. So, the work around we decided on was we did our cocktail hour first. Guests arrived at 6pm and had drinks and hors d’oeuvres for an hour before the ceremony started at 7:05 – one minute after the sun went down and Shabbat ended. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Remember – you have all of your favourite people together at the same time in a room. It’s hard to make that happen so just enjoy it! Little stuff will happen (I got gum on my dress because someone had stuck it under the chair I happened to be sitting in for dinner!) and it sucks, but at the end of the day, it’s a blip on the radar compared to having all of your people there to celebrate and party and play and dance with you. Focus on that, have fun, it will go far too fast.
Taylor & David’s little white book
Photographer – Shane and Lauren Photography
Videographer – ZG Productions
Wedding Planner – The Party Link
Venue – Hyatt Regency La Jolla
Bride’s dress – Judd Waddell bought at Neiman Marcus Bridal Salon
Bride’s shoes – Christian Louboutin heels and Lucchese boots sold at The Co-Op
Accessories – jewelled belt by Blossom Veils and Accessories and jewellery by Kate Spade
Groom’s attire – suit by Jos. A. Bank, tie by The Tie Bar and socks by Nordstrom Rack
Make-up – Thorne Artistry
Flowers – Design Essentials
DJ – Zack Gitler of ZG Productions
Craft beer bar – Hess Brewing and Stone Brewing
Photobooth – PhotoWorks Interactive Photobooth
Rabbi – Avi Libman of Beth El
Ketubah — Jennifer Raichman
Very impressive! I love the style of shoot.