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After meeting at a wedding of mutual friends, we would see one other periodically in a group setting and partake in Jewish holidays together. We would bake hamantaschen cookies, fry potato pancakes – latkes- at Chanukah, attend happy hours, etc. After building a solid foundation of friendship, we realized we wanted to be more than friends we wanted to be best friends, lovers, and partners.

Ben and I went on a hike in Austin, TX, where we live, and he surprised me by getting down on one knee to propose overlooking a rock he had painted (in Carolina colors) to say, Marry Me? After that we went to celebrate, and Ben had organized all of our friends to surprise me at our favorite place Pinthouse Pizza.

We were the first wedding at Painted Plate at The Vineyard. It was grounded in Jewish tradition yet contained modern elements. For instance, we had cocktails before the ceremony. Then we had a Jewish ceremony under a Chuppah and a Second line parade to the reception…then we did the Hora!

We had food that was important to us. Ben is Israeli so we had a Mediterranean meal with chumus and pita. My late father loved mini hot dogs so we served those too. Eilat and Avi of Milk and Honey Catering are dear friends, so they made our wedding cakes dairy free. It was delicious!

One of the most unique elements of our day was that we had a Second line Band! The New Orleans Second Line is a tradition in which a brass band leads a parade for special occasions. The First Line is the main section of the parade in this case the band, Bride and Groom. Those who follow them often twirl a parasol or handkerchief and are called the Second Line. We hired Boom Unit Brassband to do a live parade in the parking lot! Afterwards, everyone was hot, so we gave out cold washcloths! Our wedding day was amazing! ~ Leora

Creative team

ceremony/reception | Painted Plate at The Vineyard photography | Ashley Stone Photography gown | Marry Go Round groom’s formalwear | Macy’s invitations | ArtScroll cake | Milk and Honey catering/rentals/candy buffet | Painted Plate Catering flowers/wedding planner | Bears, Balloons and Beyond officiant | Rabbi Shelley Becker hair/makeup | Grace Jansen Beauty music/entertainment/lighting/photo booth | On Target DJ favors | Kippot transportation | First Student Charter Bus honeymoon | Grandover Resort sewing/alterations | Cheo’s Alterations & Leather gown preservation | Fordham Cleaners

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Following this handy list of to-do’s for the year leading up to your wedding day is sure to keep you on task, on track, and on budget!