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Posts Tagged ‘Interfaith wedding’

I got a DM on Twitter a couple of weeks ago from Liuba, at surviveweddingseason.com, asking me if I’d be interested in writing some tips for her website, and I’m super excited to say that my blog entry was published today!

Please head on over – not just to see my post, but to check out all the great information Liuba provides on her blog.  It is actually written to appeal to the guests of the wedding, which is a pretty unique perspective –

So, if you like what I wrote – please drop me a note – and Liuba, as well.  Or, if you like Liuba’s site – let her know that too.  I love supporting my peers through social media!

Thanks, Liuba!  Stay tuned for “What to expect at a Jewish Wedding”…soon to follow!

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Another Destination Wedding has come and gone, and this one went WAY too fast!

I know I say this all of the time, but I am just so fortunate in that every one of my wedding couples is amazing – but truly, Eden and Eduardo were such an amazing couple in so many ways.  It was such a great experience getting to know them, and to be such a special part of their most special day.

Eden & Ed live in Washington, DC, and they were referred to me by Rabbi Lev at http://www.interfaithfamily.com.  As soon as Eden contacted me, we both knew right away we were going to be the most perfect match, and we definitely had that assumption right on all counts!  Eden has one of those personalities that just comes right through the phone and you imagine that girl in junior high school who was just bursting with enthusiasm sitting next to you with a GREAT BIG SMILE on her face, and energy that would last for days.

Well – that’s EXACTLY what you got with Eden!  As I was writing notes about the feelings I had about her and Eduardo as we had our conversations on the phone, I kept thinking “earthy, warm, syrup-y, and sweet”.  Again – I totally had it right!

Getting to the wedding venue wasn’t quite as easy as forming the initial connection, but it was a fun and coversation-sparking adventure nonetheless.  They were married at The Villa Montana, in a small town, in the north-western part of the island, called Isabela.  It was about a 2 hour car ride from the San Juan airport.  Well, I was supposed to depart Fort Lauderdale at 6am (ick), but I just happened to check on my flight the night before, and found out that flight no longer existed.  I was sooooo upset, because they were having the rehearsal dinner that evening and wanted me there.  The flight I was booked on now left at 11am, arriving in SJU at 3.  That should have put me there for the rehearsal around 5:30.  Right.

As I made my way off the plane, I went to the pickup area, expecting to be met by a driver, but nobody was waiting for me.  (what a lonely feeling!!)  I called the hotel, and she began checking, and came back and told me the driver was there – but his van had just been TOWED AWAY, and he was trying to get it back.  After about an hour or more, he finally arrived to pick me up – and we were on our way – in Friday night rush hour traffic.  UGH.

At 6:30, I finally arrived at the beautiful little Villa Montana in Isabela.  Paradise.

This place had the small, intimate feel of a guest house, but was loaded with amenities and beauty.  I was immediately greeted by many of her family members as I was rushed to the rehearsal dinner on the beach, and there was Eden, and I just fell in love with her – as I knew I would.

BBQ at Villa Montana Friday night

That night, I got to know many of her guests, and met her family, as well as Eduardo’s.  Ed’s family is from Puerto Rico, and were the most wonderful, gracious, and appreciative family I have met in a long time.  I just knew the wedding would be amazing.

The next morning, I was able to spend quite a bit of time with Eden and Ed’s family and friends over breakfast on the beach.  We spoke for hours about Eden and Eduardo, their personalities, experiences, and their lives.  They told me incredible stories that really helped paint a perfect picture of my newest favorite couple, and I was able to create a perfectly blended, earthy, universalist-style ceremony that was a perfect match for their personalities.  We even re-wrote the words to The 7 Blessings, taking the religious language down a notch, and focusing on the meaning and appreciation of life.  It was quite beautiful.

Eden and Ed, Sister Sacha and Dad

Watching Eden and Ed before me, as I performed their marriage, was the perfect culimination of the experience.  Standing before me was not only a couple in love, but 2 best friends, laughing, touching, giggling, beaming, and kvelling together.  Knowing their closest friends and family were behind them, being witnesses to this magical moment, you could see the joy in their faces, and their hearts, as they spoke their vows to each other.

Certainly, the dinner party on the beach was also quite fun, and I had the most wonderful time with their friends and family.  To everyone I met at the wedding – thank you for making me feel SO comfortable, and welcomed, and thank you for helping me create another beautiful wedding.  Bob & Carol – thanks for the ride the next day to the airport, you are a wonderful couple!  Paula & Ira – thank you SO much for your hospitality – and Eden & Ed – Mazel Tov and Buena Suerte.  You are a beautiful couple that I will remember forever.  See you in DC in May!

Eden and Ed, married at the beach!

B’Shalom,

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I’m up bright and early to finish off this Thanksgiving weekend with quite a bit of activity.

I’m getting ready to leave for Orlando, where I will be co-officiating the wedding of Megan and Michael tonight at the Winter Park Civic Center.  The wedding is a Catholic-Jewish wedding, and I am co-officiating with Father Tim.  The ceremony is a great blend of traditions, and I look forward to writing more about it when I return.

On Sunday morning, upon my return, I am leading a memorial service for a wonderful man who was a legendary father and grandfather.  The stories I have heard about him made me remember my own, and reminded me that even though I had a short time with him in my life, he left me with memories I will cherish forever, and a legacy that leads me through life even today.  How fortunate we are if we have parents and grandparents who shower us with unconditional love.  I know that this man’s presence was terribly missed at the family’s Thanksgiving this year, but they remembered him with joy and happiness, a true testament to the legacy he left behind.

Shortly after I return, I will be leaving for St. Maarten, where I will be officiating the wedding of Keith & Faith.  This is an amazing power-couple!  I cannot wait to spend time with them and their families, and I know this trip is going to be another life-changing experience.  I love my job!

Stay tuned, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

Oh – PS – GO GATORS!

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What is a Lyceum, you might ask?

Well, Wikipedia tells us:

A Lyceum can be

The precise usage of the term varies among various countries.

But, for me, the Lyceum in St. Petersburg was the location for my most recent wedding, and it was so much fun!  A bit different from most, David and Katie’s wedding was a fun, sincere, down to earth, REAL, and beautiful wedding weekend.  I really liked them both when I met them in Aventura several months ago, and having spent time with their family this past weekend, I am so happy to have had the chance to work with them.  For starters, I left home early Thursday morning, and drove as fast as I could to St. Pete, and met them and their wedding party at the Mirror Lake Lyceum for the rehearsal.  Immediately after the rehearsal, David’s Dad hosted the bridal party, friends, and family at Cafe Aura, in downtown St. Pete.  I had the pleasure of sitting with Ken, David’s Dad, and his 2 sisters and brother in law.  They were a lovely family, and so sweet.  Lunch was delicious, but it was the ambience of this little downtown cafe that really hooked you!

From there, I had the evening to myself, and experienced one of the nicest evenings I’ve had in a while.  David and Katie had 2 hotels for their guests, the Marriott Courtyard and The Ponce deLeon Hotel, and they chose the Ponce deLeon for me.  (YAY)  What a treat this was!  From the moment I walked in, Erica greeted me at the desk, and was the most vivacious hostess I had ever met.  (Except for my Mother in Law at The House of Sea and Sun!).  The hotel is an adorable vintage style guest house directly across from the Marina and Park, and I had hours upon hours to walk and take in the beautiful downtown scenery in St. Pete.

A great place to stay!

A great place to stay!

While I was walking, I came across an adorable floating chapel – a perfect location for a wedding!  I have to give them a call to see if I can possibly officiate there!  (Maybe it’s an idea for a new angle of my business??)

in the Harbor in St. Pete

in the Harbor in St. Pete

For dinner, I went to Ceviche, and could not recommend it more!  It was a great night!  (But, this is not a travel review, it’s a wedding review – so on to the venue!)

Brian at the Lyceum was also an amazing participant, and he led the rehearsal and managed all the details with impeccable style.  David and Katie did a great job of blending their Interfaith wedding, not to mention step parents, and extended family.  David’s Mom had passed away several years ago, and so Katie’s Mom walked David down the aisle, with his Dad, Ken.  Since Katie’s Mom had remarried, and her Dad and Step Dad were both there, she chose to walk down the aisle with both of her Dads.  It was so sweet, and it paid tribute to all of the parents, in just the right way.  I was touched at their ability to blend and adjust the way they had.

David and Katie chose a sand ceremony, and we signed the Ketubah in the presence of their guests.  Their ring exchange was the traditional Jewish style, where we first place the ring on the right Index finger, and move the rings over to the left ring finger after the vows are repeated.  They had a beautiful wedding party of 5 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen, with 2 junior bridesmaids and 2 ring bearers.  Everyone was dressed in black, and they looked beautiful.

David and Katie are a beautiful couple, inside and out.  They had a simple style, and a strong commitment to each other as a couple.  I have faith that this will be a long lasting relationship that will flourish and grow, and I’m so happy to have been a special part of their weekend!  Thanks, David and Katie!

At the Lyceum, after the wedding

At the Lyceum, after the wedding

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