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Arel and I have been out of the loop for awhile due to the recent high holy holidays. We didn’t want to plaster our videos everywhere while more important agendas were going on for the Jewish people. For us, this was an especially meaningful past weeks as we celebrated our first high holidays as a Jewish couple. It was heartfelt and it gave us the space to reflect on how far we’ve come as a couple and where we want to go from here on all sorts of levels, especially spiritually. We are genuinely excited about the upcoming year.
So now that we’re back to wedding planning, we have another video for you. The honest truth is that we both are not so great with planning, which means we had to come up with a solution otherwise our wedding would be one horrendous party. What did we end up doing? Watch the video to find out.
In this video, we talk about wedding dresses. Arel thinks dresses are ridiculously priced, and I think he’s right but why oh why do they have to be so darn beautiful? I found the perfect dress but it’s beyond my price range…so what to do? For all you ladies out there, did you stay within your dress budget or did you splurge on your wedding dress? Was it worth it?
And of course…Happy New Year – L’Shana Tova! I hope you all have an amazing year!
In this video, Arel and I talk about meeting our rabbi, Rabbi Pepperstone (aka Rabbi P:). We spent 4 hours talking about the wedding and delved into other interesting topics. He was very open and answered all of our questions and made us feel confident about having a Jewish wedding with a mostly interfaith guest list.
Arel and I are both very happy with Rabbi Pepperstone leading our ceremony and we’re sure our families and friends will be just as content. He’s really easy to talk to, extremely knowledgeable and funny. We didn’t want to leave our meeting but we had to let him go home at some point.
I’m wondering: do most Jews choose their resident rabbi to officiate their wedding, or do they seek a rabbi elsewhere? Care to share? Love to hear your thoughts:)
The people Ethan would playfully refer to as “punks” would say “J-E-W-I-S-H…” but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
One thing we noticed while on our whirlwind trip through Phoenix last week, talking to florists, planners, event location managers, caterers, and other sundry people involved in The Wedding Day, was that we just couldn’t come to agreement on how to spell Huppah. There are just so many choices, Chuppah, Hupah, Huppah, Huppa, Chuppa…. Though some would probably argue that there is only one right way to do it, they better not be using the Roman alphabet. Because there just isn’t standardization in transliteration. Oh sure, some people have tried, and large groups of Jews choose to use one standard or another, but there just isn’t a universal.
This can cause a bit of a problem when dealing with people not familiar with all the variance. If you use a spelling they’re not used to, then they might not understand what you’re talking about. Certainly this problem is more prevalent in the modern age when so much is done via email and the internet, but trying to make arrangements from 2000 miles away doesn’t help either.
Fortunately we haven’t run into any major snafus because of the joys of transliteration, but there has been occasional minor confusion.
All that being said, we’re happy to report success in making major progress from our trip, and invitations are going out tomorrow.
On a related note, when we drafted our invitations we had included the Hebrew date, and had spelled out the English year “Two thousand and eleven,” as is often traditional in formal invitations. We had kept the Hebrew date as a numeral and got a near universal reaction from people who reviewed it that that looked weird. In the end we chose uniformity in numerals because spelling out “Fifty seven and seventy one” in addition to the above just took up way too much space. So be on the lookout and keep it in mind for your big day. It’s a minor detail, but one worth looking good.
This week, Ethan was freed from the bonds of the academic calendar (boy, finals are fun) and we near instantly picked up and flew out to Phoenix for a long weekend to taste, meet vendors and walk through venues for the upcoming wedding and associated events.
Our first stop (a mere hour and a half after our plane landed) was at Temple Chai in Scottsdale, where we had the pleasure of seeing where our Shabbat and rehearsal dinners will be. It took a little imagination to picture our events taking place in Room Gimel (I believe named for being vaguely shaped like the Hebrew letter), given that it was set up for a blue and white, sports-themed bar mitzvah party. But nonetheless the facilities were looking quite good and we’re confident that they will be treating us very well. (Ethan has family who are members.)
Mia had an interesting revelation as she walked with Ethan and her parents into the hall: her folks were very concerned about whether they were dressed appropriately for this visit, and what the dress code would be for the actual dinners. This reminded Mia of when she first started attending services with Ethan and was really worried about fitting in and not being “offensive” somehow (not that she wears cutoffs and bustiers, of course!). She noted how relaxed she was as she encouraged her parents to trust Ethan’s assurances that they were just fine. (What a difference 2.5 years make: now she’s reassuring her parents rather than being reassured by Ethan.)
Meanwhile, back to the caterer… conveniently enough, the event we were watching get set up was being catered by the same company we were hoping to use for the dinners, and they were kind enough to let us sample some of their hors d’oeuvres to get a sense of their cooking. It is pretty important for Ethan that we get a kosher caterer for the Shabbat dinner because he simply likes his meat and with a significant number of guests who keep kosher the rest of the weekend will have to be milchig (dairy). So who could be more happy when the first waiter to come by brings out the traditional pigs in a blanket? Mia found the concept of the non-dairy pastry wrapper to be quite novel too. (Perhaps yet another indication of how she’s becoming accustomed to thinking about the kosher/non-kosher dynamic whenever she’s eating.)
So thus our weekend begins, tune in next week for more thrilling adventures from the desert.
It’s us again, and Daisy (our cat) says hi too. (Have you ever tried using a laptop while a cat is also trying to occupy said lap?)
We’re continuing to move along with wedding planning, with just under four months until W Day! Slowly things seem to be shaping up. This of course has entailed the usual back and forth with our respective matriarchs, calls to DJs and florists, menu planning and continuing the ongoing odyssey of discovering how we actually want the day to look and feel. All of this while Ethan juggles full-time work plus two grad classes, and Mia transitions between jobs. Suffice to say we got a lot goin’ on, and practically have to book appointments with each other to ensure dedicated planning time. But it works, and that’s the important thing!
So far we have been fortunate in many things. For instance, one of the DJs we contacted said it would be no problem to have a period of traditional Jewish dancing. He even threw down with some Yiddish. Mia is confident a traditional Indian wedding vase can be easily procured (she says “Indian” because, as the residents on the reservation close to her parents’ house note, they aren’t Native Americans because this wasn’t always America…but we digress…)
Technology has definitely made living in Boston while planning an Arizona wedding much more feasible. Emails help bridge the time zones, and our “wed site” has kept friends and family members from across the country informed about logistics and what to expect. The Internet also played a large role in selecting vendors. Our wedding consultant had sent us a few links for photographers she highly recommended, and because photography is, well, visual, as is the Internet, we felt very confident when we clicked on one of the links and found ourselves staring at an album that matched our vision. But how to connect with this person who would memorialize moments of our most special day? We’d heard horror stories about photographers who looked good on paper but were wet blankets on the day of. Skype to the rescue!
We were particularly excited this past week when we Skyped with Christine, our photographer, so that we could “meet.” We felt like goofy kids, all three of us giggling and exclaiming how cool it was that we could see each other! It’s not like we’re new to Skype, but it is still neat to have a chance to have a face-to-face interview from 2,000 miles away. (Mia has noted lately how it’s hard to feel like a bride sometimes when she can’t physically be there to meet vendors or go shopping for dresses with her interstate brides maids…but she digresses…) We hope to Skype with the DJ and florist as well. We’ll have to fly to AZ to do our menu and cake tastings…no food replicator similar to that in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” has hit the market yet. Unless you know something we don’t know…;)
Has Skype played a valuable role in YOUR wedding planning or relationship building?
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