Levi swept me off my feet the moment we met…literally. He and I were paired up as dance partners our senior year of college to raise money for cancer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Shortly after graduation, Levi moved to Israel to fulfill his military requirements for his dual citizenship. We had a transatlantic relationship for two years before settling in New Hope, Pennsylvania. After he proposed, there was one thing we knew for sure. We wanted a wedding that defined us and did not fall into the standard expectations. We had beaten so many odds being 6,000 miles apart and we wanted our wedding to be the same thing, a different approach to Happily Ever After.
After a few weeks of venue hunting, we found the perfect place. It had been my favorite restaurant and just so happened to hold enough space for our wedding. The restaurant at Grounds for Sculpture is located in Hamilton, New Jersey and exudes a fairy tale setting for the perfect day. After all, the restaurant was named for a character in the owner’s favorite childhood book, “The Wind in the Willows.” The interior of the restaurant boasts a country-French flare with its fire places, wood beam ceilings, and individual unique wooden chairs with different yet cohesive seat cushions. The exterior grounds are perfectly manicured to resemble the famous French artist Claude Monet’s hometown of Giverny. In fact, there is an exact replica of the renowned footbridge and lily pad pond. Every time we set foot in this restaurant, we are instantly happy. It was the perfect place to choose for our special day.
Once we chose the venue, we were on the hunt to cross the remaining items off of our to-do list. The dress came next. I envisioned myself in a lace gown with a vintage and haute-couture appearance. Arielle Bridal in Ambler, Pennsylvania worked with me to re-design an existing Casablanca dress. The original dress was V-neck with spaghetti straps. I re-worked the top to make a boat neck with long sleeves. It was truly amazing to get a one of a kind dress which I had the chance to create. ‘Something Blue’ was added to the bodice of my dress. My aunt had cut a heart out of my grandfather’s navy blue tie and sewed it to a royal blue heart cut from my grandmother’s favorite dress. It was very special and meaningful.
On October 6th, I felt so ready to marry Levi. The ceremony was held at the Grounds for Sculpture Amphitheater. The stone seating and natural beauty evoked a special Celtic charm which reflected our Irish roots. We were married under a chuppah made from my grandmother’s curtains. The same Rabbi that performed my baby naming and Bat Mitzvah married Levi and me. The ceremony was exceptionally personal.
Once we arrived at the reception, we were elated with happiness. The cocktail hour took place on the terrace overlooking the Monet footbridge; guests sipped on Levi’s favorite drink, a ‘Seal the Deal,’ known to most as a Dark and Stormy. A wonderful, four-course French cuisine meal made for a delicious dinner. Following, guests danced the night away in the beautiful pavilion located adjacent to the middle eastern inspired bar and terrace. Guests that preferred not to dance enjoyed their evening on the pavilion smoking cigars characterized with our new monogram. Levi and I spent the final hours of our wedding glued to the dance floor with friends and family. It was truly a magical and unforgettable day for us filled with love and support from everyone present.
Vendor Resources: Photographer: Kamila Harris Photography//Wedding Coordinator: Mary Bradley Events//Reception Venue: Grounds For Sculpture & Rat’s Restaurant//Florals: Viburnum Designs//Kosher Catering: Noah’s Ark Catering//Wedding Dress: Casablanca from Arielle Bridal//Monogram Artwork: Vintage Bells and Co//Invitations: Checkerboard//Rabbi: Rabbi Elliot Strom//Rings: Newtown Jewelers//Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy//Bridesmaids Jewelry: J. Crew//Groom’s and Groomsmen’s attire: Kenneth Cole Reaction//
DJ: Marc from Synergetic Sounds //Guitarist: Steven Kaplan//Transportation: Cescaphe Trolley