Written by: Tami

Over the past year, many posts on our blog have been devoted to one topic … Phil and my wedding! We have taken you through the entire journey from our engagement story, to asking Lauren to be my Maid of Honor, to our initial planning, to showers and my big bachelorette weekend away. I love that I have had this opportunity to share all of these details with our readers and that for years to come Phil and I will have these memories documented.

As an Event Coordinator and Bride, this project was extremely important to me. Your wedding day is something you look forward to for a very long time, and not only did I want to fulfill all of the dreams I had for this day, but felt it necessary to prove my skills as well. On the plus side, planning your own wedding means that you are able to do whatever you want (as long as your budget allows), however if I am being completely honest … It was much harder planning for myself than it has ever been planning for anyone else. Good thing I only have to do this once, right? After all of the hype leading up to this post, I am so excited to finally share the details from our Garden Glam wedding ceremony.

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Inspiration is a huge element of planning any event. My process for my own wedding began the same as it does for any other event I coordinate. I pulled many inspiration pictures on Pinterest (to a secret board, of course) for all things wedding … dresses, decor, and even the feel I wanted to achieve with our photographs. My partner in crime (Lauren), then took the photos that truly captured the feel of our event and turned them into inspiration boards like the one above for our wedding ceremony. You can see that the overall feel is Garden Glam and includes our ideas for setting up our chuppah, Bride and Bridesmaid bouquets, a cute sign for our hashtag (#onceyougodaks), and even a photo I hoped to capture with my adorable Flower Girl.

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You can’t have a wedding ceremony without rings, and I am obsessed with the creative way our photographer (Britt of The Argus Image) photographed ours. I ask myself every day, “How did I get to be so lucky?” and Phil engraved these exact sentiments into his classic wedding ring. Jewish tradition states that a Bride must be married in a simple ring without stones, so it made perfect sense to use my Grandma’s gold wedding band during the ceremony especially because I’ve always wanted to have the kind of relationship she had with my grandfather.

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We knew right away when we toured this ceremony space at The Sheraton Universal that it would not need a whole lot to be beautiful. We chose to bring the inside dining chairs out to give a more formal feel and set up a simple but gorgeous chuppah to be married under.

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Sheer white and gray linen fabric dressed up our chuppah along with gorgeous floral arrangements made by Kayla of House of Magnolias. I am not surprised, as every time I work with Kayla she gets my vision exactly (if not goes above and beyond my expectations) but the flowers were the perfect shades of white, blush, wine, and magenta. Just like I wanted!

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A small cocktail table was set inside our chuppah with all of the wedding essentials; wine, Phil’s new tallit (prayer shawl), and two beautiful kiddish cups (traditional wine glasses). We chose to use one that is new and was given to us by my parents as a wedding gift and another that has been in Phil’s family for a long time and belonged to his beloved Papa Joe.

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As we would be waiting for the sun to go down to start the ceremony, we opted for an nontraditional schedule which put the cocktail hour first. This was also a great way for guests to mingle and grab a drink before taking their seats and created a bit of excitement for what was to come. We rented these stunning gold sequin tablecloths from Signature Party Rentals and simply added a small bouquet to each table in an antique cut crystal glass with some candle light.

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The appetizers at the Sheraton were spectacular … I know not because I was at the cocktail hour (Wouldn’t want to show off my dress before the ceremony!) but because they were served in our ketubah signing as well! Thank goodness I got a bite to eat before walking down the aisle.

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Havdallah is made up of three blessings (wine, spices, and a braided candle). Many Jewish people say or sing these blessings every Saturday night to separate the regular week from Shabbat. Phil and I both love this tradition having grown up at Jewish camps and wanted to incorporate it into our special day. While my brother, Aaron, played guitar our moms lead our closest family and friends through these blessings and we all sang along while holding hands.

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We also spent a lot of time researching ketubah text and settled upon Hebrew and English wording that we felt spoke to our relationship best. This Jewish marriage license we do not take lightly and will hang in our home for years to come.

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After signing the ketubah, Rabbi Camras announced that we were officially married … What a crazy moment! By the way, this gorgeous veil is my “something borrowed”. It is the one that Lauren wore on her wedding day!

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Phil looks beyond handsome in his tux as he is escorted down the aisle by his equally well-dressed parents.

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All five of our nieces and nephews made an appearance during the processional. Lauren’s girls looked especially adorable in their blush dresses and flower crowns. A special shout out goes to Scott for helping them to “walk down the aisle”.

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Phil’s Groomsmen rented perfectly polished tuxes from The Black Tux  and each of my Bridesmaids wore a gold sequin dress that suited their own personal style.

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My two sets of parents looked amazing as well! I am so blessed to have had them all standing around me as I married the man of my dreams.

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Ava was a little shy and may not have thrown any flowers, but could not have looked cuter in her “pink tutu” and flower crown that matched mine exactly from our Engagement Photo Shoot.

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Everyone says that the best moment during a wedding ceremony is watching the Groom’s face as his Bride walks down the aisle towards him. I could not agree more. Phil’s smile took all my nerves away and made it easy to be completely present in that moment even as our guests were cheering from the sidelines.

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I walked halfway, greeted my parents on either side of the aisle, and waited patiently for Phil to come down and escort me the rest of the way.

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Meanwhile my brother Aaron played a special song for us, a slowed down version of Rather Be by Clean Bandit.

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Traditional words were said by us and the Rabbi, we were wrapped and blessed in Phil’s new tallit, a glass was shattered, and a kiss was shared, but the thing everyone is still talking about is my mother’s voice, as she took on the important role of Cantorial Soloist on our big day. So many special memories and personal touches!

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I truly cannot be happier to have married my best friend and with how all of the carefully planned details of this day came to be. There’s more to come from this Garden Glam feature on Monday. Thank you for allowing me to share my story with all of you!

All Photographs taken by The Argus Image.

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