Photography by Kendra Stanley-Mills.
Trust me when I tell you this is the ultimate modern take on the traditional dream wedding in your parents’ backyard. The bride’s parents’ Michigan property really did come with everything – including a gorgeous getting ready space in her parents’ light-filled home, a lush green backyard for their Jewish ceremony (officiated by the same rabbi who married her parents!), and a front yard with enough space for their stylish green and white reception… oh, and did I mention the lake, oh-so-right for sunset shots? Plus, it was the ideal backdrop for the bride’s chic look, in a Pronovias short sleeved gown with keyhole back and a tiny, elegant train. And it has to be said, we like a bride who knows good shoes (you had us at ‘white and spiked’, Mr Louboutin!)
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We signed a traditional Jewish wedding contract, a ketubah, before the ceremony. I also did something old (my grandmother’s diamond bracelet), new (my wedding dress), borrowed (a ring borrowed from my mother-in-law), and blue (my best friend gave me a handkerchief with a sweet message and our wedding date.)
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We wanted to have our wedding some place meaningful and somewhere where we could create our event space from scratch. There was no better place than my parents’ house!
Bride Alyssa tells us “we served prosecco and meat and cheese appetizers before our ceremony. We wanted everyone to be happy waiting for the ceremony and there’s not better way to do than with food and booze!”
Your ceremony in three words. Emotional, intimate, exciting.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? My husband and I knew we wanted to write our own vows; I also knew I wanted to be married by my childhood rabbi. Since my husband didn’t grow up Jewish we discussed what we both wanted in a ceremony and what we were comfortable with and then met with the rabbi to discuss what readings made sense.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? My childhood rabbi officiated the ceremony. He also married my parents 33 years earlier!
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We stood under a traditional chuppah, drank from a kiddish cup, and lit a candle.
What were your ceremony readings? We read traditional Jewish wedding readings.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows. Fortunately, some good friends gave us the tip of reading our vows to each other in private a few days before the weeding. It was really special and made us even more excited for the wedding. Plus, during the ceremony I couldn’t stop crying so I can’t even imagine what it would’ve been like had we not read the vows before!
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? When Matt leaned in to kiss me after he read his vows and realized it wasn’t time yet. Everyone laughed and it was a really cute moment.
What was your ceremony music? We had a string quartet. For the Attendant and Groom’s Processional, they played Vivaldi’s Spring, and for the Bride’s Processional, Handel’s Hornpipe from Water. And for the Recessional the quartet played Hail to the Victors the University of Michigan fight song – because that’s where Matt and I met, and we are die hard Michigan fans!
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The idea of having a super elegant dinner party with all of our friends and family. All white, modern, and cool.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Be true to your vision, but be flexible and listen to the professionals. I had a vision for our reception centerpieces that was completely price prohibitive and our florist creative a tablescape better than anything I imagined.
What other advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Get a wedding planner if you can! Ours was a life saver.
What was your wedding menu? We served green salad and bread, then a choice of either Chilean Sea Bass with charmoula yogurt and tomato salsa over couscous, or roast beef tenderloin with red wine current reduction over sun-dried rice pilaf.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We didn’t have a wedding cake – we had mini Dairy Queen blizzards! Matt and I had a love affair with Dairy Queen in college and many of our friends and family know it’s a personal favorite. We also had some baked goods for people if they didn’t want the blizzards.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I wish we would have had a photographer or designated friend/ family member taking pictures at the rehearsal. We hosted a wedding kick-off for all of your guests the night before the wedding and I wish we had more pictures from that event!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received is that the wedding is about more than the bride and the groom. It’s really about two families coming together and working together through lots of opinions. It was great advice and helped me keep things in perspective when things got stressful.
Overall, how would you describe your reception? Fun! And couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful evening.