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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Under the chuppah in the Redwoods

On a recent warm June afternoon, the Ketubah beautifully displayed beside the Chuppah in the sheltering shade of century-old Redwood trees, Amanda and Brenden became man and wife, incorporating many of the Hebrew customs passed down through generations of their family members.

It is the tradition in Jewish weddings for the Ketubah, their official marriage contract, to be signed by the parents, officiant, bride and groom before the ceremony, and then displayed near the chuppah when the wedding ceremony is taking place. The Ketubah is a work of art, with Hebrew text describing the joys and responsibilities of marriage; it becomes a focal point in the home, proudly displayed by the newly married couple as a beautiful and joyful reminder of their wedding day.

The framed Ketubah was transported by hand from the barn where it was signed, to the Redwood Chapel, where an easel was placed for the display of the Ketubah during the ceremony.

When the ceremony began, after the officiants and the wedding party had taken their places in front of the arbor, the four chuppah bearers, each a family member of either Brenden or Amanda, entered and stood holding poles supporting the same square cloth used by both of Brenden's brothers in their wedding, to create a symbolic shelter for the bride and groom to stand.

Brenden entered the ceremony with his parents and took his place under the Chuppah, to await his bride, Amanda who entered next, escorted by her parents. Once the two were together they moved to stand under the chuppah, which as the officiant explained represents both the new home being established and the spiritual covering provided by the Jewish faith.

Amanda and Brenden under the chuppah as the officiant explains the origins and meanings of the Hebrew customs being honored in their wedding ceremony.

After the ceremony, Brenden and Amanda had a few moments alone to savor the beauty and excitement of what had just happened; their guests were lead up to the cocktail reception by Brenden's Uncle Jerry, playing his accordion. When the ceremony site had cleared of guests, Amanda and Brenden joined their family members for photos, and then entered the cocktail reception via the Nestldown train.

Amanda and Brenden joining their family for photos after their alone time following the ceremony.

As soon as Brenden and Amanda stepped off the train into the cocktail area behind the Fantasy Garden, they lead their guests in a joyous parade to dinner on the lawn near the barn; as everyone enjoyed a sumptuous family- style dinner, humorous, creative and touching toasts were made by both sets of parents, and the three brothers in the families. The celebration had officially begun-- the sound of laughter and chatter filled the sun-drenched lawn.

Amanda, Brenden, their flower girl, Brenden's niece, and the bridal party led the wedding guests to dinner from the cocktail hour on the Bocce Ball field.

After dinner, everyone was invited into the barn for the First Dance (which Brenden began with a back flip, walking on his hands, and some quick break dancing moves..he surprised everyone with his gymmastics!), followed by the Parent Dances, and of course the Hora!
The foot- stomping music of the dynamic Blue Grass band, Hot Buttered Rum had the bride, groom, family and guests dancing without a break for 2 solid hours! As the guests waved goodby to Amanda and Brenden, as they made their exit in Nestldown's signature English taxi, sounds of Mazel Tov! filled the air!

The band played acoustic instruments of all types, from guitar, to mandolin, fiddle, flute, upright bass and slide guitar...the only musician who played the same instrument all night was the drummer! What a versatile and energetic group of musicians!

Brenden and Amanda's fantastic vendor team included:
Thomas John Events, Caterer
Tim Sohn, Photographer
In Full Bloom, Florist
Hot Buttered Rum, Band
Lone Star Transportation
Nestldown, Venue


SA Perillo said...

One of the most important customs in Jewish wedding is the Ketubah, this is like marriage contract that needed to be signed by the couples in front of the rabbi and witnesses. This Modern Ketubah not only symbolizes the wedding but at the same time created to protect the wife and her future children’s welfare.

Judith Joseph said...

I am delighted to see my "Firefly" ketubah design at your beautiful wedding. All best wishes to the bride and groom!
Judith Joseph