Tips On How To Choose Your Perfect Pair Of Wedding Shoes

Tips On How To Choose Your Perfect Pair Of Wedding Shoes

Need help figuring out how to find the right shoes for you special day? Just check out these tips for finding the perfect pair!

Written by Julia Gartsman

How to Choose the Right Bouquet for Your Wedding

How to Choose the Right Bouquet for Your Wedding

Are you a bride struggling about your bridal or bridesmaid’s bouquet?! Well, you’re in luck! We have written a guide for choosing your perfect bouquet. From the different styles, flowers, colors and sizes, we have your back when it comes to choosing a bouquet that suits your special wedding day!

Why Do Couples Exchange Rings?

Ancient Egyptians are said to have been the first to use rings in a wedding ceremony, as early as 3000 BC. Rings were made of braided hemp or reeds formed into a circle—the symbol of eternity, not only for the Egyptians, but many other ancient cultures. The hole in the ring’s center represented a gateway or door leading to future events. These rings were placed on the fourth finger of the left hand (known as the ring finger) as Egyptians believed a vein ran from that finger straight to the heart, and this practice is said to be the origins of many later traditions. These rings were placed by a man upon the finger of his wife, signifying his confidence in her ability to care for his house.

A Garden Affair - an editorial spread for ChicagoStyle Weddings

"A Garden Affair" Behind-The-Scenes

These are some behind-the-scenes photos from the fashion editorial we have done for ChicagoStyle Weddings.  At the beautiful location The Wandering Tree .  

 

Irene & Gennady's 25th Wedding Anniversary à la The Great Gatsby

This is how you throw a quintessential Roaring Twenties party!  

Inspired by The Great Gatsby, the Sirotas threw the most dazzling party for their 25th Anniversary at The Lakeview Center in Glencoe.  Neky Design added the magic with their beautiful grand floral arrangements.    La Mirage teased the tastebuds of their guests with their delectable Russian cuisine.

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Julia & Russell's Wedding

It's end of the week and I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather.  We sure are!  Before we leave for another weekend of fun photoshoots, we'd like to share with you Julia & Russell's wedding slideshow.  It was a lovely summer wedding in Wheaton, it was a perfect day and we were fortunate to be part of their very special day.  

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 

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Cinderella Everything

Yay!  Stella is 5 this year!  And we were very fortunate to be a part of her birthday party.  2014 was a year of Frozen everything.  And thanks to Cinderella....we can finally "Let IT (Frozen) Go"  

So hello to a year(s) of glass slippers everything.   This year, instead of obsessing over Elsa and Olaf, 5 year olds are looking for their Prince Charming and lost glass slippers.  I overheard a couple of 5 year olds asking Spiderman and Jack Sparrow if they had a "girlfriend".   Things sure have changed over the decades,  I used to worry about when I will get my next piece of candy.  If only they would start sweeping floors and cleaning chimneys like Cinderella too.  >.<  


Fortunately, Stella got to celebrate her 5th birthday with not only Cinderella and Prince Charming, Spiderman and Jack Sparrow were there too and oh, Elsa was invited for old time sake.   Check out this Fairy-tale-super-hero-star-studded birthday party below!  

9 FAQ for your first Jewish Orthodox wedding

      1. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?     If you are female, this is your first question.&nbsp; Well, it's probably your first question about everything, but especially here.&nbsp; But even if you are male, you might wonder.    Women: "Is it inappropriate to wear black?"&nbsp; Um, no.&nbsp; In some circles you might even wonder if it's mandatory.&nbsp; Although color is most definitely making a comeback, you can't go wrong with basic black.    Not OK is sleeveless clothing, short clothes (you will see most guests covering the knee), and low cut tops (most guests will have collarbones covered).&nbsp; There is a garment you will want to know about.&nbsp; It's called a "  shell  ."&nbsp; It's basically a layering top, but dressy, with a crew neck top and long sleeves, that you can pretty much layer under almost anything you already have in your closet.&nbsp; Lots and lots of your fellow females will be garbed in this wonder invention.&nbsp;    Guys: your basic black dress suit is perfect.&nbsp; Most Orthodox weddings aren't the tux type.&nbsp; A nice dress tie and you're good.&nbsp; But y'all have an additional complication:&nbsp;  the yarmulke  .&nbsp; You should wear a yarmulke to an Orthodox wedding.&nbsp; In theory you can wear any old kind you like, but if you're the type that wants to fit in, you should leave the satin one at home and find out what kind of yarmulke the crowd wears.&nbsp; Because it's kind of a statement.

 

1. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

If you are female, this is your first question.  Well, it's probably your first question about everything, but especially here.  But even if you are male, you might wonder.

Women: "Is it inappropriate to wear black?"  Um, no.  In some circles you might even wonder if it's mandatory.  Although color is most definitely making a comeback, you can't go wrong with basic black.

Not OK is sleeveless clothing, short clothes (you will see most guests covering the knee), and low cut tops (most guests will have collarbones covered).  There is a garment you will want to know about.  It's called a "shell."  It's basically a layering top, but dressy, with a crew neck top and long sleeves, that you can pretty much layer under almost anything you already have in your closet.  Lots and lots of your fellow females will be garbed in this wonder invention. 

Guys: your basic black dress suit is perfect.  Most Orthodox weddings aren't the tux type.  A nice dress tie and you're good.  But y'all have an additional complication: the yarmulke.  You should wear a yarmulke to an Orthodox wedding.  In theory you can wear any old kind you like, but if you're the type that wants to fit in, you should leave the satin one at home and find out what kind of yarmulke the crowd wears.  Because it's kind of a statement.

      2. WILL THE BRIDE KISS THE GROOM?     Yes, this is a frequently asked question.&nbsp; The answer is yes, but in private.&nbsp; Judaism teaches that our romantic affections ought be reserved for private spaces.&nbsp; Take it or leave it, but you will not see the kiss.&nbsp; Sorry.&nbsp; Hang out at the airport and you will see lots.

 

2. WILL THE BRIDE KISS THE GROOM?

Yes, this is a frequently asked question.  The answer is yes, but in private.  Judaism teaches that our romantic affections ought be reserved for private spaces.  Take it or leave it, but you will not see the kiss.  Sorry.  Hang out at the airport and you will see lots.

      3. TO WHAT DEGREE WILL MEN AND WOMEN BE SEPARATE?&nbsp;     Some Orthodox weddings will have completely separate seating.&nbsp; Some with a   mechitza  &nbsp;(this may be more for the dancing than for the seating, depending on the crowd).&nbsp; Some will have mixed seating, with certain tables "men-only" and some "women-only."&nbsp; Others will have mixed seating entirely.    All Orthodox chuppahs that I have personally attended are seated separately.    Dancing will always be separate, as it is a feature of Jewish law not to have mixed dancing.&nbsp; However, this can range from with a mechitza to simply separate circles with no mechitza.&nbsp;   

 

3. TO WHAT DEGREE WILL MEN AND WOMEN BE SEPARATE? 

Some Orthodox weddings will have completely separate seating.  Some with a mechitza (this may be more for the dancing than for the seating, depending on the crowd).  Some will have mixed seating, with certain tables "men-only" and some "women-only."  Others will have mixed seating entirely.

All Orthodox chuppahs that I have personally attended are seated separately.

Dancing will always be separate, as it is a feature of Jewish law not to have mixed dancing.  However, this can range from with a mechitza to simply separate circles with no mechitza. 
 

      4. I'M NOT INTO DANCING.&nbsp; WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?     Firstly, no one *has* to dance.&nbsp; It's a mitzvah to make the bride and groom happy, which is supposed to be the goal of any wedding attendee: to achieve this mitzvah.&nbsp; To that end, some weddings have a circus-like quality to them, with guests juggling, singing special songs, and bringing in all sorts of cute "shtick" - paraphernalia, props, and inside jokes to make the bride and groom laugh.&nbsp; You might also see gymnastic feats, fire-eaters, jump-ropers, or who-knows-what else.&nbsp; It's really fun.

 

4. I'M NOT INTO DANCING.  WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

Firstly, no one *has* to dance.  It's a mitzvah to make the bride and groom happy, which is supposed to be the goal of any wedding attendee: to achieve this mitzvah.  To that end, some weddings have a circus-like quality to them, with guests juggling, singing special songs, and bringing in all sorts of cute "shtick" - paraphernalia, props, and inside jokes to make the bride and groom laugh.  You might also see gymnastic feats, fire-eaters, jump-ropers, or who-knows-what else.  It's really fun.

     The dancing itself is your typical hora-style circle dancing with a bit of a twist.&nbsp; The bride/groom/parents usually hover at the center, pulling in close friends and family to whirl around with.

 

The dancing itself is your typical hora-style circle dancing with a bit of a twist.  The bride/groom/parents usually hover at the center, pulling in close friends and family to whirl around with.

      5. WHAT ON EARTH DOES THIS INVITATION MEAN AND WHEN SHOULD I ACTUALLY SHOW UP?     The invitation lists two start times: one for the "kabbalas panim" - when the bride and groom sit, throne-like, and the guests come forward to wish mazel tov.&nbsp; The second time is for the chuppah.    Hint: don't come at the first listed time.&nbsp; Only you and the photographer will be there.&nbsp; If you want to be on time for the chuppah (some guests come afterwards for the dancing if they can't come right away - which is fine - it's kind of casual as far as coming and going when it works for you), consider coming twenty minutes after the first listed time.&nbsp; You will then have time to greet the family and wish mazel tov before the chuppah begins.&nbsp; (Sidebar: you will notice that even non-related guests greet each other with "mazel tov."&nbsp; Try it, you'll like it.)    There will be a long break between the chuppah and dancing.&nbsp; This is because the bride and groom adjourn to their private room (see #2) and afterwards take pictures together - this is because many abide by a custom that bride and groom don't see each other for a week prior to the wedding and thus have not been together to take pictures until after the chuppah.&nbsp; The guests will begin dinner until the bride and groom enter the hall in an explosion of music and dancing.

 

5. WHAT ON EARTH DOES THIS INVITATION MEAN AND WHEN SHOULD I ACTUALLY SHOW UP?

The invitation lists two start times: one for the "kabbalas panim" - when the bride and groom sit, throne-like, and the guests come forward to wish mazel tov.  The second time is for the chuppah.

Hint: don't come at the first listed time.  Only you and the photographer will be there.  If you want to be on time for the chuppah (some guests come afterwards for the dancing if they can't come right away - which is fine - it's kind of casual as far as coming and going when it works for you), consider coming twenty minutes after the first listed time.  You will then have time to greet the family and wish mazel tov before the chuppah begins.  (Sidebar: you will notice that even non-related guests greet each other with "mazel tov."  Try it, you'll like it.)

There will be a long break between the chuppah and dancing.  This is because the bride and groom adjourn to their private room (see #2) and afterwards take pictures together - this is because many abide by a custom that bride and groom don't see each other for a week prior to the wedding and thus have not been together to take pictures until after the chuppah.  The guests will begin dinner until the bride and groom enter the hall in an explosion of music and dancing.

      6. WHAT ABOUT KIDS?     If your kids are not listed on the invitation, but are close to either the bride or groom, it is acceptable to bring them for the kabbalas panim and chuppah only.&nbsp; Then they can go home before dinner.

 

6. WHAT ABOUT KIDS?

If your kids are not listed on the invitation, but are close to either the bride or groom, it is acceptable to bring them for the kabbalas panim and chuppah only.  Then they can go home before dinner.

      7. WHY ARE THEY PLAYING THE "ROCKY" THEME SONG AT AN ORTHODOX WEDDING?     Hm.&nbsp; This is a question about Jewish music today, which is kind of beyond the scope of this post.&nbsp; I'll just say that at most Othodox weddings today, you will NOT hear "hava nagila" and "heveinu shalom aleichem."&nbsp; That's reserved for non-Orthodox bnei mitzvah.&nbsp; Orthodox music has "moved on" to include all kinds of eclectic stuff, which you may love or hate.&nbsp; You may think it's awesome, or reject the fact that it's Jewish.&nbsp; But that's what you can expect.&nbsp; (At a wedding I attended last night, one particular instrumental segment contained strains of both "The Brady Bunch" theme song as well as the one from "Gilligan's Island.")

 

7. WHY ARE THEY PLAYING THE "ROCKY" THEME SONG AT AN ORTHODOX WEDDING?

Hm.  This is a question about Jewish music today, which is kind of beyond the scope of this post.  I'll just say that at most Othodox weddings today, you will NOT hear "hava nagila" and "heveinu shalom aleichem."  That's reserved for non-Orthodox bnei mitzvah.  Orthodox music has "moved on" to include all kinds of eclectic stuff, which you may love or hate.  You may think it's awesome, or reject the fact that it's Jewish.  But that's what you can expect.  (At a wedding I attended last night, one particular instrumental segment contained strains of both "The Brady Bunch" theme song as well as the one from "Gilligan's Island.")

      8. WHAT WILL THE CHUPPAH BE LIKE?     Very solemn.&nbsp; Hopefully.&nbsp; It's considered an incredibly holy time.&nbsp; Many guests rise when the bride and groom are walked down, in respect of their role as king and queen for the evening.&nbsp; The sources teach that the divine presence comes down at this moment, and that the gates of heaven open for prayer.&nbsp; The souls of loved ones are believed to be present.&nbsp; You might see guests praying.&nbsp; The bride and groom are often praying, sometimes tearfully, as it's a personal Yom Kippur for them.&nbsp; It's about a 20 minute service, mostly in Hebrew.&nbsp; The Aramaic ketubah is read aloud.

 

8. WHAT WILL THE CHUPPAH BE LIKE?

Very solemn.  Hopefully.  It's considered an incredibly holy time.  Many guests rise when the bride and groom are walked down, in respect of their role as king and queen for the evening.  The sources teach that the divine presence comes down at this moment, and that the gates of heaven open for prayer.  The souls of loved ones are believed to be present.  You might see guests praying.  The bride and groom are often praying, sometimes tearfully, as it's a personal Yom Kippur for them.  It's about a 20 minute service, mostly in Hebrew.  The Aramaic ketubah is read aloud.

 photo courtesy of  Berries.com  (Wedding DIY: 7 Creative Ways to Gift Cash)    9.&nbsp; WHAT'S AN APPROPRIATE GIFT?     I have no idea why, but people don't bring their gifts to the Orthodox weddings I've been to.&nbsp; They either drop them off in advance or after the fact.    While some brides register, many don't, which leaves you on your own.&nbsp; Checks are always considered appropriate, often in denominations of "chai" - $18.&nbsp; If the couple is moving to Israel, this is your best bet, so they don't have to shlep anything.&nbsp; Otherwise, household goods, cookbooks, crystal, or Judaica such as kiddush cups.&nbsp; I don't recommend mezuzah covers, although it seems so intuitive, because most of them are too small to contain a kosher scroll.&nbsp;

photo courtesy of Berries.com (Wedding DIY: 7 Creative Ways to Gift Cash)

9.  WHAT'S AN APPROPRIATE GIFT?

I have no idea why, but people don't bring their gifts to the Orthodox weddings I've been to.  They either drop them off in advance or after the fact.

While some brides register, many don't, which leaves you on your own.  Checks are always considered appropriate, often in denominations of "chai" - $18.  If the couple is moving to Israel, this is your best bet, so they don't have to shlep anything.  Otherwise, household goods, cookbooks, crystal, or Judaica such as kiddush cups.  I don't recommend mezuzah covers, although it seems so intuitive, because most of them are too small to contain a kosher scroll. 

     Well, now you're all prepared.&nbsp; Remember that you are doing a mitzvah by attending and don't forget to have fun.&nbsp; Find a nice Orthodox person and ask all your questions.&nbsp; He or she will most likely be glad to do a little hand-holding!     Mazel tov!&nbsp; What are your experiences with Orthodox weddings?

 

Well, now you're all prepared.  Remember that you are doing a mitzvah by attending and don't forget to have fun.  Find a nice Orthodox person and ask all your questions.  He or she will most likely be glad to do a little hand-holding!

Mazel tov!  What are your experiences with Orthodox weddings?

Source : http://www.outoftheorthobox.com/ By Ruchi Koval

Malka & Ari Wedding

Photography by Duron Studio Photography

Venue - Westin O'Hare

Flowers - Blooming City Floral

 

Malka & Ari was set up by Malka's best friend's brother.  

One night while Malka was walking around the beach with one of her girl friends.  Ari had secretly set up candles on the beach and surprised Malka with a proposal.  

Malka's dress was made out of two mother of brides dresses from Nordstrom.  The veil she wore belonged to her great grand mother.  It has been worn many times over 3 generations.  The Chuppah was also sewn by Malka's mother's best friend Alex who also made her parent's Chuppah.  

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Anastasia & Juan's Wedding

Photographer & Videographer - Duron Studio Photography

Dress : A Joyfull Occasion in Naperville, La Sposa Mullet

Venue : The Westin O'hare

DJ : DJ Dan from OkyneMedia Lab

Rings : Lieber Jewelers (Earthwise, conflict-free diamonds)

Makeup : Bomber Betty

Hair : Rue 62

 

In 2011, Anastasia decided to leave the United States to teach English as a second languge in Brazil.  While she was finalizing plans to move, she met Juan, a Columbian.  When they had their first date,  Juan took Anastasia to a Spanish tapas restaurant, then to a club where they danced all night long.

Their love for music joined with their love for dancing created an instant bond.  Additionally, their mutual love for travel, learning about new worlds and cultures and their lives became perfect symmetry.  Anastasia's plan of moving to Brazil quickly faded as a new dream began to take shape.  Together they realized they had finally met the one person they had both been searching all their lives.

In July 2012, they got engaged aboard a sunset cruise on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.  While on the cruise, Juan became extremely seasick.  When he dropped down to one knee, Anastasia believed he was going to push out the seasickness...but instead, he pulled out a ring.  And proposed.  

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