Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: Jon and I have been together for over 7 years, stocked up in various cities (Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, DC), at times distanced and at times together, for our respective specialty training (we are both in Medicine). I planned the wedding during my residency in Philadelphia, while Jon was hard at work in his fellowship in Chicago. We really wanted our wedding day to be a getaway, a little vacation from our hectic lives. Newport, RI could not have been a more perfect choice. It has a breezy, yet elegant vibe. I kept the rest of the planning around that feeling. The style of the wedding was truly my own—classic clean lines, simple, elegant, but also relaxed. I kept cool blues and grey color pallet, which was a perfect balance for that flair.We tried to incorporate just a few Jewish traditions and customs into our special day. We signed our Ketubah, a Jewish marriage contract, just prior to our ceremony. It was a really special moment to share with our close family and friends present. We were married under a Chuppah, a Jewish wedding canopy, which was covered with late grandfather’s tallit (a Jewish prayer shawl) and used my grandmother’s sterling silver Kiddush cup to share our first sip of wine.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: My inspiration for the style of our wedding was based off a vibe more than any style. I wanted to feel formal and classic, yet relaxed. I should say that the wedding really kicked off the night before with a lobster boil in downtown Newport. The entrance had a custom wood welcome sign, a more rustic vibe to contrast the style of the next day. We decked out the space with pictures of Jon and myself growing up to welcome everyone into the space. And we had custom lobster bibs, napkins, and “how to eat a lobster” cards at every place setting to keep a light and fun vibe.For our wedding ceremony, I wanted the focus of the décor to be a complement to the gorgeous ocean side backdrop. Our florist balanced that beautifully with the designs she chose (below). We also had grey blankets, to keep guests cozy from the breeze coming off the water. It was a special touch that everyone really enjoyed.The reception décor was continued much in the same vain. For the florals (see below) we kept it simple, classic. We had custom cocktail napkins with our wedding monogram and date, in grey and white. The venue itself, was just so special and gorgeous, we did not have to add much. We had a fire pit lit throughout the night. People were sitting by it until late, wrapped in the grey fleece blankets we provided.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: The florals were key to the style of the wedding. Wren captured the understated elegance I was looking for in all their designs. Our bridal bouquets, boutonnieres were all kept in greens and whites, with pops of cool blue with a natural flowing shape. My bridal bouquet, I wanted to feel chic and tasteful. Danielle created a simple, gorgeous bouquet of all white Astilbe flowers. To complement the crisp ocean views and clean lines of our ceremony, our florist created the most gorgeous Chuppah. The greenery lightly twisted around the branch stands and it was covered over top with my grandfather’s tallit, a really personal, special touch. We used my grandmother’s Kiddush cup to drink wine and displayed our beautiful hand painted Ketubah nearby. It was the perfect combination of sophisticated modernity, with personal touch. The aisles were lined with lanterns and white petals.For the reception, the tables had white, green, and violet-blue florals with a natural, flowing design. The candles were a blue grey, to add a little more color to the space. We placed a swig of greenery at each table setting loosely tied together with a grey silk ribbon. One of the most special pieces our florist created was a table top “garden” featuring a natural assembly of foliage and blooms that draped around our escort cards (which our wedding planner created by hand). Our florist also repurposed the lanterns that lined the aisle onto the stairs inside the ceremony.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: It was important to us, to make the wedding feel like us. It took less than ten seconds to agree on no cake, and opt for a Ben and Jerry’s Sunday Bar instead. We added a Del’s Lemonade stand to our cocktail hour, with an option to add Vodka to keep with my father’s U.S.S.R. roots. About a month before the wedding, my husband asked if we could have a beer pong table. Within twenty-four hours, I had a custom table monogrammed and colored to match the decor shipped to our apartment. We swapped the red solo cups for grey to match. It was a such a fun addition.One of my favorite moments was the dance with my father. He was born in Tblisi, Georgia in the former Soviet Union. We wanted to incorporate my heritage into the day, in a unique, fun way. So, we decided to add a twist to the typical father-daughter dance. We started out with 45 seconds of Luis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” Then my brothers broke up the dance, dawned my father in a custom “U.S.S.R” bandana and handed me a pair of red, “U.S.S.R” sunglasses, personalized with our wedding date on the sides. We proceeded to rock out to a choreographed dance to the Beatles song, “Back in the U.S.S.R.” Guests quickly joined in, rocking their own pair of custom U.S.S.R sunglasses. It was one of the most memorable moments of the night.
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
A: My wedding was truly a weekend of events. Our weekend kicked off with a lobster boil, on the water as a welcome for all our guests. My rehearsal dinner ‘look’ was a fun project. I wanted to have such a different vibe from my wedding day. I wanted to feel a little more rustic, with a formal flair. I chose a gown from Hemant and Nandita, which captured that vibe perfectly. I wore my hair in a half braid, with loose curls beneath and tied the entire look together with green velvet strappy heels and gold hoop drop earrings. When it came to choosing my gown, I really wanted something extraordinarily simple, structured, and timeless. My gown was the first one I tried at Gabriella Bridal in Manhattan. It was an Anna Maier gown. I could not have anticipated what lay ahead. Charles Bunstine, the designer behind the label, works one on one with all his brides. He creates the gown piece by piece, shaping it perfectly to each bride over the course of months in his studio. The fittings it ended up being one of the most amazing, once in a lifetime experiences. It turned out beautifully. It was strapless, gown with hundreds of meticulously sown buttons lining the back of the garment. He made a custom vail to match, with the piping of the vail to match the fabric in the gown. I tied my hair back into a loose, yet simple bun to match the look of the gown. Since my dress was so simple, I wanted to have a little more fun with my shoes, but still match the look of the gown. I found perfect pumps from bellebelle, with pearl detailing down the front, and silk white ribbon tied around my ankle. My jewelry was one of the most special aspects of my look, all borrowed. I wore my mom’s diamond pear-shaped studs and my mother-in-law’s diamond bracelet. For my husband’s wedding day look, he had one request, no tuxedo. We wanted to still make it formal and special, so we went with a black suit from suit supply matched with a simple black tie.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: Jon and I met in the library in medical school in Washington DC. It was September, I was a first-year gearing up for a round of exams and he was a fourth-year student, studying for the first step of his medical boards. He asked me to watch his computer while he stepped out of the library for a study break. I diligently watched his belongings and I guess I did a good job, because for the next week we switched off guarding each other’s tech as each of us stepped out for breaks. Soon enough, he asked me my name, and we started talking, laughing, and pushing our computers aside to take our breaks together. We have been together since. Jon proposed while on vacation in Florida, we had been dating for five years at that point. My family rents a house in Florida every year around the holidays. I thought this would be our typical trip, little did I know what was in store. Jon had a small window to pull the trigger, while my parents were out of the house grocery shopping (at least so I thought). I was relaxing around the house. I had just come off a week of night shifts, so I was mostly trying to nap. We were watching a movie, when he asked me if I could help wrap the holiday presents he bought for my family before they got back. Reluctantly, I got up and checked the bag of gifts and saw a ring box. In a matter of minutes, he was down on one knee at a loss for words. Though nothing more needed to be said. It was so personal, perfect, special. I of course jumped up excited and screamed yes. He then took me downstairs, opened the door and my family was outside, holding flowers and Champaign, alongside a guitarist playing the song “somewhere over the rainbow.” Jon knows the most important thing in the world to me is my family and to have them be a part of this fairy-tale moment could not have been more perfect.
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: The most special moment was seeing my husband during our first look. The second I saw him, I just relaxed. With that one moment together, I knew everything would be perfect. I think from that moment on, the smile never left my face.