Gary and Tara’s August wedding was steeped in Jewish tradition, from their preparations to the intimate details of their reception. As per tradition, the couple had two separate ceremonies: a private religious ceremony, during which they signed all the relevant civil and religious documents, including a ketubah, and a public ceremony attended by their friends and family. Prior to the first ceremony, which took place at UBC Botanical Gardens’s Arbour, Gary was danced and carried in from the Secret Garden to view Tara for the first time.
Afterwards, the couple transitioned to the Contemporary Lawn for the public ceremony. The processional was led by brothers of the bride and groom, who carried the chuppah down the aisle. The guests, many of whom had never attended a Jewish wedding before, were provided with yarmulkes (as appropriate) and informational pamphlets. Rabbi Adam performed the ceremony in a mixture of Hebrew and English, and the bride and groom also exchanged Hebrew verses during the ceremony.
Gary and Tara shared ceremonial wine not just with each other during the ceremony, but with their mothers and fathers at different points, something which is not part of the traditional ritual but is becoming popular among couples who wish to include their parents in their wedding. The ceremony ended with the traditional breaking of the glass, and the couple was sung out with the Mazel Tov Song.
From the Bride:
Hiring Breanne was the best decision we made! She was a treasure to work with and help plan our wedding. Right from the beginning she helped us get organized, was always very responsive to e-mails and full of tips and helpful suggestions. The few weeks and days leading up the wedding and of course the day of she was just incredible. She helped us sort out the final details and really helped us with self care in the craziness of the final days before the wedding. We were BEYOND impressed on the day of. She was there first thing in the morning to make sure everything was perfect and ready to go and stayed right to the end. We did not worry about a thing on our wedding day! She made everything run so smoothy. There would have been numerous awkward moments if she wasn’t there to step in and coordinate. Breanne made our day what it was. She took care of everything so that we were able to relax, be present and enjoy our day and we cannot thank her enough for that.
The reception took place at Congregation Beth Israel, Vancouver, where guests enjoyed cocktails until the happy couple arrived. When they were announced into the reception hall, Gary and Tara proceeded directly to the hora (a traditional Jewish chair dance). Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a plated dinner provided by The Perfect Bite, one of the few kosher-certified caterers in Vancouver. Each course was punctuated with speeches. Instead of cake, Gary and Tara opted for a sundae bar for dessert.
The table numbers at the reception were accompanied by the title of a book by bride’s favourite author, which had special significance to the couple. The tables were covered in mercury votives, hurricane vases with floating candles, and decorated with plentiful greenery. The head table in particular was adorned with a long garland, and the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets were distributed along it for additional pizazz. Behind the head table, four columns featured tall vases full of willow branches with green and white orchids glued on personally by Breanne of ThistleBEA the morning of the wedding.
In lieu of a bouquet toss, the couple decided to present the bouquet to the couple present who’d been married the longest – in this case, over sixty-five years. They then enjoyed a first dance that had been choreographed to And Then I Kissed Her by The Beach Boys, followed by a mizinke which capped off the evening. This traditional dance in honour of parents who are celebrating the wedding of their last unmarried child featured bestowing the parents of both bride and groom with flower crowns made last minute by Breanne, before hoisting them aloft on chairs in a similar fashion to the hora.
From the Groom:
My wife was the one who decided that we would probably need a day planner for our wedding, which was good decision, and it was my wife who hired Breanne which was probably one of the best decisions for out wedding. Breanne was amazing from beginning to end, but especially near the wend when our wedding was approaching. The week of the wedding she helped (a lot) with set up at our venue, transportation, organisation, syncing with our various vendors and calming our nerves, taking the weight off our shoulders so we could actually enjoy our day. She was always on hand when we had a question, or ready to supply us with suggestions. She managed to make sure all family and friends were on the same page when it came to what we wanted for our wedding, she coordinated and organised and worked hard to make sure our special day was extra special. Really she blew us away with how much work she put into making our day amazing. If I could give a rating of 10 out of 5 stars I would, and I would recommend Breanne and ThistleBEA to anyone even contemplating having a wedding in the future.