When I dream up an ideal client, I picture Rachel in my mind. I had the pleasure of working with her from New York (and her amazing mom, Beth, locally in Michigan) during the majority of her engagement to Josh, and she was the best. Through the entire wedding planning process, she was excited, organized, open to ideas from her vendor team, appreciative, passionate about giving their guests a seamless experience, and just so, so, so happy to be spending forever with her person. These two had an elegant wedding honoring tradition at Congregation Shaarey Zedek this past spring, and I was thrilled to play a small part in their big day.
The Lead Up and Save the Dates
I first met with Rachel and Josh and Rachel’s mom, Beth, about ten months before their wedding day for their consultation. From the beginning, Rachel said she wanted all elements of her stationery to feel cohesive, from start to finish, and for that to feel connected with everything else on the day of the wedding, from draping to linens to florals. Whether she realized it or not, she was referring to event branding, and wisely, had a strong desire to make that a key aspect of their planning process.
We talked at length about the overall feeling they wanted: an elegant wedding honoring tradition. We also pored over a Pantone swatch book, coming up with a color palette to shape their day – silver and grey, creamy white, and a dusty rose accent. Sophisticated and timeless, with a touch of femininity.
Their save the dates would need to be double-sided, to explain to their guests that there was a full weekend of planned activities in store for them. Knowing this, Rachel and Josh decided to incorporate two photos from their engagement session with Abby Rose Photo: one more traditional (for the front), and one more fun and “them,” (for the back). When couples do this, I lovingly refer to this game plan as a mullet… for obvious reasons. The save the date card was the first introduction of their color scheme, through the border and text on the back side of the card.
Rachel and Josh’s invitation was simple on the surface, but more complex at a second glance. The overall design was text only – no illustrations or visual embellishments. However, the added pizzazz was definitely still there.
Rachel and Josh had a lot of guests who were strictly observant/religious Jews, as well as a handful of guests invited from Israel. Knowing that these loved ones would prefer a Hebrew invitation, we made the main invitation card double sided. One side was English and the other side was Hebrew text. Depending on the guest, the envelope was stuffed with the appropriate language facing up. This is the beauty of custom design – these challenges are easily solved.
To bring in a hint of the dusty rose color without overwhelming the suite, we opted to print the added details/events card on colored card stock. Additionally, the entire suite was tied together with a hand-dyed, organic chiffon ribbon, again in the dusty rose.
The invitation was packaged inside a creamy white envelope, which was finished with a shimmery silver envelope liner. I hand calligraphed each guest address in silver, for the finishing touch! The end result was simple, but sophisticated and elegant. The Hebrew backside made for the perfect solution for their guests.
Rachel wore a gorgeous Reem Acra gown. The details on this dress were a-mazing and she truly looked like a princess on the big day. Her family is so important to her, and their love for her is abundant. Her dad’s reaction during their first look is one of my all-time favorites!
Their First Look and Bridal Party
Keeping my commentary brief here, because… well, perfection doesn’t need my two cents.
The Pre-Ceremony Rituals
In Jewish tradition, there is a “pre-ceremony” before the ceremony. The couple is joined by their closest family and they sign their Ketubah (the Jewish marriage contract). Two additional witnesses, as well as their Rabbi, sign the document too. It’s an intimate moment, and always a special time.
Additionally, there is a time of gender-specific, separate gatherings – again, with closest family and friends in an intimate setting. The bride and her ladies sit together in a time of song and laughter. Meanwhile, the groom gathers with his crew for much of the same, during his Tisch. The groom (and his merry men) then come to join the ladies, historically so he could verify his bride before the ceremony, for one final meeting. This is the point at which the veil is put on the bride, called the bedeken, in preparation for the ceremony. It’s clear that both Rachel and Josh loved their time, and I think it’s incredibly special that they had an elegant wedding honoring tradition in such a profound way.
Let me start by saying that Congregation Shaarey Zedek is a gorgeous synagogue – and the main sanctuary’s stained glass windows are breathtaking. What a backdrop for Rachel and Josh!
Guests were greeted with a table of ceremony programs, which I designed to fit with their event branding. These tri-fold booklets carried the color palette and overall aesthetic from the invitation, and Beth painstakingly tied each one with a dusty rose ribbon. On the same table, they had small signs with their hashtag, as well as a sign next to handkerchiefs (a favorite, heartfelt detail of mine).
Snag this cute idea and order handkerchiefs for your special day!
The clergy at the synagogue performed the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, beneath a chuppah of all-white florals, from Breath of Spring.
The newlyweds snuck away for a golden hour session with Abby Rose. These portraits are stunning, and the couple’s happiness is so clear. They have fun with one another and it shows!
Guests were treated to an amazing party celebrating Rachel and Josh. The entire room was draped and had soft, dusty rose lighting. All the flowers were neutral, creamy whites, which paired perfectly with the clear chairs and white dance floor.
I created escort cards, each done by hand in silver calligraphy, to guide guests to their seats. Upon arrival, their table numbers fit with the rest of their designs. The cake was also creamy white with silver accents. The totality of these pieces fitting together makes for a seamless experience for guests and it’s so important. Stationery is the perfect way to help guide your event branding.
The crowd danced along with the Brian Alexander Band and had a total blast. I mean… check out that bagel crown for the bride!
Thanks so much for letting me be part of your day, Rachel and Josh. It was such a pleasure to be one piece of your elegant wedding honoring tradition at Congregation Shaarey Zedek.
If you’re anything like Rachel, and I can be of help to you with your wedding’s event branding, I’d love to chat! Reach out here.
For more, check out their video!
Venue: Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Photographer: Abby Rose Photo
Videographer: Killer Creations
Invitations and Event Branding: Leah E. Moss Designs
Florist: Breath of Spring
Caterer: Quality Kosher Catering
Day of Wedding coordinator: Party Assurance
Looking for event branding for your own wedding? Let’s talk.
Want to keep inspiration from Rachel and Josh’s wedding in mind? Pin one of these for later!
Heads up – This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission… girl’s gotta keep the lights on! Thanks!