At my first Jewish wedding as an Intern for Philadelphia Event Planners, I was impressed with the detailed designs, colors, cuisine, family traditions and overall atmosphere. Prior to the wedding, I researched what to expect with a Jewish wedding. The bride and groom of this wedding were able to capture memorable Jewish traditions and they created new traditions as well. To catch you up to speed with the bride and grooms background, the Korean bride, Samantha, was adopted into an Italian family as a toddler and converted into Judaism before marrying her pure bred Jewish husband, Dr. Rotkowitz. Sam and Dr. Rotkowitz have planned this wedding for over a year with their wedding planner, Kassie. A wedding day can be very stressful but Sam and Dr. Rotkowitz were able to relax and enjoy every aspect of it, knowing that Kassie was going to be the mastermind of the wedding schedule. To capture every memory and moment, the couple had two photographers, Sean Marshall Lin & Ian and they had a videographer, James Knightly. Check out the trailer! They took pictures and videotaped the moments that were cherished to be shared amongst their friends and family, so that Sam and Dr. Rotkowitz would be able to look back and remember their special day.
The traditions began with the signing of the Ketubah, an intricately detailed, tasteful hand-painted art design surrounding the written promise from the groom to his bride. The Ketubah was placed under the Chuppah during the ceremony.
The ceremony included the welcoming of their Rabbi, drinking from the cup of wine, exchanging of their vows, seven blessings over the couple, and the breaking of the glass. The glass can be anything from a wine glass to a light bulb. A traditional Jewish ceremony can last up to one hour. This couple, during this wedding, wanted to have enough time at their cocktail hour, so the ceremony lasted about 40 minutes. The ceremony ended with a thank you to the guests and hugs and kisses to the bridesmaids and groomsmen before they walked down the aisle. Their Rolls Royce was waiting for them. In it, a bottle of chilled champagne for the ride back to the reception venue, Tendenza.
As you walked into Tendenza, you were seduced by the beautiful layout of the cocktail reception and the grand dining room where the dinner was to be served. Crystal chandlers were hanging above the food stations. There was clear and frosted glass everywhere. The venue was so beautiful that the decorations were kept to a minimum. We used a lot of candles! 160 guests were comfortable enough to roam around and sample the great food layout, choosing from: a cheese station including Prima Donna to bleu cheese crumbles, a pasta station with lobster risotto to homemade mac n cheese, a sushi station, a meat carving station with Reuben and turkey sandwiches, and more. Everything was unique in its presentation, full of flavor and just delightful!
Moving into the dining room, there were more chandeliers and a premier set up. Chivari chairs circled, so the guest’s view of the linens and flowers was not blocked. The center pieces were miniature sand blasted Manzanita branches with candles hanging from them. Little flutes of water and matching flowers barricaded the branches.
The florist, Carl Alan Floral Designs, did a magnificent job with the floral arrangements, made of vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows. They had simple details that went a long way including the raspberries placed in the bottom of the champagne toasting flutes.
The courses started with a salad, then a fruit sorbet to cleanse the pallet, followed by the toasts of the bridesmaid and groomsman. The toasts were heart wrenching stories that really expressed who the groom and bride are. A selfless, caring, remarkable and loving couple. Then came the entrée and the parent dances. I was able to recognize how generous and kind hearted the couple was when I found out that they donated their center pieces to the Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice in Marlton, NJ.
Followed the dinner, a night of dancing! DJ Cool Out from Scratch DJ’s drew everyone to the dance floor and even kept the cute flower girl twirling until the late hours!
They had sandals in a basket for anyone who couldn’t bear their stylish heels another minute. I even noticed men wearing the sandals! If you want everyone at your reception to be on the dance floor, I highly recommend you to offer sandals.
They had the traditional Hora and everyone was chanting around the bride and groom as they were literally launched up and down into the air on the dance floor. This was my favorite part of the dancing, as I am sure it was a great view for the bride and groom as they were being lifted.
Surprisingly, after a long day of moving around and dancing, the bride’s hair and make-up remained intact and luminous. Tina Collins from Make Me Glam did a marvelous job with helping the bride look even more beautiful than she already was and Jenn Macrina from Happily Ever After Hair styled Sam’s hair to last until the reception was over.
The dessert layout was brought to everyone’s attention when the chef- attended action station bruleed the bananas for the banana foster dessert. That was a huge hit!
The other choices were miniature samples of a huge assortment for those who wanted a taste of everything. Needless to say, no one left hungry, after all, it was a Jewish wedding.
As the guests departed for home, they were able to leave with a reusable orange bag to go with the color scheme that included a bottle of water, a WAWA pretzel with mustard, a t-shirt that had a picture of their wedding cake topper, and pieces of the wrapped up wedding cake to enjoy for the ride home. Everyone was amazed with the wedding!
Based on my first wedding experience as an intern wedding planner, a piece of advice I would give to future brides and grooms, keep calm and enjoy your magical day! There are going to be delays, guests cancelling, unpredictable weather, but everything comes together and the most important thing to do is enjoy every minute of your day! Kassie being there for Dr. and Mrs. Rotkowitz, helped ease their day, so the bride and groom could mingle with their guests as much as possible since that is also so important!
Here is what Sam & Michael said to us the day after their wedding:
Kassie,Hard to believe all the excitement and anticipation and now it’s all over! The best is yet to come for us though and we wanted to thank you so much for all of your hard work, patience and dedication with working with us putting on such a wonderful event last night. The good time had by all the guests was clearly evident and everything went great. This was such a difficult time for us over the last month and I’m so happy that we were able to push through and have such a wonderful event and time that we will cherish forever. Any way we can provide feedback or positive words and regards we would love to speak on your behalf. You and your team were wonderful and we’re forever grateful.