By popular demand, Ketuv artist Giliah Litwack has expanded her “Chairs” series for two brides! Check it out!
By popular demand, Ketuv artist Giliah Litwack has expanded her “Chairs” series for two brides! Check it out!
Ketuv is pleased to announce the inclusion of two sweet, domestic new ketubot by Rachelle Tolwin!
The first is the Geometric Ketubah. According to Rachelle, this ketubah is inspired by the symbol of the chuppah, a transcendental entranceway to a new phase in the life of a couple, where the transformative act of marriage occurs.
The second is Growing Together, about ”planting the seeds for your life together, as you journey side by side, growing and supporting one another.”
We just love how both of these ketubot make use of symbols that center on the idea of “home” — the chuppah, a lovely pair of house plants. What a wonderful way to signal the transition into wedded bliss!
Just had to share these pictures from Monika and Jonathan’s Maui wedding. I always love the simple talis chuppah–that’s really all you need. And get a load of that BHLDN dress.
It’s customers like Monika– an artist herself who had trouble finding a ketubah she could relate to before coming across the work of Ketuv artist Paola Andrea Ochoa– who make it worthwhile for us!
All photos by Gordon Nash.
Just had to share these beautiful photos of the ketubah signing from Josh and Danielle’s lovely mountain nuptials, taking place at the Banner Elk Winery in North Carolina. The ketubah is Rachelle Tolwin’s Petals Ketubah. Gotta love the post-signing newlywed high five (followed by a kiss, of course)!
I won’t spoil any of the details of this gem of a wedding–you’ll be seeing them on one of your favorite wedding blogs real soon!
All photos by Robby Campbell.
We just received these lovely images from Jackie and Ronnie’s wedding and we just HAD to share them.
Traditionally, before the bride and groom go to the chuppah, the groom has a Tish, where liquor is drunk and the ketubah is signed by two male witnesses. Ronnie’s looked like one helluva party!
Jackie and Ronnie chose Alice Scott’s Pomegranate Gem ketubah. Ronnie is Persian and cited the importance of pomegranates in Persian culture. Jackie’s birthstone is the ruby, which sparkle from inside the pomegranates. It felt personal to both of them, and they both liked the way the ketubah took a traditional symbol and mixed it up a little.
Some couples choose to put their ketubah on an easel. Still others forget this detail altogether and must handle the unprotected ketubah. Jackie and Ronnie dealt with this very cleverly. They had the ketubah framed before the wedding, but without the glass, to allow for signatures. After the wedding, they went back to the framer and added the glass. (If you don’t want to frame beforehand, you can always get your ketubah matted for the wedding and frame later.) The frame without the glass was also light enough for Jackie’s mother to hold the ketubah during the ceremony, which had a very intimate look and feel.
Recently, we profiled one of our favorite wedding bands, The Prenups, but we know that one New York wedding band can’t be everywhere at once. And anyway, don’t Jewish and multi-ethnic weddings have special concerns? That’s why this week, we’ve got Marta Segal Block, the mastermind behind GigMasters.com, a one-stop-shop for all your event entertainment needs, to drop a little knowledge. Remember, at Jewish weddings, there is a commandment to entertain the bride and groom at their wedding. This means that in addition to a band or DJ, clowns, magicians, dancers, fire breathers– they’re all fair game! Take it away, Marta.
The Entertainment: They may be in the background, but they can make or break a party!
Unlike non-Jewish weddings, a Jewish wedding reception is considered part of the wedding itself. There’s actually a commandment that you should celebrate and have fun after a wedding!
A traditional, religious Jewish wedding starts before the ceremony with a Tish. During the Tish the groom attempts to teach a bible passage, while his friends drink and try to distract him. Many modern couples are turning the Tish in to a co-ed event. This is a great time to bring in some entertainment. Clowns, magicians, or singers can all add a festive and modern feel to this tradition.
The Tish is followed by the unveiling of the bride (Beddekin) and the signing of the Ketubah. It’s perfectly appropriate to have a harp or other soft music in the background during this smaller, more intimate ceremony.
If you’re not having a Tish, you can still make the most of your entertainment options. Most Jewish weddings happen on a Sunday, which may open up a variety of options financially since performers will be more likely to agree to shorter performance times or even special deals on a day when they aren’t likely to get other bookings.
This can be a real boon to interfaith couples, as it leaves extra money for a special dance or musical performance that honors one of the partners’ cultures, in addition to their band or DJ. Jewish families are often full family affairs and hiring a magician or clown to entertain the children is a great way to keep the day civilized.
When it comes to hiring a band or DJ, most bands and DJs are familiar with the Hora. If you simply wish to nod to Jewish tradition adding this dance to your normal playlist will be fun and exciting for all guests. But, if you’re having a completely Jewish wedding we recommend asking the DJ or bandleader about his or experience with Jewish weddings. The rhythm of a Jewish wedding reception is slightly different than that of a Christian wedding and having some experience is helpful. If you fall in love with a band that hasn’t worked a Jewish wedding before, consider a wedding planner or day-of coordinator with Jewish wedding experience.
No matter how much experience your planner or band has, make sure that both you and your vendors are clear about any rules of modesty or kashrut that you, your rabbi, synagogue, venue, or family have. There are many levels of observance and what seems obvious to one person may be a new concept to someone else.
Looking for more wedding advice? Check out GigMasters’s Wedding Blog.
Custom Map ketubah by Rachelle Tolwin
We know that commissioning a custom ketubah can be intimidating. That’s why we recently shared our tips with Jewish wedding experts, The Wedding Yentas. We had so much info on the topic that the post comes in two parts, Part I and Part II.
If you’re considering a custom work, definitely follow the links to the post as a whole, but either way, here are some excerpts that will give you a sense of the process.
Figure out what your ketubah is about: Talk to your partner about what aspects of your relationship you would like your ketubah to highlight. They should be the things that you feel are truly special about your relationship. You may want to think about the stories that are important to you as a couple: how you met, the moment you “knew,” a trip you took together. Your ketubah can depict, say, the park bench where he proposed, or a map of all the New York City apartments you both lived in before you met one another.
Start thinking about color: This could be as basic as wanting the ketubah to echo your wedding colors, or the colors of your home, or it could be more symbolic.
Figure out what you like: There is no special formula to finding the right artist, and you don’t have to know about art to have an experience with it. Look around. When you like something, listen to yourself. Collect images of the artwork you and your partner like, and look at all the images together to see if there is a pattern emerging.
Communicate: Let your artist in on the details of the conversation you had with your partner, and share your little folder of inspiration images, taking him/her through your vision for your ketubah. In one case, a couple even sent me a crude version of what they wanted, which they sketched out themselves in crayon!
The client’s sketch to the artist’s rendering
As we told The Wedding Yentas, this may sound like a lot of work, but we believe that you and your partner can figure out the basics of what you’re interested in over the span of a dedicated afternoon. It might also be fun, an opportunity to literally “visualize” your relationship. Don’t forget that your artist will also bring something to the table. You don’t have to have everything figured out in order to start the conversation!
Again, for the full post, including more information about ketubah text on a custom work, as well as the details of the agreement between artist and client, please visit The Wedding Yentas, and Ketuv’s posts, Part I and Part II!
I have to admit, I’m a faithful reader of the New York Times Wedding and Celebrations section, mostly because I find it really inspiring the way that love happens in all different ways, at different times for different people. Recently, I read this article, about two Jewish writers who found one another on OKCupid. The article makes mention of the fact that the writers used antique books as their wedding centerpieces. It’s hard when you’re keeping up a wedding blog not to plan your own wedding– even if you’re not even currently dating someone! I love this idea, and I thought I’d do some aggregating for all of y’all looking for inspiration. The great thing is so much of this has the potential to be cheap and DIY.
First some general Inspiration.
The coolest thing about books is the way you can play with color. Whatever your wedding palette, you can do it with books! Check out these book gradients!
Now for the Jewish stuff:
This picture has been circulating on the wedding blogs (from 100layercake):
Seems it would make a perfect chuppah, right? But it is a bit…much. All themes are in some respect performative, but this to me crosses over into theatre. So here are some other suggestions for a bookshelf-inspired chuppah.
Why not make your four posts out of verticle bookshelves like this one from Sapien?
The tall version of this bookshelf is (only?) 76 inches, and at almost $300 a pop, it’s hardly cost efficient for a four-poled chuppah. BUT, there’s no reason, with a little hard work and ingenuity, you couldn’t fashion something similar yourself. What would be the coolest (if you ask me) is an invisible shelf, that makes it look as though the books are precariously stacked one on top of the other. You could also use a metal rod to go down through all of the books, if you’re not worried about losing them. You can drill eyehooks into the top book of all four posts and attach your chosen chuppah fabric that way. (If anyone takes this advice and goes for it, please please please send us pictures! We’d love to see it!)
We’ve already blogged about using garlands from Etsy to make your chuppah. Here are some literary-themed ones that would be great for this purpose.
By hoopdaloop. $10 for a 10-foot garland
By The Pulparazzi. $9.50 for a 53 in. garland
By daisyanddots. $10 for 46 in. garland
Who says your ketubah can’t be in a book format? Just because few people do it, doesn’t mean it can’t be done! Several of the artists on our Ketuv roster work in book arts. Why not commission one to make your ketubah in a book, with the signatures on the last page? I particularly like the idea of a ketubah in a moleskine, a la Catalina Uribe Percy:
Ketuv artist Golnar Adili also experiments with text and documents in interesting ways:
Bookmarks, bookmarks, bookmarks!
Imbue You Wedding has some really beautiful ones:
Martha Stewart also has some good suggestions on how you can DIY, with a nice card stock and store-bought tassles.
Green Wedding Shoes posted a bride’s account of her invitation within a book. They’re great, but so time consuming they almost don’t seem worth it. Not to mention the exorbitant shipping costs. I much prefer these less bulky, more suggestive designs by Oh So Beautiful Paper.
This is tops in my opinion. Totally DIY, and the name cards are personalized take home bookmarks. Only one suggestion: what if the line of books were a color gradient? Sure you might not have all your “favorites” but it would be real purdy.
Ok, so this has got to be the coolest idea ever:
Along the same lines:
Other great ideas:
I’m telling you, people, GRADIENTS.
Simply amazing. Via 100layercake.
Via Wedding Bee
Particularly love these very very old books. Via The Sweetest Occasion.
A great idea by Jennifer and Chad from Hartland, MI, as featured in Brides.
The “typewriter guestbook” idea from Martha Stewart:
But what I think could be even cooler is turning an old book into a guestbook by lightly whitewashing the pages with watered down acrylic paint or gesso, and leaving certain text or images un-whitewashed, to show through. Your guests will sign right on top of the whitewashed pages. Here’s a tutorial that teaches you to do something similar. I’m not suggesting the scrapbook option, though you could do that, too, but rather that you use the text or images that were originally in the book to spruce it up. You could use a book of love poetry or a book of illustrated fairy tales, for example (or feel free to use something entirely less cheesy, of course). If you try it, send us a pic!
What do you think of this idea? Every guest brings a book they love, but wouldn’t mind parting with, and they deposit them on bookshelves somewhere in the wedding space. (What about on bookshelves like these invisible ones, from Umbra?) When everyone leaves, they take a book with them that interests them, as provided by another wedding guest. You can encourage How-To books, picture books, comic books, etc. for those who aren’t big readers, so they’ll be able to contribute and exchange with one another. Personal, progressive, and FREE.
Secret “book boxes” are relatively easy to make, and a great gift. I wouldn’t recommend trying to make them for every wedding guest, unless you’re having a very small wedding, but for your nearest and dearest, I think this is a fun and personal DIY gift. Here’s a great tutorial on making a secret hollow book.
As I said before, I wonder at what point a theme goes overboard and becomes complete theatre. I imagine you couldn’t do all of these things at once, but rather choose the accents you most enjoy. Let us know what you think!
What’s the deal with favors? They’re mostly just manufactured junk, right? That’s why I’m partial to a living, growing, eco-friendly and potentially DIY alternative: plant favors! They’re beautiful, they’re utilitarian, and they’re quite often cheap.
A note about eco-consciousness and the Jewish wedding. For whatever reason, conservation has not been championed as a cause by the most religiously and politically conservative members of the Jewish community, but that is not because this value is not in the Torah. It is! All over the place! There are prohibitions against needless waste (Bal Tashchis, Dvarim 20:19-20). There are laws against air, water and noise pollution (Harchakas Nezikin, found in the Talmud). There are many commandments regarding kindness towards animals, and a prohibition on causing them needless pain, particularly those who are going to be slaughtered for food (Tzar Baalei Chaim). There are laws requiring all cities to be surrounded by a greenbelt (in modern terms, this can be read as a way to preserve biodiversity). There are laws that require farmers to allow the land to rest every seventh year (shmitta). There is even a blanket decree that declares us stewards of the land, with a responsibility to it (Devarim 11:10). If we take care of the land, the Torah says, it will take care of us. We hope you’ll keep this in mind while planning your Jewish or inter-faith wedding. Or any wedding, for that matter. The environment is all we’ve got.
If you feel inspired, you can attempt to DIY favors inspired by the below. Martha Stewart has some suggestions how (we particularly like slides 3, 4, and 5). What’s great about all of these favors is that most of them are pretty cost efficient and they all have the potential to double as name /seating cards.
Air Plant Terrarium by TheTropicalGarden, 4.5 x 4.5 in. $12/per but less for bulk orders. Moss colors are customizable.
Air Plant Boxes by toHOLD. $135/ 20 boxes, customizable colors
From the seller: “Your guests can place them in an old jar from the flea market, old wedding china, or in a cool ashtray. No dirt required! Easy to care for – just run them under water once a week and give them some light (they LOVE office flourescents).”
Seed Bombs by BigRockPaperCo. 7-10 seed bombs in each packet, $1.50/per ($1.65 for custom orders). Seeds, ribbon color, and tag fully customizable.
Seed Bombs by visuallingual. Hand-screenprinted personalized pouch (3 x 4.5 in.) with 5 seed bombs of edible herbs: basil, dill, cilantro, chives, and parsley. Price per depends on quantity, but ranges from $6.50/per – $3.50/per.
Wildflower Seeds by thepaperynook. Handmade muslin pouch, seeds, and custom thank-you note tied with rope. $1.95/per.
This is a personal favorite! Mini Chalkboard Herb Pots by SophisticatedPalate. Comes with 3 pots, chalk, handmade envelope with your choice of seeds. $9/3 pots with seeds, but discounted for use as wedding favors.
Succulents by SucculentsGalore. Succulents with pots wrapped in natural color ribbon. $168/48 succulents with pots.
Lavender Herb Box by favorcreative. 3 x 3 x 2 in. recycled box. Inside: 2 in. peat pot, peat pellet, instructions for planting, and lavender herb seeds. Ribbon color is customizable. Personalized tags sold separately. $35/10 boxes.
We’ve been focusing a lot on DIY chuppahs, but what if you still want something handmade, but you’re not really the crafty type? Never fear, Etsy is here!
We took a look at what Etsy has to offer and we’ve decided to give you our favs.
Photos by Anna Kuperberg Photography
While it’s definitely more of an investment, we can’t help but drool over internationally known sculptor Andrea Cohen’s custom chuppahs. From her Etsy page: “Each chuppah comes with a painted wood frame and intricately-cut canopy. The canopy pattern, as well as the frame and canopy colors are all customizable.”
2. Quilted Canopy by Kelly Brooks of BrooklynNouveau.
Getting your names and wedding date embroidered on the back side of the chuppah costs just a bit extra ($50) but it seems worth it to me! She can also build a sleeve onto the back of the chuppah so after the wedding it can be hung on the couple’s wall.
From her Etsy page: “I will create a completely personalized quilted chuppah based on your colors and style for use on your wedding day. This chuppah is perfect for a couple looking for a unique, rustic chic, handmade feel to their wedding. Great for outdoors (the light shines through the top with a wonderful stained glass-like effect) or indoors. I made one for my own wedding and it was so beautiful and fun that I thought I would start doing this for others!”
3. Garlands! (Various)
Ok, so we said no DIY. But this is only halfsies. We showed you the wonder of garland-based chuppahs with the Confetti System chuppah. The good news is, you can basically do this with any kind of garland. All you have to do is make the posts (there are lots of quick, easy, affordable ways of doing this, depending on what you want) and string a few of them across.
Reblogged from Pretty Lucky Events.
The extra good news is that when you type “garland” into Etsy there are literally over 15,000 results, and most of them are really affordable. Here are some of the garlands we think would make great chuppahs.
Pom Pom Garland by WestcoastKnittery. $17/ 70 in.
Pom Pom Garland by perfectlypaper. $40/ 7 ft., comes in customizable colors.
Hand-cut Heart Garland, by PaperPolaroid. $35/ 9 hearts
Shakespeare Book Heart Garland by bookity. $28/ 8 ft.
Vintage Handkerchief Flower Garland by HomeRoomStudio. $18/ 6.5 ft.
Vintage Map Garland by moonandlion. $8.50/ 9 flags
Crochet Garland by Emma Lamb. Colors customizable. $59/ 70 in.
Tissue Garland by pipsqueakandbean. Customizable colors. $9.50/ 12 ft.
Paper Garland by hoopdaloop. Fully customizable. $18/ 15 ft.
Paper Fan Garland by EntertainingPapers.$24 / 6 tassels (6 ft.)
Fabric Garland by ShopLuLus. $42 / 65 in.
We love the idea of garland chuppahs. You can get a lot of them affordably and match your chuppah to other accents of your wedding decor. The possibilities are endless, whether you go the DIY or the Etsy route.