Ayelet and Aaron booked Five Grain Events well in advance of their October wedding, but with good reason! Their selected date, 10.10.10 was not only a very popular wedding date, but it was the day of the Chicago Marathon. There were certainly some interesting logistical issues, but luckily everything turned out beautifully for their fall-toned celebration.
It was wonderful to spend the day with two very talented photographers: Lisa Green and her assistant, Meg. All photos below should be credited to Stephen Green Photography.
The ladies started the day with hair and makeup in a huge suite at the Hard Rock Hotel. Hair and makeup were provided by Ginger Damato and Cynde Hoffman respectively. It was so much fun to see each bridesmaid transformed. As it turned out, the hairstyle Ayelet chose to wear for the day looked very similar to the way her mom wore her hair on her wedding day!
After Ayelet and Aaron shared their First Look in a quiet corner of the Hard Rock Hotel, the bridal party walked over to Millennium Park for some photos. With all the leftover marathon spectators on top of the fact that it was an unseasonably warm day I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many hoots and hollers congratulating the bridal party :). The golden fall foliage was the perfect color compliment to the pumpkin-colored bridesmaid dresses and beautiful bouquets created by Fleur.
The Bedecken and Ketubah Signing were held in the presence of Ayelet and Aaron’s families. Ayelt and Aaron had their Ketubah created during a trip they took to Israel and it was signed by the Rabbi and witnesses from Aaron and Ayelet’s family. The Bedecken is a ritual based on a Jewish tradition which requires that the groom see the bride before the ceremony and cover her face with the veil. This custom dates back to the Biblical episode in which Jacob was deceived into marrying Leah instead of his chosen bride, Rachel, because she was hidden behind the veil. Aaron did the honors just before the bridal party lined up for the processional.
Finally it was time for the ceremony to begin. Both the ceremony and reception were held in the Chicago Cultural Center’s GAR Hall. It is an incredibly grand room with ornate ceilings and huge picture windows overlooking Michigan Avenue. The aisle was lined with candles and Art of Imagination created the fabric chuppah and all the draping, giving the space a very romantic feel.
After a big “Mazel Tov!” guests headed out to the Rotunda for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while GAR Hall was changed over for dinner. The delicious food was created by Shallots Bistro Catering and I just have to point out the beautiful arrangement Fleur made for the place card table featuring branches, leaves, and even pomegranates and grapes!
When everyone re-entered, GAR Hall had been transformed! Candles illuminated every corner of the room and Entourage was already playing up a storm. The dance floor was quickly filled and continued to be throughout the night as guests sat down to enjoy each course and returned immediately for more dancing. Instead of a traditional head table, Ayelet and Aaron hosted their immediate family and their significant others at a Feast Table. The rest of their guests sat at tables named after places they’ve traveled together! [clear]
An extra special part of this wedding was that I’ve known the bride’s sister, Sharon, since I was in high school. So hearing the speech she and Ayelet’s other sister, Karen, gave was especially touching.
One of the most fun traditions of a Jewish wedding is the dancing of the Hora, and this may well have been the best one I’ve seen. I don’t think ANYONE sat out! It was amazing. When the bride and groom were lifted onto the chairs, Ayelet looked like she was having the time of her life, while Aaron appeared terrified. Hopefully he’s recovered since then.
The party continued until the clock struck midnight. Everyone left with a smile on their face (and maybe a cupcake to go!). Ayelet and Aaron, thank you so much for including me on your special day. It was a joy to see how wonderfully you compliment one another. I wish all the best to you for the future. Mazel Tov!