The Wedding of ...
Arielle Weingast & Jonathan Heller
Ceremony & Reception: Northern Valley Affairs at Temple Emanu-El, 201.750.0333, www.northernvalleyaffairs.com
Gown: Pronovias, at Pronovias, NYC
Maid of Honor: Gustavo Cadile
Photographer & Cinematographer: Fred Marcus Studio
Makeup: Karlene Damallie
Hair: Salon Rocks, Claire Cunningham
Florist: Konstantinos Floral Design
Cake: Northern Valley Affairs
Band: Hank Lane Music, Bobby Attiko Band
Hebrew Singer: Avi Peretz
Wedding Planner: Reed Cohen
Papers & Events, Louann Reed
“Beautiful & Awe-Inspiring”
Studying abroad in Tel Aviv, Jonathan and I lived in the same dorm building and were in the same program. After being introduced, we quickly hit it off and Jon flexed his Jewish day school background by offering to tutor me in Hebrew. Things quickly progressed and we started dating. Our first date was at a restaurant where you pick your own steak and we have not stopped eating together ever since! Tel Aviv will always hold a special place in our hearts and we try to return as often as possible.
Returning to America, we stayed together through our senior years. Jonathan often visited me at the University of Michigan and I occasionally visited him at the University of Maryland. After graduation, we moved to New York, living a few blocks apart. A few years later, we moved into the West Village apartment we live in now, and a few weeks after moving in, we got engaged! Jon set up a scavenger hunt all around the city with stops that represented each phase of our relationship. My sister was there to drive me to each stop, where a person special to our lives would be waiting with the next clue. The final clue led me back to our apartment building rooftop, which has a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline, where Jonathan proposed. The final surprise was a large party afterwards to celebrate with our friends and families!
Selecting a wedding venue was an easy decision. Temple Emanu-El has always been a special place to me as I grew up attending Hebrew School and services there with my family. It is truly beautiful, with an awe-inspiring Sanctuary. Les Friedman, the owner, and Marty Maged, the general manager, went above and beyond to ensure our wedding was magical. For our tasting, they provided everything on the menu plus additional items they whipped up. They were always helpful, creative, and accommodating. I loved their flexibility with how things could be laid out, the different stations and bars, and how unique everything ended up. It was simple, straightforward, and went off without a hitch!
Coming from different levels of observance, we incorporated traditions from both our families into our wedding. Instead of a traditional Tisch and Bedeken, we had a mixed Tisch. Our closest family and friends joined together to sing Hebrew and English songs, including the Michigan fight song, sign the ketubah, witness the veiling ceremony, and dance ahead of the ceremony. At the ceremony, rather than circling Jon seven times, I circled him three, he circled me three, and we circled together once to show the equality in our relationship and the space for Judaism and family.
For cocktail hour, Les and Marty again went above and beyond. We had a caviar station, a south of the border station, a sushi bar, and one of my favorite passed hors d’oeuvres, the mini ceviche taco accompanied by a tequila shot served in a scooped-out lime. The weather was beautiful and we had a tent over the courtyard with the sides rolled up and a clear roof, so we could still be outside if it were raining. Later, for our after-party, we came back outside and the tent was transformed with lounge chairs and fire pits, all of which they provided!
Our décor consisted of whites and greens. Crystals hung from the ceiling, catching the glow of the lighting, and the dance floor was customized with a white wrap and gold edging, with our initials in the center in gold lettering. Our party planner designed the napkins, menus, and invitations all in the same style, making everything cohesive, simple, and sleek.
The reception was a blast! We had two bands, an Israeli singer who performed the horah and some popular Israeli songs, and another band for more modern music. For our first dance we did a choreographed dance to a mashup of two popular songs from the year we met, “Rather Be,” by Clean Bandit, and “This Is What It Feels Like,” by Armin van Buuren.
Jon and I are huge foodies and wanted to guarantee our dinner did not disappoint. Our first course was a sampler plate of poached pears, glazed Chilean sea bass, and edamame with Asian slaw salad. Entrée options were crispy breast of duckling, filet of branzino, and chateaubriand. We had a “parade of desserts” passed around the dance floor. Northern Valley offered warm chocolate chip cookies with vanilla shake shots, cake pops, mini pies, s’mores martinis, and more! We had a traditional wedding cake, as well as cupcakes, since it was my birthday at midnight.
The night was everything we imagined and more. We thank our parents for supporting us through the entire wedding process. The ceremony truly represented our relationship beautifully, and we couldn’t have pulled it off without them. Thank you to our party planner and to Les and Marty, who all did their utmost to provide a spectacular event. Thank you to our photographer, our bands, our siblings, our bridal party, and our friends for their epic dancing. We had the night of our lives!
Northern Valley Affairs at Temple Emanu-El, Closter, NJ