Marylyle & Jordan's Sephardic, Celtic, Balkan bash

January 29 |

The offbeat bride: Marylyle, Librarian (and OBT member)

Her offbeat partner: Jordan, Computer Programmer

Location & date of wedding: The garden outside UVA Alumni Hall in Charlottesville, VA. — 08/16/2009

What made our wedding offbeat: Jordan is a Sephardic Jew and I am Unitarian. It meant a lot that both of us and our traditions be represented equally. We worked together really hard to craft an interfaith wedding ceremony that was meaningful to both of us.

It was important to him that we include Jewish traditions such as the chuppah and circling each other. I chose Celtic traditions to connect with own my heritage such as handfasting and jumping the broom. We wrote our own ketubah and our own translation of the seven blessings. We also drank wine from both a Jewish Kiddush cup & from a Scottish quaich, or loving cup, during the ceremony. Jordan's mother, a rabbinic student, and an interfaith minister, performed the ceremony.

I wore a red Indian wedding skirt while he stood out with an awesome red dragon vest. Tartan yarmulkes all round. We both had henna tattoos with Sephardic and Celtic designs (a Sephardic tradition).

At the reception, we entered to the band playing the Throne Room and Finale from Star Wars. We danced the rhumba, I bellydanced and then everyone did the Hora.

We made our own invites including envelopes from old maps (we love to travel) and used Lemonheads as dual placecards/favors (we love candy). I also made the guestbook, cardbox and jewelry for the attendants. We had so much fun in creating it, and even more sharing it all with our loved ones. It was a labor of love in every way.

Jumping the Broom

Our biggest challenge: Trying to be realistic about what we could do ourselves.

There were many more DIY elements we would have loved to incorporate, but there was not enough time or patience between us to do them all by the time of the ceremony. We handled it by picking the most important to us and letting the rest go.

My favorite moment: That feeling immediately afterward that YES we did it! It was such a rush.

My offbeat advice: Be realistic about what you can do by yourselves (see above). That might mean scaling back or having the courage to trust other people to help you. You can't control every detail and you may not be able to prevent some snafus.

I was also lucky that my cousin stood in as a day of coordinator so that we (and our parents) didn't have to worry about technical details/difficulties.

Lemondhead placecards.
Lemondhead placecards.

Oh, and get a massage! I was so relaxed that I didn't care about the minor problems that did happen.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn:

  1. I love this so much! Tartan yarmulkes = amazing! We also have revamped seven blessings and a home-made kitubah…. :)

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  2. That's so awesome, and you're right in my town! :)
    Did Capellino's do the bigger cake as well?

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    • Yes they did. And we had A LOT of fun trying out the different flavors.

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      • Also they threw in the regular cake for free when ordered the cupcakes!

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  3. Okay, I HAVE to know the story with those gnomes! My mom had one just like it my whole life and apparently the artist who made it knew my grandfather and it was called a Mugmon (which is his last name). I squeed when I saw yours.

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  4. Congrats on an awesome wedding! Looks like you achieved a great blend of traditions along with the love of travel. We're just over the mountain in the Shenandoah Valley and planning our wedding for this June. I was considering using a couple of the same vendors for our officiant and henna tattoos. Can you let me know how your experience with them went?

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    • Claire Goodman was amazing. She and my mother-in-law did such a wonderful job in helping us craft an interfaith ceremony. Colleen Heller was also awesome. She did beautiful work (both from stencils of designs we chose and free hand designs) and was willing to travel all the way from Richmond.

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  5. Congratulations, such a delightful wedding!
    I'd never thought of using boxed candy as a pace card. Quite a great idea!

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  6. love those gnomes! congratulations on such a beautiful interfaith celebration!

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  7. Beautiful wedding ceremony, i think the couple has a good family relationship on both parties. When i saw the pictures i was amazed by that kind of wedding tactics, it can helps to the couple to show to the public that they love each other and respect their own traditions and beliefs.

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  8. This is beautiful in so many ways, and it is lovely to see all the different cultures being incorporated and coming together in your wedding. Congratulations!

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