When a child shares a cookie with a preschool playmate, no one ever thinks of these first friendships one day blossoming into romance. But, that is just what happened to Benny and Megan. We’re excited to share their breathtaking Jewish wedding. Photography by Jason Groupp Photography.From the bride: “We met at nursery school in Long Island, New York, when we were three years old. We were best friends our entire childhood and started dating during our sophomore year of high school. After seven years of dating – including four years of long distance during college (Benny at the University of Pennsylvania and me at the University of Michigan) – Benny proposed to me at sunset on the beach in Montauk, NY in May 2011.
We spent our morning getting ready with our respective friends at different locations – Benny at the Hotel Z with his Best Man and me at Water’s Edge with my bridesmaids. After Jason and Karen got some amazing shots of us seeing each other for the first time, we all headed over to 5 Pointz City to take some outdoor photos…in 40 degree weather!
After our arctic-like adventure, we made our way back to the Water’s Edge to take photos with our families and the bridal party. Next came the Ketubah signing, which was a quiet and intimate moment with only our closest friends, family and our beloved Rabbi, Jerome K. Davidson. Rabbi Davidson has officiated at many of our families’ special events.
Before our wedding ceremony, we gathered in a small room with our closest friends and immediate family to sign the Ketubah. The plain gold ring that I got married in has been in Benny’s family since 1903. Nearly all of the women in Benny’s family have worn this ring during their own wedding ceremony and it was very special to take part in this tradition.
The actual Jewish wedding ceremony was definitely a surreal experience. We were both smiling like two crazy fools and holding onto each others’ hands for dear life! We spoke the traditional Hebrew vows, as well as some vows of our own, which made the ceremony that more special and unique. Both of our faces ached from smiling so hard, but it was such an exciting and wonderful moment. After 21 years of friendship, it felt so surreal and perfect to finally be getting married.”
Not only did Megan and Benny have elegant table settings with cascading centerpieces, the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline was perhaps the most beautiful decor aspect of all – something that this native New York couple was very clear about wanting in their venue.
“We decided very early on during our wedding planning process that we wanted a venue that had windows so we could know the time of day. We chose the Water’s Edge Restaurant in Long Island City, NY because it has a spectacular view of Manhattan both during the day and at night. At night, however, is when the view is the best because you can see all of the city lights. We also decided to keep our color palette simple with black and white – very classic New York.”
What parent isn’t excited to marry off their last child? The bride’s parent’s have their own special moment in the Mezinka ceremony. They are crowned and everyone comes to congratulate them on this milestone.
“Try to remember that your wedding is about you and your future husband celebrating your love for one another in front of your family and friends. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus your energy (and money) on the things that are going to be the most important like having a fantastic band and choosing a great photographer. Worrying about table-seating or welcome bags at the hotel where your guests are staying is just not worth the energy. The whole day passes by in a blur, so savor each and every moment!”
Photographer: Jason Groupp Photography
Reception Venue & Caterer: Waters Edge Restaurant
Floral Designer: Simply Elegant Floral Decorators
Officiant: Rabbi Jerome K. Davidson
Invitation Designer: William Arthur Fine Stationery
Dress Designer: Anna Maier – Ulla-Maija Couture, Amsale
Belt: Vera Wang
Band: Faze 4 Orchestras
Hair Stylist: StylesOnB
Makeup Artist: Sally Duvall
Shoes: Jimmy Choo, Enzo Angiolini
Jewelry: Cambridge Jewelers, Abe Mor Diamond Cutters & C
Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Mens Warehouse, Brooks Brothers
Editorial Partner: Two Bright Lights