Our Beautiful Communal Wedding

Posted by Maya E.

Our wedding, which took place on June 21st, ended up being the wedding of our dreams.  We could not be happier and feel so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful family and friends. The wedding was a communal affair in every sense imaginable; it evolved with the help of and before the eyes of our guests.

Maya's Wedding 5

Wedding portrait by my uncle Marv Chait
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July 3, 2009   8 Comments

Setting the Stage from Afar

Posted by Maya E.

Wedding Theme Inspiration


The Peacock Skirt by Aubrey Beardsley

Time is drawing in nearer and nearer to my wedding this weekend, and I still need to figure out what the reception tables will look like! We are expecting around 250 guests and have 30 round tables that can each seat 8. In order to keep in line with my Jewish Reform Congregation’s eco-friendly guidelines, we cannot use disposable tablecloths. Unfortunately this regulation really put a damper on my early design ideas, which included black paper tablecloths…

In the end, my mother determined it would be significantly cheaper for us to make the tablecloths ourselves, using queen size sheets instead of renting tablecloths, which would come to about $18 each. However, we quickly discovered that individually sold queen size sheets are incredibly difficult to come across, especially when you need 30 of them! Between my mother in Chicago and me in St. Louis, and three Target stores later, I had 30 cream colored queen size sheets ($12 each). Sadly black was not an option :( Against the recommendations of most, we got black plates and napkins, so I think the tablecloths will fit in nicely with our white, ivory/cream, and black color scheme.




Over the years my mother has acquired a huge number of vases from second hand stores. We’ve decided to use the vases to hold the flower arrangements I will be making with my bridesmaids the night before my wedding. We are planning to tie black satin ribbon around neck of the vases and place them in the center of the table on top of black doilies.


One of the many gifts I received at my wedding shower was a book on Jewish paper cuts. I have always loved Mexican paper cuts, so this particular gift felt very close to home. I started to think about how I could incorporate the design and imagery of paper cuts into my ketubah and wedding decorations.


Paper cuts by Mexican artist Margarita Fick

Making a Stencil

A few years ago, when I worked as the art director for Camp JRF, I created a stencil for the Illuminated Manuscript my campers made of Lecha Dodi. Using a sharpie, matt board, and surgical knife (which works much better than exacto) I made a floral stencil, which I used to produce the gold brocade design on each of the Lecha Dodi panels. I found this process to be incredibly time consuming but VERY rewarding!

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Lecha Dodi Illuminated Manuscript 2007 Camp JRF.

Unfortunately my mother is rightfully concerned it is far to close to the wedding date to experiment with the tablecloths. So I am thinking that I will probably use a combination of found black and white decorative papers and black and white illustrations to create the centerpieces.


Gift for the Groom


Sterling Silver Guitar Pick I got for Loren (with letters LW) on Etsy

Gift for Bridesmaids


Along with having my bridesmaids wear black dresses, I also wanted to give them cool but sensible gifts. Because I have so many bridemaids, and am working on such a tight budget, that was a real mission! But I was able to find 2GB flash drives online for a price I can actually afford! These will be included in a little gift bag, with other contents that are still to be decided.

June 16, 2009   1 Comment

Down to the Wire!

Posted by Maya E.

After finding my dress last week in Chicago, my fiancé Loren and I drove back St. Louis so that I could clean out my old studio. Three days later, my parents and I flew from Chicago to Boston to attend my brother’s graduation from Harvard.  Two days after that I presented at a conference in Philly on transforming the Jewish community.  I then returned to Chicago on Monday for my bachelorette party that evening.  Tuesday morning Loren and I met with my rabbi Brant Rosen at our beautiful new GREEN Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation synagogue (JRC).

Working in my studio at Washington University in St. Louis

My girlfriends and me at my bachelorette party at Cafe Iberico

Loren and me at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation

As for the ceremony, we determined that the sheva brachos will be chanted in both Hebrew and in Spanish, that Loren and I will be circling each other seven times, and that the ketubah (which the two of us are designing) will only be in Hebrew.


The inside of our kippot

In light of Loren’s wedding footwear, the silliest addition to the service will be the boot that Loren’s best man will hand him to put on before breaking the glass!


Wednesday before leaving for St. Louis, I went to find some flowers.  I will be making my own arrangements the night before the wedding.  I know it is crazy, but I am so picky and the flowers and the dress are the only two things that I REALLY care about, so I will be doing it myself.


Purple Irises, Calla Lilies, Yellow Tulips, and Red Gerber Daisies

June 11, 2009   6 Comments

I Found My Dress!

Posted by Maya E.

Just when I had given up all hope, when I thought I might end up looking like an unsightly birthday cake, it happened…  I walked into BCBG looking for a dress for my rehearsal dinner and there it was…  MY WEDDING DRESS!

Trying on my dress in the BCBG fitting room


As I mentioned earlier, My fiancé Loren will wear all black All Star Chuck sneakers, with a black shirt and black suit (no tie).  His groomsmen will wear white and black Chucks, with a black suits and white shirt (still no ties.) He wants them to look like Yeshiva Bochers which they will- except with Chucks :) I wasn’t originally the biggest fan of the black sash on my dress, but now I think it will go perfectly with the guys’ Chucks and my bridesmaids’ black dresses…

Trying my dress out in the backyard with my doggie Che

Betsey Johnson baby doll

After getting the dress, things just started falling into place.  My girlfriends and I accomplished the daunting task of lingerie shopping.  I have never worn lingerie before, and was honestly somewhat terrified.  We were a bundle of giggles in the dressing room trying to find ANYTHING that I did not find entirely trashy or just plain ugly.  I ended up going with the Betsey Johnson baby doll that we found at Bloomingdale’s. Ladies, I cannot recommend shopping with your girlfriends like this more.  It was such an amazing bonding experience!

June 3, 2009   5 Comments

Turbo Speed Wedding Planning

Posted by Maya E.

With the wedding approaching just about three weeks away, the last few weeks have been jam packed with wedding planning insanity.  But the thing is, the rest of our lives have not slowed down…


Wedding dress shopping- still much too poofy for me!

Loren’s band Cavalry performed at night


Our friend’s wedding the next morning, held in the patio of an art gallery!


Loren and I at their reception


2 hrs later, Loren dropped me off at my Wedding Shower.


Opening my dishes!


Eventually Loren returned and helped me open up gifts. Together we tried on almost every household good as a hat.

June 2, 2009   No Comments