Category — Featured Weddings

Kate and Barry’s Heirloom Filled Green Wedding

Posted by admin


Kate Harrison and Barry Muchnik met on Kate’s first day at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. All of the incoming Master’s students go on a three week camping trip before school starts, and Barry happened to be the leader of Kate’s trip. Exactly two years later Barry proposed to Kate in a tower at Yale, overlooking the parking lot where they first met.

Since Kate’s background was in Environmental Law and Policy and Barry was a Ph.D. student in Environmental History, it was important for the couple to pick eco-friendly wedding options whenever possible. To decrease the carbon footprint of the event, the couple chose a location near the majority of their guests–Cat Rock (a historic castle) in Garrison, New York.  Their wedding planning experience inspired Kate to write the The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget and to launch the Green Bride Guide website.

The couple worked hard to use family heirlooms and items from their parents’ homes as part of the ceremony. Instead of a disposable aisle runner, they used a hall rug from Kate’s parents’ house.  “Disposable aisle runners are terrible. In addition to producing unnecessary waste, heels go through them when they are placed outside. This was a sturdy, beautiful and meaningful alternative,” Kate says.
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August 21, 2009   2 Comments

Featured Wedding: Sarah Lefton and Bill Selig

Posted by Guest Blogger


Sarah Lefton is a digital media producer, Executive Director and Producer of G-dcast –a cartoon series depicting the parsha of the week, and designer of the T-Shirt line Jewish Fashion Conspiracy. On her way home from a Shabbat dinner in March 2006, Sarah randomly decided to stop off at a friend’s house for dessert. That’s where she met Bill Selig, a stage director who was to become her husband. Bill proposed to Sarah on a sailboat in the Red Sea off of Eilat, in Israel and the couple wed in an egalitarian Jewish ceremony in February of 2008 at the Swedish American Hall in San Francisco, California. This is Sarah’s wedding story in her own words:

I still can’t believe I met Bill, let alone married him! I went out every night to parties, classes, mixers, shul, and yeah, on JDates too. For all the care and thought and unbelievable extroversion and energy that I put into meeting my beshert, it still kind of drives me crazy that I met Bill by accident.

Our wedding date fell during President’s Day weekend. Thursday before the wedding, we went to services with our parents at the Mission Minyan, where the shaliach tzibbur honored us by singing Shabbat melodies to the tune of wedding songs.

Saturday morning was our auf ruf. Bill and I were up early, hurriedly practicing our aliyot for the Torah service. Shul was packed! We couldn’t believe how many people came to celebrate with us, which only upped the ante for our leyning! It was so fun to get pelted with candy by friends, family, coworkers and fellow congregants. At the huge catered lunch afterward, our friends from the Minyan surprised us with a giant sheet-cake that read “Marriage: Someone’s gotta do it!” (San Francisco is notoriously a great place to be single!)

As soon as Shabbat ended that night, we had a rehearsal at our venue. We used the opportunity to teach some niguns to our family who were unfamiliar with the mystical wordless songs, and the energy was very beautiful. Then we had a festive rehearsal dinner complete with a musical number from our college friends and a toast from my aunt Marcy that made my cry. She gave me a watch on a necklace that her mother had always worn; it’s now my most precious piece of jewelry. [Read more →]

July 24, 2009   2 Comments

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

Gabby and Jeffrey’s Camp Wedding

Posted by The Mrs.


Gabby Etrog Cohen and her husband Jeffrey were married in a reform Jewish wedding at Point O’Pines Camp in Brant Lake, NY in September 2007. This is Gabby’s wedding story in her own words:

We wanted to do something different for our wedding. We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, and wanted to make a weekend out of the wedding too, not just one evening. Since we are very active and love the outdoors we thought a summer camp would be the perfect location. I went to a summer camp about 20 minutes away from Point O’Pines and used to play tennis there all the time. I also had a number of friends who were campers there, so I was already familiar with the camp.


Among the activities we had were water skiing, tennis, softball, basketball, tetherball, ping-pong and swimming. The fireworks were really the highlight of the wedding. Our guests didn’t expect it at all and it was a great surprise for them. The fireworks turned out to be much more extravagant than we even expected!


Planning a destination wedding is tough, no matter where it is. In addition, planning an outdoor wedding is always nerve-racking. You also want to think about your guests – would they enjoy this type of wedding? Are they adventurous? In the beginning, it seemed like it was going to be so relaxed and easy – but planning a camp wedding is a lot of work since it is much more than just one night. You have to think about the activities during the day, the rooming situation, the breakfast, lunch and dinners. Organizing bunks and putting together the rooming list proved to be the most challenging part of our wedding planning.

Although it was a ton of work, our wedding was a blast. We were married two years ago and our friends still talk about how awesome our wedding was!

Photo Credits: Carlos Varela

June 25, 2009   2 Comments

Jessica and Jordan’s Camp Wedding

Posted by The Mrs.


Jessica and Jordan Coleman were recently married at Camp Echo in the New York Catskills. The couple met while both were attending a camp conference, so camp holds a special meaning for them. When they met Jordan was working for his family’s camp, and Jessica was working at another camp. This is their wedding story in Jessica’s own words:

Our wedding weekend lasted from Friday night rehearsal dinner to a Saturday night wedding, and Sunday FunDay. We provided information to our guests on area other activities and sites that we thought they might find interesting. It was Fall, so we included apple and pumpkin picking, hiking trails at a nearby state park, and horseback trail rides.


While we did offer accommodations at camp, we did not recommend them — it was cold at night, and most adults aren’t really happy sleeping on a twin-sized camp mattress. One of the best things we did was to provide a charter bus between the local hotels and the camp. That way, we didn’t have to worry about where guests would park at the facility (which would have mostly been on grass or a good walk away from the ceremony and reception site), and guests didn’t have to worry about who would be the designated driver.


The ceremony took place on a stage in a tent on the basketball courts! The courts are on top of a slight hill, so we had a really nice view of the lake and surrounding trees behind us. We had a green runner underneath, so it felt more outdoorsy, and we were obviously in a tent (in case of rain– complete with flaps that could be rolled down in gusty winds).


The reception was in Olympic Hall, the equivalent of most camp’s rec halls. It’s called Olympic Hall because it hosts the plaques of all the teams throughout the camp’s history. This was a great location with a lot of character. Plus, there was already a stage, so there was an obvious location for the band, with plenty of room for the tables and dance floor.


On Sunday, we had a continental breakfast, a morning softball game, tours of camp, paddleboats and canoes to take out on the lake, and trails to hike, jog, and bike. Some people also chose to swim, though it was very cold, so we didn’t actually recommend it! The finale was a late BBQ lunch. Most people were happy to just spend time together in a casual environment. We especially loved that we planned for the casual day on Sunday. It gave us time to relax and enjoy being with our guests, rather than always being “on” as we were during the wedding itself.

June 24, 2009   4 Comments