After an emotional first look, Justin and Steven met underneath a beautiful chuppah overlooking the valley, just as the sun started dipping down the California hills. Their rabbi led them through the ceremony, explaining the traditions and translating Hebrew for their non-Jewish guests. “The way she explained the traditions made everyone cherish and appreciate them, including those for whom the traditions were very familiar,” says the grooms. “The rabbi read the seven blessings in Hebrew and members of the wedding parties read the blessings in English.” After both grooms broke the glass, they snuck away to enjoy a quick meal and bottle of wine before the party got into full gear.
“We had a sort of yichud, which in a traditional Jewish wedding is a moment of privacy for the newlyweds between the ceremony and reception. We were able to sit there quietly, just the two of us. We tried all the hors d’oeuvres, shared a bottle of wine, and watched the sun set. It was the most perfect way to start what would be the most precious evening of our lives. Looking back this was the easiest moment we can recollect from our wedding day, since it goes by so fast.”
The reception was carnival-themed, and was brought to life with vintage carnival games, pennants and a conceptual circus tent created with LED lights and lanterns. “Family had traveled long distances and friends had crossed ocean for this. We wanted to give back the love we felt that day to all of them, and we knew we had to hold on to some part of that feeling for special occasions. The ceremony and the day fly by. A bracing reminder to savor every minute of your life, especially those minutes with the one you love.”