A Traditional DIY Wedding in New Jersey
Alanna and Benjamin
Alanna and Benjamin's beginnings as a couple were sweetly tentative. They met at Brown University in Rhode Island, where Ben, now a wireless-software engineer, was a freshman and Alanna was a junior. Slowly they found ways to get close. On they went in a shy fashion until they were spending all of their time together. Four years later, in his senior year, Ben was ready to propose.
The invitations establish a contemporary feeling for the wedding with red letters in a modern font on bright-white paper; Ben translated the English text into Hebrew.
Alanna selected blouses in her palette of reds, oranges and pinks, and then let each bridesmaid choose the one she would wear. She also gave them all black silk shantung and asked them to select their own patterns for skirts; results varied from a floor-length fishtail skirt to a straight, simple tea-length one.
When the guests arrive for the ceremony, they find programs with their names inscribed in opaque white ink, or gouache, which shows up beautifully on the colored paper.
Inside the front cover of each booklet is an envelope holding the guests' seating card for the reception. Ben wrote the program, explaining all the rituals featured in an Orthodox Jewish wedding, and Alanna designed it to correspond with the stationery, making the booklets small enough to fit handily in a suit pocket or small purse.
Motivated by her desire to create something long-lasting and unique, Alanna spent much of her engagement to Ben making her bouquet. She crafted the flowers from tiny glass beads, one sparkling petal at a time. "It was a very relaxing thing to do," says Alanna.
Alanna made a beaded boutonniere for Ben to wear -- and keep as a memento.
To continue the bead theme, Alanna wrapped the stems of the bridesmaids' dahlia bouquets in green beaded wire.
Alanna and her parents, Harvey and Aimee Jacobs, are about to set off down the aisle.
An a cappella group called the Brown Derbies, from Brown University, the couple's alma mater, gets ready to sing at the wedding.