The Info—Photography: Emilia Jane Photography / Bride’s Dress and Coat: Crafty Broads / Venue: mk The Restaurant /Florist: Dilly Lily / Harpist: Ben Melsky / Bride’s Hat with Birdcage Veil: BHLDN / Bride’s Fascinator: PompAndPlumage / Groom & Best Man Suits: Tom James / Hair and Makeup: Cally’s Curls & Co. (Sharon Slater/Bette Schwarz for hair & Kimberly McMahon for makeup)
Other cool stuff we should know about: We got married in the restaurant where we had our first date. (Jeffrey’s idea!) We got married on a Monday in Chicago in December two days after I finished the run of a show I was acting in. It was the soonest we could get married and it was great. The people we love came to Chicago even though it was cold. (At first, I had panicked, “Wait! We have to get married in the summer so we can have the ceremony in a field like all these weddings online! Wait! We’re indoor city people, that makes no sense!”)
As their gift, our friends did performances—one of my friends from college played the harp during cocktails and the ceremony, two of Jeffrey’s friends who are professional dancers performed a dance piece for us (to Rihanna, yes!) and Jeff’s dance partner who is a children’s librarian/storyteller got the entire group to participate in a story!
One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: Joyful and intimate, with a wild dance party.
Favorite thing about the wedding: Jeffrey and I created our ceremony together, with lots of help from his sister Karen. (We wanted someone who knows and loves us to perform the ceremony, and as a dedicated Buddhist, we knew she would create a positive, meditative vibe.) I’m Jewish (though not all of my family is) and Jeffrey is Buddhist (though not all of his family is) so we had no set template to go on, but we wanted to involve our families. We began with a lovingkindness mediation and ended with smashing the glass and a mazel tov. My sister rang the meditation bells. My dad gave the Jewish blessing over the children/priestly benediction—which I’ve heard once every week since I was a wee girl—and my mom read the wedding blessing from the Reform prayerbook. I was apprehensive at first about writing our own vows, but that’s what we did when none of the templates seemed to fit us. Being able to surprise each other during the ceremony with the words we had chosen was like giving an enormous gift. We also had our first dance during the ceremony—it was a meaningful moment to just hold each other and be symbolically married. We met dancing, so it seemed especially fitting for us. (Another of Jeffrey’s ideas, and he surprised me with the song, see above.) Lots of tears, laughter, music, and moments of powerful silence. I’m also amazed at the explosive dance party we managed to fit into a relatively small space!