Dec 30, 2007

Jeff and Natasha's Wedding Invitation

Ah, the joys of wedding planning!

Wedding planning's taking its toll on you. This video may cheer you up. It's an actual video wedding invitation that is also an animated reminder of how some things can get out of hand. In the clip, Jeff and Natasha are trying to select their wedding invite. Natasha is the star and she tries to come up with the perfect wedding invitation.

"We burned this animation onto DVD's and sent it out as our actual wedding invitation. It took nine months to complete, and was produced entirely as part of a group project class at the Art Institute of California - San Francisco where I'm an instructor of animation." - says Jeff, who posted the video on YouTube.


Dec 25, 2007

You Break It - They Fix It

As you know, for the grand finale of your Jewish Wedding ceremony you're going to smash a glass by stomping it with your foot. (It has been said, that it is the last time you're going to put your foot down.) The crowd will be waiting to hear that glass shatter - they know it's their cue to shout 'Mazel Tov' in unison.

Have you ever thought about saving those glass shards as a keepsake of that wonderful moment, the exact second that your ceremony was complete? But, what will you do with shards of glass?

This is where the crafty folks at come in. What they do is give you a special hand blown glass to break under the Chuppah; afterwards you ship the shards back to them (make sure to write 'Fragile' on the box.) MazelTovGlass then molds them back together with clear glass for an unique Mazel Tove Glass Heirloom. Whole again and better than ever. (At least until the time your kids will get to it.) They offer many design options and colors. You could make a vase, wine glasses, or fruit bowl. Take a look at their site for more info.

Here are just some examples of the finished product:

Dec 23, 2007

Star of David Place-cards

Many modern couples find that flaunting the 'oh-so-obvious' Jewish symbols is a bit cliche. But with the recent Heeb hype, some folks (especially younger ones) like to show off their stars. For these, as well as the more traditional folk that find affinity in all Jewish symbols, these 'Star of David' place-cards (that guests can take home with them) might be of great interest. They are available at Moments of Elegance.

Lisa and Dave's fun NYC Wedding

Lisa and Dave's fun NYC Wedding

Have you ever heard of a groom eating a carrot at the altar? Find out why he does this at Lisa and Dave's spectacular and fun New York City wedding ceremony!

Dress: redesigned by Alex Teih

Band: Peter Greco

Flowers: Flowers of the World

Photography & Videography: J Michaels photography

Catering: Abigael's

Reception venue: Museum of Jewish Heritage

Dec 22, 2007

Destination Jewish Weddings

When it comes to Destination Jewish Weddings, Israel is overwhelmingly the place where Jewish couples choose to tie the knot. Some of the more traditional couples are attracted by the idea of having the Western Wall in the background when they are standing under the Cuppah, which is possible with a number of rooftop locations in the Old City.

For some couples it's a matter of practicality, since many of their friends and relatives may reside in Israel or Europe. There's also the weather. Between April and October, Israel receives virtually zero rainfall, which makes weather issues a non issue. Other couples that are primarily interested in the exotique know that there are no shortages of dazzling and breathtaking venues in Israel. With views of the Mediterranean ocean, the Dead Sea, or the Red Sea, and in places like Ein Gedi or Eilat, Israel abounds with settings for exciting and unique wedding ceremonies and receptions.

How about a Kibbutz?

A very popular destination for Tourists and Israelis alike is the Havat Ronit Kibbutz. With large, spacious ground, this location lends itself to a variety of moods. Day or night, indoors or outdoors, Havat Ronit has the capacity and also the staff to create a wedding to remember. Here are some images to give you a glimpse.

Dec 19, 2007

Jewish wedding ceremony - Found on Flickr

There are many articles online describing the proceedings at a Jewish wedding. As you very well know, however, a picture tells a thousand words. Here's a visual overview of the main elements of a Jewish wedding. (All images are compiled from

Ketubah is signed before the ceremony. In this picture, one of the two witnesses is signing the Ketubah.

Following the completion of the Ketubah and amidst vivacious (except for Liubavitch Chassidim who sing the Alter's nigun) singing and dancing, the Groom is lead to the Bride for the Bedeken - the Veiling ceremony, whereupon he will place her veil over her face.

After the Badeken, its time to walk down the isle to the Chuppah, which is symbolic of the new couple's new home that will have its conception here. The image below is of the groom (who is wearing a white Kittel) being waked by his parents with candles in their hands to the Chuppah.

Under the Chuppah, the Bride walks around the Groom seven times.

At this point we're going to need some wine. Wine is used for the blessings recited under the Chuppah by officiating Rabbi and some honored guests.

A Chuppah can be nothing more than a Tallis held up by four poles (as in the image below), under which on of the relatives is saying a blessing in Hebrew over a cup filled with wine.

The Bride and the Groom are given to drink from the Cup with the blessed wine.

All that's left to complete the ceremony is to break a glass as a sign that the destroyed Temple is always in a Jew's heart. The glass cracks at exactly the same instant as the guests scream out 'Mazel Tov' (perhaps it's the other way around.)

...MAZEL TOV!!!! Let the party start!

Dec 18, 2007

Shmeltzer / Neginah Hora

This video features Lipa Shmeltzer, a star on the chassidic music scene known for a variety of music styles that includes rap and techno among others, doing more or less the 'Standard Second Dance' - (second music set at a Jewish wedding, usually reserved for those who have not died out after the first dance.) This video is quite representative of the tempo of Jewish wedding music. It's fast. Sport photographers, who are pro at capturing fast action, would probably have a hard time shooting at these speeds. This video is from an orthodox Jewish wedding, hence the separate dancing for men and women.

This is another video with Lipa. This one is from a wedding in London. In this clip Lipa is performing his own stuff and it looks more like a concert than a wedding.

Dec 17, 2007

Booking a Wedding Hall Starts with...

Location, Location, Location. Three words that ring true when it comes to virtually any business or event. Weddings are no different. Planning a wedding generally begins with its location. There are, however, more ways than one to find the right venue. The more or less standard approach is to run through the locally advertised wedding halls and settle on the one that most closely resembles what the couple had expected based on their (somewhat limited) experience with weddings. If the couple is looking for a strictly Kosher wedding hall, these choices are even more limited. (A comprehensive list of Kosher wedding halls can be found on

Other coulples begin their search for the perfect setting through their caterer. A caterer will generally have a broader menu selection than a standard wedding hall, and will pay more attention to food display as well. (Although, it must be noted that an inquiring and informed consumer can have his or her requirements accommodated by most halls, should he or she directly, and in detail, express them to the hall administrator.) A caterer will usually have a few exclusive locations where it operates, but will also have a larger list of venues that it has worked at. Almost any non-kosher venue can be Kashered (made kosher) by a professional caterer. (A list of Kosher caterers can be found on

Some of the more edgy couples, who like to be totally and utterly original, will let their imagination run wild and will scout out a location that is, shall we say, completely 'raw'. Any place - given sufficient funds and creativity, can be transformed into a breathtaking and unique wedding venue. Here, a wedding planner's assistance will be of necessity. A wedding planner will have experience in 'dressing up' rooms and metamorphosing raw and untamed landscape into beautifully lit, tastefully decorated, and overall put-together event settings.

Whichever way you will go about creating the appropriate stage for your wedding, first identify your needs, wants, and priorities, like kashrus standards and financial constraints, then set your sights on the location that's right for you using a method that's right for you. But remember to keep your mind OPEN.

Dec 12, 2007

Ketubah - Signing the Marriage Contract

At every Jewish wedding, a marriage contract, Ketubah, is signed by the groom, bride, and witnesses. The Ketubah outlines the basic financial (and otherwise) obligations of the husband to his wife and the amount of money he will owe the woman he is about to marry in case he'll decide to untie the knot he's about to tie. One might say that such matters are not apropos at a time like this. The sages of the Talmud, who instituted the Ketubah, believed that security that comes with the Ketubah contract only woks to further strengthen the bond that is in the process of being formed. In fact, it was prohibited to finalize the wedding ceremony without a Ketubah contract. In most Orthodox circles, Ketubah is read under the Chuppah by an honored guest. Throughout history, the Ketubah document was very adorned and skillfull calligraphy was applied when drafting it. Some hang it up on their wall as wall art and a memento of their wedding.

A Centuries old Ketubah From Portugal

Here are some random images of the Ketubah being signed at various Jewish weddings.

Planning a Wedding with 20,000 Guests

If you are a leader of one of the largest Chassidic group in the world and your daughter is planning a wedding, you have to think big...No bigger than that. No, really BIG.

First you'll need to find a venue that would accommodate an unpredictable amount of people that belong to your Chassidic group, lets say 10,000 to 20,000 people that would love to share the wedding joy of their beloved Rebbe. In addition to the Bobover Chassidic community of Boro Park, thousands from Antwerp, Lakewood, London, Monsey, Montreal, Toronto, Williamsburg, and elsewhere will be in attendance. And of course, you can expect another couple of thousand people who are likely to drop by just to see what a twenty thousand people wedding looks like.

The Venue

Floyd Bennett Field, the no-longer-in-use airfield adjacent to the Marine Parkway Bridge in South Brooklyn was the venue of choice for this couple. The airfield’s two gargantuan cement runways, each nearly one-mile long, were the largest in the world when built in 1929. The airfield and its hangars are likely the largest usable open spaces, both indoors and out, in New York City today.

When your wedding is of such proportions, it is, for all intents and purposes, a concert. (And if you don't do it right, it may very well turn into a cirus, too.) It is not exactly clear, though, who the audience is. Are they the friends and family, are they the guests (invited and the uninvited). Shall you want to find out, browse the videos for this wedding on and you'll see that the roles change and everyone is entertained at some point and time.

A Father / Daughter moment


For this event, which by the way, took place on May 27, 2007, not one, not two, not even three photo crews were commissioned to photograph the happenings of the day. No, it took five photography teams to document this affair. Hirsh Rosner Studio of Boro Park was the leader of photography pack, who, by the way, has plenty of such weddings in his porfolio.


On the bright side, when you are a leader of a huge Chassidic group there are plenty of helpers (and those helpers have more helpers...) to take care of every single detail of the event planning - no wedding planner necessary.

Dec 5, 2007

A Beautiful Wedding and on a Budget

Here's a great article on wedding planning and wedding costs from It always helps to know what other people are doing when planning your wedding. Some Jewish wedding are significantly larger and thus may easily double the price tag.

Robyn’s $14,000 Real Wedding Budget

Today we bring you Robyn’s small town lodge wedding. She cut costs by having family members contribute services, skipping favors, and having a Sunday wedding. This way Robyn was able to pull together a lovely, warm affair for 70 guests for under $15,000.

Date: September 2, 2007
City: small town 70 miles north of Seattle, WA
Budget: ~$14,000
# of Guests: 70


Ceremony/Reception Site: $1795. Our venue was a private lodge on 70 acres, with beautifully manicured gardens and a large pond in the center of the property. The ceremony and reception both took place outdoors. Included in the price were all tables and chairs as well as 3 separate rooms for getting ready and a gourmet kitchen used by our caterers. Because we chose to get married on a Sunday (the Sunday of Labor Day weekend), the regular fee for the venue was reduced by $200.


Caterer/Food/Drink (per person if available): $5850 or ~$78/person (this number takes into account feeding our DJ, photographer, and day-of coordinator as well as all 70 guests and the bride and groom). Ravishing Radish did our catering and they were wonderful. Catering was one of the expenses we didn’t want to skimp on. For $5200 the food total included tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, an 8 item buffet, pre-set tables, coffee, all linens, plateware, silverware, glassware, delivery fees for rentals, and floral arrangements for the buffet tables. We provided beer, wine, champagne, water, and iced tea for a total of an additional $650.



Service Charge/Gratuities: The above food total includes 18% gratuity and all service charges for 1 event manager, 2 servers, 1 kitchen staff, and 1 bartender. The above is also inclusive of all sales tax.

Bridal Gown & Alterations: I purchased my dress at for around $450. It is by BCBG. The gown did not require any alterations. I thought I might eventually regret my decision to buy such a simple, inexpensive dress, but I didn’t. It is totally me and I still had the opportunity to dress it up by adding fun accessories like a poofy pink sash and animal print heels.


Bridal Accessories (Veil, Undergarments, Shoes, Jewelry): I purchased a pink silk sash from Saeyoung Vu in New York during their February sale for $45. My Kate Spade shoes were purchased from for $120. I wore diamond earrings given to me by my parents for a birthday. My bracelet was $25 at Macy’s. I made a Grecian-inspired headband using a plain silver faux-leather headband from Old Navy for $4 and an elaborate trim costing around $20 for 18 inches. My veil was ordered at a heavy discount online for $20.

Groom’s Attire: After trying on countless suits from Hickey Freeman to Hugo Boss, we ended up going with the best-fitting suit, which also happened to be the most reasonably priced! My husband’s suit was $280 from H&M. His shirt, shoes, and tie came to around $150.

Stationery/Postage: $477. Includes DIY STD and thank you card materials, invitations, and postage (for STDs, invites, and thank you cards). Fifty invitations were custom designed by mmmPaper of Seattle for around $250.


Photography: $1800. Our photographer, Ron Wurzer Photography, despite working as a photojournalist for many years, is relatively new to wedding photography. His prices are very reasonable, but you’d never know it looking at his work. The $1800 included 6 hours of shooting, a CD of all images, and 150 4×6 prints (a custom package). Ron ended up being our favorite vendor not only because of his brilliant and beautiful work but also for his laid-back, friendly personality that put everyone at ease.

Videography: n/a. I regret not hiring a videographer. We should have at least asked a friend with a camera to set up a tripod and film the ceremony.

Ceremony/Reception Music: $710, which included a $60 tip. Our DJ, Emerald Forest Productions, is local to the area in which we got married. His services included 6 hours of music plus set-up and break-down, extra speakers for the outdoor ceremony which took place in a different location than the reception, a wireless microphone, and his entire music library. We chose this company because they didn’t charge us a travel fee and were familiar with our venue. He did a great job band kept the dance floor packed.


Flowers: $400 (wholesale price). My mother offered to pay for our flowers but I’m including it in our total. This covered enough flowers for 11 centerpieces, cake flowers, 2 bridesmaids bouquets, my bouquet, 2 sprays for the chuppah, 2 very large accent pieces for the greeting table and cake table, 10+ corsages, 10+ bouts, and flower petals for our flowergirl. My Aunt is a florist and she offered to both use her wholesale license to purchase the flowers and to do all of our arrangements as a wedding gift. I couldn’t have been happier with her creations. We’re still receiving compliments on our flowers!

Cake: $300. My husband is a food blog fan. He worked up the courage to ask a local pastry chef if she would do our cakes and she agreed. We had a very simply decorated white lemon cake with buttercream frosting that served 50+ and a chocolate/rosemary/honey groom’s cake that served another 30+. Both were heavenly and I can’t believe we convinced a very experienced up-and-coming pastry chef to make our cakes!


Officiant: $0. We asked my husband’s uncle, a very charismatic, funny and intelligent guy to officiate. We signed him up for online ordination with the Universal Life Church. He did a fantastic job and made everyone laugh, while making us feel totally comfortable. He’s since been asked to officiate another wedding!

Coordinator: $400, which included a $100 tip. I lucked out on this one. A former knottie advertised her desire to build a portfolio in wedding planning by taking on local clients for a nominal fee. She did an amazing job and it was the best decision we made! I wish her the best of success with her new business!

Hair/Makeup: $50 for new makeup. Otherwise, my hair and makeup were both DIY thanks to my bridesmaids!

Wedding Party Gifts: ~$400. We purchased gifts for our bridesmaids, groomsmen, both sets of parents, our ceremony readers, all individual family members involved in any aspect of the planning day-of (~6 people), our flowergirl (and her brother!). We didn’t purchase gifts for each other.


Transportation: $200, which included a tip. This was for transportation home in a private town car after the wedding (~70 miles).

Misc: $250 for manis and pedis for me and my 2 bridesmaids (this included a 15% tip). ~$350 for all ceremony and reception decorations, including wallpaper for DIY placemats and napkin rings, glass votives and candles, centerpiece vases, string lights, materials for DIY chuppah, paper materials for DIY escort cards, DIY programs, and DIY table #s, shepherds hooks, floating pond lights, and DIY guestbook table materials.



Thanks for sharing Robyn!

As you can see they certainly cut a lot of corners, that you may not be able to do. However, they also spent a reasonable amount on the catering together with the venue. If you have your wedding at a wedding hall this cost may be significantly lower. Also, the price for the photography above does not include a keepsake album which the couple will treasure for the rest of their lives together. Album can cost anywhere between $800 to $3000. Many couples also get albums for their families and even friends. GraphiStudio makes nice albums. Robyn with her CD with images that she received from the photographer can purchase an album herself at alater date.
As you can see for yourself good planning and attention to detail goes a long way.

Breaking Dishes at a Jewish Wedding

"They Just got married - they're breaking dishes already?!" was my thought on the act of Breaking of the Glass that is at the very end of any Jewish wedding ceremony.
'No, it's a symbol' - someone said, 'Everything in a Jewish wedding is symbolic.'

'I see... what could better symbolize marriage than broken glass.'

After asking around some knowledgeable friends of mine as to the nature of this curious symbol, after all how can 'breaking' of anything be a positive sort of symbol, I got a number of answers. The source for this ceremony dates back to Talmudic times, specifically to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Yes, in fact, it is a symbol of sadness. Based on the verses 5 -7 in
Psalm 135: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy", breaking the glass ceremony sets the memory of the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem above even the highest Jewish joy, namely the Jewish wedding.

Some say, that the act of 'Breaking of the Glass' is related to the Kabbalistic concept called 'Breaking of the Vessels' or 'Shvirat HaKeilim' in Hebrew. Here's a partial quote from regarding this idea:
According to Luria, the ten vessels that were originally meant to contain the emanation of God's light were unable to contain that light and were hence either displaced or shattered.... The Breaking of the Vessels is, according to the Lurianic Kabbalah, a clearing of the decks, a fresh start...
Why were the 'vessels' unable to withhold the Light of G-d? Because they were unable to unite themselves, to unify their efforts for this most incredible 'job.' So in this sense, 'Breaking the Glass' by the Chuppah symbolizes the new beginning of the couple as a single unit working together to bring G-d's light into the world and the shattering of their old 'single' and self-centered existence.

In other words: If you break the vessels by your wedding (i.e. if you understand that you now begin your life as two units working as one, and you take on to appreciate,to compromise with, and validate one another) then you're on the road to make your marriage a grand success. You'll also save your expensive china - you won't end up breaking dishes later on.

In some Jewish circles, single girls keep the broken shards as a segulah (omen) of getting married soon themselves.

Dec 4, 2007

Badeken - Bride Veiling Ceremony

An Intro to the actual wedding ceremony, namely the Chuppah, is a small but lively ceremony known as the Badeken or the Veiling of the Bride. (Shown in this beautiful photo by Stacy Newgent, Chicago.) A ceremony that may go as far back as Biblical times, is probably the most sensuous moments at a Jewish Wedding.

Dec 1, 2007

Shostakovich and Jewish Wedding Music

One thing Shostakovich was not was Jewish, by birth or belief. Yet from the frenzied klezmer dance melody of the Second Piano Trio (1944) to the mournful vocal cycle From the Jewish Folk Poetry (1948) to the sweeping sorrow of the Holocaust evoked in the Thirteenth Symphony ("Babi Yar") of 1962, Shostakovich carried on a lifelong affair with the sound and soul of Russian Jewry. Why would a non-Jewish composer living in one of the modern world's most bitterly anti-Semitic and repressive societies, where mere possession of Hebrew literature could lead to arrest and imprisonment, choose to make Jewishness a recurrent theme in his work? The answer is tied up with the debate over the man behind the music.

Shostakovich was a Communist Party member and First Secretary of the Soviet Composers' Union, and his signature appeared on a 1973 letter attacking the dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov. Few doubted his tremendous musical talents, but there was little interest in the West for a composer who seemed such an obedient musical apparatchik.

Then came Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovitch as Related to and Edited by Solomon Volkov, purportedly dictated shortly before the composer's death in 1975. Volkov, a senior editor at Sovetskaya Muzyka, the leading Soviet music journal, brought the manuscript to the United States in 1976 and published in English in 1979. Testimony offered a startling image of the quiet, legendarily taciturn composer as a secret freedom fighter, an anti-Soviet liberal who revealed himself only in these private conversations. Volkov's Shostakovich was boldly courageous and pettily proud, alternately explaining the hidden anti-Soviet political meaning in many of his famous compositions and dismissing former colleagues such as Prokofiev in unflattering, gossipy terms.

The book's convoluted title was the first indication that this was not a standard autobiography. In fact, charges of forgery immediately began to surface among Soviet authorities and Western scholars. Volkov offered as evidence of Shostakovich's approval the composer's signature on the first page of each chapter, certifying that he had read the contents. And in the context of the Cold War and the political movement on behalf of Soviet Jewry, Westerners eagerly embraced the new heroic image of Shostakovich as a secret dissident, making his music a new concert hall favorite and Volkov's book a bestseller.

Shostakovich with Ivan Sollertinsky
Shostakovich with Ivan Sollertinsky

Among the themes to emerge from Testimony was the central place of Jews and Jewishness in Shostakovich's life and creative work. Many of the people closest to Shostakovich were Jews, including his favorite pupil, Venyamin Fleishman, and his best friend, Ivan Sollertinsky. Both men died tragically during World War II, Fleishman as a Red Army soldier and Sollertinsky of illness exacerbated by wartime living conditions. Shostakovich produced musical tributes to each. He completed Fleishman's unfinished opera, Rothschild's Violin (1944), based on a Chekhov short story about a Jewish klezmer musician. Sollertinsky he recalled in the mournful, piercing Second Piano Trio, written as word of the Holocaust was reaching Moscow. The final section of this piece includes a freylekhs, a Jewish wedding tune that seems to link the dead and the living in a desperate, sacred dance of joy and sadness.

These are among a dozen major works in which Shostakovich displayed an intense, sustained interest in the larger symbolic meaning of Jewishness and Jewish music. What was the source of this attraction? Testimony provided one answer:
Jewish folk music has made a most powerful impression on me. I never tire of delighting in it, it's multifaceted, it can appear to be happy while it is tragic. It's almost always laughter through tears. This quality of Jewish folk music is close to my ideas of what music should be... Jews became a symbol for me. All of man's defenselessness was concentrated in them. After the war, I tried to convey that feeling in my music. It was a bad time for Jews then. In fact, it's always a bad time for them.

Solomon Volkov with Shostakovich
Solomon Volkov with Shostakovich

...A substantial portion of his Jewish audience, in Russia and beyond, also continues to claim Shostakovich's music. Vladimir Zak calls Shostakovich's musical language a form of Jewish "biblical romanticism." Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, the late exponent of American Jewish religious music, spoke of Shostakovich's music as soaked through with "the sorrow of the Jews...crying out together with the Torah." And so Volkov's work, while it may not successfully prove that Shostakovich was a political dissident, does rightly remind us that the great master of modern Russian music was also a great Jewish composer.

James Loeffler is a musicologist and writer based in New York City.

Got Engaeged - let the world know

If you got engaged, before you begin the wedding planning process, you'll probably want to let your friends and family know about your engagement. The quickest way to do that is to post your Simcha on Here's an article from the Jewish Press about this popular website.

Special: Simcha Factory: The Magic of

February 23, 2006

The question is - how did we ever endure beforehand? Were we always on top of the most recent news in the community? Did it matter that we could go months before seeing photos of a new grandchild in Israel, or learning of a classmate’s engagement in Australia? Nowadays, even a three day yom tov can leave an enthusiast of the site feeling like he or she is out of the loop. It’s all part of the magic of is a photo sharing and browsing website for the international Jewish community. Often, it’s an overseas relative who will turn to the site to experience the joy of a new baby to the family. Sometimes, a new couple will return to their own photo gallery just to relive the special moments of their wedding day. But more often has become a destination for Jewish people throughout the world searching for wholesome happy news.

How did the site begin? The legend, as retold by the site’s three founders begins with Dov Katz running a website development company in college. While attending Yossi Markovitz’s engagement party in February of 2000, he took photos with his brand new Sony Mavica and posted them on the web so Yossi’s sister in Israel could view them. Within a few days, other couples were asking Dov to add their images as well. Dr. Doron Katz, who is Dov’s brother-in-law, immediately knew this concept had huge potential in the early stages of the internet. Immediately, the three young entrepreneurs began developing the site’s technology and business operation.

The magic stems from many sources. Since all the content is user uploaded, the site is updated real-time with happenings from around the world. The staff monitors all pictures for suitability and refreshes the homepage at least once a day. The site offers listings of simcha vendors, advertisements for the latest products, and classified posting for real estate, jobs and local events.

Today, the site serves over 20 million pages per month, has over 40,000 posted Simchas, and caters to an international audience from Brooklyn to Bnai Brak, from Antwerp to Sao Paulo and everywhere in between. The trio has transformed a novel idea into a tremendous tool that draws recognition and accolade for its resources and ingenuity.

By now, everyone has a personal OnlySimchas story to tell. Last year, a newlywed couple was honeymooning in London when they accidentally left their wedding proofs in a taxi cab. The resourceful cabbie was able to identify them by “googling” the name of the photographer and celebrant on the internet. Sure enough, the results of the search led him to With the help of the founding team the proof were returned safely to their very grateful owners. Among their most well-known celebrants was Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary.

Another Bride / Another Groom

Set to open On December 1st, 2007, Another Bride Another Groom is a musical journey on a magic carpet back in time to that Golden Era of the Jewish Wedding bands. A time when you heard wonderful music and you didn't have to put cotton balls in your ears.

Drama, comedy, traditions and stories that were never told all unfold as the wedding progresses. Starts where Fiddler ended. Featuring a live international orchestra!

“Another Bride, Another Groom” is a musical show that recreates a Jewish Wedding, not only with wonderful songs and dance but also with many stories and memories of both happy and sad times. A “simcha” that stimulates your senses and provokes your imagination. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry, but when our magical journey ends, you’ll still be flying high.

A creation of Alan Helzner - this semi-autobiographical tale based on 35 years on the road as a Jewish wedding band leader, will "bring people back to something real."

"This really picks up where 'Fiddler' ended," Mr. Helzner says. "As the wedding in the show progresses, you go through the golden era of wedding music that flourished until it gradually, sadly disappeared. I think it's indicative of something going through the country - children today are pulling away from family and tradition, but I hope 'Another Bride, Another Groom' will open up the possibility of bringing people back to something real."

"Another Bride, Another Groom" opens Dec. 1 at the Raymond and Miriam Klein Branch Jewish Community Center, Polonsky Theater, 10100 Jamison Ave. The show runs through Dec. 9. Tickets are $25. Call 215 947-0409 or visit