Jan 21, 2008

Under the Chuppah - Berlin

If you really want to stand under a Chuppah but just can't seem to get the opportunity, either because you aren't Jewish or because you still haven't found the right chuppmate, and say you find yourself in Berlin, Germany, stop by the Judische Museum there which hosts an interactive exhibit that's open on all four sides. You can stand under this installation, pictured above, one of the many exhibits of the Jewish Museum that catalog Jewish Life in Germany over the past 1000 years, and listen to Jewish wedding music. You might have to share the Chuppah, though, with another museum visitor. (You don't have to go home with him/her.)

The Museum's Glass Courtyard and Old Building, a view from the Museum Garden

You can also get a panoramic glimpse of the museum from under the Chuppah at rundbild.com.

Bridal Inspirations: Basia Zarzycka, London, UK

Most of us can't afford a gown commission from Basia Zarzycka, a London based independent designer with clients ranging from foreign Royalty to international pop stars and some of the biggest names in Hollywood - her custom gown orders start at 10,000 British Pounds, and go as high as... well, there's really no limit. The truth is that not everyone will even want to adorn themselves in the eccentric, incredibly over the top style that is Basia's signature. Her timeless, unusual work, her one-of-a-kind fabrics, minute details, and magical accessories, however, are just perfect when you're looking for wedding inspiration... and all of us are.

Basia in her shop amidst her accouterments.

Basia Zarzycka's Shop in Sloane Square, London.

Dress Detail

Vintage Accessories

Who says a wedding gown should be white?

To be further enchanted, visit Basia's website at basia-zarzycka.com.

Jung Lee - Fete: The Wedding Experience

From: Daily News NY

Make your wedding unforgettable in every way

Sunday, January 20th 2008

Cohen Starr Gruber

In this Jung Lee-designed wedding, the color scheme of the chuppah was tied together by a charm that commemorated the groom's late mother.

You can rifle through magazines and visit hundreds of venues, but to have the wedding of your dreams, the inspiration has to come from within.

It can't hurt, though, to have a topnotch wedding planner Jung Lee, owner of Fete, one of the most sought-after wedding planning companies in the country.

"You've got the most important people in your lives together for a few hours - it's a spectacular opportunity," says Lee, whose company has created fantasy weddings for a host of New Yorkers over the past five years.

Now Lee, who works on 15 big-budget weddings each year, is sharing her secrets with those planning their own big day in the new book "Fete: The Wedding Experience" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $45), released this month.

"When I talk about a fantasy wedding, I'm not talking about big, puffy evening gowns," she explains.

"I mean, what do you want your guests to remember? You really want to indulge all five senses - what they see, taste, hear, touch and smell."

That's just what she did at the New York wedding of Dr. Christopher Starr and his bride Lauren. Attention was paid to every detail, especially when it came to the ceremony, where the couple were married under a chuppah.

"The chuppah signifies a new home and all the loved ones are underneath. People who aren't Jewish think it's such a lovely notion that they embrace it," says Lee of the mixed-faith couple.

For decoration, she chose a fresh garden-themed color scheme. "The wedding was in mid-May, so we used dogwood and really took advantage of all that spring blossoms had to offer."

The green theme matched the peace sign talisman that hung in the chuppah. "Christopher's mom had passed away and that peace sign was something she kept by his crib. The idea was to have his mom under [the] chuppah with him."

The personal touches carried through to the reception. "Lauren loved cocktail parties, so we took that idea further by creating lots of vignettes of seating and samplings of their favorite foods, like lobster rolls and a seafood tower.

"We had a vodka bar with lots of different infusions where people could learn more about different vodkas," recalls Lee, who added a special gift for the morning after.

"Because they knew the party was going to go on until the early hours of the morning, they didn't want to wake guests for a formal breakfast. Instead, guests felt pampered with a little sign on their door letting them know they'd get breakfast delivered to their room. The next morning, there was a bag of coffees and pastries from Balthazar, with a copy of The New York Times at their door. They didn't have to go anywhere."

Jan 17, 2008

Get Your Daisy Path

We're sure you're counting down to the big day. So is your fiance. With DaisyPath tickers, available free at DaisyPath.com, you can share your countdown with others as well. These customizable tickers are just so adorable. You can upload a picture to appear alongside your daisy path, and customize the wording to fit your lingo. You can make a ticker for any lifecycle event and put them into your personal website, wedding blog, or forum sig.

Here's an example daisy path A.J.W. made.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Jan 13, 2008

Make - Up Basics

By Debby Grossman

You've got to look your best for the Big day. Learning how to apply your make-up properly is important now more than ever. It can, however, be difficult and time-consuming. Here are the most common beauty mistakes that women make, and how to avoid them.

Skipping foundation. Although many people dislike the feel of a full face of makeup, an even base creates the perfect canvas for the rest of your color makeup. Heavy, cakey foundation is a thing of the past; with tinted moisturizers, sheer formulas and finely milled powders, you won’t even feel like you’re wearing makeup.
The key is to find the texture that is right for your skin type. If your skin is dry, try a sheer or moisturizing tint that you can actually use instead of your regular moisturizer.. Normal to oily skin types should stick with powder textures.
Concealer that is too light. If you have dark under-eye circles, the biggest mistake you can make is to choose the wrong color concealer. A good under-eye concealer should match the rest of your skin. Many people pick one that is too light to overcompensate for the darkness, which actually looks unnatural.
If you have blue or purple undertones under your eyes, choose a concealer that is peachy to counteract the darkness. Again, the under-eye area should be uniform in color with the rest of the skin, so avoid one that looks too white or light on the skin.
Wearing the wrong foundation color. Although you may be tempted to wear a foundation that is a little bit darker than your natural skin tone, the result can look mask-like. Think about it: If you wear a base that is too dark, the rest of your body will not match your face.
If you insist on adding a little bit of color to your face, choose a foundation that matches your natural skin tone exactly, and add warmth with a blush or bronzer. If you decide to use a bronzer, place the color on the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead to mimic a natural tan.
Not taking care of your skin. Many of us don’t have the time or energy to take proper care of our skin, but the results will eventually catch up to you. By starting a good skincare regimen, you will keep your skin healthy while preventing premature signs of aging. Use a moisturizer with an SPF daily to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. In addition, many people with oily skin think they don’t need a moisturizer.

Read More here...

Jan 2, 2008

A First for Cyprus: A Traditional Jewish Wedding

If you are in the remotest of locations around the globe, you can be sure that there is a Chabad House near by where you'll find answers and solutions for all your Jewish needs. Here's an article from Chabad.org that illustrates the many different aspects of Chabad House activities. The article describes Rabbi Arie Zeev Raskin's involvement in organizing a Jewish wedding on the island of Cyprus.

Chaim Harrari is lifted in a chair as Rabbi Arie Zeev Raskin, third from left, and others celebrate his Cypriot wedding.
Chaim Harrari is lifted in a chair as Rabbi Arie Zeev Raskin, third from left, and others celebrate his Cypriot wedding.

Tamar Runyan
Jan 1, 2008

A series of providential occurrences culminated last month in a traditional Jewish wedding on the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus.

Every year, many Israelis make the short trip by air to Cyprus in order to elope and circumvent their country's legal sanctions on weddings that stipulate that all marital unions occur according to the dictates of Jewish law.

But according to presiding Rabbi Arie Zeev Raskin, director of the Cyprus Jewish Community Centre in Larnaca, the Nov. 29 wedding of Chaim and Segal Harrari was the country's first-ever traditional ceremony – adhering to all of Judaism's strictures – that he knows of. He bought the chuppah used for the wedding just six month ago, although he had no idea it would ever be used.

"I bought it just in case," he revealed.

A Chabad House regular in Larnaca, businessman Chaim Harari met his bride during a visit to Israel. Right before then, he said, he had a quiet moment with G‑d on the occasion of his first marriage's dissolution.

Standing by his house along the water, Harari implored G‑d to help him find another mate, because it was "impossible" to find Jewish women in Cyprus.

"What do you want? That I should marry a non-Jew?" he said he challenged G‑d that day.

On the advice of his friend, he went to Israel and "met someone I felt was a friend I hadn't seen for 30 years, a life partner." She was divorced, as well.

A year later, he proposed and in the course of telling Raskin the good news, the rabbi suggested a date two months from then.

"They closed the circle at the Chabad House," remarked Raskin, who taught the groom the laws of family purity, while his wife Shaindel taught the bride.

Chaim Harari insists without a doubt that he is "a believing man," and saw special importance in the date of his recent wedding: It occurred on the 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, the day that the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, was released from prison. Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidim all over the globe celebrate the day as a joyous holiday.

At the ceremony, a visiting Israeli couple who just happened to be in the area walked the bride and groom down the aisle after they revealed that the male of the pair was descended from a line of Jewish priests known as kohanim. Fifty other guests watched the wedding take place just outside of the Chabad House.

"In my dream of dreams, I could never have imagined such a wedding, a Jewish wedding according to the tradition of Moses," said Harari.

Chaim and Segal Harari now live in the Israeli suburb of Ramat Gan with her two sons, aged 8 and 10. His three children live not too far away with their mother.

"We have a big family," he said proudly. "We had to buy a car with seven seats!"