Julie and Oli. Married.
The first time I saw Oli, my jaw dropped. YES! Thank you! Some fabulous style. You mean all grooms don’t have to wear a black tux?! Nope, they sure do not. I just love his fuchsia shirt, blue jacket and matching blue suede shoes. Seriously. AWESOME.
Julie found her gown and veil at a second hand shop in Berlin. (Julie and Oli live in Germany. Toll!) For a fun personal fact… I was a German Exchange student in high school. Throughout their wedding day, I kept making small German references to the groom and his family. Needless to say, I’ll stick to English. Or better yet, only speak German around my friends who only know English.
Oli was greeted by his soon-to-be in-laws. I think they love him!
Julie didn’t want flowers at her wedding so she handmade all of the jewelry, boutonnieres, hair pieces, her bouquet and the centerpieces! Amazing! And so very green!
Julie, you are so cute. That is all.
There weren’t traditional bridesmaids. Just close friends who happened to wear bright, complimentary colors (which they had no idea until they all stood together).
Julie made everyone these gorgeous hair pieces.
At a traditional Jewish wedding, the men and women remain in two separate rooms. Oli enjoyed whiskey and laughter with his male companions while Julie sat in her handmade Amish throne and enjoyed kisses and messages of love and encouragement from all of her lady guests. Oli then entered Julie’s room accompanied by a boisterous band, a happy rabbi and a lot of loud clapping loved ones to see his bride for the first time.
This was followed by the signing of the Ketubah, which was made with love by Julie’s father. Surrounded by all of the supportive people who mattered the most in the world, Julie and Oli became one soul in two bodies.
I am just in awe when I see this photo. Look how proud Julie’s mother is. Such a priceless moment .
Julie and Oli had a Jewish ceremony at the Audobon Center in downtown Columbus. It was a rainy summer Sunday and Julie wanted so badly to marry her handsome husband on the beautiful green terrace on the hill by the river. Minutes before the ceremony, the dry decision was made for plan B. I looked over at Julie and whispered, “it’s good luck if it rains on your wedding day.” Julie, squeezing her jeweled bouquet tightly, smiled and said, “that’s what everyone tells the bride to make her feel better.” Tis true, Julie. Tis true. You don’t need the luck the rain brought in. You are so completely blessed with the abundance of love you and Oli share. (And I absolutely love your humor!)
Julie and Oli stood together on this beautiful observation deck overlooking the river. They embraced and looked out into their new future together. They took in the sight like they were always meant to be right there together witnessing this day and their new journey as husband and wife. Julie hugged Oli very tightly. Oli wisped her hair away from her forehead and gave her a gentle kiss. And soon the laughter and joy from the onlooking guests floated out to the newlyweds. Julie and Oli, hand in hand, made their way toward the party, toward their future, as husband and wife.
Julie has that kind of smile. You know, the smile of someone who knows what happiness and love is.
And her little shy grin speaks volumes.
Wedding fave. LOVE IT!
This was the first Jewish ceremony I have ever photographed. It was the fastest paced day of any wedding and a celebration I have ever shot. That said, it was so very exciting to document. The passion and joy at this wedding was seriously monumental. Not just from family, but of all the guests too.
I have never EVER seen so much dancing. FROM EVERYONE. My mouth hurt from smiling so much. These folks have their feet on a plate and they were spinning around as Julie and Oli enjoyed the show.
Oli was born and raised in Germany. English is his second language. You would never know this. He sang “I’m in love, I’m a Believer”. This was the part of the song where he yelled…. “When I needed sunshine, I GOT RAIN”. A pretty perfect lyric for their day and the guests exploded with cheer.
Fun games are a part of the culture. Balancing bottles on hats, dancing games, a parachute, a massage train…again, the smiles and laughter never stopped.
It was Father’s Day. This is pretty perfect for Father’s Day.
Crayons on every table. Um, yes, that’s fun!
Would you LOVE to see the video slideshow including tons of short clips of all the fabulous dancing? CLICK HERE.
Julie and Oli, I am so very grateful to just share a little ounce of your warmth and kindness. To document this for you. To be there with you and witness your love.
And a blog favorite…some behind the scenes of Crystal Jo Foto. Because, well, you know, we rock!
Thank you, Ana, for being my light girl, for carrying all my gear, and for bringing me every dessert left on the table. You are da bomb diggity!
Julie’s cousin stole my camera.
And snapped this awesome photo. (Thank goodness we shoot in raw because this was COMPLETELY blown out. Yay for the flexibility with digital files! And, thanks Julie’s cousin!)
Behind the foto booth scene.
And how did I get the extreme privilege of photographing my first jewish wedding? One of my past brides, here on the left, excellent Emily. Julie was one of Emily’s bridesmaids in her 2010 wedding. Cheers to my Jo Foto brides. Much love, ladies!
And a beautiful thank you from Julie…these fabulous handmade earrings. Thank you, Julie. You are so beautiful. Inside and out!
If you would like to view ALL of the wedding day photos when they are ready for viewing, click HERE to pre-register your email address.
their creative team…
Reception and Ceremony Site: The Grange Insurance Audubon Center
Video–Live streaming on http://justin.tv/jasonedelman–done by Julie’s brother or her Uncle Markie (for all the friends and family who couldn’t make it, including both of our grandparents–in Arizona, Amsterdam, and Carcassone, France!)
Caterer–Chef Chris from OSU’s Hillel
Cake/Desserts–done by my best friends from college, lead by master baker Sarah Gupton and sous-chef Kevi Mace (and Nora Connor and Gabi Fondiller helped lots)
Flowers–there were none, I (Julie) was strict with this and it made my mom really upset. She thought weddings couldn’t exist without flowers. I just didn’t want there to be flowers there grown in hothouses with tons of pesticides to then be thrown away a couple of days later. Instead, Oli and I made our centerpieces out of glass bottles (which we somehow miraculously broke into interesting enough and salvageable shapes) and brass and aluminum wire. These were to look like two trees twisted together, like the invitations. I also made the boutonnieres and my bouquet to resemble flowers with wire and beads.
Band–The Yiddishe Cup out of Cleveland, Ohio–we LOVED them!
Ceremony Music–not sure now if there even was any! Ha! (The band played during the ceremony.Julie, you were dancing to your own beat.)
Hair and Make up-hair done by me with lots of help from Emily Wiegman–who is the very reason we found Crystal Jo Foto! Make up done by Alisa Rosado Swissa from Nordstrom’s Chanel dept.
Wedding Planner–I think we had a day-of coordinator, Julie Wasserstrom
Invitations/Paper–I (Julie) made the invitations–months of hard work, too! It’s watercolor and faber-castell black pens which I scanned, added text, and then uploaded to www.greenprinteronline.com. Everything was done on 100% recycled paper with soy-based inks.
Jewelry–also done by me. I’ve been making and selling jewelry for several years now. But making those hair pieces, boutineres, my bouquet, the centerpieces, those were all experiments!! I have a website (which because of the wedding has not been updated in a LONG time): juliesjewelsberlin.wordpress.com
Rehearsal dinner–my parents’ house, outdoors
Wedding gown designer–found at a second hand shop in Berlin, along with the veil. Both from the fifties, and the dress was altered a bit to accommodate my smaller frame. Shoes were fun tango shoes from a tango store in Berlin. Pink ribbon/belt and pin both from deceased maternal grandmother.
Oli’s outfit–it’s really funny, he went shopping with his mother, and she told him to wear a white button-down, but the way he says it, when he saw the fuschia-colored one, he felt compelled to buy it and wear it. It’s certainly more his style! He wore a blue linen jacket and matching blue suede Bugatti shoes.
As told by Julie…
I made the Chuppah by hand. I made the chuppah because my deceased paternal grandmother was a quilter and I wanted her to be there with me as well. I guess I had always imagined both grandmothers walking down the aisle with me, too, so in this way, they were both there…ALSO, people at the reception were filling out leaves with good wishes, etc, on them. My mother’s best friend from college is a quilter and she is going to make the chuppah and leaves and turn it into one beautiful tree quilt/art piece as our wedding gift which we will receive in October when she visits us. Yay!
Rabbi Harold Berman (officiant) and Cantor Jack Chomsky conducted the ceremony. They’ve been my Rabbi and Cantor since before I can remember. (From Congregation Tifereth Israel)
Our Kippot (the blue head coverings) were made out of eco-suede (which means 100% recycled cardboard). We fought hard to make it as green friendly of a wedding as possible, little things like having the Bexley Beat shuttle around our out of town guests for the weekend really helped!
Also, Oli’s dad composed and performed an “anthem” that he wrote specifically for us and for that day. Oli sang “I’m a Believer” and “Lean on Me”–both surprises to me!!
grand entrance –the Horah!!
first dance–not sure if we had one…? It wasn’t so important to us to follow all of the normal traditions.
father/daughter –I have no idea what it was to…
Lots of Israeli dancing! The little woman who was the dance leader was a surprise to the two of us–we didn’t know she came with the band!
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
B: This is unfair! How am I supposed to pick just one?! If I pick one, then it’s a sliding slope and I’ll just gush on and on and on…But I guess if I had to choose (see, again, already ruining the theory behind not choosing), the Kabblat Panim, the time where I was sitting in my Amish-made throne (my mom drove out to Amish country for it!) getting a chance to greet every woman individually and hold her hand, look in their eyes, smile uncontrollably as they fought back tears, etc. It was a really beautiful time to be surrounded by women waiting in giant anticipation for the man of my dreams to come dancing through the door led by the musicians. I thought my heart would bounce onto the floor–it was definitely not in rhythm to the beat of the music!
G: This entire day is a puzzle, a mosaic of memories and impressions, and every bit just merged into one single emotion: happiness. No idea what happened before and after, who said and did what when, but I know that we all shared our happiness together. I guess I never saw my parents being so happy. They looked like they were flying and so did Julie and I.
What was your favorite detail?
B: The fact that WE made all the little details. I spent a lot of time making the bouquet, the hairpieces, the boutonnieres, my jewelry, etc, as well as the two of us sitting around one rainy afternoon putting together our centerpieces. That was really fun!
G: My favorite detail of the day was the way Julie held on to her self-made bouquet when I first got to see her that day, which was so delicate and so gentle. There was so much affection in that little grip.
Any advice for future bride/grooms?
B:Two things: one, find silence the morning of. My morning could have been horrible–it was really loud and hectic and everyone was stressed trying to get everything ready to be transported to the Audubon–but I blasted some really calming music and kept my door shut. It was as blissful as could be. The second thing is to find a way to thank the people that have worked the hardest, that mean the most to you throughout the weekend because I knew I was going to forget to say thank you publicly during the speech (and I did), but I tried to do little things and make gifts and write cards to tell people how much they meant to me, in general, and in lieu of the wedding maelstrom.
G: Allow yourself to be nervous, allow yourself to freak out, because once you allow that to happen, at some point everything will start falling into place naturally and it’ll feel like a roller coaster ride you never had before. And you’d better enjoy that, because you only get to go for it once :))) So, make sure you take some time to step back, stop thinking, and just look, listen, and enjoy the moment.
If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
B: I wasn’t particularly pleased with some of the things that I had been assured would have been great and just weren’t. BUT I’m choosing to focus on the amazing things, like the fact that my best friends from college spent their weekend baking up a storm–and boy, was it worth it! Yummy!
G: As I said, it’s a ride you only get once and it’s over really fast! Enjoy it, live it, savor it!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
B: We went to Telluride, Colorado. There was a bluegrass festival in town, and we did tons of hiking. The weather was also amazing–super hot and sunny the whole time. Why do people want to always go to the beach for their honeymoon when the mountains have great weather, great food, and amazing views??
What was your favorite moment/thing with Crystal Jo?
B: I wouldn’t say it was a moment, rather a feeling. I just had this warm, comfortable feeling like we were all having fun and we never had to pose, just live. I don’t love being photographed, but Crystal Jo just made it fun! I also liked posing at the very end in the photobooth together
G: It felt very natural and as if it were second nature. I liked that Crystal Jo was confident and knew what she was doing and this is why we felt we were taken care of very well.
A few days before their wedding, Pixie and I met Julie and Oli at the Audobon Center to check out our surroundings. Birdie, a nickname for Pixie, was so amused by this place! A fun educational place filled with birds and all things nature. I highly recommend checking it out! (It’s a metro park and it’s free!)