Bartos family, Greg & Morgan, Squicciarini family, Wedding

Wedding Details

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WEDDING PLANNER{S}
a collaborative effort by the Squicciarini Family

LOCATION
Charlotte Museum of History

NUMBER OF GUESTS
about 150

FLORIST
the Hergenreters

FLOWERS
cherry red roses & pink carnations accented with camellia leaves

WEDDING RING
Sumpter’s of Charlotte

THE DRESS
vintage gown found at The Bride’s Closet in Charlotte, updated and embellished by Matthews Alterations
lace bolero, handmade by Allyn Squicciarini

VEIL
“Bernadette” waist-length pearl beaded veil, found on Etsy

SHOES
“Garrison” by Pesáro

GROOM’S CLOTHES
Dress pants and vest from Express, bow tie from Macy’s

JEWELRY
None… “the Ashkenazi custom is that the chatan {bridegroom} and kallah {bride} wear no jewelry under the chuppah {marriage canopy}. Their mutual commitment is based on who they are as people, not on any material possessions.” –Guide to the Jewish Wedding on Aish.com

BRIDESMAIDS ATTIRE
Black & white silk polka dot blouse, from White House Black Market
Wide black belt, from Kohl’s
Red silk flower, from Dillard’s
Black skirts and peep-toe heels from their own wardrobes

CAKE
Cannoli tower from Chef’s Catering, Matthews {representing the couple’s Italian heritage}

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THE STORY
On a cloudy, rainy Sunday morning, people started to gather at the Charlotte Museum of History. The bride and her sisters got there first, accompanied by their stylists, and spread out hair + makeup supplies in the glass-enclosed conference room. A little while later, the bride’s parents + grandparents/relatives arrived, followed by the groom’s parents, and finally the rabbi, escorted by the groom himself. After assembling in the library to hear the groom deliver a short drash {Torah thought} and witness the signing of the ketubah, the men made their way to the conference room, where the bride was seated like a princess, attended by the women present. As family and friends observed, the groom stepped forward and took a long look at his bride, for the first time that day, before carefully pulling her veil down to cover her face. The bride’s father + grandfather and groom’s father took this opportunity to pray for their children and bless them with the Birkat HaKohenim {Aaronic Benediction}.

At 11am, the groom prepared to make his entrance into the Great Hall. Surrounded by men from the Tzadik Class {discipleship group} he belongs to, he walked down the aisle accompanied by a hip classical piece {A Fifth of Beethoven by Walter Murphy}. Once the groom had taken his place under the chuppah, the bride entered the hall with her mother + sisters and the groom’s mother + sister, to the music-box sound of Craig Taubman’s Lo Ish. The groom and bride faced each other in silent excitement as the rabbi welcomed their guests, and then both mothers took the bride’s hands and led her in seven circles around the groom. Mishehu Holech Tamid Iti {“Someone Always Walks With Me”}, a beautiful song by Ofra Haza, filled the room as the bride slowly circled the groom.

The two witnesses were called up to be questioned and examine the ring, the groom + bride read their personal vows {based on the 4 “I Will’s” from Exodus 6}, the Sheva Berachot {Seven Blessings} were sung by the cantor and translated by the groom + bride’s uncles, the destruction of the Temple was remembered as Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim {“If I Forget You, Jerusalem”} played, the wedding glass was dramatically shattered, and all too soon it was over… the couple made a joyful exit out of the hall and up the circular staircase to enjoy their yichud {seclusion} meal + first few moments alone.

When the groom + bride returned downstairs, they received their guests in a round atrium at one end of the museum. The reception concluded with everyone together in the Gathering Room to say the Birkat HaMazon {Blessing After Meals} + hear a repetition of the Sheva Berachot. At this point, the ketubah was read aloud, one man gave an inspiring prayer for the couple, and then the groom surprised the bride by singing the Eshet Chayil {Woman of Valor, Proverbs 31} – with the entire tzadik class!

The couple had another unexpected surprise when they were whisked away in a white limousine and taken uptown to a beautiful hotel… the perfect fairytale ending.

=)

Bartos family, Greg & Morgan, Planning, Squicciarini family, Thoughts, Wedding

3 Days

Blessed are You, Adonai my G-d, King of the universe, Who has kept me alive, sustained me and, through one miracle after another, has brought me to this time. Amen.

*can’t believe* how much happened today…

We were supposed to go grocery shopping this morning, have lunch at the apartment, and do a mikveh there. But… little change of plans {due to an unforeseen delay in getting the electricity turned on}, we ended up postponing grocery shopping until tomorrow. {quote from Mums: “aren’t you glad we’re flexible?”} So I packed up the rest of my belongings, and we headed over to the apartment around 9am – put {more} clothes away, rearranged my kitchen with some new gifts {LOVE the food processor, Mrs. Burroughs!}, and made up the bed with crisp green & white sheets + my pretty pintucked duvet cover from West Elm + matching shams + embroidered bride/groom pillowcases. After about an hour, we went home, where I got ready for my mikveh.

The new mikveh location became my mom’s bathroom. She has both a shower and bathtub, making it the perfect place. I was a little uncertain about the whole thing… never done this before! Put together a basket of supplies: a robe, clean {white} clothes, towel, toothbrush/toothpaste, soap, a facial scrub, washcloth, etc… plus my instructions page from Mayyim Hayyim, and started by reading the seven kavanot {intentions/steps} they suggested. Excellent points! Here they are again:

  1. Here I am.
  2. The unadorned body is beautiful in itself.
  3. You fashioned the human being intricate in design.
  4. I am made in the image of G-d.
  5. The soul in me is pure.
  6. The breath of every living thing praises You.
  7. We can stand for justice; we can build a world of peace and justice.

These seven steps include taking a shower and thoroughly washing every part of the body {as they put it, “with thoughtful attention to the miracle of your own body”}. Then you get out, dry off, and continue preparing for immersion – brushing teeth, combing hair, cleaning inside ears and fingernails, etc. The immersion itself involves going completely underwater three times – surprisingly difficult in a bathtub! Still, it was a unique experience. It begins with a prayer {“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You, Adonai, my Rock and my Redeemer”} and ends with this declaration:

“My G-d, Creator and Sustainer of all life, may I step forth into a life filled with continued wisdom and deeds of kindness. May I step forward into a life filled with the blessings of new beginnings. May I be a loving mate, partner, and friend to my beloved. May the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, and this act of sanctification seal my devotion to a life of Torah {G-d’s instructions}, Avodah {worship}, and Gemilut Chasidim {acts of kindness}; a life of learning Your ways, a life of standing in Your presence, a life made holy by acts of loving kindness.”

Had a sense of calm and peace afterward, refocused on the spiritual side of my impending marriage. I know the water doesn’t literally do anything, but it symbolizes the change I am making, choosing to become “one with another life,” and the internal cleansing – spiritual purification – which I desire.

The girls made an incredible lunch – kind of our “bride’s luncheon” {fresh fruit, quinoa, poached eggs, dark chocolate, and Lambrusco – very light and healthy} and gave me a gift basket from all of them! It had a dainty scarf {to wear while praying, as married women do}, a handpainted pottery havdalah set + white candle, a sequined challah bread cover, and even sparkly Shabbat candles – I’ve never seen anything like them. Julianna brought most of this back from Jerusalem. {wow!} I’ve been reflecting that presents, at least to me, mean more when they are personal – implying that the giver understands me well enough to know my taste, for example {or beliefs, as the case may be}. These beautiful gifts from my sisters, symbols of our faith, meant a lot to me. I can see myself doing the same thing for them – in fact, I can’t wait! {grin}

After lunch we went to get our nails done – I opted for a French manicure and pedicure, wanting to keep the look elegant and not too flashy or conspicuous – and then went our separate ways to do errands. Mums picked up the flowers and delivered them to our “florist” {hug for Mrs. H}.

Tonight, of course, was the rehearsal, and it went beautifully {baruch HaShem}. I am very pleased. My family arrived a little early and set up the chuppah, including the tallit suspended above it, and it is perfect. Once everyone was there, we went through the first part of the ceremony several times, talked about placement and timing… Dad did a great job keeping us on track and directing everyone. A big thank you to Jonathan, Carl, Tiffany, and Brandy, for being there tonight! Oh, and the masks worked out very well! I felt ridiculous in mine but inwardly thrilled that we rose to the challenge of making this week different.

There is really nothing to be nervous about. {grin} My part in the ceremony, overall, is quite small. What I am feeling is more anticipation, almost impatience. As we practiced tonight I couldn’t wait to do this for real, in just a few days {hours!}. Getting married is something I am confident about – feeling pretty sure we are not rushing into it, but rather both ready to make a commitment, and ready to begin our life together.

A few other notes: 1} my Uncle Fred and Aunt Stephanie are in town!! We haven’t seen them yet, but they arrived tonight. It’s been a couple years since they came down {from NY}, so the Squicciarini family is psyched about having them here. 2} Got an unexpected note from my friend Jennifer Sisk, wishing Greg and I much happiness on our wedding day. Thank you, Mrs. Sisk – what a sweet email!! 3} Received a VERY unusual wedding gift, one that has an intriguing story with it {Venice and veterinarians…}. Unfortunately this post is already enormous, so I’ll save that for another time. {grin}

& check out Dad’s review of the tzadik class this past Tuesday – fantastic!

=)

Greg & Morgan, Planning, Squicciarini family, Wedding

4 Days

The week continues to fly by…

Yesterday contained: a trip to the spa w/ mom & the girls; the purchase of a “wedding glass” to smash {finally}; a few other errands; shopping w/ friends; a unique gift from mom; and dinner at a cute place in Blakeney, Zoe’s Kitchen. Meanwhile Greg had a pizza party at The Residence, including a special occasion tzadik class focused on elements of a great marriage! He also tried on his kittel {borrowed from Mr. Spurlock}, and said it “wasn’t as bad as he thought.” The kittel is a white robe the groom normally wears. It’s white, the color of purity, and a subtle reminder of his mortality {in Judaism, people are buried in these white robes}. Greg was imagining a bathrobe… not quite what he’d prefer to wear on his wedding day. Greg is really quite stylish. He has 2 years worth of GQ on our bookshelf, if that gives you any indication. {wink}

Today, Christine set up a special class for us at her gym! We spent an hour stretching/de-stressing, and then went to the sauna… {wow} This afternoon I finished emptying my room, prepared for the mikveh tomorrow, completed a slideshow for the museum lobby screen, and wrote my vows! Sooo productive. {grin}

Christine, Mary, and I took a run up to Southpark tonight in the Beetle, to make a few returns. Mary made us a “wedding week” playlist on her iPod with cute playful music we can sing along to… and we’ve been enjoying it the past few days! And speaking of shopping, I took the opportunity recently to place a few last-minute orders: Soma, Hapari, Folica, and Vistaprint. {grin} Because… it was necessary to stock up on a few essentials while I still have money in my bank account!

So it’s been 4 days without Greg. {wow} We’ve been talking about once a day, just to catch up for a minute – no long conversations. This has really spiked our anticipation! Tomorrow is the rehearsal, and I ran into Party City today and got a little butterfly mask to wear… I’ll try to get a silly picture of us in our masks. {grin}

=)