Kelly and Joe met while attending college at Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!). A mutual friend introduced them to one another during a Tim McGraw concert. So right away, they knew they had their love for country music in common! This one meeting led to seven years of dating. Finally, one weekend in April of 2018, Joe knew it was time to pop the question! These two love to travel together, and so they were down in Fort Lauderdale for a weekend getaway. Joe knows how much Kelly loves the beach, so he mentioned to her that he wanted to walk along the shore on their way to breakfast. Little did Kelly know, he had a remote tripod set up so he could capture it all while down on one knee!
When it came time for Kelly to go dress shopping, she admits that it was a “group effort!” With the help of her mom, godmother, sisters, and Joe’s mom and grandma, she found the perfect gown for the big day!
Joe and Kelly decided on a George Washington Masonic National Memorial wedding because it was classic, elegant, and large enough to fit their wedding! To make their ceremony even more special, two of their close friends, Dan and Ben, performed the ceremony for them. Since Joe and his family are Jewish, they mixed both traditional wedding rituals and Jewish traditions into their ceremony. I loved learning about their Jewish traditions! It was so beautiful to be a part of something so unique and special!
As with many Jewish weddings, Joe and Kelly stood under the Chupah that Joe built with his grandfather’s Talit, a Jewish Prayer Shawl. The Chupah represents a few different things, including the home they are building together, the modesty of the home, emphasizing that it is the people inside the home that matter, and the hopsitality of Abraham’s home since it is open on all four sides. Another important piece of the ceremony was the Jewish wedding certificate, which will eventually be framed and hung on a wall in their home. It is called The Katubah. The contract became valid once signed by the bride, groom, officiants, and two non-family witnesses. Since the witness have to be Jewish, they asked two of the groomsmen to sign.
During the ceremony Dan and Ben read a section of the Ketubah, which listed out seven blessings of gratitude, including thanking God for this beautiful wedding! Following the 7th blessing, Joe and Kelly were asked to stomp on a wine glass on the floor. This is supposed to represent pain and suffering in the world, and the fact that we are all called upon to respond to and help the less fortunate and “repair the world.” Right when the glass is smashed, everyone shouts out, “Mazel Tov!” which is Hebrew for “Congratulations!” As Joe and Kelly walked back down the aisle, now husband and wife, everyone sang and clapped to the “Siman Tov Mazel Tov” song.
What a beautiful celebration this was to witness! I loved the audience participation, showing their willingness to uplift and support this marriage!
As special as the ceremony was, the Jewish customs didn’t end there….and neither did the Ohio State traditions! Joe and Kelly hand-made Buckeyes that were places at each person’s place setting at dinner. Since Ohio is the “Buckeye” state, these are favorites in the state! They are a much-loved chocolate and peanut butter treat!
As for the Jewish traditions, I was waiting to see if anyone would be hoisted up in their chairs! I was not disappointed. The bride and the groom were raised up, but so were their parents. This was so fun to watch!! They also participated in the Horah dance, where everyone held hands and moved in a circle. I loved seeing everyone participate, even those that aren’t Jewish!
Wedding dress | Enzoani
DJ/Band | Dreamscope DJ
Hair & Make-up | JSL Visions
Catering | Blin Catering
Bridesmaids dresses | Azazie
Bride’s Shoes | DSW
Jewelry/Rings | James Allen
Groom’s suit and shoes | Indochino
Invitations and programs | Vistaprint