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A (real!) Jewish wedding in Guerneville

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 | Posted by

Valentine’s Day  is synonymous with the celebration of love and the day Cupid grabs his bow and quiver and uses the skills he gained after a year of target practice.
He aimed well when he went after Miriam Raz and Jay Verheyen and in late January they decided to have a traditional Jewish wedding among the majestic redwoods of the west county, and so connected with Alison Friedman who operates The Wedding Yentas, an interactive website that deals with all things wedding.
According to Alison: “The Wedding Yentas is an online community of brides, grooms, vendors, and well, yentas, who come to learn and dish all about weddings. Whether you’re involved in a traditional Jewish wedding, an interfaith wedding, or even a Jew-ish wedding, this is the online place for you — a wedding havurah, if you will.”

Alison Friedman

Planning her own wedding at age 5 with the help of her Barbie and Ken dolls, Alison dreamed of finding the man to sweep her off her feet who would complete the most important element of the wedding day: love!
She met Bryan, the man of her dreams and with her love for weddings she planned a winner and  the pair  got hitched on May 25, 2008.
Alison realized that her love for weddings wasn’t over so she continues to immerse herself in the world of love and “I do!” and has become a wedding maven of the first order.
The happy bride  lives in the suburbs of Los Angeles with her husband and their little pooch, Princeton, and they are expecting  their first baby this August.
Alison has helped arrange and facilitate dozens of weddings in 25 States as well as in the Dominican Republic, Israel, Switzerland, Mexico, South Africa and the UK and when Miriam Raz and Jay Verheyen called her she was ready for them.
They celebrated their wedding at Guerneville’s Dawn Ranch Lodge, it was a huge success, and Miriam decided she would like to share her and Jay’s story and here it is, posted by Alison Friedman on January 29, 2013.

From the Bride: Jay and I met at a comic book store. We wanted this common passion of ours to be the theme for our celebration, but we wanted it to be classy and somewhat subtle. We love Batman and one of his main villains, Poison Ivy, who manipulates plant life, became our floral inspiration. We wanted it to look as if she had taken over our wedding. Our venue was so beautiful that we didn’t want to compete with the natural beauty so we decided to just go with it as much as possible.
I was born in Israel and grew up in a Jewish home and that part of my identity was very important to me, but even within my heart I wasn’t exactly clear about how to incorporate it into our wedding. Jay wasn’t raised religious, but enjoys my family’s traditions and even visited me in Israel while I was getting my MA there. But when you break it down, our parents have the same core values about family, love, and the basic humanist golden rule. When we realized that we actually probably have more in common than not and went soul-searching to discover what we really wanted to express in the public manifestation of our love, we ended up having a somewhat traditional Jewish Wedding. We chose the symbolic gestures and tradition that we could identify with, such as having a chuppa and breaking the glass, and had the privilege of working with an amazing rabbi and his wife. They helped us modernize some of the traditional text and highlight the things that were important, meaningful, and relevant to us.
Mazel tov, Miriam and Jay!
Here’s our wish that they live happily ever after!
Credits: Photographer: Choco Studio
Venue and Caterer: Dawn Ranch Lodge
Hair & Makeup: Kira Lee
Florals: Lila B Design
Officiant: Rabbi Gershon, Interfaith Rabbi
Ketubah: Tsili Pines for New Ketubah
Cake: Giorgi’s Wedding Cakes
Invitations, Programs, Save the Date Cards: Katie Rutherford
Dress: Elizabeth Dye from The English Dept in Portland
Cape: Cape and Crown Creations
To learn more about the Wedding Yentas go here:  Info@TheWeddingYentas.com

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