monona terrace rooftop wedding photos

Adam and Cass are Married – A Jewish Wedding at the Monona Terrace

Adam and Cass are Married – A Jewish Wedding at the Monona Terrace

I had the best experience meeting Adam and Cass and celebrating in their love.  Adam’s mother first came to me and hired me.  She was the engine that could pulling this wedding together.  God Bless Her!  Cass and Adam  have a one year old son named Israel, so between jobs and parenting, who has time to plan a wedding?  Luckily they both had the wedding of their dreams thanks to the love of family.  They were married at the Monona Terrace at an 11am ceremony on Sunday Aug. 28th, followed by a brunch reception.  I love breakfast so yeah!

Adam and Cass met on line.  They had their first date, and it was literally love at first sight.  The rest is a love story.

And Israel (Izzy) is so cute!!  He stole the show.  This is true love and I was happy to be a part of it.

I really love jewish weddings too, because of the rich history and tradition that goes with the celebration.  Some of this gets lost in our modern times, and it is nice to see a true tradition come alive.  Everything in italics are excerpts I found on Wikipedia or other internet sources.  I feel that can explain many of the customs better than I could.

Congrats to Adam and Cass!

-Cheers!  Erin Melissa

Vendors: Flowers – Felly’s / Rings – TQ Diamonds / Dress – David’s Bridal / Suit – Banana Republic / Invitations and Stationary – Minted / Custom Stamp – Zazzle / Food and Venue – Monona Terrace

Jewish wedding is a wedding ceremony that follows Jewish law and traditions.

While wedding ceremonies vary, common features of a Jewish wedding include a ketubah (marriage contract) which is signed by two witnesses, a wedding canopy (chuppah or huppah), a ring owned by the groom that is given to the bride under the canopy, and the breaking of a glass.

bling on the wedding dress

A short and sweet and class bride’s dress.  With just the right amount of bling.

bright cheery wedding flowers

Bright and cheery flowers from Felly’s

meet us under the chuppah

Meet us under the chuppah, custom stamp.  How cool is that?

groom writes vows


wedding welcome

bridal final touches

help with the brides dress

grandma helps with veil

breastfeed once more before ceremony

A touching moment before the first look.  Izzy needs to eat!

first look

we are getting married

bride and groom

Isn’t she stunning?  He is blown away!  Tee hee.  I set up this first look last minute.  Things got behind in the schedule and she wasn’t sure how this was going to go.  I took control and the magic happened.


The chuppah is decorated with flowers and the tallit above is Adam’s grandfather’s on his mothers side.  A traditional Jewish wedding ceremony takes place under a Chuppah or wedding canopy, symbolizing the new home being built by the couple when they become husband and wife. 

On the right, is the ketubah, the jewish marriage contract.  They incorporated this tradition as part of the ceremony.  It is usually signed before the ceremony.  Isn’t is beautiful!?

The groom (chatan) agrees to be bound by the terms of the ketubah, or marriage contract, in the presence of two witnesses, whereupon the witnesses sign the ketubah. The ketubah details the obligations of the groom to the bride, among which are food, clothing, and marital relations. This document has the standing of a legally binding agreement. It is often written as an illuminated manuscript that is framed and displayed in their home.  Under the chuppah, it is traditional to read the signed ketubah aloud, usually in the Aramaic original, but sometimes in translation. 

groom walks down aisle


bride walks down aisle

In many communities, the groom is led under the chuppah by the two fathers and the bride by the two mothers, known by Ashkenazi Jews as unterfirers (Yiddish, lit. ones who lead under).


he lifts her veil

It is custom to cover the face of the bride (usually with a veil), and a prayer is often said for her based on the words spoken to Rebecca in Genesis 24:60. The veiling ritual is known in Yiddish as badeken. Various reasons are given for the veil and the ceremony, a commonly accepted reason is that it reminds the Jewish people of how Jacob was tricked by Laban into marrying Leah before Rachel, as her face was covered by her veil.

circling ceremony

circling ceremony

The bride traditionally walks around the groom three or seven times when she arrives at the Chuppah. This may derive from Jeremiah 31:22, “A woman shall surround a man”. The three circuits may represent the three virtues of marriage: righteousness, justice and loving kindness (see Hosea 2:21). Seven circuits derives from the Biblical concept that seven denotes perfection or completeness.

jewish wedding

jewish wedding

wine and joy

In traditional weddings, two blessings are recited before the betrothal; a blessing over wine, and the betrothal blessing, which is specified in the Talmud. The wine is then tasted by the couple.

best seat in the house


jewish wedding


wedding rings

The groom gives the bride a ring, traditionally a plain wedding band, and recites the declaration: Behold, you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the law of Moses and Israel. The groom places the ring on the bride’s right index finger. According to traditional Jewish law, two valid witnesses must see him place the ring.

What I thought was neat. They place the rings on the first finger, for it is believed this leads straight to the heart.



The Sheva Brachot or seven blessings are recited by the hazzan or rabbi, or by select guests who are called up individually. Being called upon to recite one of the seven blessings is considered an honour. The groom is given the cup of wine to drink from after the seven blessings. The bride also drinks the wine. In some traditions, the cup will be held to the lips of the groom by his new father-in-law and to the lips of the bride by her new mother-in-law. Traditions vary as to whether additional songs are sung before the seven blessings.

wrapping in tallit


Adam and Cass  incorporated two tallits (Jewish prayer shawls) into their wedding.

Adam’s Grandfather’s on his mother’s side tallit is the canopy for the chuppah (marriage canopy).

Adam and Cass were literally wrapped in love in Adam’s mother’s tallit.

breaking the glass

After the bride has been given the ring, or at the end of the ceremony (depending on local custom), the groom breaks a glass, crushing it with his right foot, and the guests shout “Mazel tov!” (“Congratulations”).

The origin of this custom is unknown, although many reasons have been given. The primary reason is that joy must always be tempered. This is based on two accounts in the Talmud of rabbis who, upon seeing that their son’s wedding celebration was getting out of hand, broke a vessel – in the second case a glass – to calm things down. Another explanation is that it is a reminder that despite the joy, Jews still mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Because of this, some recite the verses “If I forget thee / O Jerusalem…” at this point. Many other reasons have been given by traditional authorities.

interfaith marriage

we are married

wedding table decor

blue stone for the wedding ring

interracial wedding cake

groom and brothers

brides and bridesmaids


dad and his boy

great grandma and baby

dancing the hora

dancing the hora

dancing the hora

dancing the hora

Hora or the chair dance is also very popular. Bride and groom are carried around on their chairs by some strong guests. Bride and groom are connected with a piece of cloth. Friends and family members dance around them. Famous Jewish folk song “Hava Nagila” (“Let us rejoice”) is performed with this dance. According to music experts the melody of this song is based on the Ukrainian folk song from the Bukovina region.

dancing the hora

monona terrace rooftop wedding photos

monona terrace rooftop wedding photos

monona terrace rooftop wedding photos

monona terrace rooftop wedding photos

monona terrace rooftop wedding photos

monona terrace rooftop wedding photos

monona terrace rooftop wedding photos



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