Lauri Levenfeld of ZOOM Photography never fails to bring us the most elegant, the most heartfelt weddings on the planet! Case in point and hot off the press … Jennifer and Russell’s May wedding in Sacramento …
Jennifer and Russell were married in a traditional Jewish ceremony at the Mosaic Law Synagogue where Jen grew up.
From Jen,“I made all of the bridesmaid’s jewelry to mimic my necklace. I chose four colors of pearls that worked together. Each girl’s necklace was slightly different, but incorporated all of the bead colors so they worked together. The color of the earrings was determined by the most prominent color in each girls necklace. In that sense they were all unique but together they worked very well as a set.”
I wore an Alita Graham gown from Kleinfelds. Since I live in New York, I knew that if I didn’t set any guidelines to finding a dress, it would have been a never-ending search. That being said, I gave myself one weekend to find a dress. My mom, maid-of-honor and mother-in-law all joined me in my search. We went to five different bridal boutiques. In each place, I left thinking that I had found “the dress”. I really wanted to work with a smaller boutique, but the dress from Kleinfelds kept on floating to the top as my favorite. After we had narrowed it down to 3 dresses, my father looked at all of them and started crying when he saw me in the Alita Graham gown. That is when we all knew that it was the one!
Since there were so many out-of-town guests at the wedding, we wanted to make sure that the site of the wedding location itself was easily accessible. We saw around 20 venues in one weekend. To not mix any of them up, we had sheets to rank all of the venues. After everything, the Sheraton Grand seemed like the most ideal venue. We really liked the modern architecture of the ballroom. It was in downtown Sacramento and since it was a hotel, we didn’t have to worry about the guests making it back to their hotel all right.
The colors of our wedding were chocolate brown, coral and a light, bright blue. The flowers and bouquets were made of dahlias, ranunculus, orchids and hydrangeas. Instead of searching for the perfect coral colored flower, we chose to blend pink orange and yellow flowers together to make coral instead. We didn’t have a specific theme, but we had a very clear aesthetic we were going for. We wanted everything to be very clean, modern, sophisticated and natural. Since we are both designers, we had a hand in designing as much as we could, despite us living in New York. We designed and letter-pressed the save the dates, all 7 pieces of the invitations and the table numbers. We also designed our wedding logo, the menus, the napkins and the programs for the ceremony. I even hand bound the sign-in book.
When asked what her favorite moment of the day was, Jen said, ” … seeing Russ for the first time. I was so nervous and excited that I almost started crying. It was really emotional. That was when the realization hit me that it was really our wedding day. After I saw him, I completely relaxed and had a great time. I just couldn’t stop looking at him, holding his hands. It was so emotional for me that I was speechless. I will never forget how I felt. It was as if time stood still.”
And Lauri ~ with her golden lenses ~ was there to capture it all!
My own personal favorite shot from the day?
Congratulations to Jennifer and Russell!! And thanks, Lauri, for sharing!!
To see more of the wedding invitation and suite of papers, take a look at the bride’s new website: Press Engaged!
Jennifer and Russell
May 2, 2010
how they met
I grew up in California and am a graphic designer. Russell grew up in Westchester, NY and works in advertising as an art director. We are both interested in art and design. We like working in all medias ranging from letterpress to the web. We also really like nature and being outside. We live in Brooklyn, NY. We met freshman year of college in English class at Washington University in Saint Louis. If we saw each other around campus or at parties, we would say hello but that was about the extent of our friendship. At the end of sophomore year we both decided to transfer to the art school and study Visual Communications. Our mutual friend told me this and I was excited because I always had a little crush on Russ. The first day of our major we had to chose our seats for the year. I asked him if he wanted to sit by me. He agreed. Our class hours were long and we had to stay late several nights for projects. We became great friends over that year and were there for each other’s highs and lows. At the end of junior year we started dating. We have been together ever since.
The proposal came as quite a surprise. The morning he proposed he told me he wasn’t feeling well and took the day off from work. While he was home, preparing to propose, he found a ring that I had lost. This ring was very important to me and I was devastated that I couldn’t find it. At work, I got a message that he had discovered it; I was so excited to come home and get my ring back. I opened the door and there he was, apartment clean, beautiful flowers and him dressed very nicely. I walked in, looked around, and then asked him for the ring that I had lost. He showed it to me and put it on my finger. I thought to myself, that’s funny; it’s like a proposal. After that he looked at me and said that there was another ring he wanted to give me as well. Then he took a different box, opened it and proposed. I said yes!
For the most part, our ceremony was very traditional. One main exception was our flower girl. Instead of a young girl, we chose to have my next-door neighbor throw the flowers. Since my entire extended family lives in Chicago, my neighbor was like a grandmother to me. She mentioned after we were engaged that being a flower girl was the one thing she had never done so we decided to give her the honor. Also, instead of having the bride circle the groom seven times, we decided to each circle so that we would be building a home together.
For me, best moment of my wedding day was during our first dance when Russ and I realized that we knew every single person there and we are so happy and excited to see everyone. It was so incredible that they were all there to celebrate with us. We had 200 people at our wedding. Although I grew up in Sacramento, my entire extended family is from Chicago. A majority of Russ’ family is from the east coast so we had a lot of out of town guests at the wedding.
It was really easy to fall for Russ. He is so kind and generous and helps bring out the best in everyone he is around. He is also incredibly creative and a great person to go on adventures with. From the moment we really started getting to know each other, I realized that there is no one else I would rather be with.
Jen has the ability to light up a room. Everybody loves her and she is able to talk to nearly anybody. Jen finds hilarious things in the otherwise mundane. We have little inside jokes that perpetuate themselves for years. Some come from Pixar movies and others come from onions. You never really know what Jen is going to say at any given moment. I couldn’t imagine life without her.
When I first saw Lauri’s photographs, I was blown away. My husband and I both agreed that she made every wedding and every person look incredible. After talking to her, I knew that we would have a great time working together. She has such a fun, relaxed, yet very professional personality. We had such a natural first conversation and she understood all of the different things I was looking at for a photographer. We wanted a hybrid between photojournalism and traditional shots. Lauri was capable of both, so it was the best of both worlds. Another great thing about Lauri is that I was able to consult with her not only on the photography but on other aspects of the wedding as well. She always gave her honest opinion about ideas and I was very thankful for that.
Russ and I went to Belize for our honeymoon. We spent 6 nights on the beach and then 5 nights in the jungle. It was so nice to get away after the wedding and relax and enjoy each others’ company. We did everything from hanging out on hammocks, to eating delicious meals, to snorkeling, going cave tubing, visiting Mayan ruins to having hilarious encounters with monkeys. It is a trip that we will never forget.
Day of Event Planner: Jill Anapolsky Reiser: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography: Lauri Levenfeld/ ZOOM Photography, email@example.com,
2nd Shooter/ Jessica Epstein
Hair&Make up: Sabrina DeMarco, firstname.lastname@example.org
Flowers: The Party Concierge, Inc: Tom Ursini
Lighting: PSAV, Matt Satterfield
Music: Hip Service