You guys! This wedding is next-level gorgeous. The canyon views, the glowing bride, the bright florals by Butterfly Petals, the wedding party colors—EVERYTHING is pure happiness. We especially love the way Keren and Greg, with the help of planner-extraordinaire Sara Muchnick, infused their love of travel into all the of the details like cut-paper invitations and watercolor world maps. Lucky for us Lea Peterson, of Vienna Glenn Photography, was on hand to capture all of the beautiful moments of the day!
What made the wedding special and unique?
It was very important to us to create a memorable experience for our closest friends and family in a place that meant so much to us. Since we both grew up traveling, we wanted to find a destination that would share our love for adventure with everyone. We considered Israel, Aspen, Philadelphia, Sonoma and eventually found Sedona! We hosted a weekend’s worth of wedding festivities in a canyon with a vortex. This special place reminded me so much of the community in Israel where my family lives and held so much meaning for Greg’s family, a place they visited frequently and was loved by his late aunt. And to make sure that our guests had the best experience, we hosted events from the moment they arrived through their departure, starting with a vortex tour and quintessential Sedona hikes to delicious dinners outside surrounded by gorgeous mountains and even wedding ceremonies in a tepee.
Tell us about the gown and how you found it.
I searched high and low for a dress that was unique, yet timeless. It was really important to me to find a dress that I would love even on our 50th wedding anniversary. My dress was a combination of the Collette and Stella dresses by Leanne Marshall (winner of Project Runway Season 5). After visiting bridal salons in DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Milwaukee and even Israel, I knew that the delicate design would be perfect in Sedona, and it was as we climbed a mountain for our first look, flowing in the wind.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
We wanted every detail of our wedding to communicate how we were raised and who we are together, starting with the save-the-dates that had a hand drawn a map of Sedona featuring all the key locations for the wedding. We included a personal note to everyone, telling them what they mean to us and how excited we were to celebrate with them. We included custom-made luggage tags with one of our hashtags, #LoveTravels, so everyone coming would feel a part of this great weekend.
We designed and printed paper-cut invitations that were reversible, with one side in English and the other in Hebrew, representing both sides of our family coming together as one. We carried the design elements through to the Ketubah we made (Jewish marriage contract), which included both the traditional ancient text and a more modern interpretation that spoke to us.
When our guests arrived, their welcome bags were printed with “Welcome” in eight languages (each one spoken by at least one of our guests) and were bursting at the seams with items that represented us. We had gear and food for an active weekend and also included our favorite items from childhood imported from Israel and Greg’s Mom’s kitchen! Our guests were greeted with custom signs and programs in Hebrew and English, a watercolor painting of a world map as a guest book, and even seating charts and table numbers sharing more about us; from unique facts about us listed by every guest’s name at the rehearsal dinner seating chart to personalized notes on everyone’s place cards for the wedding. Even the menu cards said “Bon Appetit” in the same eight languages with our favorite foods (including a delicious peanut butter, banana and chocolate themed dessert bar). We wanted our guests to know more about us and also share how grateful we were that they came to spend the weekend with us.
What was the most memorable part of your day?
The rain! Our family came into town earlier in the week to be with us. Greg’s cousin Katie told me that her mom Shelly was going to send a rainbow. Sedona was her favorite place and brought her a lot of peace before she passed. When it came to our wedding day, I could not imagine a rainbow since it was May in Sedona. So we proceeded with our plans; Lea, our photographer had us climb (not hike!) a mountain for our first look. It was so special and when we came down and the rain started. So Greg rushed off for his tisch (a part of the Jewish wedding ceremony), which was relocated to a tepee, and I went into the clubhouse to wait out the rain. We were told that the whole ceremony had to be moved inside and we would have to forgo the chuppah which had Greg’s grandfathers prayer shawl hanging on it and the curtains my grandmother crocheted for me when I was born (both who could not travel to be with us that weekend). I insisted that we get married right then as the skies cleared. I jumped on the trolley, scooped up Greg and headed to the chuppah. As I was getting ready to walk down the aisle, a rainbow appeared. Katie was right; Greg’s Aunt Shelly was there with us.
We will also never forget the dancing! Not only did my Dad dance for the first time when my Father-Daughter dance turned into a family dance, our friends kept the night going when the band ended at midnight. They plugged their phones into the audio system and kept us all on the dance floor until 2AM!
Tell us how you met and got engaged.
After about five years, our mutual best friends shared the real story at our rehearsal dinner! I had met Greg’s roommate in 2008 through my best friend and he asked me out on a date. After a few dates, I quickly realized that his roommate, Greg was just amazing. It felt like I had known Greg forever. I stopped dating his roommate and then about a year or more later, Greg emailed me under the guise of planning an engagement party for my best friend and her husband, who was Greg’s fraternity brother. Within a month, they escorted us on our first date. Four years later (almost to the day), Greg took me on a walk through the nature reserve in Milwaukee. We were walking on the beach and he insisted me on taking me to his favorite spot. I doubted him because I had never heard of this place. I wanted to turn back and then he told me that it was his favorite spot because that is where he would ask me to marry him. I started crying as two photographers jumped out of the bushes. Greg proposed in front of rocks that he had placed the night before to say “Keren, Will You Marry Me?” We then Face-timed with my grandparents in Israel to share the good news and as we walked back up to the car, Greg wanted to walk up to a watch tower. There, our family was waiting for us to celebrate!
We ended up bringing them down to the proposal site. We didn’t know it at the time, but Greg’s 5 year old niece grabbed two of the rocks from the proposal. She and her little sister painted and gifted them to us in an engraved box at our rehearsal. It was so special!
Event Planner: Sara Muchnick // Photographer: Lea Peterson, Vienna Glenn Photography // Floral Designer: Butterfly Petals // Event Coordination: Amy Mancuso Events // Cinema and Video: Jonathan Roberts, Bright Bokeh // Floral Designer: Butterfly Petals // Equipment Rentals: Classic Party Rentals // Venue: Enchantment Resort // Dress Designer: Leanne Marshall Bridal// Hair and Makeup: Pooja Mehta Makeup Artistry // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals // Photo Booth Equipment: Snapbooth