An Elegant Jewish Wedding at Congregation B'nai Jacob in Woodbridge, Connecticut

When Brooklyn-based couple Sarah Oren (25, a teacher and dog rescuer) and Michael Brasky (25, a lawyer) met during their senior year of college at Bin

When Brooklyn-based couple Sarah Oren (25, a teacher and dog rescuer) and Michael Brasky (25, a lawyer) met during their senior year of college at Binghamton University in 2008, she knew they had an immediate connection. Michael proposed three years later at a French restaurant in Connecticut after a romantic dinner, which informed the beginning of their elegant wedding plans.“The wedding venue choice became an easy one once we determined how many people to plan for, and where in the world we wanted to marry,” says Sarah. “I also wanted a space that allowed for us to take a blank canvas and make it our own -- my mom was a huge help with that! I spent much of my childhood in the New Haven area, in a small town called Woodbridge. I had a strong involvement with our local synagogue: Congregation B'nai Jacob; my Bat Mitzvah was held there, I went to school there at Ezra Academy, I was part of (and later was a director for) the teen youth group and led children's services on occasion. It was a place that was special to me. Mike had become friendly, as had I, with the Rabbi and his lovely family. Mike's family didn't have a strong connection with a particular synagogue in their area of Brooklyn, so the decision was clear to choose Congregation B'nai Jacob.”Sarah and Michael’s wedding included many traditional Jewish elements that incorporated a “rustic and natural flare.” The couple also wanted to make their reception menu memorable with different choices.“Meredith Abel of Abel Caterers worked with us to create the most delicious and varied foods options,” Sarah says. “We had several vegans attending our wedding, which was not a concern since a kosher wedding that includes meat with not have milk or butter in any of the food. With those two items out of the running, vegans were more easily able to indulge. Though I would have gladly eliminated steak from the meal menu, it was one area where Mike had a strong opinion, and I caved.”

"I wore a custom-made dress by Callie Tein, of Modern Trousseau," Sarah says. "I designed the dress based on my maternal grandmother's wedding dress. It has a clean, timeless look."
"We hand-designed everything, including the invitation (designed and hand-letter pressed with my family's help), ceremony program (there were hand-drawn illustrations of each member of the bridal party), reception menu, favors (vegan chocolate truffles) and more elements than I can count," Sarah says.
Veil Lift Jewish Wedding Ceremony
Bride, Groom Jewish Wedding Ceremony
Breaking the Glass at Jewish Wedding Ceremony
"The groomsmen wore suits from Jos. A. Bank, with ties -- purchased separately -- in the same color as the bridesmaid dresses," Sarah says. "The groom's vest and tie matched my bridal gown."
"My bridesmaids wore J. Crew silk chiffon dresses, all the same color, length and general style, but each of the six bridesmaids wore a different silhouette," Sarah says.
White Rose, Floral Bridal Bouquet
Sarah and Michael served sweet red signature drinks in glass bottles, complete with cheerful striped straws with custom labels for guests to sip out of.
"We were keen on incorporating earth-friendly elements, such as the choice of seasonal flowers. By limiting the amount of flowers on each table, we prevented additional waste," Sarah says.
"Centerpieces were in the form of dozens of glass jars and bottles (hand-picked at vintage shops and tag sales throughout the entire year), with one or two lush white flowers per glass," Sarah says.
Sarah and Michael served kosher food options at their wedding reception, including a delicious assortment of dessert options, including whimsical layered cakes in clear glasses.
"We needed enough room to comfortable seat 230 people, and to allow space for a large dance floor, as well as a cocktail area. Our choice was perfect for us: large, meaningful, convenient to many of our guests and open to however we wanted to decorate," Sarah says.
"Our photographer Hales Studio set up a photo booth, and had a photographer at the station the entire evening," Sarah says. "We love the look, as we got to choose our own fabric for the background and we brought cute props for the guests. The white board might have been my favorite prop, since I love seeing the messages guests left us to see weeks later. It's a great way to provide an activity to those who need a break from dancing and eating, and is also a better way to ensure that you have at least one nice photo of all your guests!"