Ilana and Dan may have had a traditional Jewish ceremony for their Maryland wedding from Elegance & Simplicity and k. thompson photography, but the other elements of their day were anything but! Mismatched lace bridesmaid dresses, bouquets of wildflowers and groomsmen in suspenders gave their wedding a relaxed, garden party feel. This is a great example of marrying tradition with modern details and design, and their reception (up next!) is just the same!

Maryland Jewish Wedding Brookside Gardens Sunflower Wedding Bouquet

From Ilana: We wanted every aspect of the wedding to be a homemade and personal experience, and to really reflect who we are and what is at the core of our relationship. Our love of the natural outdoors gave way to our lakeside ceremony and a tented reception at Brookside Gardens, and it was designed as a warm and comfortable afternoon summer garden party, which we hoped would provide our 250 guests with the feeling that we were hosting them for an intimate gathering in our very own backyard. We aimed to accomplish this through every detail we could – from all the colorful windflowers, to the red wine sangria, to the neutral toned bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s suspenders, and even to the moving music played by two of our talented friends as we walked down the aisle.

Mismatched Lace Bridesmaid Dresses

I had a couple of conditions I insisted on when I talked to my bridesmaids about their dresses – they had to love the dresses they wore at the wedding, and they had to want to wear it again after the wedding (because for the life of me, aside from of course your wedding dress, I cant understand why anyone would think its a good idea to spend lots of money on a dress you only wear once). So, after much thought and discussion, I asked my bridesmaids to see if they could find neutral colored dresses in a soft fabrics that they liked. And sure enough, because of their incredible style, everyone wore stunning dresses that looked great alone and as part of the group.

Black and White Grooms Attire

Unique Jewish Wedding Chuppah Unique Wedding Chuppah

Jewish Wedding Brookside Gardens Mason Jar Flowers Wedding Ceremony

Wood Ceremony Chairs and Mason Jar Flowers

Even though we had a traditional Jewish wedding, we made it a priority to ensure that every person at our ceremony, regardless of their religious background, understood what was happening and felt like they were a part of the experience. We did this by writing our own guide to the Jewish wedding ceremony with translation and commentary on all the different sections, by asking friends and family to read prayers both in Hebrew and English, and by taking the chance to share some of our personal thoughts on the breaking of the glass at the end of the ceremony. Also, it’s traditional to give out mongrammed Benchers (Jewish song and grace after meal booklets) at weddings that guests take home and use for years to come. We added a twist to this tradition by drawing out our micrographed design for the cover with a song and quote that were particularly meaningful to us, and which we explained to our guests at the reception.

Jewish Wedding Ceremony Jewish Wedding Ceremonies

Jewish Wedding Ceremony Groomsmen

Jewish Wedding Ceremony in Maryland Traditiona Jewish Wedding in Maryland

Jewish Wedding Ceremony Brookside Gardens

Jewish Wedding Ceremony Exit

The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Ilana and Dan’s wedding:

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Brookside Gardens
Catering + Dessert: Potomac 18
Wedding Planner + Floral Designer: Elegance & Simplicity
Photographer: k. thompson photography
Videographer: Timeline Cinema
Band: Lox and Vodka
Tent: Sugar Plum Tents
Make-up: Kim Giammaria
Hair: Kevin Hwang, Zohra Salon
Dress: The Cotton Bride

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings!

Photo Credits: k. thompson photography

*Elegance & SimplicitySugar Plum Tents & k. thompson photography are a few of our fabulous sponsors. For more info, please review our editorial policies or consider becoming a sponsor.

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