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Real Weddings: In the Garden

Oct 10, 2013

by Shlomit Ofir

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods
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When Aviv and I decided to get married, we wanted a wedding that reflected our personalities, lifestyle and personal taste. Aviv isn’t a big fan of formal events and I’m a designer who loves creating everything on her own, so we decided on an easy-going afternoon garden bash that would feel more like a party than a formal occasion.

The concept and inspiration for the wedding was an old-fashioned whimsical garden carnival, and it influenced all of our design choices. As an Etsy addict and shop owner, I garnered so much inspiration from this unique marketplace while designing my wedding.

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In the months of preparation for the big day, our apartment turned into an improvised workshop where we sewed flag buntings, cut out mustaches, tied ribbons, and painted cans. I did most of the projects, while Aviv asked himself, who is this crazy woman that’s punching out thousands of circles from tissue paper to create confetti?! Nevertheless, he had some really good ideas of his own, like stamping napkins with the deer logo that we used on our invitations. The excitement was contagious!

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We got our rings from a talented colleague and friend, Neta Wolpe. For the wedding, I opted for a light-hearted hairdo with twisted braids, decorated with natural flowers from my bridal bouquet. I wore jewelry from my collection that complemented the leaf design on my dress, which was designed by a local Tel Aviv designer. It was exactly what I had envisioned: chic, impressive, but also light and not too over the top. I arranged my own bouquet using flowers I collected from four different shops, which created the perfect combination of shapes and colors.

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We wrote our own Ketubah (the Jewish document of vows) and I decorated it using watercolors. We had planned for a hot day, so we prepared colorful paper hand fans for our guests. The weather ended up being gorgeous, but the fans did the job as a cute accessory. We prepared our own marriage ceremony, conducted by the mutual good friend who first introduced us.

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After the meal, the surprise I planned for Aviv’s birthday (which was on the same date!) unfolded: as the lights turned off, all of our guests lit up sparklers. When Aviv turned around he saw hundreds of people, sparklers in hand, singing happy birthday. But the part he enjoyed the most was the cake, which was decorated with a design I’d made in the shape of a Japanese fish tattoo (one of many that he has). He didn’t let anyone eat the fish – it’s still sitting in our freezer!

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The ceremony floor was decorated with colorful paper lanterns, a curtain I’d made of fabric pieces, a white carpet and beautiful flower arrangements in upcycled mason jars. We placed a colorful sweets table by the dance floor, as well as photo booth with a lot of accessories. The guests had a lot of fun and received a Polaroid-shaped magnet of their photo as a souvenir. When it got dark, the wedding transformed into a happy dance party, with hundreds of colorful lights that stole the show.

All photographs by Tali & Dvora Photography.

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