Elegant Jewish Wedding at The Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida

Hinda and David

Photographed by: Elizabeth Monge PhotographyLocation: Naples, Florida, United States

About a month after meeting, Hinda Wildstein and David Adler went on their first date. "The waitress asked how long we'd been together because it seemed by the way we were talking that it had been forever. When we said it was our first date, she couldn't believe it," recalls Hinda. The couple's strong connection only strengthened over time, and on the day David decided to propose, he caught his bride-to-be completely off guard by keeping things nonchalant. He woke Hinda for work like any other morning and told her he wanted to spend his life with her. Then he got down on bended knee and asked her to marry him.

In designing her wedding, the bride "wanted something modern and elegant but still inviting in order to create a warm and social atmosphere." Hinda, David, and their families spent eight months organizing such an event along with the help of coordinator Jassi Lekach Antebi. They set the plans in motion by selecting the luxurious Ritz-Carlton resort in Naples, Florida, for the outdoor ceremony and ballroom reception. Knowing that the traditional Jewish ceremony would take place after sundown, the towering geometric chuppah was designed to stand out when spotlighted from below. It also stood to reflect the couple's strong attachment to both faith and family by showcasing David's late grandfather's tallit (prayer shawl) as the chuppah's "roof." The tallit proudly spanned the four pillars made of fabric boxes and strands of white orchids to house the couple as they exchanged vows below it. Prior to the outdoor ceremony, Hinda, wearing a lace and tulle mantilla-style veil, and David signed the traditional Jewish marriage contract, the ketubah, surrounded by their close family members and friends.

While fostering a deep sense of intimacy and tradition were important to the couple, so was creating a standout look to the atmosphere. "I love pink and everything sparkly, so that was a must!" admits Hinda. In those respects, the reception certainly did not disappoint, as the ballroom was steeped in lavish pink details. Beneath a tent-like fabric treatment, seating arrangements of different shapes and sizes were draped in pale pink linens including custom embroidered silk napkin rings -- and topped with mirrored surfaces. Displays of white phaeleonopsis orchids sat atop certain tables while other tables with large cutouts in the center were surrounded by candles and accented by floral chandeliers dripping with crystals. Along the dance floor, long, gold tufted banquettes served as both seating during dinner and as a lounge area for taking breaks from the action. A custom sixty-foot bar took up one side of the room and the entire space was enriched with subtle pink lighting.

Hinda and David chose to combine both a DJ and live musicians for the reception entertainment. "It was great because we were able to have so many original songs with a live addition that really got everybody into it," she says. If it weren't for the elaborate dinner and dessert, no one would have left the dance floor. But it was hard to resist a menu that included wild mushroom risotto, seared filet of beef, and a warm chocolate dessert that was followed by the couple's wedding cake. Filled with vanilla rum, the cake's design was fashion-inspired, featuring fondant buttons, lace, and a large bow fastened with a Swarovski crystal brooch.

Each and every detail was conceived to enhance the warm and festive feeling of the weekend. But of all the thoughtful elements that the bride considers unforgettable, one memory continues to stand out as her most cherished: "Walking down the aisle. Everyone was watching me yet all I could focus on was my soon-to-be husband," she says, quickly adding, "It was a great feeling knowing that everyone was there to share in our special celebration."