A wedding at home proved positively sweet in the case of Jennifer Brown and Jason Stein’s fall nuptials. “Having it at my family’s residence couldn’t have felt more right to us… it was a place we really connected with,” says Jennifer. With only five months to plan, the couple swiftly began organizing the grand celebration along with the help of their family, friends, and Levine Fox Events. The main factor in the couple’s decision process? “If it did not feel like ‘us’ – not me, not Jason, but like ‘us’ – then it didn’t make the cut, despite any other factors,” explains Jennifer.
The couple collectively decided that they would place an emphasis on the décor and menu for the big day. They also wanted to concentrate on creating an environment that was warm, personal, and filled with plenty of natural details. “Our planners were fantastic! They found ways to utilize all parts of the home,” explains the bride. The front driveway worked as a welcome area before the ceremony; the backyard, as the site of the “I dos” and reception; and the interior of the home was used for the cocktail hour.
The backyard of the family home was brilliantly transformed into a natural wonderland. Petite arrangements of apricot roses paired with garlands of rich greenery draped the ends of the rows of guest seating, while pink-toned petals lined the edges of the sisal-carpeted aisle. Decorated with mounds of foliage and assorted colorful flowers, the towering chuppah created a gorgeous backdrop for the vow exchange. The Jewish service included many distinctive components that made for an exceptionally heartwarming and personal ceremony. Jennifer’s grandmother hand-embroidered a beautiful chuppah cover especially for the couple that included delicate beading from Jennifer’s great-grandmother’s wedding dress. She also loaned the Kiddush cup and tallis of Jennifer’s late grandfather to the couple for the ceremony. “Those items added such a unique and meaningful element,” shares the bride. Jennifer and Jason had also decided that they wouldn’t have a traditional bridal party, instead having their respective parents and siblings stand beside them under the chuppah. “Having them surround us at that moment in our lives was extraordinarily special to us,” remembers the bride.
Following the guidance of their wedding planners to adhere to Jewish custom, Jennifer and Jason stole 15 minutes to themselves before joining the reception. “It was perfect,” says Jennifer. “We enjoyed champagne and reflected on all that had just happened. It was the best advice we were given!” For the evening festivities, the yard area had been illuminated with romantic candlelight, hanging lanterns, and additional mood lighting. Square and round tables covered in natural linen fabric were complemented by one of three varying arrangements of mixed blossoms and willowing branches. “The centerpieces fit in beautifully with the natural setting of the backyard – I loved them!” recalls Jennifer.
An artfully arranged and equally delicious dinner of rack of lamb with pomegranate red wine sauce beside a bed of Moroccan wedding rice was offered, as well as a vegetarian option of mushroom ravioli. The meal was followed by Jason’s favorite dessert: ice cream sundaes with vanilla and mint chip ice cream. Guests were also gifted with individually packed boxes of Jennifer’s famous homemade chocolate chip cookies as favors. “Everyone was having a wonderful time… I knew it was a great bash when I noticed that even our rabbi had stayed for the reception,” laughs Jason.
The Sunday-night soiree ended as sweetly as it had begun, and Jennifer was thankful that the warmth of her childhood home had carried throughout the entire event. “The space had been transformed into something so special, I wouldn’t change a thing,” firmly states the bride. The groom, on the other hand, admits he would do one thing differently: “I would marry Jennifer at a younger age!” he exclaims. “I waited a long time to find her.”