Though a mutual friend made plans to introduce Laura Tramer and Jordan Lebovitz over Labor Day Weekend 2017, fate took its course the prior Saturday. “We bumped into each other at a bar in downtown Cleveland,” shares Laura. “With some liquid courage, I went up to Jordan and introduced myself. The rest is history!” After almost two years of dating, Jordan planned a surprise proposal for his beloved at their apartment, followed by a night spent celebrating with their families and toasting at the bar where they first met.
Laura and Jordan originally planned for a 320-person wedding; however, following the outbreak of COVID-19, they were forced to rethink their celebration. “Having to postpone and restructure our wedding numerous times due to a global pandemic was quite a surprise,” shares Jordan. Not wanting to delay their marriage any further, the couple’s top priority became finding the perfect outdoor space for an intimate wedding with just their immediate families in attendance.
“Planning a wedding can be stressful, but the biggest gift we can give ourselves is to try to take things in stride as best we can, knowing that we have to be flexible from time to time,” Laura adds of the difficult decision many couples were faced with in 2020. “We missed celebrating with our friends and extended family, but we did our best to follow our own advice and see the glass half full in every situation.”
Although the celebration was small in terms of overall guest count – especially compared to the list of attendees they had put together initially, the pair worked hard to ensure the entire experience would be exquisite for their 36 guests. They also put a focus on stunning décor to maximize the luxurious, elegant ambience of their celebration. “I knew that I wanted a romantic feel to the night,” confirms the bride of her desired look. “When I explained this to my event designer, [Heather Thomas of] HeatherLily, she chose the most spectacular florals, lighting, and décor that would bring my vision to life.”
“The small, intimate wedding is a true reflection of who we are as a couple. Our family is everything to us, and we could not envision a more special way to celebrate our marriage than with our siblings and cousins by our side… It was perfect!”
As Laura made her way down the aisle, she carried a hand-tied bouquet of garden roses, ranuncluses, scabiosa, freesia blooms, jasmine vine, astilbe, and gardenia foliage in shades of green, white, and blush pink. Since both Laura and Jordan’s families are Jewish, the couple made sure to incorporate the customs of their shared religion throughout the service, placing an emphasis on their ancestors and close family relationships during the ceremony. “We had photographs of all of our family members from their respective weddings, incorporated Judaica used by our grandparents who are no longer with us, and of course, were lifted by our siblings and cousins during the Hava Nagila,” shares the groom of the traditional customs and personalized details.
Once Jordan broke the glass and they were pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds shared their first 15 minutes as a married couple just the two of them. “We shared a glass of our favorite Champagne, I took off my shoes, and we reflected on our beautiful ceremony,” Laura reminisces of the memorable moment. “It was a perfect start to our marriage and was followed by the most incredible night surrounded by family.”
To capitalize on the summer season, loved ones enjoyed a menu of a summer watermelon and arugula salad, followed by an intermezzo of raspberry sorbet. Entrées featured a choice of hanger steak with smashed potatoes and greens, mustard-glazed salmon with fingerling potatoes and avocado corn salad, or a vegetarian Pappardelle pasta with squash noodles and vegetables. After the alfresco dinner service, guests indulged in the whimsical wedding cake decorated with fresh greenery and flowers, along with an exceptional dessert table filled with tasty indulgences including miniature cheesecakes, milkshakes, cake pops, and more sweet treats. “Our dessert table was pretty outrageous with an array of insanely gorgeous and incredibly tasty sweets!” the bride confirms of the delectable offerings.
The décor of the pair’s private wedding was perhaps even more impressive than the fare. Reception centerpieces showcased large, billowing floral arrangements in elevated filigree vases featuring white and blush hydrangeas, roses, stock, scabiosa, delphiniums, and lisianthus accented with verdure, such as green pittosporum, gardenia foliage, myrtle, sword fern, hanging amaranthuses, and tree ivy. Guests sat atop gilt chairs with ivory cushions surrounding tables strewn with ivory linens and illuminated with candlelight emitted from crystal candleholders and gold votives. To provide the warm atmosphere the couple hoped to achieve, twinkling string lights surrounded the space.
Laura credits her mom and mother-in-law for making the big day so special. “After the pandemic changed nearly the entire wedding, my mom was able to make it even more special than we could have ever imagined by working closely with our vendors to create the most beautiful new wedding,” she adds. “The small, intimate wedding is a true reflection of who we are as a couple. Our family is everything to us, and we could not envision a more special way to celebrate our marriage than with our siblings and cousins by our side… It was perfect!”