Warm & Romantic Winter Wedding at the Bride's Family Home

Amanda Winer and Adam Moskowitz

Photographed by: Eli Turner StudiosLocation: Bethesda, Maryland, United States

As Amanda Winer and Adam Moskowitz live three blocks away from Amanda’s grandparents, Amanda didn’t expect anything when her grandmother asked her to come over early to help set up her computer for a zoom call the next day before going out to dinner. “Since it was the pandemic, this was a normal request… I didn’t think anything of it,” remembers Amanda. However, as they walked into her grandparents’ home, both of their families were waiting in the living room. “Adam got down on one knee in front of everyone and asked me to marry him,” smiles Amanda. “I had no idea this was coming, so needless to say, I was in shock!” 

Since both Amanda and Adam are from the Washington, DC area and their immediate families live nearby, they knew they wanted to get married close to home. The betrothed also knew they wanted to start the next chapter of their lives sooner rather than later. “We got engaged during the pandemic and didn’t want to have to deal with the possibility of postponing a huge party if things didn’t get better, so we decided off the bat to host an intimate 50-person wedding,” confirms Amanda. However, when Covid continued to spike in the fall, they made the decision to move the wedding from a private club to the home of the bride’s parents and limit their guest list to just family and a few local friends. 

Working alongside her mother and esteemed wedding planner, Jodi Moraru of Evoke Design & Creative, Amanda desired a day that was both beautiful and personalized to their union. To incorporate their shared Jewish faith, Amanda and Adam signed the ketubah before the ceremony in front of their loved ones, were married by Adam’s family’s rabbi under a stunning chuppah, and performed all of the Jewish traditions. Despite the wedding taking place during the pandemic, the couple was also able to have an abbreviated hora to celebrate their new marriage. 

“The entire look was warm and romantic,” muses the bride of the décor for both events. “I wanted the chuppah to have a wow-factor,” she adds of the pièce de résistance, which was incorporated into both the ceremony and reception. Guests were seated at one of four tables topped with floral centerpieces in footed compotes featuring anemones, astilbe, garden roses, ranunculuses, wax flowers, hellebores, and stock in shades of cream, blush, and burgundy. Taper candles created an elegant ambience and each guest’s place setting was topped with a monogrammed napkin – a gift from the mother of the bride to the newlyweds that they will cherish at their own home for years to come. 

“We weren’t settling in times of Covid, rather, we were able to celebrate perfectly and we are so grateful.”

Though dancing was prohibited due to event restrictions, an emphasis was placed on the fare for the evening. Cocktail hour featured an array of passed hors d’oeuvres including Hawaiian tuna poke, fried chicken and biscuits, and Mandarin Peking duck to ensure there was something for everyone. The sit-down dinner service showcased a lobster risotto to start, followed by a fig-and-arugula salad, and a choice of two entrées: filet of beef tenderloin with caramelized shallot and cracked pepper reduction or halibut filet with grape verjus and sea bean salad with lemony grilled vegetables. For dessert, slices of wedding cake were enjoyed, as well as passed desserts including chocolate-glazed brownies, mini lemon meringue tartlets, cocktail ice creams, and more sweet treats. 

Following the cutting of the cake under the impressive floral-embellished chuppah, Amanda and Adam surprised their guests – as well as themselves – by sharing more than a few words to thank everyone for coming. “After I spoke, Adam took the microphone and went around the room saying a few words about each person there,” Amanda notes of the unexpected surprise for their 20 guests. “No one expected this, but it was such a special touch and showed all of our guests how special they are to us.” 

With the wedding taking place on Valentine’s Day, attendees were sent home with individual boxes of chocolates and memories of the warm, intimate gathering. Amanda and Adam were overjoyed to be surrounded by the people they love most. “We weren’t settling in times of Covid, rather, we were able to celebrate perfectly and we are so grateful,” affirms Amanda. To ensure all of their friends and family could be part of the big day, a live stream was shared to 240 devices, and many loved ones even had viewing parties of their own. “Even though there were just 20 people in the immediate room, we really felt the love from all around,” smiles the bride.