Summer camp…swimming, kicking, making crafts, and, if you’re Jordana and Eli, falling in love! These two met while working at camp and, over eight years later, made it official with a gorgeous winter wedding. Why’d they choose winter instead of summer? They wanted to give everyone a wonderful reason to celebrate when everything was so cold and dark! Still, a little summer snuck into their romantic affair (which featured acres and acres of candlelight during their ceremony) with Jordana’s Jacaranda wedding dress, whose silk gazar is printed all over with lush blooms.
Read all about their super fun hora, thoughtful wedding day details (Jordana is studying to be a nutritionist and took special care with the food), and how their friends helped make their day special below!
How did your sweetie propose?
“One evening after work at our condo, with photos of our recent road trip around Iceland plastered across the wall and a couple of grass-fed steaks from our favourite butcher at the market (ready for me to cook), and a bottle of champagne.”
How did you choose your gown?
“I did some research to find a few spots in the city that had styles I liked; I’m very particular and I had yet to see “my kind of dress” on any other bride, so I looked for places that were unique, but still classic.
I took my mom, my mother-in-law, and my best friend from high school. I know what I like and didn’t want too many opinions floating around. It was perfect; they were supportive and it was so much fun. I went to Lea-Ann Belter on the first day and my mom was the one who picked out the winning dress. We had the most wonderful experience there. I went to a few other stores with some/all of those people, picked my top 3, and then tried them all on (at 3 different stores) in one day. Lea-Ann Belter was the last stop and, as soon as I put it on, we knew it was “the one.””
Tell us about your day!
“The day was just perfect. We had it in the middle of winter (family day weekend), not because we love winter, but because we wanted to give everyone a good excuse to come out and celebrate something fun when it was so cold and dark. We kept things clean and romantic with plenty of candles, twinkly lights and greens everywhere; the only flowers were on my bouquet and they were white. The theme was really just all about being surrounded by our family and friends who have supported us over the many years we have been together.
It was a Jewish wedding and we had a very boisterous hora from an amazing live band; people are still talking about it! We love food—I’m actually studying to become a nutritionist right now—and wanted to make sure everyone had something to eat, regardless of restrictions. The in-house catering was fantastic and we were able to design our own menu with plenty of stations with all of our favourite things: tacos, soups, salads, brisket…fun, but still elegant and so delicious. They tweaked items to remove allergens for us and even had the pastry team make one of my own cookie recipes for dessert.
Our rabbi knows both of our families very well, as we happened to grow up at the same synagogue, so it was very special to have her perform the ceremony. We had a friend play guitar during the ceremony, another friend who designed our menus and seating charts, and another one who custom designed our ketubah. There were plenty of little touches, but we were just happy to see everyone of every age, any many who traveled from far away, smiling, laughing and having fun on the dance floor.”
What was your first dance song?
“Our band played Dobie Gray’s Drift Away.”
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:
“Smiles, happiness, friends, family.”
What was the funniest moment of your day?
“The funniest moments always seem to be the things that go wrong. Like when Eli forgot the marriage contract and license (legal and Jewish), even though I left him a million notes around the house (because the guys got ready at our place) and only realized 15 minutes before the ceremony when I asked him to go get it. We had to send two friends to our house and everything was slightly delayed. Also, it took three parents (my mom, his mom, my dad) to pin up my bustle during the ceremony because nobody had their glasses on. Everybody was laughing, including us!”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?
“Hmm… I don’t think that’s really part of Jewish tradition. My engagement ring is a sapphire, though!”
Three words that best describe your significant other (you or both of you can answer!):
“Smart. Fun. Caring.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We haven’t gone yet, and we are still deciding between a couple of places! I’m finishing up school in the fall, so we will plan something then. When we started planning the wedding, I didn’t know I would be making a career change and going back to school, so we didn’t plan for that. We got to do a mini-getaway over my March break to Florida, though.”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“Pick the things that are really important and spend time planning those out. There are so many little details that will fade away in memory, it’s just not worth agonizing over them. Think about what will truly make the day special for the two of you, and the people who are the most important in your lives. If it’s the kind of day that makes you happy, it will make the people who love you happy, too!”
Jordana + Eli’s Palais Royale Wedding Vendors
wedding gown: Lea-Ann Belter Jacaranda via the flagship Toronto bridal boutique | photographer: Lindsie Grey Photography | venue: Palais Royale | catering: Food Studio | hair: Kayla Silva (McManus & Campbell Hair) | makeup: Melanie & Rebecca Gillis (the bride’s cousins) | florals: Coquette Studios | band: Symmetry Studios | candles: Helix Candles | chuppah: Chuppah.ca | groom’s suit: Hugo Boss via Korry’s | film: Videos by Janet