Jewish Wedding |  Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia 

It’s often been remarked that two things can be found anywhere on the planet: Coca Cola andChabad. And wherever there’s a Chabad house, there’s bound to be a Jewish wedding. 

The latest such event occurred in Phnom Penh, the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

As the sun set over Phnom Penh, locals, tourists and guests from all over the world gathered for the first Jewish wedding known to be celebrated in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The bride, Shlomit (Irina), had met Rabbi Bentzion and Mashie Butman, co-directors of Chabad Jewish Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, several years ago and begun her journey to Torah observance.

The groom, Vadim Mitropolitansky, is an Israeli who now lives in Bangkok, Thailand. When the two decided to tie the knot, they chose to do so at the Chabad center in Phnom Penh.
The groom, Vadim Mitropolitansky, is an Israeli who now lives in Bangkok, Thailand. When the two decided to tie the knot, they chose to do so at the Chabad center in Phnom Penh.

The rooftop ceremony was followed by a festive dinner in the newly finished event hall on the Chabad center’s second floor.
Local Cambodians, friends, relatives and Chabad families from both countries swirled in dizzying circles, following the lively music supplied by the keyboardist who had flown in from Israel for the occasion.

“In times of joy, as well as sadness, community takes the place of family in this part of the world, where most Jews are here without family,” says Rabbi Butman.


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Galya and Steve | The Venderbuilt at South Beach, Staten Island, NY


Real wedding gallery and words by: Misha Fine Art Wedding Photography

Galya and Steve: one may call them architects or bridge-builders. When you meet them, it’s such an inspiration to watch them connect people. Able to bridge crowds, seemingly from opposite spectrums of the world.. yet they do it with natural finesse.

Having met on SawYouAtSinai, Galya and Steve dated for a few months prior to getting married. But speaking with them, you’d think they’ve known each other for years. Steve, with his attentiveness to Galya’s every word. Galya, knowing exactly when and how to make Steve smile.

Consequently, the Venderbilt, overlooking the ocean and Verrazano bridge, was a perfect venue to host their first day as married couple. Stepping over into this new chapter of their life, Galya and Steve brought together people from various parts of their lives. From various walks of life. Various countries. As baalei teshuvah, this is a skill that not many are able to master, even with years of practice. Yet, on their wedding day, Galya and Steve beautifully united all of their worlds… inspiring all those present.

And there was nothing but joy.
























Venue: The Venderbilt at South Beach (

Florist: One of a Kind Flowers (

Makeup: Dina Bender (

Photography: Misha Fine Art (

Music: Rambam Orchestra (

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How Instagram Changed Wedding Planning

There’s a whirlwind of wedding photos on Instagram. Almost every wedding professional – from make up and hair stylists to caterers to florists to musicians, and, of course, photographers – is competing for attention-grab on the platform. Oh yes, and brides too. The Instagram platform lets one scroll through thousands of images effortlessly, and that makes it into a sort of a wedding magazine on steroids. And don’t think that this is only in the non-Orthodox world. In fact, it would be extremely difficult for a wedding professional even in frum circles to stay in business without maintaining serious social media presence.

Here are some ways that Instagram changed the wedding planning process as well as the wedding planning business. We’ll also include a recent collage of Instagrabs from some of the wedding professional that we follow.

Keeping up with the Joneses

Well, I guess it depends how you look at it. Yes, it can put more pressure on a couple to step up their wedding planning efforts. And yes, that can be unhealthy. But, you could also say, it gives couples access to more choices and wedding ideas. (Perhaps, too many choices?) It probably does all of those things. Without a doubt, for many many brides to be, scrolling through Instagram is now part of the wedding planning process. Double tap this, double tap that and then review the photos you liked in your account profile. You can tag your friends and get their input right on the spot too.


{Florists, Caterers, Party planners, Party Rentals.}

Included in the collage:

Hostess International@hostessinternational
Michicas Celebrations@michicascelebrations
Renee S. Erreich Events – @rsevents
Chani Greenbaum Events@chanigreenbaumevents
Rentastic Party – @rentasticparty
Kosher Party Planner – @kosherpartyplanner
New York Kosher Caterers@nykcaterers
Papaya Events@papayaevents
Shevy Weiss Party Planner@shevy_weiss_party_planner
Frumi Metz Event Planning – @fmeventplanning
Shaikes Catering@shaikescatering
Birch Event Design@bircheventdesign
Devorah Deutch – @devorah.deutch
Creations Catering by Nosson Schultz – @creationscatering



More Exposure for Small Business

Instagram is open for all. It doesn’t (yet) have a firewall that keeps commercial pages away from non-commercial ones like Facebook does. This makes it an incredible tool for businesses to reach their customers. It also levels the playing field for big and small businesses. Small businesses, like make-up professionals or starting out photographers, can quickly grow their fan base if they have some Instagram prowess. Or if they can at least plaster each post with a bunch of #hashtags. Of course, this also means that wedding professionals are also their own PR people, and that can be quite overwhelming at times.


{Make Up}

Included in the collage:

Miriam Follman – @makeupbymiriamfollman
Periva Charach@makeupbypriva
Racheli Shagalov@racheli_makeup
Gitty Berger – @gittyberger
Abigail Kolb – @missabby_mua
Chava Farkash@makeupbychava
Ahuva (Sanik) Itzkowitz – @ahuvasanik
Chana Hertz –@chanahertzmakeup
Batya Hess@makeupbybatya
Miriam Sokol@miriamsokolmakeup

Business Website, That’s So Yesterday

There’s so much that a small business can do via social media these days, that many wedding professionals have no permanent website at all. Who needs the headache and the costs of constant website maintenance, web security worries, etc, when one can have up to date information, real client engagement, instant exposure, and all absolutely free. Everything a wedding business needs is right in the palm of their hand.



Included in the collage:

Koby Yedgar@koby_yedgar_photography
Mendel Meyers (Monsey)@mendelmeyersmonsey
Nir’s Expressions@nirs_expressions
Benjamin Kohen@benjaminkohenphotography
CJ Studios@cjstudiosphotos
Andre Reichmann@andrereichmannphotography
Chana Blumes@chanablumesphoto
Ulrich Studios – @ulrichstudios
Eli Robinson – @elirobinsonphotography
Laibel & Chana Schwartz@laibelschwartzphotography
Jerry Meyer@jerrymeyerstudio
Eliau Piha@eliaupihastudio

Remember OnlySimchas?

Once it was all the rage. A couple would post their wedding picture on OnlySimchas, and let the Mazel Tovs roll in. It was a great way to share a simchah and the only way for out of town relatives and friends to be a part of it. (In a way it was ahead of its time.) Social media changed all that. Wedding pictures hit Facebook, Instagram, well, instantly, and everyone near and far can shower their emoji filled Mazel Tovs to the happy couple. Now, OnlySimchas is a Jewish news website. However, it’s reclaiming its old role via Instagram (@onlysimchas), together with a newer kid on the simcha sharing block – @SimchaSpot.



{ from 8 years ago.}

Can you add something to this list?

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Kashering a non-Kosher Catering Hall

FullSizeRender (1)If you ever wondered what it takes to transform a non-kosher catering kitchen into a kosher one,  then you may be interested in what rabbi Indich wrote on OU Kosher.

Plan on attending your cousin’s Bar Mitzvah party next week? Or your neighbor’s daughter’s wedding next month? As an increasing number of semachot are catered at non-kosher hotels, it is important for the kosher consumer to be aware of what takes place in hotel kitchens. Indeed, oftentimes guests enjoy a lavish smorgasbord (replete with roast rack of lamb and endive and radicchio salad) at a catered hotel affair but have little idea of what, from a kashrut perspective, goes on behind the scenes.

It is important to keep in mind that as a guest at a kosher affair you should never hesitate to question the mashgiach. It is your right to know the standards of the kashrut organization and to feel confident that the mashgiach is doing everything necessary to adhere to the highest kashrut standards.

To better understand the world of kosher catering, let’s take a look at a fictitious evening wedding held at the Sharriot Hotel in New York City.

6 AM: Two mashgichim enter the hotel kitchen to begin preparations. Depending on the size of the event, sometimes as many as three or four mashgichim are needed.

Read more here: OU Kosher

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Gabriel and Miriam | Temple Israel

Wedding trailer of Gabriel and Miriam from summer 2015. Elegant cinematography and editing by Laibel Schwartz Photography.

Gavriel & Miriam | Wedding Videography from Laibel & Chana Schwartz on Vimeo.

Gavriel & Miriam | Wedding Videography from Laibel & Chana Schwartz on Vimeo.

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