MBJC Wedding Hall To Reopen June 1st

Brooklyn brides, we have some news that might interest you! That is if your wedding is planned for after June 1st and you haven’t booked a hall yet.

We just received word that the wedding hall at the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center, which was just acquired by a new owner, is undergoing complete renovations, inside and out, and will reopen for simchas  on June 1st, 2016.

We can even share the architect’s renditions of the exterior:

Manhattan-beach-jewish-center-renovation1 Manhattan-beach-jewish-center-renovation2 Manhattan-beach-jewish-center-renovation3

Not so long ago, this wedding hall, which was under New Star Caterers, was a wedding venue that appealed to a variety of families from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of tastes. From barely traditional to modern orthodox to yeshivish, sefardi, ashkenazi, Russian, Syrian, Israeli – somehow they all appreciated this wedding hall. The large space is extremely versatile. The separate hall for the shmorg / cocktail hour is stylish and grand, 5,000 sq. ft. in size with high 20 ft. ceilings. The 8,000 sq.ft. ballroom accommodates up to 650 sitdown guests. And the large synagogue, which is also being renovated, provides a perfect setting for the chuppah.

The new caterers at the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center Hall are also the caterers at the Shaare Zion Synagogue, so you can be sure that the food and the service will be superb. The new hall, according to Benny, the principal of the catering firm at Congregation Shaare Zion, Beth Torah, and now Manhattan Beach Jewish Center, will not only cater to a variety of couples but to a broader spectrum of budgets as well.

If you’d like more information about the new hall, feel free to contact Shaare Zion Caterers: (718) 975 – 4880

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Garden Wedding Shop Sale on Zuilily

It takes a special of kind of bride to go all DIY for her wedding day. Nonetheless, many brides these days do incorporate some “do it yourself” elements in the ceremony or reception. Certainly when it comes to sheva brachos parties, relatives, friends of the kallah can get quite creative. If you’re planning any sort of party in the near future, Zuililly is having a Garden Wedding Shop FLASH Sale with all sorts of accouterments, accessories, and decor elements. From candles, to favor packaging, to unique paper goods, to silk flowers, to paper lanterns – there are tons of useful goodies there at up to 50% discount.

Rustic & Lace Craft Favor Box - Set of 24

Rustic & Lace Craft Favor Box – Set of 24

Square Cube Moss Pot - Set of Six

Moss Pot Set

Vintage Party Fans

Vintage Party Fans – $11.99

Whitewash Frame - Set of Four

Whitewash frame – set of 4 – $9.49

10'' White Paper Lantern - Set of Six

10” White Paper Lantern – Set of Six – $9.99

Blue Truly Scrumptious Spiral Cake Stand

Blue Truly Scrumptious Spiral Cake Stand

Truly Scrumptious Plate - Set of 24

Truly Scrumptious Plates – Set of 24 – $11.99

Silver Shimmer 'Mr' and 'Mrs' Chair Signs

Silver Shimmer ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ Chair Signs

White-Framed Freestanding Chalkboard

White-Framed Freestanding Chalkboard – $34.99




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Why Recent Trends In Bridal Gowns Are Good For The Frum Bride

Only a few years ago, finding a wedding gown that was not strapless was nearly impossible. Virtually every wedding gown in mainstream stores had a neckline that ended way below the neck. These type of gowns still make up the majority of the bridal store rack, but recently, gowns with higher necklines have grown in popularity.

You may say: “well, I never cared about what’s popular anyways.” Not so fast. Fashion trends affect us all. Whether we like it or not, they define, or at the very least strongly influence, our perception of beauty. Just think, what looked good in the 80s or 90s, looks incredibly awkward now

(Here’s an 80’s wedding dress flashback to refresh your memory).

Oh, those puffed shoulders!

In the era of the strapless wedding gown, tznius wedding dresses often looked top-heavy and somehow less elegant. It was significantly more difficult for a frum bride to alter a non-tznius dress without significantly decreasing its appeal. Recent trends in wedding gowns, however, make building up a non-tznius dress a lot easier. Not only because higher necklines such as the jewel, the bateau, the v-neck are coming in, but also because the fabrics are changing as well. More of the wedding dress is made from tulle and lace.  Using these fabrics, designers are adding more airiness and lightness to their wedding gowns.  3-d appliqués and feather adornments over the tulle that are in style further accentuate the airiness of the fabric.


Gown by Israeli Designer Chana Marelus

The lighter fabrics work better with gowns that cover arms and shoulders and make them more pleasing to the eye. Tznius gowns look as elegant and as stylish as the non-tznius ones. Many dresses that are sold in regular bridal stores are easily made tznius by adding sleeves without any additional adjustments. On the downside, large princess ball gowns, which our kallahs like so much, are less common as a result, but that’s a trend we’re prepared to accept. A-lines, sheath, and mermaid (the latter ranking lower on the tznius spectrum) silhouettes are more common.

Perla gown by BHLDN – $1,800

Mary by Illume Gowns

Beaded Lace Gown by Oleg Cassini – $1,250

Gown by Chana Marelus

Trends will surely swing back, but for now let us appreciate the additional options available to the frum bride.

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Top Ten Modest Gowns According the Wedding Chicks

The provider of gorgeous wedding inspiration that is the blog that calls itself – the Wedding Chicks, put out their top ten modest wedding gowns. Of course, their version of modest is probably different from most readers of this blog, nevertheless, it’s nice to know that modest gowns is on the radar of blogs like this one.

Disneys Frozen  wedding

This gown is by Illume Gowns which specializes in modest wedding gowns.

They also should have included gowns from Chana Marelus – an Israeli designer whose dresses are redefining Tznius bridal and evening wear.

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Wedding Photography: Pluses and Minuses


Photo by Zalmy B

Wedding photography has changed over the past number of years. This is true for the wedding world at large as well as the frum wedding world. Not in such distant past, the wedding photography industry was run by a relatively small number of full service wedding studios. These were professionally run businesses with a rotating team of photographers and a team of in-studio personnel who took care of logistics, proofs, albums, etc. But a couple could not always be certain which photographer will be there to capture their most important day. So new photographers appeared on the scene. The new photographers were a one man show – they had  their own unique style, their commitment to creativity, and if a couple was captivated by the photographer’s images, they knew who and what they were getting.

At about this time the focus of wedding photos shifted from formal portraits to photojournalistic, in-the-moment candids. Couples wanted photographers to document the euphoria, the frenzy, the joy, the excitement, in other words all the emotion of this so completely emotion-drenched event. The relationship between the couple and their photographer became much more personal.

These photographers are also social media savvy, which means that a couple’s wedding pictures are likely to hit the photographers’ Facebook pages, Instagram feeds, Pinterest boards or their personal blogs. For many couples this is an added bonus so to speak, a way to share their greatest joy with their friends, and perhaps a chance to show off a little (after all they just spent the last couple of months making sure that everything about this wedding is just perfect!). For others this was a nuisance. Many frum couples would rather not share the images from their wedding with the world. But this is not a big deal. Photographers in the frum world understand this, and will accommodate if requested.

The problems that many couples and families do experience is in post production. The one-man-(or one-woman)-show photographer does not usually have back office staff to deal with clients regarding their albums, portraits, or whatever post wedding issues the families might have. He or she are responsible for shooting the event (which means getting home most nights at 2 AM), for uploading the images to the computer, retouching them (which is hours and hours of work), organizing them, communicating with their clients, designing the albums, dealing with printing studios, etc etc etc. And so we hear many complaints from married couples with children who are still chasing after their very creative photographer, who did an amazing job at the wedding, but has since disappeared, and has yet to provide the wedding album. Many go as far as accusing the photographer of being a liar and a ganef, when in reality the guy is just overwhelmed, way over extended, and just doesn’t know who to deal with first.

How does one prevent this scenario? There are two things you must do: you must communicate with your photographer as much as you can. Before committing to a photographer, inquire about his or her process of album making – who does it? how long does it take? Secondly, even though many photographers ask for all the money up front (and they do this with good reason – they have to pay the printer and the binder in advance), you, as a client, have to make sure that a portion of the bill is only paid upon delivery of the albums. How to break it down will often vary, but 50% up front, 25% after delivery of proofs and the rest after albums is not unreasonable. Many photographers themselves offer similar terms.

Overall, the changes in the wedding photography industry have worked out to the couples’ benefit – they have more options, greater ability to find the photographer that matches their style. But as with any progress, there are always some growing pains. The best that you can do is be an educated consumer.

{Note: The beautiful images used in this post are there for visual enhancement only, and have no relation to the content.}


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