It is not every day you get invited to a Sephardic wedding, in Queens, where Russian is the language of choice, men and women view the ceremony from different sides of the room, a highly charged DJ welcomes family members as though they were celebrities, and there are pyrotechnics on the dance floor. Not to mention money being showered over the bride and groom, and an absolute banquet of food. Two banquets in fact. I was convinced there was more than one wedding at the sparkling new wedding hall on Queens Boulevard when we arrived on Thursday evening. Ushered upstairs to the terrace for a snack before the marriage ceremony began, the platters of smoked fish, sushi, whole atlantic salmon, roasted meats and Middle Eastern dishes, with endless salads, vegetables and summer fruits were just a savored sampling of the ‘formal’ dining that would follow in the main hall after the nuptials.
Tradition was foremost in proceedings, much of which was mysterious to me, but clearly this was not a solemn affair. A video production team with the assistance of an overhead crane and lighting packs recorded every moment, from the smashing of glass to the breaking of bread to rocket fire launching through the fog of the dance floor. It was a staged ceremony, an unforgettable parade of glamorous corset gowns and gossamer. Uzbekistan may have been where the party began, but in anyone’s language, mazel tov was the order of the day…
Gabrielle what a treat, you are so amazing, the events you discover and the invitations extended are just legend. With photos and narratives that bring it all to life via blog!
Gabrielle, I have listened to you on “Overnighters” for ages and have just made the connection to your blog. I have been missing so much in terms of photos etc. I feel like I am having an adventure with you. Thanks for sharing. Wilma
Thank you for listening Wilma and welcome to my blog! I started to record the stories with photographs so people had a reference for places to visit in NYC – but also to back up my conversations with Rod. Some of these adventures need a little proof!
I agree with Wilma, I missed so much until I discovered Gabrielle’s blog. Love it!
Loved your wedding description with Rod this morning must have been blast