Sneak Peek at the Sew Jewish Book Cover

We reposted this from – to subscribe for the 18% discount on the book, sign up for the newsletter at

Sew Jewish

Sew Jewish Book - The 18 projects you need for Jewish holidays, weddings, bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, and home

We’re still officially in draft mode, so the first person to spot any spelling mistake on this new cover for the Sew Jewish book gets a free copy. But we think we have a final version here, and we’re kind of excited. The design shows off six of the 18 projects in the book: a kippah (yarmulke), tallit with tallit bag, a matzah cover for Passover, a sweet little decorative Shalom pillow, and a wedding chuppah. The Sew Jewish book comes out in digital form in October at (Kindle) and the (PDF). The blockbuster movie can’t be too far behind.

The subtitle sums it up: The 18 Projects You Need for Jewish Holidays, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations, and Home.

As a thank you to all the early supporters of Sew Jewish, we’re offering newsletter subscribers a discount of 18% –one percent for every project in the book– and…

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How to Make Stands for Wedding Huppah Poles [Video]

At we specialize in traditional hand-held wedding huppahs. Occasionally get questions about stands for turning our hand-held huppahs into huppahs that stand on their own. We thought we’d show you a DIY version of stands we’ve used in the past for local huppah rentals. Because they’re made from concrete, they’re not something that we can ship. But if you’re interested in making stands that work with our huppahs, this video shows you how to make stands that have worked well for us.

We made this video in cooperation with our sister site,

In this video you’ll learn:

* The types of containers that work best as stands.
* What the ideal mix of concrete and water looks like for making strong concrete.
* How to put it all together and get a good snug fit between your poles and the stands.

You’ll find more information about the Organza Huppah featured in this video as well as huppah poles for rent and for sale at

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We’re Working on a DIY Huppah Pole Stand Tutorial Video

Update: You can now find the finished video here:

We’re working on a video to show you how to make DIY huppah pole stands — in connection with our sister site,, and commercial sculptor Bill Bywater. We get lots of email requests for advice on making stands for huppah poles, and these are a version of the style we’ve used with local huppah rentals at We’re working to get the video up next week, but here’s an outtake. If you’d like to get an email when we post the video, we invite you to subscribe to the blog (there’s a sign-up box near the top of the column at the right).

Update: You can now find the finished video here:

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Welcome, Tori, Our New West Coast Rep

We’re excited to welcome Tori to the team. Tori comes to us with lots of experience in online retail, customer service, and being pretty cool. At, she’s going to be handling huppah rental reservations and answering your questions. She’s lives in California, which makes us officially bi-coastal. Welcome, Tori!


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Signature Cocktail Friday ~ Frozen Lemonade with Coconut Rum

Here’s a cocktail to take us through the second half of this summer wedding season – or for winter weddings in warm locales! Hat tips to Elisa Bosley of Cooking Light 2007 for developing it and Fawn Thomas of the Destination Wedding Store for finding it.

Destination Wedding Store

Signature Cocktail

Cool tropical libation inspired by, a popular cocktail served at the Fish Trap Restaurant in Cruz Bay, St. John, US Virgin Islands


  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons coconut rum (such as Malibu)
  • Lime wedge (optional)


  1. Place ice, concentrate, and rum in a blender; blend until slushy. Garnish with lime wedge, if desired


Elisa Bosley Cooking Light 2007

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Restaurant Weddings Are Getting More Popular

East River Bar Brooklyn New York NY
Over the past year, we’ve seen a real increase in the number of clients who ask us to ship their huppahs to restaurants. Restaurant weddings are a great idea because they simplify planning, and our hand-held huppahs work great for restaurant weddings because you can easily move them into the room for the ceremony and then out of the way for the party. And the appeal of restaurants goes beyond simplified planning: Matthew Yglesias at Vox explains why restaurants have an incentive to provide you with a wedding that’s cost effective, whether your budget is big or small:

Restaurants are great integrated service providers — a location, food, beverages, staff, and decor all in one nice package. And the great thing about restaurants is that people eat in them all the time.

Of course the restaurant wants to pluck your wallet for as much cash as possible. But they’d also like you to come back for dinner. And they’d like your friends to come back for dinner. Compared to most weddings, it’s a much more natural, normal business arrangement in which the incentives are aligned correctly. Money is made by providing good service at a reasonable cost. And the great thing about restaurants is that they exist at all kinds of different price points. Set your budget. Find a place you like that fits it.

(Photo: My sister-in-law Alanna and my brother Joe at their wedding reception at the East River Bar in Brooklyn. Photo by Jacob Arthur)

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Our Top 10 Jewish Wedding Blog Posts this Season

wedding chuppah from lace tablecloth
We’re gloriously deep into wedding season. Here are our top 10 wedding planning posts on the blog so far this summer:

1. What do the Jewish bride and groom wear?
2. Recipe: Roasted Rosemary Potatoes with Garlic for 50 (Parve)
3. How tall should the huppah (chuppah) poles be?
4. Vintage Wedding Punch Recipe (Non-Alcoholic)
5. Groom’s Mom Creates Beautiful Wedding Chuppah from Vintage Tablecloth
6. How Big of a Wedding Cake Do I Need?
7. 7 Tips for Designing Stylish Long Tablescapes on a Budget
8. Our 100 Favorite Backyard Wedding Themes
9. Can a Backyard Wedding Be Glamorous? Hang a Crystal Chandelier in the Tree and You’re on Your Way…
10. The New King of Spain Is Going to Show Us All How to Throw a Frugal Reception

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The New King of Spain Is Going to Show Us How to Throw a Frugal Reception

Felipe and Letizia
When Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe ascends to the throne tonight at midnight, the celebration is going to be low key and low cost. With Spain’s unemployment rate now at 26 percent, the current king taking heat over an expensive safari vacation, and public calls to abolish the monarchy altogether because of the cost, Felipe and his wife, Letizia, apparently decided that this season frugal=smart.

There will be no lavish parade, no fireworks, and no state dinner. The AP reports:

By royal standards, it’s humble: reception guests will be served hot and cold tapas-style nibbles, which they will eat while standing. There will be no champagne, just sparkling cava wine from Spain’s Catalonia region.

This could be the beginning of a tasty tapas reception trend. Everyone keep an eye out for the menu. If we find it, maybe we’ll try a kosher-fied version, like we did with Will and Kate‘s wedding morning reception.

And as a wedding planning blog, we still want to bring you the video of Felipe and Letizia’s 2004 wedding. Enjoy:

(Photo: Princess Letizia and Prince Felipe in 2003 by 20 Minutos newspaper via Wikimedia Commons | Video: Royal Wedding, Madrid 2004. Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain. May 22, La Almudena, via YouTube)

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Need a Wedding Gift? Make a Challah Cover that Matches the Couple’s Dinnerware

Maria shared this post from our sister site, Sew Jewish.

Sew Jewish

Wedding china pattern

Find yourself looking at any wedding registries lately? How about using that registry as inspiration for a unique, handmade wedding gift: a challah cover that coordinates with the couple’s china pattern? The cover can become a highlight of the couple’s Shabbat and holiday table decor, covering the two loaves of challah bread, for years.

Start with the china pattern and consider the couple’s personalities to choose the cover fabric, lining, and trim. We’ve put together written instructions as well as a video tutorial that shows you how much to buy and how to put it all together.

Because we like online shopping even when we’re not actually buying anything, we had some fun putting together a few examples to get your creative imagination flowing:

Vera Want wedding dishware

We found the brocade and lining fabric at Mood and the trim at

Lenox china pattern

We found the velvet and toile fabrics at and the…

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Groom’s Mom Creates Beautiful Wedding Chuppah from Vintage Tablecloth

wedding chuppah from lace tablecloth

When Erika and Adam married earlier this month in romantic San Juan Capistrano, they wed under a chuppah canopy that holds deep family meaning. Adam’s mother, Marla, created the canopy from an heirloom tablecloth that belonged to Adam’s grandmother. It was a way to include the groom’s paternal grandparents, who are both deceased, in the wedding. “She was a very special person in our family,” Marla explains, “and loved Adam very much.”

To turn the tablecloth into a chuppah, Marla attached ties that were tied to huppah poles from “The cloth was of fine linen and leaf appliqués, approximately 110″ in length,” Marla explains, “It wavered ever so beautifully in the breeze and added a serenity and magic to the ceremony.” Marla turned to florist Lynne Lucente to create the final touch of flowers and greenery.

chuppah holders lead wedding procession

chuppah creator

Marla, chuppah creator and proud mother of the groom.

Erika and Adam’s outdoor ceremony was held at San Juan Capistrano’s The Villa. The groomsmen served as huppah bearers. “Having Adam’s groomsmen carry in the chuppah at the beginning of the ceremony was dramatic and completely sweet!”

Thank you, Marla, for sharing the story and photos of this beautiful chuppah!

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Not Since Fiddler on the Roof: A New Musical with a Jewish Wedding

Dubroff family photo for Gefilte Fish Chronicles Musical
Fans of the award-winning PBS documentary The Gefilte Fish Chronicles will be glad to hear it’s being turned into a musical, currently in development and playing in theaters around New York and New Jersey. The play tells the story of the colorful Dubroff family who immigrated from Russia. The Dubroffs are about family, and the musical plays out around the planned wedding of one daughter, Basha. There’s a huppah!

I got to watch a bare-bone but heart-warming version of the production last weekend in Newburgh, New York, where Dubroffs often gathered for Passover Seders and where the story takes place (and which happens to be one of the towns where I grew up). The theater, Just Off Broadway, sits just down the road from the one-time location of the Dubroff family’s pocketbook factory.

Will the show make it to Broadway? I hope so. To see where it plays next, check their website (For those of you reading this at work, I’ll note that music from the show launches automatically when you visit the site. And for those of you in the mood for a rousing show tune, I assure you that music from the show launches right away when you visit the site. Heck, if you’re really in the mood for show tunes, here’s a link right to the musical’s audio page. Enjoy!)

The show was written by Matty Selman and Iris Burnett, a member of the extended Dubroff clan. Music and lyrics are by Matty Selman.

(Image: Publicity image from Gefilte Fish Chronicles: The Musical)

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Treasure Trove of Historic Wedding Videos Now Available Online – Grace Kelly, Queen Elizabeth

Grace Kelly Finally Ties the Knot! British Pathé, which maintains about seventy years worth of historic news reel archives, released 85,000 videos this week. We searched “weddings” and dove right in. Some of our favorites:

Grace Kelly’s Royal Wedding (1956)

Royal Wedding (1947). Then Princess Elizabeth marries Prince Phillip.

A Jewish wedding from the 1920s. We don’t see any of the chuppah ceremony, but we do get a bit of the bride’s reception, hakhnassat kallah, before the ceremony, beginning at the 6:36 mark. There’s a lot of coming and going into and out of cars and a bit of spontaneous Charleston dancing while waiting to get into cars. More dancing at 9:06. Overall, looks like a fun crowd.

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For Wedding Planning Sanity, Limit Your Options

Kelly Faircloth over at Jezebel, who got married a month ago, recommends limiting the number of options you consider when making wedding planning decisions:

…Do not let yourself get bogged down in any single decision. I spent weeks scouring New York City for wedding shoes and a hair comb. My mistake was ever considering more than five options in the first place.

(Video: Bridesmaids trailer via YouTube)

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Save $3K on Your Wedding: Do Your Own Social Media #weddings #socialmedia

If, as you set up your wedding website and mull over your wedding hashtag, the social media tasks on your wedding planning list seem like they’re taking up too much of your time, you should know that by doing this all yourself, you’re saving $3,000. That’s the price W Hotels in New York puts on your work, and they’re happy to take those social media tasks off your hands for just that fee.

W Hotels now offers their wedding clients the services of a Social Media Concierge who will set up your wedding website, create a hashtag and encourage your guests to use it, and post Vine videos for you. They’ll manage your Pinterest boards. They will even live tweet your wedding.

Create Vine videos of my wedding? Maybe. Take over my Pinterest boards? Never.

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Sweet, Stylish, and Customizable Bridesmaid Dresses

bridesmaid dresses
My sister-in-law asked me to help her find a dress to wear to a wedding — something sweet, stylish, and great for a casual backyard wedding. I told her about eShakti, an online shop where I’ve been looking for an excuse to place an order for myself, and I thought I’d tell you about it, too.

All eShakti’s clothes are customizable, and they offer a line of wedding and event dresses — so their dresses make great options if you’re planning a wedding and searching for dresses for a bevy of bridesmaids. Now that is sweet. Find them here.

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13 Wedding Worthy Dresses from Fashion Week – “Imagine It in White” Edition

Every year we watch fashion week with an eye to seeing which dresses would make great statement pieces for fashion forward brides. This year, one thing we learned about Fall 2014 fashions is that the options will not involve a lot of white. We even waited for Milan Fashion Week before posting this year’s report, hoping for more white dresses to showcase. Not so much — but the wait did yield some fun leather options from Gucci. So we title this year’s fashion week edition “Imagine It in White” and invite you to picture the black and colorful dresses in a more demure hue — although I would love an excuse to wear the Carolina Herrera or Zac Posen gowns in those very orange-y oranges.

monique lhuillier fall 2014 new york fashion week

Monique Lhuillier

Jasper conran fall 2014 london fashion week

Jasper Conran – London

reem acra fall 2014 new york fasion week

Reem Acra

zac posen fall 2014 new york fashion week

Zac Posen

Reem acra fall 1024 new york fashion week

Reem Acra

Gucci fall 2014 new york fashion week


gucci fall 2014 new york fasion week


Reem  Acra 2014 fall new york fashion week

Reem Acra

tadashi shoji fall 2014 new york fashion week

Tadashi Shoji

tadashi shoji fall 2014 new york fashion week

Tadashi Shoji

Carolina Herrera fall 2014 new york fashion week

Carolina Herrera

Zac Posen fall 2014 new york fashion week

Zac Posen

zac posen orange gown fall 2014 new york fashion week

Zac Posen wins.

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Make a Rainbow Cupcake in a Jar

Cake and mason jars — two wedding staples that come together to create a lot of fun. You can find recipes for different flavors of jar cupcakes around, but Sarah Jill offers one of the most colorful and simple versions. Six-ounce mason jars would yield a nice serving size for a backyard wedding. Thanks, Sarah Jill!

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Don’t Forget Your Trousseau (?)

wedding trousseau list
Thought you’d like to see the list of trousseau items you’d probably pick up if you got married in 1960. Hats, gloves, formal wrap — Yes, I can see the gals of Mad Men opening a suitcase with just these items.

The list comes from the 1960 brochure of wedding tips from Miss America’s Wedding Invitation Line. You can see their recommendations for what to wear to your wedding here.

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You Might Need an Ice Dragon for Your Wedding

dragon ice sculpture
And if you do, you might want to get in touch with my brother, Bill, who just last week created a dragon ice sculpture live on Good Day New York.

See him in action at

Our previous post on Bill’s ice menorah for Chanukah on Ice in Central Park here. (I’m just so proud.)

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Create Your Perfect Signature Punch with this Non-Recipe

Punch bowls

We’re used to seeing signature cocktails at weddings. How about creating your own signature wedding punch? Food52’s Kenzi Wilbur lays out the surprisingly simple secret to making a great punch — combine ingredients in the following ratio:

2 parts booze : 2 parts wine : 2 parts juice (optional) : 1/2 to 1 part sweet

Create a punch based on your favorite flavors. Or the season. Local favorites. Venue. Wedding colors.

More details at Food52. Go on, get mixing!

Or see this Vintage Champagne Wedding Punch Recipe.

(Photo: Bowle Steinhude 2009 by Politikaner via Wikimedia Commons)

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You Say Macaron, I Say Macaroon – Chocolate Cherry Macaroon

macaroon recipes

For lots of folks a wedding isn’t a wedding without a display stand stacked with macaroons, those tasty meringue cookies popularized by the French – and which they call macarons. But if you’re having a Jewish wedding, how about serving your guests a distinctly Jewish macaroon? After all, macaroons enjoy an exalted status in the canon of Jewish confections, perfected by generations of Jewish home bakers for the Passover holiday.

Dan Cohen explicates fifty variations of the cookie in his newly released cook book, The Macaroon Bible.

Among the macaroon recipes included: cappuccino, salted caramel, and chocolate cherry. Most of the recipes are dairy, with one vegan/parve alternative.

And macaroons are freezable, a make-ahead bonus for small, self-catered weddings. Ooh la la.

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