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Bringing Greece Home: A Lavish Albany Wedding
As the sun set in the fullness of a Sabbath summer evening, August 20th, 2005, Julie Massry and James John Knox celebrated their marriage in inimitable style, in a ceremony of rich symbolism, and a reception of remarkable beauty and enchantment. The details were stunning—from the huge, open Torah made of white roses and green hanging amaranthus in front of the cocktail tent, to the beautifully printed program book explaining the elements of the wedding ceremony.
The ceremony, from the Kiddush to the Tabaat, (in which Jimmy gave to Julie the very ring that her father gave to her mother during their wedding ceremony), through the Seven Blessings, was full of meaning, solemnity, and great joy. The assembled guests were able to watch Jimmy and Julie under the ceremonial Chuppah, and wrapped together in The Talit, receiving the Seven Blessings. As Jimmy broke a glass with his foot, the Temple resounded with Mazel Tovs.
Jimmy and Julie, having planned a destination honeymoon to Crete and Athens, wanted to share with their guests what they love about Greece: its beauty, colors, culture and food. Their designer, David M. Schmidt of Renaissance Floral undertook a transformation of the reception hall that would have impressed Steven Spielberg, just as it amazed the guests. As you entered the space, you were surrounded by shades and levels, lights and layers of aquamarine, teals, blues, greens and silvers. The center dance floor resembled a huge reflecting pool, lit and luminescent, surrounded by tables and vine covered white pillars. From each table hung a wrought iron chandelier cascading with roses, lilies, tea lights, and hanging trails of green amaranthus.
The hand sewn table linens were aqua taffeta, capped by crystal pearl sheer overlays, and beaded white satin seat covers. The tables were set with an assortment of Greek and Middle Eastern savories: olives and hummus, dipping oils and roasted peppers. Entrée stations were set up at the back of the room, as was the bar, graced with bronze mermaid baby and starfish statues. Guests could travel the globe in culinary options, from a Mediterranean station with succulent skewers, couscous and grilled vegetables, an Italian station with Lamb Milanese and assorted pastas, custom prepared sushi, or such entrees as filet mignon and baked salmon.
The band, Big Ric and Vegas, was nothing short of spectacular, playing a combustible mix of hits and sentimental favorites that had people dancing all night. The energy was infectious.
The overall effect was stunning; the night long, lively and joyous. As they left, Jimmy and Julie’s guests were given parting favor bags that prolonged the Mediterranean magic: olives, a baguette, a bottle of rich olive oil, and a beautiful Greek dipping bowl. With full hearts and beautiful memories, guests made their way into the still-warm, early summer morning air, tuxedo coats over shoulders and high heels in hand…
Planning & Coordination: Lisa Light, Ltd.
Wedding Design and Decor: Renaissance Floral
Wedding Coordination: Lisa Light, Ltd.
Catering: Michael Cocca
Photography: Emma Dodge Hanson
Music: Big Ric and Vegas (Eddie Bruce Entertainment)