I’ve seen quite a few things over the years, but Lara and Alex’s wedding was the first time I’ve witnessed audience participation go beyond the traditional toast and dancing. Lara’s world revolves heavily around music, and as a classically trained singer and choir performer it came as no surprise that her wedding was going to be teeming with melody.

But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. I was referred to Lara and Alex by one of my first grooms, Jared—Alex’s first cousin and all around awesome dude. When I got to meet the rest of the family, it was like meeting old friends and I knew I was in for an amazing wedding. Alex is sweet, quiet and totally smitten with Lara, which isn’t surprising considering she is a triple threat of a singer, future lawyer and totally awesome person. They met over the Internet, learned that they had a ton in common and fell madly in love.

Fast forward to the nuptials.

Lara and Alex’s wedding took place at the Wilshire Grand, nestled in the heart of West Orange, NJ. After a precious first look, we headed off to private a Badeken and Ketubah ceremony where friends and family joined the couple in a spiritual Jewish tradition involving a few prayer, a lot of love and a broken plate.

The ceremony was held at the Wilshire Grand gardens under a beautiful chuppah, where the couple shared wine, vows and rings and were blessed by the rabbi before a sea of relatives and friends. Brian Kirk and the Jirks kicked off an evening of music and festivities that was interspersed with lovely toasts, invocations and speeches from the most important people in Alex and Lara’s life. Music played a huge part in the reception as Lara’s mother, friends and colleagues paid tribute to the newly-wed couple with a series of moving songs. The crowning moment was when Lara took the mic and sang her heart out to Alex. The place was in tears—it was impossible not to be moved by her voice. To date, I’ve seen dozens of memorable vows and toasts, but this is honestly the first time I saw a bride serenade her groom, and I don’t think it’s something that I will ever forget.

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Cake: Palermo Bakery
Ridgefield Park, NJ

Band: Brian Kirk and the Jirks
Red Bank, NJ

Reception Hall: Wilshire Grand
West Orange, NJ

Florist: Conroy Creations
Morris Plains, NJ

Hair stylist: Vamp Hair Salon
Montclair, NJ