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Hundreds Prepare for Their Big Fat Jewish Weddings

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wedding makeup by Sharon Slattery at the expo. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

At the castle-like Grand Prospect Hall Monday night, newlyweds-to-be and engaged-wannabes perused table after table of Jewish-targeted wedding offerings at the first-ever My Big Fat Jewish Wedding Expo.

There were several wig vendors, an important purchase for observant Jewish women who cover their hair after the wedding, makeup vendors and cake samples. Accompanying it all was a wedding band, Ta Shma Orchestra, strumming traditional Jewish wedding songs and non-traditional songs, like the Grateful Dead’s “Dire Wolf.”

The creator of the expo, Avi Werde, 24, said 450 couples were expected to come to the first of what he hopes will be many wedding expos dedicated to Jewish culture.

Sefira Lightstone, 23, has been engaged since October and will have her wedding on January 10 in Prospect Park. She’s feeling a lot of pressure and came hoping to find a gown. “I’m trying to take a chill pill and not become bridezilla, but it’s hard,” she said.

In addition to wedding cake, makeup and jewelry booths, there was also a Mikvah booth. That’s where Bronya Shaffer, 63, discussed the tradition of purification a woman undergoes before her wedding day. “Throughout Jewish history and in every single Jewish community there are Mikvahs. It’s the single most important institution in a Jewish community,” she said.

But not everyone who came to expo had a date set — or was even engaged. Leah Rapaport, 23, is single, and came with three friends.

“We’re here to see what’s out there, but none of us are preparing for a wedding on a specific date, yet,” Rapaport said.

Her friend, Rachel Ohayon, 27, agreed. “We’ll be ready when the time comes, we’ll have everything you need,” she said. “Jewish weddings are very extensive.”

Meanachen Gahfi, 28, from Crown Heights, was also there to plan for his future. “It’s a reality check, we’re getting older so, I don’t know what it’s going to cost, how much you’re going to have to put away, start spending,” he said.

Gahfi isn’t engaged, but thinks when he does find the right person, he hopes she’ll be impressed with how well prepared he is.

Stephen Nessen/WNYC
My Big Fat Jewish Wedding Expo.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Member of Ta Shma Orchestra playing at the first Jewish wedding expo at Grand Prospect Hall.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
My Big Fat Wedding Expo brochure.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Samples from the sweets table at the Expo made by Sweet Expressions in Crown Heights.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Wedding makeup by Sharon Slattery at the expo.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Wigs for sale at the Jewish wedding expo.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Wedding rings for sale at the Jewish wedding expo.

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Comments [2]

as a monthly donor to WNYC i am miffed as to why this is on the front page as news. seriously.

Headline "Man Accused in Stabbing Spree Pleads Guilty".

Sub Story 1 "Commissioner Says City Won't Make Blizzard Missteps Again".

Sub Story 2 "Jewish weddings?"

Come on WNYC lets not get caught up with special interest groups. Besides the Kosher food at Jewish weddings is horrible. ;)

Nov. 30 2011 03:07 PM
Kristy from NY

We enjoyed being a vendor at this expo and look forward to more to come. It was nice to meet the soon to be brides as well as interact and build new relationships with vendors!

Nov. 30 2011 01:23 PM

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