I’ve met Rachel and Bill, R&B the way they like to call themselves, in the sweet and quaint Sweet Priscilla downtown Jersey City and all three of us knew we found each other in the presence of pure, rough, earthy inspiration. We were all artists at the table and they both were strong, edgy intellectuals, members of the legendary artist community of Jersey City, yet smelling like wet spring soil. Apples and cinnamon they said they wanted and apple and cinnamon I was prepared to give them. And autumn, edgy, urban autumn, structural, rich, not too feminine, not too autumnal.
We started with a simple, beautiful Chuppah of dark pine, branches with lady apples and wild cherry. We went local, to the point were the apples were taken from a lonely dwarf apple tree strangely located in the middle of a small island on the local 440 highway. I have eyed this tree from my first day in the city. Lonely, pinkish flowers, a little bit weathered by passing cars, I never thought he would ever make fruits. And here he was, a miracle main character in the middle of a wedding ceremony. The wild cherry branches came from a couple of trees along my path to the bus on the street I live on. A family prayer shawl was used to cover the poles, which brought even more of a personal style to the ceremony.
The runner was framed by black maple leaves, apples and cinnamon sticks.
You can not get any more local than this, I guess, except for the green jumbo hydrangea which came from my neighbour’s garden, right under my window. Centerpieces were created with Moss from our Jersey mountain forests and apples from a pick your own orchard one hour away. Yes, I did feel guilty about driving one hour for them, but I do not own an apple tree, yet.
Bill, an artist with a heart as big as the house, full with love for his beloved bride, prepared three huge paper flowers for the bridal bouquet. Initially, he told us, he wanted to create an entire bouquet made out of these fabulous paper flowers, but after spending three weeks on creating a single one, I promised him to incorporate his labor of love in a fabulous design of my own.
Apples, wild viburnum, Hocus Pocus roses and hand made paper flowers on a base of green garden Hydrangea with groupings of cinnamon sticks were incorporated in this fabulous unique bridal bouquet.
This is how Jersey City artists do it.
Venue: Liberty House Restaurant
Photography: Max W. Orenstein