Angel Orensanz is one of NYC’s liveliest wedding venues. The interior is exquisite, and while the space is imbued with a spirituality and holiness befitting a Synagogue, it is also permeated by a restless and dynamic creativity that I find mirrors the personalities of the couples that choose, under its vaulted sanctuary, to get married there.
I first got to know Shiri and Lawrence at our engagement session. Shiri is an impressive person, who carries herself with the best qualities of intelligence and sensitivity- character traits which Lawrence also shares in abundance in addition to a fun filled spirit. He always makes her laugh and we had so much fun together. Sometimes, to be honest, my excited brides have to goad there less enthusiastic fiances into feeling the moment, but Lawrence was extremely lively and loved the camera, making it so easy to capture their wonderful and deep connection. They were also incredibly sweet, sending me a gift afterwards of a basket brimming with Repecharge Spa Products, a family business in a field that Shiri’s Mother pioneered. I have to admit that after a full and strenuous wedding, I came back exhausted, and my appreciation for their thoughtful gift increased ten-fold, when I applied the amazingly therapautic foot cream to my battered feet.
Shiri and Lawrence met through a Sidduch (a well known and loved Jewish custom of matchmaking), and must be eternally thankful to their friends Stephanie and Billy who set it all up. I found the story of how they were engaged to be delightfully honest as well. For it was only three months after virtually living together that Shiri told Lawrence to move back to his old apartment with the message that enough time had passed to decide if he was ready for the serious commitment of marriage. One must applaud her courage and decisiveness, for her honest description of the emotional tumult of seeing his empty closet, as well as for her lightheartedness in declaring that she was so distressed she couldn’t even pick out coordinating outfits 🙂
Stark choices in life often precipitate stark realizations, and it wasn’t soon after that Lawrence understood that he was not about to let Shiri get away. So, he very quickly found himself at Taboon, the Israeli restaurant, down on one knee. Needless to say, he did momentarily infuriate Shiri , joking with a fake gum-ball machine quality diamond ring before revealing the real one, but in fairness she might have deserved at least that. After all, it is a lot of work to pack AND unpack again all within a week.
I watched a video of Shiri and Lawrence’s engagement party filmed soon thereafter and in her speech thanking everyone for coming, she said simply and beautifully: “My family are my friends and my friends are my family.” I particularly loved when she said that, as that is the sense that pervaded the wedding from start to finish. Yes, I was certainly touched by the deep connection of Shiri and her Mother, but even more than that, Shiri’s phrase rang true- everyone who was there was truly there, not just as invited guests, but as close family gathered together to wholeheartedly embrace and joyously celebrate their union.
Suit: Michael Andrews
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Amazing Footcream that saved a tired photographer: 🙂 Repechage
Here is their slideshow with a song that they love: