Photography by Michael Priest Photography
Former Westchester Weddings Executive Editor Judy Segaloff (formerly Lederman) writes about her special day
“What’s wrong with this picture?” Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern laughed as he escorted my groom, Dr. David Segaloff, in to bedeck me with my green veil. It wasn’t the green veil that threw him, rather my one-year-old grandson—who sat on my lap as we shook a tambourine to welcome my doting groom.
David and I decided to have a traditional and spiritual wedding because it exemplified our commitment completely. We had met eight months prior on frumster.com, a marriage website that serves the Orthodox Jewish community. Unlike jdate and other sites that encourage dating, frumster.com is geared for singles who really want to get married – or, in the case of David and me, re-married. I had noticed his photograph – posed with a dishtowel – and I responded, “If you like to wash dishes, I love to cook!” He wrote back and soon we were corresponding by email and phone. Getting together proved formidable, since he resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I was (note: past tense) a resident of Scarsdale and I had lived in Westchester for 20 years. But I was ready to consider other options as he is a pediatrician and has a younger son and my youngest had just graduated high school. He came in to see me and I hosted him for Shabbat meals—putting him up at friends’ homes in the community. That was a very special weekend.
After six months of intensive, serious, long-distance dating, and a trip to St. Thomas to meet his mother and step-dad, David asked me to marry him and help him grace his beautiful Shabbat table with food, song, and atmosphere for the many guests we plan on entertaining.
David and I had opted for a spiritual place for our special wedding: The Young Israel of Scarsdale, whichI had attended for 10 years. We were thrilled to be surrounded by friends and family—more than 150 people—who came from far and wide. We began our event with “tish” parties in two separate rooms where all the men sat with David as he signed the traditional Ketuba, a Jewish wedding contract. My women friends sang and laughed and spoke soothing words of Torah wisdom, waiting for the papers to be signed and for David, accompanied by the singing entourage of men, to come in and bedeck me. Prior to that, our mothers together broke a plate with a hammer in a ceremony that signified the solidity of a marriage that will never break apart. And guests enjoyed martini glasses with salads and other tabled hors d’ourvres as they waited for the fun to really begin. Our invitation, with its monogrammed Hebrew bonfire design, asked people to submit the names of loved ones for whom we would pray under the chuppah—to celebrate that holy moment by thinking of others. And pray we did, as David’s three children, Avi, Hannah, and Ben, joined my three children, Jason, Eric, and Casey, along with my daughter-in-law Matti and grandson Yehoshua Meir, in the festivities before and after the ceremony.
Ours was not a typical Westchester wedding – there was no official bridal party and the bride wore a modestly appointed tie-dyed sundress ($20 from Syms, I’m not ashamed to say), but there was plenty of spiritual warmth, singing, and dancing, with a separation called a Mechitza, dividing the dance floor so men and women could dance separately to the music of Avromy Weissberger. Reflections of Fiddler on the Roof – in the heart of Scarsdale – fancy that! And yes, there was the traditional “lift the bride and groom on chairs” dance and much, much more. The centerpieces were sheaves of barley to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer, our chosen wedding day, and the tablecloths were flame-colored with gold napkins, and the menu was barbecued chicken and steak, because Lag BaOmer is a day when people in Israel barbecue and dance around bonfires—and it was the day that David and I ignited the flames of love that will, with God’s help, burn forever.
VENUE Ceremony and Reception
Young Israel of Scarsdale
1313 Weaver St, Scarsdale
1333 North Ave, New Rochelle
Joel Katz’s Prestige Caterers
217-80 98th Ave, Queens Village, NY
The Key Changes
Michael Priest Photography
20 W 20th St, Suite 400, New York, NY
Flowers by Marta