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I think the best way to sum up Alana + Jake’s wedding is that it was a great celebration of faith, family, friends and amazing food.  By the end of their wedding, Cara, Natalie and myself felt like we were a part of the family :)  and we were exhausted because Alana + Jake and their family/friends can party.  If you don’t believe me, scroll down to see the pics from the tish & shtick.  Lauren of Downey Street Events did an amazing job taking Alana + Jake’s vision for the day and carrying it out to perfection.  Natalie’s flowers were as beautiful as always and Cool Eatz’s food was AMAZING. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to read Alana + Jake’s recap of the day along with information on all the vendors that helped make this day perfect.


Venue(s) , Date and # of Guests

Hidden Villa Farm, Dana Center. Los Altos Hills, CA. 10-10-10. 220 guests.

What inspired you in planning the wedding?

We wanted a backyard wedding, only our backyard wasn’t big enough to include all of our loved ones. We wanted to honor our tradition but place a new spin on many of the aspects. Lots of our friends paved the way to helping us reinvent tradition.

What were your favorite moments, surprises, traditions from the day?

We wanted to have as many people participate as possible - that made every moment a memory, from the Friday and Saturday toasting to when the actual event finally happened. On Sunday, the best parts were each of the tishes where our friends sang, danced, 8-clapped and drank whiskey with us to celebrate each of us as individuals. Jake loved parading to the women’s tish and Alana loved the summer-camp-like ‘the boys are coming!’ lead in. Before you knew it, we were up and dancing in circles even before the ketubah was signed.

Our friends Julie, Jimmy, and Noah singing us down the aisle was breathtaking and we felt enveloped by warmth the entire time (or was it because of the 80degree weather?)

The hora was a whirlwind and the effort and creativity our guests put into the shtick was fantastic - the masks of us dancing, Brazilian soccer garb and UCLA flag and costumes brought it all together - we even had our own personal chef!

Dress designer, shoes, Jewelry, Etc. Groom’s suit, Bridesmaids, etc.

Alana’s dress was from Glamour Closet, but not sure of the designer, shoes were Kenneth Cole. Judi Maher made the veil out of Alana’s mom’s veil and did a fabulous job adding straps to the gown. Alana’s necklace was Great-great Grandma Jenny’s and her earnings were Jake’s Grandma’s cousin Myra’s.  Rings were handmade in New York by Jelena Behrend. Jake had a custom suit from Mohan Tailors in New York, his kippah was handmade by mom Debbie Ballon using his Granny’s pattern. The bridesmaids were each instructed to find a dress they looked hot in and could dance up a storm - they each did a great job of picking one out!

Wedding Planner, Stationer, Floral Designer, Rentals, Music, Videographer, etc.

Downey Street Events did an incredible job making the day happen exactly as we envisioned. Aerialist Press created stunning invitations, Natalie Bowen did an amazing job with the flowers, Hip Affair kept us dancing all night and created a mashup of songs for our first dance that told the story of our cross-county move… and Visia productions captured the entire thing on video providing us with the ability to relive the amazing words people shared with us.

Menu, Drinks, Dessert, Caterer, Baker, etc.

Cool Eatz did a fantastic job with the entire menu! We wanted to stay true to our setting and have as many local, organic and sustainable ingredients as possible. We started with strawberry and blue cheese crostini, butternut squash soup sips, mini corn souffle, mushroom sliders. The meal featured artisan bread, fall salad with figs and goat cheese, entree was a choice of black cod poached in olive oil and lemon with beet infused potato puree and local carrots or a mushroom strata with handmade pasta.  Desserts abounded, besides our cookie table with over 200 dozen cookies made by friends and family, we ended the evening with s’more pops with homemade marshmallows, bread pudding bites and profiteroles.

Wine was from Yorkville cellars

DIY elements

Mother of the bride Barbara Binder Kadden and friend Linda Emme Kodet handmade the gorgeous chuppah, sister of the groom Shira Ballon created  a stunning ketubah (sbketubahs.yolasite.com). Syd and Marsha Weiss made our initials and sings directing guests to each tish. Debbie Evenchik (Alana’s aunt) made the place cards and arrangement. Sarah Wagner made a memorable guestbook featuring photos and an informative and beautiful program.

We wanted the whole day to be sweet and have memories from our lives - what better way to do that than take a Pittsburgh tradition of a cookie table featuring recipes from all over the world  that we had growing up, in college and beyond. Each guest could make their own box to enjoy during the tish or save for later. What’s in your cookie box?

Favorite Blogs or Magazines used in planning the wedding

The New Jewish Wedding by Anita Diamant, The New York Times, Joel Flory, Natalie Bowen

Advice that you’d give to other Brides?

It’s about the M not the W. We had an amazing wedding, but never lost sight of the life we were building together and that made the day even better. In the middle of the rehearsal, Alana reminded everyone that this was supposed to be fun, not a performance, and to just go with things as they happened.We were able to just have fun.

Anything else…

If we had known all we had to do was get married to bring all sorts of amazing people from all over the world together, we would do it several times a year.

  • Sarah Says:

    amazing wedding! loved looking at the photos and reliving it! :-)

  • Lesli Says:

    Thanks for sharing your photos and info of your special day. We are planning our upcoming wedding at Hidden Villa and it was very helpful to see this!

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Alana + Jake
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