My brother, Matt, converted to Orthodox Judaism quite awhile ago. He’s studied for several years in Israel and another few in New York. When I heard from my mom a few months ago that he met the woman he knew he wanted to marry, I was shocked. My brother, who has changed his name to Menachem Mendal from Matthew James, has never dated or even kissed a girl. He’s beens solely devoted to God and serving Him. I’ve Facebooked back in forth with Sharon and have gotten to know her. She is such a sweet young woman. I am proud to say I finally have a sister! I was delighted to meet her for the first time in person yesterday. One thing I love about her is that she is even funnier in person than through Facebook chats. She has such a wonderful personality. I also got to meet her family. Her mom and dad currently live in Guatemala and is planning to move back to Israel. Her sister, Rebeca, has the same sweet spirit and personality as Sharon. I’ve gained two sisters and couldn’t be happier! Rebeca lives in Miami.
The day started early. Colby and I got up at 3am, were out the door at 4am, at Midway at 5am, and caught or 6am flight to Islip. We arrived shortly before 9 where we learned we would pay ridiculous amounts of money in public transportation costs. We went from the airport (McCormick?) in Islip in Long Island to the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road). After an hour ride we switched to the Flatbush train, rode for about 15 minutes, then switched to the subway and finally arrived in Brooklyn. As we were walking to the hotel, we ran into my two other brothers on the street. I thought, “Oh how nice! They came to greet us at the subway and show us where the hotel was.” Uh, no. They were leaving to go explore Manhattan while they still had time. Apparently we weren’t that special. We saw how it was… hahaa JK Love you guys! Colby went with the guys. I had photos to take so I couldn’t waste any time. I got to the hotel just after 11am and quickly did my make up, ate some lunch, got dressed and got my gear together. From there I took the subway 20 minutes to Crown Heights. All these trains… Good thing I live in Chicago or I would have been totally lost… The train systems are similar, but of course, much better in Chi town 🙂
I arrived in Crown Heights and made my way to where Sharon was getting ready. I saw a woman with what appeared to be a bouquet of flowers so in my head I said, “Follow the woman with the flowers!” Sure enough, it was Devorah, the wedding planner for their wedding so I had no trouble finding the house 🙂 It was there that I was met by Sharon’s best friend who took me to see Sharon. She was so beautiful! Pictures don’t do her justice! From there I started snapping away. To make a long day short, the wedding was beautiful. I was confused for awhile because I’ve never been to a Jewish Chassidic wedding but after all was said and done, I was so happy and proud of the two of them.
Unfortunately for Colby and I, we had to leave the wedding early (just after 9pm) because we had to get up at 4:30am to be out the door at 4:40 (yes, I can get ready THAT fast!) catch the subway and all those other fun trains back the airport to catch a 7:45 flight. Well, let’s just say we didn’t get to bed until midnight, woke up at 4:30am and started the day. Brian, my oldest brother, decided to join us we we ended up out the door a few minutes late, missed the subway train (the next one didn’t come for HOURS!!!) so we ended up taking a $40 cab ride to the LIRR. Everything went smoothly getting to the plane and then getting home around 10am (11am NY time). We came home and went straight to bed. I slept until just after 5pm. I’ll be going to bed again here soon… I’m a sleeper. What can I say? Anyway, here are some photos from the wedding. Enjoy!
The boys in my family… They are so goofy! From left to right. Brian, my oldest brother (glasses), Kevin, my youngest brother (right behind Brian), Menachem (the obvious one… hahaha), Jerry, my Dad, and Colby, my husband.
Jen Shannon Photography, Chicago Wedding Photographer