A Traditional Jewish Wedding Weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona
"Amanda and I were acquaintances for about a year, but really had the chance to get to know each other during the events leading up to a wedding of our close friends, for whom we were groomsman and bridesmaid,” shares Dr. Evan Reshef . “We had a few events leading up to the wedding, and I finally had the courage to approach Amanda, who I was too intimidated to really approach previously, at one of the wedding showers (hosted by my parents). For me, it was simple. It felt like Amanda was ‘the one’ right after this night. I even remember my mom independently describing the amazing girl she met at the party to me. I could immediately tell she was speaking about Amanda. For me this was ‘B'Sheret’ – meant to be.”
At the time, Evan was a medical student in Oklahoma City and Amanda was working in Dallas. It took Amanda a bit longer to realize she’d found her match, but the two kept in touch and Evan was able to visit her during one of his OB/GYN Residency interviews in Dallas. Since Evan didn’t know where he would ultimately end up for Residency, there was a great deal of uncertainty regarding the future of their relationship, and he was filled with nerves after deciding on the residency program at the University of Arizona in Phoenix.
“FOR ME THIS WAS ‘B'SHERET’ – MEANT TO BE.”
“I remember how nervous I was to call Amanda to tell her I was moving to Phoenix,” he describes. “I called soon after I got the news and said, ‘Well, I am moving to Phoenix... would you want to move to Phoenix with me?’ I knew Amanda's answer would determine the fate of our relationship. Lucky for me, Amanda said ‘Yes!’ without hesitation. The rest was history! Two years later I proposed.”
Amanda knew an engagement was on the horizon, so Evan had to think of a creative way to surprise her. Using the guise of his birthday as a coverup for his elaborate proposal plans, he told Amanda that his parents wanted to surprise them with a night at a resort for his birthday. This provided the perfect excuse to set up a proposal at the Royal Palms resort in Scottsdale. Upon arrival, Evan guided Amanda to a romantic and quiet area of the property with a display of flowers and champagne. A photographer was hiding in the bushes to capture the entire engagement, and the two enjoyed a romantic fireside dinner. Amanda’s surprises continued the next morning with a spa day, along with a surprise engagement celebration with their families and close friends.
“For the first several months we really just enjoyed the fun of being a newly engaged couple,” Evan states. “Then we started focusing on the big decisions. We knew we wanted to get married in the Valley near the mountains and knew we would have to get married on a holiday weekend for our Sunday wedding. Having a traditional Jewish wedding was also very important to us, and we made sure to account for every aspect from the Bedekan to the Tisch, as well as a robust rehearsal dinner the eve before. We chose El Chorro for its quaint, romantic ambiance, amazing food, and location nestled between Camelback and Mummy Mountain.”
Amanda and Evan’s traditional Jewish wedding weekend in Scottsdale began with a lively rehearsal dinner, with one of the highlights being a rousing family performance of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” Some of the groom’s favorite moments also included the Bedeken and Tisch, and the hora that he had been waiting for since his Bar Mitzvah.
“We had a full team of the most talented creative partners, who were able to help us translate our dreams into the breathtaking reality of our wedding day,” he says. “For design, we enlisted the help of Jackson Durham, who kicked off the wedding day with a truly picturesque ceremony, set before the backdrop of Camelback Mountain. The lawn was anchored by a lush, overgrown chuppah, brimming with white roses, tulips, eucalyptus, and a variety of cascading florals, branches and vines. Each side of the aisle was flanked by a robust line of white larkspurs bordering the rows of Victoria ghost chairs set before the chuppah. Following the ceremony, guests moved into the cocktail hour, which included muted gold, mirror-top highboy tables, a wall of gold shelves behind a custom white bar, as well as white sofas and lounge chairs throughout the space.”
The couple’s guest list was too large for a seated dinner inside the venue, so Jackson Durham guided them through the design process of building their own custom event space right on the property. As a result, a sprawling dinner tent was erected and opened up to reveal long white tables, Victoria ghost chairs, and lavish tablescapes of gold-rimmed glass chargers, gold flatware, white floral arrangements, and candles. Three oversized ivory drum chandeliers hung from the center of the space, and panels of pastel artwork and sconce lamps provided a subtle hint of color.
After the dinner, guests entered a separate party space where lounges of pastel sofas, lavender linens, colored Louis ghost chairs, and marble and gold side tables were carefully arranged around three full-sized trees on either side of the dance floor. An additional wall of white larkspurs bordered the line between the dance floor and the stage, where West Coast Music carried the party until well after midnight.
Photography: Anée Atelier; Dress: Carolina Herrera