“Timing is everything,” says Ruth Amber. Although she and Elliott Kahn lived in the same building and had several mutual friends who wanted to introduce them, it just never seemed to happen. One day, Ruth, who often cooks a traditional Jewish Sabbath dinner for friends on Friday nights, got a call that one of her guests couldn’t come, but would love to stop by later. He arrived at her apartment with a buddy tagging along. “The second I opened the door and saw Elliott standing there, I knew he was right for me,” says Ruth.
Elliott felt the same way, and eight months later he was ready to propose. The destination was a getaway nestled in the valley of Ojai, CA. The plan was to arrive in the afternoon, hike out to a viewpoint and ask Ruth to be his wife in the warm glow of the setting sun. His perfect moment was foiled as they passed the outlet stores and Ruth decided to seize the opportunity to shop.
“I WAS ON SUCH A HIGH FOR THE NIGHT THAT MY FEET BARELY TOUCHED THE GROUND. THE AMOUNT OF LOVE IN THE AIR WAS THE MOST AMAZING FEELING OF MY LIFE” - RUTH AMBER
The next night Elliott tried again. Although Ruth was not in the mood for a “mini-hike,” he persuaded her to walk with him. When they got to the overlook, Elliott found a spot where they could see the sunset color the entire mountain. He went down on one knee, and according to Ruth, “proposed to me with a big beautiful rock.”
Elliott’s family home in Miami proved to be the warm intimate setting the couple imagined for their low-key wedding. The ceremony was set in the backyard with the chuppah, (or wedding canopy,) illuminated by a crystal chandelier, with Biscayne Bay and the downtown skyline as a dramatic backdrop. In the front of the home, a clear tent strung with thousands of twinkling white lights was erected for the reception.
And then the rains came. They started at the beginning of the wedding week and turned into a weather event with flooding as high as the middle of an SUV’s tires. But by Sunday, it was dry enough to go ahead with the event. The sun came out and with it the heat of Miami in the summer. “While we were under the chuppah, we experienced this magical moment when a huge cloud came over and covered the sun creating a breeze from the water to cool us and our guests,” says Ruth.
That moment was key for Elliott too. “The day was so intense that it was like there were two of me,” said the groom. “I felt alive, atuned and excited like I never felt before.”
The Orthodox ceremony and celebration was steeped in traditions including the kittel, a wedding robe for the groom, the breaking of the glass, and a ketubah, or Jewish marriage contract.
During the reception, Ruth’s three young nieces performed a song they made up about her finding love with Elliott, how handsome he was and how excited they were to have him as their new uncle. Elliott’s 17-year-old sister wrote and sang a “sweet, funny” number with lots of private jokes about the newlyweds. The music continued with Elliott performing meaningful songs from their relationship and songs he wrote for Ruth. “He’s exceptionally talented,” says the bride. “I felt like I was at a rock concert.”
After the early reception accompanied by a ten-piece band, Ruth was surprised with a “magnificent” extended fireworks display over the water. The rest of the night and early morning hours were led by a DJ spinning tunes while the crowd danced until 4 a.m.
“I was on such a high for the night that my feet barely touched the ground,” says Ruth. “The amount of love in the air was the most amazing feeling of my life.”
At the close of the wedding, a yacht, with a “Just Married” sign stood ready to take the bride and groom to their hotel. The honeymoon, in Paris and Monaco, fulfilled the art and history-loving couple’s wishes for romance, intellectual stimulation and relaxation.
Location: Private Residence; Catering: Danziger Kosher Catering, Pembroke Park, FL
Floral and Event Design, Planner, Linen, Rentals and Lighting: Grande Affaires, Miami, FL