Weddings come in all varieties, and one of the latest trends is “good things come in small packages,” instead of entertaining 500 of your closest acquaintances. Andrea Appel met Joel Rapowitz on Match.com, and they married 19 months later – two weeks before her 50th birthday.
Andrea, the coordinator of Jewish Family & Career Services’ PAL Program, is a native Atlantan. Joel, from Rochester, N.Y., works at Citibank. Divorced, with both feet on the ground, they wanted a warm, small gathering for the nuptials at the Dunwoody home of Andrea’s parents Judy and Sam Appel. “We wanted our family there because they are ‘forever,’” Andrea said. “We both agreed that there was no need to fulfill social obligations. And my mom is like the Jewish Martha Stewart. We knew she would handle all the details. She is a perfectionist and experienced ‘entertainer.’ We put it all in her hands.”
Rabbi Ephraim Silverman of Chabad of Cobb performed the service under the tallit of Joel’s grandfather’ as the chuppah was held up by Joel’s two children, Sam and Laurie Rapowitz on one side; and Andrea’s niece and nephew, Hannah and Aaron Appel, on the other. To accompany the couple down the aisle, Andrea chose the Etta James melody “At Last!” performed by an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra violinist. Andrea said, “We weren’t ‘walked’ down the aisle by anyone. We entered as a couple holding hands.” Looking on were 17 guests. After the ceremony, the violinist Allison James played “Fly Me to the Moon” as the couple’s honeymoon was a cruise out of New Orleans to the Western Caribbean. Andrea recalled, “The most meaningful part of the rabbi’s talk was the reminder of how fragile life and relationships can be.”
Andrea wore a stunningly intricate, yet simple navy silk strapless gown by Canadian designer, Wayne Clark, exclusive in Atlanta to Susan Lee dress shop. It had a trumpet skirt with grosgrain lattice detail in the back. Andrea said, “Mom went to Susan Lee and picked out five dresses, and I chose ‘the one.’ Then she selected my Manolo Blahnik shoes.
“I had to pinch myself during the signing of the ketubah. I was nervous and excited. I found [married] the love of my life two weeks before my 50th birthday. There is always hope!”
“Food glorious food” Mom Judy selected Sandra Bank of Added Touch Catering to set and fill the elegant dining room table. The menu was: roasted pear salad topped with parsnip frites; smashed new potatoes; butternut ravioli with cashew nuts and brown butter topped with roasted squash; a magnificent vegetable platter with eggplant, roasted red onions and Brussels sprouts; grilled salmon fillets alternated with red and orange beets; and fried chicken (“for the Yankees”) plus desserts.
The wedding cake was by Sandra Carling and especially sentimental because it was the exact same banana cake recipe with raspberry filling and butter cream icing that she had prepared for Andrea’s sweet sixteen party.
Judy, a long-standing professional interior designer, said, “Andrea’s favorite was the iced shortbread cookies wrapped in Saran with an edible gold ‘R.’ The wedding cake was a work of art. We used my antique Italian porcelain and pewter serving pieces collected over the years. I prepared the bridal bouquet of simple blush roses. Our home’s décor is eclectic traditional with 19th and 20th century paintings, which served as a romantic backdrop.”
Judy, whom Andrea says “has the best opinions on everything,” wore a long Donna Karan black dress with a brooch of yellow diamonds, citrine and peridot that she had made as an art piece.
In the Appel family’s style, Scout, a schnauzer-poodle and Baby, a rat terrier, watched from the sidelines as the well-wishes flowed for the new Rapowitz husband and wife. They did the wedding “their way,” small and tasteful.