Sharon Rosenberg Kroll and her daughter, Jaime Kroll Dunn, knew they had just under a year to plan Dunn’s 2017 wedding. Both pharmacists, they agreed they wanted a low stress, simple, yet elegant wedding for the fourth-generation Atlantan. “We got along because we picked our battles,” Kroll said.
What were the upfront challenges?
Kroll: I wanted a plated, seated dinner, and Jaime wanted stations. I gave in on this (the price was comparable), and it turned out to be fine.
Dunn: Also, I nixed having a photo booth.
Whittling the invitation list was challenging. First draft with all the extended family was over 400. Second draft we got down to inviting 300, and 242 came. The 80:20 rule held up. It was just the right size.
Kroll: I eliminated people whom I may have wanted, but if they had no connection to Jaime, they came off.
Dunn: In addition to friends and parents, I have active grandparents here who have a full set of their own friends.
What snags appeared that you could not control?
Kroll: The guests got stuck in the elevator between the ceremony and reception. Good thing no one told me until they got it solved.
Do not pick a venue that is under construction! Our first choice, where we had a deposit and were ready to print the invitations, called and said the deal was off since their construction could be disruptive. We were very lucky that the original W Midtown hotel was linked to The St. Regis, which miraculously was available to switch those few months ahead.
Dunn: Yes, I freaked out about that! But ended up loving the change.
Since the ceremony was outdoors, on our May wedding day, the weather was the WORST wind day in the recent history of Atlanta! The lights on the chuppah had to be replaced with beads, the kippahs were flying off heads, and my veil was blowing. Pianist Joe Alterman’s music was flying off the keyboard. The groomsmen had to anchor down the chuppah to keep it stable.
Kroll: The rabbi was very quick on her feet and ended the outdoor service a bit early and brought the wind theme into her comments about marriage.
What advice would you give to other mother/daughters for how to keep it simple?
Kroll: No bling! No fuss. We went to Winnie’s Bridal (Winnie Couture) in one trip and bought the dress. No one else came to vote and cloud the decision.
Dunn: I am not a big planner, so I trusted mom to do all the legwork. I said up front what was most important to me: picking the band. So I took that latitude. I did it all on line with an “umbrella” company that represents a lot of bands … put in my specifications, price, types of music, and we listened to various bands’ music sites online. We picked Rhythm Nation. Good decision.
Also, it’s easiest to have the ceremony and reception in one venue to not have to transport guests. We changed it up by having the ceremony outdoors and the reception indoors at the same hotel.
What about the vendors?
Kroll: The florist, Unique Floral Expressions, kept the cost down by using large blooms like hydrangeas. Having the video DVD (by Paul Wages) was most precious to me. After I watched it weeks later, I saw that I had missed so much the night of the wedding that I doubly enjoyed that people were having such a good time. We did not spend the time after the ceremony taking formal family shots.
Dunn: I know nothing about flowers other than I wanted cream and light blue. My sister, who is an interior designer, did all that. Teamwork!
The best vendor was my grandmother’s specialty company, which custom made our ATL sports cap favors. They were a huge hit.
Any honeymoon advice?
Dunn: We started the “honeymoon” on a smart note. Since we knew we would be too hyped up to eat at the wedding reception, that night around midnight, we had the full meal, dessert and champagne delivered to our room. Then we ate it all in peace!
Later we went to Figi, and it was beautiful and restful, but there wasn’t much to do. We went ziplining. Months later we went to Greece (with so much more culture) and preferred that. Bottom line: There is absolutely nothing I would change about our whole simcha!