Dawn ordered a DIY ketubah for her daughter Susie and her new husband Ryan Kimmel‘s wedding. She spoke with the couple before she started painting, “I asked them their favorite shape (circle), colors (blue and yellow) and style (blended, abstract). I sketched several ideas on paper so that I could get their feedback on which design they liked the best.”
“I designed the Ketubah to look as if their commitment to each other were rising up from the yellow warmth…”
Dawn was inspired by the words Susie and Ryan chose for their ketubah. “Two of the phrases that moved me were “Through all time and space, there has been no love like ours, and our story will unfold with beauty, grace and meaning”, and “Through all time and space, there will be no story like ours.”
These words took on even more meaning when Susie was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 25, just five months before the wedding.
I designed the Ketubah to look as if their commitment to each other (the words) were rising up from the yellow warmth and love they share out into time and space. A circle never ends — just as their love will never end through all time.”
These words took on even more meaning when Susie was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 25, just five months before the wedding. “Ryan and his parents supported our family in helping Susie endure the surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. She was half-way through her 24 chemo treatments on their wedding day.”
Our rabbi delivered a great service and explained all the traditions in a way that my family and friends could understand and feel a part of.
Their wedding ceremony was full of personal touches. “My sister played the violin while the bridesmaids walked down the isle. My cousin sang while I walked down the aisle with my dad. My uncle and cousin also sang two interlude songs. And two other cousins of mine read some scripture versus on love and marriage. Ryan and I are very family oriented, so we appreciated how all of them took part.”
When I asked Susie was her favorite part of the Jewish ceremony was for her, as a non-Jew, her answer was one I wouldn’t have thought of; “I enjoyed the kiddish cup part of the ceremony too. I like how sipping from the wine signifies the sweetness and joy we bring to each other’s lives. I thick Ryan enjoyed smashing the glass,” she says with a smile.
The couple also made sure to include those that are no longer with them in the ceremony.
The kiddish cup they drank from was Ryan’s Papa’s, his father’s father’s, who passed away several years ago. This is a beautiful way to remember him and include him in ceremony. And Susie wore her grandmother’s, her father’s mother’s wedding ring on a chair as her bracelet to include her.
“We had a blast during the reception. Dancing the Hora was definitely a highlight! It was terrifying, but so much fun. We also ended the night by sending off wish lanterns. All our guests took part and sent up about 50 lanterns, many of which I bet were wishes for a long and happy married for me and Ryan.”
We wish the same for Susie and Ryan and thank them for sharing their story with us!
Photographer: Nathaniel DaVauer Photography
Dress: Stone Manor Bridal
Venue: The River Club of Mequon
Officiant: Rabbi Ron Shapiro of Congregation Shalom
Florist: “The Shorewood Florist” in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Cake: “Delicately Delicious” in Cedarburg, Wisconsin
DJ: from Double Platinum DJ Service in Milwaukee
Ketubah from Ketubah.com by Dawn, Susie’s mother.