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Miri & Shayna – A Traditional Queer Jewish Wedding in Toronto

Miri & Shayna – A Traditional Queer Jewish Wedding in Toronto

Jennifer Moher photographer Toronto Canada lesbian same-sex gay wedding Dancing With Her LGBTQIA magazine

It was important for Miri and Shayna, a same-sex couple, to have a traditional Jewish wedding, and that they did – in a spectacular outdoor ceremony in Toronto.

We’ve been together two and a half years after meeting on Jswipe – a Jewish dating app. Shayna was doing her residency in Chicago, and Miri lived in Toronto. So after a year and a half of long-distance, Shayna came to visit Miri for a week, then the entire country locked down.

Because Shayna was Canadian, she wasn’t allowed back into the US, and that’s how we moved in together and went from seeing each other every three weeks to spending 24/7 together in Miri’s studio apartment with Shayna’s two dogs. 

Tell us about the proposal.

It was their last night in Miri’s old apartment before the both of them were set to move to New York for Shayna’s fellowship year. So naturally, there was no furniture, so Miri set up candles throughout the entire studio that they had been quarantining together for the last six months….and then took two hours to propose. She was so nervous that they ended up finishing a bottle of wine, to Shayna’s confusion, before she popped the question. Miri proposed with a music box that she had custom-made to play their song (Electric by Alina Baraz), and on the inside, there was a note that said “How about forever?” with the ring. 

What led you to Madison’s Greenhouse?

Madison’s Greenhouse is one of those venues that you don’t have to touch. We wanted the wedding to be as low-waste as possible, so having a place where a ton of décor didn’t have to be brought in was important. There was also a ton of outdoor space with the option for indoor space. Because we were planning a wedding during the pandemic, having a malleable spot was essential to us. 

What was the inspiration behind the vibe of your wedding?

We wanted the wedding to be about us getting married, less about the décor and the pomp we’ve experienced at other weddings. So the vibe of the wedding was laid back and chill. Miri had been a bridesmaid nine times before and was a little bit over how structured every wedding she had ever been to was. The entire day was focused on everyone having a good time, and the dress code was casual so their guests could be comfortable in the heat.

Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.

We ended up finding both of our dresses at a sample sale. We did all of our wedding dress shopping together, which just made the entire experience way more fun. If you’re on the fence about going dress shopping with your fiance, we highly recommend it!

What are your favorite moments from the wedding day?

For Miri, seeing Shayna walk down the aisle was way more emotional than she was expecting;

I had spent the entire day with her already, and I walked down the aisle first, but I was overcome with emotion when I saw her turn the corner. It was a wow. That’s my almost WIFE coming down there. 

For Shayna; 

Miri had recorded our first dance song, but something happened, and she couldn’t get it to play, so she grabbed a mic and sang the song to me. When the song didn’t play, Miri got a little frantic, and I just said, “sing it to me then!” as a joke. She just said “OKAY!” and grabbed the mic, and it was such a great surprise. 

Do you have a stand-out vendor?

Jennifer, our photographer, went above and beyond for us. But, of course, the wedding day itself had its stressful elements, and she was rolling with the punches with us and hyping us up the entire time. 

Did you incorporate any family or religious traditions into the day?

We had a traditional Jewish ceremony, which was really important to us. Many religious Jewish people don’t think same-sex couples should be allowed to use traditional wedding blessings, so it was important to use them. 

Anything you are glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do?  

Having our dog, cupcake, at the ceremony. 

Doing family-style meals so that dinner didn’t take hours. 

Not having bridesmaids’ dresses but still having bridesmaids. 

Having an officiant who knew us well.

Involving our families in the ceremony. 

Having a sweetheart table instead of a head table.

Photography by Jennifer Moher

Cake Rebecca Bakes
Catering Pantry Foods
Decorative Elements Posh Beyond
Dress Boutique Kleinfelds
Dress Designer Pronovias
Engagement Rings Classic Creations, Made You Look
Officiant Rabbi Megan Goldmarche
Venue Madisons GreenHouse
Wedding Party Outfits Club Monaco, Guess
Wedding Rings Jewlr

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