This Cool Blue and Copper Synagogue Wedding Began With a Pre-Ceremony Snack at Zahav

Their Big Day took place on Thanksgiving Eve, so they gave mini pumpkin pies as favors.

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Ellie Krupnick and Daniel Aronhime had a photo sesh at Zahav Philadelphia prior to their wedding. Photography by Haley Richter Photography

Philly, we love food, amirite? It’s why countless couples hold their weddings, engagement shoots, and other festivities at restaurants and bars throughout the city — and it’s why they’ll do so once more when we are able to gather and celebrate again. This couple’s take is particularly tasty: They had a pre-wedding photo sesh and snack at Zahav (they’ve got a thing for sesame seeds). They also gave out mini pumpkin and pecan pies for a treat — their nuptials at Congregation Beth El took place the day before Thanksgiving, after all. Take a look at their delish soiree, captured by Haley Richter Photography, before you slice into your own piece of the pie later this week.

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It all started with food for NYC couple Ellie Krupnick and Daniel Aronhime. The two were at an Olympic-themed Shabbat dinner of a mutual friend. Everyone was asked to bring a dish representing a different country. Ellie brought boxed macaroni and cheese. “I was pretty unmotivated to cook at the time,” says Ellie, a Voorhees native who today is the managing editor of Eater (so apropos). Baltimore-born Daniel’s first impression: “Ellie was a terrible cook!” But the mac and cheese must’ve done the trick (no one can resist a box of Kraft, after all) and the two became friends. A slow flirtation developed: They say they spent more than a year sending each other mixed signals before Daniel, the founder and CEO of seed-based snack company Seedible, asked Ellie out. “Unfortunately, I’d just had my tonsils out, so our first date was very tame: a Saturday night trip to a photography exhibit at The Met and dinner,” recalls Ellie. Her meal: soup.

The couple dated for three and a half years before Daniel proposed. They share a spirited love of cocktails, so Daniel set the scene at The Office, a speakeasy within the Aviary bar in the city. He worked hand-in-hand with the mixologists to concoct a menu of four different drinks with ingredients Ellie likes — bitters, gin, Campari, vermouth and elderflower — with original names. The last libation was the Marry Me Negroni. That was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving 2018.

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Exactly one year later, on Thanksgiving Eve (November 27th) 2019, they said “I do.” The festivities began the evening prior with a henna ceremony, a Sephardic (Middle Eastern) Jewish tradition. (The groom’s family is Moroccan.) And the next day, before their first look, Ellie had her first of many touching moments. She came downstairs at the hotel, and her father was unexpectedly in the lobby. “He turned around and saw me in my dress and veil for the first time, and I saw him, and we were immediately overcome with joyous tears. It set the tone for how beautiful and emotional the day would be,” says Ellie. The couple’s first look and photo sesh followed, with a stop at  Zahav for hummus, wine and sesame. (The couple has a passion for the tasty seed; Daniel’s company specializes in sesame-seed butter.)

The ceremony and reception took place at Congregation Beth El in Voorhees, Ellie’s childhood synagogue where her father, Aaron Krupnick, has been the rabbi for the past two decades. When redesigning the new building, he did so with his daughter’s wedding in mind. But rather than sticking with a completely traditional decor scheme, Clover Event Co. and the various vendors created a vibe fitting of the couple’s modern-urban-restaurant-meets-family-synagogue vibe. House of Catherine custom-designed the invitation suite, bedeken (the Jewish veiling ceremony) backdrop, welcome sign, seating chart, table numbers and other paper goods. The color palette featured deep navy and blue tones, with pops of gold and copper. And a lounge with furnishings from Maggpie Rental set the scene for mixing and mingling.

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It was exactly what the bride envisioned. “It’s hard to pick one favorite thing, but I was so happy with how the aesthetic all came together,” she says. “The next morning, after the wedding, I reopened the Pinterest board I had made, and it was pretty much 100 percent identical to what ended up coming to life.”

The cocktails set the bar high, according to the groom, who credits Dan Hamm of Spirit Forward for the drink menu, which incorporated meaningful ingredients — toasted sesame, Moroccan mint tea and ras el hanout spice, all nodding to Daniel’s Moroccan heritage. “Each cocktail was made to order and served in its proper glassware. Everyone who knows us as a couple knows we take our cocktails seriously, so we were glad our wedding bar delivered.” A taste of that lineup: Upper Spritz Side, Central Park Bramble, Moroccan Mule and Halva Twist.

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The dinner menu was the perfect pairing, with a family-style first course of falafel, baba ganoush, hummus and other snacks; and a trio of entrée selections — salmon topped with lemon caper sauce, grilled cauliflower steak, and butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter and grilled asparagus. And the mother of the bride baked the icebox cake for a personal touch.

Another sentimental moment came for Daniel when he was able to address Ellie prior to their first dance (to “I’ll be Your Mirror” by the Velvet Underground). “I spoke about my grandfathers, both of whom have passed, and what they would have loved about Ellie had they been lucky enough to know each other. Being able to share those memories with my parents and grandmothers and with Ellie was incredibly special.”

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It will remain a longtime memory for the couple — as will the revelry that ensued throughout the night. “I knew our wedding would be fun, but I honestly underestimated how much of a party it would be,” says Ellie, who notes that they spent most of the night on the dance floor. “Our friends can party: At one point, the bar ran out of whiskey, and our planners had to run to the liquor store to fetch more!” And to curb any post-party hunger (or hangovers), guests were sent home with mini pumpkin and pecan pies with custom stickers that read, “Give Thanks + Eat Pie.” After all, Thanksgiving was the next day.

Photographer: Haley Richter Photography | Venue: Congregation Beth El | Planning/Design/Coordination: Clover Event Co. | Florals: Vault + Vine | Catering: Classical Caterers | Cocktails: Spirit Forward | Bride’s Gown: Suzanne Neville from Wedding Atelier in NYC | Engagement Ring: Bario Neal | Hair & Makeup: Elegance Artistry | Groom’s Attire: Indochino | Entertainment: EBE Milan 77 | Cake: Mother of the bride | Pie: Classic Cake | Invitations & Event Branding: House of Catherine | Transportation: JC Tours | Videography: Love Frame Cinema | Rentals: Maggpie Rentals (farm tables & lounge); Party Rental Ltd. (linens, flatware & chairs) | Officiant: Rabbi Aaron Krupnick 

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