Sunday, March 9, 2014

Amanda and Matt Simantov Wedding

On January 19th Amanda and Matt Simantov were married at Congregation Ohev Shalom Synagogue (613 Concourse Parkway South, Maitland Florida). Terry and I had attended a dinner party as well, but that was on the day of rest, so I wasn't permitted to sketch. All the men at the wedding were encouraged to wear yamakas which are small caps that just cover the bald spot on a man's head. Each yamaka came with a hair pin to help hold it in place. I buzz cut my hair, so there wasn't anything to attach the hair clip to. At the reception before the wedding, I walked around the room like there was a text book balanced on my head. I ordered a soda however and realized that I would have to tip my head back when I drank. A straw would have solved the problem, but I didn't see any. Whenever I drank, my yamaka would flop off onto the floor.

Plan B. There was a sushi bar. I've always found sushi rice to be rather sticky. Rather than eat the sushi I picked up, I dissected it, removing the raw fish and sea weed.  I then took the rice and molded it into a Frisbee shaped disk which I then placed inside the yamaka. I pressed it onto my head and regained my head mobility. As the rice dried, it must have lost its stickiness because just as I entered the Synagogue and looked up at the immense sun lit vaulted ceiling, it popped off again. I sat rice less through the service and avoided tilting my head as I sketched.

Terry and I sat sandwiched between Mark Baratelli and Brian Feldman both of whom claimed that they first introduced the wedding couple. During the service, one of the brides maids must have locked her knees because she nearly fainted and had to be moved to a pew by the brides maids around her. The officiant must have missed all the activity because he didn't miss a beat.

The reception was also in the Synagogue. The photographer was testing out huge flash umbrellas, one of which war right next to the table Terry and I sat at. The flashes were blinding and constant, so I got up and sat across the room on a couch until the green spots stopped dancing in my vision. Elizabeth Drake Forbes gave a moving speech in which she listed all the amazing events Amanda had attended or helped organize while she was here in Orlando. Amanda had just moved to Seattle to be with Matt and that is where they returned to after the wedding. Amanda hasn't acclimated herself there yet, so Elizabeth's speech caused her to cry since she has had to let dear friends go to strike out and create a new life across the continent.

For the first dance, Amanda lip synced to a song by Debbie Gibson titled "Lost in Your Eyes" as she danced with Matt. Couples and friends crowded into a photo booth for regal commemorative shots, and of course there was dancing. When Matt was raised up in a chair for the traditional couples dance, he began to slip forward because the four guys couldn't support his weight evenly. Terry shouted that I needed to help so I squeezed in and lifted it back up just in time. I wonder what kind of bad luck would have haunted the couple had Matt fallen from the chair. All the guests were given sparklers and they created a tunnel leading to the car as the couple ran from the reception to start their new life as husband and wife.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


MiataGrrl said...

Most creative use of a sushi I have ever heard of!

DennaBeena said...

The song was by Debbie Gibson. Lost in Your Eyes.