Photos by Genevieve Nisly Photography
How did you meet?
Jeff and I met when we both lived in Chicago.
What’s an interesting/fun/cute story to share about getting to know one another?
Jeff and I met on Jdate, or what I like to call Jewish Tinder. When we met, we didn’t realize that we had crossed paths many times over the years. We both went to The Ohio State University, just two years apart, and we know all of the same people. We even lived in the same apartment building.
How long did you know each other before you got married?
Jeff and I have been together since 2015. We had lived together for four years prior to getting engaged.
When did you know you wanted to marry your partner?
Erika: Jeff and I have always connected emotionally and intellectually, especially through our mutual passion for social justice. I had never met a man who cared as much about people as I do, and who had a desire to commit his life to helping others.
Jeff loves people. He loves to talk, engage and meet new people, which is something I struggle with. He is an extrovert where I am an introvert, and we constantly push each other outside of our own comfort zones in order to experience life with a new lens. Jeff has the kindest spirit of anyone I have ever met. He just wants to be loved and for people to love and take care of each other. I learned a lot from him about unconditional love and having strength for one another.
Jeff: Erika’s empathy, kindness and depth made me certain she was the person I had to spend my life with. I still vividly remember our first dates and thinking, ‘how long will be I be lucky enough to continue seeing this girl for?’ Incredibly, she liked me back and our relationship blossomed.
Our time together was never smooth sailing and that only made us become closer as partners. I was working on startup ventures and barely earning any money; Erika encouraged me every step of the way and believed in me more than anyone – so much so that it was almost shocking to me. For a very long time, I couldn’t afford nice dates or other perks of courtship, but we created our own special world.
I am moved to tears now thinking of how much love I felt for Erika watching movies on her pullout couch on Saturday nights. Somehow everything was always OK when we were together regardless of the obstacles life had thrown our way. In those moments, I knew I was going to always be with Erika and that there was no one else who could ever even compare.
What was the best part of wedding planning?
The most incredible part of our wedding was the ceremony with Cantor Kathy Sebo. Cantor Kathy is one of my parents’ closest friends, and has known me (Erika) since I was born. She really took the time to get to know Jeff, and they immediately connected. Our ceremony was extremely intimate and special. You could feel the love behind every word.
What was the most difficult part of wedding planning?
The most difficult part of the wedding was the year leading up to it and the immense planning process. Wedding planning can feel like a part-time job.
What spot-on advice did you receive prior to the big day?
We have received constant support and advice from both of my parents, who have been married for 35 years. Watching them work as a unit through life’s everyday hardships has been a strong model for Jeff and me, and the marriage and family we want to create together.
What was the most fun or interesting Jewish aspect of your wedding/partnership?
Jeff and I were raised differently in regard to our religious upbringing, and we have made it a priority to have many interesting conversations about our belief systems, and this came into play majorly during our wedding year. I chose to go to the mikvah the week before the wedding. I was surrounded by the most important and impactful women in my life, and it was so unique and special. I felt more connected to myself and the women around me than I ever have.
“One of the most impactful moments of my wedding was the seconds before I walked down the aisle towards Jeff. I was alone with my parents, and there was an instant where we were watching everyone else witness the most important moment of my life. I will never forget looking at Jeff and my loved ones who have seen me through it all. That moment was monumental. I took several mental snapshots so I will never forget the way the room looked and people looked waiting for me to walk towards Jeff.”
Erika Rosen & Jeffrey Eisenstodt
November 9, 2019
St. Clair Ballroom, Cleveland
Ages: 33 and 31
Engagement: November 22, 2018
Officiant: Cantor Kathryn Wolfe Sebo
Wedding Colors: All neutrals, including white and off-white
Dress and Veil: Custom jumpsuit from Dimitra’s Bridal Couture
Wedding rings: Meyers Jewelers
Jewelry: Earrings – Bloomingdale’s fine jewelry
Shoes: Aquazzura Donata white satin mules
Hair: Katie Blasius
Makeup: Elizabeth Cook
Bridesmaids Dresses: All wore different dresses based on their comfort level and style.
Groom’s Formalwear: Custom suit at rehearsal dinner and custom tuxedo at wedding. Both made by friend Ethan Weisman, who owns clothing brand Pantheon Limited.
Bouquet/Flowers and Chuppah: Scott at Stems Fleur
Ketubah: Custom painting by Lindi Turok Gold
Photographer: Genevieve Nisly Photography
Videographer: The Image In Motion
Planner/Consultant: Kim Singerman from Noteworthy Events
Reception and Catering: St. Clair Ballroom
Cake/Sweets: Canela Bakeshop
Rehearsal Dinner: Shabbat dinner at Beechmont Country Club
Invitations/Stationery: Amy Finkenthal of Noteriety
Rentals: Event Source
Accommodations: The Westin Cleveland Downtown
Honeymoon: Planning a honeymoon this summer or fall