Photography by


Marissa Nerenberg & Jay Jackson

November 11, 2017. Laguna Beach, California


Marissa met Jay two weeks after she moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis. The two were set up by “a friend of a friend,” and Marissa’s mom likes to call it “bashert” – the Yiddish term for destiny.
 
“For Jay, it was love at first sight,” says Marissa. “He liked my eyes and the way I smelled. He says he was pleasantly surprised that I was smart too, wink wink. He was such a mensch (Yiddish for gentleman) and I felt like I had known him my entire life. It was so natural, and we never looked back.”
 
When it came time to propose, Jay had originally planned to pop the question in Napa Valley for the couple’s one-year anniversary. Due to the weather, however, Marissa decided to cancel the trip, throwing her then-boyfriend for a loop. Instead, the two opted for a trip to Las Vegas, where Jay sent Marissa to the spa, so he could piece together a new proposal plan. The engagement took place at the SW Steakhouse in the Wynn at midnight on their anniversary.
 
Marissa knew she wanted a small wedding that would include only immediate family for an intimate weekend getaway. “Jay told me there was a hotel called Montage in Laguna Beach that he had dreamt of getting married at as a little boy when his family would vacation there,” she shares. “When I walked through the lobby doors, I was ready to sign the contract. It was perfect – elegant, classy, warm, and the energy was right. The planning process went seamlessly.” 
 
The bride and groom’s wedding day was a beautiful and humbling experience. With so much love and warmth from their respective families, both were able to relax before the festivities began. While the boys spent the morning at the beach, the girls gathered together for hair and makeup. The groom’s two grandmothers, ages 94 and 91, also made the trip from Los Angeles, which was a blessing for the couple.
 
“My dress was from Mira Zwillinger and so beautiful that I consider it a part of the décor,” the bride describes. “The décor was elegant and understated. I didn’t want anything gaudy or to take away from us. The chuppah was an heirloom from my Great Grandma Byrdie, which was so special. When I walked under it I got chills. We used Jay’s grandfather’s tallit and kiddish cup for the ceremony. We had an 11.11 special wishing tree where family could write us words of wisdom. Jay is in the shoe business, so we had custom shoes for the men and custom shoe boxes filled with goodies for the welcome gifts. Jay also loves hot sauce, so we made a custom hot sauce as the party favor.”
 
After celebrating with their loved ones, the newlyweds went on a mini-moon to the Montage in Hawaii, followed by a two-week summer honeymoon in Europe. “The best part of the mini-moon was just letting the reality all set in,” says Marissa. “We just laughed and laughed. We were so elated and excited for the future together. We really became one.”
 
>Written by: Lauren Malamala
Location: Montage Laguna Beach Laguna Beach, CA; Wedding Dress: Mira Zwillinger; Linen: Luxe Linen Carson, CA;