Shelli Liebman Dorfman I Special to Celebrate!
he chuppah (wedding canopy) under which
Samantha Klein and Jeremy Lande were married
represented a look ahead to the Jewish home they
planned to make together. But for the Landes, it also
was a place to include a piece of the bride's past.
Incorporated into their chuppah on June 5, 2010, at the
Westin Book Cadillac Detroit was Samantha's late grandmothers
bridal gown. "I was really close with my bubbie and it was per-
fect that her dress was part of the chuppah," Samantha said. "It
was really, really special and meaningful."
Even before Samantha and Jeremy became engaged,
Samantha's mother, Noreen Klein, had plans for the gown to
become part of a chuppah. Klein and her sister, Linda Warner,
both of Farmington Hills, were each married in the dress, first
worn by their mother, lsadora Helfman.
"My mother kept the gown in her hope chest in the basement
and when she passed away three years ago, I took it," Klein said.
"I always knew I would have it made into a chuppah. I loved the
idea of having something of my mom at the wedding."
The gown became the chuppah ceiling. Warner, with the help
of a few others, needlepointed the Hebrew words Ani I'dodi
v'dodi li (I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine) across
coordinating fabric. The chuppah top was held in place by poles
covered with branches and flowers.
"The point wasn't to make it into something elaborate," Klein
said. "I had heard of other people using family heirlooms — like
tablecloths and lace handkerchiefs and wedding gowns. We
wanted the chuppah to be all dress, not just a small part."
She was referred to artist and seamstress Kim Schechter by
Rachel Einstandig of Rachel's Needlepoint and Judaic Gifts in
Southfield. Klein and Warner consulted Rachel for yarns and
design input for the needlepoint section of the chuppah.
"We told Kim what we had in mind, and she had a vision,"
Schechter, who works from her Farmington Hills home, has
made nine unique chuppahs from wedding dresses. "Sometimes
a customer knows exactly what they want me to do, but usually
they trust me to design and create a fabulous chuppah out of
a family wedding dress, often times adding bits and pieces of
other family fabrics," she said.
"With Samantha and Jeremy's chuppah I took the bottom
part of the dress and flattened it out with seams here and there.
Then I took the bodice of the dress and made a heart. And since
the fabric was all the same, I made another heart out of organza
fabric to give it a little contrast. Then I added a rose ribbon
around both hearts. This chuppah was conservative and elegant."
Schechter also does finishing work for Rachel's Needlepoint
customers, sewing fabric to the back of items needlepointed by
customers, ranging from a wall hanging to an atarah (neckband)
Above: Jeremy and
Samantha Lande under
Right: Closeup of the
Something Old on page C12