A bright 'mazel tov!' to Edison newlyweds
By: Renee Lee | Bouquet Catcher
-By Renee Lee. Every wedding tells a story. Contact Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-651-6613 to share yours. Photos courtesy of Michael Delott Photography
At the end of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, the groom steps on a glass as guests shout “Mazel tov!” to congratulate the newlyweds. However, Thomas Edison and Dana Portman added a modern twist — replacing the glass with a light bulb as it breaks easier and makes a more distinct popping sound.
It only made sense for someone with such a well known name such as Tom’s to use a light bulb at his and Dana’s May 19 interfaith wedding at the Renaissance Chicago Northshore Hotel in Northbrook. Tom, who grew up in Niles, is a direct descendant — first cousin, four generations removed — of inventor Thomas Alva Edison, known for his improvements to the light bulb.
Tom searched eBay and found a blue-colored Edison light bulb, circa 1910. He and Dana plan to use the bulb’s shards to create a colorful case to hold a mezuzah, a piece of parchment inscribed with Hebrew verses from the Torah that is traditionally affixed to the door frame of a Jewish home.
Tom met Dana, formerly of Deerfield and Highland Park, through the dating site eHarmony. Immediately, he was attracted to her bubbly personality and honest character, which showed even through email. Likewise, Dana loved how genuine Tom seemed.
The couple’s first date was at a now closed Oakbrook Terrace restaurant. After dinner, they sat on a bench outside and talked for hours, even after closing time.
Tom was able to rescue a bench from the restaurant, which played a key role in his proposal. He had various stations dedicated to their relationship featuring various mementos from their dates such as cards from miniature golf set up in his apartment leading up to a proposal on the rescued bench surrounded by roses and candles.
The Northbrook residents were overjoyed with how their big day unfolded. Tom will always remember his “first look” at Dana before the ceremony and how their jaws dropped when they saw the decorated event space before the festivities began.
Photographer: Michael Delott Photography, Libertyville
Videography: Gordon Video Productions, Buffalo Grove
Ceremony and reception venue: Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel, Northbrook
Officiant: Rabbi Michael Tillman
Day of coordinator: To The Point Celebrations
Floral arrangements, chuppah and lighting: Yanni Design Studio, Wheeling
Disc jockey: Spinnin’ Discs, Schaumburg
Band: Wellington Strings (string quartet), Chicago