‘Camp Strangers’ Tie the Wedding Knot

Kara Wexler and Eli Gruber arrived at Camp Barney Medintz in the summer of 2013 as complete strangers on the camp staff.

Eli stated, “Despite us both growing up attending Camp Barney Medintz each summer, our paths never crossed as we attended different sessions. During staff training, a mutual friend introduced us to one another, proclaiming we would be best friends in the process – lucky for us, she was right!”

The proposal on Washington Square

Following a few days of camp flirtations, the couple stayed up the whole night talking, and sharing a first kiss just in time for the sunrise.

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Fast forward to the end of the summer. Eli left home to start college at the University of Georgia, where Kara was already in school. After a few magical years of date nights and Saturdays in Athens, Kara graduated and left for the “Big Apple.” Their long-distance relationship included two years of flights between New York and Atlanta, one year of Megabus rides between New York and Philadelphia, and concluded when Eli moved into a 3BR/1BA apartment with Kara and two other girls in New York City.

Kara added, “Following a couple great years together in the ‘City That Never Sleeps,’ our story came full circle when we moved back to Atlanta for Eli to start medical school. We feel so fortunate to have made our first home back in Atlanta, and we were so excited to share the life we’ve built in our hometown.”

Kara’s bridesmaids were told to wear colorful gowns. Kara had one groomsman and Eli had one groomsman, both joking over the bouquet.

The culmination of this long courtship came to full blossom on Sunday, Sept. 3, at Summerour Studio where they “grounded themselves” and celebrated their 10-years-in-the-making love story, bringing the whole mishpocha and friends together for a fun night of dancing and reunions, honoring their Jewish heritage and ancestry, and being mindfully sustainable where possible.

In the interest of sustainability, they contracted Fauna & Fig, an eco-friendly florist, prioritizing flowers from local growers and using only eco-friendly materials, to bring their colorful and eclectic style to life. To spend more quality time with guests, they opened the weekend with a rehearsal dinner at Magnolia Hall in Piedmont Park (where the couple walks almost daily now while living in Midtown). They catered Fox Bro’s BBQ & King of Pops to show off Atlanta’s Southern food scene to out-of-town family and friends.

A special friend, Yitzi, was the officiant under the chuppah.

In terms of the ceremony, Kara said, “To make our wedding with over 200 attendees feel intimate and personal, we read public vows, and one of our closest friends, Yitzi Peetluk, officiated. We have been friends for 20 years. Among many laughs and tears, Yitzi highlighted how much we not only love our adventures and quality time together, but how important our people are to us.”

One of Kara’s favorite things she shared about Eli is the way he will spend a whole week prepping new recipes, grocery shopping, and cooking to bring together a group of friends for Shabbat dinner or Taco Tuesday. One of Eli’s favorite things about Kara is “how she lives true to herself – whether she’s working hard professionally, investing her time and energy into family and friends, or dancing (often just in the living room) during one of her many impromptu dance parties, Kara lives authentically.”

Kara and dad, Alan Wexler, danced to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” // Photos by Maddie Sullivan

Also, during the ceremony, Eli’s grandparents — who walked down the aisle (and later, tore up the dance floor) — were honored. Late grandparents were displayed in photos throughout the venue and by using Kara’s grandfather’s kiddush cup while her father recited the blessings over wine and challah.

The couple’s first dance was to “I Choose You,” by The Steeldrivers, which speaks to their intentional daily love; the couple surprised guests by showing off their new dance moves, compliments of Danse L’ Amour classes. Following Eli’s heartwarming mother-son dance to “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins, Kara and father, Alan, warmed up the dance floor with a mashup of the proud papa’s Johnny’s Hideaway greatest hits – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Stayin’ Alive,” and “Boogie Wonderland.” From there, Big Bling & Funk Machine kept the energy high and the dance floor full.

Adam Wexler with Kara’s parents, Alan Wexler & Barbara Wexler

Kara concluded, “As an homage to our time in Athens, we brought in our favorite dessert – white chocolate cheesecake from Last Resort, complete with a bowl of Lactaid for our dairy-sensitive peers.”

Event Vendors

Wedding planner: Sydney Kohn
Photographer: Maddie Sullivan
Videographer: Alaina Booth
Florist: Fauna & Fig Flower Co.
Wedding Dress: Truvelle via The Sentimentalist
Catering: Three Sisters
Hair & Makeup Artist: Chelsea J. Augustine
Groom’s Tux: Suit Supply

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