The first glimpse of the wedding festivities, held at the Norman P. Murray Community Center of Mission Viejo, was of the beautiful wedding chupah. The large wedding canopy was designed with florals, a cut glass chandelier and a curtain of crystals glimmering like diamonds in the background. Hundreds of white chairs fanned out on the lawn for guests. The Marcus family first came to Mission Viejo when Mushka was just a tiny child, the oldest of nine children. Because the congregation has watched her grow up, Bassie and Zalman Marcus made sure to invite the entire CJC community to be a part of this milestone family simcha.
Mission Viejo’s community center is a spectacular event venue. Combine this sensational setting with the extraordinary decorating concepts of Batsheva Bollinger from Shevi’s Events (working closely with Bassie), and you get an unforgettable wedding masterpiece! The extensive patio, with tables and chairs, plus curtained cabana style seating nooks, rocky fountains gently splashing and attractive trees providing a refreshing bit of breeze was where guests gathered for the Kabbalat Panim.
The beautiful bride sat upon a pretty white “throne” against a backdrop of artistic floral design where she greeted guests and received a chorus of lilting “Mazel Tov’s” from the women. Over on the other side of the patio, the groom was being feted by the fellas. Then the Badeken or veiling ceremony began with the arrival of the chatan (groom), escorted by the fathers, with the procession of guests following. As they arrived at the bride’s throne, the groom, Zalmy, then covered Mushka’s face with a veil, a custom originating from the matriarch, Rebecca. Mushka’s veil was a special family heirloom brought by her maternal great aunt.
Guests then proceeded to the chupah, which was set up beneath the open sky, even as it was flanked by the big, beautiful trees. This symbolizes the home the couple will make where their commitment to Torah and heavenly ideals will be expressed. Rabbi Marcus welcomed the large crowd and explained a bit about the parts of the ceremony — including the marriage contract or ketubah — and how the underlying spiritual themes of a Jewish wedding are so holy that they connect the bride and groom to G-d with his creation. Later, as the circling of the bride around the groom occurs and the circular rings are exchanged, these also symbolize creation and the infinite connection to the divine.
Rabbi Marcus then figuratively switched hats (both black of course), from Rabbi to Father of the Bride. The procession of the groom accompanied by fathers and grandfathers (brides and grooms), and the young sisters and nieces, in their matching gowns, dropping petals on the walkway, followed eventually by the queenly arrival of the bride, escorted by the mothers and grandmother, was indeed a royal, stately and enthralling entrance! Candles were held by the escorts to symbolize the fervent wish that the couple’s life together be filled with light and joy. The entire entourage joined in the seven revolutions around the groom by the bride, again symbolizing creation, completion and commitment.
Chaim Marcus, brother of the Rabbi provided wisdom and wit with microphone in hand as he guided guests through the chupah happenings. Mushka’s Uncle Eli Marcus sang a traditional song welcoming this new union of souls and then her Uncle Zalman Kantor read The Rebbe’s letter blessing the marriage. Following were the Kiddushin, the Ketubah and the Sheva Berachot. Honored participants in those ceremonies were special relatives and family friends. With one last symbolic breaking of the glass by the groom (including a rehearsal stomp), the crowd joyously chanted “MAZEL TOV” as Mushka and Zalmy Dubinsky were proclaimed united, body and soul, in matrimony!
At the reception Pedouth Isti from Elegance & Kosher Catering, put on a buffet of carved fruit followed by an assortment of breads and mini challot, a luscious hummus spread, salad bar, spring greens salad with toppings and dressing choices, salmon and sushi rolls and a full Moroccan feast — meat kabobs, borrekas, sautéed summer veggies, huge platters of rice and a Middle Eastern eggplant and olive melange treat.
The celebratory dancing brought everyone inside the NPM Center’s large ballroom, decorated with tables on either side of the center divider separating the men and women. Purple and pink mood lighting gave the room a party feel. Dessert was served on a buffet table outside in the garden off the patio. More dancing got underway following the Birkat Hamazon (grace after meals) and another recitation of the Sheva Berachot, the same seven blessings that were recited beneath the chupah.