Start the Presses

December 2, 2012 by Adam Sowalsky

And the announcements have finally started to roll in. Our first announcement comes from the Brookline Tab. I’ll post a scan of the printed article once it is actually in print, but here’s the link to the online version.  (For my friends in the science world, this is equivalent to “epub ahead of print.”)

Featured, Again

September 24, 2012 by Adam Sowalsky

Over a year ago, we posted that the designer of our save-the-date magnets liked them so much, they were featured on the designer’s blog. Well, it happened again.

Little did we know that our invitation designer, a local artist named Erica Morgan Long of Wicked Bride Stationery, featured our invitation design on her blog. Giving credit where credit is due, the Boston skyline motif she incorporated into our invitation is one she designed for another couple, but we fell in love with it when looking for invitations; hers was the best skyline invitation out there.

So check it out — about half way down the page you’ll see our “take” on her skyline design featured among 3 other couples who customized the color of their invitation (as we did). However, we appear to be the only ones to rework everything else!

My New ‘Do

September 16, 2012 by Jessica Fine

This is my newlywed chop. I am donating 8 inches of my hair to Pink Heart Funds a non-profit charity providing free wigs for children and adults who have lost their hair due to illness or cancer treatment. Instead of doing the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk this year I decided to do this instead. :)

For more information visit

Just when you thought we were finished

September 13, 2012 by Adam Sowalsky

We’re back from our honeymoon and we can’t believe we’ve been married for nearly a month.  Between my teaching duties, Jessica’s new Ph.D. program, both of our respective jobs and tackling this huge pile of thank-you notes, we’re still very much carrying this amazing wedding spirit as long as possible.

So much preparation went into every detail of the wedding, but in order to surprise you with them, we were forced to keep secrets from you.  For example, you may have noticed that many of the ladies were wearing black or white flip-flops! Was it a conspiracy? No, my dear gentlemen friends.  There were indeed flip-flops in the ladies’ restroom.  Here’s a picture of us assembling the various sizes of flip-flops in a picture dated July 23, 2011 (yes, over a year in advance).

And those crystal table frames? We loved them so much we bought as many as we could find lest the stores run out of them. (As it turned out, we found dozens the week before the wedding.) But here you can see the fruits of our hunt in a picture dated June 15, 2011 (again, more than a year in advance).

Did you enjoy our signature drinks? Hopefully they came with one of our swizzle sticks. Collect all ten, each with a different wedding or drink-themed quip (picture dated September 26, 2011)!

But not everything could be completed this far in advance, though. In my post on the wedding day, I alluded to a final item on our check list.  We had invited the President of the United States and the First Lady to our wedding, with the understanding that if they can’t come they’d send us a nice note.  The remaining item on our list was to frame that note and show off the note at the wedding. Well, that note never arrived until August 18! So at midnight on the day of the wedding I was assembling the letter from President Obama into a frame. It was on the table with the name cards, in case you missed it.

And finally, just before our wedding ceremony, the Tisch that I hosted was so spirited and so participatory that I never got past the first 2 paragraphs of the speech I had prepared!  Therefore, I’m posting it here so I can share it with you all. Enjoy.

Welcome and thank you all for coming. It has been wonderful to see you all here and I have to give a special thank you to all of my friends and family who have helped prepare me for this really amazing day.  You may not know this but Jessica and I have been engaged since last April – that’s 16 months if you’re counting.  I guess as far as engagements go that may be fairly average now but a lot can happen in 16 months.  Births, deaths, simcha and tsuris.  But in the end, the engagement ends today on a very happy note – that Jessica and I are getting married!  And this is an outcome I am delighted to celebrate with you today.

I think everyone here knows that I’m a scientist – and in science we think about the outcome, or consequence of any action.  In physics, you know that what goes up must come down. In biochemistry we know that what goes into a reaction must come out of a reaction.  Well, today, my wedding is the reaction, Jess and I as individuals are going into it and coming out, but as a product we’re a married couple – that is the outcome.

Thinking about outcomes today is especially relevant to the Torah portion for this week, which is parshat Shoftim. Shoftim, which is in the book of Deuteronomy, discusses the laws regarding the placement of judges, and the pursuit of justice through many laws or commandments that are described in Shoftim.  It is in Shoftim that we learn the famous law of reciprocity: eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.  But aside from this brutal form of punishment there may be better lessons for a newly-married man to glean from the scripture. For example, it is written in Chapter 20 verse 10: Ki tikrav el ir l’hilachem aleha v’karata eileha l’shalom.  Translated this means “When you approach a city to wage a war against it, first propose peace to it.” It’s a very thought-provoking perspective that can be applied to almost everything in life.  I’m going to come back to this in just a moment.

Two weeks ago, I completed a seven-and-a-half-year study called Daf Yomi, a daily commitment to read 1 page of the Talmud per day. The Talmud, a 2700-page dissertation on Jewish law permitted me the opportunity to read the Jewish oral law as its been studied and interpreted by the Rabbis over the centuries. I’ve joked that the commitment of Daf Yomi has prepared me for the commitment of marriage, but it really gave me insights into how ancient texts can be re-interpreted to fit various scenarios. Just like I’m about to do.

So going back to the line in Dvarim about making peace with a city rather than making war with it. Trust me – taking this approach has been the perfect way to survive planning a wedding for 16 months.  This peacemaking approach is valued in Judaism and something I try to apply to my life wherever possible.  During the course of Daf Yomi, we learned that the Jewish sages valued the virtues that come from making peace wherever possible, especially within the context of a happy and successful marriage.

I look for inspiration from my own parents, who tomorrow will be married 35 years. And I look at Jessica’s parents, who have been married for over 30 years. Is it any coincidence then, that a little over two years ago when Jessica and I celebrated with her parents on their 29th anniversary, we studied that same day in Daf Yomi from Tractate Sanhedrin the words of Rav Papa during the discussions surrounding potential acts of anger and vengeance.  Rav Papa gives us a wonderful piece of wisdom – that a person who refuses to make peace will destroy his home? What a simple idea – when given the choice to be angry—to wage war, or to make peace, make peace.

Even if I take the scientific and analytical approach to this – it’s still all about the outcome.  If an army chooses to make peace rather than wage war, they prevent unnecessary sadness.  And by choosing happiness over anger, Jessica and I can create shalom bayit – a peaceful home, as we begin our lives together as husband and wife.   Thank you all again for coming as we start on this journey, today.

Jessica had the same thing happen to her. Here is her speech.

Thank you all for coming.

At temple this week we will read from the bible a portion of Deuteronomy called “Shoftim” which means judges.  The portion describes a constitution for the Israelite people and sets rules so there would be justice in the land of milk and honey. If there was a case that people couldn’t get resolved then they would go to the priests who acted like judges and they would come up with a verdict.

In the bible the priests had to make decisions. But in real life, I make decisions with the help of my friends and family all the time. When I go out with friends from home, college, or work we are all judges in that we all have to give our own verdict on where we want to go and what we want to do. For example, if we go out to lunch, we all think about ordering drinks but end up just getting water.  No matter what we do together, in the end the point is to be together and to have a fabulous time with each other. Sometimes we do not get to see each other as often as we like but we always get along.  Each time we get together we talk about the past, the present, and future. And each time we get together there is always a new memory to be made.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is “life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”  For the people I know, the people I cherish and the people I love, this is how I would sum up every time I see a picture of us having a good time.  Always smiling and taking in each moment.  Who knows the next time that we will be together?

During the holiday of Passover, at the end of the Seder we say L’Shanah Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim!  We say these words because we commemorate the importance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people. In a little while, when Adam breaks the glass, the glass is broken to commemorate the destruction of the two Temples which stood in Jerusalem. But instead of L’shanah HaBa’ah, you say Mazel Tov.

Today’s the Day

August 19, 2012 by Adam Sowalsky

It’s a little after midnight. Wedding day is here.

It seems like only yesterday when I dropped onto one knee and asked Jessica to marry me — the last 16 months went by in a blur.  The past three days have been equally wonderful, starting on Thursday when family started to arrive in town.  On Friday, our most immediate family came together with my sister’s husband’s family and we enjoyed a very spirited Shabbat dinner.

And yesterday began with Shabbat services at Temple Reyim and included an immensely-meaningful Aufruf for Jessica and me, with everyone in our families present participating in some fashion in the service.  I just got back from a wonderful out-of-towners “rehearsal” dinner with Jessica and my extended family.

I’m watching Papi play while I enjoy some hot tea.  In a few minutes I will go to bed, already knowing that August 19 is here.  As it is Rosh Chodesh, the start of the Jewish month (Elul) neither Jessica nor I are required to fast from sunrise until after the wedding ceremony. However, I will go back to Temple Reyim at 9:00am for morning services (Shacharit) as my wedding day is the holiest day of my entire life and I will do as much as I can to make the day more meaningful to me.

But that’s it — everything is ready.  All of i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed.  In fact, there was one remaining outstanding item on our to-do list which serendipitously completed itself yesterday and I can cross that last item off my to do list as well.  If you read this, ask what it was and we’ll show you!

To all of our friends and family, thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. It means so much to us that you are able to come and join with us on this very special day, and for those of you who are not here I hope you know that you are very much in our thoughts.  We love you all.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

August 15, 2012 by Jessica Fine

I just wanted to remind everyone to remember to pack/bring their cameras to the wedding and on your smartphones (either a iPhone or a Android phone) go to this website:

and on your iPhone or Android download the capsulecam application through the iTunes Store on your iPhone or through the Play Store on your Android and once the application has downloaded to your phone you can login through Facebook or sign up!

Having this application means that this way everyone will get pictures of everyone and you will be able to see a list of pictures that everyone has taken throughout the day from the wedding on this website. Once you get home from the wedding, you can go to and login at the top right of the webpage either by Facebook or by the login that you created to view everyone’s pictures and post them on Facebook if you would like.

If you would like to take pictures at the aufruf, rehearsal dinner and/or the brunch that would be awesome too!

Email me at if you have any questions.

Less than “One Week”!

August 13, 2012 by Jessica Fine

The music video below is from a song called one week from the Barenaked Ladies.

I was going to write this blog post yesterday but I ran out of time.

As Adam has said, “The train’s coming down the track and we can’t stop it no matter what we do. The time is finally here.”

We are only 6 days away from our wedding. Adam and I are beyond words excited. We cannot wait to see everyone.

Our to do list for wedding planning is complete and now all that is left to do is to pick up our wedding attire and bring all of the supplies that we need for the wedding to the hotel.

Just as a side note reminder: Bring your camera. There will be a ton of opportunities for taking pictures.

Get excited the week is finally here!

Licensed to Wed and Photographs That Make Memories

August 10, 2012 by Jessica Fine

Adam and I are officially licensed to wed!!! No, I am not talking about the movie. (See below)

Last night, Adam and I went to the Natick Town Hall to pick up our marriage license. (See the picture below). We cannot believe that we have finally reached the single digits in our countdown to our wedding day.

Officially Licensed to Wed!

Another item checked off of our to do list was talking to David Benoit (our lead photographer) from Benoit and McCarthy. We discussed our photo list of shots that we would like our photographers to get on the wedding day. We cannot wait to see and take pictures with our guests to have these pictures that make a memory that will last a lifetime. Only nine days to go…but who is counting?

Free Cruise!

August 7, 2012 by Adam Sowalsky

For our guests who are staying at the hotel over Saturday or Sunday night, the Royal Sonesta has an array of free summer activities for its guests.  One of the freebies they offer is a free Charles River cruise.  So, if you are looking for something to do during the day while you are here, give their Concierge Team a call to find out more about the schedule of their boat tours (multiple per day).


Pinning my interests…

August 3, 2012 by Jessica Fine

What is also known as I have been addicted to this website ever since we got engaged last year. Well, today I found the Royal Sonesta Hotel’s pinterest page. They had three “boards” (A board is a set of pins (A pin is an image added to pinterest.). A board can be created on any topic, such as Cool Posters, Recipes For Dinner, or Wishlist. You can add as many pins to a board as you want.)) the hotel called these boards: Weddings, Boston Area Attractions, and Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston. That way our guests can get a feel of what is to come in 16 days from now and what is in store for our our of town guests while they are in town for our wedding. Also, check out when you get a chance our Things to do in Boston page. You can click on the Boston Landmarks map to open it in a bigger window to see each Boston Landmark’s description and where they are located. Plus, while you are in Boston if you are from out of town you can use this map on your smartphone (iPhone and Android). Get excited for what is in store for you! We cannot wait to see everyone!