South African Roots Roll with the Tide

South African Roots Roll with the Tide

A speech pathologist married an Atlanta Braves scout with the Jewish South African choir singing under the chuppah.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

Ryan and Bianca had a romantic nine-year courtship
Ryan and Bianca had a romantic nine-year courtship

Bianca Levy met Ryan Egdes during their freshman year of college at a University of Alabama football game. They started dating shortly thereafter and were together eight years before Ryan finally popped the question, thus the two got married after a nine-year relationship.

The wedding cake was done by the Hotel Intercontinental team.

Bride Bianca is a speech language pathologist while Ryan is a scout for the Atlanta Braves. Both now reside in Dallas, Texas. The Levy family (Simonie and the late Mark Levy) is South African and reside in Atlanta. The groom’s father (Clive Egdes) is also South African. The groom grew up in Naples, Fla. Clive now lives in Seattle with his wife; and the mother of the groom (Donna Egdes) lives in Naples. Bianca went to Riverwood High School and grew up attending Chabad of Cobb.

For the surprise engagement, the couple went to visit in Naples for their annual December trip. One night, Ryan suggested grabbing a drink at the country club. Bianca was led to a table with flowers and Ryan proposing. When Bianca said, “Yes,” she heard screaming and cheering and turned around to find her whole family standing on the balcony. Bianca recalled, “Afterwards, we had dinner and started calling all of our ‘people.’ It was the most special night!”

Bianca’s gown was by Aisle and Veil // All Photos by Laura Stone

The Dec. 17, 2023, wedding was at the Hotel Intercontinental because of its kosher cuisine and the on-site comfort of 150 guests who came from all over the world. Rabbi Ephraim Silverman performed the ceremony. Bianca said, “We had a beautiful traditional Jewish ceremony. The rabbi explained to our guests the meaning of each step of our wedding. It was so meaningful to have him guide not only us, but our closest friends and family through the sacred marriage ceremony.”

A key part of the wedding arrangements was Atlanta event planner Alexa Eve Kesler Spathelf (Alexa Eve Events). The couple chose her because of her experience in executing clients’ visions while keeping couples organized and grounded.

Bianca said, “Alexa had done amazing work with bar and bat mitzvahs as well as weddings in the community; and we knew her commitment to her clients and connections in the area would help us achieve our dream wedding. When we first met with Alexa, her infectious personality, enthusiasm, and determination to help is was what sealed the deal.”

The ballroom was aglow with candlelight. Flowers were roses and hydrangeas.

Alexa saw to every detail, every vendor, to cover all the events Friday night, Saturday night, and the entire weekend schedule where the planning started more than a year prior. She said, “The day of the wedding my team and I arrived first thing in the morning while the bride, groom, and all the families were getting ready at the hotel. My team and I made sure that the vendors arrived and were doing what they needed to. The bride and groom’s families were taken care of and everything stayed on schedule.”

The bride’s dress was by Aisle and Veil, and the groom’s outfit was from The Black Tux. Designs by Joan provided the flowers — roses and hydrangeas in cream and white hues. The kosher meat menu included carving stations, pastas, and salads.

The couple had a traditional Ketubah with delicate detailed cut outs.

Also from South African heritage, Kesler-Spathelf concluded, “Planning this wedding was very special to me as the Levy family is an incredibly special family. The chuppah’s tallit was Bianca’s late father, Mark’s. It was an emotional day not to have him there. Her brother, Saul Levy, walked her down the aisle and the Jewish South African choir sang under the chuppah. This wedding was magical and fully candlelit. The room completely glowed. The party went late into the night with dancing, laughing, and a late-night snack.”

A honeymoon to Italy is on the horizon.

Other vendors

Hair: Bristle and Bride
Makeup: Scooby West & Company
Band: Tevia (Party Express Entertainment)
Linens: I Do Linens
Hotel Intercontinental provided the kosher cake

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