Finding Inspiration For Your Wedding: Our Exclusive Sit-Down With Neil Lane

The wedding aficionado and ring designer for ABC’s The Bachelor franchise gives his insight on finding beauty all around

By Neil Lane

Neil Lane Papercut Art Deco Metallic Papercut Gold Ketubah Designs

Inspiration is ephemeral: gossamer, fleeting, it comes to mind like a flash of brilliance but can leave just as quick. But if you’re fast enough, or talented enough, you can grab hold of it and harness it into something beautiful.

Neil Lane is a celebrated designer, collector, curator, and bridal authority. With an eye for style and elegance, Lane is an avid collector of rare jewels, sculptures and fine art. He is the official ring designer for ABC’s The Bachelor franchise, and his signature couture designs have appeared on some of the world’s most glamorous celebrities and red carpets. As an expert on all things wedding-related, we wanted to hear his thoughts on how inspiration comes to him, and how you can move from inspiration to action when designing your own wedding.

Rose Papercut by Enya Keshet

My whole life is about collecting. I wouldn’t have been able to become a designer if I didn’t have my collection to inspire me. Ever since I was a little kid I was collecting things… even things without value such as pebbles and bits and pieces of glass. This evolved to collections of art, antiques and the awareness that certain older objects are highly valuable. I had an eye for special pieces, it came naturally to me. Currently my house is filled with unique art including paintings and wall murals and most Saturdays I’ll invite people over to mingle and talk about art, new ideas and where they draw inspiration from. Whether it be others in the art industry, entertainers, or friends, I hope everyone finds inspiration in the things I’ve collected.

Four Seasons by Jessica Kraft

Weddings can be viewed as a compilation of items that represent your love. From the flowers, rings, dress, decor, ketubah and the venue, your wedding should be filled with items that inspire you to love and celebrate love. I think inspiration comes from everywhere. My inspiration has come from all my experiences throughout my life and continues to grow and expand just as I do. Whether I am wandering through museums for desired color palettes, flipping through home design books for ideas about fabrics, walking through my gardens or simply sitting in a beautiful restaurant, inspiration is all around. 

Verve Papercut by Ruth Becker

As a child I was inspired by the shining glitter of the glass on the floor in the street, the forms of trees & their shadows and cars moving in action. It is important to take note of such items, big and small, that conjure creativity. These memories and the emotions they evoke, will help to develop ideas that you would want to reflect on your wedding day. 

Neil Lane Papercut Art Deco Metallic Papercut Gold Ketubah Designs
Art Deco Metallic Papercut, by Neil Lane

The wedding planning process, similar to the art process, is both emotional and creative. I’m always looking for that emotional aspect when creating art such as my Ketubah designs. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, therefore not everyone may see your exact vision. You may see something one way while another person sees the same item completely differently, but that’s the beauty of art- it’s magnanimous. Anyone can look at it and walk away with a whole different feeling.

Neil Lane Gold & Silver Hibiscus Bloom Gold Leaf Gold Ketubah Online
From left to right: Art Deco Metallic Papercut, Hibiscus Bloom – Gold Leaf, and Elegant Birds Papercut, art by Neil Lane

Many wedding trends have emerged following the pandemic. People want to celebrate so they’re doing everything and anything! The Covid-19 pandemic taught people that they can celebrate no matter their budget. If they can splurge, they’re going to splurge! If they can’t, they’re still going to make something wonderful and unique. Whether it be a destination wedding, backyard wedding, or even a zoom wedding, anything and everything goes today. No matter what you choose, dig deep for inspiration and make sure your wedding day is a reflection of the things you love. 

How to Write Your Own Interfaith Ketubah

By Molly Kazin Marshal

Planning an interfaith wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for couples to create a ceremony filled with traditions that have personal meaning to both partners. Couples can learn what the history and meaning behind Jewish traditions are, and then they can decide together, and with their officiant, what is best for them. The ketubah is an integral part of the wedding because it is signed before the ceremony begins and then must be conserved for the rest of your marriage.

At we are here for you with many many wonderful ketubah options for both art and text including writing your own text and creating your own artwork.

For this blog post, we are thrilled to have Molly Kazin Marshall, Boston Community Manager at 18 Doors as our guest blogger to share her story about creating her Ketubah for her own Interfaith wedding., a non-profit that empowers interfaith couples to engage in Jewish life and encourages Jewish communities to welcome them. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us Molly.

Last fall, I had to postpone my wedding due to COVID-19. Ultimately, Evan and I decided we didn’t want to wait to get married, so we didn’t. We got married in late August, surrounded only by our immediate families. The wedding was absolutely perfect—and not a single thing went according to plan.

Since we were taking all the COVID precautions we possibly could, we got married in my parents’ backyard in Western Massachusetts. This ended up being such a blessing because when the date was forecast to be a windy, rainy day, we could easily push the wedding to the next day. One issue (of many) in all of this was that our ketubah (traditional Jewish marriage contract) had the original date on it. Luckily for us, my sister had hand painted our ketubah and she worked some magic to fix the date.

I swear I must have spent hours combing through ketubahs online—from Etsy shops to Ink with Intent to, and everything in between. I looked at all the different styles and read through every  sample text: the traditional, the egalitarian, the interfaith, the humanist, the quirky. The Harry Potter one (yes, that exists) and the gender neutral. But nothing was quite right for us, whether something in the wording that didn’t jive with one of us, or we didn’t like something about the art itself. This is how we ended up deciding to write our own interfaith ketubah.

While we came across many gorgeous pieces of art along our search, nothing felt perfectly “us.” I knew that I wanted our ketubah to hang in our home the same way my parents’ has hung in theirs. I needed to love it enough to want to look at it every day. And on top of that, I’m picky and a perfectionist.

We couldn’t put our thumb on what wanted for our ketubah. After discussing the different elements of a ketubah it was easier for us to determine what we DIDN’T want. This was going to be a document about us and our lives, so it was important for both of us to be on board with every element.

Here’s what we decided:

  • No Hebrew. While I can read Hebrew, Evan cannot, so it did not make sense for us to have a marriage contract that only one of us could read!
  • No references to God. We have different views on God—between existence, worship and the role of religion in our lives—so we wanted to have a ketubah that didn’t include “God language.”
  • No misogyny. It’s 2020 and we’re feminists so we didn’t want anything about “obeying” a husband. I was shocked at some of the archaic language I saw on various ketubah websites. We are equal partners in this relationship, and our ketubah should reflect that!

Molly’s grandmother signing the ketubah. Photo by Samm Smith

Ultimately, I found several interfaith and humanist texts from different ketubah websites and put them in a document. Evan and I went through each one and highlighted the parts we liked and deleted the parts that we didn’t. We changed the sentences around, put words in different orders and ultimately, we made a Frankenstein of a ketubah.

We edited the language even more to make it sound like us—sincere and a little silly. It was important to us that the ketubah conveyed that this was a partnership. We needed it to represent us as an interfaith couple, and note that though this is not one of Evan’s family traditions, it’s a new tradition for us together. Our entire marriage will be full of new traditions or new variances on old traditions.

As I mentioned, my sister painted our ketubah, and it’s one of the most beautiful things I have hanging in my home. She’s also a perfectionist, possibly even more than me, and she took inspiration from the invitations we had chosen and added some watercolor flair. Since we will have another wedding celebration post-pandemic, she even made sure there were multiple places for us, and our witnesses, to sign. My grandmother and Evan’s grandfather signed it at our summer wedding, and we will have another set of witnesses at our wedding celebration where we’ll have a ceremony with the traditional Jewish elements that we missed out on at our COVID wedding.

The wording that we finally settled on reads more akin to vows than many of the traditional ketubahs I saw online. It reads like a love letter from us, to us. Honestly, it’s what got me crying before our wedding ceremony even started. And it is absolutely unique—no one in the world has one quite like it.

Molly Kazin Marshall
Molly is the Boston Community Manager at 18Doors., a non-profit that empowers interfaith couples to engage in Jewish life and encourages Jewish communities to welcome them.