Outdoor setting, quirky moments make for intimate Tucson wedding

Andrew Burgess and Gabrielle Rubin under the chuppah at Skyline Country Cllub on Oct. 25, 2009
Friends and family lift Gabrielle Rubin and Andrew Burgess for the traditional chair dance. Photo: Lyn Sims

Gabrielle Rubin and Andrew Burgess were married Oct. 25, 2009 at Skyline Country Club with Rabbi Robert Eisen, Rabbi Arthur Oleisky and Cantor Ivor Lichterman officiating.
Gabrielle is the daughter of Madeline and Barry Friedman and Norman Rubin and Kathy McGuire, and the granddaughter of Murray Rosenbaum and Gert Rubin, all of Tucson. An acupuncturist, artist, and musician, she is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture in Boston, and Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.
Andy is the son of Lana Davies and John Burgess of London. He has a degree in politics from Leeds University and studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London. A full-time artist, he exhibits around the world, including at the Eric Firestone Gallery in Tucson.
Laura Sagerman of Tucson, a friend of the bride, was matron of honor. The best man was Alex Gordon of London, a friend of the groom.
The couple resides in Tucson.

Gabrielle is 38 and Andy is 41.

How they met:
“We met on JDate,” says Gabrielle. “Andy came to visit his brother who lives in Tucson. We spent our first date drawing and listening to music downtown. It was very comfortable. Andy was just very easy to be around and we laughed a lot together.”

The proposal:
(Gabrielle’s story):  “Andy took me up to Ventana Canyon for dinner at the Flying V and proposed in front of the lake. It was very sweet.”
Andy’s version: “It was my mum’s idea. She said, ‘Why don’t you take her somewhere romantic in front of the water’ and I said, ‘This is Tucson. There is no water!’ So I ended up looking online and finding this picture of the lake at Ventana Canyon. It was a gorgeous evening. All the staff made a fuss of us because I told them it was a special evening.”

Wedding planning triumph:
“Luckily we had Marianne Langer [of Concepts] as our wedding planner,” says Gabrielle. “We had a limited budget, and she was really good at making things work. Originally we were going to keep it small, but it kept growing — we had 195 guests. We managed to book a lot of rooms at the Windmill Inn for the out-of-town guests, at really good rates, so that was great.”

Special memories of the day (Gabrielle):
“My mother-in-law helped me choose my dress and I felt very beautiful in it. Compared to all the stress of the planning and the nerves, the wedding day was pure fun.
“I went to the mikvah in the morning — Esther Becker led me through that process; that was the first time I’d ever done the mikvah. That was a really beautiful experience. Andy’s best man’s wife, Laura Granditer, came with me. It was very special.

Bride Gabrielle Rubin with her mother, Madeline Friedman, and father, Norman Rubin

“One of my favorite memories was when I was walking around Andy. I was determined to make it around seven times; when the rabbis said that I was done at three  circles (it’s a custom that’s open to interpretation), I naughtily rushed around to make it seven.
“Also, as I was about to meet Andy halfway to the chuppah, I discovered that my father was standing on my wedding dress. I couldn’t move.  I think he subconsciously didn’t want to let me go. Andy had    to come and get me. There were a lot of quirky, funny moments, but the overall feeling of our wedding was very beautiful, sweet and joyous.”

Special memories of the day (Andy):
“Being under the chuppah was really special. We kept having funny moments. I kissed Gabrielle before I was supposed to and everybody laughed. I was too eager, so I grabbed her and gave her a kiss and I was told off by the rabbi.

Photo: Lyn Sims

“Just looking into Gabrielle’s eyes in front of the chuppah; we were both smiling so much. It was quite windy, so it was funny because her veil kept flying in front of her face. And I was facing the sun so she kept moving her head and veil to shield me from the sun. It was very intimate. It was really lovely. And then there were the little amusing moments. I think that’s symbolic of our relationship — we’re a pretty slapstick couple.”
Gabrielle wore a silk taffeta strapless gown with glass beads and “a relatively small train.”  Andy wore a navy blue suit.

Flowers: Marianne Langer

Photographer: Lyn Sims

Skyline Country Club. “We had a really delicious cake that was made by Skyline,” says Gabrielle, “with chocolate cake and vanilla icing.”

Ceremony music:
The Klezmerpolitans

George Howard and the Roadhouse Hounds, who play Motown and R&B.