The Schmooze

Emmy Rossum’s NYC Synagogue Wedding Was Flawless

Get out your kleenex, scroll to the farthest depths of your wedding Pinterest board, and start plotting your next trip to synagogue: actress Emmy Rossum got married this weekend and it was unbearably beautiful.

The 30 year old Rossum, who looks like she was designed in a lab by scientists attempting human perfection, married writer-director 39-year old Sam Esmail on Sunday in a Jewish ceremony at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue.

Rossum is best known for her starring role on the Showtime series “Shameless”, or, depending how old you are, your childhood nightmares about the “Phantom of the Opera” movie. She met “Mr. Robot” creator Esmail when she starred in his movie “Comet” in 2014. During the casting process Esmail introduced himself to the actress by way of a letter that included details about his bad posture, student loans, and doubts that the movie would be a success. Rossum told Vogue, “It was almost like a combination of job offer and dating profile. I took an immediate liking to the tone and the person who was writing the letter.”

After dating for two years, the couple was married before 130 guests at a ceremony attended by the likes of Robert Downey Jr., William H. Macy, Hilary Swank, and Rami Malek. The traditional Jewish ceremony was officiated by Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, who the couple met at a Chanukah party at the Whitehouse.

“She’s the foremost Reformed female Rabbi in the Northeast,” Rossum reported. (With apologies to Rossum, we must take a note from Serena Williams’ book — Buchdahl can be considered the foremost “Reformed Rabbi” in the Northeast of any gender.) Rabbi Buchdahl conducted the ceremony under a chuppah designed for the ceremony by Raul Avila, the event planner who has also designed a few small affairs like the Met Ball. The lesson is clear: Stay in Sunday School and work hard, kids! You too can have a designer chuppah one day.

Though Rossum said before the wedding, “I don’t really care what the dress looks like…the only thing that’s really important to me is that we get married and there’s some kind of party.” the star worked intimately with Carolina Herrera to create her wedding gown. In considering her look, Rossum factored in her wedding location. She said, “I knew I’d be getting married at the temple, which is quite grand”. The temple in question, Central Synagogue, is a nearly 150-year old Moorish-style Reform synagogue on the East side of midtown Manhattan. Please stop to consider that your great-grandparents, vomiting in steerage all the way across the Atlantic, could not have conceived that American movie stars would one day design their wedding dresses around the interior design of historic synagogues.

Speaking of what our ancestors could not have conceived, Rossum’s marriage to Esmail, who is an Egyptian Muslim, is a strong rebuke to discrimination the two have faced, together and separately. Rossum was twice a victim last year—first of anti-semitic Twitter attacks, then of people who claimed she was inventing those attacks. Esmail has written in the New York Times about the difficulty of overcoming the Hollywood idea that “white male is the norm.” And Rossum has Tweeted about how these intersecting and now inter-marrying identities affect them both.

Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny.

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Emmy Rossum’s NYC Synagogue Wedding Was Flawless

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