Here at Team STG, we love a good desert Jewish wedding… and even better when it’s a full-on wedding weekend full of sun, palm trees, and mountain views for days. So naturally we’re pretty obsessed with our Brides Club member Darah Wagner Boaz’s wedding to groom Jonathan (aka Yoni).
Darah, a television producer and certified coach, and Yoni, director of alliance partnerships for Shure Inc, opted to make things official right where they spent their very first weekend away as a couple – lucky they picked somewhere as gorgeous as La Quinta, right?!
The pair planned a wedding weekend so their guests could retreat into vacation mode and take in the surroundings, just like Darah and Yoni had on that first magical weekend. And honestly, who wouldn’t be thrilled to spend a couple of days in such stunning environs, captured perfectly by our photographer Michael Segal?
You can tell we’re pretty taken with the scenery, but that’s far from the only noteworthy aspect of this wedding! The day was full of special personal touches – for instance, the couple wrote a personal thank you note to every guest that they could pick up along with their escort card! – and we also love the Israeli-style aisle badeken, where Yoni came to meet Darah halfway down the aisle.
Oh, and did we mention how absolutely ravishing Darah looked in her gown from BHLDN?!
A Desert Getaway
Darah, the bride: We absolutely love the desert and La Quinta was our first weekend away together when we first started dating in the summer of 2019. We stayed overnight at La Quinta Resort and over brunch the next morning we looked at each other and both said “ I could get married here” and we weren’t even engaged yet! So when we got engaged, we both knew where exactly we were meant to have our special day.
We invited all of our guests to stay with us at La Quinta Resort and Spa and had our Welcome Party at the La Quinta Brewery Taproom and our wedding at La Quinta Country Club, just across the street. We kept it very La Quinta local! We wanted a weekend event where our guests felt like they were on vacation and could enjoy themselves and get to know each other poolside, playing golf, tennis all while sipping a Margarita.
We loved the La Quinta Country Club for our wedding day and what won us over was their mountain view and the gorgeous pavilion. Getting married under the mountains of the desert at sunset was our vision. Not to mention their incredible hospitality, the delicious food and the gorgeous space. Our guests enjoyed our ceremony at sunset, cocktail hour under the stars continuing by dancing the night away with us.
What ‘Smashing The Glass Brides Club’ Did For Us
I have always dreamed of having a Jewish wedding with my personal flare all over it. I appreciated everyone sharing with me what they were doing to make their day personal and special while also keeping those Jewish traditions important and present!
On our first weekend away together in La Quinta, we fell in love with the mountains, palm trees and the bougainvillea. This vacation vibe is what we wanted to spark for our guests when arriving in La Quinta and Palm Springs. We wanted to invoke that emotion with all of our colors, materials and images. We had the flowers, trees and mountains on the invitations, welcome signs and our party favors, matches. We wanted to leave our guests with the memory of the magic and joy we had on our special day in our special place. Our goal was to execute this every step of the way. Our planners from COJ Events helped make this all come to life!
Invitations / stationery
Tasha Rae at Tasha Rae Designs. She did them custom and listened to my notes and vision through everything! It was very important we have a cohesive look and feel to our wedding and Tasha made that happen! Virginia Brown did our Save the Dates which was a really fun way to get our guests excited to travel and celebrate with us in Palm Springs.
Hair + Make-up
KG Hair & Makeup Team were incredible. Kacee knew I wanted to look like a goddess but also myself, and she did just that. I loved my fresh, light and dewey makeup and my hair was all Hollywood glam and she knew exactly how to make that happen! Not to mention her team had an incredibly positive and upbeat attitude all day of which any bride knows she needs, especially when you have 11 women getting ready!
A BHLDN Dress
My dress is by BHLDN! I absolutely loved my dress. I bought it a month after getting engaged in summer 2020 and thought my taste would have changed since having to push the date and it absolutely held up! I loved it, it was the perfect combo of feminine, sophisticated and classic, exactly what I wanted!
I had 2 looks! For photos and the ceremony, I wore gorgeous long pearl drop vintage earrings as a gift from my mom. I changed for dinner into a jewelled hair clip I got at a boutique and wore diamond clasp earrings that are my mother in law’s 🙂 I loved the idea of both looks so I wanted to make 2 happen. I am glad I did both because my ceremony earrings were gorgeous but for dancing they would have been lethal!
I was set on wearing a block heel and fell in love with the Loeffer Randall Camellia Bow High Heel Sandals so much I bought 3 colors to choose from for the big day. I went with the white and absolutely loved them. I changed into Betsey Johnson sparkle sneakers for dancing!
The handsome groom
Yoni had his tux custom made by designer Mark Pomerantz . Mark is such a talented designer (also luckily our neighbor!) and we knew he would be the guy to make him look perfect on our day. And he DID.
I wanted my girls to resemble the bougainvillea that is all over Palm Springs and I absolutely love desert rose shades of pink. All my girls have such different styles so I asked them to pick the dress and color of their choice in my palate. Everyone’s dress and look came out so differently making the blend absolutely perfect. My vision was to have the color resemble the desert sky and the mountains at sunset along with the bougainvillea. They all deserved a very loud “hello, gorgeous!”
We had such a special gorgeous ceremony. Yoni wanted to surprise his Dad and walk down the aisle to the song his sister and brother walked down to as well at their own weddings. It was a traditional Yemenite Jewish wedding song, called Ya Mehija. I walked down to ‘Sweetest Devotion’ by Adele. Yoni came to meet me ½ way down the aisle, otherwise known as the aisle bedeken. This tradition is big in Israel so we wanted to incorporate it, especially because Yoni grew up in Israel . I was in full tears at this point. Our family members came in to say the sheva brachot and to make it more memorable, my sister who has an incredible voice sang part of the 6th blessing. It was very special.
We had incredible vows, both quoting “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start, as soon as possible” from When Harry Met Sally. It was such a reflection of us and our love story. Our favorite part was our vows, our parents standing up there with us and also looking over and seeing how many people showed up to celebrate with us. My mother was wearing her parents’ wedding rings as a necklace so they would also be honored. The kiddush cup we used was a gift from Yoni’s brother and sister in law, a custom made Yemenite cup.
We had 2! Yoni’s brother is a sofer stam in Israel and he hand wrote our traditional one on klaf and brought it from Jerusalem. We also had one designed by Danny Azoulay in Jerusalem. We customised the language and fell in with the circle of life design. It had colors we were using in our wedding with our flowers and many of our materials, and we felt that whenever we looked at it, it would ignite our memory of our weekend.
I wanted to have our chuppah feel warm, happy and look gorgeous with the mountains peaking at you from the top. It included peonies and garden roses and matched my bouquet. My paternal great-grandmother who was born in Greece and since passed, had hand knitted a crochet tablecloth many, many years ago, and we used that as our cover & roof of the chuppah to honor family and where we came from.
Our Music Choice
Yoni walked down to ‘Ya Mejia’, by Gulaza followed by my bridal party walking down to ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Duomo. I then walked down to ‘Sweetest Devotion’, by Adele. Our recessional was ‘Everywhere’, by Fleetwood Mac. We were introduced as Mr. & Mrs. Boaz to ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ by Hall & Oats. Our first dance was ‘For the Love of You’ Isley Brothers and then we had a surprise break out dance going right into ‘Get Up Offa That Thing’ by James Brown. This had the crowd roaring!
Pink peonies, Anemones white panda (for the men too), coral Azaleas, Eucalyptus, Garden roses, pink roses, white hydrangea and ranunculus. The pink peonies made it all POP! My incredible florist was Ronn at Vasobello Celebrations.
Photographer and videographer
We clicked with our photographer from the first few minutes of meeting, Michael Segal. We wanted a personality match. And not to mention, he is incredibly talented!! We had our videography team from Amari Productions and they were so great to work with. We can’t wait to see their work!
Food and Cake
We were extremely intentional with our food options to represent us, from the spanakopita at cocktail hour to acknowledge my Greek side to having Goldstar beer to Bamba and Biseeli in our welcome bags to share our Israeli favorites.
Half Moons band from Dart Collective.. BEST BAND EVER. Everyone was dancing, never a break all night! They brought the party. At one point Yoni and I went on stage and sang “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce with them. Booking a band was one of the best wedding decisions we made!
We gave out welcome bags with Israeli candy and snacks and our party favors were personalized matchboxes.
We really leaned into investing in experiences you can only enjoy on your wedding day (a band was that for us!) and went for those special touches that made your guests feel special. We sent a personal thank you note to every guest that they picked up with their escort card. We heard from almost everyone how special it made our guests feel to be there. The vibes are high! We had a neon sign at the bar the said “The Boaz Bar” which felt fun and festive while grabbing your drink with “Goldie’s special” of bride and groom drink choice. Goldie is our dog 🙂 We both said a speech to thank our guests and as people often referred to me and my theatrical presence as “The Darah Show” we then presented that this was “The Darah & Yoni Show”.
We were very intentional about our seating chart, making sure people sat next to their loved ones or to folks with whom they would get on with and it was so satisfactory to see how much our guests enjoyed each other. Intentionally building community at our wedding we feel will set up who is in our lives going forward.
Three very defining moments were our entrance, the hora and surprise dance. Our planners told us that they had never seen anything like it in all of their weddings. Our entrance was so epic because every single person was cheering us on the dance floor that we couldn’t get through! We started dancing to Hall & Oats at the bar area waiting for a spot to run through and then all of a sudden, our friends started a tunnel and we ran through it to get on the dance floor. An incredible memory!
Followed by the hora which was epic by all standards. At one point, Yoni points out my childhood friends standing on their chairs fist pumping and bursting with cheer as we circle hava nagila. Another, incredible, memory. Not to mention our choreographed surprise dance to “Get Up Off That Thing,” which was our way to invite and pump everyone up to dance with us after the first dance. And it most certainly worked. Probably my personal favorite moment 🙂
We’re headed to Zijuantaneo, MX for a little mini moon and will head further distances come spring as long as borders are open!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
My biggest advice, along with your partner, is to imagine how you want to feel with you and your guests, what visions spark joy and go all in on just that! For example, we wanted our guests to feel like they were on vacation all weekend long so we designed our events and offered a hotel to help make that happen.
Invest in experiences you can only enjoy on your wedding day (a band was that for us!) and go for those special touches that make your guests feel special. Take in every single moment, be present and feel and receive all the love people are there to give you! it’s magical and there’s truly nothing like it.
DARAH & YONI’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Michael Segal
Videography –Amari Productions
Wedding planner – COJ Events
Venue – La Quinta Country Club
Bride’s dress – BHLDN
Bride’s shoes – Loeffer Randall
Groom’s attire – Mark Pomerantz
Bridesmaids – BHLDN, Lulus, Nordstrom, ASOS
Hair + Makeup – KG Hair & Makeup
Flowers – Vasobello Celebrations
Band – Half Moons band from Dart Collective.
Catering – La Quinta Country Club, Kosher in Palm Springs
Cake – Exquisite Desserts
Ketubah – Jeremy Boaz & Danny Azoulay
Stationery/Invitation –Tasha Rae Designs for Invitations and all printed materials, Virginia Brown for Save The Date
Rabbi – Rabbi Aaron Finkelstein
If you’re a Jewish or Jew-ish bride-to-be, you’ll want to join Smashing The Glass’ Brides Club. Guided by the world’s number 1 Jewish wedding expert, Karen Cinnamon, Brides Club is the private community for Jewish and Jew-ish brides that removes wedstress and indecision and gives you what you need to plan with confidence during these uncertain times. Join our Brides Club here.