We’ve blogged a lot of gorgeous multicultural Jew-ish weddings here on STG, from Jewish-Greek to Jewish-Japanese. But every once in a while we’re reminded that even a wedding where both partners were born Jewish can be a merging of cultures in its own right.
Today’s wedding is a prime example. American bride Jillian and Israeli groom Eliad brought their backgrounds together in their bilingual ceremony — most of the bride’s guests spoke only English, while many of the groom’s spoke only Hebrew — and combined the best traditions from their both their cultures to create one stunning day.
Jillian’s side fell in love with the Israeli tradition of guests coming into the chuppah to congratulate the couple following the ceremony, rather than the couple exiting in a procession!
The pair also came up with a few great traditions of their very own. One we think it just genius: they decided to reserve toasts and speeches for the pre-wedding welcome dinner, so that they could get some quality time in with family and friends beforehand and then focus on keeping the party going on the day. Such a smart way to break things up, rather than trying to pack it all into a few hours!
Oh, and did we mention that this wedding was ultra-glam and oh-so-romantic, with twinkly lights aplenty? As if you couldn’t tell from that gorgeous rose chuppah.
Photographer Ronen Boidek and videographer Itzik Elemelich captured everything about the day so exquisitely, from the details to the emotion. Jillian — who looked SO chic in her silk ballgown from Romona Keveza (purchased from Kleinfeld) — will fill you in on the rest.
How we met
Jillian, the bride: We met on JDate in NYC!
A Farm Venue
We got married at Ronit Farm in Kfar Shmaryahu. Even before we were engaged, Jillian loved browsing online at wedding venues in Israel. She came across Havat Ronit and fell in love with the venue, which is a breathtaking garden setting with both indoor and outdoor space. We were thrilled that we were able to book it for our wedding!
Eliad is from Jerusalem; Jillian is from Miami and fell in love with Israel when she first visited during college. So it was very special for us to get married in a country that means so much to us both, even though we lived in New York City (and now Atlanta).
Glamour and Romance
Jillian wanted a really romantic, chic, glamorous wedding, and the amazing Be Group TLV helped us turn that vision into reality. We made the look glamorous and romantic by using touches like mirrors and twinkle lights, but we used only white flowers, which gave the setting a very sophisticated and streamlined look.
Be Group TLV was incredibly helpful in guiding us throughout the whole planning process and pointing us in the right direction with vendors – something we really needed, because we only went to Israel once to plan our wedding! We only had three days to get all the in-person stuff done, and we couldn’t have done it without this fantastic team of wedding planners.
Jillian being from America and Eliad from Israel, the truth was that we are from two opposite sides of the world. Choosing to get married in Israel and having all of Jillian’s family and friends fly over was honestly one of the most amazing things ever! We cannot thank everyone who traveled across the world to celebrate our love enough.
We did the cocktail hour in the green house, which was a beautiful clear glass room where you can see the garden and twinkle lights outside. If you looked up, you saw the stars!
Our wedding invitation was Jillian’s favorite part! She spent countless hours making it perfect with the talented Shannon Bucholtz in Miami. We used rose gold foil on a thick white cardboard paper, with black ink. The back of the invitation was a black cover with a pocket for all our other event information. The liner was a beautiful rose pattern that was embossed with the rose gold foil.
Since Eliad is Israeli, and most of his guests only speak Hebrew, we made two versions – one in English, one in Hebrew. We included the English date and also the Jewish date, along with our English names and Hebrew names.
One cool thing about our invitation lady: Shannon donates her profit after all costs are paid to paralyzed and disabled veterans, so we felt great about buying invitations that paid it forward.
Hair + Makeup
Dekel Ben Zion for hair. Harel Margalit for makeup. This crew turned me and my bridesmaids into total divas for the wedding.
A Romona Keveza dress
My dress was Romona Keveza Legends from Kleinfeld! It was inspired by Sophia Loren–a natural waist silk ballgown with a corset bodice. Chic and timeless. It even had pockets!
It was completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted. I started with a vision of a romantic, garden-y dress, but on one of my trips to Kleinfeld, something about this dress caught my eye on the rack, and I decided to give it a try. Once it was on, the group of girls who were shopping with me, including my mom and sister, all started crying. We knew it was perfect.
A Waterfall Veil
I wore my great grandmother’s diamond watch, and my parents bought me new diamond and pearl earrings for my wedding/birthday present.
My veil, by Peter Langner, was simple with a beautiful waterfall effect – it was the perfect complement to my dress.
Eliad loves when I wear headbands, so I knew I had to find a beautiful piece for my hair. I chose a stunning wired flower headband from a trunk show at Kleinfeld.
For wedding gifts to each other, Jillian bought Eliad his monogrammed cufflinks, and Eliad bought Jillian a stunning eternity band.
Silk Heels and Converse
I had some beautiful silk heels for the chuppah, and then changed into bedazzled high top Converse that had my new last name and wedding date on the back that my best friend/bridesmaid helped me design.
The handsome groom
Eliad wore a simple, perfectly fitted black suit from Bonobos, with a black silk bow-tie.
Bridesmaids in Black
I had my 5 best friends from growing up, my sister (who was my maid of honor), and Eliad’s two sisters. I asked each of them to wear a long, black dress – it was fun to see how each of them was able to work their personal style into that category!
A Rosy Romantic Chuppah
Hilit Gordon! I met with Hilit when I was in Israel planning for the wedding a year before. I showed her a bunch of styles I liked that I saw online and she showed me a bunch she did before. From there, we went through quite a few ideas before narrowing it down to something clean and romantic – filled with roses, my favorite flower.
A Multicultural Ceremony
Even though we are both Jewish, our ceremony was in a way a merging of two cultures: Eliad is Sephardic and I’m Ashkenazi; Eliad is Israeli and I’m American. Half of the guests spoke only English and half spoke only Hebrew. Thankfully we found a rabbi, Rabbi Krengel, who was able to do the ceremony in both languages without making it go on too long. Our American family and friends told us how much they enjoyed seeing all the different traditions that the Israelis had – for example, after the wedding, instead of a procession out of the chuppah, all the guests came INTO the chuppah to congratulate us!
All of Me
Eliad and his groomsmen walked down to John Legend’s All of Me
Bridesmaids walked down to Bruno Mars Marry You
Jillian walked down to Christina Perri A Thousand Years
First dance – Good Morning Beautiful by Steve Holy
Father/daughter dance – I Loved Her First by Heartland
Hilit Gordon did all of our incredible flowers and dà©cor. We decided to stick with all different types of white flowers: roses, peonies, calla lilies, tulips, baby’s breath, etc. I carried white calla lilies, while all my bridesmaids carried a different bunch of white flowers. Each bridesmaid had a different flower. We also incorporated hanging flowers, hanging candles, mirror boxes, and mirror table runners.
Our fabulous photographer and videographer
Ronen Boidek –after looking at his work how could you NOT pick him? He is incredibly talented. We first heard about him from our friends who got married in Israel a few years prior, and then once we met Lisa at Be Group she referred him as well. We didn’t even look at anyone else.
Itzik Elemelich was our videographer.
A Shofar and a DJ
Our main priority was to make sure our guests had a good time! We used DJ Aviel Brant (INCREDIBLE), but also hired Jaman Productions to really kick it up a notch. This group brings drums and shofars to play alongside whatever the DJ is spinning. It was pretty cool to be introduced at the reception by some loud shofar blasts! The Jaman guys made sure all the guests got engaged in the party, even bringing drums for us all to play along with them. They also did an incredible light show. It was super cool, unique, and so much fun!
We had sunglasses made with our initials on them, along with a photobooth that printed our Bitmojis alongside the pictures–only black and white with a white background (I got the idea from the Kardashians). We also put matches on everyone’s table that had our name and date written in rose gold foil, that said “The Perfect Match”.
A Bunny-Hopping Flower Girl
One cool way we involved our friends was by asking them to hold the rings. I asked my two single bridesmaids; one held my rose gold wedding band and brought it up under the chuppah, and the other held on to my wedding present, which was a eternity band, and gave it to me right after the ceremony. Eliad’s single groomsman held his ring. Hopefully it will bring them luck!
One thing that was also really special to me was having all my nieces and my nephews in my wedding. Between Eliad and me, we have seven nieces, and five of them were at the wedding! It was adorable to see this group of junior bridesmaids and flower girls all dressed up and participating in the wedding, especially when my youngest niece decided to bunny hop her way down the aisle.
We had specialty drinks made, one for Jillian that represented NYC – “Jillian’s Big Apple Martini” – and the other for Eliad to represent Israel – “Eliad’s Sababa Mojito”- we had this sign on all the bars and was printed on a mirror display. We also had our wedding hashtag printed on mirror displays at the bar so people could take pictures and tag us. It helped us capture the night from the guests experience.
We had cocktail napkins made with three different versions. One was our monogram, another was our wedding hashtag (#nahumdoyoulove), and the other was 3 fun facts about us. It was super cute!
A special Welcome dinner
The night before, Jillian’s sister and brother-in-law threw them a kick ass “Welcome Dinner” at Beit Andromeda. Here is where we decided to let everyone make toasts and speeches as we wanted to focus mainly on the party at our actual wedding. It was the most special and fun night! It gave us a chance to socialize with our closest friends and family members who traveled near and far before the crazy, hectic next day.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
I think the best advice I got from my sister during the wedding planning was to focus on what was going to make the experience the most fun. It’s really easy to get caught up in all the little Instagrammable details that look fabulous but don’t add much beyond getting a great picture. I am so glad we ended up prioritizing things like the Jaman group, awesome DJ, and fabulous food – those were the details that made sure our guests had a great time, and there’s nothing better than a wedding where everyone has a blast!
Jillian & Eliad’s little white book
Photography – Ronen Boidek
Videography – Itzik Elemelich
Wedding planner – Be Group TLV
Venue – Ronit Farm
Bride’s dress – Romona Keveza purchased at Kleinfelds
Bride’s shoes – Converse
Groom’s attire – Bonobos
Flowers – Hilit Gordon
DJ – Aviel Brant of Alpha Group
Entertainement – Jaman Productions
Welcome dinner – Beit Andromeda