For those who aren’t aware, Tel Aviv is renowned for its thriving gay scene, with a wide selection of fantastic bars and club, and it’s against this backdrop that Aaron and Lotan met through a dating app (apt, for two software engineers) and fell in love.
Their beautiful same-sex Jewish Masorti wedding took place at a garden venue in the heart of Tel Aviv, with the pair planning every last detail themselves.
We love that Aaron and Lotan designed their invitation together, with motifs that reflected their shared life and interests, and the theme ran throughout their entire stationery suite. They made everything themselves, even pulling together their own centerpieces for the guests to take home.
We also adore the story of the kiddush cup used in the ceremony, but particularly the (coincidentally) rainbow tallit, which was just perfect and carried so much personal meaning.
All of the divine images and film below were captured by Gilad Mashiah, and Gili & Lily Films, and the writeup was provided by both grooms! We hope you love this gorgeous pair’s W Day as much as we did!
How we met
Aaron and Lotan, the grooms: Aaron moved to Israel six years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio where he was born and raised, while Lotan is native Israeli from Barkan.
We met three and a half years ago, on a dating app, where we chatted for about three months before actually meeting each other in person.
Finally, we we decided to go on a proper first date at a bar, and the rest is history.
A Tel Aviv garden venue
We visited about ten different venues in the Tel Aviv area. Our focus was to stay in Tel Aviv to make it easier for our guests coming from abroad.
In the end, we went with Cultura in the heart of Tel Aviv, because we really loved the space, particularly the outside garden-like atmosphere where the chuppah and reception was held. The staff, and the amazing chef (Omer Miller) was incredible.
A self-planned wedding
We didn’t have a wedding planner. We did everything on our own. We went with a simple, yet sophisticated, design for the invitations. The design we carried into the website aaronlotan.com which was mostly for guests coming from abroad.
An invitation designed by the grooms
We (mostly Lotan) designed the whole invitation. It features both a cello and guitar on the front, since Aaron plays the cello and Lotan the guitar.
In the background, there are icons of different things that define ‘us’. For example, there’s an image of the Eiffel tower (where Aaron proposed to Lotan), cooking utensils as we like to cook, a computer, since we’re both software engineers, a dog for our amazing little Herzl, etc.
We also created two separate versions, one in English for those abroad (mostly Aaron’s family and friends) and one in Hebrew for the locals.
The handsome grooms
Aaron went with a modern-looking navy blue suit, while Lotan selected a classic black look, both slim fit.
The venue’s chuppah
We went with a simple standing chuppah that was provided by the venue and didn’t add anything extra.
A traditional ceremony with family heirlooms
There were two special touches: The kiddush cup we used was Aaron’s great grandparents’, the Jacobs, who originally purchased it on a trip to Israel in 1957 before taking it back with them to Cincinnati. It made a round trip all the way back to Israel for the wedding, where it will remain in our house.
Additionally, the colourful rainbow tallit (prayer shawl) used to wrap both us during the final blessing was Aaron’s great grandfather, Aaron Wolf’s. It’s been used during many family occasions throughout the years and has bound the generations together.
Numerous people asked us after the wedding if we had designed it, and just so happens to be in the family, and we had the privilege to take it out for our special day.
Contemporary music choices
Our processional music was Stand by Me by Florence + The Machine. Our recessional was Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Michael Bublà©, and the first dance was to How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding.
We didn’t have a florist. The day before the wedding, we went to a flower shop in Rosh Haayin and purchased a variety of flowers and herbs (mint, basil, zatar, etc).
We prepared them ourselves by putting them into brown bags and making a simple ribbon. We designed a tag “Take Me Home” using our same design of the Cello & Guitar from the invitations.
On the morning of the wedding, we dropped them off, and placed on the tables nicely. Luckily, everyone took them home, and we didn’t have any leftover plants or unneeded centerpieces.
Our fabulous photographer
We chose Gilad Mashiah as our photographer after getting a referral from the venue. From the first meeting with Gilad, we were impressed with the quality of and talent behind his work. Gilad provided us with full service including a videographer, Tzachi Asher.
In Israel it’s not so common to see a cake at a wedding.
However, we had a number of incredible desserts (albeit non-dairy since it’s a kosher venue) by â€ŽBazaar the Israeli chef Omer Miller.
A party DJ
The DJ we had was Adidior (Dor Adi) who is popular DJ in parties across Tel Aviv including the gay party line named Drek, where we first heard him. We couldn’t ask for a better DJ, people stayed up dancing until 2AM.
Magnet photo keepsakes
We had magnet photos made during the event so that people could keep the memories.
We also designed these with the same colors of invitation with the cello/guitar.
Courtesy of Magnisimo.
The handsome doggy
We started the day by dropping off the table flower/herb centerpieces to the venue. Then we went to our favorite vegan cafe, Anastasia, for a nice and relaxing coffee and breakfast.
After shooting photos of us getting ready at our place, we headed to Neve Tzedek in Tel Aviv to get photos with some friends (and our dog Herzl who wore a bow tie). Neve Tzedek is a great area with oriental architecture and narrow streets that make it nice scenery for photos.
Another special touch was getting married right after the Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade, where over 400,000 from around the world attended.
Aaron’s whole family, including Aaron’s best man, Richard Stockdale, came from the US a few days before to be with us and had the opportunity to spend time together with Lotan’s family too.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
A week before we got married, when all the stress started to build, Lotan’s friend gave us a piece of funny advice: “Don’t worry, something will go wrong. Just embrace it”.
In the end, nothing went wrong, but this advice allowed us to enjoy the day of the wedding by not overthinking the little things.
Aaron & Lotan’s little white book
Photographer – Gilad Mashiah
Videographer – Filmed by Tzachi Asher and edited by Gili & Lily Films
Venue – Cultura
Grooms’ suits – Express Fashion
Grooms’ shoes – Renuar
Hair – Barberia
Caterer – Bazaar
DJ – Dor Adi (Adidor)
Magnet photography – Magnisimo
Ketubah – Emma
Rabbi – Rabbi Mikie Goldstein
Wedding rings – Jackson