Can you believe it’s Erev Passover this evening? How did that happen already?! And what are you doing for seder night tonight? I’m on holiday and we’re having our Seder in Tel Aviv, celebrating with my family in Israel, so it seems appropriate to post a gorgeous Israeli wedding today!
And today’s real Jewish destination wedding fully embraced another beautiful Jewish holiday: Rosh Hashanah.
London-based bride Jamie, a PR and marketing manager for a cancer charity, and groom Joel, who works in finance, opted for a chic outdoor destination wedding in sunny Jaffa, Israel, during the High Holiday season.
Opting to marry at gorgeous seaside venue Bait al Hayam, the couple had an outdoor rooftop chuppah overlooking the city of Jaffa and the sea, with the party in a beautiful air conditioned room beneath — a big deal given the Israeli climate!
In honor of Rosh Hashanah, Jamie and Joel had mini honey pots and apples at each place setting — isn’t that sweet?! We love that this couple incorporated Jewish tradition into their day in ways that were totally authentic to them.
For instance, even though, as Ashkenazi Jews it would have been customary for them to have their badeken separately from the chuppah, they chose to do it on the aisle, because that’s what spoke to them.
And the pair opted to follow the Jewish tradition of not seeing each other in the week leading up to the wedding… that takes some real dedication!
Their wedding also had some incredibly cool touches inspired by sources other than Jewish tradition: for one, as part of their entertainment they had a flower stall where guests could have flower wreaths, bracelets, hair slides, and boutonnieres made! Isn’t that lovely? And a great alternative activity if you’re not into some of the more standard options like photo booths.
Photographer Ronen Boidek captured the day in all its effortless elegance and the insanely talented STG Recommended Vendor Portnoy Brothers brought emotion out of all of the guest through their incredible acoustic sound and beautiful traditional songs. We can’t recommend the Portnoy Brothers enough, one of our absolute favourites! Jamie, who looked super glam in her old Hollywood-style silk Suzanne Neville gown (seriously, we’re all a little bit obsessed with it at STG Towers), will fill you in on the rest.
Hag Sameach – enjoy your matzoh ball soup wherever you’re celebrating this evening!
How we met
Jamie, the bride: I always knew of Joel… I lived with his brother at university, but I met Joel properly once I moved to London, at a friend’s birthday. He carried me out of the bar over his shoulder and we’ve never looked back! 😉
A Chic Seaside Venue
We got married at Bait al Hayam, a fabulous venue by the sea. We loved the rooftop reception and chuppah overlooking Jaffa and the sea and loved that we could do the party in a beautiful air-conditioned room beneath! The space was so chic and really didn’t need much design.
A Rosh Hashanah Wedding
We chose royal blue and white as our colors. The bridesmaids wore blue dresses, we had blue suede kippot and blue and white fans.
We really wanted our chuppah to be simple as the sea view and sunset spoke for themselves, so we chose just plain white fabric that billowed and moved with the wind. We had a flower staff during the reception, which guests loved.
As we got married at Rosh Hashanah we had mini honey pots and apples at each place setting. We really wanted the wedding to feel like a party and be very informal. My favorite touch was at the end, we took everyone outside and lit and launched Chinese lanterns!
We sent out our invitations via Paperless Post.
Hana Bloch styled my hair. She listened to exactly what I wanted and delivered. I wanted my hair down with a middle parting and waves. My makeup was done by the amazing Mel Bueno of Makeup Makeup. I always wear a red lip and knew that my wedding day would be no different. That’s how my husband knows me and I wanted to look like myself. I also went for red nails… controversial 🙂
A Suzanne Neville Dress
I went for old Hollywood glamor with a silk gown with twisted front and low back. My dress was designed by well-known London designer Suzanne Neville. I fell in love with the front of one of her dresses and the back of another, so she had the ultimate challenge trying to work the two dresses together. She did an incredible job!
A Veil with Crystals
I absolutely loved my veil, it was Suzanne Neville and had crystals that twinkled at the chuppah! I wanted my dress to be the star of the show so I didn’t have anything in my hair and went for a very simple hairstyle.
Sparkly Jimmy Choos
I chose beautiful sparkly Jimmy Choo heels with a gold wedge heel. The heel was clever in the fact that it looked like a stiletto from the back and a wedge from the side.
The handsome groom
My gorgeous hubby wore a grey Hugo Boss suit with a blue Hermes tie and pocket square. We chose not to see each other in the week leading up to the wedding and we had separate welcome parties for our guests. This made seeing him going down the aisle so overwhelmingly emotional, and both of us were incapable of keeping it together on the day.
Bridesmaids in Blue
My bridesmaids wore beautiful blue one-shoulder Grecian-style bodycon maxi dresses.
A Bedeken on the Aisle
We chose to do the bedeken on the aisle even though we are both Ashkenazi. We just thought it would be so much more romantic and it really was. Our rabbi, Rabbi Portnoy, made the ceremony so special, and the band, the Portnoy Brothers, were incredible and brought the emotion out of all our guests. Our ketubah was designed by Rena Mednick and was a painting of Jaffa and the sea at sunset.
A Simple Chuppah
We went with a very simple design, just plain white fabric and large white ball lights lining the aisle. We wanted the focus to be on the ceremony itself with an amazing view in the background… no distractions.
For the ceremony we went for traditional Jewish music played by the Portnoy Bothers. Our first dance was also to the Portnoy Brothers. My husband and I love a bit of reggae, so we had them do an acoustic version of Bob Marley’s Is This Love.
A Bouquet by the MIL
My wonderful mother-in-law actually designed and made my bouquet and she did such an amazing job. Our flowers in the venue were done by Yossi Event Designs and we went for very simple and chic. Lots of greenery and beautiful vases.
Our Fabulous Photographer
I have always been a fan of Ronen Boidek‘s work, so there was no doubt that we would choose him for our wedding photography.
A Band and a DJ
We had The Portnoy Brothers and our DJ was Quique Samuel.
We didn’t have a cake. Mazal Talle did our catering – most unbelievable food!
A Flower Stall
We had a flower stall so people could have flower wreaths, bracelets, and hair slides, and the men could have buttoniers. We had fans and little pots of honey and apples for Rosh Hashanah. We also had Trend 54 who did magnets for all our guests, which were a big hit and great quality.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
If I could give any advice it would be to try and be as present in the moment as possible. Know that everyone is there for you and to celebrate your love and make sure you stop and look around to take it all in! I made sure I didn’t drink so that I could enjoy and remember every single second.
Jamie & Joel’s little white book
Photography – Ronen Boidek
Band – Portnoy Brothers
Venue – Bait al Hayam
Bride’s dress and veil – Suzanne Neville
Bride’s shoes – Jimmy Choo
Groom’s attire – Hugo Boss and Hermes
Hair + Makeup – Hana Bloch and Makeup Makeup
Flowers – Yossi Event Designs
DJ – Quique Samuel
Catering – Mazal Talle
Ketubah – Rena Mednick
Invitations – Paperless Post
Magnets – Trend 54