I don’t know where to start with this wedding, it has absolutely knocked me for six. When I first clapped eyes on the stunning photographs and video highlights of Tammy and Tom’s wedding, I was captivated by this ridiculously good looking couple, the chuppah set against a picture-perfect Israeli seascape, the high octane, carefree celebrations, the loved-up gazes between bride and groom and of course THAT Inbal Dror wedding dress – and just when I thought it couldn’t get any more breathtaking, I heard the incredible tale about the rabbi who officiated the wedding.
Many years ago as a young boy of eight, Sharon Shalom, the rabbi, was among a group of refugees making the arduous journey from Ethiopia to Sudan, where planes were on standby to help them flee to Israel. They travelled the entire distance to Sudan on foot, lead and protected by the IDF and Mossad agents.
At one point it all became too much for the youngster. Terrified, he was hugged and encouraged to keep going by one of the agents, who just happened to be Tom’s father. This shared experience helped forge a lifetime’s friendship, so much so, that when the young boy had grown and become a rabbi, he was told by Tom’s father that “one day you’ll be the rabbi for my son”. This wedding made that wish come true.
Understandably the tears flowed under the chuppah that day as the family and rabbi Sharon Shalom stood together for such a special and poignant moment in all of their lives. Truly beautiful.
So whilst it’s a very cool, stylish, fun, fun, fun wedding – complete with a flash mob dance – and did I mention the disarmingly attractive bride and groom? It’s a wedding with a huge heart. And given the incredible and humbling back-story of courage and kindness, the brides advice resonates very loudly “The whole point of the day is to be happy – stressing defeats the purpose. Your hubby and the meaning of the day is much more important than the napkins or your dress!”
Hear hear! (Even though her dress is actually perfection!)
The stunning photography is by Herschel Gutman one of our much-loved Smashing Suppliers, who can always be relied upon for beautiful images. The wedding film at the end of the post is by the superb Tal Herman
Rabbi Sharon Shalom (far right) with Tom’s father (second from right) under the chuppah, beside Tammy & Tom
how we met
Tammy, the Bride: I was at a bar with a friend, and I apologised to her for not listening to anything she was saying because all I could focus on was a guy on the other side of the window. There are lots of good-looking guys in Israel but he was beyond special – can’t even explain what it was. It was just obvious that he was exceptional and the weirdest part was he was facing the same direction as me so I could only see the back of his head apart from when he turned around briefly every little while. I was not planning on approaching him, so luckily my friend was a little drunk because she “took matters into her own hands”, wrote down my name and number and gave it to him on a napkin as we left. He contacted me the next day.
A wedding venue by the sea… and a picnic theme!
We got married at Kochav HaYam, Caesarea. It just felt very natural for us both to get married next to the sea.
We didn’t intentionally choose a theme or style but we realised at the end that everything we picked had a picnic theme!
We went for an online invitation through Paperless Post. It saved a lot of paper and was a lot easier to send invitations to people overseas.
hair and make up
Erez Alon did my hair and make-up. He was amazing and so much fun. I wanted something very natural, I wanted to feel like myself.
An Inbal Dror dress
My dress was by Inbal Dror. It was the second one I tried on, I was with my mum and we both loved it. I couldn’t believe that I had found it already, so I tried on about 15 more but just wanted to try the second one on again.
I wore pearl earrings that I have had forever, and a hair clip that I spotted at my hairdresser (Erez Alon). It was pretty simple, gold with 2 pearls. It just seemed like me.
Beige heels… and flip flops
I’m probably describing my shoes how a guy would – beige with medium size heels? I just wanted something comfortable that I wouldn’t stand out in. I changed into havana flip flops after the chuppah anyway.
The handsome groom
Tom wore a suit from Roman in Ramat Gan. It was dark grey with a white shirt. He honestly looks that good when he wakes up in the morning.. yep, all mine 🙂
No bridesmaids, no coordinated outfits, all that is too formal for us. Tom’s dad originally wanted to wear shorts and I told him I had no problem with it. We didn’t want a first dance either – too staged and too much attention!
Walking to the chuppah and seeing your entire family that happy is the best feeling in the world. Especially my mum – I have never seen anyone quite that excited or happy for someone else. I have the best mum in the world 🙂
Our chuppah song was Bonfire Heart by James Blunt.
There was a really special connection between Tom’s dad and the rabbi, Sharon Shalom. This is the story, as told by the Rabbi:
‘At the age of eight, I left a refugee camp from Ethiopia and walked to Sudan. There was a special operation saving the lives of Ethiopians who were being murdered. I had never seen the sea, and the IDF and Mossad lead us from Ethiopia to Sudan where the planes were waiting to take us to Israel.
I was gripped with fear and one of the Mossad agents approached me and hugged me, and we all began to cry. The Mossad agent was Tom’s father. Tom’s father kept in touch with me from the moment I arrived Israel and when I became a Rabbi he said that “one day you will be the Rabbi for my son’s wedding”.
I will always remember that night that my life was saved. I was a scared child but a man with good deeds helped me. We stood under the chuppah together and we all cried’
(Rabbi Sharon Shalom, Tzohar)
Tom chose the bouquet, I saw it on the day when he gave it to me. I loved that it had his touch. He loves flowers, and it’s so cute how he knows all the names! On the table centres we had sunflowers in bamboo, and we brought little herb plants for all the tables, wrapped in brown paper.
our fabulous photographer
I went to ulpan with Herschel Gutman six years ago, and so I was connected with Natasha (Herschel’s wife) on Facebook. I posted that we were on the hunt for a photographer and Natasha mentioned Herschel. We booked an appointment with him and a couple of other photographers who were highly recommended.
After our appointment with Herschel we cancelled the other appointments. His photos were so professional and he was so sweet. He recommended Tal Herman as a videographer, and after seeing his stunning videos from other weddings we were convinced. We were extremely satisfied with our decisions, the photos and video’s were so natural, they really captured the vibe of the day.
No wedding cake, just desserts!
We didn’t have a wedding cake! Just a bunch of yummy desserts. Indigo are the in-house caterers at Kochav HaYam and they were amazing. The taste testing was one of the best days of my life.
a surprise flash mob dance!
Our family and friends got together and planned a surprise flash mob dance! See the video of it below…
Our fabulous DJ
The DJ (Nadav Shpilman) was amazing – he played mostly jazz at the reception and then a mix of old, new, fun dance-y music.
advice to other brides and grooms
The whole point of the day is to be happy – stressing defeats the purpose. Your hubby and the meaning of the day is much more important than the napkins or your dress!
Tammy & Tom’s little white book
Photography — Herschel Gutman Photography
Videography — Tal Herman
Venue — Kochav HaYam
Caterer — Indigo at Kochav HaYam
Dress — Inbal Dror
DJ — Nadav Shpilman
Stationery — Paperless Post
Rabbi — Sharon Shalom