Today’s lovely couple, Michelle and Robin, met 10 years ago on an FZY Israel summer tour, so it seemed fitting that they’d return to get married in Israel, and they did it in style. They chose one of the most spectacular beachside venues I’ve ever seen: Al Hayam in Caesarea, Israel – totally breathtaking stuff, right on the seafront with Roman ruins all around.
From the start the couple knew that their dream wedding would have to be by the beach and hired Israeli wedding planner Nikki Fenton to help them bring their wedding day vision to life. There are lots of lovely creative ideas to glean from this wedding, as well as thoughtful touches for guests like a welcome pack that included sun cream, a map of Tel Aviv, information on local shops and restaurants and then at the actual wedding, guests were given fans and flip flops, as well as lots of midnight sustenance like hot dogs, sweeties and ice lollies to keep them going all night long!
A VENUE BY THE SEA + A PURPLE AND WHITE COLOUR SCHEME
Michelle, the Bride: We chose a venue called Al Hayam in Caesarea. We knew we wanted a beach venue and Al Hayam has the added beauty of being surrounded by Roman ruins next to the sea. Within 5 minutes of meeting our amazing wedding planner, Nikki Fenton, she knew exactly which venue we would fall in love with and she was right!
We chose a colour scheme of purple, white and silver – we loved the idea of purple and white flowers everywhere and we ran the colour scheme right from the beginning with the Save The Date cards and Invitations arriving in purple organza bags with shells at the bottom of each bag.
A PURPLE AND WHITE FLORAL CHUPPAH
Nikki introduced us to an amazing event designer, Natalie Mann who designed all aspects of our wedding. When it came to the chuppah she gave us options of the different types of flowers we could use. Natalie met us at the venue and took us through hundreds of pictures to inspire us with our chuppah design. We decided on purple and white flowers (lizianthums, roses and gypsofilia) across the top of the chuppah with two smaller arrangements to match on the inside back legs. Flower arrangements were placed on either side of the chuppah and we also had purple flowers on the back of each chair.
The ceremony was beautiful – the chuppah was erected between two palm trees with the sea right behind it, and the sunset was incredible during the ceremony. Rabbi Gideon Sylvester married us, and our chazan, David Behrman, sang Erev Shel Shoshanim and Eshet Chayil as we walked down the aisle.
CANAPES, 3 COURSE MEAL, A HOT DOG STAND, ICE LOLLIES AND A SWEET PARLOUR!
We had different hot and cold food stands as well as canapà©s being served during the reception. Then for dinner we served a starter followed by a choice of meat, chicken or vegetarian options for the main meal.
The desserts were served as a buffet right on the dance floor, which incorporated an amazing sweetie stand with lots of different colourful candies which kept being filled all night, and then we opened a hot dog stand at 1am which went down really well for those who partied hard!
Oh and ice lollies were handed round on the dance floor throughout the evening too!
For the hardcore dancers we handed flip-flops out at 10:30pm so that everyone could dance the night away without having sore feet.
The band we found was called Soul Messengers — they were absolutely incredible and people still talk to us about them two years later! We also had a saxophone player from the band playing during the reception.
We chose Asaf Spektor, a recommendation by Nikki. We loved his work and knew he was the one as soon as we met him.
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES
Have Nikki Fenton as your wedding planner! Honestly she was amazing – nothing was left to chance and whatever we wanted Nikki organised for us.
Nikki also recommended a fantastic organisation (ITIM) who dealt with the Israeli rabbinate for us. We had been warned by many people that getting our ketubah and marriage certificate would be extremely difficult but we didn’t have any hassle at all. We just turned up at the Religious Council 5 days before the wedding to pick up the documents and we were in and out within 5 minutes.
MICHELLE + ROBIN’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Venue — Al Hayam
Wedding Planner — Nikki Fenton
Event design — Natalie Mann
Photography — Asaf Spektor
Bride’s dress — Louise Marie
Band — Soul Messengers
Rabbi — Rabbi Gideon Sylvester
Chazan — David Behrman
Michelle and Robin had a total party-fest of an Israeli destination wedding, served up with ice and a slice! I loved the idea of the flip flops, the 1am Hot Dog stand, the sweetie bar, and the ice lollies to help those dancers bust out those moves until dawn! Mazal tov Michelle and Robin and thank you for sharing your special day with us.