By the time Tamar and Bryan got engaged, they were well aware that COVID was going to be a factor in planning their Jewish wedding. The couple – Americans who made aliyah to Israel and are both currently studying for their master’s degrees in biotechnology at Bar Ilan – made sure to pick a pandemic-friendly venue (a winery with ample outdoor space) and negotiate their contracts to be as corona-proof as possible (thanks to the planning prowess of Events by Shani).
Even so, 10 days before the big day, a new lockdown was imposed, meaning wedding halls, restaurants, and other businesses started to close their doors. Even tougher, travel was limited to within 500 meters of one’s home. All of this meant Tamar and Bryan needed a new game plan – and fast. Luckily, a generous friend offered the couple the use of her beautiful backyard in Beit Shemesh, and from there everything fell into place as the duo, their families, and their planner scrambled to pull togethera 60-person wedding in full compliance with the Health Ministry’s guidelines.
Since the 60-guest limit meant lots of friends and family couldn’t be there in person, Tamar and Bryan opted to live stream the entire wedding – and it worked out so well that some virtual guests remarked that it was even better than being there in person because they were able to see things up close that they never would have been able to see because of the crowd.
The couples’ parents also surprised them with another special way to include members of their local community who couldn’t be at the wedding: a drive-by parade! And not just any drive-by parade – Tamar and Bryan’s families surprised them with a ’67 red Mustang convertible in which to cruise down the street while neighbors cheered them on. This was a totally unexpected touch, and it turned out to be one of the most joyous moments of the night.
And that’s saying a lot – this wedding was just chock full of joyous moments, and Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Herschel Gutman captured each and every one so perfectly in his wonderful photos. After seeing photos he’d shot at friends’ weddings, Tamar and Bryan were such fans they “practically planned our wedding date around when he was available” – and post-wedding, they report that his calm demeanor, patience, and flexibility, made him an absolute pleasure to work with.
We’ll let the couple tell you about the rest…
How we met
Bryan, the groom: Tamar and I met in university…it seems like a classic story but there’s an interesting detail that I can’t help but reveal. We started off the beginning of our second year as lab partners. I knew Tamar was an excellent student and we studied really well together. After a short time, I was certain our chemistry went beyond the realm of the laboratory. I waited patiently until after finals of the first semester to ask Tamar out.
One might say that I had a certain sense of urgency considering I asked her out approximately 10 mins after she exited the test. She was flattered but promptly turned me down. After insisting and refusing to take her “no” as final, Tamar agreed to think about it. In my book that was a huge win…she’s way out of my league so a “maybe” is pretty good 🙂
Tamar got back to me two days later after consulting with some role models that Tamar trusts implicitly and looks up to and she agreed to a date where “I would have a lot of explaining to do.”