Joan was educated and worked in the U.K. where she routinely organized events for charities and produced publications advising readers on the different issues involved with creating beautiful weddings. In 1993 after moving to Israel, Joan launched her own company that specializes in both Jewish weddings and Bar Mitzvahs for overseas clients and the business has thrived largely by word of mouth.
Joan is responsible for bringing the concept of wedding fairs to Israel and oversaw the first wedding fair in Jerusalem. She also hosts a weekly wedding related radio show and is in a unique position to provide a European level of service to an Israeli-style wedding.
The five best reasons for holding your wedding in Israel
Spiritual and historical connections
With thousands of years of history, Israel attracts both Jewish and non Jewish visitors alike.
Those wanting to incorporate a spiritual aspect into their wedding will find much to suit their needs.
From the many religious locations, Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias (The Sea of Galilee) and more, to ancient historical sites, including Greek, Roman, Crusader and Ottoman, to the desert with its own biblical history.
Israel is blessed with sunny and warm weather, (Southern California is not called a Mediterranean climate for nothing) with little or no chance of rain from May to October.
Even in winter, it is usually possible to have the wedding ceremony outside.
Israel offers a diverse variety of stunning locations ranging from archeological sites, to desert settings, biblical parks, luxury hotels and amazing banqueting gardens overlooking the Mediterranean. There is Masada near the Dead Sea, (the lowest place on earth, and on the short list to be one of the Wonders of the World), King Solomon’s Mines and the city of Eilat on the Red Sea with year round sunshine, sandy beaches, luxurious hotels, coral reefs and dolphins.
Israeli food today is on par with the best found anywhere in the world. With international influences in menus, an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit, incredible cheeses, world class wines and five star kosher catering Israel is quickly becoming well known for its Fine Cuisine.
Weddings in Israel can be much less expensive than in other parts of the world. There is a well established infrastructure, and a thriving tourist industry which can cater to the widest range of palettes and budgets.
My Favorite Properties
Al Ha Yam
Photos courtesy of Video Art
Al Ha Yam means “on the water” and this lovely property lives up to its name with the sun setting over the ocean, a light breeze brushing your face, and the sky a kaleidoscope of changing colours.
A wedding by the ocean is so romantic, standing under the Chuppah with the waves gently breaking on the beach as you exchange your vows. Al Ha Yam is a unique location with a 180° view of the clear blue sea. Enjoy dinner and dancing outdoors so that you can enjoy the view all night long.
Situated near the ancient Roman ruins in Casesarea, guests can stay in a hotel nearby and enjoy tours of this great historical city.
Imagine….bringing your guests in a bus through the dark, beautiful, silent desert, with the location of the wedding a well kept secret. Suddenly……there are lights, music – a magical location appearing out of the desert. The guests alight and are greeted by exotic cocktails, delicious appetizers, and the fun begins….
The Chuppah, with the background of the mountains lit up in glorious colours, begins, and the procession is accompanied by drummers and shofar blowers.
The party continues into the early hours of the morning, with breakfast being served at the foot of the mountains.
A desert wedding is limited only by the extent of your own imagination……
What could be more meaningful than getting married in a Biblical Park, with all the plants and bushes planted to recreate the vegetation mentioned in the bible?
Surrounded by 625 acres of rolling hills, trees, bushes and wild flowers, with the background of the Judean hills, guests walk down a winding path, to the Chuppah which is situated in front of a small lake.
Timing the wedding just before sunset, the guests watch as the sun sets over the hills, changing the scenery to a beautiful golden hue.
After the Chuppah, guests dine and dance the night away, under the stars, amongst a setting of subtly lit trees.
King David Hotel ~ Jerusalem
A five star hotel
Opened in 1931, the hotel was built with locally quarried pink limestone. To this day the hotel remains one of the most prominent and prestigious hotels in Israel, and famous around the world. It is located on King David Street in the Centre of Jerusalem, within walking distance of the Kotel (Western Wall)
The hotel has played an important role in the Israeli history of Jerusalem, from the struggle for statehood, through the Independence War, division of Jerusalem, and the reunification of the City. It frequently hosts heads of state, dignitaries and other personalities during their visit to Jerusalem. The hotel is currently owned and operated by the Dan Hotels group.
The Chuppah can be held in one of the hotel’s outdoor terraces overlooking the Old City, a reception around the pool in the King David’s famed gardens, with cocktails and canapés, and a four-course sit-down dinner followed by a dessert buffet.