Monthly Archives: November 2012

From the Expert: Honeymooning In Israel

Today, writer Marglit Silver shares her knowledge about a perfect destination that couples may want to consider after enjoying the wedding of their dreams: Israel! Named after her Israeli aunt, Margalit has always maintained strong emotional ties to Israel; first travelling there when she was fifteen-years-old, she had enjoyed touring sites the Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and Tombs of the Patriarch, but had also been amazed by the land’s rich beauty and lively, youthful culture. When she married newly-converted Tim 2008, she was ecstatic to take him on his first trip to the Holy Land during their honeymoon; what awaited them was an experience so amazing that they’re returning for their five-year anniversary in June, 2013.

There’s no doubt about it, Israel is fantastic for honeymooning couples. Yes, it is the Holy Land, but this isn’t news to you. However, you might be surprised by some of the other reasons Israel is a prime spot for romance. Multi-faceted culture, rich cuisine, beautiful natural surroundings, thrilling nightlife.. the region truly has it all!

Geographic Diversity
Though this country is only slightly larger than the state of New Jersey, it offers unbelievable environmental diversity. Snorkle in the laidback resort towns of Eilat and Ashod; float hand-in-hand on the waters of the salty Dead Sea; surf the waves of the beautiful Mediterranean; explore the breathtaking stretches of Negev Desert; hike the picturesque Mount Caramel; climb deep into the whimsical Red Canyon; and discover the country’s forty national parks. Additionally, there are plenty of local organizations that provide thrilling activities like archery, horseback riding, SCUBA diving, rock climbing, and even taking hot air balloon rides. Couples will find plenty of opportunities to get their hearts racing with excitement as well as stunning backdrops that are perfect for romantic kisses and memorable photographs. Plus, the country’s many offerings are all within driving distance of one another! For those vacationers who prefer public transportation, the generous network of trains is an easy alternative.

History and Culture
Many of Israel’s iconic historic destinations (The Western Wall, Rabin Square, the Port of Old Jaffa, Dome of the Rock, and Nazareth) date back thousands of years. However, Israel’s culture is hardly archaic. The country’s many art galleries feature modern pieces that reflect an ample assortment of experimental styles, and the world renowned The Israel Museum perfectly exemplifies the country’s harmonious blend of the ancient and contemporary. Also illustrating this reverence for their heritage and desire for reinvention is the country’s live music scene. There are a multitude of Israeli music festivals held year-round that celebrate the country’s individuality and its many influences. Honeymooners will also relish in the many shopping opportunities as they meander through the many lively markets to find homemade goods or pluck chic fashion straight from the runways.

Thrilling Nightlife
Jerusalem might be where the country goes to pray, but Tel Aviv is where the people go to party! Called “The City That Never Stops,” Tel Aviv’s nightclubs rarely open until past ten or eleven each night and often stay open well past sunrise. DJs travel internationally to spin at the city’s top venues, playing electronic, house, hip-hop, rock and more. This is the perfect locale for couples who want a night of festivities and seductive dancing to truly let loose after their elegant reception. Tel Aviv is lauded for its open-mindedness and is becoming a top hot spot for LGBT travelers and same-sex honeymooners. For newlyweds who aren’t looking to party from dusk to dawn, there are plenty of mellower alternatives. Israel is famous for its cozy hookah bars and intimate cafes that allow for pleasurable people watching and the chance to savor local flavors.

Incredible Food
The region’s cuisine is flavorful and much healthier than the average American diet, so brides can eat what they want and still look fantastic in their bikinis. Staples of the Israeli’s diet include falafel, hummus, and couscous as well as some of the finest, locally-grown citrus fruits you will ever taste. Couples will undoubtedly want to try the refreshing mint tea, the fresh olives and the delicious baklava sweetened with honey, as well as toast their love with some of the finest local wines in the world! However, the local cuisine continues to evolve as it increasingly incorporates international customs. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv feature some of the finest restaurants in Asia, offering worldly dishes like sushi, French delicacies, and plenty more.

Israel is an epicenter of beauty and culture. With many residents being only second or third generation citizens, international customs thrive and blend to form a youthful, forward-thinking society that pays respectful homage to the rich religious heritage in their backyard. For couples that want to honeymoon in a land of natural wonder, awe-inspiring history, youthful energy and artistic thrill, Israel is the perfect honeymoon destination.

{Real Jewish Weddings} Orlando, FL

Dani and Adam both attended the University of Pittsburgh and happened to meet in 2007 on the day that Dani was moving into Adam’s apartment complex. They became fantastic friends and eventually Adam moved in with Dani… and three of her girlfriends. They eventually became a couple and Dani’s parents adored Adam. Adam’s mom died of cancer not too long after they became a couple and Dani was there for him through every step of the way. They both moved to Orlando together for work where Adam is an engineer and Dani has played some royal characters at a very happy place with a mouse!

Mazel tov, Dani and Adam!

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Photographer: A Magic Moment
Event Planner: Eventfully Yours
Floral Designer: Greenery Productions
Ceremony Music: Harpist Christine MacPhail
Reception Venue: The Peabody
Cake Designer: Party Flavors Custom Cakes
Band: John Parker Band
Officiant: Rabbi David Degani

Editorial Partner: Two Bright Lights

  • Harpist Christine MacPhail says:

    These are beautiful photos of such a lovely day!! The ceremony and reception rooms were amazing and Dani & Adam are a very sweet couple. Thank you so much for the tag!

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From the Expert: What’s the Difference Between a Wedding Planner and a Catering Manager?

Today, a real wedding expert is here to explain the difference between a Catering Manager at your venue and a Wedding Planner that you hire separately. So often, their jobs and duties get mixed up, but the owner of By Kerri Hatter has the scoop to make it easy to understand. Take it away, Kerri!

So often, we are told by brides that they don’t think they need our services because their
venue provides a coordinator. While that is true (the venue does provide a coordinator), the
responsibilities of a venue or catering manager are very different from a professional Wedding
Planner. Below are things you can expect from each one:

Catering Manager
The Catering Manager is your main contact, and usually your first through a tour, at the venue.
They are responsible for the sales of events. Once you have decided on their venue, they
produce your contract involving all the terms and financial commitments to the resort as well as
balancing out your final bill following your special day.

Your Catering Manager will host a menu tasting, assist you with food and beverage selections,
and educate you on how to reach the minimums required per your contract. They develop your
BEO (Banquet Event Order), which outlines your menu, rentals and anything else the venue
will be providing. They are also responsible for making sure that the Banquet Manager, who
manages all of the food & beverage and staff at the reception, is aware of all of your requests
regarding any venue service.

Catering Managers are responsible for the set up of all hotel related items on the day of the
event. Then they will oversee the ceremony and reception set ups to make sure all venue
contracted items are being delivered as promised.

At hotels, your Catering Manager introduces you to the reservations manager if you need
to book room blocks and oversees the details of the bride and grooms suite the night of the
wedding.

Finally, as the Catering Manager is in charge of the responsibilities solely related to the venue,
they can work closely with a professional Wedding Planner to ensure a successful event.

Wedding Planner
The Wedding Planner is responsible for coordinating and executing all of the wedding elements
not involving the venue and serves as an advisor/educator and mediator throughout the
planning. As an expert in the wedding industry, the Planner helps with etiquette specifically
related to weddings. He or she handles all of the time-consuming details and communication
involved with planning the wedding. The Wedding Planner is also the biggest resource because
they have many contacts in the industry and will be able to match each client with the right
professionals. Some services provided by Wedding Planners are:

  • Acts as a liaison between family, bridal party, the vendors, and the venue staff leading up
    to and on the day of the wedding
  • Attends the final meeting with the Catering Manager at the venue
  • Coordinates with the Catering Manager on the BEOs
  • Develops a timeline for the entire wedding day
  • Confirms all vendors and coordinates timelines and details with them to ensure all
    parties know what to expect on the wedding day
  • Conducts the rehearsal and reviews the itinerary with all family and bridal party
  • Sets up all wedding elements – guest books, place cards, favors, programs, table
    numbers, and any other items the bride and groom want displayed
  • Double checks all venue set ups to make sure they coordinate with the BEOs (seating
    charts, napkin folds, ceremony set up, linen colors, etc.)
  • Coordinates timing of ceremony and reception including grand entrances, first dances,
    speeches, and cake cutting
  • Collects all gifts and décor, and delivers to the appropriate location at the end of the
    night

Kerri advises a bride and groom about the cake cutting.

Kerri gives a push down the aisle to a young member of the wedding party.

Here is a great real situation from a recent wedding differentiating the two roles:
About 2 hours before the ceremony, I received a frantic call that the groom’s dad did not have
his tie for the wedding. He thought the hotel maids might have cleaned up the room and
thrown it away by accident! The Catering Manager has to stay on property at all times, so I sent
one of my assistants to the closest tie shop to buy a tie as close to the color of the rest of the
groomsmen. Crisis averted!

**************

Kerri started her career in event planning over 20 years ago, but found her true passion for planning when she got married in 2004. Having been a bride herself, she understands everything the bride and groom are feeling and knows how difficult it can be to handle all the details and keep everyone happy at the same time! Kerri’s easy going personality immediately puts her clients at east and her almost obsession with organization keeps them on track. Her innovative thinking and passion to help everyone she meets prompted Kerri to create The Wedding Workshop.

{Real Jewish Weddings} Roxbury, NY

Gina and Anika were married at Stone Tavern Farm in Roxbury, New York. Their wedding was timed perfectly to coincide with the passage of New York’s Marriage Equality Act and, coincidentally, a major hurricane that totally devastated the area. In the end, the good luck outweighed the bad, as roads opened and power came back on just in time for the ceremony and reception.

Not only were the weather and conditions perfect, but the day was a total DIY success. The ceremony was a potpourri of Jewish traditions mixed with elements of the traditional Quaker ceremony. Gina and Anika truly made the day theirs by really incorporating themselves into the wedding decor: not too traditional, full of heart, warmed with fun. It was a beautiful day of love and romance.

Mazel tov, Gina and Anika!

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Venue: Stone Tavern Farm
Photographer: JBM Wedding Photography
Florist: Wildflowers Florist
Cake: Linda Laestadius
Caterer: Mary’s Cookin Again
Dress: Brides of France
Shoes: Camper
Officiant: Diane Elliot
Invitations / Stationery: Wild West Letterpress
Ketubah: Galia Goodman

Editorial Partner: Two Bright Lights

The Wedding Yentas on BlogTalkRadio!

Today’s the day! Yes, it’s the day before Thanksgiving, but it’s also when The Wedding Yentas goes live on the air with David Rothstein on his program, The Wedding 101 Radio Show on BlogTalkRadio!

So step away from your box of cornbread mix (oh wait, that’s just me) and give your ears a present they’ll be thankful for — an Internet schmooze-fest!

At this point, I have no idea what we’ll be chatting about, but I know there will be lots of great questions and answers devoted to planning Jewish weddings.

I’m very thankful for this opportunity, and as always, very thankful for YOU! Brides, grooms, mothers, MOHs, wedding pros — you are all so fabulous and it’s an honor to create for you every day!

Details for today’s radio broadcast:

I’ll be live at 1:00 PST/3:00 CST/4:00 EST with encore listens whenever you’d like when you visit The Wedding 101 Radio Show.

To access the show, click here!

Press the play button and tune in. I hope you enjoy it! And if not, well, I’m glad you can’t throw tomatoes through the computer.

Happy Thanksgiving, Yenta-friends! Enjoy your yummies and your favorite people!

  • Jimmy says:

    At last, somneoe comes up with the “right” answer!