How to Plan a Wedding in Israel?
The most difficult question is where???
Israel is blessed with so many beautiful locations that you will be spoilt for choice.
How do you envisage your dream event?
By the sea?
in a beautiful landscaped garden?
in a hotel with beautiful grounds?
in the desert?
In Jerusalem, overlooking the Old City?
The time of year when you want to hold your wedding will help in selecting the venue.
For instance, the summer months are ideal for a venue by the sea, but in July and August you will also need a hall for dinner and dancing, as the weather can be hot and humid. The chuppah can be held outside before sunset so that, as the ceremony is ending, the sun will be setting on the horizon – what could be more romantic?
Hotels are ideal locations for any time of year, and the big financial advantage is that, for overseas guests who are staying at the hotel, no VAT is charged on their meals at the wedding.
Although the hotel will have its own catering staff, it sometimes is possible to bring in an outside chef, who would upgrade the menu.
A lot of banqueting places have their own in-house caterer, but some are willing to hire the hall and allow you to bring in an outside caterer.
When signing a contract for the catering, you will be asked to guarantee a minimum number of guests. Remember to always quote the lowest number of guests that you expect – you can always increase the number nearer the time.
You will be invited to a food-tasting by the caterer, when you will be able to list which foods you liked, and which you would prefer not to be served.
Music can often be a bone of contention between the couple, and their parents. Most parents prefer a live band, whilst some couples want to hire a DJ. A very good compromise is to have a live band for the first part of the party, changing to a DJ later in the evening.
It’s a good idea to give the band or DJ a songlist or at least an idea of the music you want played and, more importantly, the type of music you don’t want them to play.
If you don’t have a Chazan for the ceremony, discuss with the musician what songs you want for the procession.
Ensure that the musicians have a timesheet for the evening, so that they know in advance the timing of the reception, Chuppah, dinner, speeches and dancing.
Photographer/video – there is a plethora of talented photographers and videographers in Israel, each one with their own unique style. When you have chosen one, be sure to give them a list of the people who are important to you, and with whom you want to be photographed.
Its always a good idea (and saves time and stress) to appoint a member of the family, or a good friend, who will be responsible for ensuring that everyone is in the same place, when the photographs are taken.
- Décor – this can be as simple as some candles on the table, or as wild as your imagination – and your budget – allows. There are very talented designers and florists, who will amaze you with their ideas.
- Make-up and hair – most brides want to be pampered but it is important to choose a make-up artist and hairdresser who will listen to what you want, and to have a trial before the actual day.
- Paperwork – in order to save time and stress, ITIM and Tzohar are organisations in Israel which will advise and assist you with this.
You will naturally be nervous and excited as your day approaches – remember, though, this is (hopefully!!) a once-in-a-lifetime event – so relax and enjoy it. The guests will take their cue from the bride and groom – if they are relaxed and happy, then that sets the atmosphere for the evening!!
Some places have in-house catering but, if you wish to bring in an outside caterer, then it is usually possible to just hire the location.
So – the next stage is to find an experienced and professional event organizer and forget all the stress…