We are absolutely in love with today’s gorgeous multicultural Jewish wedding – not to mention the awesome globetrotting love story of Laura, who’s in business administration, and Daniel, a lawyer, whose relationship took them from Madrid to New York to Israel, where they now live!
Celebrating the merging of their two backgrounds – Laura originally hails from Colombia, while Daniel is Israeli – was the theme for this very special day, and the couple carried it through in everything from their flowers to their music to their ultra-personal ceremony to their venue: they chose to make it official at Bustan Abu Ghosh, which is not only stunning but also happens to be run by a Muslim owner who loves Jewish weddings! In the couple’s words, “We thought it would be fitting to exchange our vows in a place where two different religions and cultures came together to create something magical, as this was precisely what happened with our relationship.” How special is that?!
Laura and Daniel chose Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Ben Kelmer to document their big day – as an amateur photographer herself, Laura knew she wanted someone who could take natural, authentic photos capturing special moments in time. And no one does that better than Ben Kelmer!
There’s so much more to say about this fabulous wedding, but we’ll turn you over to the couple for the rest of the story…
How we Met
Laura, the bride and Daniel, the groom: We met in January 2018, the day we started our MBA at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. From there, it took a while for us to formally become a couple. Laura was immensely scared of commitment due to previous experiences and did not come to the MBA with any plans to fall in love, let alone to be in a serious relationship. She was also very scared of getting involved with someone from a different religion (Laura is Catholic and Daniel is Jewish). Laura thought she would expose herself to being hurt if she fell in love with someone whose family might not accept her.
After we did get together, we applied and got accepted to Yale School of Management, for a dual degree program. We left Madrid together in August 2018 and graduated from Yale in May 2019. We then moved in together in New York City and got engaged in January 2020. We were planning to get married in October 2020, before COVID changed all of our plans…
We got married in Bustan Abu Ghosh. We both wanted something with a garden vibe and Daniel’s sister, who was our event planner, recommended we check this venue out.
What convinced us that this was the place was not just the fact that it is absolutely beautiful and magnetic, but rather the story behind it. The owner of the place is Muslim and is absolutely supportive of Jewish culture and the Israeli people. We thought it would be very fitting to exchange our vows in a place where two different religions and cultures came together to create something magical, as this was precisely what happened with our relationship.
Theme & Wedding Planner
Our wedding planner was Daniel’s sister, Tal Reshef from Ever After Pro. She created the most magical day for us, taking care of all of the smallest details and made the celebration just as perfect as we imagined it to be.
We wanted a relaxed atmosphere, with lots of color and nature all around us. Our theme was rustic with a touch of spice and color.
Laura’s dress was from Flora Bridal, but it was not the original dress she was going to wear. She bought her dream dress from Pronovias in Spain, in March of 2020 (before the world closed) and was looking forward to being able to wear it. When we started planning the wedding, in October 2021, we discovered we were pregnant which meant that she had to find a new dress.
She ended up choosing a dress with a completely different style (more boho chic) to go with the theme of the wedding and to help cover up the belly a little bit. It was the first dress she tried on, and she knew it was the one because of the way it made her look and feel, especially with the growing belly. By the time our wedding took place, she was 7 months pregnant.
Accessories & Shoes
Laura wore a small hair pin by Keren Wolf. She wanted something small that made a statement for the rest of the wedding, when she was no longer wearing the veil. Her shoes were from a very small boutique store in Madrid, Spain.
Ceremony and Chuppah
Because Laura is not Jewish (yet- she is in the process of converting), we were unable to have a Jewish religious ceremony.
Since our wedding would not be religious, we decided that we wanted to have a symbolic ceremony entirely crafted and created by us and for us. Our love and our story is not conventional and we wanted to be able to have that day be something very special for both of us.
We found Havaya, a non-profit in Israel that helps couples create wedding ceremonies according to the Jewish traditions for couples that do not want/cannot have a Jewish religious ceremony and decided to reach out to them for help. Ofer Cornfeld, the founder of this organization, was the person that we ended up choosing to lead our ceremony.
We met with him several times, told him all about our story and also answered an extensive questionnaire. With this, he created a personalized ceremony, one in which we incorporated Jewish elements and our very own personal touches all throughout.
Our favorite part of the ceremony was the phrase from a poem that became sort of like the theme of our wedding: “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Our love is the road less travelled, the hardest one to take. We come from two different worlds and all the odds were against us and yet there we were, marrying one another, living in Israel and about to welcome a baby girl.
The Chuppah was made by the venue designer. We wanted colorful flowers to represent a little bit of Latin American spice. We kept it simple but elegant.
The bride’s speech was something that Laura began working on a few weeks in advance, as she wanted to surprise Daniel by saying her vows in Hebrew. She had been studying Hebrew for over a year now, even before moving moved to Israel. But because she was pregnant and working, she had to take a break from her classes.
It was very important to her to be able to say her vows in Hebrew and she worked with one of her friend’s boyfriends to make sure the translation and pronunciation was absolutely perfect. For her, it was the most amazing moment because she promised Daniel, the love of her life, everything she wanted to promise him in front of all our friends and family in his native language, after moving to his home country to build a life together.
Our Ketubah was also crafted by us. We worked with Ofer, our ceremony guide, to create the perfect Ketubah, one where we promised each other love and respect, and where we committed to creating a loving, inclusive home and to raise our children as multicultural, kind and respectful individuals.
Our favorite phrase from our Ketubah:
We promise to build our future together and establish a home shaped by our respective traditions and cultures; one that is warm, loving and accepting, based on equality and on honest conversations and communication that will be a sanctuary to us and open to others.
After having the text ready, Havaya sent us the options for the design itself. We selected a colorful design that we both liked and had them print it out for us.
Our Music Choice
We wanted the wedding to be a fusion of Latin American and Israeli cultures: fun, upbeat and to have everyone dancing at all times. We played classic Israeli wedding songs from artists like Omer Adam, Dudu Aharon and many others. We also played lots of Colombian and Latin music from Carlos Vives, Juan Luis Guerra and more. Our DJ was Gil Fux and he made sure that our Latin and international guests as well as our Israeli attendees had the best time on the dancefloor.
As we walked down to the Chuppah, we played Ed Sheeran’s ‘Tenerife Sea’. We both loved the song and thought the lyrics were very fitting to the occasion.
For our first dance, Laura chose a very classical Colombian song called ‘La Tierra del Olvido’ (‘The Land of the Forgotten’). As per Colombian traditions, the first dance starts with the bride dancing with her father. After dancing with her father, Daniel came in and we finished the song dancing together. This was our first official dance as husband and wife.
Our theme was rustic with a touch of color. The venue designer, Noa, was great in helping us design the floral arrangements of both the chuppah and the rest of the venue. We chose burgundy/dark purple as the highlight color and we used it as the center.
As for the bouquet, Daniel bought it from a florist in Tel Aviv. Laura had asked that the flowers include white orchids. They are her favorite flower and they remind her of home. She wanted to have a little bit of Colombia as she walked down to the Chuppah.
Photographer and videographer
Ben Kelmer was our choice of photographer and Nimrod Ronen was our videographer.We chose Ben right away, after our first meeting. We had already seen his work, and Tal, our wedding planner recommended him as the best. I am also an amateur photographer and I really wanted our wedding photographer to take natural photos that capture special moments/expressions in time. We looked at Ben’s aesthetic on his website and his Instagram and booked with him after our first meeting.
We found Nimrod through Tal as well, and looked at his website. We also liked the way he captured the moments and booked with him before even meeting him.
Advice to other couples planning their wedding
Your day will go by in a blink of an eye. So many months of anticipation, discussions and decisions to be made. At the end of the day, what really matters are you and your partner, the people that show up, and the energy that they bring and transmit to you both on your special day.
LAURA & DANIEL’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Ben Kelmer
Videography – Nimrod Ronen
Wedding planner – Ever After Pro
Venue – Bustan Abu Ghosh
Bride’s dress – Flora Bridal
Bride’s accessories – Keren Wolf
DJ – Gil Fux
Ketubah – Havaya
Smash The Glass Pouch – Smashing The Glass Etsy Shop or join Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club and get one for free!
If you’re a Jewish or Jew-ish bride-to-be, you’ll want to join Smashing The Glass’ Brides Club. Guided by the world’s number 1 Jewish wedding expert, Karen Cinnamon, Brides Club is the private community for Jewish and Jew-ish brides that removes wedstress and indecision and gives you what you need to plan with confidence during these uncertain times. Join our Brides Club here.