September 12, 2010

Cousin's Wedding in Israel

We were in Israel two weeks ago for my cousin, Dana and her now-husband Roee's wedding. The last Israeli wedding I had been to was my uncle Shai's wedding and I hardly remember much of it because I was young. This time I had known the couple for a long time (they had been dating more than 10 years) and of course, I was old enough to remember it. Plus, it was Greg's first Israeli wedding! And his chance to join us for a family reunion of sorts.
L to R, youngest to oldest: Na'ama, Tali, Rakefet (Duti), Smadar (Dari), Rina and my grandma/safta Tzipi
My family's not super big, but my mom has four sisters and this was the first time they had all been together for years. At last count, I have 16 cousins and two second cousins (kids of my cousin Gal) on that side of the family. It was a lot of fun to see everyone, but it was hard remembering names of the extended family who I probably hadn't seen in years.

Generations: Na'ama, Safta Tzipi, the bride Dana and I chilling in the lounge, pre-party
It was a huge wedding (600 people total) in my grandmother's yard, but Greg and I were surprised that it didn't feel crowded. They had made a perimeter of haystacks, a massive dancefloor, a chill lounge, beautiful chuppah and packed the yard with tables, food buffets, coffee and dessert bar and regular bars.

The bride Dana with cousins Shai-li and Amit
The ceremony itself was fairly quick and non-understandable to most of us because it was a religious service and most Israelis aren't religious. However, the marriage has to be done by a rabbi because of law. After they proclaimed Dana and Roee married, everyone rushed the chuppah, shouting mazel tov and trying to reach the bride and groom with their kisses and hugs.

Dana and Roee laughing under the chuppah
After that, the singing and dancing began. Dana even sang a song to Roee to celebrate. It was very sweet. Around midnight, Roee's family had a henna because they're Moroccan Jews. As far as I could tell, it involved cellophane-wrapped trays of goodies being passed around, lifting the bride and groom on their shoulders, henna paste and Moroccan dress.
Greg and I chilling out in the lounge before the party started
Dana and Roee ended the night cutting their cake and hanging out with the friends who remained. It was a beautiful night and we were thoroughly exhausted by the end of it. You can see all the photos from the night here:

1 comment:

  1. So, Greg got away with wearing shorts to a wedding? ;)