jerusalem old city wedding view planner

So we’ve seen surprise Jewish weddings where the bride and groom spring their plans on unsuspecting guests day of. But we’re pretty sure this is the first ever wedding we’ve seen planned entirely by the groom, as a surprise for the bride!

When South African couple Gemma, a PhD student in virology, and David, who has his own business developing properties, set off on their trip to Israel, the bride had no idea what her soon-to-be groom had in store for her. Gemma thought she was just off on holiday, but turns out David had actually spent the past 11 months secretly planning a whirlwind engagement (at the Kotel!) and wedding!

Unbeknownst to Gemma, David even coordinated with the couple’s friends and family from around the world, who all flew in for their surprise bash. We’re obsessed with David’s venue pick of Olmaya, with its jawdroppingly epic views of Jerusalem’s Old City, and Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Luz Weddings Photography captured it all so exquisitely – we’re in love with their gorgeous shots of the breathtaking outdoor chuppah!

Gemma looked so ravishing in her Irena Burshtein gown, you’d never guess she had only one day to choose it – between her whirlwind engagement and wedding! The amazing team even managed to turn around her alterations in three days.

This is one unique wedding, and we’re so excited to let Gemma fill you in on all the details…


Natalie Abraham was our wedding planner. Our respective mothers and sisters planned the details of the wedding (since it was a complete surprise to me!) but as they were based in South Africa, they needed a wedding planner in Israel to put everything together.

Natalie did an incredible job putting everything together and making sure everything went smoothly and seamlessly! She made the process fun and easy and made sure that everything was done according to plan.

She helped to secure our amazing vendors and made the cross-country planning a breeze. She was always available to help with even the smallest detail and her passion and excitement for planning weddings made everything feel even more special. She was so dependable and trustworthy, very important characteristics for a wedding planner.

We knew that she had everything under control and this allowed us to just enjoy our incredible, perfect wedding. The colour scheme was yellow, my favourite colour. All the details had me in mind, which was so special.

Taken from:

Smashing the Glass Blog

Article published in 2020

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