Martha & Jonathan's Israel and Prague unconventional Jewish wedding

January 27 |
marthanton04
Photos by Or Eitan

The offbeat bride: Martha, production manager and freelance fashion designer

Her offbeat partner: Jonathan, BI administrator

Date and location of wedding: Hazer Habeer Wedding Garden in North Israel — May 13, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We both are very liberal and open minded, and not into any religion at all. So a month before that we took a week-long trip to Prague and had a Prague civil marriage ceremony to avoid some of the Israeli restrictions. It was a small ceremony, only for us and couple of our friends who served as our witnesses. After that, we had our ceremony in Israel for our family and friends.

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We planned to have a minimal budget and we fulfilled that goal. I designed and made both of my wedding dresses. We picked Jonathan's outfit from a local store and accessorized it with things we already had at home. I did my hair and makeup, as well as my friend's hair. I made a flower bouquet from buttons and fabric left from my wedding dress. I wore a custom-made headpiece made by Amore Demori.

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We both had tungsten wedding bands inlaid with carbon fiber, bought on eBay for a low price. The DJ played our special playlist that we organized over the course of a year. Our first dance held to Muse's "Neutron Star Collision."

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Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony was conducted by our good friend, and the speech was an original piece which we wrote ourselves. We exchanged wedding rings during the formal ceremony in Prague, so we chose to be handcuffed on the second ceremony!

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Our biggest challenge: We wanted it to be held outside in the hall garden. An hour before guests arrived, it started raining, which for Israel in May is not typical. At the last minute, we made a choice to hold it inside the hall. It turned out to be the right decision. The rain lasted for about 20 minutes, but after the sun came out the weather was still soggy and gray. However, inside was warm and cozy.

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My funniest moment: During the ceremony, our guests didn't know until the last moment that our bridesmaid was carrying handcuffs in her heart-shaped box. It was a big surprise, and everyone laughed.

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My advice for offbeat brides: If you have some image in your mind of how your wedding ceremony should be, dare to try. Improvise, plan, and DIY to make it fit. It will be remembered by everyone for the personal touches and the love that you put into it.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. I love your wedding! Everyone seems so relaxed and happy.

    I'm just curious from a cultural perspective, you mentioned that Israel has certain restrictions on marriage that you were trying to avoid. What are those?

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    • Yes I guess everyone enjoyed it!
      In Israel – if you are Jewish, you have to marry with Rabi and after that your marriage is legal. There is no civil marriages here, cause the religion is ruling the country:) But there are permission to go to Cyprus or Prague and get marry there, and all the documents are legal and accepted by local laws. Many couples in Israel prefer this option, also these who simply cannot be married by Rabi, even if they wanted to – cause the bride or the groom not Jewish.

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      • Hi Martha & Jonathan,

        Your wedding looked great…lots of smiling people. You looked very happy and I loved your dress.

        I'm contacting you int he hope that you may be able to give me a bit of advise about marrying in Prague.

        I'm engaged to an Israeli and I'm British and I'm currently here in Israel. We would like also to get married in Prague rather than Cyprus but I can't find any wedding company that will deal with us. If I was Russian or Israeli that would be fine.

        Did you have a company to organise all the required documents that you could recommend. I've looked at all the paperwork and it seems ok but my fiance wants to be sure so we're looking for someone to deal with from Israel.

        I hope you don't mind me contacting you it's just proving very difficult to organise everything from here and I'd just like to get married.

        Have a great day and hope to hear from you

        Suzanne

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  2. i love love love your dress and adore the gloves! the wedding looks so pretty! great job!

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  3. The back of your first dress (the one with the uneven bottom) is stunning! And can I just say you guys have some beautiful friends! ;)

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  4. Holy shit! You MADE those dresses?!?! They're both amazing. I saw the asymmetrical one and thought "man, that must have been one expensive designer dress." Props. I'm so impressed!

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  5. AMAZING DRESS! Awesome wedding!

    My fiance & I also have carbon fiber bands bought on ebay for cheap :-)

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  6. I am absolutely IN LOVE with your wedding dress! It is SOOOOOO beautiful! I checked out your Flicker wedding pix… It looked like an awesome, fun and beautiful event! Congrats!!

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  7. I'm loving Martha's asymmetrical dress! Is there a tag for those?

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