So it’s a week before my perfect wedding in Israel, and I couldn’t be more excited!
It hasn’t been easy up until now. Months of planning in order to figure out the date, the venue, the dress; so many decisions to make, factoring in two families and a million opinions: buffet or sit down dinner, live band or cool DJ, flowers or candles for centerpieces, number of guests and who should sit with who… Not to mention keeping everything in our budget.
One of the best parts about this wedding in Israel is that our closest friends and family members will be traveling from the US to join us, and I’m very glad. Well, I was glad in my downtime, between all the phone calls and e-mails helping them plan their trips.
I really don’t mean to complain. It’s just that I had all these other things to plan (see above), but my in box was overloaded by messages from our international guests! Which is the best hotel, and how far is it from the beach? They wanted to book a tour but one wanted museums and the other wanted wine tasting! How can I get a data plan in Israel, they would ask, and who’s the better service provider? They want to know about good restaurants in Tel Aviv, and do I know where they’ll be able to buy tasteful but inexpensive souvenirs.
I wanted everyone to make the most of visiting Israel and to have a wonderful time in this country I love so much, but I also just couldn’t keep up with all those demands on my time when I still had so much to think about for my big day just around the corner!
The real challenge came when I started looking for some professional help in making appropriate travel arrangements for everyone for the Israeli part of their stay.
One useful place I thought was worth checking out is the new Israel Tourist Magazine website. I was recommended a number of possible contacts. There were many local tourist visitor centers that I were really most friendly and helpful. But the real agony came when I realized that it would be down to me to then follow through on all the contacts, and that proved not only time consuming but somewhat frustrating after meeting many dead-ends due to booking problems, price changes…you name it!
The good news is that I did manage to find the perfect solution. Israel Tourist Magazine and many other prominent sources directed me towards a 24-hour travel concierge service that could look after my guests with the same care that I would have done, if I had the time to do it all on my lonesome!
They found suitable accommodation for all the guests – my uncle’s family in a nice apartment, and everyone else in their choice of hotels. They also helped my fiancé’s mom arrange a rental car so she can help us with errands when she comes. The best part is they also organized amazing day tours before the wedding so our guests can experience all the best sites in Israel: Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the Galilee and more! It’s also a great opportunity for both sides of the family to bond a bit more, which is nice. If any of my guests want to know the best restaurants, where to shop, where to go out, or have any other questions, they know who to call… Simply, Israel!
Now all I have to do is look forward to my wedding! It’s going to be perfect – overlooking the Mediterranean sea at sunset, with my parents walking me to the chupa and my loving groom waiting for me there, surrounded by our family and friends who have traveled all this way to celebrate our marriage. And it’s all taken care of.
So don’t be discouraged, there are ways of taking care of your perfect wedding and all those guests, although I didn’t recognize half the names? If you have ample time, infinite patience, and don’t mind facing disappointments, then contacting local tourist visitor sites might be an answer. However, I would first check out a more professional option, as the time and money spent on trying to skimp on such things will end up costing a lot more, believe I know from first hand experience!
I would first suggest leaving your wedding guests in the best of hands with Simply, Israel. After checking out professional options, they proved by far to be the most cost-effective, actually saving me money, and also their knowledgeable staff were most friendly and couldn’t do enough to help out. They even suggested a few half day options that didn’t cost money.
Another thing we found worthwhile preparing for is the weather. Although late summer and early spring costs for wedding halls, accommodation and other related things were cheaper, there are no hard and fast rules regarding weather conditions. I have friends who got married during those periods who can testify to this. One thought they would be safe planning a romantic wedding on the beach. She was nearly in tears when the chuppa nearly turned into a hot air balloon making a sudden ascent during a strong gust of wind. Fortunately, nearby guests prevented a near disaster! The other side of that coin is the near endless summer days one can experience, even into late December.
Now I have other things to get ready for, but I hope you found this article helpful. Once again, you can contact the visitors centers. Upon arrival in Israel there’s one located at Ben Gurion Airport in the Entrance Hall. They are usually open all the time. You can also check out Simply, Israel. Have a great wedding!