My Big Fat Israeli Wedding: An inspirational love story

With 110 guests that traveled from over 8 different countries, Jenna and David were determined to create a dynamic week for their guests.

Jenna and David's wedding (photo credit:  Liesl Diesel)
Jenna and David's wedding
(photo credit: Liesl Diesel)
This time we are featuring part two of Jenna and David's amazing wedding (see part one - the decor, ). We are used to featuring beautiful weddings, but an inspirational and wonderful story such as Jenna and David's really makes us proud to post about it.

For years David and Jenna lived a few doors away from each other on the same street in Montreal while studying at Mcgill University. They had the same groups of friends, frequented the same cafe’s and restaurants, and studied at the same places. There were many opportunities for their lives to intersect -  but they were not ready. Upon completion of their studies, they both moved to Chicago, still, without having ever met. While in Chicago, David decided to pursue his interests in lung cancer research. During David’s year of research, he realized that his passion lies in thoracic surgery and in providing the necessary support to cancer patients and their families.Around the same time Jenna was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called Grey Zone Lymphoma which affects less than 300 people in the United States. Jenna, during her own experiences with cancer realized the critical importance of providing psycho-social support to cancer patients and their families.In 2011, three months after the completion of her cancer treatment, Jenna founded the organization Twist Out Cancer (TOC) which leverages social media to help survivors and their loved ones combat the feelings of isolation, loneliness and helplessness that often accompany cancer diagnoses and treatment. TOC provides a forum through which anyone affected by cancer can share thoughts, experiences, stories, and insights, allowing for the exchange of ideas, encouragement, and wisdom from one community member to another.In late November of 2011 a mutual friend of Jenna and David’s set them up. The two first connected on Facebook and became pen pals before meeting in person over a 7 1/2 hour dinner. What became evident upon their first meeting is that their passions and values were aligned, and that they had so many shared experiences without ever having shared them together. David proposed two and a half months later and they were married in Israel.For Jenna, Israel has always been a second home. She had contemplated making aliyah before she was diagnosed with Cancer, and she had always dreamed about being married in Jaffa overlooking the water which has become a symbol of healing and strength. Likewise for David, Israel has always been a place that holds significant meaning and importance for him both culturally and  spiritually. After their quick engagement, David suggested the idea of marrying in Israel, and Jenna quickly obliged. This not only was an opportunity for Jenna and David to share their special place with those they love the most, but it was a chance to bring Jenna’s father to Israel for the first time, and her mother back to Israel after 42 years.With 110 guests that traveled from over eight different countries, Jenna and David were determined to create a dynamic week for their guests. With optional tours to Jerusalem and Massada as well as a wine and spice farm tours in the lower Galilee, their guests had the opportunity to see the country up close and personally.Jenna and David planned their entire wedding while abroad. They followed Hatunot as a guide and made decisions based upon user reviews and friend and family recommendations. Their beautiful Jaffa wedding began at 6:30 p.m. and ended at 6:30 a.m. with sunrise at the Beach. A post wedding reception was held the following day at Regina Restaurant and guests were also invited to a Saturday a picnic lunch at the Hilton Beach. The couple spent the following week on their honeymoon at Tholos Resort in Santorini, Greece. The stunning images from Jenna and David's beautiful and emotional day were taken by Liesl Diesl who has been working with Jenna since she founded Twist Out Cancer. Decor team Bloesem was in charge of transforming the Jaffa's Beit Andromeda venue into a Rustic Garden and the pinata seed guest giveaways and all that is left is to wish Jenna & David a huge mazal tov and thank them for sharing their exceptional and inspirational story and wedding day with us. We are truly amazed and inspired by your story, your amazing contribution to the community and your beautiful wedding photos. Beautiful inside and out, without a doubt.Vital statisticsVenue: Beit AndromedaPhotographer: Liesl DieselVideo: Omer Yadgar FilmsFloral & Design: BloesemBridal Gown: Monique LhullierHair: Hair By GalliMakeup: Elisheva AvrahamShoes: Bagdley MishkaGroom Attire: Custom MadeBoutonniere: BloesemGuest Giveaway: Plantable Seeds - BloesemDJ: Dj ShaharLive Music: Live Drumming by Udi KraussLive Music: Klezmer and Jazz provided by Melody TrioTours: Journey Israel LLCTours: Delicious Israel For the full wedding and more pictures, visit