Wedding Guest Activities for First Timers in Israel
By Lisa Shiner
When you plan your wedding in Israel, you need to consider more than just your wedding guests, ceremony, gown, cake, and first dance (important as those are...). You need to honor your guests and realize that this may be their first (and in many cases, their only) visit to the Holy Land. Your wedding may be the catalyst for their visit, but the opportunity is larger than life. Take on the role with pride: it is thanks to your special day that your friends and family members will have the trip of a lifetime!
Some activities you may want to coordinate for all of your wedding guests and some you may want to suggest that first-timers do on their own time.
Here is a list of once-in-a-lifetime experiences not available anywhere else on earth.
THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM
This magical epicenter of history and religion is like no place else. Different cultures converge and coalesce in this beautiful, significant place that, pardon the pun, never gets old. Churches, mosques, the Western Wall, shops, restaurants, people, and a unique experience: a memory that becomes etched in the soul.
A visit to the Old City can be a day trip for your guests – an unforgettable day trip.
THE DEAD SEA
An unforgettable experience of a different kind, the Dead Sea has the lowest elevation on Earth and the highest concentration of salt, making it a one-of-a-kind place that is definitely worth a visit. In the water, your wedding guests will float on their backs in the warmth of the sea. On the shore, they will lather up in the healing Dead Sea mud. Plenty of world-class spas dot the area for those in need of extra pre-wedding pampering.
THE SEA OF GALILEE
In northern Israel, the Sea of Galilee offers a different experience to every visitor. Those in search of religious or historical significance will find it in the area’s sites of Capernaum, Jordan River, and Ohalo, one of the best preserved hunter-gatherer archaeological sites of the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature enthusiast will revel in the beauty and calmness of the area. Adventurers can enjoy a variety of watersports like waterskiing, kayaking, and more.
Like many experiences in Israel, Tel Aviv is not a place that can be summed up in slogans. Sure, it is a city the never stops, never sleeps, and is never the same...but this its nightlife and energy is only one aspect that make it inimitable. Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean beaches are sublime, its history is awe-inspiring, its people are generous, its shopping is extraordinary, and its dining options are vast and distinctive. Tel Aviv is modern, vibrant, artistic, and architecturally eccentric.
First-time visitors to Israel must spend a day (or more!) exploring Tel Aviv.
THE TOUR GUIDE BRIDE
If you would like to show your friends and family around the sights, sounds and tastes of Israel, they would welcome your guidance. But, they will also understand if you cannot be their private tour guide. Instead, prepare ahead and arm your guests with suggestions of where to go and what to do. Remember that on their first visit they may feel alienated, so your suggestions will be a welcome piece of “home” to take with them as they explore. Some brides book guides to take their wedding guests on tours around the country; others opt for providing a guidebook. Whichever suits your style (and budget) is fine – either way, the experiences that surround your wedding will be life-altering memories from a magical place.
Lisa Shiner is a Partner at BE Group TLV, a premier wedding and private events consultancy based in Tel Aviv. The company offers tailored event planning and production for international clients looking to hold an elegant celebration in Israel. Lisa combines a background in law with over seven years of experience in the luxury events industry. A certified member of both the UK and Israel Bar, she has pioneered well-drafted vendor agreements, in both English and Hebrew, for BE Group clients. The special day itself is meticulously monitored and supervised start-to-finish by a professional on-site team for optimal results.