A new Middle East – such was this laid back, relaxed and intimate wedding, which swept ashore all the good our warm region has to offer
This was not my first event at Palmahim beach, in the outdoor event garden that appears to be floating on water. Yet this time it felt different – now I could see more of the ocean. I solved the riddle later on, but meanwhile, I filled my lungs with the salty air, gazed out into the sea and surrendered to the seaside vacation atmosphere.
The cocktail area divulged nothing of what was in store in the reception area behind the closed white drapes. It did, however, disclose the Mediterranean aroma that hung rich in the air for the entire wedding. Smells of honey, mint and the good earth’s fruit swirled amid hues of olive, cream, white and blue – the colors of our beautiful country.
The rings were exchanged in an early ceremony, while the sun set in its own end-of-the-day ritual. The ceremonial canopy was set up in an intimate corner on turf that was especially laid down near the reception area. From here, the excited guests could gaze out into a horizon where sky meets water. Symbolic? There's no denying it. The walkway, previously leading the guests from the cocktail area to the ceremonial area, was moved, at one point, and now led to the reception area.
The mood was that of a relaxed, quintessential Israeli evening at home with mates. yet rather than sitting out on the balcony with a glass of Arak and a slice of watermelon, we partied on the beach on a warm summer evening, with loads of friends, good music and the perfect food to complement it all – stuffed vine leaves, kebab and ,of course, Ouzo and fine wine. Apart from plates flying through the air, the celebration resembled a jovial Greek tavern.
The dining tables stood on raised tiers surrounding the dance floor. Above hung an unusual massive chandelier made of entwined vine branches. The casual atmosphere got the guests to kick off their shoes and live it up on the dance floor. Dancing facing the ocean, I suddenly realized why the surroundings looked different this time – the designers refashioned the place so that now the ocean was in full view from every spot in the garden.
The couple anticipated the guests would be in no hurry to leave this Mediterranean paradise. And indeed, well into the night we found ourselves strolling down to the waterfront, sitting around a campfire and sharing a Shawarma meat-wrap while dipping our feet in the warn water and bidding farewell to an enchanted evening.