The 34-year-old social worker, who married 17th District state Rep. Josh Mandel, 31, in Jerusalem on Aug. 28, explains that patience comes in handy when dealing with the time difference and Israel’s Sunday-through-Thursday workweek. And a wedding planner in Israel is instrumental when working with local venders who don’t speak English, navigating a foreign culture and arranging accommodations for large numbers of people. Although two-thirds of the 250 guests were family members living in Israel, others traveled from the United States, Italy and England.
But the bride and groom insist the result was well worth the 11-month effort. Ilana says the country is “a special place” for both of them — she lived there for a time, and Josh has visited twice. The catering-hall patio where they were married proved to be a truly spectacular location. “The sun was setting in the Old City behind us,” says Josh, a 30-year-old former Marine, whose contribution to the wedding was arranging for Marines from the U.S. Embassy to perform a sword ceremony after they said, “I do.”
Ilana raves that the food at their reception was a real value. The feast was a truly international spread that included chicken schnitzel, lamb kabobs and Asian and Mexican stations on the cocktail-hour buffet and a sit-down dinner of teriyaki chicken and braised duck.
“We got a lot more food, and better quality, than we ever would get here for the price,” she says.