Ron Shkedi and Sagi Golan met the good old fashioned way—on the dance floor. “It was in a club in Tel-Aviv,” Ron says. “Well before the smartphone/online era.” The couple dated for 11 years until one vacation in Sayulita, Mexico, when they were both watching the sunset from their hotel and mutually decided they wanted to get married. “We talked about life and said: This is it—we are ready and let’s do it!” adds Sagi.
Since Ron and Sagi are based in New York—Ron works as an independent consultant, while Sagi is senior urban designer at the NYC Department of City Planning—they first hosted a mini wedding in the Big Apple on a snowy winter day. “We wanted the big wedding to be a summer beach wedding and there is not better place than our hometown of Tel Aviv,” Ron adds.
The two wanted an authentic Tel-Avivian wedding, and therefore looked for naturally beautiful locations that would highlight the city and which would require little decor. They ended up choosing to host a welcome cocktail party at Sagi’s parents’s home overlooking the skyline of Tel Aviv, and the wedding itself at the home of Israeli chef and photographer, Limor Tirosh. “It’s a 200 year old house from the Ottoman era and the home of the Jaffa port governor at the time; later owned by the British government and the Israeli army” Sagi explains. Their closing event took place at Ron’s parents’s house. “We felt that all of our venues represented unique aspects of our home country and were perfect settings for the celebration, musing beauty, history and ourselves, he adds.”
The day of the ceremony, the couple kicked off their wedding with a parade through an ancient alley leading from the house to a public garden overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. “We had a marching band that led the parade through the beautiful ancient Jaffa streets to the location of the ceremony during sunset,” Ron explains. At the start of the ceremony, the couple chose “Mysteries of Love” by Sufjan Stevens from the movie, Call Me By Your Name. Their mutual friend Moran officiated the event, which was written as a collaboration between the three of them, and they closed off with a rendition of “I Want Your Love” by Chic.
A cocktail party at Limor Tirosh’s house followed, where a chef created a menu of 27 Mediterranean small dishes that were served progressively throughout the evening. Two DJs, playing a mix of Arab electronic music and NY disco, kept guests dancing all night. “It was a merging of our two worlds into one,” says Sagi. Later on, the newlyweds’s parents made touching toasts. “Ron’s mom was talking about how her gay son changed her for the better, making her more open and liberal,” says Sagi. “Sagi’s mom killed it when she said ‘Thank god my son is gay!’ referencing her special relationship with me,” Ron adds. Around 1:00 a.m., the party came to a close after the cops stopped by to complain about the noise. But that didn’t retract from the day’s happiness. “It’s a very powerful experience to stand with your partner, especially in gay relationships, in front of your closest people in your lives and share these intimate life values and vows,” Sagi says. “It was a mix of adrenaline and pure joy.”