Our Intimate Jewish Wedding In A Greenhouse On The Coast

Tip: Don't remodel your home while wedding planning

Shir, Plant Manager & Benjamin, Operations Manager

Sum-up of the wedding vibe: An intimate, relaxed, California greenhouse wedding.

Number of guests: 40
LOCATION: Half Moon Bay, California

Where we allocated the most funds:

Dinner reception, which was $5,000.

Where we allocated the least funds:

We entered ourselves in wedding competition for free wedding photography and won! The photographers happened to be the uber talented Jana and Jamie of River Medlock photography who captured our day so beautifully and truly told the story of how the day unfolded. Since we were having a small wedding, we decided to skip sending formal invites and used our wedding website to share our wedding day info and have our guests RSVP. We got married in a greenhouse, so we didn’t spend very much decorating—it was already plush, green, and beautiful.

What was totally worth it:

Vacation Rental: The boathouse where I (Shir) got ready and where we spent our first two nights as husband and wife is a unique vacation rental right on the water in Pacifica, California. It truly is a dream, and it made for the perfect location to share our first look together, as well as our first two nights as newly weds.
Musician: Justin Ward—the saxophonist we hired to play music as guests arrived and during our ceremony. He is amazingly talented, and I still cannot believe we were lucky enough to have him perform at our wedding ceremony.

What was totally not worth it:

Nothing! We kept things minimal and all of our expenses were appropriate and necessary.

A few things that helped us along the way:

My husband says that me and me helped us along the way. I would have to say our Rabbi who prepared us for our wedding gave us great advice along the way to help us navigate through the wedding planning process. Being in touch with the right people. Taking the time to really feel out what spoke to us and felt authentic to who we are as a couple. Couples therapy.

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Be authentic and take your time planning. Believe in your vision! Pick a location(s) that is naturally beautiful and doesn’t need a whole lot added so you can spend money elsewhere. And if you can, find a jack of all trades. A friend referred me to a woman who actually lived in the city we got married in; she did my flowers, set up everything for the ceremony, and also acted as a coordinator. She also brought and set up the chuppah! But I would imagine this would only work if you were having a smaller wedding like we did.

Favorite thing about the wedding:

Our ceremony was pretty spectacular and we were in such a beautiful setting in the greenhouse.

Something else we’d like to share:

Planning a wedding, large or small, is a big undertaking. Our reality was that we got engaged and decided to take on a huge construction project—remodeling a home and building a unit—immediately after. We ended up moving in with my parents and had a two-hour commute into the city every day for work. As you can imagine, this added to the stress of planning. BUT WE DID IT and it turned out beautifully! So if you feel like running off and eloping, do it! If you want the big wedding, do it! If you want the small wedding like we did, just do it! It’s your day, make it happen the way you want to remember it!


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