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Lior & Gil's Wedding

Lior & Gil's Wedding

When Gil & Lior invited us to their wedding in Israel, we immediately decided to go. Though I hadn't seen Gil in 12 years and I'd never met Lior, I was certain it was going to be a fantastic day. It exceeded my expectations.

Mat Hollingsworth
Mat Hollingsworth

4 min read

When Gil & Lior invited us to their wedding in Israel, we immediately decided to go. Though I hadn't seen Gil in 12 years and I'd never met Lior, I was certain it was going to be a fantastic day. It exceeded my expectations.

I first met Gil 2005 while backpacking in South America. We hung out for six weeks, and I haven't seen him since. Those six weeks weeks were some of the happiest and most exhilarating times in my life, largely because of Gil's larrikin personality and generosity of spirit. I'd made a friend for life.

We kept in touch online, but had always failed to connect whenever I was in Europe.

So, when Gil and Lior announced their engagement and invited us to attend their wedding on a kibbutz outside of Tel Aviv, Prue and I immediately knew that we had to go. Plus, it was a great excuse to visit Israel, Jordan and Istanbul.

I'd never attended an Israeli wedding, and I didn't know what to expect. It turned out to be a lot of fun! It was the most high energy, positive vibes, relaxed and loving event that I've ever attended.

We caught a bus with the other guests from Tel Aviv to the Kibbutz around 11am. It was an amazing location for a wedding. The large event space was open air with views over the garden and an well stocked doubled side bar, a huge dance floor with a DJ booth and industrial fans on 4 corners. Clearly, there was a focus to the space, booze and dancing.

On arrival we were greeted by Gil and Lior who were mingling at a pre-ceremony cocktail party. There were also delicious canapes.

After a short while, the ceremony took place. We were each given little box of tissues a sticker that matched the invitations.

Gil and Lior each walked down the garden path to the altar with their parents to a Avihu Pinhasov Rhythm Club's cover of 'Sweet Child of Mine' by Guns and Roses.

The ceremony was in Hebrew, of course, but Judith and Asaf helpfully translated into English and German for the non-hebrew speaking guests.

I didn't catch every word of the ceremony, but I still teared up. It was a lovely ceremony. We congratulated Gil and Lior, took a few photos, and then the shots started. After a few cheeky shots of Arak, it was time for lunch.

We then had a delicious buffet lunch. Before we'd finished our meal the dance floor was in full swing. Prue and I promptly finished our meals and joined in. We didn't leave the dance floor except to get a drink until it was time to leave 4 hours later.

Highlights included: (Video at the bottom)

  • Gil dancing with everyone and maintaining the intensity for the entire day
  • The Music. The tunes were brilliant, crazy middle eastern mashups of western songs, Israeli pop songs and anthems, and a good dose of hip hop and soul at the end.
  • One of Gil and Lior's friends' playing drums on pots and pans held by guests
  • Gil and Lior dancing whilst being held above the crowd
  • Gil collecting the belts of every man at the party, draping them around his neck and then placing them around Liors. (Apparently not a tradition, just something that Gil did spontaneously.)
  • Drinking Khat. A kind of stimulating Yemeni herbal tonic, similar to mate or chewing coca leaves.
  • Watching Gil drink shots and then casually toss the (plastic) shot glass over his shoulder into the crowd.
  • Robin collecting lipstick kisses
  • Riding rental bikes back from the bus station in our wedding outfits.

We eventually had to get the bus home, but the night was still young, so we met up in Jaffa for some more drinks and some food, before calling it a night around 11pm.