My art studio was born when Shannon and Ari asked me to make their ketubah. Of course, I didn’t realize this was going to be my future career at the time. This was late summer of 2007. I was a newlywed, having just made my very first ketubah for my own wedding.
Shannon and I had lived in the same absorption center as new immigrants in Israel and had become fast friends. After being a guest at my wedding, and with her own wedding scheduled on the horizon, she enlisted me to make her ketubah – my first official ketubah order.
I have to confess -- I was nervous. This was a lot of responsibility! It's one thing to make a ketubah for yourself and your husband (who, let's be honest, loves everything you do), but quite another to create something that your friends will keep in their home forever and pass on to their future children!
But it helped that Shannon and I have similar taste and aesthetics – we both love accessories, textures, patterns, and tons of color. I was up for for the challenge!
Shannon and Ari got married in a cave in the center of Israel. Yes, a cave.
It was one of the most joyful, soulful, dance-till-your-feet-bleed celebrations I have ever experienced.
If you don't believe me, here I am getting down with the gorgeous bride.
Now, 10 years later, Shannon and Ari have two gorgeous kids, have lived in two countries (and I don’t know how many homes!), both have amazing flourishing careers which they have transferred with them across continents, have supported each other through serious struggles and illness, and are generally a model of what a great family looks like.
I am so thrilled that Shannon took the time to share some of their love story, wisdom and advice.
What is your favorite memory of your wedding day?
Seeing Ari dancing with so much happiness and full of joy.
What would you say is your happiest moment as a married couple thus far?
The birth of our children.
What is your favorite thing about being married?
Being married to my best friend.
What has been your most challenging moment and how have you overcome it?
When I was diagnosed with cancer. Ari was by my side through everything.
What advice would you give engaged couples or newlyweds knowing what you know now?
Talk about where each of you stand before you get married on the big issues -- especially regarding finances and children. Honesty is the foundation of marriage.
What traditions have you established for yourselves as a family?
Shabbat dinners on Friday nights, family vacations.
Where is your ketubah now?
Hanging in the front hallway of our new home!
For Shannon's birthday this year, Ari got her a very special gift --- he commissioned me to make a custom family portrait mezuzah for them!
What a thoughtful husband he is.
Mazel tov to these two. Wishing you 100 more happy, healthy, joyful years together!