Jen and Ilan in St. John…Amazing time in paradise!

I just got off the plane from St. Thomas, and I’m so filled with love and joy from the amazing wedding in St. John, that I just had to write about it right away, even though I have a million blog entries to write that are past due..well, maybe not a million..but you get the point!

Last night, Jennifer & Ilan were married at Hawk’s Nest Beach, on the magnificent island of St. John.  They are a Chicago couple that found me online, and from the moment Jennifer and I spoke, we knew we were going to have a great relationship, and once again – it couldn’t have been better!

Jen & Ilan weren’t the “average couple”.  They first began planning marriage back in 2001, when they were pregnant with their first child, but as many couples find – life was already presenting them with challenges they weren’t quite ready to face.  So, they decided to put their wedding on hold, and went on with their lives, learning the lessons and gaining the maturity they needed to make the commitment to each other.  Many thought that might never happen, but on Tuesday, June 29th, the day finally arrived.  Jennifer, Ilan, Jamie, and Michelle walked down the aisle together!

I loved getting to know Jen and Ilan, as well as their family and friends.  After hearing about the bumpy roads they had endured, and getting a sense that this bride and groom couldn’t possibly have been more different from each other, I wasn’t quite sure this was a match made in heaven.  That just goes to show us that sometimes, our initial impressions couldn’t be more wrong, because after spending 3 days with them, I have realized that they really were made just especially for one another, and that the work of G-d is a wonderful miracle.

We all had so much fun together!  As we were making plans, Jen kept talking about the villa.  I’m assuming a villa meant a little townhouse, but again, dead wrong was I!  I arrived at The Westin for their rehearsal dinner, and afterwards, Jen and Ilan brought me back to the villa, along with the rest of their bridal party.  We walked into PARADISE.  The Rhapsody villa  in St. John is absolutely the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and perfect for group relaxation, family gatherings, and parties!  You simply have to check this place out!

Jen’s family and friends were a blast to hang out with.  I spent most of the weekend with Cheryl, their cousin, and friends Julie & Margie, and Rick and Paul.  Rick and Paul were nicknamed “Cabana Boys” because anything any of the girls wanted, they were there to provide, and they were 2 of the nicest guys I’ve ever met at a wedding!  The families got along great together, and everyone was there to celebrate the joy of Ilan and Jen finally getting married!

The wedding was held about 10 minutes from the villa, at Hawk’s Nest Beach.  In about 5′ of sand, and about 98 degree temperature, (but who was noticing?) under my made-to-travel-chuppah, Jen and Ilan finally got married.

 

On Wednesday, we all gathered for brunch, and it was already time to leave.  I can’t wait to see the pictures, and to see Julie, Margie, Jen and Ilan again when I go to Chicago in November.  I was so sad for this wedding to come to an end, because I know that in real life, we would all have been such good friends.  But, that’s what makes my job so amazing – is that I make and keep friends all over the world, and these are friends I know will be around for a long time!

 

Love you guys, miss you much and can’t wait to see the pictures!

Debbi Ballard

Cantor Debbi brings warmth. passion, and an infectious smile to her ceremonies, serving Jewish-Interfaith couples and families for all of your Jewish lifecycle events in Florida, and around the world. For weddings, baby namings, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs and spiritual worship needs, Cantor Debbi works personally with each family – no rules, just right!

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