Destination Wedding in Tel Aviv Israel

Destination Wedding in Tel Aviv Israel by Liesl Diesel Photo.


I met Jenna a few years back after following her personal blog. Her story was so moving, and since that first connection when I photographed promotional portraits for her non-profit, Twist Out Cancer, I just haven’t been able to get enough of this amazing woman! From fundraisers to Pride Parades and company head shots. I believe my favorite project that I worked on for her was Brushes with Cancer, where I was able to express true artistic freedom and expression to create an art piece describing a survivor’s story for an auction.

Then usher in David, her perfect match, as you can tell from their engagement photos!

So, after all this collaboration together, imagine how moved I was that they wanted to fly me TO ISRAEL for their wedding. I was so humbled, and of course offered to stay with family to save them money, but they wouldn’t hear of it. Oh no. These two put me up in a two bedroom condo apartment for a week with their friends. Of all the destination weddings I have photographed, this one truly felt like a vacation! But I will try not to brag too much about how much beach time I got, or the local dishes and wine I was able to consume with friends.

I must say that I hope the images speak for themselves. Jenna & David have such a powerful and personal story, in fact the images I shot have already been published in the  Jerusalem Post, Israel’s largest daily newspaper, as well as the Hatunot Blog, the blog that Jenna used to help plan her wedding! I encourage you all to click through and read their story, and get involved if possible!


Jenna’s girlfriends watch as she has her hair done. These were two of my roommates for the week, I love them so much.

Jenna’s MAC make-up is bright and colorful, to match her rich and deep spirit and lively personality.


Her mother and bridesmaids help with the finishing touches.


Meet David. These two photos pretty much sum it up. He’s adorable. He’s sweet. He’s hilarious.


The wanted to do a first look since their ceremony was after sunset. As Jenna waited for David to finish tying his bowtie, Jenna managed to get some Israeli soldiers to post with her in the streets! I absolutely love this.


Jenna continues to wait (those pesky bowties . . .) so I grabbed some bridal portraits of her. the light was insane. Reflecting off walls and streets, she was in the shade but she was GLOWING!


Jenna and David. First look.


After their first moment together we went for a walk, and surprise surprise, we found sunny blue skies and palm trees. I guess that’s common in the Mediterranean.


Everything was so perfect, this almost felt like a styled magazine shoot rather than a wedding. If you are wondering how I get these two to look so good, I pretty much just said “go stand together over there and hang out.”


After sunny palms we headed to some cobblestone paths. Tel Aviv is such a beautiful city, and we were in a section called Neve Tzedek. The light was very harsh, so I posed them with the sun behind them and worked from the shadows.


I love smiles. I also happen to be a fan of striped bow-ties and polka-dot handkerchiefs. And also David. I’m a fan of David.


And of course, a portrait session of these two would never be complete without a few silly faces and ear-biting.


Jenna Jenna Jenna. She should model, but she’s too busy saving the world. I love her.


Beit Andromeda is such a wonderful venue! David and Jenna pose in front of this flower wall, it’s beautiful!


David and his brother review some details, and the men head downstairs for the Tish.


The women’s Tish is held outside, with music by friends and family.


David comes out to meet his bride.



After the Bedeken and Ketubah, guests head up to the rooftop for the ceremony. The rooftop overlooks the Mediterranean and you can see the skyline of Tel Aviv, it was perfect.



Officially married!

Clean, simple, green wedding decor.


Seeds to take home and plant!


What an amazing evening it was!



Venue – Beit Andromeda

Gown – Monique Lhullier

Makeup – Elisheva Avraham

Shoes – Bagdley Mishka

Floral – Bloesem

Video – Omer Yadgar Films

Music – Melody Trio, Udi Krause and DJ Shahar

Debordieu Country Club Wedding for Nicole & Ryan

Debordieu Country Club Wedding.

Nicole & Ryan held their beautiful country club wedding at one of my favorite Georgetown destinations, the Debordieu Club!

Romantic Portrait of Bride and Groom at Debordieu Country Club

Nicole is a native to Chicago, so we were able to coordinate their engagement session while we all were in town, you can view it here!

bridal portrait

Sara of Stunning and Brilliant Events did an outstanding job coordinating this gorgeous affair. She went over the top with fun details in the green and grey theme, which happen to be two of my favorite colors!

Venue: Debordieu Club

Coordinator: Stunning & Brilliant Events

Florist: Greenskeeper

Cigar Station: Cigar Row

Stylist: J. Leigh

Cake: Incredible Edibles

liesl diesel photo debordieu country club ceremony details

Such wonderful details for the ceremony!

liesl diesel photo debordieu country club ceremony flower girl wagon

flower girl wagon outdoor wedding

outdoor wedding ceremony debordieu country club

wedding vows ceremony

black and white wedding photographer outdoor ceremony destination photojournalist liesl diesel photo

Ryan surprised his new stepdaughter with a ring, and a promise to be a good father.

father gives daughter a ring during ceremony

tears of bridesmaids

sealed with a kiss

reception sign green grey color theme

Sara set up a lounge area for guests to relax at during the reception.

lime grey green white wedding color scheme

orchid lime grey green white wedding color scheme

lime grey green white wedding color scheme sweets table cake pops

Custom sweets and custom Mojitos!

first dance


reception cake cutting

celebratory cigars rolled on site by Cigar Row!

custom hand made cigars wedding favors

wedding reception

Thank you Nicole & Ryan, it was such a pleasure working with you and your families. I hope to see you again!


Liesl Diesel

Joel & Sarah’s Intimate Chicago Wedding

Joel & Sarah’s Intimate Chicago Wedding.

Joel & Sarah hired me to photograph their intimate Chicago wedding at Ms. Murphy & Son’s Irish Bistro  this past spring. It was a very meaningful and intimate day for them and their close friends and families!


They chose peacock feathers as part of the decor, which set the tone for the colors of the day.


Peacock feathers were incorporated into the boutonnieres, and even on Sarah’s ballet slippers!


After a sweet ceremony on the private upper level of the restaurant, we headed to the beautiful downtown Chicago area. Of course it was cold but they braved it as we shot at Milennium Park, Navy Pier, The Field Museum and Adler Planetarium!





Thank you once again for choosing me, and I hope you are enjoying your album as well as your new family!

Liesl Diesel

Elegant Evening Wedding Reception

Elegant evening wedding reception.

Adnan and Avni held their elegant evening wedding reception at The Meadows Club after a beautiful morning of ceremonies and rituals.

You can also view their engagement session, their Pithi Ceremony, and their morning portrait and ceremonies!

The two were dressed to impress, coordinated with their gold and purple evening theme!


Cake, flowers and favors!


A little toast with a little roast!


Their romantic first dance!


And their families and friends dance and celebrate with them all night!


Congratulations to both of you, and thank you so much for choosing me to be with you for all of these events! I hope you are loving your new home together!

Liesl Diesel

Winter White Wedding Portraits

Winter White Wedding Portraits

Avni and Adnan had a mixed Muslim and Hindu wedding right at the end of winter (on my birthday, actually!), so for the first ceremony, the Nikah, they both wore all white and gold.

It was a March wedding, so a little chilly to go outside! I set up a soft light in the lobby at The Meadows Club to create some bright and elegant portraits for them.

You can also view their engagement session as well as their Pithi Ceremony!

Avni is so sweet, I feel like this very simple portrait shows off how beautiful and precious she is!



And of course no portrait session is complete without the details that make each bride unique. Avni’s henna tattoos were so beautiful, and the jewelry and shoes she chose really accented her style!


And of course we cannot forget the groom! Adnan had on an intricately detailed traditional sherwani suit coat. VERY stylin’!


The couple sat on the stage during the Nikah ceremony.


Then they added red to their white outfits and had the traditional Hindu ceremony directly after. I like how the priest did the 7 steps ceremony on the stool in front of them, and had them cross their feet over one another!



After a sweet goodbye to her mother, the couple is on their way! Ready to prepare for a beautiful evening party, which I will be posting very soon!


Adnan & Avni’s Indian Pithi at The Meadows Club

Indian Pithi Ceremony at the Meadows Club

Avni & Adnan held their Indian Pithi Ceremony at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, IL.

Pithi is very significant as it represents the purification and preparation of the bride and groom for their wedding ceremony, it also gives their close family and friends to express emotions and share thoughts with them.

Avni’s beautiful henna tattoo!


She is guided toward her seat of honor by her closest friends and family!


The pithi paste gives them that special glow, especially Adnan, as his twin brother was careful not to miss a spot :)


After their purification they cleaned up and enjoyed the rest of their evening of performances and dancing!



Steve & Tea Tighten The Wrench

Moto Themed Wedding

Steve & Tea met doing something they love, racing motorcycles! So of course they had to have a moto themed wedding!

They “tightened the wrench” (tied the knot?) last December, and wanted a shot of the rings with a wrench, which made for some pretty shiny things, and I love pretty shiny things!


and due to a small snafu with the dress, Tea was literally wrenched into her dress. I’m not sure how this played out at the end of the night . . .


However, Once she was securely wired into her dress she was quite the model bride!


Hair by Shear Elegance

Make-up by Butterfly Spa



Their motorcycle tire cake! Designed and made by Karen Scobbie.


Steve managed a completely “hands-free” garter removal!


Thank you to both of you and all your family for hosting me for your fun and crazy wedding day! I am sure we will cross paths again (hopefully on our motorcycles, although yours will most certainly be faster than mine).


Liesl Diesel

Miriam & Larry at Adat Shalom Synagogue

After their portraits in downtown Detroit,

Miriam and Larry held their ceremony at Adat Shalom Synagogue.

They had a beautiful and colorful Ketubah!


Adat Shalom is a beautiful place to hold a wedding ceremony! They both look so excited walking down the aisle, full of energy.




Miriam & Larry had gorgeous rose centerpieces at their reception, and they really stood out against all the white. It was very clean and elegant!


Larry is so sweet and romantic, I love his face during the first dance.


And I love Miriam’s face during the Hora!


After some toasts, bread and wine the party got started!


Love you both, we are definitely due for a date!


Liesl Diesel

Miriam & Larry Detroit Wedding Portraits!

Detroit Wedding Photographer

Last December I got to shoot a destination wedding in Detroit at Adat Shalom Synagogue with an amazingly sweet Chicago couple, Miriam & Larry! You can view their engagement photos here!

You could NEVER guess from these photos that it was December in Detroit, Michigan! The sunset was to die for, and it was in the 60’s!

Miriam’s merengue layer dress from Demitrios was so elegant, and I wanted to show it off with some nice lighting.


The coral color of the bridesmaids dresses was a perfect compliment to the sunset!

Miriam and Larry strike a pose in front of the Renaissance Center at General Motors Building!


Beautiful rose bouquets by Breath of Spring Florist


We also stopped by the Detroit Institute of Arts, and I must reiterate that the weather was UNBELIEVABLE!!!



There are SO SO many photos I want to share, so I am breaking this wedding into a few blog posts so that the images will load faster in your browser. It will be worth the wait, more to follow soon!


White Pines State Park Wedding

John & Hannah had their destination state park wedding at the beautiful White Pines Inn. Although the terrain in Illinois is known for being flat, there are some hidden canyons that provide a beautiful, natural back drop for weddings!

Fall is my favorite time of year, especially if I am able to travel somewhere where the trees are changing colors. Nature can be so elegant without any help from people!


Hannah’s excitement was evident as she prepared in the bridal suite!


Her Dog’s perspective on life! Hannah also made the flower girl’s dress!


Hannah is really amazing. Aside from being a beautiful and talented ballerina, she made her own wedding gown, silk covered buttons and all. Anyone who has ever dealt with lace knows this was not an easy task! The lace was fitted perfectly and went so well with her vintage pearl earrings.


And yes, she really looks like this. Red hair, blue eyes, swan white skin. So pretty!


I loved shooting their portraits in the forest before their ceremony. It was dusk, and the quiet natural surroundings mirrored their gentle personalities.



Rings by Green Karat!

This photo is just some rusted paint on an antique truck near the ceremony site. I loved the colors and took some photos that ended up making lovely background images for their wedding album!



Sunflowers and cala lilies for a pop of color!





Thank you both so much for choosing me to photograph your wedding!


Liesl Diesel