Sakara Life co-founder Whitney Tingle is embarking on her second marriage—with her first husband, Itay Blasenheim. “Margaret Mead suggested that we should all have three marriages—even if to the same person,” the entrepreneur, 31, tells The Knot. “The first for love and lust, the second for kids, and the third—for companionship. The last eight years was our first marriage and now, we’re moving into the second. And we’ll look forward to our third!”
Tingle, the co-founder behind organic meal delivery service Sakara Life, and Blasenheim, 38, were together for eight years before they officially said “I do,” and the union was well worth the wait.
“It wasn’t because we weren’t sure we wanted to be together; we just weren’t ready for ‘married life’ and didn’t feel a need to rush it,” Tingle says of the decision. The couple wanted their relationship to develop sans the pressures of matrimony. “We enjoyed being individuals [first] and still had a lot of growing to do before joining together to start a family. But we both feel that the main reason we’ve been able to maintain a strong relationship for so long is because we help each other grow. In our vows, we ended with promising ‘to continue to help you grow to become the fullest expression of yourself.’ Even though it hasn’t been easy, we both feel that we are better people together and because of each other.”
The couple’s relationship started at a cocktail party in New York City; their marriage, meanwhile, began in Tel Aviv, Israel, where Blasenheim was raised. “I wanted to start by creating a brand for our wedding,” Tingle says of the planning process. “Because I have Sakara… I tried to make it fun and cool.”
If there’s one aspect of planning she would do differently, it’s the method she took for monitoring invitation responses. “I sent out Save The Dates mostly through text message, because it’s on somebody’s phone and it’s very personal,” she muses. “But it was so difficult to track.” (We suggest using The Knot Guest List Manager to alleviate the process.) The destination wedding, after all, included 200 family members and friends. The couple purposely wanted their nuptials to feel more like a “fun party” than a formal affair.
“I created a Pinterest board to help inspire people on what to wear,” Tingle says. “Basically, we wanted it to be on the edge of being a costume party—to get people to dress up more than they normally would and put them outside their comfort zones. People really dressed up which made it a ton of fun.”
The health and fitness guru incorporated plenty of personalized details into the day’s events—including, of course, delicious, healthy eats; Tingle even incorporated a Sakara Life Level II regimen into her ramp up to the big day to make sure she felt her best.
“I never thought I’d be the girl who would ‘prep for the wedding,’ but as it got closer I realized I really did want to feel my best on my wedding day and to use it as motivation to get in the best shape of my life,” she tells The Knot. “I planned out my wedding prep to cover the different areas I wanted to work on: diet, exercise and skin. Going through the process I realized that brides need support and help on what to eat in order to achieve their wedding-body goals, so I actually created a special package on Sakara just for brides and that’s what I did to get ready!”
See more details from the wedding day below.
The Ceremony Site
The pair wanted to pay homage to their surroundings with their venue, and so hosted the wedding itself in the old Jaffa flea market. “The building was built over 300 years ago and holds the energy and history from over the time,” Tingle says. “We chose Israel because Itay is from there and because it’s a such a powerful place. We wanted our friends to experience it. Many were coming to Israel for the first time, so we wanted to show them all the best places.”
The Reception Site
Tingle and Blasenheim held their reception at the same place as their ceremony, Noor Jaffa, with both indoor and outdoor spaces for guests to wander about and mingle. “We didn’t want it to feel too formal, but more like a fun party, so we made sure there were ‘hangout areas’ with couches and little low tables with stools that felt very Middle Eastern,” Tingle says. “Our theme was ‘Jaffa Style,’ but it almost felt like a Night in Casablanca when it all came together.”
The night before, they held their rehearsal dinner in a private secret garden behind the famous Dallal restaurant, where guests dined on fresh branzino, mushroom penne pasta and lots of veggies inside a giant glass atrium.
Tingle knew she would need help planning a destination wedding, and so, the bride enlisted the help of wedding designer Bar Elyakim, the founder of Scarlet McCaw Event Production & Design. “She’s one of the coolest ‘it’ girls of Tel Aviv, and a stellar project manager. Plus, she has the hippest taste,” Tingle says. “She is really like one of the wedding planners you see in the movies going to any length to make your dream wedding come true.”
The couple worked with Be Solid photography for their big day, and opted to have a first look to get photographs before the ceremony.
Tingle decided to go with two stunning styles for her big day. The first, a dress by Naeem Khan accessorized perfectly with a pair of matching earrings by Khan’s wife. (“The look fit the Jaffa style theme perfectly!” Tingle says).
Jeweler Bliss Lau designed the wedding bands. “Bliss is such an amazing designer and artist,” she continues. “I wanted something that felt very unique and unusual, but it was also classic and timeless… Almost every day, somebody mentions something to me [about the ring].”
For the reception, Tingle changed into a hand-beaded dress by Israeli designer Dana Harel, whose designs she describes as “very fresh, feminine and sexy.”
Blasenheim’s tux was sweet and simple: a classic black tuxedo from J. Lindeberg. But, in keeping with the fun atmosphere of the reception, he changed into a white linen dinner jacket for the latter half of the night, a look that Tingle called “very Casablanca.”
The Wedding Party
The couple tried to maintain tradition with their ceremony; as such, Itay chose four “best men” to hold the poles of the chuppah, and the couple asked seven of their best friends to each deliver a blessing in whatever way they chose for the 7 Blessings part of the ceremony. Tingle says “one friend led everyone in a meditation, holding hands, closing their eyes and sending us their love.” Another, she says, recited a poem by E.E. Cummings, and yet another wrote a personalized poem about the couple.
“Each was unique and special and we loved having the ceremony be co-created with the people who influence our lives,” Tingle says.
In keeping with their idea of a fun wedding, the couple opted for a buffet option for dinner in place of more formal plated meals. “Part of the reason is just because we find that to be more fun, the other part is so that we wouldn’t have to do a seating chart and worry about the who’s coming or not coming,” Tingle tells The Knot. “We were able to continue to invite people all the way up to the wedding day and just add more chairs. It was great!”
The menu featured traditional Israeli fare, including lots of fresh vegetables, spreads and hummus, different meats and fish, and flatbreads made in the venue’s brick oven. Tingle also requested the chefs make a Sakara Youth & Beauty salad for their guests.
The pair wrote their own vows right before the ceremony, with the hope of revealing their honest emotions to one another. “We decided to tell each other why we thought the other was special in the world, what they mean to us, and our promise to always continue to help the other to become the fullest expression of his/herself,” Tingle says. “I think that’s one of the most important things to promise in a relationship. To challenge the other one spiritually to grow and fulfill their fullest potential. And to support them however needed along the way. To make a conscious effort to help the other to become the best version of themselves.”