Jacqueline Pierre & Amir Kashtan
May 14, 2016 in Orlando, Florida
Jacqueline Pierre and Amir Kashtan’s love story began decades ago, when their families serendipitously crossed paths.
“My husband is an Israeli and I am an American,” Jacqueline describes. “Through circumstances only God could orchestrate, our grandfathers were introduced in the 1980’s and became precious friends. Years later, our parents met and continued this relationship, even partnering to create a vibrant Christian ministry in Israel.”
Although thousands of miles separated them, Jacqueline and Amir’s families saw each other regularly for 25 years. It also wasn’t surprising when Amir decided to visit in America, after completing his IDF Army service.
“He was a rugged, handsome, decorated Commanding Officer, taking a five-month break before his college studies in Israel commenced,” Jacqueline states. “I was a passionate published author and public speaker, headed to a prestigious private college myself. Despite some parental teasing about a possible merger between our two families, we each were insistent that was an absolute impossibility.”
Once Amir arrived, it was only a matter of weeks before he and Jacqueline were proven to be mistaken about having no romantic potential. Sincere respect and admiration for each other grew into undeniable love.
“It was painfully obvious we were made for each other,” Jacqueline adds. “A complicated love affair, involving two different people of two different nations, cultures and tongues, was destined for us.”
More than 17 months of dating followed, filled with letters and long flights to see each other. On a balmy August afternoon in Israel, Amir proposed in the center of Jerusalem.
During the wedding planning process, a family crest Jacqueline had designed for her fiancé served as the wedding’s inspiration. With Amir’s given name meaning “treetop” and his surname meaning “chestnut tree,” they were inspired by the concept of life-giving attributes of roots. A feeling of fruitfulness and growth also laid the foundation for the wedding décor.
When the big day arrived, family and friends from around the world gathered, stepping out of the Four Seasons lobby and into a wooded wonderland. Candlelit tables were strewn with moss and surrounded by a bevy of trunks, cascading leaves and branches. Lush white flowers, entwined with foliage, spilled over the place settings, and a garden-like canopy hovered over a 44-person bridal table. The newlyweds and their guests ate, drank and celebrated while a live band performed a selection of serenades.
“Our ceremony was the pinnacle of the day,” Jacqueline reminisces. “A tender entrance into the most ancient and fundamental institution of all time – and the breathtaking culmination of a scheme God had set in motion, many decades earlier.”
>Written by: Lauren Malamala