Want to elope but not in Vegas Jewish couple knows hot spots

The staid and serious stay at home, thumbing through heaps of bridal magazines.

Lisa Tabb and Sam Silverstein burned theirs.

The rogue Jewish couple instead hopped a plane and got married 10 times in exotic locales, including at the Tower of David, in the snow, with four Israeli soldiers holding the chuppah.

In addition, 15 other exciting sites were researched — each promising romance, fun and the preservation of a couple's sanity.

Their experiences were turned into a book titled, "Beyond Vegas: 25 Exotic Wedding and Elopement Destinations Around the World."

The eye-catching turquoise cover features three photos of the happy couple getting hitched in Kenya, Lake Tahoe and Bali.

In the Bali picture, what resembles a giant golden pinecone and/or porcupine is perched on the grinning bride's head, with her husband looking like a regal prince in a gold and saffron sarong.

A passage describes the nuptial preparations: "Sam received pancake in the same shade as Lisa's and a pair of elongated sideburns drawn with eyeliner. Between his eyes was drawn a diamond-shaped mark similar to Lisa's, 'for purity'.

"At the last moment, one of the women thrust a dagger and sheath in the gap between the fabric of Sam's sarong and his shoulder blades. Though ceremonial, the dagger would serve nicely if anyone had something to say about his lipstick."

Clearly, the book is written with an irreverent tone.

"Beyond Vegas" is the first book to unabashedly promote eloping as the panacea for all those caught in the throes of planning a wedding — yet wished they weren't.

According to the book, the average price for a wedding these days is $17,000. Throw in complications, kvetching and in-laws — and it's no surprise that more and more couples are considering elopement.

As Tabb and Silverstein discovered, you can have the trip of a lifetime — bike through the ripening fields of northern Italy; feel the buzz imbibing in the traditional "kava kava" ceremony in Fiji; rent your own sailboat and crew for seven days in the Caribbean; dine on a stone terrace overlooking the Mediterranean on Greece's most romantic island; tour the Tetons by dogsled.

And get married for a fraction of the cost of a conventional wedding.

Though intended for two, many of the ceremonies described in "Beyond Vegas" can be expanded to handle a full-blown destination wedding attended by friends and family.

This humorous, informative and practical how-to volume is divided into sections for Europe, the islands, the United States and Canada, weddings at sea and "Elsewhere."

In addition to a personal account of the couple's experiences, each section offers several other elopement sites, followed by the nuts and bolts of travel information, legalities and fees for each site, a list of wedding planners one can contact and words of advice.

Tabb, who used to be the editor of EcoTraveler and Adventure Journal, helps the travel-savvy duo put their experiences into exciting prose.

About Israel, they write: "For Jews, eloping in Israel is a bit complicated, however. The line between politics and religion in the Jewish state, like the back edge of the batter's box at Fenway Park by the bottom of the third inning of a game, has been obliterated by partisans angling for an edge.

"Everything is political in Israel, even weddings."

"Beyond Vegas" may not be featured at your local bridal show, but for those who couldn't give a hoot about folded linen napkins and a weepy Aunt Irma, the book will help get you beyond convention.

Besides those contemplating marriage on the run, anyone who loves to travel — or is considering a second honeymoon — will find this book an adventure in and of itself.