A cookie is a sweet start for Sonoma couple

Sharon Benson and Douglas Kruschen met on a Birthright Israel trip in December 2003.

Five months later, Douglas took a year off from college in California and moved to Florida to be closer to Sharon. By summer of 2005, they had relocated to Sonoma County.

On March 30, 2006, Douglas proposed. While having a Chinese food dinner at home, Sharon opened the cookie to read, “Sharon Benson, will you marry me? (Now look at Douglas since I’m only a stupid cookie.)”

Though born in Israel, Sharon was raised in Hollywood, Fla., which is where the couple was married, surrounded by family and friends, on Nov. 9, 2008.

Something old: “I wore my great-great-grandfather’s gold cufflinks on our wedding day,” Douglas said. “Sharon wore her grandmother’s diamond ring.”

Something new: “Sharon surprised me by selecting beautiful instrumental music from the Shrek films to play as I walked toward the chuppah, since one of the first movies we saw together was ‘Shrek 2,’ ” Douglas said.

Something borrowed: Sharon, who is Sephardic, loved the idea of having a badeken (a ceremony where the groom veils the bride), and “relished in the attention this Ashkenazi tradition brought,” Douglas said.

Something Jew(ish): The couple had lived in Sonoma County for three years before their wedding, a time during which they became close to Rabbi Mendel Wolvovsky of Chabad of Sonoma County. “We were honored to have Rabbi Wolvovsky guide us, teach us, and perform our beautiful ceremony,” Douglas said.

And to bring things full circle, the couple’s first Sonoma County Sheva Brachot was themed “Chinese Take-Out.”

Stacey Palevsky

Stacey Palevsky is a former J. staff writer.