She met prince charming at the Latke Ball

When Dan Newman met Allegra Apple at the 2007 Latke Ball in San Francisco, he suggested they go upstairs and talk. Where it was quieter.

But Dan had an ulterior motive, as well: getting Allegra away from his ex-girlfriend. The two women didn’t know each other well, but they had come to the annual Christmas Eve Jewish singles bash in the same group of girlfriends.

Awkwardness averted, Dave and Allegra hit it off, and she gave him her phone number.

Exactly two years to the day later, the couple got engaged. Dan surprised Allegra with a romantic getaway at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, proposing to her on the beach at sunset. Allegra had had no clue as to what Dan had been planning.

“I arranged it all in advance and was keeping it a secret,” Dan said. “The ring was burning a hole in my pocket.”

Allegra and Dan Newman in Cancun on Dec. 12, 2010.

In a continuation of the beach theme, the two were married on Dec. 12, 2010 in a destination wedding at the Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa in Mexico Their 80 guests were mainly close friends and family members, including Dan’s parents from the Detroit suburbs and Allegra’s from the Cleveland area.

The wedding was “awesome — more than we could ever have hoped for,” Allegra said. The ceremony, which took place in the late afternoon under an organza and bamboo chuppah in a gazebo overlooking the beach, was officiated by a cantor who was a close friend of Allegra’s late grandfather (who also was a cantor). Allegra’s little nieces and nephews walked or were carried down the aisle, and the bridal party consisted of the couple’s siblings and their spouses or significant others.

In keeping with the Mexican resort theme, the bridesmaids’ dresses were “fun, beachy” and colorful, including bright orange and aqua (Allegra’s chosen wedding colors). The couple’s ketubah, designed by San Francisco artist Orna Weisberg, also featured those colors, along with a central image of a dancing couple.

Dan, now 36, and Allegra, 33, danced the night away with their guests to the music of a Caribbean band at the reception, which Allegra called “a big, crazy party.”

Dan, a senior finance manager for a solar company, and Allegra, a speech language pathologist who works with adults, now live in San Mateo.

Something old: “I was married with my paternal grandmother’s ring,” Allegra said. “It was bought at a dime store back in something like 1920, and it has been passed down to everyone in our family to use at our weddings.” Also, the couple was wrapped in Allegra’s maternal grandfather’s tallit while blessings were being recited under the chuppah.

Something new: Allegra’s mother’s friend made a special pillowcase to hold the glass that Dan smashed underfoot at the end of the ceremony. The glass was stitched inside the silk case, which was decorated with a wine-related design (the couple are oenophiles).

The case, with the shards inside it, is now framed and hanging in the Newmans’ dining room.

Something borrowed: Dan borrowed his entrance to the ceremony from the Detroit Pistons. He and his groomsmen walked down the aisle to booming sounds of “The Final Countdown” by Europe, high-fiving one another and the guests just like pro basketball players do when the starting lineup is announced before the game. “My friend, who used to do sports announcing at Stanford, even announced our entrance just like we were a sports team,” Dan said.

Something Jew(ish): “We brought Jewish to Cancun,” Allegra half-joked. Theirs was a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony in a non-Jewish location. She said it was the largest Jewish wedding to date at Dreams Riviera Cancun, and quite a few staff members were looking on. “The resort staff, who had never seen a wedding like ours, commented on how beautiful our traditions were,” Dan said proudly. 

“Unions” features recently married couples that had an interesting meeting, courtship or wedding (or any combination thereof). To share your tale, or to nominate a couple, send e-mail to [email protected].

Renee Ghert-Zand
Renee Ghert-Zand

Renee Ghert-Zand is a Jerusalem-based freelance journalist. She made aliyah from Palo Alto with her family in June 2014.