In imagining the ideal wedding venue, the corporate headquarters of a Silicon Valley company wouldn't exactly be at the top of most couples' lists, but for Ben and Noa it couldn't have been more perfect.
Married a little over a month ago in Airbnb's light-filled atrium on July 6th, the couple first met in 2014 when Ben made several attempts to book Noa's space in Tel Aviv on the vacation rental marketplace. Even with an offer of treats from his San Francisco company, The Good Chocolate, there was still no response, so Ben found a different home to stay in.
As it turns out, Noa had been traveling in Brazil and forgot to list her place as unavailable. Feeling terrible about the confusion, Noa arranged to meet Ben for coffee while he was in town, and as you may have already guessed, they were completely taken with each other from the get-go. Noa learned that Ben was a calm, thoughtful, curious person who makes delicious chocolate. And Ben learned that Noa was an accomplished singer and artist who asked lots and lots of questions.
Ben extended his stay in Tel Aviv so they could spend more time together, and over the next year they visited each other several times and video chatted nearly every day. So yes, things were going very well. And towards the end of June when wedding bells were definitely audible, Noa had an idea for where they might hold the ceremony. With family in different parts of the world, they weren't able to bring everyone together as quickly as they wanted to tie the knot (they are planning a ceremony with family next summer), so they decided on a civil service in San Francisco, officiated by a family friend and judge. And holding it at Airbnb was their way of making a simple event more meaningful.
When the day came, the two admitted to feeling a bit sad that their families wouldn't be there, and since it was right around the Fourth of July, they didn't expect Airbnb employees to take notice. But once the good news was shared with the company, employees filled the outer edges of the atrium, cheering Ben and Noa on as they exchanged rings and kissed. To the couple's delight, what they thought would be a three-person ceremony turned into something that filled the void of what they thought would be missing.
Although the newlyweds haven't decided where to go for a honeymoon (Japan, South America, and Europe are all contenders), they're definitely set up to have a pretty spectacular one. Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia surprised the couple with a $5,000 Airbnb gift card to put towards their travels. Make note—if you're going to go off-registry, that is how it's done.
Congrats, Ben and Noa—thank you for sharing your story!