Private School Directory

Lights and romance

Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld
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Seth Esquenazi and Marla Shields

Seth Esquenazi and Marla Shields (Photo: Lisa Beth Photography)

Four years ago, Marla Shields attended the Gobble Gala, an annual event that takes place the night before Thanksgiving, with longtime friends Lisa and Michael Friedlander. There, she was introduced to Seth Esquenazi through friends from Moishe House, a Jewish nonprofit that provides discounted housing to young professionals who create engaging programs for the community. Seth had just moved to Houston from South Florida, and while Marla remembers thinking he was cute and sweet, Seth was overwhelmed with meeting so many new people at the time. A month later, Marla and Seth were reintroduced at a music festival and started dating. On Dec. 21, 2019, they went to see Christmas lights in River Oaks, a tradition since their first holiday season together, and Seth popped the question. Jake Schrager and his girlfriend Sam Becker, a fellow Moishe House couple, helped with the surprise, and Lisa Friedlander captured the proposal. Seth had coordinated with Marla’s sister, Melissa, to gather family and close friends to celebrate together afterward, including Marla’s parents, mom Leslie Beckman and stepdad Stephen Beckman and dad William Shields and stepmom Karen Shields. Seth’s parents, Moses Esquenazi and Ava Esquenazi, can’t wait to celebrate the big day in Houston.

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