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Can you believe it’s Erev Passover this evening? How did that happen already?! And what are you doing for seder night tonight? I’ve just arrived home from 10 days in Israel on a family holiday, and heading to my in-laws in South London for our Erev Seder (I’ll be sharing snippets from our evening over on our Instagram Stories!)

And onto today’s gorgeous Texan interfaith Jewish wedding: Rachel, who works in marketing at Microsoft, and Joshua, an entrepreneur and founder of Standout Authority (#isntsheloveLEE), crafted a very special wedding reflecting the merging of their two backgrounds.

The couple had a totally gorgeous chuppah that perfectly combined tradition and modernity in some unexpected but beautiful ways – which Rachel felt was especially fitting in light of the pair’s interfaith relationship (she’s Jewish, he isn’t). Between the gold base, white drapery, and asymmetrical florals, they absolutely succeeded in their goal to come up with something just a little bit different – a perfect reflection of the new chapter of their lives marked by this wonderful celebration.

From the dramatic autumnal jewel tones to the emotion and love, photographer Misty Mclendon and videographer Lauren Maria did such a fantastic job capturing all the moments of this meaningful day.

We love what these two did for their “guest book”: they had a beautiful drawing of a tree and had their guests “leaf a thumbprint” to sign! Now, instead of a book that rarely gets opened, they have a unique piece of art to display in their home. Another great touch? Rachel and Joshua left a box for people to share their bucket list ideas!

Also, how cool is it that the rabbi wore cowboy boots? Doesn’t get much more Texas than that!

We’ll leave it to the bride – who looked so elegant in her Daalarna Couture gown – to fill you in on the rest… Oh, and before we go, Team STG wishes you a very happy Passover, however you’re celebrating!

 
An Austin Wedding

Rachel, the bride: Joshua and I got married at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas. We wanted a venue that was in Austin, not too far from the center of the city since we wanted to show our out-of-town family and friends what the city is all about.

We had seen about 5 places before going to the Hotel Ella and the second we saw the room, we knew it was it. We loved the mix of old and new – the colonial feel of the boutique hotel with the eclectic and modern design inside. It really represented our classic and modern attitude with Rachel being from Los Angeles and Joshua being from Texas.


Fall Vibes

We had a fall wedding so I wanted a modern feel using jewel tones and gold pieces. Eclipse Events helped me plan and were awesome. The Hotel Ella has so much charm without anything, so I really wanted to amplify the beauty and colors already there.


A Daalarna Couture Dress

My dress was from Serendipity Bridal and designed by Daalarna Couture. The dress was elegant and glamourous with a low sheer back enclosed by 20+ buttons and a deep front neck. I knew the dress was the one when I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted something that was sleek and modern given the venue and fall wedding vibe and this back delivered!


Something Borrowed

I borrowed a J. Crew hair piece from my matron of honor that she wore at her wedding in Chicago. I also wore my grandmother’s antique ruby and gold ring from the early 1900s and my mothers diamond tennis bracelets. It was really special to have a piece of these important ladies on me throughout the wedding day.


Badgley Mischka Shoes

I wore wedge, open toed, off white Badgley Mischka shoes that I bought from Nordstrom and looked awesome. I knew I was walking on grass for the ceremony so I needed something comfortable plus I wanted something I could dance the night away in. These did the trick!


Hair + Makeup

My dress was sexy and modern with a low back and front, so I knew I wanted my hair up to showcase the dress and my features. I went with a low romantic bun to the side that wasn’t too structured and a bold wine lip to balance the glam with some class. Jenny from Kara Sanchez Beauty did it and was amazing. My color theme was jewel tones with gold, navy, dark green, burgundy, white and wine, so the lip looked incredible with my bouquet. I love makeup and wear bold lips often, so it felt like Rachel.


The handsome groom

Joshua wore a custom blue suite from the Suit Supply with a white shirt and burgundy tie to bring in our color scheme. He completely surprised me by creating a custom silk lining inside his suit jacket, using our engagement photos. When he opened his suit jacket during our first look, I was completely in shock. It was one of the sweetest and craziest things he’s ever done for me.


Bridesmaids in Jenny Yoo

I had 5 bridesmaids and 1 bridesman. They wore Jenny Yoo dresses in Caspian Sea. I loved this color so so much. It went with the fall wedding and jewel tone theme and wasn’t a typical color I saw brides use.


A Modern Chuppah

With a modern fall wedding, I wanted a little something different and loved the asymmetrical design and gold chuppah with white drapery. It was a perfect balance of tradition and new, since Joshua isn’t Jewish and we were creating a new chapter.


#isntsheloveLEE

My 2 close friends played the processional music during the ceremony. They sang and played violin and guitar, and learned special songs just for us. The processional walked to Of Monsters and Men, ‘Love Love Love’, and I walked down to Latch by Disclosure, which is my favorite group and all time favorite song. It was incredible.

As we left, they played ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ by Stevie Wonder which tied to our hashtag #isntsheloveLEE. We also had family members from both sides recite the 7 blessings which we loved. And our ketubah was absolutely gorgeous and designed by Once Upon a Paper. Two incredibly important people who have been in each of our lives forever signed it.


Photographer and videographer

Misty Mclendon did our photography and Lauren Maria did our video. Both were amazing. I wanted our photos to be more dramatic with the fall look and feel and really pop, which is why I loved Misty’s work. With Lauren, she just has a way to capture the love in such a real, beautiful way and it really showed!


Chocolate and Vanilla Cake

Our cake was from Polkadots and had two types of flavors: vanilla cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate chips in the mousse and then a ding dong kind of chocolate cake with vanilla filling. SO good. Joshua is a huge superhero fan and wanted the cake to be half superhero. Of course I wanted a modern clean look with gold and blues so we compromised by having a Deadpool character coming out of the bottom. It was pretty memorable.

 
Entertainment

Cap City Band was amazing. My top priority above all else was dancing and they did exactly what I wanted. They played a mix of old and new and had the crowed bumping all night long!


Cookie Favors

For our engagement photos we went to various murals and special spots in Austin. One of the most well-known spots is You’re my Butter Half, and we used a photo from there for our Save The Date. To carry that idea through, we had Hayley Cakes and Cookies made You’re my Butter Half cookies.


Leaf a thumbprint

We had a drawing of a tree as our guest book and had people “leaf a thumbprint” as their way of signing in. It’s now hanging in our house and is such a cool way to remember our day. We also had a box for people to share their bucket list ideas that was really fun to look at afterwards.


Honeymoon in Italy 

Joshua and I went to the Hyatt Ziva in Cancun for a mini-moon after the wedding and loved it. We are planning a longer honeymoon for the spring in southern Italy!


Advice  to couples currently planning their wedding

Having great people in your wedding party made my day so special. When I got nervous or needed some help, they had my back every moment and made me feel calm. Also having a wedding planner is essential to not worrying as much; you’re still going to worry when you’re super involved and planned for so long, but at some point you just let go and have fun. All of the small mistakes aren’t remembered so you have to take it all in and enjoy the process!


Rachel & Joshua’s little white book

Photography – Misty Mclendon Photography
Videography – Lauren Maria Films
Wedding planner – Eclipse Event Co.
Venue – Hotel Ella
Bride’s dress – Daalarna Couture found and fitted at Serendipity Bridal
Bride’s accessories – J. Crew
Bride’s shoes – Badgley Mischka purchased at Nordstrom
Groom’s attire – Suit Supply
Bridesmaids – Jenny Yoo
Hair + Makeup – Jenny from Kara Sanchez Beauty
Band – Cap City Band
Flowers – The Bloom Bar
Cake – Polkadots Cupcake Factory
Ketubah –

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Mimi will be marrying Andrew on 7th July 2019 at Hazel Gap Barn in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, UK. Click here to read all Mimi’s planning posts to date.

THREE FACTS: THREE FACTS: (1) Mimi and Andrew met online in 2013. (2) Mimi is a flight attendant and writes her own travel and beauty blog on the side (3) Andrew proposed to Mimi, who at the time was nearing the completion of her conversion to Judaism, at the top of Masada – wow!


My Big Day Without You

Celebrating an exciting time in your life is always bittersweet when it’s peppered with the reality of one of your favourite and most loved people not being here – weather it’s a grandparent, a friend, or in my case, my father.

After losing my dad, I remember vividly imagining future key parts of my life and wondering how I would get through them without him. A huge part of the grieving process was the reality of imagining future life situations where my dad would be missed more than ever. My future wedding day was one of them. I was desperately sad that I’d missed the opportunity to have my father walk me down the aisle, and even more so that he wouldn’t actually meet my future husband or share in the journey with me.


Image by Miki Studios from Abbie and Alistair‘s wedding


Image by Reportage Gallery from Orly and Zak‘s wedding

A few years after losing him, I met Andrew. Very quickly I realised how much my father would have adored him, and I know that the feeling would have been mutual. Andrew reminds me of him in so many ways – he has a very cheeky sense of humour, a calm and kind nature, and I know they would have had so much to talk about – they both love sport and are keen golfers. Thinking like that brings me joy, and I often imagine how lovely it would have been to watch my dad and Andrew on the golf course together. Something my dad would have loved.

Of course, sadly there’s no way of bringing him back to be with us for our wedding day, so instead I have peppered our wedding day with lots of little nods to my dad.


Image by Paul Toeman Photographers from Amy and Adam‘s wedding Little touches about you

I’ve decided to use his wedding ring (melted down into my own size) for my wedding ring under the chuppah. Our rabbi will of course speak of him during our ceremony. Our venue has a beautiful old brick fireplace where I will display photos of those in our family who could not be with us, in amongst the flowers, so that we see their smiling faces amongst us all day long.

For table favours, I decided to donate to the British Heart Foundation and I am giving each guest a little pin which they can pop on, in remembrance of my dad.


Image by Massimiliano Morlotti from Leah and Tyler‘s wedding

Then once the party starts, I have made sure to include some of his favourite songs for us to dance to. I know we will feel him there with us, in different way to what we would have wanted, but he will be with us and all around us, none the less… and I know that these little touches on the day will bring a lot of happiness to everyone who loved him.


Image by Nadine Van Biljon from Nina and Matt‘s wedding

Click here to read all Mimi’s planning posts to date.

Mimi & Andrew’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:

Wedding venue – Hazel Gap Barn
Bride’s dress – Mirror Mirror

The post How My Wedding Will Be Without My Dad appeared first on Smashing the Glass | Jewish Wedding Blog.

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Every so often we come across a Jewish wedding that’s truly unlike any we’ve seen before. And that describes fashion designer Jordana (while she works on launching her own line, Luzhi, she’s running travel-inspired Etsy shop Luzhi Foudre) and IT worker by day, foodie by night Uri’s big day to a tee. We know words like “magical” and “enchanted” get thrown around a lot in the wedding biz, but this one truly is all that and more.

The lucky bride just happens to be the daughter of a phenomenal wedding planner, Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Penny & Co. Events, so it’s no surprise Jordana’s “out of the box” (in her own words) celebration was one for the books.

First off, we’re totally obsessed with the flowers – from the bride’s big, bold, bright bouquet to the show-stopping table centers, the lush, wild vibes are off-the-charts amazing. This wedding took place in the middle of winter, but you’d never know it thanks to mom’s ingenuity – which encompassed everything from hanging greenery to custom green velvet tablecloths.

And the couple’s enchanted garden chuppah is truly like no other we’ve seen (and we love that the couple were seated underneath it during dinner afterward – such a smart way to make the most of this special structure). You’ve simply got to see Sigala Photography’s inimitably stylish snaps and Reouven Photography’s moving trailer for yourself.

As a bona fide fashionista herself, it’s no surprise that Jordana went for something totally unique – and totally gorgeous – for her big day. Mega-talented NYC-based designer Samantha Sleeper created a bespoke two-piece design consisting of a simple slip dress and a detailed overlay, inspired by the bride’s favorite designers, Valentino and Rodarte. We’re obsessed with the cool capelet back – and the couture feathered headband the designer gifted Jordana to complement her wedding day look.

Take it away, Jordana!



How we met

Jordana, the bride: Uri and I were very close friends for a few years prior to dating. I always saw him as being exceptional in every way and would even often set him up! It took me some time to open up to the idea of us being together, but as soon as I did I knew he was the exact right guy for me. You never know


A Jerusalem Wedding

We got married at Olmaya in Jerusalem. Olmaya is located on the Tayelet promenade (overlook point) where you get the most incredible view of the entire City of Gold. It was very important to both of us to get married in Jerusalem, as that’s where we live currently, and the only place we’ve both lived since making Aliyah (Jordana moved 7.5 years ago and Uri came to do the army and make Aliyah 11 years ago). It was definitely a risk planning a wedding in Jerusalem in the winter because the weather can be so unreliable but thank G-d we were blessed with the most sunny winter day.


When Your Mom Is a Wedding Planner

I had always imagined having a really out of the box wedding, I guess neither of us have ever been quite traditional. Because my mom is such an incredible and innovative event planner (Penny & Co. Events) I grew up constantly surrounded by unique decor for weddings and events.

Because our wedding was in the winter and entirely indoors it was really important that the space be transformed to what would feel like an authentic enchanted garden. My mom (Penny) really worked her magic for our wedding with everything from the perfect shades of color for the lighting, to the hanging greenery and chandeliers, to the mix n’match napkins on each place setting and custom green velvet table cloths.

We had two different styles of table at the wedding. Directly around the dance floor were mirrored knights tables with earthy, fanciful centerpieces, and the other tables were graced with the most gorgeous trees dazzled with hanging crystals and blooming with different flowers at the base. Honestly, some friends asked if the trees were growing out of the tables.

Our florist Sara Winter Floral Artistry is a very close friend of mine and she really transformed my mom’s vision and design into a dreamlike reality (she literally foraged each tree for each centerpiece). As for the overall color scheme of our wedding, my only request was that it be colorful and not traditional. I knew my close friends would all wear such unique pieces to our wedding which definitely added to the distinctive look of our wedding.

For the reception I wanted to use these sparkly Missoni-esque tableclothes my mom had and took inspiration from one of my style icons Margherita Missoni’s mismatched wedding. The flower arrangements on the cocktail tables were all mix n’ match glasses and vases blooming with large flowers. We had a few custom colorful pillows made (which now adorn our apartment) and some persian rugs dispersed around the reception hall to give the room a more bohemian vibe.


Custom Invitations

My mom hand drew the florals for our invitation and then turned that design into a whimsical colorful invitation. It was really important for us that each element be unique. We used the same florals for the design on our benchers and I can honestly say every time we use them (or our friends use them) we comment on how absolutely beautiful they are.


Hair + Makeup

I am forever grateful for Leah Neppe for her true talent and expertise she gave me on our wedding day. I know a lot of brides say this, but I really just wanted to look and feel like myself on my wedding day, of course a bit more glammed up than usual. I showed Leah one photo of a dewy, natural makeup look that I found on pinterest and I can confidently say she made me up to be even more whimsical than the model pictured.

I have had a curly bob for some years now and I really wasn’t interested in having extensions for our wedding. While my hair style was quite simply pulled half back, Leah gave me the most dainty, old Hollywood glam side bang in the front, which so perfectly complimented the feather headpiece.


A Samantha Sleeper Dress

As fashion is one of my greatest loves the dress was really an important aspect for me. Wow, the dress. How can I describe this story other than a complete miracle of love. Uri and I knew we’d be traveling to the States shortly after getting engaged so I reached out to Samantha Sleeper, a designer whose work I so admired on Instagram. Within days Samantha and I facetimed, she drew a sketch and I knew that she’d have to be the one to make my wedding gown.

On our first day in NYC I went to Samantha’s studio and it was a no brainer. Samantha took my inspiration and created a truly couture gown. It was also the first time Samantha had the restrictions of making a modest dress and she completely nailed it.

I didn’t want to shy away from any of the unconventional details like pops of color and texture. We decided it would be fun if the dress was two pieces, a simple slip dress and an intricately detailed overlay dress. My dress took inspiration from some of my favorites, Valentino and Rodarte, but was still entirely something fresh.

Samantha decided to turn the wing sleeves into a capelet back which just felt so ethereal. Upon our next meeting one week later, which would be my first and only fitting, Samantha had made the detailed base of my dress.

As someone who is so particular about my fashion choices, I completely trusted Samantha’s work and aesthetic, and in fact hadn’t see my completed dress in person until one week before our wedding when it arrived in Israel. Samantha would text me updates of all the gorgeous details she was adding, she described my dress as being a meditation for her, which I could feel when I put it on. I couldn’t have been more lucky, it was a true kismet relationship which i’m grateful we still have to this day.


Couture Headband

My fitting for the wedding dress was a real dress up and have fun moment with my mom and Samantha. Samantha handed me the couture feathery headband she had made for a photo shoot and it instantly took my look to what felt like a high fashion winter bride. Samantha was so insistent that I need to wear this party piece that she gifted it to me! I look forward to the occasion I can wear it to next.

As for jewelry, because of the intricate details on my dress and headpiece I opted to wear my engagement ring and earrings lent to me by my mother. Once I received the dress a week before the wedding, I looked through my mom’s jewelery box and found the sweetest pair of dangly white gold and diamond earrings. To me they looked like fairy dust and complimented the entire look.

 
Miu Miu Shoes

I always said I was going to wear a pair of sparkly Miu Miu shoes to my wedding, mostly because it would be an excuse to own a pair for the future. Luckily, I was able to find the perfect pair on the second hand designer website, TheRealReal.

As soon as I had my first meeting with Samantha Sleeper (even before having a fitting), I went right online and found the perfect pair of gold sparkly Mary Jane style heels with double punk inspired straps in exactly my size and in perfect, like new, condition!


The handsome groom

Whilst in NYC Uri went shopping with his best friend Dov, who has impeccable fashion sense. The two decided on three piece navy blue suit from Massimo Dutti, and a crisp white slim fit shirt from the Japanese brand, Maker’s Shirt, and classic navy blue tie from Massimo Dutti.

As a surprise, my younger brother Josh bought Missoni socks for the groom, my dad and brother. Even more exciting was the giant peony boutonniere Sara Winter made, knowing that I love peonies, and the more ridiculous the size better.


Unofficial Bridesmaids

I didn’t have any official bridesmaids. I have two older sisters and we decided it would be fun if we all were wearing some fun headpieces, so three days before the wedding, I made them twenties inspires headdresses to wear with their (coincidentally) coordinating velvet dresses.

My three closest friends (two from NYC and one in Israel) were really there for me in the days leading up to the big day and it was very important for me to honor them as well. In particular, I couldn’t have stayed as calm as I was without my best friend Sarah, who literally massaged my hands while I got my makeup and hair done.

As for their ensemblese, I fully trusted all of their creative ability in putting something fun and colorful together, which also felt uniquely them. My friend Rami bought her dress on her travels in India 3 years prior to my wedding, with the intention of wearing it to my wedding one day. Good thing we got married in the winter because it would’ve been very heavy for the summer.

 
An Enchanted Chuppah

The chuppah design was all my mom. It was her idea to build an enchanted structure to add to the overall design of the room. For the dinner, Uri and I were seated under the chuppah. The structure was incredibly special and intricate and I absolutely loved the natural effect of the rose clusters.


A Moving Ceremony

Planning our ceremony was an emotional labor of love. My husband Uri lost both of his parents (his father when he was 18 and his mother 4 years ago). I never had the opportunity to meet them but it was very important for us to honor them on our big day.

My sister Nina wrote up lovely notes, placed on each chair, to have Uri’s parents in mind during our chuppah ceremony. Leading up to the chuppah we had a very special badeken ceremony led by Rav Shlomo Katz with words of Torah and singing before Uri veiled me. Uri and I hadn’t seen each other or spoken on the phone for the week leading up to our wedding (including pictures beforehand) so this was a very exciting moment for us. We were so humbled that Uri’s childhood Rabbi came in from London to marry us. It was such a an honor to have him under our chuppah as he knew Uri’s parents well.


Ketubah by Friends

Our ketubah is an absolute piece of art. My dear friend Aviva Curran painted a night time enchanted forest scene in water color and in place of the moon our close friend and very talented scribe Kalman Delmoor wrote the words of our ketubah on a piece of parchment.

Our music choice

We had an incredible band for our wedding. They started the dancing with lively Jewish music with funky instrumentals. After dinner and sheva brachot we switched to funk and rock n’roll classics. And finally, we ended the night off with our dear friend Avi Friedman DJing all our favorite dance beats.

I would like to note that Avi worked for the florist with set up and break down, and was a guest at our wedding, where he danced himself silly and DJed at the end of the night. We had real miracle workers behind our special day, and we’re eternally grateful to them all.


Carnival Flowers

For my bouquet my one request was that the flowers be big and blooming! I was so lucky that my favorite flowers, peonies, were in season at the time of our wedding (this isn’t usually the case in Israel in the winter). Sara Winter did a gorgeous job at putting together the most gorgeous, unique bouquet, Uri described the bouquet as looking like a carnival.

I didn’t have a specific vision for my bridal chair during the reception, but I knew (like the other florals) that I wanted a messy, wild, natural look. My mom knew exactly what to do and designed something more perfect than I could’ve dreamed of. And after the ceremony it served as a fun back drop to friends and family’s pictures.


Photographer and videographer

We hired Sigala Photography as our wedding photographers, what we loved most about their work is their ability to take romantic candid photos. We also love their usage of film and..

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I’m so excited to share a wonderful opportunity to share the love and gratitude you’re feeling as you gear up for your big day: giving to the One Heart Marriage Programme, run by Ohel Sarah, one of Israel’s largest providers of services for children and adults with disabilities.

Based on the basic premise that everyone should have the chance to find love — and that people with disabilities deserve access to the same opportunities as everyone else —  Ohel Sarah started the One Heart programme in order to support high-functioning individuals with cognitive disabilities in marrying and establishing a home together.

One Heart helps engaged couples prepare for married life, teaching skills from money management to housekeeping to interpersonal communication and often helps fund their weddings, too. After marriage, the organization continues to provide guidance to couples as they navigate married life and supports them in living independently in the community, in an apartment of their own.

In the words of Maor, who prepared for marriage along with his now-wife Lilach through One Heart: “Lilach is lovely. She loves me and I love her. I’m very excited, very excited to be married. I’m very excited for my life with her.”

And from Maor’s mother, Orit: “When Maor was born, I was told he would not even be able to talk. But I never gave up. And I really never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would stand under the chuppah at his wedding. And I did. And it was the best day of my life.”

So far, six couples have married through the One Heart programme — and there’s a long waiting list of couples hoping to enroll. The programme’s success has inspired a similar Arab-Israeli organisation in Tamra to seek out Ohel Sarah’s professionals for guidance on how to advise couples with special needs as they navigate marriage.

But none of this can happen without the programme’s wonderful supporters. If you’re getting married — or celebrating a special anniversary — a donation to the One Heart Marriage Programme is a beautiful way to give back.

Whether you want to make a gift from the two of you, request donations from guests, or make a donation in honor of your guests in place of favours, a contribution to Ohel Sarah’s marriage programme will make an incredible difference to another couple’s life together. If you’re interested in making One Heart a part of your wedding, get in touch at info@ohel-sarah.org.uk.

CONTACT

info@ohel-sarah.org.uk

www.ohelsarah.org.uk

The post Share the Love and Build a Future with Ohel Sarah’s One Heart Marriage Programme appeared first on Smashing the Glass | Jewish Wedding Blog.

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Two words: Wisteria. Chuppah. Katie and Josh’s botanical canopy is truly breathtaking – between the abundant greenery, hanging wisteria, and bunches of red berries, they created the perfect autumnal fantasia. The bride reports that she felt like she was in a botanical garden standing under the chuppah, and we can totally see why!

We also LOVE a creative idea that we’ve never seen before! A deck of Top Trumps cards at every place setting, that told the story of Katie and Josh’s engagement from proposal to tying the knot. LOVE!

And everything about this beautiful Jewish wedding is just so exquisitely elegant, and Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Rob Clayton could not have done a better job capturing all the lovely details – not to mention the emotion and love that radiates through every single shot! The couple picked Rob especially for his ability to capture the natural, spontaneous moments that make a wedding truly memorable, and they definitely made an awesome choice!

Katie – who looked so elegant in her two bodice-and-skirt pairings from Pronovias – will take it from here…


How we met

Katie, the bride: Josh and I met on J-Swipe within 3 weeks of me moving to London… the epitome of modern day romance. We planned a date for the following week, but coincidentally bumped in to each other in a bar in central London a few days before our planned date – it was beshert (and made the ‘first date’ a lot less nerve-racking)!


A Manchester Wedding

We got married at The Midland Hotel in Manchester.

I am from Manchester originally, and Josh is from London. I have a strong connection to Manchester as a city, and will always think of it as ‘home’ even though I have now lived in London for over 4 years. I go back a lot to see my family – we’re very close.

Josh and I love destination weddings; however, 8 of our close friends got married in 2018 and a lot of these weddings were abroad, so we thought it would make a nice change to do our wedding at home. Plus, a lot of our southern friends hadn’t been to Manchester before, so coming up North was an exciting city break for them – who would have thought?!


A Fab Planner

Ben Morrison at We Are Events made our entire wedding experience fun, exciting and entirely stress free. He got to know both Josh and me so well and he ensured that the wedding was completely personal and tailored to us. Nothing was too much to ask from him, and I really couldn’t recommend him enough – the experience wouldn’t have been the same without him.


Hair + Makeup

I don’t tend to wear much makeup – I don’t even own a foundation, so I knew that I couldn’t wear anything too heavy on my skin on the day or I wouldn’t have looked like ‘me’. Plus, Josh says he prefers me without any makeup on!

I also wear my hair up 90% of the time for ease, because it’s very long and heavy. I therefore decided from the start that I would wear my hair up on my wedding day, to have it out of my face during Israeli dancing, and so I didn’t have to worry about it falling out of place throughout the night.

My mum found out about Tally Bookbinder who had been recommended to her, and she was fab. My skin looked flawless, without looking caked, and my hair survived the night without falling flat! Her team also did the hair and makeup for my mum, mother-in-law, bridesmaids and maid of honour too – they all looked beyond beautiful!
I loved that the same team could do our hair and makeup.


Pronovias Dresses

I got my dress(es) from the Knutsford Wedding Gallery.

My dresses were both actually bridal skirts and bodies – I found it hard to find 1 dress that I liked every element of and loved the fact that with a skirt and body, I could put 2 elements together to make up an outfit that no other bride will have worn before.

I didn’t originally intend on having two outfits, but when I found ‘the one’, it was a very heavy Pronovias skirt paired with a lace Pronovias body. Due to the weight of the skirt, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to fully let my hair down on the dance floor if I had stayed in it all night!

So, I chose a lighter and more fitted Pronovias skirt for my second outfit, which I changed in to after the chuppah ceremony.

I couldn’t find a top that perfectly suited this skirt, so in the end, we decided to make a top for it out of some of the excess material from the train. The seamstress at The Wedding Gallery intricately sewed a jewelled belt around the waist and neckline to make a completely bespoke halter-neck evening outfit.

I was so happy with how both of my dresses turned out, and how different they both were.


Jimmy Choos

I tried on so many shoes before I found my perfect pair, but in the end I went for a pair of Jimmy Choos. They weren’t too high, were very comfortable and, most importantly, matched both of my dresses!


The handsome groom

Josh found his suit at Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row, and instantly knew it was ‘the one’. I don’t think either of us had ever considered him wearing a velvet suit on the day, but when I came to see him try it on, I thought he looked so smart. I also liked that the velvet differentiated him from his ushers.


Bridesmaids in Convertibles

I had 4 bridesmaids and a maid Of honour. They wore the ‘multi-way’ style dresses from Isabella Bridal in Stockport – they all wore the same dress in a different way, which I think is a great way to make sure that everyone is co-ordinated but comfortable.

Maggie from Isabella Bridal actually came to the Midland on the day to make sure that all of the bridesmaid’s dresses were picture perfect, which was an amazing touch.


Wisteria Chuppah

Verdure Floral Design created our dream chuppah – Adi was an absolute pleasure to work with and ensured that our vision came to life.

We knew from the start that we wanted something Autumnal, full of volume and with lots of greenery, with some beautiful berries and wisteria intertwined. When I was stood under the chuppah I felt like I was in a botanical garden – I just couldn’t get over how beautiful and full it was.

Verdure also designed our table arrangements, with some chunky glass candelabras as the centrepiece, surrounded by flower arrangements that mimicked the chuppah design.


Stuck on You

My family are, and always have been, massive Billy Joel fans, so I walked in to the tune of ‘She’s Always A Woman’ with the lyrics of Eshet Chayil, which I had recited at my bat mitzvah. With both Jewish and non-Jewish guests at our wedding, we thought it would be nice to have an entrance tune that everybody recognised.

After much deliberation, our first dance was ‘Stuck On You’ by Lionel Richie – it’s romantic and a classic!


Photographer and videographer

Rob Clayton was our photographer, and Rebecca Reville our videographer. The natural, spontaneous moments are our favourite in terms of photographs and on film, and both did an absolutely amazing job at capturing these.


Chocolate Hampers

Josh and I are massive foodies so we organised for Slattery’s in Whitefield to create personalised chocolate hampers which were left in each room at The Midland that was occupied by guests from our wedding. They were delicious, and a nice surprise for everyone that stayed at the hotel.


‘Katie & Josh’s Wedding’ Top Trumps deck

I work at the company that makes the world’s most famous card and board games – Monopoly, Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit and so on. We also own the Top Trumps brand.

So, I worked with my colleagues in our Product Development team to make a fully personalised ‘Katie & Josh’s Wedding’ Top Trumps deck with 30 cards that told the story of our marriage – from the day that Josh thought about proposing to the day we tied the knot. We placed a deck in each place setting for all 280 guests.

With big weddings, some people know the couple better than others, and not everyone knows the full backstory behind the marriage. I think it’s so important to try and ensure that everyone can feel included and understand the lead up to your special day!


Road Trip Honeymoon

One of our first Top Trumps cards explains that Josh first thought about proposing to me on a walk through Central Park in New York a couple of years ago. So, for our ‘mini-moon’ we returned to New York for the week after the wedding – it’s one of our favourite cities.

For our honeymoon, we’re doing a road trip down the West Coast of the United States in July for 3 weeks. We’re landing in San Francisco, driving down to Los Angeles (making a couple of stops along the way including Santa Monica and Monterey), then flying to Hawaii for 5 days of relaxation. After Hawaii, we’re meeting some of our friends in Las Vegas for a few nights of partying, then carrying on our honeymoon back in Los Angeles, then visiting Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park.

It’ll be the perfect combination of relaxation and fun!


Advice to couple currently planning their wedding

I wasn’t in any contact with Josh for a full week in the lead up to the wedding – no calls, messages, nothing. Traditionally in the Jewish religion, you’re not meant to see each other for a week, but with the modern day dependence on social media, we thought it would be nice to go ‘cold turkey’ and cut out all forms of communication for 1 week of our lives.

It was very tough; however, I couldn’t recommend doing that enough – it made the day extra special and emotional, I couldn’t wait to catch up with Josh and give him a big hug!


Katie & Josh’s little white book

Photography – Rob Clayton
Videography – Rebecca Reville
Wedding planner – We Are Events
Venue – The Midland Hotel
Bride’s dresses – Pronovias
Bride’s shoes – Jimmy Choo
Groom’s attire – Gieves & Hawkes
Bridesmaids – Isabella Bridal
Hair + Makeup – Tally Bookbinder
Flowers – Verdure Floral Design
Band – Aura Showband
Chocolate hampers – Slattery’s

The post A Pronovias Bride for a Jewish Wedding with a Wisteria Chuppah at The Midland Hotel, Manchester, UK appeared first on Smashing the Glass | Jewish Wedding Blog.

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It’s always a special day here in STG land when one of our wonderful blogging brides’ weddings shows up in our inbox. Especially when it’s as gorgeous as Alyssa and Colin’s luminous light house-themed Jew-ish wedding.

Seriously, just LOOK at Taylor Dunn Photography’s bright, airy, emotion-filled snaps of the big day.

It doesn’t get much more picturesque than this. Everything from the couple’s sweet, whimsical ketubah from Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Ink with Intent to Alyssa and Colin’s adorable lighthouse logo to the fact that they used our very own Smashing The Glass pouch for their smash glass under the chuppah is total wedding goals.

And speaking of that chuppah? First of all, it’s a charmer, with birch poles, a clean green and white color scheme, and just a touch of asymmetrical greenery and florals. But it gets even better when you find out Alyssa and Colin’s fathers – plus Alyssa’s brother – teamed up to build it – using branches taken from trees in the yards of the bride and groom’s childhood homes (!!!). I KNOW.

Now for the rest from Alyssa…


How we met

Alyssa, the bride: I met Colin at just 13 years old. He was a silly kid in the back of the school bus and to be honest one of the only Jewish people I knew. We spent countless rides to school laughing and teasing each other relentlessly.

Senior year of high school we reconnected and rekindled our friendship. I was drawn to his humor, easy-going demeanor, kind nature, and his ability to be friends with everyone! Our friendship effortlessly evolved into an amazing relationship that I never expected.


Keeping it Local

Colin and I both grew up and currently live in Connecticut, so when choosing our wedding venue we wanted to remain local for our friends and family to easily attend.

We also knew we wanted to pick a venue with a similar aesthetic to one of our favorite locations, Cape Cod. Ever since I was a little girl the Cape has always been a special place close to my heart. Every summer my grandparents rented a house on the water for nearly two months. My cousins and I spent each summer playing endless rounds of mini golf, eating endless amounts of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and soaking up those endless summer sunsets.

Knowing my fondness for the Cape, Colin decided to make my favorite place even more special by proposing at the top of a Cape Cod lighthouse.

After touring a couple of venues, Colin suggested we visit Latitude 41 in Mystic, CT. Driving through the charming nautical town of Mystic, I was brought right back to my times on the Cape. The venue was just as stunning as the town, and I could instantly picture us saying, “I do”.

The selling point for us was not only the spacious lawn area right along the water, but the gorgeous lighthouse similar to the one where we made our first commitment to each other. Our wedding day was more than we could have ever dreamed of. As the summer sunset was finally faded on our perfect day, I knew Mystic would become another favorite place we would cherish.


Custom Invitation

Our wedding invitations were not only unique because of their custom design, but because they were created by two of our friends Danielle and Justin Lappen of My Wed Ink.

Knowing the Lappens personally I knew that their easy-going personalities, creative talent, and professionalism would be the perfect combination to create a stress free experience along with beautifully designed products. They did not disappoint! They perfectly captured our vision of highlighting nautical components while still feeling clean and timeless.

During the design process of our invitations we had thrown some ideas back and forth on different nautical elements to incorporate. One idea I had was a lighthouse. The Lappens quickly designed a beautiful lighthouse including our initials A&C.

We ended up not using the lighthouse for our invitations, but we did put it on nearly every other paper product at our wedding! It became sort of the “logo” of our wedding that we included on our programs, reception signs, table numbers, and even our thank you notes! Colin and I are so grateful to not only have had our wedding details perfectly designed for us, but designed by two of our favorite wedding guests.


Hair + Makeup

Besides of course choosing my groom, choosing Allison Neves of Beautifully Unafraid was one of the best decisions I had made for our wedding. About three months prior to the wedding I went to Allison’s for my hair trial. With my Pinterest picture in hand, Allison perfectly executed the look I had envisioned. Of course my indecisiveness kicked in about 3 weeks before the wedding and I started to question if the hairstyle I had chosen was a little too trendy. Scrolling through Allison’s Instagram feed I found a gorgeous low bun from one of her previous brides. The look was elegant and timeless and exactly what I was hoping for.

I felt horrible switching up my hairstyle after I had already gone through the trial, but Allison’s calm nature and sweet manner helped ease my worries. She quickly responded saying it was not a problem at all and that it was an easy switch. My hair turned out even more perfect than I could have imagined!

Due to my somewhat last minute switch, I hadn’t really thought of the placement of my veil. Allison suggested placing the veil below my bun so that no part of my hair was covered. When explaining this to my mom, she quickly recognized her nervousness to execute the directions. Allison stayed throughout all of our getting ready pictures to ensure my mom could properly place the veil into my hair. Allison went above and beyond to make sure we not only looked beautiful but felt calm and confident as well!


An Unexpected Dress

After binge watching one too many episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress”, I had fallen victim to thinking everyone is supposed to have that “bridal moment” when finding their wedding dress. I had no such moment, yet still found my perfect dress. I had specifically chosen a shop that carried a line of dresses I had been lusting after online. All the dresses were stunning, just not stunning on me. Feeling discouraged from my picks, I finally tried on my sister’s choice. She had picked out a gown that was the same designer as her own wedding gown, yet was a completely different style.

She deemed this gown was “classic Alyssa”, and when I tried it on the rest of my family agreed. Although I definitely felt like it was the best dress of the day, I wasn’t fully sold and went home empty handed.

Luckily my sister, who was a recent bride herself, had taken pictures of me in each dress I had tried on. For the next few weeks, I continued to look at myself in that one dress and could picture myself  walking down the aisle.

I went back to the shop a little while later with my bridesmaids this time and tried on a few more gowns. Yet everyone agreed that my sister knew best. I might not have cried, or gotten chills, or had the perfect bridal moment, but having my sister’s choice end up being “the one” makes finding my dress extra special.


A Handmade Chuppah

Colin and I toured a couple of venues prior to selecting Latitude 41. One of the first venues we looked at was setting up for a Jewish wedding while we were viewing the space. Colin and I were in awe, not only of the beautiful atmosphere they had created but of the gorgeous chuppah at the center of it all. We congratulated the family and shared how beautiful the chuppah looked as the focal point in the space. The father of the bride then proceeded to tell us how he had handcrafted the chuppah as a gift for his daughter to cherish for years to come. I couldn’t get over the sweet sentiment and of course gushed about it to my mother.

 

My mom then shared the story with my dad who also could not get over the emotional gesture. My dad thought it would be even more nostalgic for our chuppah if he built the structure with birch trees from the yards of both Colin’s and my childhood homes. My dad went to Colin’s dad for guidance and he too loved the idea. He even brought back trees to incorporate from their vacation home in Vermont. After researching many different chuppah structures my dad, brother, and soon-to-be father in-law all built the “home” that we stood under and declared our vows and commitment to one another.

 
Our music choice

As stated in my previous post, Colin and I have attended our fair share of weddings, so we knew the elements of the first dance that we liked and didn’t like. We liked the idea of a fun song rather than a slow romantic song. We also liked the idea of spontaneously dancing as opposed to a choreographed dance; however, when it comes to dancing we both have zero rhythm and two left feet.

To ease our nerves we decided to take a dance lesson at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. We told our instructor from the beginning that we were terrible dancers but didn’t want to look robotic counting every step. Our instructor completely understood our vision and provided us with just the right amount of guidance.

Throughout the entire wedding process I only had a few nerves about the wedding day, one of which was our first dance. Yet our first dance ended up being a true highlight of the wedding for me. My worries of being the center of attention melted away, and it felt like it was only Colin and I on the dance floor. I couldn’t help but think back to the countless times we had practiced dancing in our kitchen and ended up in a fit of laughter. The song we had chosen was, ‘You Are the Best Thing’ by Ray LaMontagne. It’s upbeat pace and simple sweet message was the perfect combination to represent our relationship. After 11 years together we’ve never had “a song”, and now we have one that will remind us of our favorite day!

 
Photographer

When deciding on a photographer I knew I wanted someone who uses natural light to capture a bright and airy feel. Our friend Anne Lee, of Anne Lee Photography, instantly came to mind.

However, as a close friend we wanted her to attend our wedding as a guest, so I decided to look through her Instagram to see if she followed anyone with a similar aesthetic. I stumbled upon Taylor Dunn, of Taylor Dunn Photography, and after scrolling through only a handful of her pictures knew I needed to book her.

On our wedding day, Taylor and her husband Chris were nothing short of miracle workers. They managed to wrangle up and direct our entire immediate family and bridal party for pictures before the ceremony while staying on schedule. Of course this type A kindergarten teacher always appreciates promptness.

Yet it was truly their kind nature that impressed me most. They were able to give orders and demand poses while remaining the sweetest people ever. Their easy-going demeanor kept everyone calm and relaxed at all points of the day. We absolutely loved how Taylor and Chris were able to capture the pure joy of our special day! They provided us with the most beautiful memories that we will be able to cherish forever!


Honeymoon in Italy and Greece

Over the course of our 12-year relationship it’s hard to believe Colin and I had never traveled out of the country together, so when deciding on our honeymoon location we wanted to begin our adventure as Mr. and Mrs. traveling to a new place together. We had narrowed down our destination list to two desired locations: the Amalfi Coast and the Greek Islands.

We liked the idea of a honeymoon that incorporated both relaxing beach time as well as sight seeing. It took us a while to decide between the two locations but we ultimately picked Greece. If we had traveled all the way to the Amalifi Coast we both would have wanted to experience all of Italy, which would made for a very tiring honeymoon with little down time. Although this wasn’t our first time leaving the country, it was as a couple, so we decided to use a travel agent for guidance. She had suggested that a cruise or a tour group might relieve some of apprehension.

   

We decided against a cruise so that we could experience various hotels and restaurants instead of relying on a ship. However, when it came to a tour group, we had..

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The struggle is real: you’ve always dreamed of an idyllic, secluded countryside wedding, but also need a venue where the team knows a chuppah from a hora.  

I hear you. It’s not always easy planning a UK Jewish wedding when you’re not going for that big city feel, between kosher catering, easy transportation for guests, and all the other considerations that come into choosing a venue for a Jewish wedding. But there are a handful of fantastic venues out there that let you have your cake (or scone?) and eat it too.

Like Hedsor House, an incredible Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor in the heart of the English countryside, yet only 45 minutes from London. Located in the beautiful Thames Valley, Hedsor House’s Buckinghamshire location embodies that classic English country house splendour with its magnificent Georgian architecture, elegant decor, and sprawling grounds. It’s truly a special backdrop for your big day.

Hedsor House regularly hosts luxury Jewish weddings, and the events team are total pros at handling all the special details that go into a Jewish wedding. Whether your ceremony is Orthodox or Jew-ish, they know what to do — and they’ll be there with you every step of the way, with their mega-attentive service ensuring your ideas are brought to life and your big day runs smoothly.

With a variety of wonderful spaces — they’ve got both indoor and outdoor chuppah options, a glorious domed Centre Hall, magnificent oak-paneled Ballroom, plus a range of smaller room options perfect for a tisch and badeken — there are so many ways to tailor your celebration to your needs.

There’s also a totally gorgeous bridal suite, perfect for getting ready with your girls (and eminently photographable), plus ten additional guest rooms on site for exclusive use by your closest family and friends post-wedding.

Why Hedsor House is the Perfect English Country House Venue for Your Jewish Wedding
  • Located 45 minutes from London, with easy transport links to the M40, M4, and London Heathrow
  • Can accommodate up to 150 guests for a seated meal
  • Flexible indoor and outdoor space for your chuppah, including the South Lawn, Centre Hall, and Ballroom
  • Enough room for the horah in the Centre Hall with lots of ceiling height
  • Lots of different ancillary room options for the tisch and badeken
  • Top kosher caterers Celia Clyne, Food Story (a Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor), and Philip Small are among Hedsor House’s preferred suppliers
  • No charge to bring in your own kosher wine
  • Exclusive use of the house on your wedding day
  • Good Sunday availability in 2019 and 2020 (and Sundays are available at a lower rate)

Want to find out more about Jewish weddings at Hedsor House? Do get in touch – the team would love to show you around!

Contact Details

+44 (0)1628 819 050
marry@hedsor.com
www.hedsor.com
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Location: Taplow, Buckinghamshire, SL6 0HX

Hedsor House is a Smashing The Glass handpicked sponsor and this is a sponsored post..
We only ever work with sponsors that we absolutely ADORE and would use ourselves.
You can find out more about sponsored posts here. All images supplied by Hedsor House

The post Hedsor House: A Stylish Buckinghamshire Country House Venue Perfect for Your Jewish Wedding appeared first on Smashing the Glass | Jewish Wedding Blog.

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Beautiful wedding, beautiful photography, beautiful couple… this gorgeous Jewish wedding really is a blogger’s dream!

Granted, it would be hard to go wrong in a setting as stunning as Hadas and Idan’s choice, Gan Vradim in Rishon LetZion. It’s a totally breathtaking urban garden, packed with plenty of romance and just a little bit of edge.

That same description could be applied to the totally breathtaking photos by Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Jossef Si . Artistic, creative, full of emotion – what more could you ask for in your wedding photography? It’s easy to understand why Hadas reports that she and Idan immediately fell in love with his work. Yep, we’re just a little bit obsessed…

Another thing we’re obsessed with is the fact that Hadas and her future MIL came up with the design for her stunning wedding dress together! Noa and Ayelet Wedding Dresses brought the dream dress to life, and we are just so in love with the outcome.

Now over to the bride…


How we met

We are both building engineers, we met in chemistry class the we were in school together! We’ve been together ever since.


Urban Garden

We got married in Gan Vradim in Rishon LetZion, a garden that combines nature and urban life with a lot of vegetation and a pastoral atmosphere. Before we got engaged, we knew it would be the place: romantic, good atmosphere, and high-quality food – what else could you want?


Makeup

I saw the works of Nofar Gerichter on Instagram and fell in love, everything he does is very classic and clean. As someone who doesn’t wear makeup every day, it was important for me not to feel like I was in disguise.


A Noa and Ayelet Dress

The groom’s mother and I sat together and designed the dress. When it came time to look for a bridal salon to fulfill my dream, we found Noa and Ayelet Wedding Dresses and they made my bridal style dreams come true. I had two dresses: the first was very classic, and the second I knew from childhood would be an exaggerated tutu.


The handsome groom

Idan wore a tuxedo with a velvet bow tie and matching shoes. On the morning of the wedding I sent him a gift, cufflinks with our names – it was exciting to see him wearing them.


Bridesmaids

My best friend and my little sister were my bridesmaids.


A Simple Chuppah

The chuppah location is so stunning on its own, there was really no need to add anything.


Photographer 

We saw photos by Jossef Si and immediately fell in love. His photography is different from everything else I saw. Every picture he takes is a work of art.


Advice to couples currently planning their wedding

Your wedding day is a day of new beginnings and a celebration of love. Enjoy it, cherish special moments and just flow.


Hadas & Ian’s little white book

Photography – Jossef Si Photography {offers 10% discount to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Venue – Gan Vradim
Bride’s dress – tailored by Noa and Ayelet Wedding Dresses
Makeup – Nofar Gerichter

The post A Noa and Ayelet Bride for a Super Stylish Israeli Wedding at Gan Vradim, Rishon LetZion, Israel appeared first on Smashing the Glass | Jewish Wedding Blog.

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Alexandra will be marrying Jordan on 26th May 2019 at The Grove in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. Click here to read all Alexandra’s planning posts to date.

THREE FACTS: (1) Alexandra and Jordan met in college and have been together ever since. (2) They are planning a romantic fairy tale garden wedding inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream – LOVE! (3) Alexandra’s wearing Galia Lahav for the big day – one of our absolute fave Israeli designers!


Overcoming family drama: take a deep breath, have a positive mindset, and move forward!

Let’s be real – wedding planning is SO exciting and fun, but it can also be stressful! A LOT goes into a wedding and it may be overwhelming to get it all done (unless you have a wedding planner ????). Everyone has their own story, with ups, downs, and a whole lot in between. Today I’d like to share my three biggest wedding planning struggles with the STG community.

The first hurdle we faced on our wedding journey involved conflict with family. Very shortly after Jordan and I got engaged in May of 2017, we decided that we would get married mid-June 2019! We consistently shared this with family, friends, and strangers alike. About six months after our engagement, my older brother proposed to his girlfriend.

We were overjoyed, until they very quickly decided that they too wanted to be married mid-June 2019, which naturally created tension. Their defense was that they didn’t understand why our wedding was “more important” than theirs. Jordan and I have never felt that our wedding should take priority, however, we were engaged and openly settled on the timeframe for six months, so we did feel that they should concede.

They didn’t, as they had already found a venue and secured the date, whereas we had been taking our time venue-hunting with our long (2-year) engagement.


Image by Catullo Photography

Beyond the friction with my brother, this created difficulty in planning our wedding. Unless we changed seasons entirely, we had to decide between May (an important month for my mom’s job – she’s a costume director and has competitions and recitals) or July (an important month for my job – I am a furniture buyer and have my largest tradeshow).

We decided on May, and while we are incredibly excited, there have been many moments of stress and frustration when we wish that our wedding was mid-June as originally planned. I have spent countless hours reflecting on this, and while I will never truly understand why they had to claim our wedding month as theirs, I have learned to maintain positivity and grow from the experience.

Although our weddings are extremely important to each of our lives, our relationship as siblings is of too high value to let this situation tear us apart. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason, and our wedding (May 26, 2019) is exactly two years from the date of our engagement, which we have to admit is undeniably special.


My parents, Jordan, and I enjoying a tasting at a prospective venue Balancing wedding with work: make plans to make plans!

Another difficulty has been balancing wedding planning with a demanding job. I work for a large e-commerce tech company in a high-stress, high-intensity role. I am quite passionate about my job, which has made it difficult to be able to take time for myself, let alone for my wedding!

Overwhelmed by work, plans with family and friends, and the need for some rest now and then, I decided that I needed to formally set aside time each week for wedding planning. This may sound silly, but it has greatly helped me hold myself accountable and accomplish weekly goals.

On top of working long weekdays (and often extra weekend hours), I also live quite far from our wedding venue. Jordan and I live in Boston, Massachusetts and are tying the knot in Cedar Grove, New Jersey (about five hours by car).

It has been stressful to find time to travel to New Jersey and fit in as much as we can during each trip. Making plans far in advance has been key in making the most out of our time in New Jersey and minimizing days I have taken off (I have to save those for our honeymoon to Greece and Paris!)


My sister and I at my first bridal fitting. Balancing expectations: the wedding is all about the bride and groom!

While my fiancé and I have a clear vision of what we want our wedding to be like, it has been easier than expected to get caught up in wanting to please family and friends.

A great example of this is my wedding gown. I wasn’t looking for something low-cut or revealing, but that is what I ended up selecting (SHH don’t tell). After trying on many “not THE ONE” gowns, my mom had picked one out from our favorite designer, Galia Lahav. I had full-body chills when I first tried it on and truly felt like a bride.

Even though I knew in my heart that it was my dress, I couldn’t help but worry about what others might think or feel. I recall wondering, “What will my grandparents think of me in this?” and “Is this dress appropriate?” Thankfully my mom, dad, future mother-in-law, sister, and best friend were the best dress-hunting team and were all casting their votes for this gown as the winner.

Although I still find myself considering potential judgement or disapproval from others, I know that all that truly matters is how the dress makes me feel and how grateful I am to be able to wear such a beautiful work of art.


My MOHs and I at Bridal Reflections in New York City

Religion has been another topic where we have contemplated decisions based on our guests’ expectations. “Do we need yarmulkes if our ceremony isn’t in a temple? Is it okay to have non-kosher food when orthodox family members are attending? Will our rabbi accept us forgoing some Jewish traditions and mixing in some spiritual traditions of our own?” The list goes on and on…. We ultimately want everyone to feel comfortable, but we have to stay true to who we are as well. Our own Jew-ish style plus our love for each other and all of our guests is sure to make for a memorable wedding!

For every one of these challenges, there have been two times as many joyful moments that are important to keep in mind while working through difficulties. Relationships, time management, creativity, sanity (and more) have been put to the test, pushing my fiancé and I to grow both individually and as a couple. Even though there is still much to do, all of the hard work we are putting in will make our wedding day even more rewarding.

My Current Wedding Priorities

1. Finalize our menu: We have a tasting this month at our venue, which is when we will make our selections. We are major foodies and are very excited about The Grove’s culinary quality and presentation!

2. Plan the after-party: We need to book a DJ, plan club-like décor, and of course arrange for some fun late night drinks and snacks!

3. Enjoy my bachelorette party: My girls and I are headed to Breathless Resort in Cancun, Mexico!


May 26, 2017 / May 26, 2018

Click here to read all Alexandra’s planning posts to date.

Alexandra & Jordan’s Wedding Vendors booked so far: 

Venue – The Grove
Photography and videography – Gabelli Studio
Band – Frank Simmons from Hank Lane
Makeup – Lauren Vena
Bride’s dress – Galia Lahav found and fitted at Bridal Reflections

The post Real Jewish Brides: Alexandra’s Wedding Planning’s Ups And Downs appeared first on Smashing the Glass | Jewish Wedding Blog.

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Nothing gives us the warm and fuzzies like hearing that we’ve helped a couple plan their Jewish (or Jew-ish!) wedding. Especially when said wedding is as gorgeous as today’s knockout destination celebration with an absolute stunner of a rose chuppah – yup, that chuppah alone contained a whopping 1500(!) roses.

Deborah, a solicitor in a City firm, and Michael, who works in finance, live in North London, but they opted to marry in sunny Madrid, where the groom grew up (#margolovichwedding).

This is obviously a totally stunning wedding from a visual standpoint – Victor Lax’s emotion-filled photography and Al Aguar’s moving trailer attest to that – but we’re seriously touched to hear that we inspired some of the emotional details of the day.

For instance, Deborah reports she got the idea to incorporate her late father’s tallit into the chuppah design right here on STG – such a beautiful way to incorporate a loved one into the ceremony.

The couple also sourced their exquisite papercut ketubah from Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Danny Azoulay – featuring a gold ldea design of Jerusalem vineyards, in honor of their having met on Birthright in Jerusalem – aww!

There are so many more great details, but Deborah, who looked so elegant in her princess-style Pronovias gown (with pockets!) will fill you in on the rest of the story…


How we met

Deborah, the bride: We met ten years ago on Birthright in Jerusalem when we were both students and got engaged in November 2016 in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, so this wedding has been a long time in the making!


Destination Madrid

We held both the ceremony and the reception at La Quinta de Jarama, in Madrid.

Michael was born and raised in Madrid and Deborah is from the UK (and we both live in North London). Deborah and Michael have spent a lot of time together in Madrid over the years.

Our key requirements when looking at a venue was that we wanted somewhere that felt right for us, with relaxed modern setting, good kosher food and no curfew for the party (the latter was much easier to achieve in Madrid!).

We looked at a number of wedding venues in Madrid and had actually attended a friend’s wedding at La Quinta de Jarama a few years before and were really impressed with the venue. La Quinta de Jarama were extremely professional and looked after every small detail for us.

As you would expect, planning our wedding involved a number of trips between London and Madrid.


Raspberry and Rose

The colours that ran through our wedding were raspberry pink and rose gold. The bridesmaids’ dresses were raspberry pink (which worked really well with the bright Madrid summer day) and we had touches of the pink in the chuppah, bouquets and table centres. We also had some rose-gold details in the invitations and copper table decorations (i.e. the table signs and note holders).

One of the key special points of our wedding was that a lot of our guests had travelled from overseas (the UK, Israel, Chile, Argentina) to be with us for this special day and we wanted to make the experience as personal as possible and to show our gratitude to them for going to such special efforts to be with us. The high level of detail, personal touches and thought throughout our wedding was probably the thing that we got the most comments on from our guests.


What ‘Smashing The Glass’ Did For Us

We loved reading about other peoples’ weddings and we got a lot of ideas from the site about ways that we could make our own day special, in particular:

  • Using Deborah’s father’s tallit under the chuppah
  • Ways to remember relatives who were no longer with us in the chuppah explanatory document
  • Personalised handwritten notes for guests at their tables
  • Having an “unplugged” ceremony so that our guests were with us in person. This was particularly important as our ceremony was very emotional and there were a lot of tears.

As our wedding was in Madrid there weren’t many vendors on STG covering that area. One of the reasons that we wanted to contribute to the STG blog was so that other couples could benefit from our research and experience of planning a wedding in Madrid.


A Fab Planner

We did have a wedding planner, Eric Serfaty of Bosseto Eventos. Eric is the “go to” man in Madrid and further afield in Spain for Jewish events and he is such a professional in terms of planning the event, the logistics and making sure everything runs smoothly on the night. Eric’s motto was “everything is possible”! He was a great source of knowledge and practice suggestions, which are all key when planning a destination wedding!


Invitation

We worked closely with Deborah Cohen at Kaart for all of our wedding stationery and design: save the date, welcome party and wedding invitation, notes at the tables and thank you cards. All of these invitations followed the same style with a “Deborah & Michael” logo, which we used throughout the event and had projected behind our band. We wanted our designs to be minimalistic, simplistic and modern but classic and we had a crescendo effect throughout our stationery so that our main invitation was in rose gold and pressed.

It was important to us to include and remember those parents that are no longer with us in the invitation (Michael’s mother and Deborah’s father) so we ensured that we included both of their names on the invitation and thought about lots of ways to remember them throughout our wedding.

Our wedding email address (and informal hashtag) was a combination of our surnames.

Our table designs were of notable places in Madrid and London which a friend of Deborah’s (Lauren Stallard Designs) sketched by hand and then transposed onto a copper sign for each table.


Hair + Makeup

On the day, the bridal party had their hair and makeup done by recommendations from a Madrid beauty salon. Deborah’s hair was loosely plaited and pinned and she wanted fairly natural makeup and nothing too heavy. For the ceremony, Deborah wore a lightly tinted Dior lip gloss, and changed it for a brighter pink MAC lipstick for the party. Luckily for the pockets in Deborah’s dress, she had somewhere to keep her lipstick for touch ups later in the night!

We stayed and got ready in Hotel Totem (a stylish boutique hotel in the trendy Salamanca area of Madrid), who went above and beyond accommodating our planning and accommodating our guests. The hotel had some beautiful staircases which produced some great photos and a really stylish bar for guests to relax in the evenings.


A Pronovias Dress 

My wedding dress was from the Pronovias flagship store in Madrid. I had a few appointments lined up in London but took the opportunity a few months into our engagement whilst in Madrid with some girlfriends to make a first visit to Pronovias.

My intention was to be open minded and to try on a variety of different styles as didn’t really know what I wanted, but I found “the one” on my first visit! It was a princess style with an illusion sweetheart neckline and a low back. It had beautiful detail at the top, a bow at the waist and most importantly pockets! It was love at first sight and I made a decision there and then!


Accessories

I wore a long veil (also from Pronovias) during the ceremony. I removed the veil before the entrance into the reception and it then revealed an elegant jewelled headpiece from Pronovias.

I wore a special pair of my mum’s earrings and a delicate Tiffany bracelet with a star of David that Michael bought for my 21st birthday.


Jimmy Choos

I wore glittery (platinum ice) Jimmy Choo Romy 85 heels. I wore them in before when practising our first dance and they were surprisingly comfortable on the night!

For later in the night once the party started, I changed into some Kate Spade KEDS for leading the way on the dance floor until the early hours.

The handsome groom

Despite his Spanish roots (Deborah always jokes that Michael is the least Spanish person she’s ever met, in terms of way of life!), Michael chose Gieves & Hawkes, a classic British tailor in Saville Row, to have his three-piece wedding suit made to measure.

Given the wedding was during the Spanish summer, the choice of colour Michael chose was a deep blue to match the expected blue sky and sunshine! This matched with the groomsmen’s two-piece blue suits (Suit Supply) which was Michael’s ‘best men’ gift for all their help and support on the big day as well as the run up months to the wedding.

Other accessories also resonated with British iconic brands as well as international classical: white shirt from Thomas Pink, black shoes from Crockett & Jones at Jermyn Street, a matching blue patterned tie from Hermes and a classic timepiece watch from Jaeger-LeCoultre.

The Montblanc cuff links Michael wore on the day were a special gift he received from Deborah on the wedding day.


Bridesmaids in Raspberry 

I had four bridesmaids (my sister and three best friends from University) and they all wore matching floor length raspberry dresses from David’s Bridal, which were all altered to fit them perfectly. This colour was in line with the theme. Since the ceremony was outside and in the summer, I wanted a bright colour to stand out.


Rose Chuppah

We looked at a few different chuppah designs online and we quickly agreed that we wanted it to be floral and to include roses. We worked closely with our florists, Bourguignon Floristas to decide on the theme and they worked tirelessly during the whole day to prepare the chuppah and to keep the flowers safe from the sun! The chuppah contained a total of 1,500 roses and around 2,000 stems of flowers in total!

Bourguignon Floristas really went the extra mile with our chuppah and even sent us a video of how our chuppah was prepared during the day and gave us a beautiful watercolour painting of the chuppah they had designed for us as a gift.

It was important to us to remember Deborah’s father who passed away and we decided to incorporate his tallit into the chuppah design. This was an idea that we had got from STG!

For a lot of our non-Jewish friends, this was their first chuppah ceremony and we wanted to ensure that they were part of it and could understand the religious ceremony, the traditions and the significance. Our explanatory document for the chuppah doubled up as a fan as the ceremony took place outside during August in the early evening and it was quite warm.


A Moving Ceremony

Our ceremony was extremely emotional: Michael’s mother passed away when he was young, and Deborah’s father passed away a few years ago, so as much as it was a happy occasion, we included a lot of elements to include those that could not be with us.

We had two rabbis at our ceremony: Rabbi Moshe Bendahan, who is the Chief Rabbi of Spain, and who has known Michael’s family for twenty years, and Rabbi Andrew Savage, who Deborah and Michael have known for many years (from when he used to live in London), who made the trip especially from Berlin.

Both rabbis said a few words, which were extremely touching, personal and moving. The languages of the ceremony were English and Hebrew, and when Rabbi Bendahan spoke in Spanish we also prepared an English translation.


A Jerusalem Ketubah

Our ketubah was a beautiful design by Danny Azoulay of Jerusalem Vineyards, which was particularly meaningful as we met on Birthright in Jerusalem. It was a paper cut gold leaf chuppah and a very special artwork which we look forward to hanging in our home together.


Our music choice

We worked closely with Muzika and met with them several occasions to prepare every aspect of the music for our wedding. We were actively involved in choosing the music for key moments of the day that meant a lot to us:

Groom’s entrance music was ‘Mehera’ to the tune of Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’.

Bridal party entrance music was ‘Lecha Dodi’ to the tune of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’. This was the song that originally drew us to Muzika so we were really pleased to be able to have them play this for us!

Entrance into dinner was a Gatsby style ‘A Little Party Never Killed Nobody’ by the Black Eyed Peas and set the right mood for the rest of the evening!


Roses

The bridal bouquet was made up of “Keira” English Roses, “Kristal Kate-Lynn” Spray Roses, “Million Stars” white Astrantia, White Phox, Silver Brunia. Raspberry Lisianthus.

The bridemaids’ bouquet was a similar to the bridal bouquet but smaller and was made up of “Sweet Avalanche” Roses, “Keira” English Roses, Spray Roses, Silver Brunia. Pink Lisianthus and “Million Stars” Astrantia.

The room where our dinner was held had a really high ceiling and so we mixed tall centre pieces (3 metres high!) with smaller ones, both of which contained roses.

Overall over 2,400 roses were used at our wedding!

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