A Hayley Paige bride for a ‘seashore & sequins’ Jewish wedding on the beach at Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA

Think coastal, think sparkly, think utterly gorgeous.

That’s Amanda and David’s day. These two wanted a casual beach look and a formal black-tie feel so they mixed the two together, and you know what? It just works! When you’re contemplating a theme for your wedding you should never feel restricted by the ‘should’s or what’s perceived to be the done thing. Anything goes as long as it’s 100% you…

Amanda grew up in a small beach town and had always dreamed of a wedding on the seafront, but once she’d set her sights upon a statement wedding gown (and when I say ‘statement’ I mean a vision of sophisticated sparkle with a generous dose of modern frou frou) she took that dream, added in sequins and a ball gown, and turned a casual beach wedding into a super chic formal beach affair.

It’s all just so fabulous and full of shimmery, sparkly fun – there are golden flamingoes, a chuppah at sunset, sparkly Kate Spade KEDS, glittery tablecloths and a gourmet popcorn bar!

And if you’re looking for sparkly bridesmaid’s dress inspiration then Amanda’s choice of gown for her girls will definitely give you a touch of the green eyed monster…

On a different note, I must also mention that Amanda carried the most beautiful memory locket in her bouquet to honour her father who tragically passed away in 2013. This is the most touching and creative idea for carrying the memory of a loved one down the aisle – you must take a look.

Finally, don’t miss Amanda’s ‘How We Met’ story below. Her and David met online on JDate and she describes it all so wonderfully. Amanda and David are one of several JDate couples I’ve had the pleasure of featuring on the blog (I love hearing the myriad of different ways of how couples meet so I always ask them!)

Stay tuned to view all the fabulous images by Donna Von Bruening and the oh so romantic video by Rad Red Creative. You’re going to go crazy for it all.

Formal-Beach-Jewish-Wedding-Sandclear-Resort-Florida Formal-Beach-Jewish-Wedding-Sandclear-Resort-Florida
How we met

David’s dad had first created his JDate account in hope that he would meet a nice Jewish girl. After comical dates on other dating sites, he gave JDate a shot and sent me a brief message. My mum was very convincing of the fact that I should try online dating, and even bought me a few books about the subject that she had pre-read, highlighted and sticky tabbed. I created a profile on JDate (while living in Alabama) since I was in the process of moving back to Florida and knew quite a few sorority sisters that met their husbands on the site.

Little did I know that I would be living less than a mile away from my future husband, and we didn’t even know it. On October 3, 2014 we met in person and had our first real date. A date that started as a quick lunch while my car was in the shop, turned into an all day adventure on the lake and lasting until dinner.  After our lunch at Panera discussing our education and work history, we went out on a nearby lake on David’s jet-ski. When David was pulling the ski back on the trailer, I caught a glance of him in the rear-view mirror, at that moment I knew that I could see myself marrying David. I also believe in signs and how the universe communicates its message to you. When we were in David’s car I glanced at the Jeep dashboard and it said “Since 1941,” this struck me as such a coincidence- my dad was born in 1941 and had an antique car with the license plate “It’s a 41.” My dad had passed away in 2013 from a quick diagnosis of cancer. I knew this was his way of telling me, he’s something special. We instantly clicked and knew that this was the real deal. I called my mum early the next morning and told her “he’s perfect, I know I’m going to marry him.” Little did I know, David had called his parents and told them the same thing.

Our connection grew quickly and easily turning into love. JDate connected two people that were meant to be together when they otherwise never would have crossed paths. On February 15, 2015 David planned a brunch to gather our families together. After brunch on a clear blue sky day, David proposed with a gorgeous ring inside a box of chocolates. He even made sure my nails were painted that day, an important detail that he took note of.

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“My best Jewish wedding photo” by Stark Photography

A weekly series where I ask some of the world’s best wedding photographers to pick out their favourite shot from their Jewish wedding portfolio. This week it’s the turn of Daniel Stark of Stark Photography.


‘Breaking The Glass’ by Stark Photography

We love Jewish ceremonies because of all the Jewish traditions, and our favourite is the breaking of the glass. We had an idea to place our GoPro right by the glass. We crossed our fingers something would turn out and hopefully not at the expense of also breaking the GoPro. But either way it would have been worth it.

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Bertha & David | Elegant-casual ‘garden market’ destination wedding on the beach at Bayit Al Hayam, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel

I first received an email from today’s bride in April of last year when she wrote to me asking for recommendations for a wedding planner, a great wedding website, and other ideas for her dream wedding in Israel.

Doing what I do, I had some lovely ideas for her, one of which was the suggestion of working with the brilliant BE Group TLV to plan and produce her destination wedding (Bertha and David hail from Mexico!).

Roll on just over a year later, and I can safely say that Bertha was thrilled to bits with her experience of working with Lisa and the team at BE Group TLV (as you’ll read below) and I could not be happier to be blogging her frankly fabulous wedding to David.

The couple were after a laid back but pretty feel to their big day and chose to get married at Bayit Al Hayam, a gorgeous venue right on the beach in Jaffa-Tel Aviv. They placed an emphasis on ’boutique booze’ (I’m talking a premium tequila and margarita bar, with one of Israel’s best mixologists brought in for the night!) and colourful garden market details with fruit and vegetable decor which just works SO well.

Now even though this is an elegant, sophisticated do, I love that the bride and groom chose to sit with their friends on a long cream sofa and chose to forgo assigned seating for their guests. They went for a combination of different sized tables and cream sofas and I think it’s so important to remember that you can be playful with your seating arrangements. You don’t have to stick to ‘tried and tested’ formulae!

There were also lots of lovely details to reflect Bertha and David’s Mexican heritage like churros instead of wedding cake, kippot made in Mexico, and tequila bottle favours organised by the bride’s brother and father.

A couple of other elements that I LOVE are a children’s choir and shofar accompanying the couple to the chuppah, and on a very different note (excuse the pun!) the screening of photos at the reception of the guests on tours of Jerusalem and the North of Israel. Bertha and David had organised these tours of Israel for their guests as part of their wedding week, and it must have been so lovely for the guests to see images of their Israel experiences on the big screen at the reception.

Bertha looks exquisite in a gown designed by a friend of hers from Mexico. She was inspired by several of the big designer names but wasn’t able to find a look she loved, so she had the dress of her dreams custom-made. And let’s not leave out the dashing groom! I am seriously coveting his black patent leather Converse which he teamed with a Kenneth Cole tuxedo. Super super cool!

Before I show you all the pretty, let me leave you with this wonderful quote from Bertha & David’s wedding website (for which they used the amazing Riley & Grey, also recommended by yours truly :-) ) alluding to the fact that the two of them met back in 1983… in kindergarten no less!

Life is funny. You can spend years searching for something only to realise it`s been there right in front of you all along”

Enjoy this one peeps. The big day was captured perfectly by Eran Beeri

Elegant-casual ‘garden market’ destination wedding on the beach at Bayit Al Hayam, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel_0014   Elegant-casual ‘garden market’ destination wedding on the beach at Bayit Al Hayam, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel Elegant-casual ‘garden market’ destination wedding on the beach at Bayit Al Hayam, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
How we met

Bertha, the Bride: David and I first met in kindergarten in 1983! Our families have known each other for about 30 years and our brothers were childhood friends. We re-connected many years later in our late 20’s and became best friends. We began dating years later and dated for two years before getting married.

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Meet my May sponsors!

I love these suppliers and I really think you will too! All these incredible businesses sponsor Smashing The Glass because they love Jewish weddings (and know every little detail about them) and want to work with more readers like you. They also happen to be some of the very best wedding vendors in the business (believe me, I’m incredibly fussy about who I partner with).

If you want to support Smashing The Glass, using one of these suppliers for your wedding is the best way to do so. They’re how I’m able to continue the blog and I only ever take on sponsors who align with my aesthetic and who I would only ever use myself.

It’s my hope that you’ll discover exactly what you’re looking for, either via the links below, or by regularly clicking through the ads running down the right hand side of the blog. And if you’re a vendor looking to join the Smashing The Glass family, here’s how to collaborate as a sponsor!

Exquisite Bloomsbury house is set in the heart of London’s West End and is yours to hire exclusively. Bloomsbury-House

Beautifully personal and creative wedding photography by Shaun Taylor

The most beautiful and stylish wedding gift list service from Prezola. Everything you can think of – all in one place.

Traditional Jewish music for your Chuppah and Wedding party guaranteed to thrill your guests by Shir

Awe-inspiring, versatile and super-sophisticated London wedding venue, RSA House

Breathtakingly creative documentary wedding photography by John Nassari

Super luxe, super personal weddings at the London hotel wedding venue, Rosewood London

Seriously dreamy documentary wedding photography from Claudine Hartzel.

A stunning hand-picked collection of Jewish gifts from Israel and around the world from Absolutely Matanot. Perfect for a Jewish wedding gift list

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A Halfpenny London Bride for an interfaith Mexican-Jewish wedding at Searcys at 30 Pavilion Road, Knightsbridge, London, UK

The last few weeks have been filled to the brim with all sorts of events and meetings… all in the name of work! From admiring the 2017 bridal collections at White Gallery London to a meeting with the Vivienne Westwood couture team in central London to the fabulous Not On The High Street press event where I got to meet the wonderful Kate Halfpenny and see her phenomenal wedding dress designs firsthand. Having been a fan of Kate’s for a long time (since I first heard her speak  at Paperfest in 2014) I’m delighted to be finally featuring a bride wearing one of her vintage-inspired Halfpenny London gowns in today’s interfaith (let’s call it Mexi-Jew!) fusion Jew-ish wedding.

Yes, today’s wedding features a surprise Mexican mariachi band singing Hava Nagila and Siman Tov… Epic, right?

And when it’s all captured by Matt Parry, you know it’s going to be utterly superb. Matt is one of those photographers whose work makes me do a little dance whenever I see it – there is something so very creative and fresh about his style – and I’m so happy to be able to say that today’s couple booked him after discovering his work on Smashing The Glass (which definitely elicits another happy dance from me!).

Mexican Jewish Wedding Searcys at 30 Pavilion Road
how we met

Liz, the Bride: Freddie and I met six years ago whilst I was living in London with friends.  We met at a club and exchanged phone numbers. We went on a date and I spent the rest of my time in London with him.

When I returned to Mexico we assumed that that was the end of our whirlwind romance, however two years later I came back to London for the Olympics and I met up with Freddie and we ended spending the entire summer together. The following summer I was back in London for work and after spending yet another summer together we finally decided to give it a go. I moved to London and the rest as they say is history…

We chose this venue as Freddie and his family used to live less than 100 yards away. As Freddie’s mum mentioned in her speech it felt like coming home…

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