A Texas-meets-Jewish knees up wedding with pie on Pi Day at Hyatt Regency La Jolla, San Diego, California, USA

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Yeeehaw! Get ready for a cool cultural collision you just don’t see every day.

Taylor and David were best friends for several years before a fateful kiss after a West Wing marathon prompted them to realise what had been right in front of them all along.

Their Texas-meets-Jewish wedding, captured by husband-and-wife photography team, Shane and Lauren Photography, was planned specifically to fall on March 14th, a.k.a. Pi Day.

Pi, a number that goes on indefinitely, was the perfect choice to echo Jewish wedding traditions, such as the breaking of the glass under the Chuppah with the sentiment “may your marriage last as long as it would take to repair this glass” (forever). We reckon the idea is a must-steal for math-loving Jewish couples everywhere!

In keeping with the Pi theme, the couple served… you guessed it – pie! Mini pies in mason jars were served for dessert and the couple cut an apple pie instead of a wedding cake. In fact, good luck reading this entire post without getting hungry – if you manage it, you’ve done better than the Smashing the Glass team.

To honour San Diego’s growing craft beer scene, they also had an epic beer bar and gave out koozies (fabric sleeves designed to keep a drink warm, for any non-Texan natives out there) as favours.

Over to Taylor to take us through all the details of her and David’s big day…

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From best friends to husband and wife 

Taylor, the bride: David and I met in law school. We were both student representatives for Kaplan Bar Review and got to know each other better by working there. I graduated school and then came back two years later to work in San Diego for Kaplan Bar Review in a full-time position. He was in his last year of school and was still a student representative and we reconnected.

We were best friends for over a year and a half with no romantic involvement. I dated other guys (that he knew), he dated other girls (that I knew) but no spark was there. 

Then, eventually, something changed.  A few days after Valentine’s Day in 2013, we were both single (him very newly so having just broken up with a long-distance girlfriend) and hanging out at his house watching The West Wing and we kissed. 

We became even more inseparable after that day, got a dog named Bartlett (named after the president on The West Wing), and got married a little over two years later.

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A chilled out backyard Jewish wedding at the bride’s childhood home in Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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When bride Andria met her handsome groom Ilya after a Tinder date that almost didn’t happen, she was so taken with him that she still remembers everything he wore on that ultimately fateful day. Hey, when you know, you know, right?

Despite being one of the most laid back brides to ever grace the Smashing pages, Andria’s gorgeous backyard wedding is full of beautiful, natural and rustic details captured wonderfully by photographers Zeefoto. The couple married in Andria’s parents’ backyard and stuck to a rustic vintage theme. With just three months between the engagement and the wedding, the family went all out, re-doing the entire lawn and planting new flowers, even bringing in sandstone for that Israeli-meets-magical-woodland feel.

At Smashing the Glass, we love it when a wedding includes rare aspects of Jewish culture. The groom, Ilya, is Bukharian. For those who don’t know, Bukhari Jews are originally from central Asia and speak a rare dialect of the Tajik-Persian language. The result of two Jewish cultures fusing is always awesome, and the little touches – the Bukharian band and the eight-course meal (yes, you read that correctly – what would a Jewish wedding be without an extraordinary amount of food?) really made this wedding something special.

It’s worth mentioning that the couple insisted on having vodka on the tables – we admire their spirit (sorry, sorry…)!

Perhaps the loveliest detail of all was Andria’s chilled-out attitude. From absolutely embracing her Jewfro (high five all the Jewfros out there) to wearing her wonderful mother’s veil and a precious symbolism-laiden family heirloom as jewellery, Andria’s approach was all heart, no fuss.

Just you wait until you read Andria’s moving words about her mother (here, have a tissue – you’ll need it).

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How we met

Andria, the bride: Ahhhh, those were the days. So, Ilya and I matched on Tinder except he never said anything to me for six months. He then saw me numerous times out but none of my friends would give him my number since they said I was moving. Then three months before I was leaving to make Aliyah (the process of diaspora Jews moving to Israel) I got a random phone call on October 20 at 5:38 PM from this boy named Ilya. We went on our first date a week later. Ilya was wearing Timberlands, jeans, a grey Cleveland Browns t-shirt (we were watching the game), a red flannel, puffy vest and a black scarf. I told him 15 minutes into the date that if he either of us didn’t vibe with one another we shouldn’t waste our time. We sat at the pub for four and a half hours. I knew the second I saw him he was the one. I still, to this day, get butterflies sometimes. He’s so special and I’m grateful every day to be his wife.

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Yvonne & Craig’s rustic chic, beautifully personal Jewish wedding at Micklefield Hall, Hertfordshire ,UK

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Some weddings are a feast for the eyes – some are a treat for the heart. And some weddings are beautifully both! Yvonne and Craig’s contemporary rustic chic wedding at Micklefield Hall in Hertfordshire, UK, shot by our inimitably talented Smashing Supplier Laura Babb, was a beautiful blend of eye-catching décor and eye-dabbing personal detail.

Bride Yvonne, who recently converted to Judaism, works in design and boy can you tell. The wedding was dotted with perfectly pulled together design details; a colour scheme in soft blush pinks and whites, rustic ladders, chalkboards featuring gorgeous typography, a naked Victoria sponge – and then there was that stationery.

Yvonne took on the brave and loving task of designing and creating her whole stationery suite: from her box-set themed table signage to the 150 lovingly handcrafted (and hand gilded) invitations received by her guests.

Oh, and adorable favour idea alert: Yvonne and Craig treated each guest to a hand-decorated personalised mini bottle of pink champagne and stripy straw so they could be enjoyed during the festivities. How cute is that?

Yvonne and Craig’s big-hearted wedding also involved some astoundingly touching personal details, including a framed photograph of Yvonne’s late mother, which took pride of place during the ceremony. Yvonne and her father made the chuppah together from materials from both sides of the family, and don’t even get me started on the lovely personalised gift that Yvonne sent to Craig on the morning of the wedding…

I hope you love staring at this divine, detail-laden dream as much as I did – and make sure you check out the quirky and cool Marryoke video at the end? What’s that, you ask? I won’t ruin it for you. Enjoy!

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How We Met

Yvonne, the bride: Craig and I met in a pub in Islington after Craig walked over to me and announced that he ‘had to introduce himself’! Craig played it very cool after that and waited another three weeks until he asked me out on our first date. We have been together for six years now and have made some incredible memories together. I decided to convert to Judaism a couple of years ago and although it was extremely hard work, it really was the most incredible experience and really brought me and Craig even closer together. Craig was a great support and spent hours helping me to revise and learn all the Jewish customs he was familiar with.

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How to successfully mix two religions into one beautiful interfaith wedding ceremony

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This is a guest post by Lisa Johnson :: Above image taken from Jess & Alex’s Jewish-Catholic wedding

So, here we are in 2016 and mixed faith ceremonies are far from unusual or controversial, yet there still seems to be a lack of knowledge around the processes and variety of options that are possible.

As a wedding planner, as well as a celebrant, Karen asked me to put a guest post together with lots of ideas on how to blend two different religions into one beautiful ceremony for those of you fusing two different faiths into your wedding day. I’ve covered lots of ground, but if you have anything to add, or you have any burning questions, feel free to pop them in the comments box at the end of the post, and either me or Karen will do our best to answer them

Many couples decide to use two separate officiants – one for each religion; this could mean having a Rabbi and an independent celebrant conduct the ceremony. There are many Rabbis out there who are happy to conduct an interfaith ceremony and they will also have suggestions on how to incorporate your religion into a mixed faith ceremony.

Some religious ceremony traditions are much easier to incorporate into an interfaith ceremony and traditions unique to just one faith can be blended perfectly to make a balanced, beautiful ceremony.

For instance, if one of you is Catholic and one is Jewish, there are large parts of a Catholic mass that would work really well including certain readings and even the ‘peace be with you handshake’. This is when you engage in the sign of peace by shaking the hands of the people around you and saying, “Peace be with you.” Each handshake preferably includes a smile and at least one full second of eye contact.

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Francesca & Andrew’s Jewish-Irish Catholic wedding. Click here to read their wedding story

In addition, many Catholic-Jewish couples choose to celebrate the beloved Christian tradition of the lighting of the unity candle with the celebrant reciting this exquisite saying from the Ba’al Shem Tov :

“From every human being, there rises a light, that reaches straight to heaven, and when two souls, destined to be together, find each other, their streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being.”

Jewish – Muslim weddings are more complicated to arrange, but by no means impossible. The important thing is to remember to consult with your families along the way. This gives you and your family members time to process and address any concerns and prevents any surprise reactions on your big day and don’t forget to take family halal or kosher dietary needs into account for the reception.

So what about using a Rabbi and an Imam in your ceremony?  It can be done – assess what prayers and traditions are typical for a Jewish wedding and Muslim wedding.  Then, meet together with both to figure out the best options. The ultimate would be to have a beautiful ceremony, intertwining blessings from both religions and incorporating Hebrew, Arabic, and English.

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Sarah & Ben’s Jewish-Muslim wedding. Click here to read their wedding story

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A bride in a green wedding dress for a rustic Jewish wedding at Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, USA

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Any bride who chooses to wear a green wedding dress is an absolute winner in my book, but Claudia takes it one step further with the cutest little green veil! Definitely a superstar in my book for daring to go against the grain and wear whatever maker her feel best for her big day.

And then there’s the florals (seriously, have you seen the chuppah?). And the super cool stationery. And the warmth and love radiating from every single image by Allison Williams Photography. And…. you get the picture – this wedding is very, very special.

Ryan, the groom, converted to Judaism and embraced Claudia’s family and Jewish traditions emphatically. I loved seeing their modern take of all the Jewish wedding traditions in the wedding film at the bottom of the post. Have a peek – it’s an absolutely gorgeous film

In a slight deviation from the norm, the narration of this W-Day comes directly from Carlene Smith of  Naturally Yours, Claudia & Ryan’s super talented wedding planner.

Enjoy! This wedding may very well make you green with envy (could not resist, but you’ll excuse me because it’s a Friday, right?). Happy weekend everyone!

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How they met

Carlene Smith, their Wedding Planner: Despite attending the same college, Claudia and Ryan didn’t meet until they attended a serendipitous goodbye party for a mutual friend in New York. After their initial conversation, Ryan instantly felt moved by Claudia. He asked her out, but she said no!

In the form of an email, Ryan laid out a convincing argument as to why she should go on a date with him – and she agreed! Fast forward a few years later, Ryan planned an elaborate proposal that involved a cute scavenger hunt (including their friends and family from all over the country) that ended with him on one knee on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building.

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