The Magic Of The Veil

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Growing up, I often watched old black and white romance movies on TV with my Bubbe. We used to swoon together over elegant movie stars in sweeping bridal gowns, their thick eyelashes peeking out from underneath all kinds of veils. The cathedral length veils, the chic birdcage veils, the floaty waltz veils. Oy vey! All the veils!

The first time I fell in love, I dreamed, for the first time, of my own wedding: this fantasy included a little Juliet cap with an opaque drop veil, just like Grace Kelly’s. Wearing whimsical, girly clothes is one way I express my personality, but I’m a feminist, too. Independent, self- sufficient woman that I am, my desire to wear a veil on my wedding day was never about being complicit to an outdated patriarchal notion of marriage.

David Pullum Photogoraphy Jewish Wedding Photographer in London
A veil narrative imprinted itself in my psyche during those early days watching movies with my Bubbe, but it was never an antiquated narrative. Rather, the veil has always represented something potent to me: the day I’d wear a veil would be the day where I’d commit to share my life with someone I loved, someone who loved me too.

As I approached my thirties, I began to search in earnest for a life partner. In marriage I’d cease to be a single woman who was always dating the wrong men. I’d become a woman who was committing to one person for a lifetime, a woman who would do everything in her power to make this important relationship last.

After two decades of often disastrous dating, I met my husband when I was 38, and our whirlwind courtship felt a little like magic. Magic requires the right accessories – enter, the veil.

When my Mom first placed my veil on my head, I knew I’d found ‘the one.’ We both welled up a little: it was a version of me that neither of us had ever seen – by its very presence on my head, the veil had transformed me into a bride.

A tiara, a floral hair wreath, even a long white gown — these aren’t exclusively for brides. But the veil is unique: its placement on my hair was a signifier to mark a day when something was going to happen that would shape my life.

Veil-Babb Photo
The Veil’s History

In the Greek and Roman times, brides wore long red or orange veils, called flammeum s resembling a flame, the veil was supposed to scare off evil spirits. The theatricality of these early veils no doubt set the stage for the show stopping veils of today. This veil was also a way of shielding the bride’s face – most marriages were arranged and it was bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding – his bride would be revealed to him only after the ceremony had been concluded.

Over time, as religious weddings became increasingly popular, the veil was repurposed, becoming a sign of humility and respect before God. The Hollywood movie moment of a groom lifting the veil before kissing his new wife comes from the religious idea that once the bride and groom become husband and wife, only then can they be together in a physical way.

Chris Giles
Much of this historical context behind the veil felt irrelevant to me as I was shopping for my veil, out of step with the life I was living. I lived with my fiancé; we were trying for a baby. Yet despite its historical and cultural baggage, the veil had meaning for me. After twenty years of trying and failing at romantic relationships, something had shifted. Much like my engagement ring and my bridal gown, the veil issued a statement – a new phase was about to begin.

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Review of Sassi Holford’s Twenty17 Collection, Occasionwear, and Mother Of The Bride collections – plus a Facebook Live chat with the designer herself

All images by Kate Nielen

One of the best things about being a wedding blogger is, undoubtedly, that I get to go and gaze at exquisite wedding gowns – for my job! For that reason and many others, including the impulse to share cutting-edge bridal fashion with you guys, I’m really passionate about promoting incredible bridal designers.

Sassi Holford Sassi Holford Eveningwear Sassi Holford With that in mind, it was a real treat to be invited to the 2017 Open Day of the one and only Sassi Holford, a leading international designer with a plethora of awards and accolades, earned over 35 years in bridal design. As the official blogger I wanted to get ALL the coverage so I asked Sassi if she would do a Facebook Live showcasing her designs and talking about current wedding trends.

With the opportunity to interview such a wedding world heavyweight, I came dressed for the occasion (even wearing a floral dress to echo one of Sassi’s most sublime designs, and my Emmy London shoes) – and armed with questions.

Sassi Holford_ Sassi Holford_0231 Sassi Holford_0252 Despite a couple of small hiccoughs with the live feed, it was a fabulous experience, which you can catch up with above – and a couple more at the end of the post. (Also, a very special thank you and shout out to Pamela and Andrea, who did my makeup to perfection).

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Five ways to wear personalised wedding Converse

personalized converse
My much-loved ‘Smashing’ personalised Converse  

We all love a bit of wedding glam – but skyscraper heels aren’t always for everyone, or even for every part of a wedding. If the idea of burning up the dancefloor (and your poor feet) in your Jimmy Choo’s seems a little impractical, if you’re a tall bride who doesn’t want the extra inches, or if you simply want something comfortable and alternative to wear on your big day, then Converse are the perfect low-key wedding shoes. 

But just because you’re in flats doesn’t mean you can’t look fabulous – quite the opposite, in fact. Did you know that Converse can be personalised for your big day, and in the cutest ways. In fact, when I first came across the idea, I loved it so much that I just had to get a Smashing the Glass branded pair for myself ( see above pic – I don’t only talk the talk, I walk the walk!)

Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of featuring many real weddings starring these casual-chic beauties, and we’ve put together a little digest of the very best ways past brides and grooms have personalised their wedding Converse. 

1. And the bride changed into Converse

Real bride Sarah’s white wedding Converse

It’s the bride’s prerogative to wear the comfiest shoes. If you’re set on heels then one option is to have your Converse as a second pair of shoes to change into for the reception. There are so many options – go for white for a twist on the traditional, or a pop of colour to make your Converse a standout feature. You can personalise them however you like: opt for your own name, the word “bride” or even a nickname or an in joke. 

2. Couples’ Converse

Dana and Jacob went for a marvellous Mr. and Mrs. combo

Matching couples’ Converse will look adorable in your wedding photos. Whether you choose to adorn them with your names, your initials or you go for Mr. & Mrs., Mr. and Mr. or Mrs. and Mrs., it’s just one more adorable way to personalise your wedding and show your unity as a married couple on your happy day.

Bride and groom, Rachel and Robert, signed off their Converse with their shared initials

3. Embroider them with meaning

Love won out at Melody and Michael’s arty wedding celebration

Do you have a particular saying, ethos, political statement, lyric, line of poetry, an in joke or anything else that is symbolic to you as a couple? Your personalised Converse can be a lovely, subtle nod to something meaningful that you share together, and something you plan to take into your married life with you. Plus, with a personalised slogan, you can wear your Converse again and again, evoking fond wedding memories every time you put them on. 

4. Kit out your wedding party with Converse

Smashing couple, Madalyn and Aaron, made the groomsmen’s Converse a part of their creative theme

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STG Review: Berta Fall 2017 Collection European Launch

Berta-Bridal-Fall-2017 There’s nothing more exciting than a fashion show. The pure anticipation when the room falls silent before the music comes on and all eyes are on the catwalk, awaiting the first glimpse of a designer’s divine new creations.

Last night, I had the immense pleasure of attending the European launch of Israeli designer Berta’s Fall 2017 Collection. It was a gloriously glittering fashion show, at The Savoy’s infamously breathtaking ballroom, hosted by exclusive UK Berta stockist and proud Smashing Supplier, The Wedding Club.

As the event’s official blogger, and having had many Berta brides grace the STG pages, it was an absolute delight to capture the action on Facebook Live and in a series of Instagram shorts. If you missed it, now’s your chance to catch up on everything, including the great cape action (warning, may induce intense dress lust).

Berta has developed quite a reputation as a cutting-edge bridal fashion brand. With all the sex appeal, seductiveness and gumption that personify Mediterranean strong female expression, Berta’s beautifully curated Instagram feed has amassed over a million well-deserved followers.


Amazing @bertabridal {more on Insta Stories} #allthesparkles @theweddingclub1

A video posted by Smashing The Glass (Karen) (@smashingtheglass) on

Berta’s signature aesthetic, sheer fabrics, luxurious lace, plunging necklines and low backs, were all hallmarks of the new collection, but it’s also worth mentioning that there were also sparkles aplenty, capes and trains, bringing an added touch of luxe and glamour to the collection’s stunning, sensual and frankly show-stopping silhouettes.

The show itself was a delight to watch. The Wedding Club and Berta did a fantastic job of championing diversity, with a gorgeous range of body types and ethnicities represented on the catwalk.

If you’re already in love (let’s face it, of course you are), here’s how to find a local Berta stockist:

In the UK

The UK’s exclusive stockist of Berta, The Wedding Club, are offering STG readers a 10% discount on any non-sale dress order placed in January 2017 at their London store. Quote ‘Smashing the Glass’ to receive your discount.

Call +44 (0)20 7581 9540 | email | Visit 10 Yeomans Row, Knightsbridge, London SW3 2AH or 16 Highfield Rd, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3DU

In the USA

Berta stockists in the USA

For your pinning pleasure, I’ve added images of every dress – with front and back views – from the Fall 2017 collection below (all captured by the fabulous Evette Chiverton). There’s also a film of the evening at the end of the post, by the gorgeous Urban Cinematography.

Would you wear a Berta dress? Which one is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!

Follow Berta on Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

My behind-the-scenes clip at The Savoy just before the show started!

Berta Bridal Fall 2017

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White Gallery London 2016

On Monday I attended The White Gallery in London’s Battersea Evolution which is essentially the London Fashion Week of the bridal industry. It’s a trade event for UK and international bridal designers to showcase their 2017 collections to press and buyers, and it feels like stepping through a vortex into the bridal apparel future.

The show took place in the heart of a blossom-filled Battersea Park inside a pavilion that was transformed into an elegant showroom, complete with catwalks and press lounges. The event ran over three days and offered press and buyers access to a diverse range of designers, runways, and of course industry lovelies!

You may have already seen a few sneak peeks of my photos on Instagram, and live commentary and video on Snapchat (and if you’re not yet on Snapchat, you’re missing out on ALL the fun and behind-the-scenes footage!). This post takes it up a notch with my favourite wedding dress and wedding shoe designers, and my six key bridal trends for 2017 as spotted at White Gallery.

If you’re currently on the hunt for your wedding dress or shoes, I do hope that this post will inspire you. All the gorgeous images (unless otherwise stated) are by the super talented Kate Nielen who accompanied me to the show. Feel free to pin and share them to your heart’s content!

Below: clockwise from top: Sassi Holford catwalk show / Emmy London / YolanCris

Stephanie Allin Couture

Stephanie Allin designed my wedding dress and is genuinely one of the loveliest people in the business. What appeals to me about Stephanie, besides her wonderful service and giving nature, is her contemporary take on classic couture and her desire to create wedding dresses for the ‘real bride’ as opposed to what looks best on a model. Her latest collection is inspired by the Italian lifestyle and artistic flair, and incorporates compelling fabrics including metallic jacquard prints on silk organza, and concepts like bridal separates of bra-lets teamed with dramatic skirts.

One a side note, Stephanie definitely gets the award for the most inspired creative campaign (shot by Matt Bird). How uh-mazing is the shot below taken from Stephanie’s new Bellisima collection?!

Stephanie Allin Bellisimo   Stephanie Allin

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