A ‘Mediterranean meets rustic South’ DIY Jew-ish wedding in the woods in rural Tennessee, Nashville, USA

Michelle and Joseph’s wedding is one of the loveliest I have ever set eyes on. Their wedding concept was ‘Mediterranean meets rustic South’, and was inspired by a blend of the bride’s Israeli heritage, with its rich, vibrant colours, and the groom’s Southern American roots reminiscent of the lush, vibrant greenery of summers in his native Tennessee. What a gorgeous mix!

They were lucky enough to get married on Joseph’s family property that has been home to four generations of his family, and being two graphic designers, there are so many gorgeous creative details to lap up.

One of the most striking is their chuppah which the two of them built from scratch to match the rustic surroundings. I love that they added in golden paper lanterns as a reference to the golden-dome buildings throughout old Jerusalem. They also hung multicoloured tassels from the ceremony chairs and planted Moroccan-style lanterns around their chuppah to tie back into their theme of ‘Mediterranean meets rustic South’.

Read on for all the fabulousness – you won’t want to miss the amazing serendipitous stories of how Michelle found her super cool dress, AND how she and Joseph found their photographers… Clue: it has something to do with a chance Uber Pool ride in San Francisco – yes, seriously!

Without further ado, I give you Michelle and Joseph and their dreamy pictures by The Image Is Found.

How we met

Michelle, the bride: Joseph and I met in Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, during a freelance gig. We were both freelance designers at the time and also tied up with other significant others. But we had both just recently moved from the South—me from Atlanta, GA, Joseph from Chattanooga, TN—within a week of each other and bonded over our mutual transitions to this new city. Eventually we realised there was so much more there, and got together romantically. We became musicians together, started a band, raised our dog/fur-baby together, and six years later we were married 🙂

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A Rosa Clara bride for a festive Winter Wonderland Jewish-Humanist wedding at The Underglobe, Globe Theatre, London, UK

Today’s Jew-ish wedding takes the term ‘White Wedding’ to a whole new level! Phoebe & Ben were married in December 2015 and love winter, the festive season, and the way it brings the whole family together, so wanted their wedding to capture that sparkly, wintery, celebratory feeling.

They picked their stunning venue, The Underglobe (the museum beneath Shakespeare’s world-famous Globe Theatre in London) because of their love of theatre, and Wildabout Flowers expertly decorated the space to look like a dramatic Winter Wonderland straight out of Narnia.

Some of my favourite details include Phoebe’s sublime Rosa Clara gown, a colour scheme that included silver, purple and all out sparkles, live cabaret by a Drag Queen in leather shorts and knee high boots, and a first dance to I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore (genius!). Then there’s the off-the-scale Abigail Bloom cake, a show-stopping speech by the bride, an unplanned (unrehearsed) rendition of Bohemian Rapsody by the couple’s friends, a hugely meaningful Humanist-Jewish wedding ceremony, movie-themed icebreakers on the tables… Phew, what a wonderful glorious mix!

Come on in and delve into Jew-ish Wedding Narnia… We have the perfectly captured images by Richard Payne and the oh-so-romantic film by Allora Visuals. Take it away gorgeous Phoebe!

How we met

Phoebe, the bride: Ben and I meet at University, he was on the Kent Falcons American football team, and I was a first year who had just joined the Kent Falconette cheerleading team. We be came friendly on the team tour to Prague, and eventually Ben asked me out.

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A Sassi Holford bride for a Destination Interfaith Jewish wedding at Les Mas des Oules, Provence, South of France

Oh what a treat I have for you today! A super gorgeous couple, and my goodness, where do I start with their delicious destination Jew-ish destination wedding?

It’s designed and planned to perfection by Lucy Till, and it’s just bursting at the seams with details that will make you squeal. Seriously – it’s that good. Kitty’s Sassi Holford wedding dress, the Provencal blooms,  the lavender theme and the home-made touches… it’s all breathtaking. Oh, and Dexter the dog. Don’t even get me started. Let’s not forget Robbie who looks super dapper in his suit and bow tie too (with a matching one for Dexter too!).

I’m approaching things from a slightly different angle today as it’s actually Kitty and Robbie’s very talented wedding photographer –David Morgan – who will be talking us through the bride and groom’s view of the day.

Enjoy this one folks!

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Choosing to get married in South of France

David Morgan, their photographer: Kitty and Robbie were married at a charming little French estate called Les Mas des Oules. Les Mas des Oules is a family run estate in ‘Gard Provençal’ and it was originally the farm and winery of the château of Saint-Victor des Oules.

When Kitty and Robbie first went to see the venue it was quite literally a building site as it was in the process of being sympathetically converted by an English couple into eight houses and apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms. The venue is close to where Robbie’s parents have a home so made a lot of sense from that perspective.

Kitty and Robbie fell in love with the views and it was a snap decision with a deposit there and then!

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Indo-Italian-Jewish wedding at The Garden City Hotel, Long Island, New York, USA

One of my main aims when I started Smashing The Glass was to ensure there would be an abundance of Jew-ish wedding inspiration, by which I mean interfaith wedding inspiration for readers who are marrying out, marrying in (or anywhere in between for that matter) – I call it Jew-ish!

Prior to starting the blog, I remember hearing the same complaint over and over again from friends who were marrying the love of their loves who were of another faith. They desperately wanted a ceremony that embraced both their and their partner’s religion / culture, but there was simply no inspiration, online or offline, for how to create a meaningful fusion Jew-ish wedding.

As a result the blog covers an array of topics from 5 ways to incorporate Jewish’ into a non-Jewish or Interfaith wedding to a diary of a Jewish bride who ‘married out‘, to spotlighting awesome Smashing Suppliers like Rabbi Paul Glantz who has lovingly officiated countless beautiful interfaith Jewish weddings.

It therefore goes without saying that I love blogging mixed faith Jew-ish weddings as part of this focus. I’ve showcased several Indian-Jewish weddings on the blog before, and they are often very colourful affairs, but today’s W Day takes brights and rainbow hues to another level and should definitely be viewed with your sunglasses on!

Ritu, of Indian heritage, and Greg, who’s Jewish, very much wanted a single ceremony versus two separate ones. They found that many of their individual traditions were able to be seamlessly intertwined eg. the chuppah / mandap structure is both a symbol of the home that they would build together (chuppah) and the universe (mandap) and the framework of each is very similar. This blending of both their cultures into one meaningful ceremony meant a lot to them (and by the way, I have a post going live this Friday on how to successfully mix two faiths into one beautiful ceremony… watch this space!).

This entire wedding is magnificent, and not only do we have the images from Priyanca Rao Photography, but also the wedding video from Unique Visions Studio. Ritu’s wedding report is super fun to read too. Don’t miss a beat!

Indo-Italian-Jewish wedding at The Garden City Hotel, Long Island, New York, USA Indo-Italian-Jewish wedding at The Garden City Hotel, Long Island, New York, USA
How we met

I am not sure this story makes me look all that good! My friend (and eventual bridesmaid) Claudia and I were at a party for The Brooklyn Rugby Club’s final game of the season. I was a little hesitant about going in the first place… I had been sorta casually spending time with one of the rugby players and that dalliance had recently ended in a full on crash and burn! But Claudia convinced me to accompany her. And then I met the new guy on the team – Greg Aguele. He followed us to another bar and struck up a conversation with me. I was definitely stand-offish – I didn’t want to be the Brooklyn Rugby Groupie! But I will never forget him saying “I get it. But listen, I am a nice guy, and I think we should get to know each other”. And so we did.

Indo-Italian-Jewish wedding at The Garden City Hotel, Long Island, New York, USA
The perfect  Venue

You know how often the first dress a bride tries on is  THE dress? Well that was the the case regarding our venue. The Garden City Hotel was actually recommended by my father. The second I met with the team there, led by Jerry Rizzo, I was in love. We wanted a place that was close to where we both grew up and where both our families could easily get to. And we loved that all of our events (an Indian wedding can have quite a few) could be in one central place where all guests could also stay.

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Real Jewish Brides: Introducing Lauren + John… how they met to the present day

It took me a long time to pluck up the courage to go on a date with someone I met online. Whenever I did I just seemed to meet weird men who gave me flowers in a Sainsbury’s bag or people that thought they were far superior to me and acted as if I was lucky to be in their presence… I was fed up.

It was about this time that John and I started chatting on match.com. After a few weeks of message chat John asked me to go on a date during my school’s half term break (I’m a teacher, not a student!) John couldn’t seem to wait the 5 days and kept pushing for a Valentine’s Day date the next day. I was not impressed by his pushiness and was about to tell him where to go. But my best friend told me I had nothing to lose, so I went. I turned up VERY late to the pub that was just opposite where I lived (a sure sign that I was not keen) and we hit it off instantly, bonding over cookies, practical jokes and our love of Lego.

We spent the next three weeks together with very little time apart and when my 30th birthday arrived, he took me for a romantic trip to The Shard and then the next day I thought I’d test him and drag him along to my parent’s house for a birthday tea and meet my ENTIRE family in one go. I was so surprised by how well he coped with all my family and knew there was someone very special there.

The more we spent time together, the more I fell for him. We had both been through some tough times individually and we seemed to find each other at the exact moment when we were back on the rise and ready for this new stage in our lives. I used to daydream that I would find someone who would be generous with his time whilst making me feel completely loved and protected. I didn’t ever think I would actually find that person… then along came John! I can remember the moment I knew I was going to marry him. I was dropping him off at work on the morning I was going away with a friend for a week and I couldn’t stop crying. Even though I was so excited to go on holiday, I couldn’t stop myself from feeling devastated about not seeing him for a whole seven days. I had never felt this way before about anyone and I think I shocked myself a little bit with how strongly I felt.

Blogging Bride
John and I come from very different backgrounds. I’ve been brought up in North West London and have had a lot of involvement professionally and personally in the Jewish community. My Jewish identity has been very strong from quite a young age and I think many people who know me always assumed that I would end up marrying a ‘Nice Jewish Guy’. I however never put that assumption on myself and have always said I would marry the person I fall in love with no matter where they are from. Little did I know I would fall for a ‘Bermondsey South Londoner’!

We may both be from London, but the North/South divide is very strong when it comes to London, never mind the religion! We both quickly integrated ourselves into each other’s families. My family was particularly surprised when John turned up one Friday night having learnt the Shabbat Blessings… From that point on he was firmly embedded in my family.

From quite early on we had discussed marriage and had a rough idea of when we wanted to get married. Things took a quick turn when I gained a teaching job in West London and decided we would move in together. For a variety of reasons we ended up living in a tiny studio flat near Twickenham. We thought if we could make it living that close to each other every day, then anything else would be a doddle. We made it through and last summer John went to a football match with my Dad (typical!) and asked him if we could get married. Luckily the legend that is my Dad said yes and two weeks later John took me on a surprise trip to The Shard again and proposed (surprise, surprise-ish!)

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