Amanda & Charley | Super fun and intimate laidback Jew-ish wedding at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, and The Lark, Santa Barbara, California

santa-barbara-courthouse-wedding I love it when my readers email me with their wedding planning queries and stories. I first heard from Amanda, a Smashing The Glass reader (and today’s beautiful bride!)  back in July 2014 with the following email:

Hi Karen! I am reaching out in regards to Kathleen and Liz’s beautiful wedding in Palm Springs that you featured on Smashing the Glass earlier this year. I am getting married this September and I have been looking for a chuppah far and wide. I haven’t had much luck, but I absolutely love Kathleen and Liz’s chuppah and was hoping you would be able to either provide their contact information or pass this email along with my details. I would love to ask if I could potentially rent their chuppah and incorporate their beautiful handmade piece in another celebration of love. If not, I completely understand but I figured it never hurt to ask!

I was so delighted that Amanda had reached out to me about this idea, and immediately put her in touch with Kathleen and Liz. For logistical reasons, the ‘passing of the chuppah’ didn’t work out, but there is a happy ending to the story! Amanda and Charley found a local craftsman who constructed their ideal chuppah out of reclaimed wood, and what’s really lovely, is that after their wedding, Amanda and Charley wanted to spread the love of their chuppah and pass it on, and they did just that (full story below!)

Amanda contacted me after her big day with her wedding story, and I am so delighted to share it with you today. It’s a true ‘Smashing The Glass’ W Day, bursting with creativity, authenticity and bucket loads of L.O.V.E.

These two pulled off their big day on a modest budget, and what an incredible job they did. So although the top image looks truly opulent, this is in fact an incredibly casual, laid back wedding with some amazing budget ideas. In fact Amanda says “keeping our wedding small and manageable left enough money for a honeymoon to Cambodia which was the best way to kick off spending the rest of our lives together!”

The biggest budget tip these two adhered to was keeping it small. They shared their celebration with a select group of close family and friends (just 40 people) and were confident enough not to invite the people who weren’t closely involved in their lives.

Can you believe that Amanda’s TWO divine wedding dresses, her shoes and her accessories were all purchased for under $1000 (£650)?! All the florals were bought by Amanda from a local flower shop the day before the wedding, and instead of spending their budget on live music or a DJ, these two had their nearest and dearest contribute to a wonderfully personal Spotify playlist.

Amanda and Charley… I take my hat off to you. You definitely achieved your aim of creating the greatest party on the smallest budget.

Enjoy Amanda’s story below, and all the wonderful images taken by the rather talented Casey from CLB Creative

laidback Jewish wedding at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, and The Lark, Santa Barbara, California
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Simon & Nik | ‘Black & White and Chic All Over’ same sex Jew-ish wedding at Sunbeam Studios, London, UK

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Today I have a double dose of gorgeous grooms with Simon and Nik, who held their Jew-ish wedding at Sunbeam Studios in Ladbroke Grove not far from London’s famous Portobello Road. This super cool venue is a photographic studio by day (Mario Testino shot this Vogue cover there) and holds weddings and events by night. The building was originally the UK’s first ever purpose built car factory and is the perfect blend of classic historical and creative cool.

Their wedding theme was inspired by the venue (always a great starting point for a theme!), in particular, its monochrome interior. Yes, these two limited their colour palette exclusively to black and white, and they weaved it through every last detail including their entire outfits, and that of their guests, which I must say is really effective! Black and white is such a chic theme and relatively simple and easy to work with, and these guys let their creative juices run wild with statement details like their extraordinary black and white wedding cake! It’s by Choccywoccydoodah and it will set your taste buds and creative sparks alight. Honestly folks, I have yet to post anything quite like it on the pages of Smashing The Glass – I can’t wait for you to see it!

And with Simon being a fashion blogger (check out his site, The Very Simon G) it wasn’t surprising that the two grooms looked super hot in their haute couture black and white ensembles, my personal favourite detail being Simon’s studded Christian Louboutin shoes. Super epic.

The wedding film below, courtesy of one of my hand-picked Smashing Suppliers, Deneemotion, will make you laugh and cry, as will the images by STG regulars, Reportage By.

The report today is written by both of our grooms. Enjoy!

same sex wedding at Sunbeam Studios, London, UK

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Talia & Indra | Colourful fusion Jewish Hindu ‘HinJew’ wedding at The Wit, Chicago, IL, USA

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As a fan of bold colour, multi-cultural weddings are such a visual treat for me. So I’m totally thrilled to be blogging this afternoon’s fusion Jewish Hindu or ‘HinJew’ wedding that’s an all-out explosion of colour and fun. From the bride’s multi-coloured hair to her stunning dress, vivid jewellery and wonderful mix of flowers, to the groom’s hip style and snazzy bejewelled shoes!

This wedding really shows how to perfectly amalgamate cultures, rituals, merrymaking, and personality! Talia and Indra made sure that amongst all their combined traditions they didn’t forget to let their personalities shine through. One of my favourite (and oh-so-simple) party details is that they had a design-your-own-‘mac-and-cheese-bar’ , because Talia is obsessed with this dish!

I absolutely adore Talia’s colourful dress and accessories which suit her down to the ground and I think that it’s safe to say that Talia’s dad agrees too. The emotional photo of him when he sees her for the first time gave me a lump in my throat…

So settle down and enjoy Talia’s infectiously fun words, alongside some super stunning imagery from Roots of Life Photography.

Colourful fusion Hindu Jewish 'HinJew' wedding at theWit, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Colourful fusion Hindu Jewish 'HinJew' wedding at theWit, Chicago, Illinois, USA
a colourful city chic venue

Talia, the Bride: We chose theWit in Chicago, as we wanted a unique and colourful wedding venue with a city feel within easy walking distance to fun things to do before and after the wedding. And in terms of Chicago, there is definitely a significance there. We knew we were going to be a destination wedding for most people no matter where we had it, since we had guests traveling from South Carolina, North Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Canada, India, etc. So we chose to go with our favourite US city, which earned a special place in our hearts since we had our first date there. It made the whole event that much more meaningful to be able to visit our first date hangouts just before getting hitched.

Colourful fusion Hindu Jewish 'HinJew' wedding at theWit, Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Julie & Zak | Gold and blush Parisian magnificence for a Jew-ish destination wedding at Maison des X, Paris, France

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Julie and Zak’s destination wedding comes to you from one of the most romantic cities in the world, the magnificent Paris, France. This is timeless glamour at its very finest. Soft feminine gold and blush decor, scenic Parisian backdrops, and did somebody say Wang?

Yes folks. Julie wore the fluffiest, dreamiest Vera Wang dress I’ve ever clapped eyes on.

Truly Wangtastic. But wait, there’s more … there is the deep love of friends and family who celebrated with Julie and Zak for close to a week in Paris, with trips on the Seine and to the Moulin Rouge. And watch out for Julie’s peacock blue suede Louboutins. I’m just a little bit in love with those.

Oh la la.

Today I’m also delighted to be debuting one of my favourite photographers, the supremely talented Polly Alexandre, who lovingly captured all of the shimmer, the sophistication and the sexy.

Take it away Julie.

Gold and blush Parisian magnificence for a Jew-ish destination wedding at Maison des X, Paris, France
a destination wedding in central Paris at Maison des X

Julie, the Bride: Once we decided that we wanted to plan a destination wedding in Paris, we worked with Nancy from Fete in France to find a space that captured what the beauty and magic of Paris meant to us.

We booked Maison des X unseen with the understanding that it was originally a private home in the middle of the city that retained a great deal of its Parisian charm and needed only some flowers and candlelight to transform into the venue we had imagined. We loved Nancy’s description of the space as many spaces in one – formal indoor, gardens outdoors, and a club-like atmosphere in the wine caves for dancing until dawn with our closest friends and family – and ultimately decided on the venue for the complete package that it was. I told Nancy I wanted the venue to look golden and glowing, and she ran with the color scheme and theme from there. We ended up with the most beautiful candles, glowing mercury glass accents, and exquisite pale pink and white floral arrangements that didn’t look too precious. It was perfect.

Gold and blush Parisian magnificence for a Jew-ish destination wedding at Maison des X, Paris, France

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Meredith & Shoshana | True love + oodles of creativity: Lesbian Jew-ish Wedding at Notley Abbey, Oxfordshire, UK

lesbian-wedding
One of the reasons I’m in love with my job as editor and curator of Smashing The Glass is that weddings are the ultimate fusion of creativity, traditions and of course true love – three things that I adore – and this divine wedding has all three in buckets.

When an email from Danny and Julie of Minty Slippers popped in with a link to Meredith and Shoshana’s incredible wedding film, below, I had a massive ‘this is why I cherish my job’ moment. It’s so very moving, and their devoted love for each other is so apparent – I literally whooped, hollered and clapped my hands with glee in anticipation of blogging Danny and Julie’s fabulous work, and Meredith and Shoshana’s love story.

It’s a tale of long-distance desire with the pair first meeting in 2011 when Shoshana, from London, was studying at the New York Film Academy and Meredith was working at a Manhattan advertising agency.

Shoshana eventually returned to London after her studies, and being thrown suddenly into a long distance relationship, they decided to make videos to remind them of the fun they shared together. Their videos are super creative and fun and will fill you in a little more on their love story.

But on to the wedding itself.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen brides who smiles as much as Meredith and Shoshana did on their big day; honestly their infectious grins are enough to make even the most miserable, rainy Mondays seem like Happy Hour in the Caribbean.

They were married at Notley Abbey in Oxfordshire, a beautiful venue that was once the home of Sir Laurence Olivier. There is a Stephanie Allin AND a J.Crew gown, both as beautiful as each other. There is a singing harpist, an immense naked cake, outdoor games and stunning florals . There are hand-painted favours by Shoshana (who is an illustrator by trade) of each guest’s name painted and presented on miniature easels. There are some fantastic ideas for a really meaningful wedding ceremony.

But most of all? Most of all there is L.O.V.E

The beautiful moments on film below were captured by Minty Slippers, whilst the immense photography is courtesy of Mark Cachia.


The venue

Meredith and Shoshana, the Brides: We chose Notley Abbey in Oxfordshire, for its tree-lined entrance, the castle like turrets, the beautiful gardens and the stunning contemporary mix with 13th century architecture – need we say more, it was perfect!

Lesbian Jew-ish Wedding at Notley Abbey, Oxfordshire, UK
‘Global travel meets art’

Our wedding theme would be best described as ‘global travel meets art’   – that’s what we arrived at in the end! We didn’t have a colour scheme but we definitely thought about colour throughout the process. We didn’t use a wedding planner, we had too much fun planning it ourselves!

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