A Suzanne Neville Bride for an über chic elegant Jewish wedding at New London Synagogue and Claridges, London, UK

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Be still, my beating heart. Philippa’s Suzanne Neville dress is simply DIVINE. As are her metallic Jimmy Choo’s for that matter… But are you surprised when she’s the Fashion Editor of one of the UK’s hottest national women’s magazines?! Yes folks, we are in for a HUGE treat today with Philippa & Alex’s super chic Jewish wedding at the elegant New London Synagogue followed by their reception at one of my favourite luxury London venues – the one and only Claridges.

And their big day is every bit as glamorous and romantic as you’d expect. An emotionally-charged badeken having not seeing each other for one week prior (wait till you see the moment in the wedding film – it’s goosebumps all around), a gigantic floral chuppah surrounded by pillar candles, the coolest bridesmaids in gold sequinned gowns, exquisite stationery with calligraphy by one of my wedding supplier crushes, Lamplighter London, and crazy jewish wedding dancing thanks to entertainment from the legendary Gilev Show Band.

It’s a truly stylish, luxe wedding and not only do we have the dreamy images from Polly Alexandre, but we also have the film from Gorgeous Films who actually filmed my own London wedding back in 2013 as well!

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A Jewish wedding at the New West End Synagogue and Claridges

Philippa, the bride: Our ceremony was at the New West End Synagogue – we loved how ornate and traditional this synagogue is compared to others in central London. It’s got a beautiful intimate feel and has a strong spiritual vibe which we loved too.

We had our reception and party at Claridges. From an early age, Claridges has always been my all-time favourite hotel in London. I was really conscious of not having a very large Jewish wedding and because of Claridge’s ballroom size it meant that we could control this. We also love its art deco super sophisticated style. Although in general it’s quite a large hotel, it feels really homely and the staff are incredible – there wasn’t anything they couldn’t do!

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A literary-themed Jewish wedding at the West London Synagogue and the V&A Museum of Childhood, London, UK

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It’s a blistering heatwave here in London today and I am soaking up every last ray whilst working outdoors on my Macbook’s anti-glare screen (a must-have for any sun-loving blogger!). It’s a fabulous day, not only because I’m lucky enough to be working al fresco, but also because I have been immersing myself in every last detail of Simone and Micah’s brilliant Jewish wedding at a venue I’ve always wanted to feature, the V&A Museum of Childhood.

I love unusual wedding venues, especially museums and galleries (I got married in one myself) as guests can wander around, interact with the exhibits, and talk about the work with fellow guests which can be a great ice-breaker.

This wedding is full of wonderful details, like Micah’s father officiating the service, and a lively post-chuppah musical ‘Jew-down’ as Micah calls it (I LOVE that terminology!). I’m also obsessing over the centrepieces that included scattered confetti cut from illustrated editions of Winnie the Pooh and Peter Rabbit, to tie in with the children’s books theme,  and desserts as canapés by Ben Tenenblat that were served during the after-dinner dancing.

Simone and Micah have written their wedding report together (well actually the vast majority of it is by Micah) and it’s wonderful to hear from a groom who had so much input into the big day – a trend I’m seeing more and more of. In fact, Micah had me at hello when he first submitted the wedding. He wrote:

I’d like to submit a wedding! Your blog already features my brother’s wedding (Yoni & Missy) and the wedding of our friends Debbie & Eyal so – yeah – we thought we’d join in too.

I love a groom submission! Welcome to the Smashing family, Simone & Micah! (And thank you to the wonderful Enchanting Wood for today’s images).

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A 50’s inspired bride for a chic Jewish wedding at New London Synagogue and the Royal Institute of British Architects, London, UK

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Rachel and Stephen won their wedding photography through a competition on this very wedding blog, and when their fabulous photographer, Kate Nielen, excitedly emailed me with the resulting gorgeous photos, I couldn’t wait to post them! Part of what Kate Nielen and I loved about Rachel’s winning entry was what she wrote below:

A Jewish wedding ceremony is steeped in tradition, ritual and spirituality. These are the elements I want to capture at the beginning of the ceremony whilst RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) is a classy and classic venue. We also have a New Orleans jazz band who will be playing klezmer.”

To me, this epitomises a Smashing The Glass couple. The desire to blend wonderful ancient Jewish wedding rituals with twists like a New Orleans jazz band playing traditional Jewish klezmer. I just wish I could have been a guest at the wedding myself!

There were so many lovely personal touches, like the mother of the bride creating a beautiful painting that was incorporated on all the stationery  and was also displayed on a screen at the entrance of their gorgeous reception venue, RIBA, in the heart of central London. She also made their very arty three-tier wedding cake – what a talented mama!

One of the best things about this job is how uplifting it is to look at images of people in love. And I think it’s fair to say that Rachel and Stephen are insanely, crazily, and meant-to-be-together-forever in love. That besottedness radiates from every image captured by Kate Nielen. Enjoy this one folks!

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A Justin Alexander Bride for a bagel-themed Jewish wedding at Bevis Marks + Andaz London Liverpool Street, London, UK

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Todays couple had a bagel themed wedding, inspired by their surname, with bagels brought in from the legendary Beigel Bake in Brick Lane… I mean, could this Jewish wedding get any better?!

Well yes it could when Shaun Taylor is behind the lens, and my goodness aren’t his images beautiful? What’s more, the bride and groom found him via Smashing The Glass. Nicola & Simon told me,

We love your blog as it showcases the best weddings, but not by budget, size or glamour – you go after the individual personality of the wedding and the touches, which we really like. We found Shaun Taylor through your site via an advertising banner. We saw his work and it was exactly what we were after.”

Well that does make me happy! Nicola & Simon got married in Bevis Marks, the oldest synagogue in the UK, and a stone’s throw from their reception venue, The Andaz, in the City of London. The bride wore a sensational fishtail Justin Alexander dress, and looked absolutely incredible. Her bridesmaids rocked Jenny Packham, and just wait till you see the Jewish dancing images – off the scale!

Oh.. and they also had the most wonderful hashtag printed inside their kippot ‘#BestKuppleEver’.

This is SUCH a lovely wedding, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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Michaela & Zac | Destination Jewish Wedding at the Great Synagogue of Rome and the St Regis, Rome, Italy

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The extraordinary city of Rome was the inspiration behind Michaela and Zac’s regal, yet oh-so-fun, destination wedding with guests flying in from the UK, USA, Israel, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, and France, to share in the love for this gorgeous American couple.

The magical city of Rome appealed to Michaela and Zac, not only because of the far-flung nature of their guest list, but also because they had their first official date in Rome in January 2010 – how wonderfully romantic!

There are some really gorgeous Italian accents punctuating this wedding. Take the epic wedding transport – a teeny tiny mint green Italian Fiat 500 – and the choice of the legendary St. Regis Rome for the reception (originally a grand Roman palace dating back to 1894). Then there’s the jaw-dropping Great Synagogue of Rome where Michaela and Zac chose to have their ceremony (which was officiated by none other than the Chief Rabbi of Rome). Michaela says:

Zac and I both grew up in families that engaged in what we jokingly call “synagogue tourism.” If there was an old or interesting synagogue in whatever town or city our family was visiting, we had to stop by—whether for Shabbat services or a tour. We have continued that habit as a couple (and expanded it to touring places of worship of many other faiths, too), so the idea of getting married in a historic synagogue was something that felt very well-suited.”

And I must just hero worship Michaela’s mum. She not only designed Michaela’s phenomenal gown, she also created the bridesmaids dresses AND an incredible surprise gift for Michaela – a custom made and beaded clutch that depicted the couple’s beagle, Loki. He’s a major part of their lives (he even has his own Facebook page) and they were so disappointed that he wasn’t able to be involved in their wedding, so this really was the perfect gift. What a mama!

Thank you David Bastianoni for submitting this very special Jewish wedding packed full of personality. Every picture looks as though it’s from a fairytale and pitter patter doesn’t even begin to explain what my heart is doing right now… I hope you enjoy this wedding as much as I did.

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