A bohemian Jewish wedding bringing the outdoors inside at Lourensford Wine Estate, Cape Town, South Africa

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Today’s stunner of a real wedding comes all the way from Cape Town, South Africa, and is, unbelievably, only our second STG South African real wedding. Needless to say, if this is the level of wedding pretty coming from that part of the world, then we’d definitely like to see a lot more, please!

When presented with a Chuppah this breathtaking, it seems ludicrous not to talk about it first, and, frankly, this divine design deserves all the positive adjectives. Decadently draped in fresh flowers, it’s so astounding that you’d be forgiven for almost failing to notice the awe-inspiring mountainous backdrop of Gavin and Kelly’s Jewish ceremony.

Beautiful bride, Kelly, looked a million bucks in her sublime custom-made, boho-inspired dress, flanked by no fewer than 12 bridesmaids.

With a natural ethos in mind, Kelly’s brief for wedding planner, Veronica, from The Petals Group, was to bring the outdoors inside, which Veronica managed with aplomb.

The day was immortalised in images by much-sought-after photographer, Shanna Jones who did such a phenomenal job that she earned one of the most passionate reviews of a supplier we’ve published on these pages. We can certainly see what all the fuss is about – just look at this spread, a picture of perfection.

We’ll pass you over to Kelly’s capable hands to tell you more about her and Gavin’s ethereal and whimsical wedding day.

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An idyllic Cape Town venue

Kelly, the bride: We got married at Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, Cape Town. Gavin is originally from Cape Town, which really is one of the most beautiful places in the world, so we decided to look at venues there. We loved the relaxed and informal, homey feel of Lourensford and we knew we wanted to get married there from the second we viewed it.

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Bringing the outdoors inside

We knew what we wanted from the beginning. We wanted a very earthy, natural boho look and feel. We wanted it to be understated and nothing over the top. We knew we wanted flowers, but, more so, we wanted greenery. If we could have done the whole wedding outside we would have, but with Cape Town weather being tempremental it wasn’t worth the risk, so we wanted to try bring outside inside. We used, Veronica, from The Petals Group. She was outstanding and we could not have done a thing without her. She really guided us throughout the process.

Overall, what we really wanted was our wedding not to be a big show. We wanted it to be small, intimate and authentic and really just to celebrate our love. Every part of my day felt sincere and genuine and all the love and care for me and Gavin was so present. I think people felt that sincerity, and enjoyed the evening because of it. That’s what made it special to me.Continue Reading

A spiritual Jewish wedding with an epic boat journey at Natural Bridge State Park in Slade, Kentucky, USA

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Madeline and Alex met through their shared Jewish faith and, after a long friendship, their romance began followed by a beautifully planned literary proposal.

As a wedding planner, bride Madeline had a real head start and the couple had no problems planning their perfect day. From the breathtaking location with its stunning autumnal colours to the grand entrance made by groom Alex on the couple’s boat, affectionately dubbed the ‘Oar Vey’.

Their ‘book of love’ theme was captured by photographer Ben Keeling and incorporated a plethora of literary and library-related details, to celebrate the couple’s shared love of reading and, of course, their unique proposal.

We adore the idea of having themed ID badges to help the wedding party stand out so that people knew where to direct their questions – that’s definitely an idea to steal, especially for festival-themed celebrations!

We’re also totally in love with incredible Smashing Supplier, Ink With Intent’s beautifully crafted Ketubah and the couple’s ‘Tree of Life’ Chuppah, onto which they sewed personal materials, packed with meaning and memories.

Madeline and Alex wrote a beautifully eloquent account of their wedding planning journey, so we’ll hand over to them to tell you all about it! Enjoy!

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How we met

Madeline and Alex, the bride and groom: Alex sat on the interview panel when Madeline applied as choir director at our synagogue. He rolled his eyes and asked snide questions, showed up late for the first rehearsal, and convinced Madeline that he hated her. However, we quickly formed an unconditional friendship. Four years later, in an ironic twist, the friendship went on hiatus when Alex thought Madeline hated him. Convinced Alex was angry with her, Madeline avoided temple for the next two years.

Alex finally called on 25 September, 2015 to let Madeline know a mutual friend had suddenly passed away. He didn’t expect her to answer, and she nearly didn’t. During the brief conversation, she felt prompted to ask him to meet. He told her to call back in an hour, after Erev Shabbat services. She drove to temple and stood in the sukkah as a cold rain began to fall. Alex stood next to her with his arms crossed as she apologised for ending their friendship. He brushed the apology aside, then gave the greatest impromptu, heartfelt speech a man has ever made.

“I had to stop looking for you. I wanted you to be there. I wanted you to be there so bad, and you weren’t. So I had to put it away. I had to put all that in a box, and put it up on the shelf, and close the door. Because I couldn’t keep looking for you anymore.”

After a few minutes of uncertain conversation, we parted. Alex’s final words were, “Call me every five minutes.” Four months later, on a trip to meet her mother in Washington, DC, Alex visited the Library of Congress with Madeline. Having made almost a full circle of the mezzanine, he stopped her in her tracks.

“This is the place for questions, right?” he asked.

“No,” she replied, “This is a library. It’s a place for answers.”Continue Reading

A super-luxe champagne gold and ivory Jew-ish wedding at St Ermin’s, London, UK

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All that glitters… is, in fact, gold, but only at this very special super-luxe Jew-ish wedding.

Nina and Matt’s wedding took place at top London hotel St Ermin’s and was, simply put, chic beyond words. The couple’s champagne gold and ivory colour scheme perfectly complemented the breathtaking venue with its high ceilings and opulent chandeliers.

Every detail was captured by exceptional photographer, Nadine Van Biljon, including the epic moment the bride and groom were showered with colour-coordinated champagne gold confetti – every glitter lover’s dream, and that moment when BOTH the bride and groom smashed the glass – we simply adore this! Nina told us:

Both of us broke a glass to say goodbye to the past and hello to a future together. We will be bringing the two glasses together to make one as an ornament.”

We love all of the little stories that paint a picture of the perfect day, from the wonderful tale about Anthropologie customer service that makes us want to drop everything and head to the nearest store, to the best man singing his speech.

We also love the beautiful ways in which Nina honoured her late grandmother, showing that the ones we love never truly leave us.

Over to Nina with the full story about her and Matt’s decadent and dreamy wedding day.

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How we met

Nina, the bride: We met on Plenty of Fish! Though if you ask Matt, he would say Vegas! We knew very quickly that we were perfect for each other.

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Finally finding the perfect venue: St Ermin’s in London

After dragging Matt around 18 venue visits across London, we knew that we wanted something different, somewhere no one had been or expected. We finally found that at St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster. It’s a true hidden gem of London. The staff were incredibly friendly, the history is amazing and we instantly felt comfortable and knew it was special. We love going back there now and it holds a very special place in our hearts.

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Jewish rustic barn wedding with a Fairy Gothmother Dress and fresh wildflowers at Colville Hall, Essex, UK

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Happy Friday everyone! To celebrate the imminent arrival of the weekend, sit back and enjoy this real wedding, which had such a fantastic party atmosphere that it spilled over into a second party the day after the big day.

Cool and quirky bride, Hannah, looked like a stunning artistic vision with wildflowers in her hair, in her tea-length Fairy Gothmother dress and wow-factor sparkly green Irregular Choice heels. 

We love all of the unique ideas that express the couple’s life together, with their many in jokes, including stick-figure illustrated invitations and some special, limited edition, Hannah and Peter Sauce. 

A personalised chuppah is always a winner and, in this case, the couple asked their loved ones to contribute a square each to a homemade patchwork chuppah, with their friends and family’s heartfelt wishes watching over them during the ceremony.

The whole story of the day and all of its detail and emotion was expertly captured by photographer Marianne Chau. We’ll hand over to Hannah now for the full report on her and Peter’s rustic barn wedding. Take it away, Hannah! 

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How we met

Hannah, the bride: We met on Jdate, much to our surprise and shock!

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A venue with character at an old converted Tudor barn in Essex

We got married at Colville Hall which is an old converted Tudor barn near Hatfield Heath in Essex, UK. There were two barns on the site and we used one for the ceremony and dancing and the other one for dinner. We chose the venue partly because we needed somewhere big enough to fit all of our guests (!) but mainly because we wanted somewhere with character and outdoor space as we were having a summer wedding.

We added a lot of personal touches throughout right from our hand drawn invites to the ceremony to the drinks at the bar which we think gave our wedding a unique ‘Hannah and Peter’ laid-back feel.

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An Über creative Jewish wedding, with a Needle & Thread bride, at Pearson Air Museum, Vancouver, Washington, USA

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We absolutely love creative Jewish weddings on Smashing The Glass, and creativity OOZES from these two incredible souls.

This astounding power couple met while working at an ad agency. Between them, they have a desktop calendar sold around the world, a New York Times bestselling book and a portable talk show to their names, so it goes without saying that Brooke and Boaz’s big day was always going to be breathtaking. They absolutely did not disappoint. The pair brought all of their skills and inventiveness to their big day, peppering it with adorable, handmade details. 

The décor scheme was abundant with illustrated animals, drawn by talented Brooke, including little raccoon pins as favours – we want one! And we’re obsessed with their choice of quirky venue, Pearson Air Museum, just across the border from the couple’s native Portland, Oregon.

“You’re never alone in a dress full of flies,” said beautiful bride, Brooke, of her stunning Needle & Thread dress, purchased at BHLDN. It turned out that even the flies can’t resist swarming to a dress that beautiful – and Brooke’s fantastic sense of humour turned a potential problem into a standout wedding moment.

Groom Boaz also looked every bit the part of the leading man in his fantastic green suit. We adore his wedding style.

Everything was captured with aplomb by phenomenal photographers Stark Photography, and before we hand over to Brooke and Boaz to tell us all about their big day, can we just take a moment to appreciate Brooke’s adorable kitty shoes? We can’t take our eyes off of them!

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How we met

Brooke, the bride: We’re both advertising copywriters and we met at an ad agency in Portland. When we’re not at work we make the “It’s Different Every Day” calendar, a daily desk calendar with a new theme every day. We’ve been making a new edition together every year since 2015 and this is the first year it’s published by Workman Press and in stores around the world.

I also illustrate and run an Instagram account called @sadanimalfacts, where I illustrate sad facts about adorable animals, it’s pretty much just what it sounds like. Sad Animal Facts is now a New York Times bestselling book that is available in three languages.

Boaz is also the host of the Pedal Powered Talk Show, a portable talk show built into a cargo bike, that travels and interviews around Portland, the Pacific Northwest, and the rest of the world.

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