Yukie & Jason’s Moroccan-themed destination wedding, with three designer dresses, at Caesar Yam, Caesarea, Israel

Yukie and Jason’s Moroccan market-themed Israeli destination wedding was an epic, four-part production, thanks to super helpful mother-in-law, Victoria and their incredibly talented planner, Adena at A to Z Events.

Bright colours abound with lavish gold accents, maximalist patterns and oh my goodness, check out that cake! At Smashing the Glass HQ, we’re also loving the drama of those fantastically opulent thrones for the bride and groom (move over Posh and Becks), and these brilliant stylistic choices are matched only by the loveliness of the couple’s story.

For anyone out there who is living the sometimes taxing reality of the old adage, absence makes the heart grow fonder, take heart – this loved-up pair have proved that long-distance relationships can have a truly happy ending. With a groom from New York, a bride from Tokyo, the groom’s parents from Moscow but living in Israel and most of the guests taking their first trip to the Holy Land for the couple’s wedding, this is a love that brought together cultures from all over the world for a truly beautiful celebration.

The ceremony was custom built for Yukie and Jason. While it was important to them to have a ceremony that was “official” according to the religion, with Yukie having recently joined the tribe, they also wanted it to reflect their own feelings and personal connection to Judaism. Some of the personalised details included a reciprocal ketubah, and when the groom smashed the glass, the bride simultaneously smashed a plate. The rabbi composed his speech by asking the bride and groom for three important memories and three reasons they were each other’s one and only – from this, he created an incredibly moving tribute to their relationship.

Oh, and if you’re not already sick with jealousy over Yukie’s amazing Oscar de la Renta gown, she also had two more gorgeous dresses for the evening parties! Feast your eyes on it below, all perfectly captured by photographer Shabi Kedem and Levi Dovid.

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How we met

Yukie, the bride: I am Japanese and spent my entire life in Japan before I met Jason. We met nine years ago in Tokyo while he was on vacation with his brother.

Although at first I thought he wasn’t my type, once we started talking we got along so well that we had a date every day for the week he was in Tokyo. We kept in touch after he left – he called me every day for the next two years.

We visited each other any time we could – he even came to live in Japan for a year. We kept our long-distance love going for for years between Tokyo and New York.

Then, four years ago, I finally decided to move to New York and we started living together.

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Art Deco Jewish wedding in an airport museum and hangar, at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum, Houston, Texas, USA

It goes without saying that your choice of venue is one of the most important pieces of your wedding puzzle. I personally love unusual wedding venues so when Elisheva Golani‘s submission dropped into my inbox, and I saw a wedding that took place in an Airplane Museum and hanger, I literally squealed with joy!

And it gets better – one of Talia’s bridesmaids was Balushka of the incredible Balushka Paper Floral Artistry who created an abundance of paper flowers to adorn the chuppah as well as decor for the entire space. Her work is totally and utterly gorgeous, and the paper floristry fills the space brilliantly.

There’s also a blush-coloured wedding gown, a surprise bottle dance choreographed by the groom and his friends, a sparkly confetti canon, and a bride and groom entrance from a vintage airplane to the sound of Rocky’s Theme Tune!

Talia and Barry are one super cool, super creative couple and I cannot wait to show your their W Day. Fasten your seat belts folks!

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How we met

Talia, the Bride: Ours is an interesting story – we were first set up 10 years prior to our engagement, by my dad and his tennis partner in 2005. We went on our first date and Barry took me to an Ethiopian restaurant, opened doors, brought me flowers… the whole 9. He was a total gentleman, but alas I was just beginning to explore life as an adult and so was he – needless to say we were both very different people back then. After one date, he called, but I wasn’t interested. Of course, years later, he stuck in my mind as being the kind of guy I needed to date,  we reached out to each other on a few occasions- but we were never able to meet up. Finally, we were able to meet for coffee and we were together ever since… He proposed 10 years to the day of our first date- we even went to that same Ethiopian Restaurant! (good thing about engineers is that they keep EVERYTHING).

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A Hayley Paige bride for a ‘seashore & sequins’ Jewish wedding on the beach at Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA

Think coastal, think sparkly, think utterly gorgeous.

That’s Amanda and David’s day. These two wanted a casual beach look and a formal black-tie feel so they mixed the two together, and you know what? It just works! When you’re contemplating a theme for your wedding you should never feel restricted by the ‘should’s or what’s perceived to be the done thing. Anything goes as long as it’s 100% you…

Amanda grew up in a small beach town and had always dreamed of a wedding on the seafront, but once she’d set her sights upon a statement wedding gown (and when I say ‘statement’ I mean a vision of sophisticated sparkle with a generous dose of modern frou frou) she took that dream, added in sequins and a ball gown, and turned a casual beach wedding into a super chic formal beach affair.

It’s all just so fabulous and full of shimmery, sparkly fun – there are golden flamingoes, a chuppah at sunset, sparkly Kate Spade KEDS, glittery tablecloths and a gourmet popcorn bar!

And if you’re looking for sparkly bridesmaid’s dress inspiration then Amanda’s choice of gown for her girls will definitely give you a touch of the green eyed monster…

On a different note, I must also mention that Amanda carried the most beautiful memory locket in her bouquet to honour her father who tragically passed away in 2013. This is the most touching and creative idea for carrying the memory of a loved one down the aisle – you must take a look.

Finally, don’t miss Amanda’s ‘How We Met’ story below. Her and David met online on JDate and she describes it all so wonderfully. Amanda and David are one of several JDate couples I’ve had the pleasure of featuring on the blog (I love hearing the myriad of different ways of how couples meet so I always ask them!)

Stay tuned to view all the fabulous images by Donna Von Bruening and the oh so romantic video by Rad Red Creative. You’re going to go crazy for it all.

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How we met

David’s dad had first created his JDate account in hope that he would meet a nice Jewish girl. After comical dates on other dating sites, he gave JDate a shot and sent me a brief message. My mum was very convincing of the fact that I should try online dating, and even bought me a few books about the subject that she had pre-read, highlighted and sticky tabbed. I created a profile on JDate (while living in Alabama) since I was in the process of moving back to Florida and knew quite a few sorority sisters that met their husbands on the site.

Little did I know that I would be living less than a mile away from my future husband, and we didn’t even know it. On October 3, 2014 we met in person and had our first real date. A date that started as a quick lunch while my car was in the shop, turned into an all day adventure on the lake and lasting until dinner.  After our lunch at Panera discussing our education and work history, we went out on a nearby lake on David’s jet-ski. When David was pulling the ski back on the trailer, I caught a glance of him in the rear-view mirror, at that moment I knew that I could see myself marrying David. I also believe in signs and how the universe communicates its message to you. When we were in David’s car I glanced at the Jeep dashboard and it said “Since 1941,” this struck me as such a coincidence- my dad was born in 1941 and had an antique car with the license plate “It’s a 41.” My dad had passed away in 2013 from a quick diagnosis of cancer. I knew this was his way of telling me, he’s something special. We instantly clicked and knew that this was the real deal. I called my mum early the next morning and told her “he’s perfect, I know I’m going to marry him.” Little did I know, David had called his parents and told them the same thing.

Our connection grew quickly and easily turning into love. JDate connected two people that were meant to be together when they otherwise never would have crossed paths. On February 15, 2015 David planned a brunch to gather our families together. After brunch on a clear blue sky day, David proposed with a gorgeous ring inside a box of chocolates. He even made sure my nails were painted that day, an important detail that he took note of.

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Bertha & David | Elegant-casual ‘garden market’ destination wedding on the beach at Bayit Al Hayam, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel

I first received an email from today’s bride in April of last year when she wrote to me asking for recommendations for a wedding planner, a great wedding website, and other ideas for her dream wedding in Israel.

Doing what I do, I had some lovely ideas for her, one of which was the suggestion of working with the brilliant BE Group TLV to plan and produce her destination wedding (Bertha and David hail from Mexico!).

Roll on just over a year later, and I can safely say that Bertha was thrilled to bits with her experience of working with Lisa and the team at BE Group TLV (as you’ll read below) and I could not be happier to be blogging her frankly fabulous wedding to David.

The couple were after a laid back but pretty feel to their big day and chose to get married at Bayit Al Hayam, a gorgeous venue right on the beach in Jaffa-Tel Aviv. They placed an emphasis on ’boutique booze’ (I’m talking a premium tequila and margarita bar, with one of Israel’s best mixologists brought in for the night!) and colourful garden market details with fruit and vegetable decor which just works SO well.

Now even though this is an elegant, sophisticated do, I love that the bride and groom chose to sit with their friends on a long cream sofa and chose to forgo assigned seating for their guests. They went for a combination of different sized tables and cream sofas and I think it’s so important to remember that you can be playful with your seating arrangements. You don’t have to stick to ‘tried and tested’ formulae!

There were also lots of lovely details to reflect Bertha and David’s Mexican heritage like churros instead of wedding cake, kippot made in Mexico, and tequila bottle favours organised by the bride’s brother and father.

A couple of other elements that I LOVE are a children’s choir and shofar accompanying the couple to the chuppah, and on a very different note (excuse the pun!) the screening of photos at the reception of the guests on tours of Jerusalem and the North of Israel. Bertha and David had organised these tours of Israel for their guests as part of their wedding week, and it must have been so lovely for the guests to see images of their Israel experiences on the big screen at the reception.

Bertha looks exquisite in a gown designed by a friend of hers from Mexico. She was inspired by several of the big designer names but wasn’t able to find a look she loved, so she had the dress of her dreams custom-made. And let’s not leave out the dashing groom! I am seriously coveting his black patent leather Converse which he teamed with a Kenneth Cole tuxedo. Super super cool!

Before I show you all the pretty, let me leave you with this wonderful quote from Bertha & David’s wedding website (for which they used the amazing Riley & Grey, also recommended by yours truly 🙂 ) alluding to the fact that the two of them met back in 1983… in kindergarten no less!

Life is funny. You can spend years searching for something only to realise it`s been there right in front of you all along”

Enjoy this one peeps. The big day was captured perfectly by Eran Beeri

Elegant-casual ‘garden market’ destination wedding on the beach at Bayit Al Hayam, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel_0014   Elegant-casual ‘garden market’ destination wedding on the beach at Bayit Al Hayam, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel Elegant-casual ‘garden market’ destination wedding on the beach at Bayit Al Hayam, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
How we met

Bertha, the Bride: David and I first met in kindergarten in 1983! Our families have known each other for about 30 years and our brothers were childhood friends. We re-connected many years later in our late 20’s and became best friends. We began dating years later and dated for two years before getting married.

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A Lazaro bride for a Hollywood-glam Jewish wedding at a private residence in Los Angeles, California, USA

Every inch of this Los Angeles wedding is oozing old Hollywood style glamour from the private residence near Malibu where it was held (that only hosts one wedding per year!) to the bride’s incredible one-of-a-kind Lazaro gown.

Positioned on a top of a cliff, with breathtaking views across the beach and the Pacific Ocean, the residence is normally used for filming and photo shoots (I’m talking Rihanna’s cover shoot for Vogue no less) and it’s impossible to imagine a more beautiful or romantic setting for a wedding. The ceremony took place on the beach right by the shore, under a stunning chuppah and one thing’s for sure, if you’re planning a romantic, dreamy beach-y wedding, this post will be taking over your entire Pinterest planning board!

Unusually for a Jewish wedding, the whole event took place on a Saturday, so the ceremony had to take place after sunset. This meant for a an unconventional order of events, with the cocktail reception happening prior to the ceremony. As I always say on Smashing The Glass, it’s your wedding, do it your way – Ali and Duncan certainly did…

Everything about this W Day brings a modern twist to old Hollywood glamour and Marianne Taylor‘s photography captures it all brilliantly – some of these shots could be taken from a glossy magazine! I know you’re going to adore the decor with an abundance of candles everywhere and pretty accents of soft whites, metallics and copper thrown in for good measure…

Without further ado, I give you Ali and Duncan.

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Choosing to get married in Los Angeles by the ocean…

Ali, the Bride: We chose to get married in a private home in the Huntington Palisades in Santa Monica because what is a California wedding if you are not near the ocean! We chose this house because we felt it was the quintessential Los Angeles wedding venue. We wanted to be married on or over looking the ocean and this house gave us that old Hollywood feel while also being on the water.

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