A chilled out backyard Jewish wedding at the bride’s childhood home in Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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When bride Andria met her handsome groom Ilya after a Tinder date that almost didn’t happen, she was so taken with him that she still remembers everything he wore on that ultimately fateful day. Hey, when you know, you know, right?

Despite being one of the most laid back brides to ever grace the Smashing pages, Andria’s gorgeous backyard wedding is full of beautiful, natural and rustic details captured wonderfully by photographers Zeefoto. The couple married in Andria’s parents’ backyard and stuck to a rustic vintage theme. With just three months between the engagement and the wedding, the family went all out, re-doing the entire lawn and planting new flowers, even bringing in sandstone for that Israeli-meets-magical-woodland feel.

At Smashing the Glass, we love it when a wedding includes rare aspects of Jewish culture. The groom, Ilya, is Bukharian. For those who don’t know, Bukhari Jews are originally from central Asia and speak a rare dialect of the Tajik-Persian language. The result of two Jewish cultures fusing is always awesome, and the little touches – the Bukharian band and the eight-course meal (yes, you read that correctly – what would a Jewish wedding be without an extraordinary amount of food?) really made this wedding something special.

It’s worth mentioning that the couple insisted on having vodka on the tables – we admire their spirit (sorry, sorry…)!

Perhaps the loveliest detail of all was Andria’s chilled-out attitude. From absolutely embracing her Jewfro (high five all the Jewfros out there) to wearing her wonderful mother’s veil and a precious symbolism-laiden family heirloom as jewellery, Andria’s approach was all heart, no fuss.

Just you wait until you read Andria’s moving words about her mother (here, have a tissue – you’ll need it).

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How we met

Andria, the bride: Ahhhh, those were the days. So, Ilya and I matched on Tinder except he never said anything to me for six months. He then saw me numerous times out but none of my friends would give him my number since they said I was moving. Then three months before I was leaving to make Aliyah (the process of diaspora Jews moving to Israel) I got a random phone call on October 20 at 5:38 PM from this boy named Ilya. We went on our first date a week later. Ilya was wearing Timberlands, jeans, a grey Cleveland Browns t-shirt (we were watching the game), a red flannel, puffy vest and a black scarf. I told him 15 minutes into the date that if he either of us didn’t vibe with one another we shouldn’t waste our time. We sat at the pub for four and a half hours. I knew the second I saw him he was the one. I still, to this day, get butterflies sometimes. He’s so special and I’m grateful every day to be his wife.

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A BHLDN bride for a brunch-style Jewish wedding at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, USA

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It’s a Big Day in America today (erm… understatement!) and I couldn’t possibly let the day pass without posting a gorgeous real American Jewish wedding, if nothing else, to divert us from all the madness!

Menucha & Austin are just the cutest and I’ve got an extra special treat in store for you today in terms of the bride’s FABULOUS frockage from BHLDN, one of my favourite bridal fashion brands – super sassy and achingly cool.

Austin isn’t Jewish, but is going to convert to Judaism and in the meantime, Menucha wanted to find a way to show that he was included and invited into the Jewish tradition.

So he had a tisch before the ceremony, and when they danced Austin in to see his bride for the badeken, he carried out the act of placing her veil over her face, but then she carried out her own really special addition to the short ceremony – she placed a white kippah on his head, to symbolise his future conversion to Judaism. It’s personal details like this that make for a truly smashing wedding…

The wedding ceremony itself was jam-packed with intimacy, personality and so much joy. Menucha’s father was the officiant, and the bride’s and groom’s siblings held the chuppah poles. Menucha’s mother also made the ketubah. Truly a family affair.

The images today come from Alyssa Kapnik Samuel – thank you for submitting this gorgeousness, Alyssa!

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How We Met

Menucha, the bride: Austin and I met in college. He was roommates with my best friend from high school. And it was a long journey from there!

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A laidback Israeli wedding at Kalamata and Neve Schechter Center, at Neve Tzedek and Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel

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Orit and Ido had a simple, contemporary wedding with a calming subtle blue colour scheme that was small, intimate, informal, and unquestionably stylish.

They decided to do away with many wedding traditions in favour of creating a day that reflected them as a couple as well as making it an amazing experience for all their friends and family, and I have to say that looking at their super stylish photos it definitely made for the most wonderful, personal day.

On the fashion side, I’m totally coveting Orit’s custom-designed dress and those beautiful bronze shoes – the perfect accompaniment to the scenic backdrop of sunnies skies and golden beaches.

I love how tuned in these two were to their own desires and so much so, they chose not one but three different venues that they frequent regularly. One of them, Dallal, is one of my all-time favourite Tel Aviv brunch spots so I’m super happy to be featuring it today on the blog!

With thanks to the lovely Danielle from Danielle Yashar Photography for submitting the eye candy. Happy Friday folks!

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A wedding that reflected us and the things we love doing

Orit, the Bride: As we started planning our wedding, it was clear to us that we wanted it to be our day. For us that meant doing things we like the most, surrounded by our family and closest friends.

We wanted our event to be intimate and we wanted to have the opportunity to spend time with each one of our guests. We started our morning in the Dallal Bakery at Neve Tzedek where we regularly meet friends for coffee at the weekend. We strolled along the beach to Jaffa, which is so beautiful at this time of the year, and there we met our family for a brunch at Kalamata restaurant (one of our favourite restaurants) which is located in old Jaffa over looking the Mediterranean sea.

Just before Shabbat we gathered our family and closest friends in a nearby synagogue at Neve Schechter-Legacy Heritage Center for our chuppah. After the exchange of rings we kissed our family goodbye and returned to Kalamata for a festive and upbeat lunch with our friends. To close the day, we invited everybody to a private concert by one of our favourite artists and whilst taking in the sunset at the Old Jaffa Port.

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A Pink ‘geeky-fairytale’ Jewish wedding at East-TLV, Tel Aviv, Israel

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I really REALLY love today’s wedding. I mean how can you not adore a wedding that includes Jazz mixed with Japanese pop and Disney tunes, a Star Wars wedding cake, Pokemon Poké Balls for ring boxes, and an astonishing bride with a hot pink petticoat and epic My Little Pony trainers (plus several more shoes changes!). This Jewish wedding has heart and personality at it’s core and I absolutely love it.

Today’s bride has monumental style and really knows her own mind… Anyone who is considering stepping away from the white/ivory/champagne norm – I hope this wedding gives you the confidence to do so!

There are so many fun creative touches. Take the bride’s oh so pretty floral crown and her glittery 50’s make up and the cat magnets designed by the bride, as well as rustically styled tables (proof that you don’t need to go overboard to make something look absolutely gorgeous) and the creative cartoon-style table numbers and… oh I could go on and on and on.

What a wonderful glorious mix! Come on and have a peek and enjoy the images by Noa Magger plus the film courtesy of Shahar Lev.

A ‘geeky-fairytale ball’ Jewish wedding at East-TLV, Tel Aviv, Israel
How we met

Ravid, the Bride: We actually met at…….. McDonalds! Some eight and a half years ago. Avishai was a cashier and I was a cook, and we also used to work opposite shifts. I was dating someone else at the time. Somehow we ended up on the same shift one day and clicked right away. He did all he could to have me break up with the other guy(!) and our boss, who saw the chemistry, kept suggesting we should go out.

When we actually let our boss know we were dating he exclaimed ‘well finally’ – I guess you can say we owe this to him (and he was also a guest at the wedding – we’ve even introduced him to our parents!).

We went to a movie the day I broke up with the other guy, and it was really a love at first sight. We survived my time at the army as well as his, and went through a lot together – and now we’re married… I’ll stop being a walking cliche now!

A ‘geeky-fairytale ball’ Jewish wedding at East-TLV, Tel Aviv, Israel
A cool urban warehouse venue in Tel Aviv

We got married at the East venue in Tel Aviv, an urban hangar which used to be a factory owned by the national electricity company. We knew two things before we picked the venue: we wanted it to be urban and fresh (not a garden of any kind), and we knew we wanted it to be in Tel Aviv. We found East, which was not only the coolest place for a wedding, but was also in walking distance to our apartment!

We felt like it was a match when we first set foot there. We also knew that we were aiming for a summer wedding. Summer in Israel is terribly hot, so it had to be somewhere with an option for air conditioning and dancing in a closed space. So the chuppah and reception were outside (we handed out fans for people to survive the heat), and the rest of the evening was indoors.

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Sarah & Dan | Rustic Jewish wedding held at their own farmhouse in Connecticut, USA

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Sarah and Dan purchased a Connecticut farmhouse during their engagement – their first home together – with the dream of getting married on the property. They made it happen with their wonderfully intimate orthodox Jewish wedding on December 6th 2015, the first night of Chanuakah! Sixty of their closest friends and family joined them to celebrate the happiest days of their lives. I certainly can’t think of a better way to  commemorate owning your first joint home!

This informal yet elegant affair just goes to show that you don’t necessarily have to incorporate a rainbow of colour or an abundance of details to have the wedding of your dreams. Mazal Tov Sarah and Dan!

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Choosing to get married in our new home

Sarah, the Bride: After having both lived in studio apartments in New York City our dream was to live on a quiet retreat within arms reach to the city. We found a farmhouse dating back to 1790  in Connecticut, that we purchased during our engagement ,with the dream of being married on the property.

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