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 boho beautiful Jewish wedding with a Rue de Seine gown at Northbrook Park, UK

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“WOW” was our first reaction to Erika and Marc’s fantastically floral real Jewish wedding at Northbrook Park. At a glance, the effect is overwhelmingly beautiful, and delving into each detail only serves to foster an even greater appreciation of just how much work, love and incredible taste went into planning the day.

Every last choice was simply bursting with personality, wit and charm, and expertly captured by photographer, David Morgan.

Before we get into the details (of which there are many that you’re definitely going to want to pin – and steal), can we just talk about how lovely Marc and Erika are as a couple? Their extraordinary personalities really shine, especially in the stunning wedding video, filmed by Story Catchers (go on – watch the video of Marc’s eloquent and heartfelt speech and try not to cry… spoiler alert, grab a tissue).

OK, so this is definitely a gratuitous use of all caps and exclamation marks, but we feel it’s warranted: THAT CHUPPAH!!!! Who else is dying of chuppah envy? We didn’t even know that was a thing, but there you go.

The entire day, including beautiful bride Erika’s stunning wedding ensemble (the bride wore a breathtaking dress by Rue De Seine), stuck to a highly detailed colour scheme and a relaxed, bohemian aesthetic.

Erika and Marc creatively crammed the wedding with quirky, clever touches, including an illustrated mini Erika and Marc on their stationery suite, “wedlibs” for their guest book (amazing idea) and personalised escort cards with thoughtful little phrases for each guest.

Erika writes so beautifully about her and Marc’s simcha that there’s no need for us to embellish, so we’ll hand over to her for the full scoop!

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How we met

Erika, the bride: Marc and I met at Limmud Conference 2012 as we were both volunteering in the catering team to make it a more cost-effective experience. Most people find dodgy pasta in the Limmud dining rooms, but we found each other.

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A bespoke Shadive’s Brides dress at a party-it-up-atmosphere wedding at Terra, Caesarea, Israel

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It goes without saying that we adore an Israeli wedding – and somehow it’s even more special when the couple have chosen to travel to Israel to say “I do”.

Secondary school teacher, Katie, and business owner, Mark, got married at Terra in Caesarea, Israel. Despite coming down with a horrific stomach flu on the day, love won out and Katie still made the very best of the situation, looking back on her big day with love.

I was particularly moved by Katie’s sincere and heartfelt words about her decision to get married in Israel. She writes so eloquently that I won’t step on her description here, but it’s perfect and definitely worth sitting down with a cuppa and reading.

At 5ft2”, Katie struggled to find the perfect dress until she went bespoke with Shadiye’s Brides in Islington. Seeing the end result, we think it was a match made in heaven – just how gorgeous did she look?

Smashing Supplier Live Band and DJ, Caliente, created an electric atmosphere until 4.30am and the whole wedding was peppered with brilliant, thoughtful ideas. For example a designated kids’ corner with fun activities to keep little ones entertained, a flower station, bags of sweets for a middle-of-the-night pick me up and so much more. It’s clear that Katie and Mark considered their guests’ feelings and the importance of their experience at every turn. 

The magic of the day was captured by STG regular – Ronen Boidek, videographer – Canelé (don’t miss out on the wonderful wedding video at the bottom of the post) and Katie herself with her fabulously descriptive account. Over to Katie for more on her Israeli wedding day.

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How we met

Katie, the bride: We met at university. For the first six months we were together, Mark managed to say ‘this is nothing serious’ on every single date. Charming, I know. Joke’s on him though – this marriage is for life!

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A whimsical woodland Jewish wedding with a Jenny Packham gown at South Farm, Royston, UK

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Pull on those wellies, we’re taking another trip to whimsical Hertfordshire venue, South Farm, for Clare and Toby’s magical, woodland-themed wedding. This country-inspired Jewish big day had everything from berries in the bouquet to a spot of light duck herding at the drinks reception – as you do!

There are so many divine details to drool over, from the beautiful moss, foliage and rose-heavy floral arrangements to the sublime scented candles, provided by the bride’s sister.

Fortunately, every last detail was perfectly captured in a collection of stunning images by much-loved sponsor and incredibly talented photographer Ria Mishaal.

We’re also totally head-over-heels in love with beautiful bride Clare’s drop-dead-gorgeous wintry and etherial Jenny Packham gown, paired with sparkly Jenny Packham headpieces.

Oh, and we’ve already mentioned the duck herding, but seriously, how cute are those ducks? It’s enough to make us think that every wedding should have a cheeky pen-full of feathered friends handy.

We’ll leave you with Clare now for the full report. Take it away, Clare!

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How we met

Clare, the bride: We met at work. Toby was a bit hesitant about dating someone at work so we ‘courted’ for about a year before we finally became official.

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A laid-back, intimate venue at South Farm, Royston 

We got married at South Farm in Royston. I thought it was such a beautiful, laid back and intimate venue. Plus, I love animals so the animal enclosure sold it to me. On a more practical level it had everything we needed: rooms for the night, indoor and outdoor ceremony options and a separate room for tea and coffee. 

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A spectacular Jewish destination wedding with a bride in a Howard Green dress at Villefrenche-sur-Mer, Côte d’Azur, France

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There are destination weddings and then there are destination weddings, and Justine & Barry’s dreamy South of France outdoor W Day definitely falls into the latter category.

The couple, whose international background (Justine grew up in South Africa, while Barry is originally from Zimbabwe and has lived all over the world) meant they had their pick of stunning destinations, chose the idyllic Villefrenche-sur-Mer, Côte d’Azur – a private chateau on the mountains above Nice overlooking the coastline.

This discerning couple put so much careful thought into each and every detail. There is so much to talk about – from the beautiful way Justine describes her connection to the religious ceremony and its traditions to both family’s own respective sentimental customs, including a ring that has been passed down through generations of the family and used in over 100 weddings.

The couple kept their series of events exciting by including a series of surprises, including an epic first dance that the couple still sneakily re-lives to this day and drip-feeding their guests details about the astounding destination. They also showered their lucky guests with lovely and thoughtful gifts, favours and special treats including luxuriously tempting macarons, a drinks trolley with fine liquors, pashminas, flip flops and kippot. It makes us wish that we’d been invited!

We could go on forever about the amazing attention to detail and the heart and soul that the couple poured into planning their big day, but we think that Justine does such a wonderful job of describing the events that it’s time to hand over to her. Take it away, Justine.

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Stunning views at Villefrenche-sur-Mer, Côte d’Azur

We were married at the Domaine du Montleuze in Villefranche-sur-Mer. It’s a private chateau at the top of mountains above Nice, overlooking the entire coastline.

We got engaged in late March 2016 in the Swiss Alps and wanted to contrast our winter engagement with a summer wedding.

It is worth mentioning at this point that I grew up and lived in South Africa before moving to London five years ago. Barry, originally from Zimbabwe, has lived in multiple countries including South Africa, before moving to London eight years ago.

A summer wedding in South Africa was naturally expected. However, we wanted to be different and have something unique, something wildly romantic and intimate, but also a crazy party. Plus, it had to be easily accessible. Europe it was.

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