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

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

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

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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A rustic Jewish wedding with an abundance of flowers and a Sophia Tolli dress at Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire, UK

Everyone – stop what you’re doing right now and take a moment to stare at this stunningly floral Chuppah in all its glory. As far as Chuppah game goes, this is seriously top notch: we can’t stop gazing at that abundance of cascading flowers – too beautiful for words!

Now that we’ve got that out of our system: Jade and Adam’s Jewish wedding at the achingly rustic-cool Soho Farmhouse was packed with personalised detail. From the fabulous pink and white floral arrangements that adorned the reception to the incredibly sweet and thoughtful favours created by the couple and their families, no stone was left unturned.

To match the venue, the couple opted for a rustic theme, and this was captured in the stunning photography and incredible wedding video by  Andrew James Photography and Gorgeous Films respectively.

We love Jade’s idea of incorporating small, framed photographs of her late grandparents in her bouquet – a wonderfully personal way to honour departed loved ones. We ADORE her personalised Converse (and when we say personalised, these are something else, go and look now now now!). The speeches sweepstake is a fantastic way to keep guests entertained, a late-night greasy spoon van is absurdly clever (pre-empt those hangovers) and the doggy vodka ice luges in the shape of beloved family pets at a vet’s wedding? Bravo.

Oh, and we literally squealed with excitement when we saw the couple had replicated the bottle dance from Fiddler on The Roof – there are not enough adjectives in the world for how enthusiastic we feel about this.

Before we hand over to Jade, one thing she said is really worth highlighting. When it came to makeup, Jade said that she felt like the best version of herself, which is such a beautiful, empowering thing and we just love her for it. Over to Jade for the full story.

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How we met

Jade, the bride: Adam and I met through my work. I am a veterinary surgeon and I was his family vet.

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An authentic experience at Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire

Getting married at 36 years old, I no longer wanted the Scottish castle wedding I had dreamed of at 24. Adam and I knew we wanted something different: more us, less formal, more fun, and so when we saw Soho Farmhouse online we were delighted. It was a new venue at the time and the whole Soho House experience just appealed to us. Even though it was still a work in progress at the time of booking, we loved it and instantly knew that it was the perfect venue for us.

I loved that you left your car at the entrance, the only way to get around was by milk float, bicycle, horse or on foot. It felt like I was in another world and it made me instantly relaxed. The bespoke wellies and bicycles with name tags, the ability to collect your own eggs from the chickens, sitting on hay bales at the Chuppah, the outdoor baths, the endless cowshed shampoo and conditioners in the shower, your own personal farm hand… The list goes on! I wanted something different – I like being a bit different – hence why I have a black engagement ring.

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Real blogging bride quirky and cool Lauren’s Jew-ish wedding at Stoke Place, Buckinghamshire, UK

Attention everyone: we have an exceptionally exciting real wedding on the blog today and one that I’ve been eager to share for quite some time!

Our real blogging bride, Lauren, who we LOVE, finally married her darling John. She is the first of our 2016 real Jewish brides to be blogged and boy, did she get wed in style. Lauren’s Jew-ish wedding was every bit as chic, contemporary and downright cool as I expected it to be. The day was expertly captured in all its glory by Photography by Krishanthi.

Lauren was a very detail-oriented bride with an exceptional eye for design. This shone through in every quirky and awesome choice the happy couple made for their big day, from their stunning gold-foil calligraphy invitations that they sourced from much-loved Smashing Supplier, The Golden Letter Paper Studio to their absolutely astounding pink ombre meringue shard cake, which almost looked too good to eat (almost).

OK, can we talk about that chuppah, please? What a wonderful sentiment and a beautiful way to involve friends and family in such an important life moment. I won’t ruin it for you, go and have a look – and then come back next week for the DIY tutorial to see how it was made.

Lauren has her own fabulous blog, which I’d encourage everyone to follow, but for now I’ll put you in Lauren’s capable hands, for one more encore on the blog (and then another cheeky one when Lauren posts her chuppah tutorial next Friday, 17th – I just can’t get enough)! Take it away, Lauren.

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How we met

We talked for a few weeks on Match.com before meeting up for our first date on Valentine’s Day. I turned up very late as I was evidently not overly keen at that point. John bought me a present – a rose and a card.

We got on so well and then watched Impractical Jokers until two AM while eating my homemade cookies. Lots more details are in my first blog!

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

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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