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

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 4am 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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Looking for a candid, creative wedding photographer? We’ve found him…

Ran-Bergman-Wedding-Photography-Israel So, is that loved-up selfie you took on Valentines Day still your screensaver? Did you go filter crazy until you got the perfect, natural, image. We’ve all been there.

But your wedding is one day you really don’t want to be critical of your photographs. And you definitely wont have the chance to personally edit them as you go along. In fact, you have to place a huge amount of trust in your wedding photographer – after all you won’t see the finished product until after the event.

Ran Bergman Wedding Photographer Israel Ran Bergman Wedding Photographer Israel_0142 Ran Bergman Wedding Photographer Israel Ran Bergman Wedding Photographer Israel So, to make a considered selection, that means:

  1. Studying the photographer’s website
  2. Checking their artistic style
  3. Seeing if their personality works for you
  4. Comparing costs.  

All are super-important to find ‘the one’.

Ran Bergman’s got it all

Today, I’d love to help you get to grips with a photographer we’re LOVING at STG, Ran Bergman. In fact I’m blogging a fabulous real Jewish wedding of his next month that will make your jaws drop… and what’s more, for me he sails through with flying colours on all of those points above. 

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The Man behind the Lens

Based in Israel, Ran photographs weddings all over the world. He LOVES people and he LOVES photography. This is a heady mix for a wedding snapper.

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Hand make your own Chuppah: DIY Tutorial

You all went crazy over on Instagram for real bride Lauren’s handmade chuppah in last week’s real Jew-ish wedding, so today she has kindly taken to the pages of Smashing The Glass with an easy-to-follow DIY tutorial on how to make one yourself. Please give Lauren Beadle, the craft blogger, a warm welcome!

I like to hand make things. So as you can imagine, my Jew-ish wedding was awash with loads of hand made touches.

I always make big plans to create all manner of complicated items for an event, but inevitably I will pare it back and choose a more simple design or technique. I definitely did this with a couple of ideas I had for the wedding. About a month before the wedding I realised I didn’t quite have enough time to make 140 candles and opted for a more crowd-pleasing miniature bottle of a favourite alcoholic drink, with a hand-lettered tag.

One element that I did actually plan well was our chuppah… I wanted it to it be personal, effective and simple to construct.

Handmade chuppah
There are many ideas and opinions about the origins and meaning of ‘The Chuppah’ (some of which can be found here) but for me a chuppah is a physical representation of a bride and groom’s first home together, one that is supported and surrounded by family and friends from two different families and I feel that it should be something that is built together by the bride and groom as a symbol of that first home.

The chuppah that we created for our wedding was designed to represent this and to be constructed easily the night before the wedding or even on the day. If we can do it, then anyone can! We were incredibly lucky to be able to get into our wedding venue and set up the night before.

DIY chuppah tutorial
I had originally planned the chuppah structure to be set up on the day by the groom and/ or the groomsmen alone, so it needed to be relatively simple (I am a teeny weeny bit of a control freak when it comes to making things). In fact many of the construction ideas came from my husband, going slightly against the grain for me. We really wanted this to be something we built together and use our different skill set to do it.

To make the chuppah you don’t really need any major technical skills. You do need some proficiency with an iron… hopefully you have that skill under your belt!

Build your own chuppah
It would be useful if you were able to use a sewing machine, but if you don’t mind a more rustic look, then you could easily get away with some raw edges on your canopy. In fact any part of this ‘how-to’ can be adapted to suit your own skills or style.

What you’ll need

For The Canopy:

  • A selection of images for the underside of your canopy
  • Inkjet printer
  • 2 meters of a close weave lightweight fabric in a colour of your choice (cotton or a lining fabric) – I got all my fabric from Dunelm
  • 2 meters of linen in a contrasting colour (or matching if you prefer) only required if you want to sew a backing to the canopy
  • Iron-on heat transfer paper for light fabrics – I used about 35 A4 sheets, but this would be dependant on the size and number of images you want to use – I used these from Crafty Computer Paper
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pins and threads in matching or contrasting colours depending on preference
  • Fabric and Paper Scissors/ Pinking shears (if required)

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Smashing the Glass takes over The Savoy for 24 hours + Win a night’s stay at the iconic London hotel

My 24 hours at The Savoy filmed by Adrian Stone of The Dreamcatchers

Happy Wedding Wednesday! To soften the blow as we all come down from our Valentine’s Day highs, I have an exciting post all about my epic, 24-hour takeover of London’s iconic five-star hotel, wedding and events venue, The Savoy.

I also have a rather extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime accompanying competition to win a night for two at the world-famous Savoy, so keep your eyes peeled at the end of this post to make sure you don’t miss out (seriously, this one’s a biggie!).

Weddings-at-The-Savoy-Hotel As I was given a rare, all-access pass to a world-famous institution and the epitome of the lap of luxury (special thanks to Charlotte Faith, the amazing PR manager at The Savoy who arranged this incredible experience), I had a lot of questions – and was, in turn, provided with a plethora of answers, so it’s worth perhaps brewing a cup of tea or coffee before you sit down to read this post as there is so much fabulousness to take in.

Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London
Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London Accompanying me were award-winning wedding photographer, Claudine Hartzel and world-class wedding filmmaker, Adrian Stone of The Dreamcatchers. Huge thanks to both of them – for Adrian for his spectacular film right at the top and also the longer (and even more action-packed!) 5 minute version lower down in the competition section). And to the divine Claudine for capturing my stay with her fabulous photos throughout this post and on social media. Thank you to both of them for their excellent company!

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Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London
Savoy Flowers A suite with a river view and a second-to-none butler service

On arrival, I checked into my stunning £1,600 a night one-bedroom Edwardian suite with a river view over the Thames, looking out onto London’s much-loved landmarks, where a sumptuous lunch was already laid out for us (as well as fabulous floral arrangements from Savoy Flowers and a Chocolate Delight, which you’ll have to watch the Facebook Live video to truly appreciate). I was then introduced to The Savoy’s head butler, the delightful Sean Davoren.

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Suites at The Savoy come with an indescribable 24-hour butler service and now, having said that, I’m going to have to attempt to describe it in a way that does it justice.

Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London
Butlers at The Savoy represent a living, breathing definition of customer service. In fact, if you look up ‘customer service’ in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of a smiling Sean Davoren proudly presenting you with a lovingly arranged tray of all of your favourite things.

Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London
There’s nothing that a butler at The Savoy can’t manage. They will respond to any request within four minutes, from pressing the dress on your wedding morning to taking care of all the mundane details you don’t want to think about (kind of makes your other half seem obsolete, huh); from drawing you a luxurious, scented bath to sending up a selection of your favourite foods, whether on the menu or not – even packing for you, if you so desire.

Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London_0035 This service came in extremely handy when, in all the excitement of getting glammed up for a night at The Savoy’s exceptional restaurants and bars, I actually forgot my pyjamas. It was only getting to bed, past midnight, that I realised.

Despite the antisocial hour, Sean immediately arranged for loungewear from the gym to be sent up to my room and saved the day!

Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London Blogger review of Weddings at The Savoy Hotel London To further illustrate my point: Sean was once asked to provide fresh-from-the-teat goat’s milk to fill a guest’s bath and sent a taxi all the way to Wales to collect it. How’s that for above and beyond?

Hear some more of Sean’s outrageously entertaining butler tales by catching up with our Facebook Live video below!

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A traditional Jewish New York wedding with some sex and a lot of city

Happy Valentine’s Day, STG gang! We have a very, very special real wedding to share with you today. It’s such a doozy, that we’ve been sitting on it and waiting for the right moment to publish since 2003. How’s that for restraint?

Charlotte and Harry met under rather unusual circumstances and couldn’t have been more different from one another. But, as the old saying goes, opposites attract, and Charlotte soon found that she had met her one true love in Harry.

Bride Charlotte is a hopeless romantic at heart, and so her wedding was, of course, the definition of tradition. Every detail was planned to perfection by wedding planner and very shouty man, Anthony, who brought Charlotte’s vision to life.

Even though we’re not the New York Times (sorry, Charlotte), we’ve done our very best to do this post justice, so we’ll quit while we’re ahead and hand over to Charlotte to tell us all about her big day.

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How we met

Harry was my divorce lawyer from my first marriage to my ex-husband, Trey who… let’s just say… didn’t last long. Harry and I hit a few stumbles at first: for example, the fact that I wasn’t Jewish and Harry’s profuse sweating. But, in the end, I converted to Judaism and we always keep the the thermostat at 64.4 degrees. Fairytales do exist, people!

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A New York synagogue wedding

We decided on a traditional synagogue wedding in our hometown of New York. As the space was already so spectacular, we just had a simple white, fabric chuppah under the bimah with some elegant arrangements of lilies.

I wanted to do everything according to Jewish tradition. I wanted to smash the glass, sign the Ketubah and dance the Hora, even if it involved getting thrown around on a chair in a most unladylike way.

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