Sani & Mike | Chinese-Jewish Wedding with an ‘Adventure Through London’ theme at Ranger’s House and RSA House, London, UK

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Wow. Like… WOW.

That’s pretty much all I said for five minutes when Sani & Mike’s Chinese / Jewish (can I say ‘Chewish’?!) wedding landed in my inbox. It’s the perfect first real wedding to kick off 2016 with as it epitomises the STG mantra of your Jewish wedding day, your way. So for Sani & Mike that meant peking duck, Jewish wedding traditions, a Taiwanese tea ceremony, honey cake, table tennis, street feast food stalls, table tennis, a boat trip down the Thames, and so many more ideas that reflected them both.

This is a particularly inspiring post for couples planning a wedding that combines two different cultures – it’ll give you the confidence to plan exactly the kind of wedding that feels right for you. On a frivolous note, Sani and Mike totally nailed their red colour scheme (red is the traditional colour of good luck in Taiwanese weddings) so if you’re looking to thread a specific colour through your big day, you’ll be inspired by lots of their ideas.

I also absolutely LOVE that they  devised an ‘adventure through London’ for their wedding guests (read the bride’s wedding report below for more on that!). After the ‘London escapade’ part to their day, Sani and Mike chose the vaults at central London’s RSA House for their party venue. I’m a huge fan of RSA House as it has a plethora of beautiful traditional spaces, but you can get entirely creative with their ‘underground chamber’ vaults too. Sani, the Bride, explains:

We wanted to have a bit of festival feel across the vault spaces… so the guests could pick and choose what they wanted to do, be it playing table tennis, singing karaoke with the Rockaoke live band, dancing, or watching England vs. Wales rugby on an iPad by the bar.”

Let me hand you over to Sani now for her full report, exquisitely documented by the hugely talented Andrew Billington, and wish מזל טוב and 恭喜 to the Bride and Groom!

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how we met

Sani, the Bride: Mike and I have been friends for years, having been introduced by mutual friends, just after university about eight years ago. We got to know each other through parties and mutual friends, but gradually got closer over the years, and then played in a band together which resulted in spending even more time in each others company.

It definitely was not love at first sight and we used to genuinely annoy the hell out of each other and have massive shouting matches, storming out of rooms, slamming doors and calling each other all sorts of names! In fact, if you had told either of us four years ago that we’d end up marrying each other, you would have been declared mad and laughed out of the room.

Mike and I both had different partners throughout our friendship but I guess all that bickering, winding each other up and arguing, spending so much time together, living on top of each other in the lead up to gigs and band recordings, resulted in a closeness which we then finally and very reluctantly realised was love. Needless to say, most of our close friends were not that surprised and if anything, relieved that all the public shouting matches have stopped since we got together!

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‘Old Hollywood’ destination Jewish wedding at The Great Synagogue of Florence and Villa Di Maiano, Florence, Italy

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Olivia and Jacob are one seriously hot couple – I mean just look at David Bastianoni‘s gorgeous images of them both… And it gets even better. They chose a wedding theme of 50’s / Old Hollywood glamour meets The Godfather. Off the scale, right?!

Both Londoners, (they met 7 years ago at Nottingham University) the bride and groom opted to marry in Florence, as that’s where Jacob proposed to Olivia. They chose the breathtaking Great Synagogue of Florence followed by a magnificent party at Villa Di Maiano, and their big day is every bit as glamorous and romantic as you’d expect. There’s an immense chuppah made from gypsophila, pretty blush pink roses and candles, beautifully ornate calligraphic decor, a classic convertible wedding car, a mille-feuille wedding cake constructed in front of the guests, a phenomenal firework display… I could go on and on and on!

As you’d expect, our bride and groom look impeccable stylish too – Olivia in a beautifully cut bespoke Suzanne Neville gown (based on a design that her and her mother created), and Jacob in a bespoke suit by Cad and the Dandy. It’s a super chic wedding, full of panache, and lots and lots of heart.

Not only do we have the insane images by STG fave, David Bastianoni, but we also have the 8mm film by Marriage à la Mode. Jewish wedding Florence
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Rachel & David | Garden Party Jewish Wedding at Home in London

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Back garden weddings always look so cosy, warm and welcoming and today’s is no exception. There are so many things that I like about this wedding – the homely setting is perfect and I love all the budget-friendly DIY ideas from the quotes attached to the drinks straws, to the colourful photo booth / guest book idea,  to the pashminas on hand to warm up the guests – so  very thoughtful! Rachel and Davids’ families and friends look like a really lovely, happy group of people, and it’s an overall joy to view this wedding through the eyes of their truly fantastic photographer, Dominique Bader.

Rachel and David met when she was invited to his 30th birthday party by mutual friends. She didn’t know that there was a theme (1980s TV and films) and that he would be dressed up as Tom Cruise from Top Gun in a flight suit. The first thing he asked, after looking at her non-costume, was who she had come dressed as. Twenty minutes later she gave him a delayed response and did an impression of the car voice from Knight Rider. They didn’t stop talking from that moment onwards…
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VENUE AND THEME
Rachel, the Bride: The wedding was at my parents’ house where I grew up. It was funny how Friday evening dinner at my parents also became about going to see the venue! The house has a beautiful garden so we simply went with a garden party theme and picked a colour palette of soft greens, whites and pale pinks. I think it’s good to have a loose colour scheme to help create a cohesive look, but one shouldn’t be too worried about it – guests brings the colour and in our case, my 4 year old nephew Theo decided to wear a Fireman Sam costume in pillar box red!
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GARDEN PARTY THEMED INVITATION DESIGN
The invitation design process was the unique part! I was writing about design at the time and have always been fascinated by print. I also thought that the invitation sets the tone of the wedding and searched for a long time for existing garden party themed designs that felt right for us.

I ended up appointing Australian graphic designer Tabitha Bray (who I discovered through a blog) to design a bespoke floral motif and illustrated map. Closer to home, graphic designer Rebecca Leggett created the most beautiful calligraphy for the main invitation and printed the invitation suite in Dorset. Paperless Post might have been an easier route, but we loved the end result.

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