A Valentine’s Day Jewish Wedding in the snow, at The Liberty Grand, Toronto, Canada

I first saw today’s wedding on photographer Assaf Friedman’s Instagram feed. I was totally smitten by Danielle and Aaron’s couple portraits in the snow, and I just knew I had to feature their entire Valentine’s Day affair on Smashing The Glass.

Danielle and Aaron are a super stylish couple with really great taste – I’m particularly loving their accessories! I’d like Danielle’s leather jacket AND her heart-shaped sunnies please. And Aaron looks dapper with his slick tux, patterned socks, and polka dot pocket square (and he wore the coolest pair of personalised Nike Hi-Tops that Danielle surprised him with too).

Aaron and Danielle chose to engrave each other’s wedding bands with a surprise inscription  and decided that neither of them would see this message until after the ceremony when they were finally man and wife. And would you believe it, they had both engraved each other’s rings with the same beautiful message! These two are meant to be together…

Read on for lots more treats, surprises, advice, tips and a really wonderful account of a truly stylish, luxe Jewish wedding.

A Valentine’s Day Jewish Wedding in the snow A Valentine’s Day Jewish Wedding in the snow
How we met

Danielle, the Bride: Aaron and I met online. We had our first date at a small craft beer bar in Toronto. On our third or fourth date, Aaron asked me if I was dating other people. At that point, we decided to be exclusive. Things moved fairly quickly and I think that after a few weeks of dating we knew that one day we would get married.

A Valentine’s Day Jewish Wedding in the snow

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Sarah & Anne | Super stylish Same Sex Jewish Wedding at Hart House, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I couldn’t name this blog anything but smashing the glass. It is THE moment of a Jewish wedding and images like the one above just make me so happy. Two beautiful women, crazy in love, performing this hugely symbolic tradition under a gorgeous chuppah. I’m telling you, one of the best things about this job is definitely how uplifting it is to look at images like these.

And like all the real Jewish weddings on Smashing The Glass, this W-Day is completely refreshing. Both brides chose to forgo the traditional wedding dress style in favour of a two super sleek and contemporary creations by Carolina Herrera and Judith and Charles respectively, accessorised in Anne’s case by the most delicate headpiece.

And that’s not the only thing that has me swooning. There are gorgeous dainty florals and rustic table runners by GLP Events that not only look delightful (Anne wanted a simple arrangement of flowers that reminded her of the fields in the small French village where she grew up), they’re cost-effective too.

And the guests…well if the photos at the end of the night are anything to go by, then it’s clear that everyone had a darned good time!

Back with a bang for his 3rd feature on STG, Niv Shimshon has captured the mood perfectly with these terrific shots. Prepare to swoon.

Lesbian Wedding at Hart House, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
how we met

Sarah and Anne, the Brides: We met one cold winter’s evening in Montreal and have been together nearly every day since. On the night we met, Anne was sick with a nasty flu. Sarah, a germophobe, knew it was love at first sight because she didn’t want the date to end despite Anne’s coughing, sneezing, and significantly high fever. Anne is calm, cool and collected, and Sarah is witty, funny, and shows pictures of her dog to strangers every time she has a chance.

Lesbian Wedding at Hart House, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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A Boho, nature-inspired DIY Jewish wedding at Estates of Sunnybrook, Toronto, Canada

I’m so thrilled to be bringing you today’s thoroughly gorgeous DIY Jewish wedding. Not only are the creative details ALL lovingly crafted by the bride, groom, their friends and family, but Shannie’s write up of her and Steve’s day really comes from the heart; as did Shannie’s efforts for her entire wedding.

All of the DIY details are divine… the centrepieces, the table numbers, the sweet treats, the astonishingly beautiful ketubah made by Shannie, and how can I forget the creative guest book alternative? Plus I’m sure you’ll notice so much more, it’s one of those weddings I think you’ll need to view multiple of times to take it all in!

Oh, and the dog. Don’t even get me started… Storm played a huge part in originally getting Steve and Shannie together (see their ‘How We Met’ story below), so much so in fact, that Shannie even incorporated an illustration of their beloved hound into her ketubah design!

And on a totally separate note, let’s not forget Steve who looks super dapper in his jeans – yes he totally rocked the laid-back look!

Shannie’s boho head piece and an Indian-inspired hand piece (both made by her very talented mama!) are to-die-for and her Catherine Langlois gown is just a dream. She bought her dress at The Brides’ Project  in Toronto, a bridal boutique where all the proceeds go to cancer charities. There’s another branch of The Brides’ Project in America, but as yet, one doesn’t exist in the UK. I would love to help set up a branch in the UK (potentially London) and if anyone reading this can help me kickstart this idea, please do get in touch. I would love to donate my Stephanie Allin wedding dress in the first instance.

But I digress… Please do take a moment to read through Shannie’s account of her planning and creative ideas – there are some really lovely DIY projects and a generous helping of brilliant advice at the end – plus you’re going to swoon over Niv Shimshon‘s phenomenal photography.

All of this awesomeness was planned in just four and a half months…

Happy Tuesday folks!

DIY Jewish wedding
how we met

Shannie, the Bride: I will try to keep this story as simple as possible, but it may be tough a job! Steve and I had known each other for almost seven years prior to the first time we actually ever said a sentence to each other. My parents own a jewellery shop in the same plaza mall that Steve opened his restaurant. My mum (being the yenta that she is) did try to introduce us when he first opened his restaurant, but I was very shy, I thought he was very handsome. Apparently he was just as awkward and couldn’t find the words to say to me. For years we would eye each other. I would often help my parents at their store and see Steve. He would see me, but we never actually spoke.

Years later it was my moving day, the day and I was packing and moving from my condo in Toronto. I remember walking down the street, towards my building, carrying boxes that towered over my 5”1 frame, that I suddenly felt a push and something knocked down my boxes out of my hands. It was Steve’s dog, Storm. She must have escaped from underneath her fence, ran towards me, and Steve right behind her chasing her to grab her. We realised that we had been neighbours for the last three years without even knowing it. It took us seven years and a dog to finally give us the courage to actually start a conversation with each other. The rest, as they say, is history!

DIY Jewish wedding
A DIY wedding with lots of creative and personal details

Most of our wedding was pretty much projects that I assigned for myself to do as well as my mother and Steve. Being an artist, I specialise in doing everything last minute! So the week before the wedding I was hit hard with how much work I set aside for myself.

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Ilana & Josh | Daytime Jewish Farm Wedding at South Pond Farms, Pontypool, Canada

You can tell from the way that Ilana and Josh approached the planning and styling of their Jewish wedding that they’re a creative, authentic, laid-back (and eco-friendly!) couple.

They chose to hold their ceremony outdoors, a brave move with the sometimes temperamental weather, but it definitely paid off as it meant that they could marry underneath a beautiful outdoor chuppah, created by Ilana’s dad using her grandmother’s floral table cloth, surrounded by greenery and with a breathtaking, uninterrupted view of the rolling hills.

I adore this wedding for so many reasons – it’s full of natural and rustic details, from the seasonal handpicked wild blooms, to the incredible cakes lovingly made by Josh’s sister-in-law, to the meaningful family heirlooms for the chuppah and kiddush cup, and the homemade jam favours that doubled up escort cards.

I also love Ilana’s delicate, pretty Pronovias dress – perfect for a daytime wedding – and Josh’s dapper sartorial choices, and of course the dreamy portrait shots by Ash Nayler. Ash also put together a gorgeous wedding film, shown at the end of the post, which I must admit brought a tear to my eye.

I think you’ll love it too…

Ilana and Josh have written their wedding report together – it’s really lovely to hear from a Groom who had so much input into the big day.

Daytime Jewish Farm Wedding at South Pond Farms, Pontypool, Canada Daytime Jewish Farm Wedding at South Pond Farms, Pontypool, Canada
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Alyshia & Martin | Super cute Jewish wedding, with pops of hot pink, on Lake Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

Alyshia and Martin are the cutest couple. Their couple shots are so full of warmth and affection, I’ve snuck a fair few into this post.  I’ve also included lots shots of Alyshia’s bouquet – which is bursting with gorgeous ombre orchids. She’s such a loveable bride, and that headpiece is swooooooon. The groom, Martin, has the most splendid geek-cool factor – watch out for his seriously sexy groom fashion.

So let’s jet off to the lakes in Canada for this delightful affair. I’m approaching it from a slightly different angle this time round as it’s actually the pair’s photographers – Erika and Ryan from Rowell Photography – that will be talking us through the bride and groom’s view of the day.

Super cute Jewish wedding, with pops of hot pink, on Lake Rosseau at J.W Marriott, Ontario, Canada Super cute Jewish wedding, with pops of hot pink, on Lake Rosseau at J.W Marriott, Ontario, Canada   Super cute Jewish wedding, with pops of hot pink, on Lake Rosseau at J.W Marriott, Ontario, Canada Super cute Jewish wedding, with pops of hot pink, on Lake Rosseau at J.W Marriott, Ontario, Canada 18
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