Shoshana & Sam | Outdoor Bohemian DIY Jewish wedding at River Bend in Lyons, Colorado, USA

“It’s like rai-ayy-ann on your wedding day…” Alanis Morissette famously sang. And it’s not ironic, it actually doesn’t matter one jot! This wedding proves that, for one, you’ll end up with some incredible pictures (today’s images are by the awesome June Cochran). I’m talking happy guests dancing in the rain, colourful umbrellas adorning the ceremony, and a whole heap of merriness and creativity totally untroubled (hell, even enhanced!) by the showers.

Shoshana and Sam mixed Jewish tradition and boho chic together effortlessly, and handcrafted so many thoughtful details for their W Day. They are also testament to the fact that wedspiration can strike anywhere: their colour scheme was inspired by coffee packaging they came across at their local grocery store!

As will as bringing their own creative talents into play, they called upon family and friends to play a very central part, both in the lead-up to the wedding, and on the day itself. As Shoshana puts it (and I SO agree with her) “Ask for help… people really want to be a part of your celebration so don’t be afraid to assign tasks.”

And doesn’t Shoshana look beautiful? Her French lace Sarah Seven dress is divine and I love how she’s accessorised her look with fresh flowers in her hair – she looks sensational.

Tragically, Sam’s grandmother died a few days before the wedding but the couple  knew even before the event that she wasn’t in a position to travel. So they chose a beautiful white latticed blanket that belonged to her as their chuppah covering. Sam told me, ” I was extremely close with my grandmother, so it was very meaningful to have a tangible token from her with us. And that it was covering us during our ceremony was even more poignant.”

This detail is so very special and an illustration of exactly why I started Smashing The Glass – to inspire you with the most beautiful, creative and symbolic ways to personalise your Jewish (or Jew-ish) wedding from start to finish. Shoshana and Sam’s W Day has it in bucketfuls. Take it away you two!

Bohemian DIY wedding
how we met

Shoshana, the Bride: Sam and I met in graduate school at NYU while studying Food Systems. We actually had a mutual friend in common (that lived in Colorado) that told me to look for Sam in one of my classes. I spotted him, eventually introduced myself, became friends for about 6 months and then started dating. Much more to the story than that but that’s the simple story!

Bohemian DIY wedding
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Valerie & Jason | Colourful, rustic bohemian Jewish Wedding at Hotel Atitlan, Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

Ok forget your to do list for a second folks and step away from the mood board for your own big day. I have a little bit of allure and tranquility for you this week to calm, revive and reignite your senses. Are you ready to be transported away?

Once described by Aldous Huxley as ‘the most beautiful lake in the world”, it doesn’t get much better than the captivating glory of volcano-fringed Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. Put it this way, the location’s so good that even Tel Aviv paid a visit… I’ll let Valerie explain that one!

Both Guatemalan born, it was the perfect choice. The wedding party entered to a string quartet rendition of Home, the invitations were hand made locally, the garlands, and table dressings were all indigenous flowers, fruits and vegetables – strictly vividly coloured ones. Pastels, and in fact anything bland, was banned!

I love the whole vibe of this wedding and I’m especially drawn to that floral crown – I mean, wow – so striking and daring but so natural and simple too. It just works…

Daniel Lopez Perez’s photographs capture this rare gem of a wedding in such a crisp way that I’m sure you’ll be just as enchanted as I was by the rich colour, vivacity and freshness of this magical Central American dream.

Lake Atitlan wedding
a volcanic lake venue in the Western Highlands of Guatemala

Valerie, the Bride: We got married by Lake Atitlán in Guatemala We have always gravitated more towards natural surroundings and even though we wanted to do it in some places that were further away, they were not prepared for bigger parties. Plus my mom (jokingly) threatened not to go if it meant travelling more than three hours…. (like a normal jewish mum)

Lake Atitlan wedding
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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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Hannah & Raf | Laidback, colourful ‘English Garden’ Jewish wedding at The Priory Barn, Little Wymondley, Hertfordshire, UK

An english country garden jewish wedding
Hannah and Raf’s big day is bursting at the seams with colour, fun and some very original ideas, and if I had to describe their wedding in one (ok two) words, it would be utterly joyous. From Raf’s beaming smile to Hannah’s multi-coloured nails, through to the wild summer flowers dotted about everywhere, and the most original first dance I’ve heard about in a long while (I’ll let Hannah surprise you with that one).

I want to be a guest at this wedding. I want to receive a homemade invitation designed by the bride. I want to stand amongst the moorhens and weeping willows. I want to hear a klezmer version of The Final Countdown. I want to have a slice of hundreds and thousands cake. And I want to have every moment captured by Marianne Chua whose images are appearing for the first time on STG which I’m so very thrilled about!

Get ready because you gorgeous lot are going to be pinning until your fingers are raw.

colourful English garden Jewish wedding_0033
colourful English garden Jewish wedding
colourful English garden Jewish wedding_0030
Hannah, the Bride: We chose to get married at The Priory Barn in Little Wymondley. We researched various venues, but had difficulties in that a lot of the London venues wouldn’t allow religious ceremonies and we didn’t want a hotel. We also wanted outside space and The Priory has an amazing garden complete with a stream, weeping willows and baby moorhens! We had budget concerns and The Priory had a great midweek deal. Our wedding was on a Thursday but this really didn’t seem to affect turnout.

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Natalie & Eli | Informal DIY Boho Jewish Wedding at House Plantation, Texas

I think it took me exactly 3.6 seconds from the moment I first read Shaun Taylor‘s email, detailing Natalie and Eli’s wedding, to thinking oh yes, this has crashed through my submission barriers – I’ve got a killer Smashing The Glass wedding on my hands here!

I love that Natalie made her own dress and wore cowboy boots. I love that Natalie’s mum made her jewellery. I love that the couple flew out their photographer, Shaun Taylor all the way from Derby  to Texas because they loved his work so much. I love what Natalie says about working together with your fiancé as a team in the planning stages. And I love that it rained and then rained some more, but far from letting the weather dampen their spirits, they embraced it and the results are even better than they imagined, as Natalie describes below.

You’ll also see the most exquisite henna tattoos covering Natalie’s arms. A traditional Yemenite henna party is a popular pre-wedding ritual for Sephardi Jews and you can see theirs in full swing over on Shaun’s blog. It just goes to show you can stamp your personality onto your wedding weekend and dig deep into your culture’s traditions too. The two are not mutually exclusive  and that’s exactly what this blog is all about.
Outdoor Boho Jewish Wedding at House Plantation, Texas
Outdoor Boho Jewish Wedding at House Plantation, Texas Outdoor Boho Jewish Wedding at House Plantation, Texas Outdoor Boho Jewish Wedding at House Plantation, Texas

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