The legal requirements of a Jewish wedding ceremony in the UK


Granted it’s not the most exciting of topics, but one that definitely needs addressing, so thank you, Emily, for highlighting it! I asked Emily to provide me with an exact list of questions that she wanted answering and then called upon the expertise of STG regular, the wonderful Rabbi Paul Glantz to shed light on the the legal requirements of a Jewish wedding ceremony in England, and the UK.

For any American readers, or brides holding a destination Jewish wedding in the USA, a post detailing the legal requirements of a Jewish wedding in the USA will be up on the blog in he coming weeks too.

Deborah & Hernan’s Jewish wedding in a farmhouse. See the full wedding here :: Image by York Place Studios

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Suzanne & Doron | Beach Party Jewish Wedding Weekend at Bait Al Hayam, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel

Hello weekend party people – this is Captain Karen speaking. Welcome aboard Smashing The Glass Airways. Hope you’ve packed your flip flops and party pieces as we’re going to Tel Aviv for a weekend long wedding!

This is the perfect post for a Friday, Not only because it’s beachy and full of sunshine and smiles – perfect for lifting our spirits on this dull January day – but also because it will breeze you into the weekend party spirit. I’m telling you, this folks, this is how you do a beach party wedding!

Suzanne and Doron (or Dozanne as they branded themselves for their wedding) are the smiliest and most fun-loving couple, and both hailing from London, they decided to have themselves a total party-fest of an Israeli destination wedding. The main affair took place in Bait Al Hayam, in Old Jaffa, and furnished Suzanne and Doron with the stunning vistas they were after with breathtaking views of the Tel Aviv coastline and Mediterranean sea. But they also incorporated all sorts of activities outside of the wedding itself, like Beach Olympics a couple of days before the wedding to give all the guests a chance to meet and get to know each other, and a Bedouin Beach BBQ to soak up the hangovers, the day after!

Suzanne is one sexy bride – that hair, those shoes, the dress! Her frock fits her like a glove and she shines in every single photo. And that Doron is pretty cute too…

Liron Erel captured the party vibes and good energies brilliantly with both the incredible wedding film at the end of the post (you have to watch it), and all of the wonderful photos.

Happy Weekend Smash-ers!

Wedding in Tel Aviv Beach-Party-Jewish-Wedding-Weekend-at-Bait-Al-Hayam,-Jaffa,-Tel-Aviv,-Israel_0036
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Jessica & David | Outdoor, rustic, relaxed Jewish wedding, full of handmade and DIY details, at The Bivouac, Swinton Park, North Yorkshire, UK

I was so thrilled when the talented wedding dress designer, Sally Lacock, alerted me to Jessica & David’s unbelievably beautiful and creative Jewish wedding. I’m almost at a loss as to where to start when talking about it – I’m like a New Year’s Eve Catherine Wheel spinning off in a hundred and one different directions wanting to tell you about each and every one of the exquisite details that make up their Yorkshire Dales wedding (and it’s actually the first time I’ve featured a wedding from this corner of England (NB. Please submit more from this region!)

We’ve got floral crowns, a highly personalised ceremony, a patchwork chuppah made by all the couple’s friends and family, sewn together by the groom’s mum, and decorated with Yorkshire wild flowers, fantastic music choices, the smiliest bride I’ve ever seen, a “Balkanistic” boogie dance band,  beautiful wild blooms, a jukebox filled with 100 of the couple’s favourite songs that guests played between sets and throughout the weekend, tipis, personal touches, and not surprisingly, it looks as if everyone had an absolute hoot judging from the beams on all the guests faces. Every picture is wonderfully happy and fun-filled and smiley and exactly what a wedding should be.

Bride Jessica’s report is a joy to read, and Alex Brenner‘s images will make you feel all warm inside and put a lovely big smile on your face. Without further ado I give you one of Smashing The Glass’s most immense weddings yet. Jessica and David, I take my hat off to you…

Outdoor, rustic, relaxed Jewish wedding, full of handmade and DIY details, at The Bivouac, Swinton Park, North Yorkshire, UK
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Best Jewish Wedding Moments – Smashing The Glass Picks of 2014

It’s my hope that every day is an inspiring one on Smashing The Glass, but today I’m revealing my 20 ‘best of the best’ Jewish wedding details of 2014, so it might just be the most inspiring day of the year on the blog yet! I’m talking the most original chuppah design, the best smashing-the-glass moment, the best wedding slogan, the best twist on the traditional hotel wedding, the most unusual Jewish wedding venue… you get the picture.. a huge array of the very best Jewish wedding details all wrapped up in one fabulous post!

From tomorrow I’ll be taking a short break to spend some quality time with my family over the holidays, and during that time I’ll be posting some of my favourite real Jewish weddings from the archives. But today it’s all about the ‘best bits’ from Smashing The Glass’s 60 real Jewish weddings that were featured in 2014. That’s 60 über cool, unique, inspirational Jewish (and Jew-ish!) weddings that were showcased over the last 12 months that inspired thousands of you across the globe!

I would like to extend an enormous thank you to my wonderful readers and sponsors for all your support during 2014 – It brought me such joy to share the most creative Jewish weddings and ideas with you, and I can’t wait to bring you even more inspiration (and a whole host of exciting projects including the brand new Smashing The Glass shop) in the New Year.

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday. I’ll see you (hangover or no hangover) on the morning of January 1st 2015! Meanwhile enjoy the best of the best…

Best ‘smashing the glass’ moment

breaking the glass
Chosen from Natalie & Nicole’s Jewish wedding photographed by Lara Hotz – Two ridiculously gorgeous brides breaking their glasses in unison in the most beautiful of Jewish weddings, bursting with creativity.

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How to make your friends and family feel extra special at your wedding

creative wedding ideas

Smashing The Glass is all about super creative Jewish (and Jew-ish) weddings packed with individuality and personal details so you’ve definitely come to the right place for inspiration!

I’ve come up with lots of creative ideas for you with everything from innovative ways to include friends, family and little ones in your ceremony to making them feel ultra special at your reception

Ceremony ideas

A lovely way to get your closest friends and family involved is to have them contribute to your chuppah design. Ask guests to contribute different squares (tell them what size is required or supply a blank piece of square material sized correctly) and patchwork them together to make one big chuppah canopy.

Cheryl and Ernest’s beautiful personalised chuppah quilt (below) is an example that’s made out of the clothes of the bride’s mother who sadly passed away, and other momentous pieces including her grandmother’s wedding dress and a shirt her mum had kept of her grandfather’s after he had died, but the same quilt style could be used by asking friends and family to each contribute a square, and sewing them altogether.

Image: Daniel C. Photography from Cheryl & Ernest’s Jewish wedding

Or do what my husband and I did where we asked some of our guests to contribute to our chuppah design by asking them to compose a short message (in English or Hebrew) that we then incorporated into our chuppah canopy design.

This was also a lovely way of including guests from abroad that weren’t able to attend in person. We also chose four significant people to hold each of the four chuppah poles including Sharon, our Irish Catholic mutual friend that set us up (chuppah holders don’t have to be Jewish). Perhaps your fiancée’s best friend could do that? Everyone we asked felt very honoured!

personal chuppah
Image: Earthy Photography from my own Jewish wedding

Another ‘ceremony’ idea is to replace the traditional Sheva Brachot (seven blessings) with prayers by all your friends personalised for you, then have each friend came up and read their own prayer. Chelm and Jake did that in their Jewish wedding – have a read of their wedding post for many more ideas of how to involve friends and family. And even if you don’t want to personalise the seven blessings, you can still ask seven different friends or cousins to read each blessing for you at the chuppah. People comfortable reading Hebrew can read the blessing in Hebrew, while non-Jewish friends can always read an English translation.

Wedding reception ideas

A lovely way to make your guests feel super special is to incorporate another detail that I did for my wedding. My husband and I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of time to talk to everyone on the day, so we spent some time before the wedding writing personal notes to everyone at the wedding which we then had printed underneath their names on their menus / name cards. It took a bit of time but we really wanted each and every guest to realise how much we wanted them there and what they meant to us.

personal wedding messages
Images: Earthy Photography from my own Jewish wedding

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