Two extraordinary brides for a sumptuous bohemian Jew-ish Wedding at Broger’s End Kangaroo Valley, Australia

Today’s wedding reaches new heights on the wedding spectrum and I am entirely and whole-heartedly in love with every little bit of it. The attention to detail and the amount of creativity is phenomenal. I hardly know what to talk about first because it’s such a total feast for the eyes, but what I love the most is that Lara and Cass’s union remains as the focal point throughout.

On the other side of the lens for a change, Lara is one of the world’s most renowned creative wedding photographers, and indeed I have featured her work on Smashing The Glass several times. She’s a girl after my own heart wearing not one, not two, but THREE wedding gowns, accessorised by a simply astonishing bouquet by Mikarla Bauer + Jardine Botanics – truly one of the best I’ve ever seen.

So much originality permeates Lara and Cass’s day from choosing to get ready and walk down the aisle together, to all sorts of gorgeous DIY like a ‘Guess Who’ game handmade by Cass using their family members, to an idea that I’ve never seen before: a flower crown station for the guests to accessorise with before the ceremony so that when the couple walked down the aisle they saw all their guests with flowers in their hair. Love love LOVE!

Sheree from She Designs Events blended their two very different loves into one creative theme which works brilliantly even though it combines everything from Country & Western to Vintage Romance! I love the idea of not compromising to one theme but rather merging both your loves.

Our two brides come from different religious backgrounds and chose to incorporate Lara’s Jewish culture with some crazy Jewish Dancing that really set the tone for the evening.  Lara said:

We had the Jewish dancing before entering the reception and it really loosened everyone up! We were being thrown up and down on chairs and tossed in the air and running around in circles and forming conga lines around the fire pit! It was a definite highlight.”

And there are so many… You truly have to savour every one of Dan O’Day‘s astonishing images to take it all in. Oh, and there is a wonderful film by Light Noise Films at the end which you just must watch. What a total treat!

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Planning the wedding ourselves

Lara: I think I completely underestimated how time consuming planning an entire wedding from start to finish can be, never mind running a business at the same time.

Cass was great as she really let me take full control of everything but was always there when I needed her to bounce ideas with and make final decisions or to get things done.

We had spread sheets and documentation for everything – its really quite overwhelming how many things / vendors there are to keep track of and all the little details to organise – but well worth all the effort in the end.

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15 Things That Always Happen At Jewish Weddings

Things That Always Happen at Jewish Weddings
Image: Ella Jae


Things That Always Happen At Jewish Weddings
Image: We Dem Boyz / Splash Media


Things That Always Happen At Jewish Weddings
Image: Earthy Photography


Things That Always Happen At Jewish Weddings
Image: David Pullum Photography


Things That Always Happen At Jewish Weddings
Image: Greg Finck Photography


Things That Always Happen At Jewish Weddings
Image: Grace Elizabeth Collins


Things That Always Happen At Jewish Weddings
Image: Fiddler On The Roof


Images taken from real Jewish weddings on Smashing The Glass

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Sara & Ben | Gloriously Colourful and Creative Jewish Wedding at Castle Green, Pasadena, California, USA

Sara is a true Smashing The Glass bride – she did it her way (to paraphrase old blue eyes). For Sara, this meant a traditional Jewish ceremony with some of her and Ben’s own egalitarian touches added in. It meant a beautiful home-made chuppah, created by her mother, that integrated small pieces of her and Ben’s past, and it meant listening to her instincts when she felt weird, alternate pressure to create something quirky and cool, and needed a middle ground. Ben was great at helping her to acknowledge when she needed to relax and let it go, and he did much of the work, making a lot of small details happen.

The end result is a wedding full of personality, astonishing detail straight from the heart, intimacy and gloriously magnificent colour. What could be be more perfect?
The gorgeous couple first met in Israel whilst Sara was living there and Ben was visiting on holiday. She was taking classes in Jerusalem, and while Ben was in town he wanted to sit in on a class, since he had attended the same school a few years earlier. One morning in January, Sara walked into her usual class and Ben just happened to be sitting next to her regular seat. They struck up a conversation and ended up being chevruta (study partners), but spent most of their study time chatting and getting to know each other. By the end of that day’s class, they had exchanged emails and after Ben returned to the US they started getting to know each other first on email and Gchat, and then long hours over the phone. Several months later, when Sara arrived back in NYC, Ben was waiting for her at the airport with a bouquet of flowers. That was three and a half years ago…. I’ll now hand over to the lovely Sara to tell the story of her and Ben’s wedding day from June earlier this year.


Sara, the Bride: We were married in Pasadena, California, which is a city in Los Angeles county. I’m from the Pasadena area, and although I moved to New York City seven years ago, I still feel very connected to Southern California. My family and many of my dear friends still live there.

Ben is from the Bronx, and likewise, feels very connected to his city, NYC.  Since we both live in NYC, and our lives are anchored there now, I really wanted a wedding that would change the centre of gravity a little. California is such a huge part of who I am, and therefore it felt like an authentic place to officially declare our love. In addition, I wanted my family to feel connected and involved. The fact that I live in NYC often means they can’t be involved in the details of my life, and I wanted to change that.

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A Rue de Seine bride for a Jewish Wedding under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Simmer on the Bay, Dawes Point, Australia

Nikki and Jem are just the coolest couple and their big day from the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge embraces the most beautiful Jewish wedding traditions whilst maintaining a totally free-spirited, energetic and fun vibe. It’s been sensationally captured by Australian photographer Dan O’Day whose work I adore – I could have filled this feature with every image he sent me and you’ll probably be able to tell I struggled to stop myself from doing just that!

I love pretty much everything about Nikki and Jem’s Jewish wedding but one of my favourite details (that I’ve never seen done before) is the couple choosing to shelve the idea of traditional favours, and instead place custom ribbons with their monogram and date on them at everyone’s place setting. They then invited guests to create their own bouquets from the gorgeous wild flowers that were in front of them, tie them together with the ribbons and take them home. Such a beautiful and thoughtful idea.

Nikki also bought her bride posse (note, Nikki doesn’t call them bridesmaids!) a pair of converse each, and left them on their seats with “dancing shoes” tags.

Fashion stylist Nikki looks utterly gorgeous in her Rue de Seine gown – the New Zealand designers make the most perfect boho bridal romantic dresses combining rich beading, intricate detailing and sheer draping, and they just seem to design for the coolest, most stylish brides. If you’re looking for a more modest dress they cater for this brilliantly with many of their designs incorporating high necks and long sleeves.

Right, shall we dive into this super cool wedding then? Trust me, you’re going to love it…

Jewish Wedding Sydney
how we met

Nikki, the Bride: We met in 2009 through a mutual friend who was trying to help Jem and his buddy get a jeans label off the ground. Our mutual friend suggested that I be their first model (because I was the only person small enough to fit in their teeny tiny samples!) I was interning at Cosmopolitan magazine at the time looking to get a career in fashion so it was a common interest for us both I guess. Jem now works in finance but I’m still in fashion. I was not born Jewish, and as our friendship grew, so did my love for Judaism. Once he found out I was looking into converting he also saw it as an opportunity for us to start dating, and the rest is history.
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Blue and yellow DIY Jewish beach wedding in Crete, Greece

How about we all jet off this morning to Crete to revel in the big blue and yellow day of Meline and Damon? These two are just the cutest pair and their couple portraits are so full of warmth and affection that I’ve snuck a fair few into this post.

It’s the first time I’ve blogged a Jewish wedding from the beautiful Greek island of Crete, and the first where the bride is wearing yellow! There’s so much to love about this delicious destination wedding – the ceremony took place on the beach right by the shore, under a stunning talit chuppah overlooking the breathtaking sea views, and there are lots of creative DIY touches throughout the festivities that you’re going to love.

The couple decided to do away with many wedding traditions in favour of creating a day that reflected them as a couple as well as making it an amazing experience for all their friends and, family and I have to say that looking at the wonderful photos by Newman Photography (one of our much-loved Smashing Suppliers) it definitely made for a very special destination W-Day.

I’m totally in awe of Meline’s yellow wedding dress. The girl totally rocked that sunshine shade! She actually wanted to get married dressed up as an Elf princess or Princess Leia from Star Wars but Damon thought that was a bit too cheesy… In the end she went for this absolutely magnificent yellow gown, and in my mind it’s the perfect accompaniment to that scenic backdrop of blue skies and sandy beaches.

Get ready for an intimate, laid back wedding with sublime weather and an even more sublime couple.

Jewish Wedding Crete
how we met

Meline, the Bride: We met on the lawn on the University of Pretoria campus in South Africa over 10 years ago. I was embarking on a veterinary degree and Damon a mathematics degree (such nerds!). Damon had an apartment right next to the campus so people would hang out there a lot. We were friends for a few months before we got together. A few months later we moved in together and the rest, as they say, is history…

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