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…

Jewish Wedding Crete Jewish Wedding Crete
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Adi & Amir | Rosh Hashana themed wedding at Sadot, near Netanya, Israel

Rosh Hashana wedding
Shana Tova to all of you! I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a happy, prosperous year ahead full of joy, love and only good times. 

With Rosh Hashana fast approaching I wanted to repost this totally exquisite wedding. It has so many beautiful details and the theme of Rosh Hashana is wonderfully integrated into the menu featuring the holiday symbols of pomegranates, figs and apples. The vibrant colour palette of red, orange and green, the jar of honey favours, and the divine-sounding pomegranate mojito reception cocktails all add up to a very well thought-through theme.

There were lots of personal touches and a combination of Adi and Amir’s old and new memories, meticulously organised by their wedding planner, Osnat Eldar. She asked Adi’s close family to collect photos from their own wedding days in order to create an ‘all-generations’ photo wall. I love that idea! So simple and such a lovely way of really making the wedding a family occasion and also remembering those that are no longer with us.

Thank you to Adi and Amir for sharing their very special Israeli day with us, and to Osnat Eldar, their talented wedding planner who alerted me to their wedding. Photography today is by Lihee Avidan.

Israeli Wedding
ISRAELI WEDDING ROSH HASHANA wedding-photo-wall photo-wall

Adi, the Bride: we decided to get married in Sadot Beit Yehoshua, as we loved its rural feel, and it’s location. It has a calm and relaxing atmosphere which reflects us as a couple, and it’s in the centre of Israel right between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

As the wedding fell just before Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, we combined the holiday spirit with colours from the late-summer / autumn season. Paul Assenheim, our wonderful caterer prepared a menu based on Rosh Hashana featuring fig and pomegranate salads, fillet mignon in apple chutney, and as a final surprise, caramelised apples on sticks! We also had the most delicious pomegranate mojitos as our welcome cocktail, and used lots of real apples, grapes and pomegranates to decorate the whole venue.

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