A Ritva Westenius bride for a city-chic Interfaith Jewish Wedding at One Marylebone, Central London, UK

Today’s wedding from One Marylebone in the heart of London, is a masterclass in how to ensure your guests enjoy your big day. In particular, it’s an absolute must-read for anyone planning a mixed faith wedding. Lucy’s report is long – there’s no denying it – but it’s brilliantly written and very much worth scrutinising, particularly the section on how she and Matt developed and personalised their ceremony. It’s clear that Lucy’s Jewish faith is culturally and religiously of deep significance to her, and she and Matt (who’s taken to her Jewish-ness like a duck to water!) incorporated so many symbolic and personal details into their celebration.

And I love this…Six weeks before the big day they invited all of Matt’s friends over to their flat, and hosted a small Israeli dancing lesson as many of Matt’s friends had never attended a Jewish wedding before. Such a brilliant and fun idea!  As Lucy says, “while there is nothing that can prepare you for the sheer madness of running in circles and being thrown up in the air – it was great that the boys had a vague idea of what was going on so that on the day they knew how to get stuck in!”

The attention to their guests enjoyment didn’t stop there… Lucy and Matt really wanted to let their guests know how happy they were that they were there to share their big day with them. So they hand-wrote 200 (yes 200!) individual cards so that each guest had a personal note waiting for them on their place at the table.

Our bride and groom look impeccable stylish – Lucy in a beautifully cut Ritva Westenius gown, and Matt in a three piece suit by Hackett. And whilst we’re talking fashion can I just be frivolous and say that I am loving the gals’ personalised sports bras!

Photography is by Jez Dickson whose work I’m delighted to be featuring on the blog today.

One Marylebone Wedding
how we met

Lucy, the Bride: Matt and I met in the summer of 2010, at a club in Putney. We both had other plans, and as two staunch North Londoners neither of us were particularly enamoured with the idea of an evening so far from home! I spotted Matt on the dancefloor and danced near him, within a matter of minutes he had offered to buy me a drink – we sat in the corner nursing a single drink for the next three hours and had our first official date the next day.

On the Sunday he rang his mother and told her that he had met the woman he wanted to marry – she politely reminded him that I may not necessarily feel the same way after one short meeting. Nonetheless, 6 dates and 10 days later he asked me if I would be his girlfriend, after 4 years of dating he asked me to marry him and then 15 months after that we walked down the aisle!

We have never stopped talking or loving spending time with each other – and going south of the river that one night could not have been more worthwhile! Both of us are complete chatterboxes and one of the questions that everyone always asks us is who speaks when we get home? How do either of us get a word in edgeways? But somehow we’ve managed to find the one person that we can sit in silence with.

One Marylebone Wedding
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Sani & Mike | Chinese-Jewish Wedding with an ‘Adventure Through London’ theme at Ranger’s House and RSA House, London, UK

Wow. Like… WOW.

That’s pretty much all I said for five minutes when Sani & Mike’s Chinese / Jewish (can I say ‘Chewish’?!) wedding landed in my inbox. It’s the perfect first real wedding to kick off 2016 with as it epitomises the STG mantra of your Jewish wedding day, your way. So for Sani & Mike that meant peking duck, Jewish wedding traditions, a Taiwanese tea ceremony, honey cake, table tennis, street feast food stalls, table tennis, a boat trip down the Thames, and so many more ideas that reflected them both.

This is a particularly inspiring post for couples planning a wedding that combines two different cultures – it’ll give you the confidence to plan exactly the kind of wedding that feels right for you. On a frivolous note, Sani and Mike totally nailed their red colour scheme (red is the traditional colour of good luck in Taiwanese weddings) so if you’re looking to thread a specific colour through your big day, you’ll be inspired by lots of their ideas.

I also absolutely LOVE that they  devised an ‘adventure through London’ for their wedding guests (read the bride’s wedding report below for more on that!). After the ‘London escapade’ part to their day, Sani and Mike chose the vaults at central London’s RSA House for their party venue. I’m a huge fan of RSA House as it has a plethora of beautiful traditional spaces, but you can get entirely creative with their ‘underground chamber’ vaults too. Sani, the Bride, explains:

We wanted to have a bit of festival feel across the vault spaces… so the guests could pick and choose what they wanted to do, be it playing table tennis, singing karaoke with the Rockaoke live band, dancing, or watching England vs. Wales rugby on an iPad by the bar.”

Let me hand you over to Sani now for her full report, exquisitely documented by the hugely talented Andrew Billington, and wish מזל טוב and 恭喜 to the Bride and Groom!

Jewish Wedding RSA House
how we met

Sani, the Bride: Mike and I have been friends for years, having been introduced by mutual friends, just after university about eight years ago. We got to know each other through parties and mutual friends, but gradually got closer over the years, and then played in a band together which resulted in spending even more time in each others company.

It definitely was not love at first sight and we used to genuinely annoy the hell out of each other and have massive shouting matches, storming out of rooms, slamming doors and calling each other all sorts of names! In fact, if you had told either of us four years ago that we’d end up marrying each other, you would have been declared mad and laughed out of the room.

Mike and I both had different partners throughout our friendship but I guess all that bickering, winding each other up and arguing, spending so much time together, living on top of each other in the lead up to gigs and band recordings, resulted in a closeness which we then finally and very reluctantly realised was love. Needless to say, most of our close friends were not that surprised and if anything, relieved that all the public shouting matches have stopped since we got together!

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A Monique Lhuillier bride for a city chic Jewish wedding at Bloomsbury Ballroom, London, UK

Not only is today’s bride, Dana, a big fan of Smashing The Glass (I always love to hear that!) she also found her super talented florist, Gloria Baker, through the blog, and my goodness, what a breathtaking chuppah Gloria created. It’s a chuppah to die for. Anyone that’s after a dreamy, romantic, floral look should get their pinterest boards at the ready, and if not, get all old school with a notepad and pen – seriously it’s THAT good.

Dana and Jacob married at central London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom and they definitely achieved their aim of creating the greatest party of their lives. A massive 80% of their guests flew in from abroad and everyone partied so hard you just knew they weren’t working the following day! From personalised masks of Dana and Jacob, to flip flop favours, photo booths, and glasses emblazoned with ‘Dana and Jacob’, every dance floor detail was thought of.

I haven’t even mentioned Dana’s epic gown yet.. She wore ‘Sarah’ by Monique Lhuillier but she went a step further and got one of the wonderful seamstresses at Browns Bride to create a detachable skirt so that she could completely change up her look for the ceremony and the party. Brilliant!

As with almost every Jewish wedding ceremony, theirs was steeped in tradition and ritual, and they managed to successfully combine both Ashkenazi and Sephardi wedding traditions to reflect both their heritages. They also made the decision not to see or talk to each other for an entire week before the wedding! This is one of my favourite religious Jewish wedding traditions, but one that I rarely see carried out (for the full week) these days.

All the images and film are by Shedrin & Rubi, who Dana and Jacob flew in all the way from Israel.

Bloomsbury Ballroom wedding
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A Monique Lhuillier bride for an elegant black tie Jewish wedding at Rosewood London, London, UK

Oh. My. word. This wedding is beautiful. It is classy. It is elegant. It is so super sleek. We’re talking the most stunning of neutral shades for bridesmaid dresses, the most glorious blush-coloured Monique Lhuillier gown, beautiful stationery and one of the most exquisite chuppahs I’ve ever seen, decked out in an abundance of gorgeous florals as well as mini pineapples… yes, really!

That chuppah (by the phenomenally talented Liz from Funky Flowers)  really does take my breath away, and beneath it, Lauren and George look so elegant and lost in the moment, despite all of the peering eyes…

Photographer Blake Ezra Photography has captured the mood perfectly with his romantic and dreamy shots. Blake is one of our much-loved Smashing Suppliers so can always be relied upon for beautiful images.

Lauren and George married on 21st June 2015 at Rosewood London. I’m proud to say that Rosewood London is another of our Smashing Suppliers – it’s a super cool central London venue that was perfect for Lauren and George’s atmospheric day.

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A Vera Wang bride for a Jewish Ghanaian wedding at South London Liberal Synagogue and Nonsuch Mansion, Surrey, UK

So we celebrated Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year) at the beginning of this week. If you observed it, where did you spend it? I was with my husband’s family who live in Dulwich, South London where my husband was born and raised. The Jewish community of South London is really rather small and sadly very much dwindling these days with the majority of Jewish Londoners now residing north of the river. It’s therefore quite a treat to be blogging today’s wedding that took place at the South London Liberal Synagogue in Streatham (where Mr STG’s grandmother used to live!) followed by a glorious reception at Nonsuch Mansion.

There’s so much to love about this wedding. Prepare for bright pops of colour and a plethora of elegant details as well as homely touches like Brick Lane bagels (Ben’s dad was a Jewish East End guide and his walks would always take visitors to the famous Beigel Bake on Brick Lane). Prepare too for a wonderful melding of Jewish and Ghanaian traditions that just works so well!

And like all Smashing The Glass brides Bernice is one super cool dame. Not only does she have an incredible smile that lights up every photo, she also comes across as a really special person. I noticed in her wedding film at the end that she’s feeding a bottle to a baby whilst working that glorious Vera Wang wedding dress (something I’ve never seen a bride do unless the baby is her own!). She also told me the following in her wedding report:

I wanted the attention of the photos to be on our guests rather than us. You have very few opportunities to have all the special people in your life in one place at one time and I wanted to ensure it was documented.”

Special, right? All the wonderful photography is by David Long, and the film at the end is by Wedding Film Studio.

Come.. let’s take a look.

Jewish Ghanaian wedding
how we met

Ben’s version: To quote Rihanna, Bernice and I found love in a hopeless place – The Staffordshire County Showground to be precise. On Thursday 16th October 2008 at 6.30am she arrived at my office in Shepherds Bush to help me at an auction for the weekend. I immediately put her to work asking her to do 200 copies of the sale notices and staple them together. She was not impressed. Neither was she impressed with my music choice or my banter on the three hour journey to Stafford – in fact her response was to fall asleep. On the Saturday evening I finally persuaded her to take off her geek chic glasses so I could see her beautiful face – and at that point I knew I needed to peruse her. After much pestering we went for dinner and things developed from there.

Bernice’s version:Ben and I met at work. It wasn’t until I had to work with him at an auction we finally met. It was an early morning on a Thursday, I made my way to Park Royal to help Ben with his sale. I arrived at 6am and as soon as I got through the door he asked me to photocopy 200 copies of a document. I was not impressed at all! I decided I did not like being around him and proceed to ignore him on the journey to Stafford. He tried his hardest to talk to me about music but I just kept ignoring him and fell asleep.  The next day he continually persisted to try and have a conversation with me. There were times at dinner I caught him staring at me and I was not too sure what was happening. On the final night after the sale, he decided to struck up another conversation with me and asked me to take off my glasses and then proceeded to say I had the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. This eventually led to us having a date when we were back in London and then next thing I know we had been dating for seven years and finally decided to tie the knot.

Jewish Ghanaian wedding
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