A fun festival Masorti Jewish wedding with a bride in an Alice Temperley dress at South Farm, Hertfordshire, UK

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Every now and then, one of those real weddings lands in the STG inbox that just genuinely looks like so much fun that we wish we would have been invited too!

Between the vintage funfair games, pink flamingos, glamping, bouncy castle, ice cream truck (in that order, we hope) and photobooth, as well as providing a crèche for their friends’ kids, this conscientious couple could not have put more effort into keeping their guests entertained.

Charlotte and Dan’s fun-filled, laid-back, festival-style wedding took place at South Farm in Royston, Hertfordshire and was shot by photographer Kristian Leven.

Bride, Charlotte, wowed with fresh flowers in her hair and an an Alice Temperley dress fit for a boho bride (and for a quick go on the bouncy castle!).

Charlotte and Dan didn’t let the disappointment of their outdoor ceremony being rained off spoil their big day. Instead, they ran with their plan B, moving the ceremony to the barn. Forget crying babies, this couple had to contend with oinking pigs and crowing cockerels, making their Masorti ceremony all the more interesting.

Equality was also an important factor in the planning of the day. The Masorti ceremony was chosen due to its inclusivity and Charlotte delivered a speech, as did her close, female friends. Who runs the world?

In true festival style, the party went on until the early hours – a roaring success all round. Let’s hand over to Charlotte to tell us more about her and Dan’s special day.

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How we met

Charlotte, the bride: Dan is my big brother Paul’s best friend. Naughty naughty…

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A quirky, outdoorsy venue at South Farm in Royston, UK

We chose to get married at South Farm in Royston due to its laid-back style and country feel. It was the only venue we looked at because we knew exactly what we wanted. We aren’t into fussy formal weddings and we wanted everyone to feel relaxed and happy.

The venue is quirky yet beautiful and we had free range to personalise it which was really important to us. I grew up in the country and am quite outdoorsy and so wanted the venue to reflect that.

South Farm is not too far from London (50 minutes) but still has that rural feel. We wanted to make the wedding as stress free as possible for everyone especially seeing as were married on a Monday.

Everyone that worked at South Farm was so passionate about the venue, in particular the incredible chef Matt and our beyond amazing event organizer Becky. I could not have asked for more helpful, dedicated and lovely people to help plan the day with.

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

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“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!

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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!

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A super cool and creative, colourful Jewish wedding at Middle Street Synagogue, and The Grand, Brighton, UK

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Oh my goodness. Where on earth do I start with this wedding?! It’s such fun, and it’s just bursting at the seams with creative details that will make you squeal. Seriously – it’s that good!

There are gold pineapples, the most exquisitely branded stationery (all designed by the bride), an enchanting alternative to a guest book, bridesmaids in the most epic shade of coral, a personalised head-in-hole board (a must-have when your wedding is by the English seaside!) and beautifully designed welcome bag totes (again designed by bride) filled with Brighton Rock, fish & chips shaped crackers, and all sorts of other seaside-themed treats.

It’s clear from looking at all of the delicious details in this big day that Danielle poured her heart and soul into all of the planning. Everything was evidently created with the greatest care and love, and, not surprisingly, her wedding features some of my much-loved Smashing Suppliers doing an AMAZING job.

I’m talking about Jonny Mosesson (their incredible chazan under the chuppah –who also was the chazan at my wedding!) and Stephanie Allin, Danielle’s sensational wedding dress designer, who bizarrely enough, designed my wedding dress too! Danielle says, “I hope that anyone reading this who likes the sound of anything we did gets in touch with our vendors because they made our day so incredible – they were absolutely brilliant.”

This wedding is literally the perfect mix of Jewish tradition and super cool creativity and I think you’re going to love it. I certainly did!

Oh, and their ‘How We Met’ story is beyond… their mums set them up!!

All of the laughter was captured by one of my favourite photographers, Kristian Leven, making a very welcome debut on STG today. 

Take it away Danielle!

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how we met

Our mums set us up. Yes, it’s true!

They knew each other when they were kids growing up in Leeds and then happened to be seated together at a wedding two years ago. They figured out that they both had kids the same age. Who were single. My mum had had a few too many cocktails and so Gideon’s mum, someone who will never take no for an answer, ended up going home with my phone number! When I spoke to my mum about the wedding the next day, she never mentioned it because she never thought he would call. And he didn’t. But he texted! And the rest is history!

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Pop Art Jewish wedding full of creative surprises, at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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“Just because the wedding industry encourages conformity, you don’t have to comply. Do it your way!”

Top advice from this morning’s bride, Melody, and yes she did! This is a wedding EXTRAVAGANZA. Seriously – I’ve never seen anything like it and the truth is, I don’t even know where to begin. Perhaps I should start by saying that I think this is one of my favourite weddings EVER to appear on Smashing The Glass and having blogged over 150 super cool real Jewish weddings I don’t say that lightly.

I love that the chuppah was created by the bride and features multi-coloured pom poms and green grass. I love that Melody walked down the aisle to a mash-up of Forever Young and Canon in D. I love that the bride and groom both wore custom Converse with ‘Let Love Win” embroidered down the side. I love that instead of the usual sit-down dinner, guests were treated to a ‘pop-up’ restaurant, where they had to make a reservation and come back for their table. I love that the bridesmaids wore flower ‘bib’ necklaces (yes Melody made that a thing!). And I love that the wedding theme was inspired by the artist Frida Kahlo and her vibrant colour palate. You see… anything can inspire your wedding theme, literally anything! Think outside of the box, and as far as your mind can take you.

There is also a a drag queen performing as Beyoncé AND a flash mob of kids ‘interrupting’ the first dance. You have to see it to believe it (check it all out in the highlights video at the end by the super talented Rodinis Films).

Oh and gummy bears are loosely woven into this the big day too.

The whole shebang was documented by photography geniuses, Chrisman Studios. Every time I feature one of their weddings I know it’s going to be a memorable post, but this one is an absolute corker. It’s clear that Melody and Michael invested so much time and effort into making their wedding uniquely them and I can’t wait a moment longer to show it to you.

Come on then… let’s take a look. Over to Melody, today’s awesome bride.

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how we met

Melody, the Bride: We met through Mellow Mushroom (a national pizza franchise in the USA). Michael is a multi-unit franchisee, and my father is one of the founders of the company. My dad introduced us, he thought we would make a good match. We fell in love over pizza!

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

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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.

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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.

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