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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A Cymbeline bride for a DIY-detailed Jewish wedding at Parklands, Quendon Hall, Essex, UK

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Brrr… it’s been a bit chilly lately – so we thought we’d bring on an early spring and showcase Ashley and Adam’s bright and beautiful real wedding at Parklands, Quendon Hall, shot by STG fave – Claudine Hartzel.

At Smashing the Glass, we absolutely adore personalised details, and both bride and groom happily rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in creating a wonderfully crafty décor scheme that truly made the day their own. The couple made most of their own decorations, from heart-shaped bunting to burlap-wrapped mason jars, for their relaxed, earthy big day.

In keeping with the natural vibe of the day, the chuppah was built using silver birch wood poles, small floral arrangements and a gorgeous multi-coloured tallit, sourced in Israel by the groom’s parents

To commemorate their dreamy hot air balloon proposal, creative groom, Adam, made a model hot air balloon guest book with a mini basket in which friends and family could leave messages for the couple.

But that wasn’t Adam’s only project. In a romantic move that has set the bar ludicrously high for grooms everywhere (if you listen carefully you can hear a distant, sarcastic chorus of “cheers, mate”), Adam ordered a custom-made bow tie using a design of a painting that Ashley had created for him. It was a wonderful surprise on the day and Ashley was blown away.

The meaningful details were sprinkled through every aspect of the day. Ashley customised her Cymbeline dress with a vintage brooch and wore a bracelet with a trinket from her grandmother so they she could feel connected. And a final, adorable touch was the hand-stamped mini succulent plants as favours for each guest – a lasting memento of a beautiful celebration.

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How we met

Ashley, the bride: My best friend, Tash, knew Adam from uni. One day she invited me to come with her to his birthday drinks and we were introduced there. We met again at Tash’s infamous Seder night parties and then we hit it off again on a camping trip with a group of friends – the rest is history!

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Yukie & Jason’s Moroccan-themed destination wedding, with three designer dresses, at Caesar Yam, Caesarea, Israel

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Yukie and Jason’s Moroccan market-themed Israeli destination wedding was an epic, four-part production, thanks to super helpful mother-in-law, Victoria and their incredibly talented planner, Adena at A to Z Events.

Bright colours abound with lavish gold accents, maximalist patterns and oh my goodness, check out that cake! At Smashing the Glass HQ, we’re also loving the drama of those fantastically opulent thrones for the bride and groom (move over Posh and Becks), and these brilliant stylistic choices are matched only by the loveliness of the couple’s story.

For anyone out there who is living the sometimes taxing reality of the old adage, absence makes the heart grow fonder, take heart – this loved-up pair have proved that long-distance relationships can have a truly happy ending. With a groom from New York, a bride from Tokyo, the groom’s parents from Moscow but living in Israel and most of the guests taking their first trip to the Holy Land for the couple’s wedding, this is a love that brought together cultures from all over the world for a truly beautiful celebration.

The ceremony was custom built for Yukie and Jason. While it was important to them to have a ceremony that was “official” according to the religion, with Yukie having recently joined the tribe, they also wanted it to reflect their own feelings and personal connection to Judaism. Some of the personalised details included a reciprocal ketubah, and when the groom smashed the glass, the bride simultaneously smashed a plate. The rabbi composed his speech by asking the bride and groom for three important memories and three reasons they were each other’s one and only – from this, he created an incredibly moving tribute to their relationship.

Oh, and if you’re not already sick with jealousy over Yukie’s amazing Oscar de la Renta gown, she also had two more gorgeous dresses for the evening parties! Feast your eyes on it below, all perfectly captured by photographer Shabi Kedem and Levi Dovid.

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How we met

Yukie, the bride: I am Japanese and spent my entire life in Japan before I met Jason. We met nine years ago in Tokyo while he was on vacation with his brother.

Although at first I thought he wasn’t my type, once we started talking we got along so well that we had a date every day for the week he was in Tokyo. We kept in touch after he left – he called me every day for the next two years.

We visited each other any time we could – he even came to live in Japan for a year. We kept our long-distance love going for for years between Tokyo and New York.

Then, four years ago, I finally decided to move to New York and we started living together.

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A colourful Jewish wedding at Manhattan Penthouse on Fifth Avenue, New York City, USA

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Whilst this is a big day in your life, have perspective. It’s a party, a celebration of you and your significant other’s formal bond – there’s no reason to be stressed because really, it’s a celebration.

Sage advice there from the beautiful Elise in this morning’s super chic Manhattan affair. I couldn’t not open with this mantra because I think it’s all too easy to forget amidst the madness of colour themes and dresses and table plans and favours and centrepieces. That’s not to say that all of these bits and pieces aren’t important but more that it’s about you and your partner and the love you have for each other that’s paramount on your big day.

But of course you all know this already. What you don’t know yet is how epic Elise and Michael’s big day was…but you’re about to find out.

I can promise you the sassiest bride, a super cool Manhattan location, fantastic photography, care of Hales Studio, and the most magnificent colourful blooms. In fact the colours of Elise’s bouquet (created by the super talented Floresta NYC) provided the inspiration for the bridesmaids dresses! Elise sent them a picture of the bouquet and asked them to choose a dress (or wear one that they already owned) that would match the flowers. And how wonderfully does it all come together?

Another thing I particularly love about today’s wedding is that Elise and Michael inviting their parents and Elise’s grandparents, married for 41, 44 and 62 years respectively to dance to her grandparents wedding song (A Sentimental Journeyto recognise the stable, long-lasting and loving relationships that they were lucky enough to be brought up around… Too fabulous, right?

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How we met

Elise, the Bride: Mike and I met on Okcupid! We both had tried online dating in the past – both of us did JDate actually, but in the end we met on the free non-religious site. We went for drinks for our first meeting and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Italian food for our first official date.

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

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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?
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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.

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VENUE + LOCATION

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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