A Rosa Clara bride for a festive Winter Wonderland Jewish-Humanist wedding at The Underglobe, Globe Theatre, London, UK

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Today’s Jew-ish wedding takes the term ‘White Wedding’ to a whole new level! Phoebe & Ben were married in December 2015 and love winter, the festive season, and the way it brings the whole family together, so wanted their wedding to capture that sparkly, wintery, celebratory feeling.

They picked their stunning venue, The Underglobe (the museum beneath Shakespeare’s world-famous Globe Theatre in London) because of their love of theatre, and Wildabout Flowers expertly decorated the space to look like a dramatic Winter Wonderland straight out of Narnia.

Some of my favourite details include Phoebe’s sublime Rosa Clara gown, a colour scheme that included silver, purple and all out sparkles, live cabaret by a Drag Queen in leather shorts and knee high boots, and a first dance to I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore (genius!). Then there’s the off-the-scale Abigail Bloom cake, a show-stopping speech by the bride, an unplanned (unrehearsed) rendition of Bohemian Rapsody by the couple’s friends, a hugely meaningful Humanist-Jewish wedding ceremony, movie-themed icebreakers on the tables… Phew, what a wonderful glorious mix!

Come on in and delve into Jew-ish Wedding Narnia… We have the perfectly captured images by Richard Payne and the oh-so-romantic film by Allora Visuals. Take it away gorgeous Phoebe!

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How we met

Phoebe, the bride: Ben and I meet at University, he was on the Kent Falcons American football team, and I was a first year who had just joined the Kent Falconette cheerleading team. We be came friendly on the team tour to Prague, and eventually Ben asked me out.

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A travel-themed Jewish wedding at Olympia’s Valley Estate, Petaluma, California, USA

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There isn’t a single thing I don’t love about this wedding. And when I say love, I mean head over heels, squeal-worthy adoration. As I was putting the post together I was genuinely bursting with excitement at how gorgeous everything is, how adorable Jill’s report is, and how fabulous the photography by Chrisman Studios is too. Honestly, I really had to stop myself from including every. single. image. I’m a big fan of Chrisman Studio’s work (I love how they tell a story), and it’s no surprise that I’ve featured their Jewish weddings on the blog many times before.

Jill is a professional photographer herself, and her work played its part in the way she met Mark. It’s a wonderful story and Jill tells it brilliantly. I literally had goosebumps. Although they met in the ‘new way’ (by which I mean over the internet), to me it feels like a truly romantic old-fashioned love story! Have a read and see…

These two married at a gorgeous rustic barn in California, complete with all sorts of travel-related elements (to reflect Jill’s travel photography career) including personalised passports for each guest with all the wedding details and a Jill and Mark crossword puzzle. Fabulous!

I must also single out Jill’s astonishing Vera Wang frock, and a Pop Art ketubah I am literally obsessed with. Indeed I featured it in this round-up of my favourite ketubah designs last year!

This is SUCH a lovely one, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Jewish rustic wedding at Olympia's Valley Estate in Petaluma, California. Jewish rustic wedding at Olympia's Valley Estate in Petaluma, California.
How we met

Jill, the Bride: In 2012, I received my first assignment from National Geographic. They sent me to Sydney, Australia for five weeks to photograph the National Geographic Traveler Guidebook: Sydney. When I got this amazing opportunity I had never been more excited about anything in my entire life.

About one week into my time in Sydney I got a message on OkCupid from Mark. Mark’s email made me laugh. He was thoughtful. His profile was witty and he looked very cute in his photos. He also took the time to find my photography website, stalk me, and tell me what he liked about my work. I appreciated that effort. Something just intrigued me about him.

I wrote him back telling him I would be gone for the next month and that maybe if he was still single when I returned we could go on a date. He did not seem phased by me being gone at all. He said, “Why don’t we talk on Skype and see if we have anything in common and go from there?”

We decided to start off on Skype with no video, just our voices. Our first conversation lasted hours, as did our second and third. Then we turned on the video, which actually was not as awkward as you may think it could be. Our conversations were very easy. I felt like I was myself from the beginning, probably because I felt like I had nothing to lose.

He started serenading me early on, playing his guitar and singing for me. He would ask me what my favourite songs were and within 24-hours he had taught himself how to play and sing them to me over Skype. I became a Skype groupie. I would send him my best photos of the day and we would talk about my solo adventures. We talked everyday while I was away. I would catch myself on the phone just smiling the whole time, and daydreaming about this mysterious Internet man.

We really had a chance to get to know each other, and by the time we had our first real in-person date it felt like we had been dating for a month. We thought our mothers would be proud that we really took the time to get to know each other before jumping into a relationship.

I never would have admitted it out loud, because it sounds crazy, but there was a part of me that knew he would be my husband before we even met. He says the same thing about me.

The day after I returned home from Australia we had our first date. He came over to my apartment (probably not the smartest idea for a first date with someone you met online – but I felt like a murderer wouldn’t have put in so much time talking to me just to kill me). I was jet-lagged, exhausted and wanted a night at home. We went food shopping and Mark made me dinner. The date was so fun – it just felt right.

That night, he asked me if I would be his girlfriend. I was shocked. I was used to men waiting as long as possible to commit to anything solid, and here we were on our first real date and Mark wanted to be my boyfriend. He said, ‘Here is my rationale – we have been talking for a month and I don’t want to see anyone else. If this does not work out, we break up, if it does then great!’

That made perfect sense to me, and I said ok…

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A Justin Alexander Bride for a bagel-themed Jewish wedding at Bevis Marks + Andaz London Liverpool Street, London, UK

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Todays couple had a bagel themed wedding, inspired by their surname, with bagels brought in from the legendary Beigel Bake in Brick Lane… I mean, could this Jewish wedding get any better?!

Well yes it could when Shaun Taylor is behind the lens, and my goodness aren’t his images beautiful? What’s more, the bride and groom found him via Smashing The Glass. Nicola & Simon told me,

We love your blog as it showcases the best weddings, but not by budget, size or glamour – you go after the individual personality of the wedding and the touches, which we really like. We found Shaun Taylor through your site via an advertising banner. We saw his work and it was exactly what we were after.”

Well that does make me happy! Nicola & Simon got married in Bevis Marks, the oldest synagogue in the UK, and a stone’s throw from their reception venue, The Andaz, in the City of London. The bride wore a sensational fishtail Justin Alexander dress, and looked absolutely incredible. Her bridesmaids rocked Jenny Packham, and just wait till you see the Jewish dancing images – off the scale!

Oh.. and they also had the most wonderful hashtag printed inside their kippot ‘#BestKuppleEver’.

This is SUCH a lovely wedding, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

A Justin Alexander Bride for a Jewish wedding at Andaz London Liverpool Street A Justin Alexander Bride for a Jewish wedding at Andaz London Liverpool Street_0154

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A Pronovias bride for a ‘Northerner & The Jew’ interfaith Jewish wedding at Corinthia Hotel London, UK

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Today’s Jew-ish wedding can’t fail to put a smile on your face. It’s literally bursting at the seams with fashion, fun and some very original ideas. The bride and groom are a director and actor respectively, and they incorporated some brilliantly inventive details into their day.

There’s a surprise Fiddler & The Roof bottle dance by the groom and his friends, an off-the-scale Pronovias dress, Vivienne Westwood shoes that I am MAJORLY coveting, a dress code of ‘Imagine it’s the Oscar’s and get glamorous’, and one of the best Jew-ish wedding themes ever: ‘The Northerner & The Jew’. Genius! The bride says:

My Judaism is very important to me – it is my cultural make-up. It was a big decision to get serious
 with John but luckily I have a great family who adore him. And I adore his. Our upbringing often clashes, mainly 
over little things and we are having to re-write our own rules for our life together. We can’t base it on our parents but there are some great discoveries – like a bacon and challah sandwich. So wrong its right. So ‘Northern and the Jew’.

A bacon and challah sandwich? Too good to be true! There are so many good interfaith ceremony wedding ideas here, one of my favourite being the laying out of flags out on each seat during the chuppah with different Lancashire and Yiddish sayings.

Jem & John had a very personal wedding and, not surprisingly, the report today is written by them both. All the fun comes from the exquisite Corinthia hotel in the heart of London with sensational imagery by Rhapsody Road.

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Choosing to get married at The Corinthia Hotel London

Jem, the Bride: We were recommended to go and see The Corinthia by a friend and fell in love with it. We have a love of architecture and restoration work and the way the hotel had been restored and modernised appealed to us. We also wanted somewhere in central London where we could have the ceremony and reception in one place.

John, the Groom: The place is magnificent. As Jem said, the architecture is splendid, the refurbishment is top notch. The welcome from the door staff was fantastic. In fact, everything was exemplary when we looked around. It just made sense. Once we had the food tasting, we knew it was money well spent.

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Michaela & Zac | Destination Jewish Wedding at the Great Synagogue of Rome and the St Regis, Rome, Italy

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The extraordinary city of Rome was the inspiration behind Michaela and Zac’s regal, yet oh-so-fun, destination wedding with guests flying in from the UK, USA, Israel, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, and France, to share in the love for this gorgeous American couple.

The magical city of Rome appealed to Michaela and Zac, not only because of the far-flung nature of their guest list, but also because they had their first official date in Rome in January 2010 – how wonderfully romantic!

There are some really gorgeous Italian accents punctuating this wedding. Take the epic wedding transport – a teeny tiny mint green Italian Fiat 500 – and the choice of the legendary St. Regis Rome for the reception (originally a grand Roman palace dating back to 1894). Then there’s the jaw-dropping Great Synagogue of Rome where Michaela and Zac chose to have their ceremony (which was officiated by none other than the Chief Rabbi of Rome). Michaela says:

Zac and I both grew up in families that engaged in what we jokingly call “synagogue tourism.” If there was an old or interesting synagogue in whatever town or city our family was visiting, we had to stop by—whether for Shabbat services or a tour. We have continued that habit as a couple (and expanded it to touring places of worship of many other faiths, too), so the idea of getting married in a historic synagogue was something that felt very well-suited.”

And I must just hero worship Michaela’s mum. She not only designed Michaela’s phenomenal gown, she also created the bridesmaids dresses AND an incredible surprise gift for Michaela – a custom made and beaded clutch that depicted the couple’s beagle, Loki. He’s a major part of their lives (he even has his own Facebook page) and they were so disappointed that he wasn’t able to be involved in their wedding, so this really was the perfect gift. What a mama!

Thank you David Bastianoni for submitting this very special Jewish wedding packed full of personality. Every picture looks as though it’s from a fairytale and pitter patter doesn’t even begin to explain what my heart is doing right now… I hope you enjoy this wedding as much as I did.

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