Image: David Morgan Photography
We hope you’re finding them useful! Of course you’re going to get a lot of advice in the run up to your wedding — all of it well intentioned, some of it helpful, some… less so!
But if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that you can count on advice from experts. So as well as our Two Minute Tips, we got in touch with our family of Recommended Vendors to ask them what their top piece of advice would be for Jewish couples who are planning their weddings.
We absolutely love these nuggets, and think they’re extremely helpful, so jot down some notes and take heed of the following words of wisdom!
1. Personalize your chuppah
Michal from Michal K. Events Israel said: “Take your time to plan your chuppah, and personalize it the way you need to around the Jewish requirements. There is a lot you can do to incorporate your friends and family in the service and most rabbis will work with you both to visualize it. This post on Smashing The Glass has hundreds of different chuppah ideas to inspire you”.
See more work by Michal K. Events Israel
2. Be in the moment
Herschel from Herschel Gutman Photography said: “Don’t spend the day getting caught up in the finer details, rather spend the day loving your family and your spouse.”
See more work by Herschel Gutman
3. Incorporate things that are important to you
Debbie from Qube Events & Productions said: “Make sure your wedding reflects you! Think about what is it that you both love, enjoy doing, things that bring you together or even quirks about your personalities and bring these to the wedding. Don’t get carried away with what people tell you should do, make sure its special for you, and what you really want.”
See more work by Qube Events and Productions
4. Research, research, research!
Paul from Paul Rogers Photography said: “I’d recommend researching different styles of photography and making sure the photographer you book has lots of examples of the kind of photography you love. There’s almost too much choice out there these days, so narrow it down early with what you do and don’t like from people’s portfolios.
Then be sure to find someone who has a good track record of high energy, dance floor action, as well as working in mixed and low-light situations – the things that most Jewish weddings have and that can be tricky to photograph.”
See more work by Paul Rogers Photography
5. Tailor the Jewish Wedding Traditions Reflect you
Jennifer from Jennifer’s Paper said: “There are so many traditions and prayers involved with a Jewish wedding, from before the ceremony through to the reception — don’t feel like you have to do them all. Choose which make the most sense to you as a couple, and to your wedding, and then just go with those.
For example, your grandparents might have recited all seven wedding blessings, but you could just do the five that resonate most with you and your partner. However, you should ALWAYS dance the hora. Always!”
6. Embrace imperfection!
Nadine from Nadine Van Biljon Photography said: “When it comes to choosing the pictures for your album (or however you plan to preserve those memories) try not to focus too much on how perfect (or not) your hair and makeup is in each image, or whether it’s your best side or your most flattering facial expression.
Sure, a lot of careful planning and effort goes into making you look your most fabulous on the day, and any decent photographer will make sure they have plenty of photos capturing you at your most pristine earlier in the day, but when it all goes crazy during the hora and you let loose, hair gets a little messy, and foreheads get a little sweaty. In years to come, when you, or your children or grandchildren, are reliving your love story, you’ll all love, and be impressed by, the wild abandon with which you went for it.
Embrace the moment and the feeling that each image captures and treasure those in equal measure, if not more than, the ones where you look the best.”
See more work by Nadine Van Biljon
7. Once your venue and date are confirmed, embark on your stationery
Louise from Louise Richardson Stationery said: “In terms of stationery, you should start this as one of the first things on your list of wedding ‘to dos’ as the invites are sent out up to six months before your wedding day.
As soon as you have your venue and date organised, then place your order with your stationer. Bespoke stationery can take much longer than you imagine to get right, so it’s important to allow as much time as possible to get it perfect, especially if its a destination wedding. And remember to enjoy the process of creating your stationery, guided by your stationer’s advice and expertise… it’s not meant to be a chore.”
See more work by Louise Richardson Stationery
8. Throw yourself (literally!) into the Israeli Dancing
Dom from York Place Studios: “When it comes to the Israeli dancing, just completely commit to it and have fun, it’s an amazing experience, and you don’t want to be thinking about damaging your outfits. The more you go for it, the better the photos and the better the experience for the guests! (Oh and guys… bring more than one shirt… you might well need it!)”
See more work by York Place Studios
9. Don’t feel pressured into making decisions that aren’t right for you
Dyana from optimum weddings said: “Remember it is your wedding. Couples who want to please parents and grandparents might not really speak up about the type of wedding they want and end up overwhelmed when it all starts turning into a totally different wedding to the one they imagined for themselves, especially when the bill is being met by parents. Make sure to take into account parents’ feelings, but do make sure that they understand what you do and don’t want.
On the other hand, when a couple is paying for the whole wedding themselves, of course they are then in control, so in this case, make sure that parents also feel a little included!”
See more work by optimum weddings
10. Allow plenty of time to get ready
Jo from Jo Hamilton Makeup said: “Always allow plenty of time in the morning. Time flies, and you don’t want to feel stressed.”
See more work by Jo Hamilton Makeup
11. Focus on having as much fun as possible!
Richard from Sensation Band said: “Focus on having as much fun as possible. Book a sensational band, check your venue doesn’t have a low sound limit (under 95dB is a vibe killer), put the bar as near to the dance floor as you can, and throw yourself into having the best night of your lives with your family and friends!”
See more work by Sensation Band
12. Book an experienced Photographer
David from David Morgan Photography said: “I would have to say that Jewish couples should know that the photographer has shot many many Jewish weddings. They don’t have to have been at the couple’s chosen venue, but I love Jewish weddings for their complexity (photographically speaking). Perhaps the bride might like to ask to see some complete wedding galleries online?”
See more work by David Morgan Photography
13. Don’t be afraid to ask
Ariel from Ariel Shapiro Chazan said: “Don’t be afraid to ask”. This may sound like a strange tip but I’ve met so many couples who, in hindsight, have wished that they had asked a vendor a simple question before the wedding, even if it’s just to put their mind at rest. These are often simple questions such as “what other colours are available?” or “can we set this up in a different way?” but are often not asked because the bride and groom feel it’s a silly question.
It’s your wedding, and it should be as you want it to be. If you have a certain product or service in mind, then at least ask if it’s a possibility!”
14. Hire a planner for a destination wedding
Valentina and Stefania from Italian Wedding Company: “If you’re looking for a Jewish destination wedding in Italy our suggestion is hiring a planner. We know it might sound like feathering our own nest, but we really mean it.
Having your wedding in Italy is potentially stressful because of the language barrier, and the many different customs. Trust your planner’s suggestions, as they will do their best for you, and will recommend the most experienced professionals for your Jewish wedding in Italy.”
See more work by Italian Wedding Company
15. Talk openly and honestly with your families
Liesl from Lamare London said: ” I may be biased, but hiring a wedding planner will alleviate any wedding stress and ensure you have a fun wedding planning journey, safe in the knowledge someone is delivering the wedding day of your dreams, while taking care of the nitty gritty logistics on your behalf.
I also find that family is often at the heart of a Jewish wedding, and more often than not, they’ll also want to be involved in your planning journey because they are so excited for you. But it’s important that your wedding is a true reflection of you as a couple, capturing your style and personality.
To avoid any conflicting expectations for your special day, talk openly and honestly with your families about how you imagine your wedding day from the start. Your family may inspire you to weave elements of family tradition into your day, but be sure to give it your own personal twist. This way, your family feel they are sharing and contributing to your big day, while also embracing your vision.”