Today on the blog we’re introducing our 2nd gorgeous bride from our crop of 2019 Real Jewish Brides! Please give a warm welcome to Mimi, who will be marrying Andrew on 7th July 2019 at Hazel Gap Barn in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, UK.
THREE FACTS: THREE FACTS: (1) Mimi and Andrew met online in 2013. (2) Mimi is a flight attendant and writes her own travel and beauty blog on the side (3) Andrew proposed to Mimi, who at the time was nearing the completion of her conversion to Judaism, at the top of Masada – wow!
How We Met
Andrew and I met online. I used to succumb to a full-body cringe if I had to tell anybody that – but five years on and it seems a pretty common way of meeting, if not the most common. It wasn’t on J-swipe, nor was it on J Date, and that is because whilst Andrew was Jewish – I was not.
We met on the good, old fashioned Plenty Of Fish, otherwise known as ‘POF’. Ok… perhaps there’s room for a mini-cringe still. Andrew is a lawyer and I work as a long haul flight attendant and so between us we were both pretty busy – but we always prioritised our dates with each other, and Andrew took me on some pretty amazing ones.
We spent our first year of dating practically living on the Northern Line, which isn’t fun by anyone’s standards. Andrew lived in North London whilst I was in Clapham, but eventually we realised it would make life much more enjoyable if we at least both lived on the same side of the Thames.
And so after a year, I moved in with Andrew, we adopted two house bunnies who hop around our apartment (people think we are a little bit bonkers, and they’re probably right!) and the rest – as they say – is history!
My Conversion To Judaism
During the years that followed (as cheesy as this is going to sound) I found that I had not only fallen in love with Andrew, but I had acquired a particularly soft spot for Judaism too. I loved the Jewish values and beliefs and their emphasis on kindness, family and good deeds (and good food, I could probably eat a whole challah in one sitting).
Andrew had never made an issue of the fact that we came from different religious backgrounds, in fact in all of our five years together it was something that we had only talked about a handful of times and that made me love him even more. I knew that Andrew and I would be together no matter our religious backgrounds, but the more I got to know Judaism the more I realised it was something special to me too. And so I decided that I’d quite like to convert.
After a lifetime of watching Sex & the City, I was pretty sure I knew exactly what was expected of me. It turns out my experience was a little different to that of Charlotte York‘s! I thoroughly enjoyed the process, which took around 18 months. It’s something I look back on with only fond memories, and a circle of new friends.
A Special Trip To Israel
About halfway through my conversion process, Andrew and I took a very special trip to Israel. It was my first time, and I fell in love with Jerusalem. During the trip, we travelled up and down the country and stopped for a few nights at the Dead Sea, where we decided to climb Mount Masada.
We set off at 4am and reached the top by sunrise, and the view took my breath away. It was there that Andrew got down on one (very dusty) knee and popped the question!
What ‘Smashing The Glass’ Is Doing For Us
Since then, it has been a whirlwind of wedding planning and I cannot wait to share the process with you. Smashing The Glass has become invaluable, and has inspired me in so many ways.
I love how Smashing The Glass support all types of Jewish (or Jew-ish) weddings and it’s the first place I look when I’m in need of advice – and I’m sure it will help me even further in the next eight months of planning!
An ‘Enchanted Woodland’ Wedding
Our venue is booked, and it’s a beautiful red brick barn in rural Nottinghamshire in the middle of Sherwood Forest, very close to where I grew up. I always knew that I did not want a hotel wedding or an overly formal venue.
I wanted somewhere surrounded by nature and the outdoors, a smaller wedding with a laid back bohemian but elegant vibe. I would describe my vision as ‘Enchanted Woodland’, with an emphasis on bringing the outdoors in.
The moment Andrew and I saw Hazel Gap Barn, we were sold. It was in fact the first venue we ever saw, and we booked it on the spot for the 7th of July 2019.
Where We Are In The Planning Process
We are lucky in that our venue is built upon the famous Welbeck Estate, which is renowned for their use of local produce, and they have the most amazing artisan on site bakery. The barn works closely with local suppliers and has huge outdoor BBQs and the most incredible menus, and as a bit of a foodie this was a huge selling point for me.
We are opting for a vegetarian and fish menu, as we found it tricky to source kosher meat and we know that the chef will be able to create us something really special that will keep all of our guests, Jewish or not, very happy and very full!
We are also having an award-winning Borough Market pizza company provide the late night fuel, and a cookie wall for sweet treats. Nobody will go hungry!
A Traditional Ceremony
After the venue was chosen, the next most important choices surrounded the ceremony itself. We will get married under a chuppah in one of the barns, and I’m speaking with a local florist to try to bring my bohemian, enchanted forest vision to life! I really want to keep the ceremony as traditional as possible and so I will be keeping to all of the traditions such as circling the groom, badeken and yichud, because I think that they are very beautiful and very meaningful.
We will be married by my sponsoring rabbi throughout my conversion, who was also a part of my Bet Din – so to have him travel up from London to marry us is very special and meaningful to me and I’m so happy we are able to have him.
Now all that’s left to plan is what I consider to be the fun stuff! The party, the band, the bridesmaids and of course THE DRESS! I will be writing about all of these little details and more in my upcoming blogs for Smashing The Glass.
Click here to read all Mimi’s planning posts to date.
Mimi & Andrew’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:
Wedding venue – Hazel Gap Barn