An Orchid Chuppah (yes really!) and an unbelievably style-savvy couple make this a very happy Monday on Smashing The Glass
With the help of Luxury Events, today’s bride and groom, Sydney-based Martine and Jarred, got married on the beach in Thailand, and their phenomenal chuppah, draped in boughs of the most beautiful white orchids, could not possibly be better suited to their day at Akyra Beach Club on fabulous Phuket.
It’s so simple and fresh, so elegantly evocative of the tropical setting – and the contrast between the white flowers and the blue, blue ocean in the background is truly a sight to behold.
So is Martine’s gown, from Corston Couture in Sydney. Her ethereally lacey two-piece is wonderfully boho and beachy – and you’ve got to check out the beautiful detailing at the back. That bow!
Blumenthal Photography and Soda Films captured all the lovely details of the day exquisitely. Seriously, check out their close-up shots of the chuppah – and read on for all the details of the day from Martine.
How we met
Martine, the bride: Jarred and I have known each other for years. We were at primary school together and even “dated” all those years ago (we were 10!) Of course, “dating” or being “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” back then meant smiling at each other but being petrified to speak to one another! ☺ Fast forward to high school, Jarred and I met up again at a NYE party and were set up by my twin sister. We’ve been together ever since (12 years)! That’s us, high-school sweethearts.
A Destination Wedding in Thailand
We got married in Thailand! We wanted a beautiful, easy holiday destination that our friends and family from all over the world could easily get to. We wanted everyone to have a magical experience, to unwind and feel super relaxed. After hearing back from of our guests it seems like this was achieved! It’s an amazing feeling having almost 140 of your closest friends and family on holiday together.
We also liked the idea of a destination wedding so that it wouldn’t all be over in one night. We had welcome drinks in the sand at the beautiful Akyra Beach Club, where our guests sipped on cocktails throughout the night and were spoilt by a spectacular sunset and a fire show. Unfortunately, I only attended the first hour and a half as Jarred and I weren’t seeing each other for the week before the wedding.
It is a custom not to see each other for 7 days before getting married. This was VERY CHALLENGING, particularly flying overseas without each other. Although I was spoilt as he gave me a present for each day we were apart and on the night I arrived in Thailand, he treated my mum and me to a foot massage in our hotel room! The night after the welcome drinks was the big day – what a dream!
Following the wedding, we had a Shabbat dinner for all our guests at the villa. Our guests came dressed all in white, and it was simply magical. Jeanette and her team at Luxury Events wowed me once again! The relaxed white lounge furniture, lighting, and music were just perfect! All the ladies lit Shabbat candles and the men participated in a Friday night prayer service. The night was filled with laughter and stories from the wedding night.
Unfortunately, Thailand holds significance to Jarred’s family as they faced tragedy during the tsunami in 2004. Jarred lost his cousin Vadi. We thought long and hard about how to remember Vadi during our wedding and decided to do the following: we engraved a kiddush cup (wine glass) in Vadi’s memory so that he was present under the chuppah during the most significant time in our lives. This kiddush cup will hopefully become a family heirloom. We hope that each cousin will use the kiddush cup under the chuppah at his or her own wedding and remember Vadi as we did.
Fairy Lights and Flowers
Jarred and I are both extremely close to our friends and family, and having our nearest and dearest friends and family together meant the world to us and helped make the wedding night and all the pre and post events truly unforgettable.
Our parents, families, and friends were so instrumental in creating the perfect day for us. However, our dream could not have come to reality without our superhero wedding planner Jeanette from Luxury Events. She seemed to understand my vision even when I didn’t truly understand it myself. Throughout the process there was one thing I was certain of, ever since I was a little girl I’ve always dreamed of a wedding with hundreds of fairy lights and flowers. How lucky am I that this fairytale dream came true?! The day had a romantic, elegant feel to it. I couldn’t have asked for more.
A Corston Couture Dress
The loveliest designer Coral from Corston Couture made my dress. She made my twin sister’s dress, 6 months before my wedding. As I went to all of my sister’s fittings I was lucky to form an amazing relationship with Coral.
When I got engaged I knew that I wanted Coral to make my dress and be a part of my journey. Although, at the time my friends all encouraged me to enjoy the experience of dress shopping at all the different bridal shops, so I did! Of course, I always knew I’d end up with Coral.
When we started the process of designing the dress, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, although I knew what I didn’t want. This didn’t stop me from trying on all different kinds of dresses, even the ones I thought I would never like. I received lots of advice from my sister and friends to try on everything!
Taking their advice I remember trying on a skirt and top look “for fun.” Looking in the mirror I totally fell in love with the big white bow at the back of the top. From that moment we played around with the idea of a skirt and top so that I could have that beautiful bow. I never ever imagined wearing a skirt and top but I felt it was the perfect fit for my beach wedding – I’m so happy with my decision and Jarred loved it too!
A 22-Person Wedding Party
On the morning of the wedding I had all my bridesmaids come to the villa to get ready together. We were pampered for the morning getting our hair and makeup done by Neil Donkin and his amazing team. The girls were all given matching pyjamas to wear and we all had a peaceful morning together. All the girls made sure I was relaxed, making sure I was eating and drinking!
Jarred and his groomsmen also got ready together. They started the morning off with a swim in the ocean. Traditionally known as the mikvah for guys. Unfortunately, Jarred woke up feeling sick, lucky we have a friend who is a nurse who pumped Jarred with some medicine. Feeling better, the boys started drinking whisky early on, swimming, and playing cards.
Our beautiful bridal party made our wedding all about us! They were made up of our siblings, cousins, best friends, nieces, and nephews – all up there were 22! The memories of having them by our sides, getting ready with us, spoiling us, treating us like a king and queen, and witnessing our marriage are the memories that we will cherish forever.
An Orchid Chuppah
I always wanted a romantic, elegant look, and orchids are one of my favourite flowers. I had sent Jeannette some images of what I loved from Pinterest and she completely transformed my vision into reality – I was blown away; it was more beautiful than I ever imagined.
An Emotional Ceremony
We were so lucky to have flown Jarred’s family rabbi, Rabbi Berger, to Thailand from Sydney. He has known Jarred and his family for many years, and Jarred even completed his bar mitzvah with him. Rabbi Berger made the ceremony so meaningful as he played the guitar during the Sheva Brachot – it was magical!
Hearing the waves splashing and the fountain of flowers trickling down around us were particularly euphoric.
I loved walking down the aisle to the beautiful song Boi Kallah (to the tune of Hallelujah), while seeing our amazing friends and family from all over the world. Of course this was made most special by my husband to be waiting at the end of the aisle with his huge smile. Walking around him 7 times was so surreal, I couldn’t believe we were there in that moment! As we locked eyes each time I walked around him he had to remind me how many more times to go and each time we had a little giggle.
Our fabulous photographer and videographer
We used Blumenthal Photography and Soda Films. I think they’re the best photographer and videographer in Sydney! Lucky my sister married into the family! It was a no brainer when they said they would be happy to come to Thailand to shoot our wedding. Knowing what amazing work they both do, we felt it was one less major stress having them capture our special day. Seeing the results, we couldn’t have asked for a better team to do the job.
On holiday with Family and friends
Jarred and I both gave speeches. We felt it was important to speak about our amazing family, friends, and each other.
The time away with all of our guests was electric. There is something so magical about being on holiday together with nearly 140 of your best friends and family. What more could we wish for!
Our family and friends were given beautiful welcome bags with lots of goodies inside. Each guest was given a personalized letter that Jarred and I spent a lot of time on, making sure each person felt appreciated. We had mosquito spray with personalized labels that said “Smitten not bitten,” water bottles with labels that said all the different ingredients for love (10% cuddles, 10% kisses, etc.). It was just adorable! Our guests loved this personal touch.
Our Chef (Chef Daniel) was amazing! As it was a kosher wedding he was always so easy going and flexible with all of our demands. We had late night snacks, which our guests raved about. Mini burgers, hot chips, and popcorn – just delicious!
A Jump in the Pool
DJ Nicola and Jimmy on the saxophone were amazing! Together, they got the party started and everyone was on the dance floor, even Jarred’s bobba and my almost 90-year-old bobba were dancing the night away.
Jarred’s big request for the wedding was to have “buckets.” After all the speeches and our first dance, the lights changed colors, barmen walked out with sparklers and buckets, and the party really started! We had white party hats, feather boas, and maracas to go around.
At about 10:30 pm the men decided to start throwing each other in the pool. Fully clothed! Yes, most of the men at the wedding were soaked! This didn’t stop the party, the dancing continued till the early hours! Right at the end of the night the girls jumped in too!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
It’s important to try and relax and enjoy the process. It’s difficult planning a destination wedding without going to see the venue or meeting your planner in person, and having a kosher destination wedding definitely came with a few headaches.
My biggest advice would be to find the best planner. Without Jeanette, our wedding wouldn’t have been as seamless and beautiful as it was. We spoke to each other daily for 6 months over Whatsapp and had many hourlong phone conversations. Finding a planner who had done a Jewish wedding was so helpful as she understood all of the different customs and elements that we wanted to incorporate into our day. Everything flowed seamlessly.
It’s also important to remember the bigger picture. Of course the venue, the flowers, the décor are all a beautiful and romantic backdrop to your day, and I wholeheartedly believe that you should put in as much effort and make it as beautiful as you desire.
Just remember, on your wedding day, standing next to your husband, surrounded by your family and friends with all the love in the world, all the stuff is simply a backdrop. Don’t lose sight of what is most important. Enjoy the day; don’t worry about the things that don’t go your way – particularly the weather! It’s out of your control!
Most importantly on your day, don’t forget to step back and just take a moment to look around you, take a deep breath, feel the love, and take it all in because it all ends in a flash!
Martine & Jarred’s little white book
Photography – Blumenthal Photography
Videography – Soda Films
Wedding planner – Luxury Events
Venue – Akyra Beach Club
Bride’s dress – Corston Couture
Bridesmaids – Arabella and Rose
Hair + Makeup – Neil Donkin
Flowers – I Am Flower
Chef – Daniel Isberg