Guys, get the tissues ready – this is not a drill. Repeat, this is NOT a drill. This loved-up pair will definitely give you the weepies. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Sari and Jason’s magical forest Jewish-French wedding was not only absolutely whimsical and captivating to look at, but was a moving, heartfelt affair. The adoration these two lovebirds have for one another shone through every moment of the day and every word they uttered to one another.
The wedding’s aesthetic is so divine that we’re not sure where to start, other than, upon seeing it, one of our STG team members (we’re looking at you, Sara!) gushed that this was the wedding they would have today if they could do it all again.
Nestled among the trees was the stunning birch wood chuppah, built by groom Jason and his dad, was such a hit (even though the two of them had never been to a Jewish ceremony ) that Jason now rents it out as part of his small business, Dundas Valley Chuppah. In fact, Dundas Valley Chuppah has made an appearance on Smashing The Glass before, providing the silk peonies for this beauty.
Gorgeous bride Sari absolutely stunned in a breathtaking blush gown, assembled from a variety of sources to create the dream dress. She looked like a fairy princess swishing around the woods in her dreamy tulle skirt – absolutely divine!
There’s so much more to say, and we could go on forever about everything from the fabulous flowers, to the fact that the couple started rehearsing their first dance a whole year in advance of the wedding! But it’s time to now hand you over to Sari’s writeup, accompanied by a stunning spread of images by E. Baker Photography and the tear-jerking, romantic video below by Dave Tebutt Wedding Films. Get ready to fall in love…
How we met
Sari, the bride: We met online! Funny enough, Jay had logged on and was trying to find out how to deactivate his account. As he was searching online, I popped up and had sent him a message. There hasn’t been a day since then that we haven’t talked.
An enchanted forest venue
We got married at Kortright Conservation Area, in Vaughan. Jay I both love being outside. Immediately after seeing this venue, we knew it was for us. It has such a pretty forest, and we loved the glass house gazebo.
Our ceremony was among the trees – it felt like an enchanted forest. It just felt like us. We also loved the easy-going feel of the venue. We didn’t want to deal with a big stuffy business.
The staff, and our coordinator there, was so wonderful to work with. They were in it to make us happy, and we appreciated all their flexibility and creativity in making our day perfect.
A truly personal day
We did not use a wedding planner. In fact, so many people later came up to me telling me I could add wedding planner to my list of jobs!
Every decision that came about, we made together. We weren’t looking to please everyone, but instead wanted a day that we were happy with. I think we captured that. Everyone told us how special and personal our wedding was with all the particular touches.
The theme was enchanted forest meets rustic touch! Our colors were blush, pewter, grey-blue, burgundy.
Paperless Post invitations
We are practical when it came to our invitation. We used Paperless Post! Nothing fancy but go the job done! Budget was key and there were other things to put money and effort into!
Trusted hair and makeup artists
I don’t usually fuss much with my makeup and hair, but they were able to pull off a beautiful look that made me feel stunning!
Creating the dream dress
My dress has a story. It was the most special! I searched for “the one” in store and couldn’t find it, so I ended up having it created.
I knew from the beginning I wanted a special blush dress. Jay and I love to travel and it was an international dress!
The dress was actually two pieces. The skirt was made in Bulgaria, by an Etsy designer called FloAtelier. We emailed about 100 times back and forth, and in the end she sent over the most beautiful, gorgeous, full, soft tulle blush skirt. It was nicer and softer than anything I had seen in the stores!
The top was made by someone locally, but the lace was picked up on a recent trip to Indonesia. The flowers on the dress were made from lace from my grandmother’s wedding dress over 60 years ago.
The hair pieces came from an artist in Singapore. Another Etsy buy. The artist’s shop was Marolsha.
For my shoes, I wore Nine West wedges with a beautiful, elegant ankle strap.
The handsome groom
Again, going with our travel theme, Jay got his suit, as well as his four groomsmens’ attire while we were traveling.
Anika Tailor in Bali, Indonesia created the beautiful pieces, all custom and fit their bodies like a glove!
Bridesmaids in pewter
Alongside my beautiful blush dress, we had my bridesmaids in Bill Levkoff dresses. The color we chose was pewter. They were able to pick whatever dress they wanted, as long as it was in that color!
A beautiful birch chuppah
Jay and his father have never been to a Jewish ceremony, but were able to create the most beautiful birch chuppah. It is so beautiful, in fact, that we now have created a second and have a small business – Dundas Valley Chuppah where we rent out our beautiful chuppah.
We got so many compliments on our chuppah! It was so special to be standing under something made by our family.
A bilingual ceremony
Our Seven Blessings were said in English and in French, we had French and English readings in our ceremony and we had a “Jewish-French Cheatsheet” for our ceremony. Our Ketubah was in French, English and Hebrew.
We each circled each other three times, and then circled together once.
Our special friend sang as we singed our Ketubah and marriage certificate
Both our parents walked us down the aisle and the blessing over the wine was said by my grandfather in English, French and Hebrew.
A well-rehearsed first dance
Our processional music was I’ll Be There For You (Friends theme song) sung by Boyce Avenue – acoustic version. Jay and his parents, the bridesmaids, and my parents and I walked down to this song. Brings tears to my eyes to hear this song! So special. It’s all about friendship, relationship, care, and being there for others. Seemed perfect.
Our recessional song was Home by Edward Sharpe
We did a surprise mash-up first dance! We started with Sea of Love, by Cat Power, and then busted out into a five-minute choreographed dance! We included snippets from You’re The One That I Want, Intergalactic, Jump Around, You’re My Best Friend …and lots more! It was great! No one knew we were doing this.
We started practicing about a year in advance. Once we hit the six-month mark, we committed to practicing three times a week, and the month of, we were practicing daily! It finally became muscle memory.
Bursting with color
I love color, and wanted lots of color in our florals that complemented our colors. From the beginning, Ashley of Ashton Creative was incredible. She had wonderful ideas but always was respectful of our budget. Everyone loved her flowers. The bouquets were so full too! Big, beautiful bouquets. I recommend Ashley to everyone!
Our fabulous photographer…
Erin of E. Baker Photography was INCREDIBLE! We originally saw her work through a friend, when she captured their day.
From the get go, Erin was approachable, and, most importantly, was always working to make us look great! She was easy going, friendly, but, on the day of, got things done and captured hundreds of beautiful shots of our day.
Dave of Dave Tebutt Wedding Films was UNBELIEVABLE. We decided a couple months before the wedding to add on the videographer. Unfortunately, Jay’s grandparents couldn’t make it to the ceremony (they live in Timmins), and some of my extended family, as well as my grandmother live overseas (Australia, South Africa, and Israel).
We figured a video would be great for sharing with those who couldn’t make it. I am so happy we decided to do this! We received the video from Dave and it was better than I ever could have imagined. He is so talented!
Cannolis instead of cake
We decided to go a different route with cake. We went a got a bunch of mini cannolis and they were a hit! We love cannoli and have always used it as a treat for special occasions in our relationship! Also cannoli tasting was GREAT. We decided to go with The Big Cannoli out of Vaughan and they were fabulous.
Dancing all night
We had a DJ – she was great! Got the group dancing all night long.
The Hora was great too. For more than half our guests it was their first Jewish wedding, so it was great to see everyone getting involved and enjoying the dance. My in-laws especially had a great time. I have never seen someone fly higher than my father in law! It looked like he was reaching for the stars. It was so great to see and witness!
There were lots of special moments: our MC surprised us with a intro rap to the song “busta move” and my special bubbie’s 80th birthday was at midnight and we celebrated at our wedding.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Don’t ask for people opinions unless you want them! We found that, in the end, pleasing everyone was too difficult and Jay and I had to be the ones who were happiest with the day
Think of your wedding as your most special day, with all the special people in your life present
To manage stress levels, plan ahead and early. The more things you can do ahead of time, the easier it will be closer to the wedding date and day of!
I didn’t have a coordinator, but asked one bridesmaid and one groomsman to be in charge of timelines and getting us to where we needed to be and on time. This was the MOST helpful and we were so appreciative that they did this for us! Delegate! Ask people for help. People will be more than happy to help you on your special day.
Sari & Jason’s little white book
Photography – E. Baker Photography
Videography – Dave Tebutt Wedding Films
Venue – Kortright Conservation Area
Bride’s dress – FloAtelier
Bride’s shoes – Nine West
Bride’s accessories – Marolsha
Groom’s attire – Anika Tailor
Bridesmaids – Bill Levkoff
Hair + Makeup – Bridal Hair Collective and Mobile Makeover
Flowers – Ashton Creative
Chuppah – Dundas Valley Chuppah
DJ – Jackie of Scaraoke Entertainment
Cannoli – The Big Cannoli
Officiant – Elaine of All Season Weddings