Two words: Wisteria. Chuppah. Katie and Josh’s botanical canopy is truly breathtaking – between the abundant greenery, hanging wisteria, and bunches of red berries, they created the perfect autumnal fantasia. The bride reports that she felt like she was in a botanical garden standing under the chuppah, and we can totally see why!
We also LOVE a creative idea that we’ve never seen before! A deck of Top Trumps cards at every place setting, that told the story of Katie and Josh’s engagement from proposal to tying the knot. LOVE!
And everything about this beautiful Jewish wedding is just so exquisitely elegant, and Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Rob Clayton could not have done a better job capturing all the lovely details – not to mention the emotion and love that radiates through every single shot! The couple picked Rob especially for his ability to capture the natural, spontaneous moments that make a wedding truly memorable, and they definitely made an awesome choice!
Katie – who looked so elegant in her two bodice-and-skirt pairings from Pronovias – will take it from here…
How we met
Katie, the bride: Josh and I met on J-Swipe within 3 weeks of me moving to London… the epitome of modern day romance. We planned a date for the following week, but coincidentally bumped in to each other in a bar in central London a few days before our planned date – it was beshert (and made the ‘first date’ a lot less nerve-racking)!
A Manchester Wedding
We got married at The Midland Hotel in Manchester.
I am from Manchester originally, and Josh is from London. I have a strong connection to Manchester as a city, and will always think of it as ‘home’ even though I have now lived in London for over 4 years. I go back a lot to see my family – we’re very close.
Josh and I love destination weddings; however, 8 of our close friends got married in 2018 and a lot of these weddings were abroad, so we thought it would make a nice change to do our wedding at home. Plus, a lot of our southern friends hadn’t been to Manchester before, so coming up North was an exciting city break for them – who would have thought?!
A Fab Planner
Ben Morrison at We Are Events made our entire wedding experience fun, exciting and entirely stress free. He got to know both Josh and me so well and he ensured that the wedding was completely personal and tailored to us. Nothing was too much to ask from him, and I really couldn’t recommend him enough – the experience wouldn’t have been the same without him.
Hair + Makeup
I don’t tend to wear much makeup – I don’t even own a foundation, so I knew that I couldn’t wear anything too heavy on my skin on the day or I wouldn’t have looked like ‘me’. Plus, Josh says he prefers me without any makeup on!
I also wear my hair up 90% of the time for ease, because it’s very long and heavy. I therefore decided from the start that I would wear my hair up on my wedding day, to have it out of my face during Israeli dancing, and so I didn’t have to worry about it falling out of place throughout the night.
My mum found out about Tally Bookbinder who had been recommended to her, and she was fab. My skin looked flawless, without looking caked, and my hair survived the night without falling flat! Her team also did the hair and makeup for my mum, mother-in-law, bridesmaids and maid of honour too – they all looked beyond beautiful!
I loved that the same team could do our hair and makeup.
I got my dress(es) from the Knutsford Wedding Gallery.
My dresses were both actually bridal skirts and bodies – I found it hard to find 1 dress that I liked every element of and loved the fact that with a skirt and body, I could put 2 elements together to make up an outfit that no other bride will have worn before.
I didn’t originally intend on having two outfits, but when I found ‘the one’, it was a very heavy Pronovias skirt paired with a lace Pronovias body. Due to the weight of the skirt, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to fully let my hair down on the dance floor if I had stayed in it all night!
So, I chose a lighter and more fitted Pronovias skirt for my second outfit, which I changed in to after the chuppah ceremony.
I couldn’t find a top that perfectly suited this skirt, so in the end, we decided to make a top for it out of some of the excess material from the train. The seamstress at The Wedding Gallery intricately sewed a jewelled belt around the waist and neckline to make a completely bespoke halter-neck evening outfit.
I was so happy with how both of my dresses turned out, and how different they both were.
I tried on so many shoes before I found my perfect pair, but in the end I went for a pair of Jimmy Choos. They weren’t too high, were very comfortable and, most importantly, matched both of my dresses!
The handsome groom
Josh found his suit at Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row, and instantly knew it was ‘the one’. I don’t think either of us had ever considered him wearing a velvet suit on the day, but when I came to see him try it on, I thought he looked so smart. I also liked that the velvet differentiated him from his ushers.
Bridesmaids in Convertibles
I had 4 bridesmaids and a maid Of honour. They wore the ‘multi-way’ style dresses from Isabella Bridal in Stockport – they all wore the same dress in a different way, which I think is a great way to make sure that everyone is co-ordinated but comfortable.
Maggie from Isabella Bridal actually came to the Midland on the day to make sure that all of the bridesmaid’s dresses were picture perfect, which was an amazing touch.
We knew from the start that we wanted something Autumnal, full of volume and with lots of greenery, with some beautiful berries and wisteria intertwined. When I was stood under the chuppah I felt like I was in a botanical garden – I just couldn’t get over how beautiful and full it was.
Verdure also designed our table arrangements, with some chunky glass candelabras as the centrepiece, surrounded by flower arrangements that mimicked the chuppah design.
Stuck on You
My family are, and always have been, massive Billy Joel fans, so I walked in to the tune of ‘She’s Always A Woman’ with the lyrics of Eshet Chayil, which I had recited at my bat mitzvah. With both Jewish and non-Jewish guests at our wedding, we thought it would be nice to have an entrance tune that everybody recognised.
After much deliberation, our first dance was ‘Stuck On You’ by Lionel Richie – it’s romantic and a classic!
Photographer and videographer
Rob Clayton was our photographer, and Rebecca Reville our videographer. The natural, spontaneous moments are our favourite in terms of photographs and on film, and both did an absolutely amazing job at capturing these.
Josh and I are massive foodies so we organised for Slattery’s in Whitefield to create personalised chocolate hampers which were left in each room at The Midland that was occupied by guests from our wedding. They were delicious, and a nice surprise for everyone that stayed at the hotel.
‘Katie & Josh’s Wedding’ Top Trumps deck
I work at the company that makes the world’s most famous card and board games – Monopoly, Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit and so on. We also own the Top Trumps brand.
So, I worked with my colleagues in our Product Development team to make a fully personalised ‘Katie & Josh’s Wedding’ Top Trumps deck with 30 cards that told the story of our marriage – from the day that Josh thought about proposing to the day we tied the knot. We placed a deck in each place setting for all 280 guests.
With big weddings, some people know the couple better than others, and not everyone knows the full backstory behind the marriage. I think it’s so important to try and ensure that everyone can feel included and understand the lead up to your special day!
Road Trip Honeymoon
One of our first Top Trumps cards explains that Josh first thought about proposing to me on a walk through Central Park in New York a couple of years ago. So, for our ‘mini-moon’ we returned to New York for the week after the wedding – it’s one of our favourite cities.
For our honeymoon, we’re doing a road trip down the West Coast of the United States in July for 3 weeks. We’re landing in San Francisco, driving down to Los Angeles (making a couple of stops along the way including Santa Monica and Monterey), then flying to Hawaii for 5 days of relaxation. After Hawaii, we’re meeting some of our friends in Las Vegas for a few nights of partying, then carrying on our honeymoon back in Los Angeles, then visiting Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park.
It’ll be the perfect combination of relaxation and fun!
Advice to couple currently planning their wedding
I wasn’t in any contact with Josh for a full week in the lead up to the wedding – no calls, messages, nothing. Traditionally in the Jewish religion, you’re not meant to see each other for a week, but with the modern day dependence on social media, we thought it would be nice to go ‘cold turkey’ and cut out all forms of communication for 1 week of our lives.
It was very tough; however, I couldn’t recommend doing that enough – it made the day extra special and emotional, I couldn’t wait to catch up with Josh and give him a big hug!
Katie & Josh’s little white book
Photography – Rob Clayton
Videography – Rebecca Reville
Wedding planner – We Are Events
Venue – The Midland Hotel
Bride’s dresses – Pronovias
Bride’s shoes – Jimmy Choo
Groom’s attire – Gieves & Hawkes
Bridesmaids – Isabella Bridal
Hair + Makeup – Tally Bookbinder
Flowers – Verdure Floral Design
Band – Aura Showband
Chocolate hampers – Slattery’s