Imagine being at what you thought was an engagement party, when suddenly a dramatic reveal changes everything!
That’s exactly what happened to the 200 guests at Susannah and Jeremy’s cocktail evening, when, a little way into the evening, the lights fell, save for a single spotlight on three female electric violinists playing a rock melody in front of a gold kabuki curtain, which dropped revealing the chuppah, Rabbi and groom. A surprise Jewish wedding!
Property developer Jeremy and jewelry designer and CEO of global jewelry brand, Fairley (check it out – seriously gorgeous stuff), had their super luxe, contemporary and elegant cocktail party surprise wedding overlooking the twinkling Melbourne skyline at gorgeous rooftop venue, Alto.
Bride Susannah’s ‘night to night’ look saw her change from a sophisticated Ralph Lauren little black dress to a stunning Gucci wedding dress. We don’t know about you guys, but we’re having serious wardrobe envy.
Groom Jeremy had one more surprise up his sleeve – a heartfelt serenade for his beautiful bride. Someone pass the tissues, we think we have something in our eye!
Of course, a celebration this elaborate requires a truly expert hand when it comes to capturing the magic. Our sensational Recommended Vendor, photographer Jeremy Blode, is responsible for the breathtaking images below.
We’ll hand you over to Jeremy, the groom, for his writeup of how the day unfolded. We hope you love gushing over this wedding feast for the eyes as much as we did!
A dreamy rooftop venue
Jeremy, the groom: We chose to get married at Alto in the Melbourne CBD. The venue has an amazing rooftop deck, which showcases Melbourne in lights at night. The configuration of the room perfectly allowed for both the Chuppah ceremony and party afterwards.
A surprise wedding
We had a surprise wedding! Guests were invited to our “engagement” party which later in the night turned into a wedding with a chuppah ceremony and party. The theme was “Melbourne’s winter wonderland” with miles of fairy lights and LED sculptures scattered throughout the venue.
Party planners certainly assisted with all aspects of the night. We wanted the night to be a party but respectful of the ceremonial aspects of a wedding.
Two designer dresses
For the cocktail element of the evening, Susannah’s dress was a black sleeveless dress from Ralph Lauren in La Jolla, California. Later in the night she changed into a white Gucci gown with a jewelled trimming.
Jewelry designed by the bride
The handsome groom
I wore a tailored black dinner suit, which was dressed down with a white V-neck T-shirt. For the wedding component, I changed into a cream dinner jacket, white shirt and black bow tie. Both jackets were embossed with the letters J & S 07.06.16 hidden under the back collar.
The big ceremony reveal
The entire ceremony was a surprise for everyone, except for our parents, photographer and videographer.
Guests arrived at 6pm for an engagement party and at 7:25PM the lights fell, with the spotlight on three female electric violinists playing a rock melody in front of a gold kabuki curtain which later fell revealing the chuppah, Rabbi and I standing arm in arm.
Seeing Susannah walk towards the chuppah to the music of Hallelujah was a highlight, as well as the utter astonishment, surprise and emotion on the faces of the 200 guests. The chuppah was spectacular – parsec filled with lighting and Singapore orchids.
Our fabulous photographer
Jeremy Blode did an outstanding job capturing every aspect of the night, from the informal cocktail start to the wedding surprise and party thereafter.
A three-piece acoustic act kicked off the cocktail element; a six-piece band took over the Chuppah and party and DJ closed the night.
A musical speech
My wedding speech was mixture of words and song, performed on the guitar with a professional singer.
I incorporated lyrics from various songs (some of which I wrote) into my speech and ultimately ended it with a re-written version, both lyrically and melodically, of the classic Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah” which detailed our courtship.
Susannah gave a fabulous speech as well as my brother who was also my best man.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
One pieces of advice we were given was that, at some point during the evening, find a spot at the back of the function and just watch everyone around you enjoying themselves in your celebration. The night happens so fast that to take a moment and absorb the atmosphere was really important.
Susannah & Jeremy’s little white book
Photographer – Jeremy Blode
Venue – Alto
Bride’s Dresses – Ralph Lauren and Gucci
Bride’s jewellery – Fairley
Bride’s shoes – Azzedine Alaia
Catering – Damm Fine Food
Electric Violinist – Sally Cooper
DJ – Lauren Mac
Rabbi – Shneur Reti-Waks