With the Royal wedding just days away, we’ve got our very own ‘Smashing Royalty’ getting married on the blog today. Yes — it’s the real Jewish wedding of a very dear colleague, wonderful Francesca, who manages (and is a big part of) much-loved STG Vendor XS Showband, to Ziek, a chef with kosher-style caterer Shuka Catering.
Being in the industry, the pair had a major leg up when it came to choosing suppliers for their gorgeous Jewish wedding at Stockbrook Manor Country Club. Francesca and Ziek chose Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendors Blake Ezra and Denee Motion for photography and videography, respectively. Having worked with both, the couple knew they were choosing suppliers who not only produce amazing work but are incredibly passionate about what they do.
And entertainment was a no-brainer: the bride’s own XS Showband — which she both owns and sings in — was obviously going to be part of her wedding. With an epic 18-piece setup playing non-stop from start to finish, music was absolutely integral to the day.
It just happens that XS Showband has pioneered using musical flash mobs in wedding ceremonies, so it was only natural that Francesca included one in hers. You’ve got to check out Denee Motion‘s video of the flash mob in action; it’s unlike anything we’ve seen in any other wedding!
Beautiful Francesca, who looked positively radiant in her elegant lace Riki Dalal gown, will fill you in on the rest…
How we met
Best of Both Worlds
Like many couples, we started out wanting something a little quirky! This idea went out the window very quickly once we had thought through all of the venues we’d either worked at or visited. Quirky venues usually come with sound restrictions and generally aren’t very practical.
So then we decided that we wanted our chuppah outside but also wanted the formality of a posh London hotel and again… this doesn’t exist! So in the end we decided on Stockbrook Manor Country Club because of its beautiful grounds outside along with a blank canvas inside. The venue has lots of rooms and spaces making it very practical. We had the best of both in the end and were over the moon!
All about the Food and Music
Hair + Makeup
A Riki Dalal Dress
Classic White Heels
The handsome groom
Bridesmaids in Cream
A Pre-Ceremony Flash Mob
A Floral Chuppah
The chuppah was mainly down to our fab florist, Alex. We told her what we wanted and she made it happen! Beautiful bright green and white flowers that looked amazing in the outdoors setting. Instead of an aisle runner we had hundreds of petals scattered down the aisle. This looked so pretty. My band does production, so we had a chuppah stage also.
An 18-Piece Band
So owning a band means that I had the freedom to do anything I wanted! We had a whopping 18-piece band, including a 5-piece horn section, which surprisingly didn’t look or sound too big or loud. We only had 150 guests, and they were all on the dance floor the entire day! It was pretty epic!
I walked down the aisle to All I Ask Of You (in Hebrew). Our first dance was Evergreen, Barbra Streisand, which 2 of my close friends sang beautifully. We had a big grand entrance for our guests to Hello Dolly (because both me and my mum nickname everyone Dolly).
Going along with the “music” theme, we went through all the eras of music throughout the day. We started this with some pre-chuppah Disney tunes on the violin. Then throughout the night we had a rock n roll set, a big band swing dinner set, motown set, 90s and current set, plus some old fashioned musicals. Numbers that stick out: Sing Sing Sing with those horns was just unbelievable, and Jump Around had everyone going wild too!
Flowers in White and Cream
Alexandra’s Florist did our flowers. We were so happy with everything and Alex is so nice. We had lots of hydrangeas, roses, and some other funky looking flowers that I don’t know the names of! I kept my bouquet to simple white/cream roses.
Our fabulous Photographer and Videographer
We used Blake Ezra for the photos and Denee Motion for the videos. Having worked with both suppliers, we choose them not just for their amazing work, but because we had great chemistry with them and loved seeing how great they are with their clients. Both are so passionate about their work. Once the day is finished you can relive it through the video and photos, and this was really important for us.
Entertainment by the Bride’s Own Band
We used my own band, XS Showband! We had an 18-piece setup and it was truly epic! I was scared I’d go into work mode on the day, but I didn’t once think about the timetable or the set list or anything else, I just let go and had so much fun.
Every band member did an amazing job, and our runners on the night helped keep the band organised. It was so surreal being on the other side of it, but I have now had the opportunity to experience what all of our clients experience on their wedding day and it’s just made me even more excited to do the job I love.
We had fans at the chuppah for all the ladies and also flip flops later on. We also hand wrote personal thank-you cards to each of our guests, which I think everyone appreciated. Took us a long time, but we thought it would be a nice touch to tell each person how grateful we were for them being there to celebrate with us.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Francesca & Ziek’s little white book
Venue – Stockbrook Manor Country Club
Bride’s dress – Riki Dalal
Bride’s shoes – John Lewis
Groom’s attire – Impeccable and Mia Sposa
Hair + Makeup – Sarah Louise Okin and Natasha Klipp
Flowers – Alexandra’s Florist
Catering – Celia Clyne
Denis Potasnikov says
Thank you Karen 🙂