All that glitters actually is gold when it comes to today’s luxurious and delightfully decadent London Jewish wedding.
As an event organizer, Natalie knew exactly what she wanted for her wedding to now-hubby Paul: a wedding venue with an outdoor feel that could survive the perils of the unpredictable British weather, and a LOT of gorgeous gold accents.
Fortunately, both were well within Natalie’s capabilities, and the entire aesthetic of the wedding turned out to be simply divine.
We ADORE (with a capital EVERYTHING) the idea of a musical street procession between two venues (the divine Bevis Marks Synagogue and Devonshire Terrace) what a way to travel in style! We’re sure we’ll be seeing many more STG street parties, now that the trend has well and truly been set.
Natalie looked radiant in her totally bespoke, and one-of-a-kind Hermione de Paula gown, paired with beautiful blue skyscraper heels, and her big day was truly a Smashing the Glass-fest, with no fewer than four Recommended Vendors on the case: award-winning photographer, Claudine Hartzel; sensational stationer, Dimitria Jordan, brilliant band, The White Keys; and finally the beautiful video you see below is by HD Moments.
How we met
Natalie, the bride: We went to King Solomon together. I was four school years below Paul, and fancied him back then. But we got together years later through Facebook, and after our first date, I told my mum I was going to marry Paul and yes, I was right!
A street party between the two venues
I ideally wanted an outside wedding, but with the weather in London, or even just England, I knew it would be risky. One of my oldest friends asked me to describe my ideal venue, and I said “outside inside wedding venue”. She then google just that, and Devonshire Terrace came up. I feel in love instantly, as the location was also perfect, as the commute was easy in so many directions to Liverpool Street Station. The glass roof was a winner for us, as it bought the outside in, which is just what we wanted.
I didn’t want a venue that had to do a turnaround from the service set up to dinner, and to be honest, that would never have been possible with our large amount of décor.
I had fallen in love with Bevis Marks from a young age after a school trip there, so seeing as it was only a four minute walk away it was all perfect. I just had to then work out how to get everyone from Bevis Marks to Devonshire Terrace. No better way than the legendary New York Brass Band to create our very own street party, with confetti streamers, bubbles for the children and mini tambourines for all the guests.
Going for gold
My flowers were mostly green foliage, succulents and real artichokes – I’m a massive fan of flowers, and a regular at Columbia Road flower market, but for my wedding I knew I didn’t want to go traditional.
The theme was gold and I was a fusspot about that, hiring in a lot of things guests probably didn’t even notice, but it all had to be perfect! Cutlery, cafetières, trays, ice buckets etc.
Gold foil invitations
Our invitations were totally unique, gold foil letter press of thick white card.
I couldn’t be an happier with the designer, Dimitria Jordan, who worked so hard to give us our dream invitations and then matched everything else perfectly: RSVPs, evening invites, menus and place cards.
As Dimitria had hand written all of our invite envelopes and names on RSVPs, we also had her hand write our place cards and menus, so every little detail matched. All in the same grey ink pen, of course.
Natural makeup with gold eyeshadow
My hair was mostly down with a few curls pinned back, I didn’t have a hair trial as I knew I wanted something simple, and was in very good hands with my hairdresser, Lucy Wastell. And makeup by Krystal who did Michele Kegan’s bridal makeup, along with a few other celebs.
I don’t typically wear make up daily, so I wanted it natural and not too thick, with gold eye shadow.
A bespoke Hermione de Paula gown
My dress was by Hermione de Paula.
I knew from day one I didn’t want a big, typical white wedding dress, so I only visited one bridal shop, and gave up the hunt as I knew it was going to be impossible…
At a wedding show with my mum and sister, my sister spotted Hermione de Paula and a beautiful floral dainty dress. It was love at first sight (although I later found out that wasn’t actually my first sight I had an image of detail from one of her dresses saved on my phone from a year and a half before).
After chatting away with her and explaining how the wedding was orthodox, and I wanted a long-sleeved dress which wasn’t white, I booked in to meet her at her stunning studio a few days later.
My whole dress experience with Hermione de Paula was fabulous. We sipped champagne and ate strawberries when I went to see and try on my bespoke dress for the first time, which was only two weeks before the wedding. I knew I could trust her 110%, as I loved every single one of her dresses.
I had my new surname stitched into the left wrist, and the wedding date on the left side 23.04.17, the same as it’s engraved inside my wedding band ring.
I also had a surprise message from Paul, my husband, at the very bottom of the back of the dress: ‘Grow old with me, the best is yet to be’.
I also gave Hermione a picture of the stained-glass window on the front door of our new house, as it was so beautiful. I told Hermione to use part of the stained-glass design somewhere on my dress as another little surprise for me.
When it comes to accessories, less is more, and the dress did all the talking, so I didn’t want hair accessories. The only jewelry I wore was my wedding and engagement rings and matching oval diamond earrings. Of course, my rings are gold. All of my jewelry whas bespoke made in Hatton Garden.
Royal blue shoes
I have a pair of black Giuseppe Zanotti heels that are very high and very comfortable, so I wore them to my fitting with a plan to find them in a nude colour, which were sold out all over. Then, I found and fell in love with them in royal blue – they worked perfectly with the dress.
The best thing ism I will wear them again and again for special occasions.
The handsome groom
Paul wore a Reiss grey double-breasted jacket, black bespoke trousers, a black velvet tie, a gold tie pin, gold cufflinks and a white shirt. He wore the same as his best men and both dads, but Paul had a pocket hanky.
An orthodox ceremony at Bevis Marks
During the ceremony, chazan Jonny Turgel sang our choice of songs.
We didn’t dress the chuppah at all, or Bevis Marks, we just scattered a few rose petals on the front-row chairs (which my friend collected and dried for me as a keepsake… and I’m about to do the same for her tomorrow at Bevis Marks). Bevis Marks doesn’t need décor, it is what it is.
Our ketubah was hand painted to add some color.
A line up of live music
Our first dance was to At Last by Etta James. As we have been together seven years, it seemed right, and sung live by the band.
It was important to me to include my grandparents too. Paul smashed the glass in my grandmother’s silk wedding handbag that I had dyed, and attached the words ‘mazel tov’ in gold.
I had my grandpa’s tie pin, and my other grandparents’ mezuzah attached to my bouquet to ensure they were all with me on my special day.
We had a garage set towards the end of the evening, when me and Paul wheeled out trolleys full of shots for everyone on the dance floor.
We had the New York Brass Band play our walk from Bevis Marks to Devonshire Terrace, and also playing during drink reception and, again, after dinner, during tea and coffee and cake cutting.
We had the harpist Iona Thomas playing during dinner and our entrance. She’s just amazing!
Magic Fingers was our bongo player. He joined our band during the night.
We were lucky enough to both go and view all the flowers the day before the wedding, in Lisa’s studio, and to see her and the team hard at work. It was a lovely part of the build up.
We had buttonholes for the two grandads, dads, the best men and Paul, and mini ones for our two nephews (the best little men).
The flowers were all I had dreamed of and more. Paul regularly buys me flowers from Lisa, and I love every bunch, so I knew I was in the best hands.
Our fabulous photographer…
Our photographer was the one and only Claudine Hartzel.
We had seen Claudine at a few events, but it wasn’t until we got engaged and noticed her right in there at every photo opportunity at a friend’s wedding that we knew we had to book her. We wanted natural shots, as I wasn’t keen on all the traditional, posed ones, but we worked together, and now I have over 800 images to look through! I’m over the moon with them all!
We had a go pro attached to a champagne bottle going around, so that will be a great short video. The rest of the day, and set up, was filmed by two videographers from HD Moments.
A donut wall
We had a donut wall and chocolate N&P large letters that we handed out after cutting our cake.
Bespoke candles with gold labels
For our favours, we had Sandy Bay bespoke candles with gold labels for the ladies, in my favourite fragrance. We had Jägermeister for the men in their glasses on the table.
Haven House is a local children’s hospice and we took part in ‘pay for a day’, on the day of our wedding day, which means we paid for the hospice to run for the day, giving back to a charity on our special day, and a charity so close to home.
We donated things left over from wedding to charities. We gave the kippot to charity, and instead of hiring the wedding décor, we bought them all, sold them after the wedding, and donated all that money to charity too.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Since the wedding, I have helped a few Bevis Marks brides, as we met on the wedding course they host.
My advice would be to drink plenty of water, and eat something for breakfast on the wedding morning!
Natalie & Paul’s little white book
Photographer – Claudine Hartzel
Videographer – HD Moments
Venues – Bevis Marks Synagogue and Devonshire Terrace
Stationery – Dimitria Jordan
Bride’s dress – Hermione de Paula
Bride’s shoes – Giuseppe Zanotti
Groom’s attire – Reiss
Makeup – Krystal
Flowers: Lisa from Ellie Hartley
Chazan – Jonny Turgel
Harpist – Iona Thomas
Bands – New York Brass Band and The White Keys
Bongo player – Magic Fingers
Magician – Oliver B
Gold dipped chocolate strawberries – Choco Fruit
Nitro ice cream – Lick Me I’m Delicious
Cake and Donuts (on the wall) – Butter Beautiful
Chocolate Letters – Cocoa Cream
Cutlery/trolleys/cafetieres – Classic Crockery
Feston lighting/Gobo – Stress Free Hire