We are so in love with the gorgeous Jewish micro wedding of Danielle and Rob at one of our very favorite London wedding venues: Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Kimpton Fitzroy London in Russell Square!
Won over by not only the venue itself but also the fantastic team, Danielle and Rob had initially planned a 180-person wedding in the Kimpton’s stunning ballroom followed by a reception in the Mediterranean-esque Palm Court, scheduled for August 2020. Thanks to the pandemic, though, they ended up shifting their date to December and their guest count down to 30 and then just 15. But in spite of all the roadblocks COVID put in the couple’s way, they still ended up with the wedding of their dreams. In Danielle’s words, “Everything about our wedding wasn’t what we originally imagined, but we wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Danielle and Rob’s photos by Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Mike Garrard are nothing short of magical. And in addition to taking some seriously great pictures, Mike also teamed up with the couple’s friends to pull off a fantastic surprise.
Since the 15-person limit meant the pair had to limit their guest list to family only, some of their friends got in touch with Mike and made a plan to surprise Danielle and Rob on the steps of the Kimpton, just after their ceremony. The couple thought they were stepping out for some couple shots, but instead they were blown away to see their friends standing outside to cheer them on! What an incredibly special moment.
There’s so much more we could say, but we’ll turn you over to Danielle, who looked exquisite in Valentini Spose…
PS Have we told you how much we love Kimpton Fitzroy London? OBSESSED!
How we Met
Danielle, the bride: When I moved to London for work, I was looking for a flat share with a bedroom that wasn’t the size of a shoe box … Rob was renting his second bedroom out in his flat on a Jewish flat share website. I went to see the flat and Rob was so relaxed and easy to get on with it felt like a no brainer. We were friends & flat mates for years before one rainy evening we went for dinner after work and the rest, as they say, is history!
A Kimpton Fitzroy Wedding
We got married at the amazing Kimpton Fitzroy London hotel in Russel Square. We had been to view so many venues in and around London, I was getting a bit despondent … nothing felt right for us.
We actually found the Kimpton by chance, Rob & I love a cocktail bar, and the Kimpton’s Bar, Fitz, had just been reviewed by a drinks blog. We went for a quick drink after work and were both blown away, not only by the venue but by all of the team there. Everyone was so charming and lovely; it was hard to not have a good time (and another drink or 2).
I wrote an email to them right then and there asking for some more information & a tour of the venue (vs me sneaking around the ballroom after a few cocktails…). They were so kind and responsive, it all just felt right.
It was a few days later that we found our incredible wedding planner Kate Park. The number 1 piece of advice I would give any bride is, if you can afford to, get a wedding planner. Kate came highly recommended (unsurprising, the lady is a genius). After we saw Kimpton Fitzroy London and decided this was the one for us Kate came in and took the reins. We had originally planned a big Jewish wedding of 180 people in August, the Ballroom was perfect for what we had in mind, big enough to not feel cramped but intimate.
We chose the gorgeous Palm Court as our reception area, it felt like being on holiday with the mosaic tiles and olive trees, plus a gorgeous terrace area. Unfortunately, 2020 had other plans for us ….
It was around 4 months before our original wedding day that Rob and I went for a walk and decided we were definitely not going to be having a wedding of 180 people in August. We spoke to Kate that evening, she was so understanding and by the end of our call I felt like we would still get the wedding of our dreams, if only a little smaller & in Winter. 2020 threw us a lot of curve balls, Kate took them in her stride, I never had to panic or worry, she was managing everything.
Taking our wedding of 180 down to 30 down and then to 15 was a challenge, being told 6 weeks before the wedding we were heading back into lockdown almost sent me over the edge, we wouldn’t have been able to do it with Kate & Kimpton by our sides.
We didn’t really want a “theme” for the wedding, just classic & romantic. No colours, just clean and simple crisp whites & greens, with lots of candlelight. Originally our wedding was in August and we were going to make the most of the natural light in the summer evening, when we changed to a December wedding we wanted something more intimate and reflective of our smaller wedding. We went full on with candles & twinkly lights. It felt so romantic.
Kate Park, our wedding planner, really understood us as a couple and what we wanted for our wedding.
Invitations / stationery
I work closely with a phenomenal graphic designer, so I actually designed our wedding stationery myself. It was lovely, my whole team got involved in the process and we would have Friday afternoon drinks and sampling meetings, I’d go home with an arm full of samples for Rob to give his opinion on and then cart them back to work on Monday
Once we knew our wedding was going to be 15 people, of which all were immediate family, we decided that invitations were something we didn’t need. I still have our wedding stationery designs & samples in a box in work, I’m hoping we’ll be able to use the design for something in the future!
Hair + Make-up
Make Up: Susan Yates
Hair: Jo Adams at Hair & Make Up Atelier
Susan, my make up artist, had come through a recommendation from a work photoshoot. I was trying to find a non-traditional wedding makeup artist, I wanted something more editorial but was struggling to find an artist who I connected with. I sent Susan probably the strangest email about not wanting pink glitter but maybe a red lip … she sent me an email right back and we hit it off. She was wonderful on the day, and so flexible with all the changes with our wedding date and COVID restrictions. I have never felt as good as I did on my wedding day.
For hair after a bit of scouting around and asking friends I was recommended Jo from the Hair & Make Up Atelier. Jo is Miss Organised which was so perfect for me, I never felt like I had to worry about timings. We had the best day at my hair trial and in the end we found a style that suited the overall look and feel of our wedding day. My mum said she had never had a blow dry like the one Jo did and it lasted for a week.
A Valentini Spose Dress
My mum came down to London for a girly day of wedding dress shopping, I felt like I had tried on every style in London by the end of the day. My mum disappeared (I thought to get more champagne) but reappeared with one last dress to try one. It wasn’t the dress I imagined myself wearing but once I tried it on I felt so amazing and it really felt like “me”.
The dress is a Valentini Spose gown and was purchased at The Wedding Gallery. We made a few changes to the original dress which the amazing women at Sewn Right in Wimbledon managed with ease. My final fitting was emotional. After a year of waiting to get married if felt surreal that I was wearing my wedding dress & getting married in a few days’ time.
In terms of accessories, I wanted to keep it really simple, my veil was a simple double Couture Veil, that I wore in my hair with a hidden comb. I wore my grandmother’s emerald and diamond stud earrings and a gold & diamond bangle on my wrist.
Rob had surprised me the Christmas before our wedding with a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choo trainers which I had planned to change in to at the end of our wedding, and whilst I love a pair of trainers I couldn’t let the opportunity go by without wearing some mega heels. I’d been searching for a while, and I eventually found them during a work trip to Milan in Aquazzura.
One of my best friends had found them online and gave me my marching orders to head straight to the store. I loved them and loved that I could wear skyscraper heels for the majority of the wedding but my trainers for afterwards.
The handsome groom
Ah Rob always looks handsome to me, but he looked extra handsome in his tux. It’s funny how things work out, he wanted to wear a velvet tux for our wedding in August but felt he may be too hot. When our wedding date changed to December the Velvet tux was back on! For Rob it’s all about the fit of suit, rather than the brand. We had looked everywhere but nothing fit without a huge number of alterations. In the end we went to John Lewis and found a fantastic black velvet tux jacket & tux pants that needed only some slight alterations.
He wore a tailored dinner shirt and a black velvet bow tie. He also wore a pair of cufflinks I had given him for his 30th birthday, when we were just friends! I thought it was such a fitting tribute to how we met and where it all began.
I was so lucky to be able to have my best friend, Chantelle, as my Maid of Honour. We have known each other since we were 18 and I felt so lucky having her there with me. She looked gorgeous in her dark green velvet one shoulder gown, matching the flowers & Robs velvet tux.
Our ceremony was so intimate with only 15 people, I had to hold back the tears in my eyes the entire time. I was so overwhelmingly happy to be getting married with our families around us. We tried to incorporate the idea of joining 2 families together for every moment, including using our 2 family cups for the wine and having my eldest brother & Rob’s uncle signing our wedding registry.
Our ketubah was the one our shul, Radlett Reform, provided to us. Something simple and traditional was what suited us the best
Our Chuppah was designed with our amazing florist Rebel Rebel & our wedding planner Kate Park. It was simple and romantic, slightly bigger than we probably needed for a small wedding but it allowed the Rabbi & both sets of parents to be under the Chuppah with us and to socially distance!
Our fabulous florist was Kate at Rebel Rebel, recommended to us by friends who had got married the year before. They have the most gorgeous shop in Hackney and provided beautiful clean and simple flowers on the day. We went for white lilies and roses throughout the wedding, with dark green foliage.
Our photographer was Mike Garrard and has taken photos for quite a few of our friends weddings so came highly recommended. I was looking for quite a specific type of photography and because of work, I can be a little particular. Mike was a dream to work with and, together with some of our friends, pulled off the biggest surprise on our wedding day!
In what was a very tough year for everyone, we were one of the lucky few to have been able to get married in 2020. We originally planned to get married in August with 180 people, but COVID clearly had other plans. We had to move our wedding day multiple times and reduce the number from 180 to 30 and then just before to 15 in line with government restrictions.
This was the toughest part as our friends and family mean so much to us, but the most important thing was to get married and show our love for each other. But unbeknown to us, our close friends were working hard behind the scenes to pull off one huge surprise, so big that only 1 family member knew… They had secretly got in touch with our photographer, Mike, and planned to surprise us on the steps of the Kimpton, once we had got married.
Rob and I thought we were going outside for the standard romantic couple pics but instead were blown away to see so many of our friends outside cheering, singing, and dancing (in their respective bubbles of course!).
Neither of us could believe how many had made the trip into London, with children, just to celebrate with us outside for a short while on a freezing night in December, both of us cried. The video and pictures we have of that moment are some of the most precious from our wedding day. Every time I look at them, I feel tears well in my eyes, to feel so loved at a time which people can feel so alone & isolated was overwhelming.
The only problem was we did not want them to leave! Everything about our wedding wasn’t what we originally imagined, but we wouldn’t change it for the world. It was perfect for us.
After a year of really bad luck we actually managed to go on honeymoon to St Lucia right after our wedding! When we flew it was all fine, but a few days into our honeymoon we heard from family that Tier 4 had been called in London and there wasn’t much we could do about it! We ended up extending our honeymoon over Christmas & made the most of being away in the sun.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Get a wedding planner if you can, I honestly did not stress once the whole day. Use vendors who have been recommended, you love & you have a connection with, your gut is your best weapon when choosing the people you are trusting with your wedding day.
Take a moment to just enjoy your day! You’re going to look & feel the best you ever have, those moments where you can take stock and appreciate, are going to become treasured memories.
DANIELLE & ROB’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Mike Garrard Photography
Venue – Kimpton Fitzroy London
Wedding planner – Kate Park
Bride’s dress – Valentini Spose
Alterations – Sewn Right
Bride’s shoes – Aquazzura + Jimmy Choo
Bride’s accessories – Couture Veil
Groom’s attire – John Lewis
Hair – Jo Adams, Hair & Make Up Atelier
Make Up – Susan Yates
Flowers – Rebel Rebel
Rabbi – Rabbi Celia Surget, Radlett Reform Synagogue
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