We’ve seen lots of amazing COVID celebrations coming together on short notice, but nothing beats the ultra-artistic Jewish wedding of Aimee, a graphic designer, and Max, a classical trumpet player and music teacher! After being forced to postpone their 200+ wedding originally scheduled for May 2020, the pair settled on a minimony set for November 22, with a big reception to follow whenever it’s safe.
They were full steam ahead with their Plan B when, on October 31, the government announced a new lockdown, under which no weddings would be permitted. Aimee and Max were feeling pretty down when they got a call from their rabbi, who told them he could conduct their chuppah before Lockdown 2.0 kicked in – just 3 days away! After some frantic phone calls with their vendors, the duo were able to bring everything together for November 4, squeaking in just under the wire.
Since the guest count was limited to 15, Aimee and Max brought in Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor EventCapsule to stream their chuppah on Zoom for all the friends and family who couldn’t be there in person. They were bowled over by EventCapsule’s professional stream, complete with live editing, and their guests couldn’t believe how well put together the whole production was! Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Toastmaster Jango also brought his trademark seamless management to the day, and we can’t get over the gorgeous photographer from David Pullum.
Now over to Aimee, who looked exquisite in Willowby by Watters…
How we Met
Aimee, the bride: We met at a flat-warming party for our mutual friend, but it turns out I had met both of Max’s brothers before him – that made meeting the family a lot easier!
Our wedding was initially supposed to be a 200+ person event on 24th May 2020, however we obviously had to postpone it. We moved it to 22nd November 2020 and tried not to think about it for a few months! With the date edging closer and closer, in early September we decided to split the wedding into two parts: a 30-person Chuppah on 22/11/20 and the full party in 2021.
Well, the government then decided that we could only have 15 people! So, vendors excluded, we just managed to fit our key family members in this number. Finally settled, a few weeks passed and (perhaps optimistically) we started to get excited about the November wedding. “4 weeks to go!” I remember thinking to myself… Well the 31st October government announcement had other ideas.
We watched the press conference intently and, with no mention of weddings, we thought we would be ok. Until, that was, my fiancé forwarded us the gov.uk link… No weddings. We were all devastated and miserable for the rest of the evening. We woke up on Sunday morning and Max had a call from our rabbi. He told Max that he had spoken to all the right people, and could do it for us before Lockdown 2.0 kicks in – in 3 days!
A bizarre 10 minutes followed of us frantically calling our vendors and the venue but it was sorted. Everyone pulled together and we got married on Wednesday 4th November, at 4pm.
The theme was all based around my favourite artist – Camille Walala – as her style is my absolute favourite. We have a black and white print of hers in our house which inspired the whole geometric design. Pink was added as a bit of fun!
Invitations / stationery
I designed all our wedding stationery, including our wedding website, and I wanted to do something totally different to everyone else. We had an octagonal invitation with two layers which twisted to reveal different bits of information.
Hair + Make-up
Again here, I wanted something fun and very me, so we went for a pink smokey eye and dark lip. My sister’s friend, Frankie Neal, did the hair and makeup.
A Willowby by Watters Dress
The dress for me was all about those sleeves. We ventured down to Heritage Brides at Hatfield House where Sam (the owner) told me they had a special Willowby by Watters designer weekender. It didn’t mean too much to me as I didn’t know of the designer, but when looking at the rack I was instantly drawn to a pearl-covered sleeve.
The dress was out of our budget but after trying on 6 or 7 other dresses, Sam said “you are still thinking about it aren’t you?”. I tried it on and it was just meant to be. I had it completely fitted to me, and was one of the first brides in the UK to wear this dress.
After choosing my dress, I was looking in my Instagram saved images and I had saved a pearl hair piece from Lelet NY. It must have been fate that my dress would be covered in pearls too. As for the veil, I just wanted something super sheer for the chuppah as I wasn’t planning to keep it on.
My shoes were supposed to be pearl-covered sandals, but due to the change of seasons, I ended up rocking my pink Adidas falcons which I scored in an outlet for £25!
The handsome groom
Max wore a window-pane waistcoat and trouser combo, to match the geometric style of our theme, but truly the most important thing he wore that day was his late-grandpa’s tallit. He was very close with his grandpa Maurice, so this really meant a lot to him.
Unfortunately I didn’t have all my bridesmaids with me, but my sister wore a black jumpsuit with a pearl-embellished belt as a nod to my dress.
Our favourite part had to be when our rabbi asked us (in advance) to tell him what we loved about each other. He read out what we had said and most of it had us all in fits of laughter, which is particularly apt for us – one thing in particular being that Max is the Pumba to my Timon!
I was planning on designing our ketubah, but with the rush we ended up using the United Synagogue one. When we have our big celebration, we may do something with the one I designed.
We borrowed Kinloss’s chuppah for ease, but threw some fairy lights on it to add some twinkle!
I walked into Lechah Dodi to the tune of ‘Let It Be’ by the Beatles. My dad and I love them, so this was really special!
My incredible pink bouquet came all the way from France. I knew I wanted a faux or dried bouquet and discovered Celestine Morel on Instagram who does the most stunning arrangements. Back in February, we bought a large bouquet for me and matching smaller bouquets for all the bridesmaids.
I’m so glad we went with these as it means we didn’t have to worry when postponing and I can re-use it for part 2!
Photographer and videographer
Our photographer was David Pullum, who I had seen work at my best friend’s wedding last year. He was so good about moving things around for us and we can’t wait to work with him again for the party! The colours in his images are amazing.
We also had the wedding professionally streamed on Zoom by EventCapsule. It was so well done, with live editing in the stream and everyone commented on how brilliant it was. Some of our guests dressed up for it and it was so fun to see them!
Food and Cake
After the ceremony we headed to The Manor Elstree for an afternoon tea which was delicious!
With it being 2020, we couldn’t have a wedding without some branded hand sanitiser. We found some pink ones and I branded them up. Even though they ended up having the wrong date, everyone loved them!
My mum also surprised us at the tea with some personalised M&Ms!
In order to get some fun photos, Max’s dad got hold of a scrap car for us (which we spray painted to match our theme back in February) to use as a prop. We weren’t even sure if the car could get to the venue in the 3 day time-frame, but it did!
At the moment we have nothing booked, but our plan is a luxury spa tour of Scotland and Ireland!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
We’ve all learnt a lot this year about dealing with changes, but when something is so beyond your own control there is no point in letting it get you down. Just focus on the positives… I get to wear my incredible dress twice!
AIMEE & MAX’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photographer – David Pullum
Zoom videographer – EventCapsule
Toast master – Toastmaster Jango
Hair and Make-up – Frankie Neal
Flowers – Celestine Morel
Dress – Willowby by Watters from Heritage Brides
Stationery/branding – Oy Vey Studio
Tea – The Manor Elstree
Neon sign – Sketch & Etch
Rabbi – Marc Levene from Belmont Synagogue
If you’re a Jewish or Jew-ish bride-to-be, you’ll want to join Smashing The Glass’ Brides Club. Guided by the world’s number 1 Jewish wedding expert, Karen Cinnamon, Brides Club is the private community for Jewish and Jew-ish brides that removes wedstress and indecision and gives you what you need to plan with confidence during these uncertain times. Join our Brides Club here.