Alana and Marc were introduced by a mutual friend over Facebook (the Rabbi even thanked Mark Zuckerburg during the ceremony), and after a few messages back and forth they met up in a Camden pub, and the rest, as they say, is history!
They had a fantastic marquee-in-the-garden wedding and chose to hold their ceremony outdoors, complete with super-sized balloons lining the aisle, and the BEST bridesmaid entrance you have ever seen. Yes, Alana’s 8 month old niece arrived in a a remote controlled mini cream Fiat 500! EPIC or what?
But that’s not all. I also absolutely adore Alana’s entire outfit — from her exquisite wedding dress to her sensitively designed birdcage veil and headpiece which she accessorises perfectly with a pink and peach Peonie bouquet.
Alana and Marc have written their wedding report together and it’s lovely to hear from a Groom who had so much input into the big day, even though he confesses that “Alana had so many ideas for the wedding that [he] wasn’t convinced by, but “[he has] to admit they ended up being amazing” (And he said that he promises he wasn’t forced to write that either!).
Images come from our fabulous Smashing Supplier, Mark Seymour, back with a bang to STG with this wedding. As always, he captures every last detail beautifully. And there’s an immense highlight film right at the end of the post by Wedding Films London. It really captures the spirit of the day and if you’ve never been to a Jewish wedding but always wondered about the “crazy Jewish wedding dancing thing” scroll to 3 minutes, 5 seconds in and you’ll get a terrific example (WARNING: you’ll feel exhausted just watching!).
THE PERFECT VENUE FOR AN OUTDOOR CEREMONY AND A GREAT BIG PARTY!
Alana the Bride, and Marc, the groom: Our venue was called Offley Place. We dreamed of having the ceremony outdoors and we wanted the venue to have real character to it too. We also needed to find somewhere that could fit our huge family. We had a few venues fall through and we were really finding it difficult to find anywhere that worked for us. When we went to see Offley Place we knew straight away that we wanted to get married there. The grounds were stunning and the marquee had capacity for our huge family. The fact that the manor house had rooms for us to stay in ensured that the party could continue late into the night. Also, the manor house itself was very beautiful. Offley Place had the potential to incorporate all our ideas and the team there were clearly geared up for Jewish weddings already.
ALANA ORGANISED SO MUCH OF THE WEDDING HERSELF AND HAD MANY CREATIVE IDEAS
Alana loves planning parties so putting our wedding together was the ideal opportunity for her… her dream come true! At our engagement party, a friend, Deb, gave us an amazing scrap book as a gift which we used to put down all of our ideas in the wedding planning process. We took our inspiration from Pinterest, wedding magazines and online forums. On the day itself, the band provided an event manager to ensure that everything ran smoothly (which meant that we didn’t have to stress during the wedding day) – they also were really helpful with input into the timings for the day. Alana named our theme ‘country boho chic’ – Marc still doesn’t know what this means…
HAIR + MAKE UP
My sister got married a couple years before me. For her wedding hair and make-up she had used Ayelet Garson which she and everyone loved. Ayelet was therefore the obvious choice. Ayelet is a fabulous make-up artist and a super hair stylist. She was great on the day and dealt well with the craziness going on around her.
A BRILLIANT INVITATION DESIGN
We didn’t want a traditional Jewish wedding invitation. We wanted something we could put our stamp on which reflected our personalities, so Marc asked one of his best friends to design it – he is a graphic designer. We absolutely loved what he came up with and used the style for everything ranging from thank you cards, to benchers and beer mats.
DETECTIVE WORK TO FIND MY WEDDING DRESS…
I came across a dress that I really loved and the style of which I hadn’t seen anyone else wear before when flicking through a bridal magazine. The designer of the dress however was not credited in the magazine. With some detective work (calling the magazine in which the dress was featured) I located the designer – Catharina from My Eden. I journeyed down to her studio in Wimbledon with my mum and there was ‘the dress’. It was pretty but also very original and fun. Catharina was amazing; so friendly and efficient. She was fabulous to work with and was very happy to alter the dress to my specific design needs.
To go with my short dress, I opted for a birdcage veil. This was designed and made by milliner Anna Staub. Anna is a friend of the family which added a nice dynamic. Anna was super and the veil that she made was beautiful.
I didn’t initially want anything extra for my hair. The week before the wedding I was at a family friend of Marc’s (Ruth Dickson) who happens to makes crystal wedding hair pieces. I saw a really pretty hair clip that fun, pretty and complimented my dress. Ruth insisted that I must have the hair piece for the day and kindly gave it to me as a gift.
TWO PAIRS OF SHOES: HEELS + TOMS
Unfortunately, I’m not the best in heels (despite the rest of my family living in heels) which meant I could not go for skyscraper heels. As I was wearing a short dress it was important that I had some great heels as they would be on show at all times. My flatmate, Debby, was a superstar and scoured the internet for the perfect shoes. She presented me with a whole list of options with lots of helpful comments about each option. I opted for a pink blush heel with beaded embellishment from Coast. They perfectly colour matched the bow on my dress. Half way through the dancing, I was done with the heels. Another fabulous friend, Leah, kindly bought me some white crocheted TOMS to comfortably party the rest of the night away in.
A VERY DAPPER GROOM..
I wore a tailor made navy tux by Jon Kruger. It was the perfect navy as it made me stand out on the day, but it was dark enough so that I can wear it again to other weddings and not take the attention away from the groom. My shoes were black brogues (Jeff Banks from Debenhams). Accessories included a black velvet bowtie from Mrs Bowtie, and white silk pocket handkerchief and black braces with my initials engraved on the metal clasp. I also wore my grandpa’s cufflinks so that it felt like he was with me on the day (he passed away a number of years ago). I looked extremely dapper!
…AND SOME SUPER DAPPER GOODY BAGS FOR THE BEST MAN AND USHERS!
Marc provided his Best Man and ushers with brown paper goody bags before the wedding which included: velvet bow-ties, stripy socks, white silk pocket handkerchiefs, and black braces with their initials engraved on the metal clasp.
AN 8 MONTH OLD BRIDESMAID WITH THE BEST BRIDESMAID ENTRANCE EVER!
We had a baby bridesmaid, Alana’s niece – Aya (Alana is obsessed with her). We wanted her to look like a little ballerina. We found a peach baby tutu and lace cream leotard on ebay and our florist made her a flower garland. Aya (only 8 months old and not yet walking) made her way down the aisle in a remote controlled mini cream fiat 500 — best bridesmaid entrance ever!
CHUPPAH DECOR IDEAS
Instead of flowers at the Chuppah, we had giant peach coloured balloons along the aisle. They played into the fun atmosphere we were trying to create and they also looked fab! We were then able to move them into the marquee where they added an extra element to the decoration (Alana and I released a couple of the balloons the next morning – it was strangely satisfying to watch them fly away).
In terms of the actual canopy, we really liked the chuppah that Alana’s sister had used at her wedding 2 years prior to us. It was very elegant but also simple. The chuppah was sourced from Rafi Pinnick.
Aya in the remote controlled car kind of stole the show. It injected some light-heartedness into what can otherwise be a very serious service. The fact that we were able to have the ceremony outdoors really made the difference – it made it simply beautiful. We had a lot of family involved with the ceremony which is always a special thing. It was particularly special because Alana had both sets of grandparents present at the wedding with both grandfathers partaking in the sheva brachot under the chuppah. For Marc, it was very emotional to walk down the aisle with his parents – his mum has had a hard time over the last few years, so just to have her walking him to the Chuppah was amazing.
The chazan ‘Marc Levine’ was a friend of Marc’s, and having him sing at the Chuppah made it so much more personal (it also helped that his voice is absolutely incredible!) and every song he sang was full of so much emotion and passion. We really loved every aspect of the ceremony – from walking down the aisle with our parents, to the Rabbi’s address, and then the dancing out from the chuppah surrounded by all our friends and family. The atmosphere was incredible and it really set the tone for the rest of the night.
MUSIC FOR THE CEREMONY
For our ceremony music, we chose the following:
– Grandparents and bridesmaid coming down the aisle – Vezakeini
– Me and my parents – Yedid Nefesh words Mi Bon Siach
– Alana and her parents down the aisle – Boyee Vesholom
– When Alana walks around Marc – Mi Adir to You raise me up tune
– Im Eshkachek — Carlebach (Marc Levine’s version)
A PASTEL COLOUR PALETTE OF FLOWERS
The florist was Miriam Moses. The flowers were chosen from a pastel colour palette. We had 4 different arrangements to mix it up a bit on the guest’s tables. Flowers included hydrangeas, roses, peonies, viburnums and gyp; hessian also featured highly. My flowers were bright peach and pink peonies. Button holes were gyp tied up with brown string. Marc got a peony in addition to the gyp for his button-hole. The flowers were in keeping with the country boho chic theme.
OUR WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPHER…
Mark Seymour photographed our wedding. He was the most genuine of all the photographers we met with and we were really impressed with his work. In addition, we also had a number of friends who had recommended him to us. He did a super job.
We loved our videographer whom we came across on an internet search – Edgar of Wedding Films London. We were blown away by what Edgar produced on the day. The final product was creative, beautifully shot and really captured the atmosphere of the day. He was a pleasure to work with and we couldn’t recommend him more highly.
Reich catered our wedding. The food was wonderful – our fave were the sorbet dishes served during the reception (perfectly refreshing on such a hot day) and the biscotti as part of the dessert.
GIANT GARDEN GAMES
We entertained our guests during the reception with giant garden games spread out on the lawn. Our guests had so much fun playing with these — and not just the kids.
We are both really into our music, so we really wanted to get the right band. We chose Yachad Simcha Band, whom are part of Creation Musical Services. Yachad came highly recommended. We also loved how they really got the crowd going when we went to see them perform at an event. They cleverly combine Israeli music with contemporary music in their sets.
In total we had a 9 piece band, which included 2 singers – Marc Levene and Johnny Turgel (they normally only have Marc or Johnny sing, but we wanted both as we thought it would add an extra dynamic to the music). In addition, we also especially requested an electronic violinist to be part of the band. They definitely brought the house (marquee) down! The dance-floor never emptied and everyone rocked the night away. We particularly liked how the band at the end of the evening brought everyone together to sing as one; it was really beautiful. We couldn’t have been happier with our choice of band.
We didn’t have a first dance. It wasn’t something we wanted to do. We had Israeli dancing the whole night as we feel that it’s the best music for a jewish wedding party and wow did everyone party to it!
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES
Remember on the day that what happens will happen. Everything is being taken care of by other people, so you shouldn’t worry. If one detail doesn’t go to plan, it doesn’t matter – no one else will notice, so just go with it and enjoy yourself. And at some point in the evening, sit back and look around. Take in what’s happening and take a mental shot of it all. It goes so quickly that you won’t believe it until you stop to look.
ALANA + MARC’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography — Mark Seymour Photography
Venue — Offley Place
Catering — Reich
Band — Yachad Simcha Band from Creation Musical Services
Videography — Wedding Films London
Bride’s dress — My Eden
Bride’s veil — Anna Staub
Bride’s hairpiece — Ruth Dickson
Bride’s shoes — Coast and TOMS
Hair + Make up — Ayelet Garson
Groom’s suit — Jon Kruger
Groom’s bowtie — Mrs Bowtie
Groom’s shoes — Jeff Banks from Debenhams
Chazan — Marc Levine
Flowers — Miriam Moses