We love it when a couple crafts a Jewish wedding that stays true to their values – so naturally we’re crazy about the fab celebration of Natasha, who runs Urban Cordial, an all-natural, low-sugar cordial brand made using British surplus fruit, and Jacob, a theatre producer who grew up in Australia!
Given Natasha’s business, it’s no surprise that sustainability is important to these two – and they incorporated it into their day through touches like sourcing seasonal vegetarian British food, reusing the chuppah canopy of their friends Ashley and Adam, and donating their flowers to a hospice and a women’s shelter at the end of the night.
Possibly the coolest sustainable touch, though, is the way Natasha and Jacob created their wedding jewelry: the two worked with goldsmith Rachel Jones to create their rings from heirloom pieces. Natasha’s engagement ring was made using gold from Jacob’s grandmother’s bracelet, a diamond from his grandmother’s engagement ring, and a sapphire gifted to the couple from Jacob’s mum. Then, the couple did a workshop with Rachel where they handcrafted each other’s wedding bands – how special is that?! Photographers Lina and Tom captured everything so perfectly, as did videographers Moon and Back.
Natasha and Jacob are lucky enough to be friends with the incredible Dan of beloved Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor The Function Band, so they were a natural pick when it came to entertainment for the reception – and true to form, the band went all out learning new songs, keeping guests on the dance floor all night, and even throwing in an impromptu song and dance bracket featuring some Aussie classics in honor of the groom! The Function Band also provided the epic lighting for the party – something Jacob was especially attuned to given his theater background.
Oh, and did we mention that this duo smashed not one but TWO glasses (one each)? We could go on and on, but we’ll let Natasha – who looked radiant in Eliza Jane Howell – take it from here…
How we Met
Natasha, the bride and Jacob, the groom : We met at a mutual friend’s house and Jacob helped Natasha take some photos of drinks using her cordials for social media. He still helps her with this kind of stuff.
Jacob is from Australia, where a common format is to hold the ceremony in a garden. We wanted to bring that to our London wedding, and were honoured that some close family friends in north London were happy to host us. We then held our reception at One Marylebone.
A Personalized Day
Natasha runs a drinks company and Jacob is a theatre producer, so we utilised our skills (and contacts) to pull the wedding together in our own style. We like to think we achieved our aim of creating a meaningful ceremony for us to participate in followed by a memorable party to celebrate with our family and friends. We did our best to stay true to our values.
For the day itself, Jacob roped in a stage manager friend to set everything up for the ceremony, and we worked with a planner, With Grace, at One Marylebone to make sure everything ran smoothly for the reception, dinner and party.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but instead took a piece of artwork of dancing figures by a friend of Natasha’s, and used that motif in various colours across all our stationery. We wanted to set the tone for a fun and inclusive day.
We used the e-invitation platform Greenvelope, who donate some of their proceeds to a forest conservation trust. For anything we needed printing (ceremony programme, menu, table plan etc) we went to Kisharon, whose printshop supports their charity of providing education to children with learning disabilities.
Hair + Makeup
Natasha’s hair was done by her friend Leanne Pearson Hair. She chose to go for a glamorous Hollywood wave as it matched the deco style of the dress. Her makeup was done by Paula Kopitko, who Natasha has known for years. She went for a simple smoky eye and a hot red lip (a signature look).
An Eliza Jane Howell Dress
Natasha did her homework online before venturing to the shops. She knew the style she wanted and came across the British designer, Eliza Jane Howell, which is carried at the Bridal Rogue Gallery in Marylebone. The day she went dress shopping, she booked three appointments just to make sure she was making the right decision and sure enough, the one she liked most online was the first one she tried on – and bought that week!
Natasha wore a plain veil also purchased from the Bridal Rogue Gallery. Her only jewellery, other (than the ring) was a pair of sapphire earrings from her grandma, which matched the sapphire in her engagement ring.
The handsome groom
Jacob had a suit made-to-measure by Mr Start, his favourite independent shop in East London. He wore it with a Dries Van Noten tie and Joseph Cheaney shoes. His pocket square was a piece of fabric from his grandfather who was a tailor and passed away when Jacob was 6 years old, and the outfit was topped off with some golden lips cufflinks (which sadly got lost at some point between the end of the party and the next day). When the party got going, Jacob changed into a funky Paul Smith shirt, rolled his sleeves up and ditched his jacket.
We decided not to have a bridal party. We included our family and some close friends in various aspects of the wedding and relied on our siblings for some of the traditional duties.
We worked really hard with Rabbi Adam Zagoria-Moffet at St Alban’s Masorti Synagogue to create a ceremony that felt meaningful and relevant to us. We both come from traditional/modern-Orthodox homes, so wanted to honour our heritage while remaining consistent with our egalitarian values.
Individual touches included having some friends sing us down the aisle and inviting family and friends to recite unique translations of the sheva brachot for us. Natasha’s brother read out the ketubah, which was hand-scribed by Rabbi Adam. To acknowledge receipt of the ketubah, Natasha gave Jacob a keyring with boobs on it, with an outburst of laughter!
Another personal touch came with the chuppah canopy, which was lent to us by dear friends Ashley and Adam whose wedding was covered by Smashing the Glass. We made the poles ourselves out of bamboo, which were held by 4 close friends throughout the ceremony.
Our music choice
Music is really important to us! For our processional, we had two friends sing us down the aisle – one with a Jewish niggun and the other a beautiful folk song called ‘My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose’.
As soon as we smashed the glasses (one each of course), we surprised all our guests with a burst of dancing thanks to the Balkan/Kletzmer sounds of The Trans-Siberian March Band, during which our friend showered us in petals her mother had dried especially for the occasion in Israel.
For the party, our friends at The Function Band (more below) went all out for us. Our first dance was to Shy FX’s Shake Ur Body and we ended the night with Nina Simone’s Feeling Good (which they followed with an uproarious encore of Proud Mary).
We only had a couple of key criteria for the flowers – local and seasonal British blooms, and Natasha (who suffers from severe hay fever) couldn’t be allergic to them. We worked with the wonderful team at The Flower Appreciation Society, who grow and obtain a lot of their flowers from within the M25!
A couple of weeks before the wedding, we went to their London studio and had a sniff to make sure there would be no sneezing on the day, and the results were magnificent. The only import we had was some Australian kangaroo paw, which Jacob insisted on having in his button hole (and some appeared in Natasha’s bouquet too).
Another key factor for us was to be able to donate our flowers after the celebration. We found it astonishing how many florists don’t do this! All the flowers that were left at the end of the night (especially from the incredible pillar wraps) were donated to a hospice and women’s shelter.
Photographer and videographer
This was an easy one! Lina and Tom are old and close friends of Jacob, and the fact they happen to be award-winning wedding photographers made them our immediate choice. As it happens, we were the first Jewish wedding they’ve shot, but you’d never know looking at the phenomenal photos we’ve had to sift through to create our album.
We also worked with Leo and Stephanie at Moon and Back to video the wedding, who did an amazing job capturing the energy of the day.
Food and cake
We’re both massive foodies, so this was another really important element of the wedding. And once again, our requirements were not typical. Staying true to our efforts to eat sustainably and locally, we wanted the food to be seasonal and British, and also vegetarian.
Mark and Scott at Celia Clyne Banqueting rose to the challenge with gusto, even allowing us to list which farms the produce came from (most of which was within a 40-mile radius of their kitchen). They also embraced our desire to incorporate ancient grains in the breads and salads to add another dimension to the food.
To match our culinary delights, Natasha designed the drinks menu, which went so far as to include a make-your-own cocktail on each table. It was a game to encourage our guests to mingle with each other – if you wanted the drink on someone else’s table, you had to ask someone on that table to make it for you! All the cocktails also included cordials by Natasha’s company (Urban Cordial) to give them some real fruity fun.
With so many international guests, we also hosted a breakfast the morning after the wedding, which was catered by Mike from Mike and Ollie. This was picnic style in Regent’s Park and nursed some heavy hangovers.
After the explosion of festival style dancing post-ceremony thanks to The Trans-Siberian March Band, the rest of the night was supremely looked after by Dan and his incredible team at The Function Band. Dan is actually a close friend, and they really went all out for us – learning new songs and keeping the party going all night. Main course was completely hijacked by an impromptu song and dance bracket featuring some Aussie classics, which threw the whole schedule off in the best possible way.
As a theatre producer, lighting was also really important to Jacob, and The Function Band also provided this, making our party that much more epic.
We didn’t do favours. All international guests received a welcome pack full of local food and drink goodies (thanks to Natasha’s network of independent producers).
We could probably go on for ages about this, so we’ve picked a couple of our highlights.
One of the ways we reflected our value of sustainability in the wedding was working with Rachel Jones, a brilliant goldsmith, to create our rings from heirloom jewellery. Natasha’s engagement ring was made using gold from Jacob’s grandmother’s bracelet, a diamond from his grandmother’s engagement ring, and a sapphire gifted to us from Jacob’s mum. We then participated in a workshop with Rachel to hand-make each other’s wedding bands – this was one of the best things we did leading up to the wedding.
We certainly involved lots of family and friends in the day – Jacob’s brother was our MC at the reception and our friends wrote their own sheva brachot to bless us during grace after meals.
Between our work schedules and weather/seasonal restrictions, we were due to go on a belated honeymoon adventure to Siberia and Mongolia in June 2020. Unfortunately, with the pandemic, this has been cancelled, and now we’re waiting to see what we might be able to do when travel restrictions are lifted.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Natasha: get your husband to do most of the planning like I did!
Our organisation efforts were as equal as the way we like to live our lives. We never saw our wedding as a bride-centric occasion. Other than that, identify your shared values and stay true to them.
What ‘Smashing The Glass’ Did For Us
We certainly referred to Smashing the Glass in our planning, amongst other blogs and inspiration spots. It was great to have a resource with a Jewish focus. As much as we sifted through the supplier list, we also enjoyed looking at other couples’ weddings.
NATASHA & JACOB’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Lina and Tom
Videography – Moon and Back
Band – The Function Band
Planner – With Grace
Venue – One Marylebone
Bride’s dress – Eliza Jane Howell, found and fitted at Bridal Rogue Gallery
Bride’s shoes – Hobbs, ASOSGroom’s attire – Mr Start, Dries Van Noten, Joseph Cheaney, Paul Smith
Hair + Makeup – Leanne Pearson Hair, Paula Kopitko
Flowers – The Flower Appreciation Society
Catering – Celia Clyne, Mike and Ollie, Urban Cordial
March band – The Trans-Siberian March Band
Stationery/Invitation – Greenvelope, Kisharon
Rabbi – Rabbi Adam Zagoria-Moffet
Goldsmith – Rachel Jones Jewellery
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.