Happy 2021! To ring in the new year, we’ve got something extra special for you today: the drive in Jewish wedding of Sophie, a program manager at a beauty college, and Marc, a TV set designer! When faced with England’s 15-guest limit, these two came up with the most creative way to include more of their guest list in a legal and COVID-safe way, retooling their vision for the big day to encompass a retro drive in movie theater style setup at their original venue, Micklefield Hall, who “were amazing throughout adapting to all our plans.” We can’t get over the incredible day they crafted, and once you have a peek at Iain Gomes Photography’s incredible photos, we bet you will too.
They ended up with 41 cars outside, with 86 people watching the proceedings on a big screen and listening through their car radios (plus a Zoom stream for those who couldn’t make it to the drive in). The wedding was also streamed on zoom so everyone who couldn’t make the drive in could watch online. Marc being a designer, he created videos, graphics, and artwork to amp up the drive-in feel, including a fun welcome pack delivered to each car on arrival. The packs included photo props – the couple asked guests to take selfies with the props, which they then assembled into a guest book – and a wedding speech bingo card: the couple read out wedding speech phrases from the barn, and guests in cars honked their horns when they won! Then, after the ceremony, the pair drove around on a farm truck greeting their drive in guests (from a safe distance, of course).
Extreme Production filmed the day – and lit it to look good on the big screen – with some films by Marc, pre-recorded wedding speeches and a video with the couple’s first dance song playing in the background so guests could dance along from their cars or from home, played in between the live broadcasts.
Sophie and Marc couldn’t have pulled this epic day off with help from some wonderful Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendors, including Alexandra’s Florist, who not only created the couple’s gorgeous floral chuppah but was also “amazing throughout and always adapted to our ever changing plans,” the legendary Toastmaster Jango, and ever-innovative kosher caterer Feast by Ed Shaerf, who were “so understanding with constantly changing plans” and put together a fantastic afternoon tea featuring sandwiches, cakes, doughnuts, and macarons with iced tea – all packed in boxes and delivered directly to guests’ cars!
We just love how Sophie and Marc found so many creative ways to make sure their drive in guests were truly involved and engaged – read on for more of their excellent ideas!
How we met
Sophie, the bride: We met in December 2016 after matching on Jswipe! Marc moved to London in March 2016 from Manchester and I’m from Stanmore. Our first date was in a bar in Shoreditch. I actually saw Marc in the same carriage as me on the way to our first date and thought it would be awkward to get off together at the same station so I stayed on an extra stop and luckily went back!
A Pandemic Wedding
We got married at Micklefield Hall. We went to a good friend’s wedding there and thought it was an amazing venue. We weren’t engaged at that point but absolutely loved it and didn’t look anywhere else! As soon as we went to see it and met all the staff who were all so lovely and helpful, we knew that was where we wanted to get married. We were due to get married on the 22nd March the day before lockdown 1. We had everything planned and ready to go for 180 guests and had to postpone about 5 days before when no one really knew what was happening.
We had our civil ceremony on the 22nd March with immediate family, it was apparently one of the last civil marriages in the country before lockdown! We managed to re arrange our chuppah and party for the 29th October, thinking things would be almost back to normal by then. That wasn’t quite the case!
We feel like we planned four weddings! The original one, a civil one, one for 30 people and then one for 15 people as the rules keep changing. Micklefield Hall were amazing throughout adapting to all our plans.
Drive In Wedding
Three weeks before our wedding Marc’s brother saw a drive in wedding on the news and jokingly sent it to us as an idea. We thought it was amazing and checked with Micklefield Hall if it was an option. They thought it was a great idea and we frantically planned our drive in wedding in 3 weeks! We kept our original colour scheme of navys and pinks but made them a bit more vibrant to go with a retro drive in theme.
We planned it all ourselves and as a designer Marc’s creative brain went into overdrive (no car pun intended) and created videos, graphics and artwork to give it a real drive in feeling! We had 41 cars outside with 86 people all watching us on a big screen and listening through their car radios. The wedding was also streamed on zoom so everyone who couldn’t make the drive in could watch online.
We didn’t have much time to plan it all but we wanted to use all our stationery we had printed for the original wedding. When guests arrived in their cars we gave them an envelope with a flyer in which had the afternoon tea menu, timings and COVID venue rules. There was a wedding speech bingo card in the envelope as we’d planned this for the original wedding with a personalised pencil, there was also a selfie prop and the men got their kippahs. We created a retro sticker for the envelope and also posted an envelope to everyone who couldn’t attend the wedding but was watching online.
We gave each guest in the cars a welcome pack on arrival with a bingo card, a personalised pencil, welcome flyer with information and some photo props. We played bingo from the barn to the cars where we read out wedding speech phrases and the guests in the cars beeped when they won! We also asked our guests to take selfies with the props we gave them so we could put a guest book together.
Hair + Make-up
I still wanted to look like me, so I went for a natural look. Emma from Hob Salons in Barnet did my hair (I have wanted her to do it since she did my hair for a wedding before I even met Marc!) and Sarah Catherall who did my make-up was a recommendation from a friend and I loved what she did for the trial. I was so happy with both my hair and make-up on the day.
An Essense of Australia Dress
My dress was from Forever Bridal and the brand was Essense of Australia. I loved how comfortable it was and Forever Bridal were great at making all the little changes to create the perfect dress! They also made me a little jacket to wear under the chuppah.
My shoes were Rainbow shoes, not too high so I could still walk in them and be comfortable! I put some sparkly trainers on after the chuppah.
The handsome groom
Marc wore a navy DKNY suit with a grey waistcoat from the Savoy Tailors Guild with a pink tie and pocket square from Swagger & Swoon.
We had my sister Anna as maid of honour and our niece Phoebe as our flower girl. We were meant to have 5 other bridesmaids for the original wedding but due to the number restrictions unfortunately we couldn’t have them all. All the other bridesmaids were in their cars or watching online. Some even wore their dresses!
The ceremony was great, Rabbi Marc Levene has an amazing voice and he interacted brilliantly with the cars outside, we could hear them all beeping and cheering! He made it really special.
We had the chuppah we chose for the original wedding; we thought it really suited the barn and loved all the flowers.
We mainly had tulips, roses and eucalyptus for the chuppah, table settings and bouquets and all the men had rose button holes. We used Alexandra at Alexandra’s Florist who was amazing throughout and always adapted to our ever changing plans!
The little tractor we went out to see out guests on was beautifully decorated by Andrew Flemming.
Photographer and videographer
Our photographer was Iain Gomes Photography who was recommended by a couple of friends. We loved his creative style and he captured the day perfectly. We weren’t going to have a video originally but when we decided to do the drive in wedding we used an amazing prouduction company called Extreme Production. They ended up filming and lighting the chuppah so it looked good on the big screen and Marc made us some films to play in-between the live parts or the day.
Food and Cake
We used Feast by Ed Shaerf from Manchester, they were incredible, Ed had really creative ideas and is different to other caterers we met as his style is based around modern trends. They are incredibly creative and were so understanding with the number of guests and constantly changing plans from our original menu for 180 then to 15 plus 86 in cars. They did us an amazing afternoon tea, of sandwiches, cakes, doughnuts and macarons with a raspberry and peach iced tea.
They were all packaged in boxes and delivered to everyone in their cars. The 15 of us in the barn had the same. They also gave the drive in guests a bag of popcorn, hand sanitiser, water and a bin bag on arrival
We planned the drive in wedding incredibly quickly but we wanted people to have fun and make it an event. Marc put all the videos together and were all really personal and special to us as well as making it feel a bit more like a cinema experience! The speeches were pre recorded and edited by Marc. He planned it and put them all together so that they were engaging and exciting for the guests to watch. The intro video was a bit of a story about our first civil wedding the day before lockdown 1 up to our drive in wedding the week before lockdown 2! The guests in the barn had a screen to watch the speeches on too.
Marc also made a video showing photos of us with our first dance song in the background so the guests could have a dance in their cars or at home! We had a little dance in the barn to it! It was also great to go out on a little farm truck to see our guests! This was a way to make sure we stuck to the COVID guidelines and kept everyone safe. We felt like royalty waving to everyone!
We were really conscious to try and interact with the 86 people outside and make it a fun day for them. We had the most amazing day and whilst it wasn’t what we quite had in mind we absolutely loved it!
We went to Devon for 3 days just before lockdown 2 started it was great and we were so lucky with the weather! We even managed to sit on the beach!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Our plans changed so much but we just tried to keep calm and think around all the obstacles! Speak to your suppliers is our main bit of advice, they were so helpful and willing to do what they could to make the day special and open to our ideas.
SOPHIE AND MARC’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Gomes Photography
Videography – Extreme Production Group
Toastmaster – Toastmaster Jango
Catering –Feast by Ed Shaerf
Venue – Micklefield Hall
Bride’s dress – Essence of Australia found at Forever Bridal
Groom’s attire –Swagger & Swoon
Hair + Makeup – Hob Salons, Sarah Catherall
Flowers – Alexandra’s Florist
Rabbi – Rabbi Marc Levene
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.