We’ll be taking a little break from posting over the holidays. We’ll still be active over on our Instagram, and inside our Brides Club and Smashing Life memberships, so hopefully see you there! Otherwise we’ll be back here on Friday January 3rd for our very first real Jewish wedding of 2020 (and it’s an epic one). Happy Holidays!
How was your first night of Hannukah last night? We’re so excited for the Festival of Lights and together with all our STG Brides Club and Smashing Life members, we lit our Chanukiahs together inside our Facebook group last night and it was magical!
Not yet a member of Smashing The Glass’ Brides Club? You can join here – we’d love to have you inside our community (and of course also help save your time, your money and your sanity on your way to creating your day your way).
They held their wedding at Trinity Buoy Wharf, a stunning warehouse venue in London, And with the city skyline as the dramatic backdrop to their big day, what a celebration it was!
We love the way the interfaith couple – Gavin is Jewish, while Bethany was brought up Christian – followed their civil ceremony with a personalized religious blessing they crafted alongside their rabbi to reflect their shared values and beliefs. We’re also obsessed with Voyteck’s emotional-packed documentary-style photography, which captures the essence of the day so perfectly.
And with top-notch ‘sharing style’ catering from Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Adam Nathan – who the bride praises for going above and beyond in his willingness to run with any idea, no matter how out there (not to mention his delicious food, which guests are still raving about) – served alongside beer and damson gin the couple made themselves (!), we’re experiencing serious FOMO that we didn’t get to attend ourselves. (Also, how perfect is it that Bethany and Gavin named their beer“How Amaze is this Porter” to tie in with their wedding hashtag, #howamazewedding?)
Now over to the bride, who looked beautiful in Essense of Australia…
A London Wedding
Bethany, the bride: We got married at Trinity Buoy Wharf. It was a long search for a venue as we were determined to not have a wedding/party in a hotel ballroom and additionally we wanted a venue that none of our friends had been to! We did a lot of searching for venues, but it was all worth the wait! We also chose this venue as we knew that if we were going to get married in London then we actually wanted to be able to see London (Bethany grew up in the Suffolk and Shropshire countrysides, so that was an option too!).
We didn’t want all of our guests who were coming from across the world to come to our wedding and then be in a room which could have been anywhere. So we found a lighthouse on the Thames, opposite the O2 with the city in the background, it was perfect!
A Fab Planner
Our colour scheme was shades of blue, we filtered this through our invitations, table stationery, flowers, groomsmen suits and the flower girl!
We used Sama Hemsley (Utterly Wow) as our wedding coordinator, she took over 5 weeks before the wedding and tied all of our suppliers together, created a plan for the day so all suppliers knew what they were doing and when. Sama also answered all of our last minute questions, concerns and was a very friendly and patient ear for anything we wanted to run by her. We met her at our venue on a couple of occasions to talk through how we envisaged the day and what we had planned.
On the day she coordinated everything together and everything ran like a dream (at least as far as we were aware and what better praise can you get than that!) She also offers a full wedding planning service and I can honestly not recommend her enough, she is such a calming presence but in addition has modern, on trend ideas!
What ‘Smashing The Glass’ Brides Club’ Did For Us
Smashing The Glass‘s Brides Club is a great space for brides to be to share ideas and #wpws (wedding planning wins), and most importantly support from each other. As much as wedding planning is a fun amazing experience at times it can also be testing, so to have the support of all of the members is amazing!
We designed our invitation ourselves with the help of U-Name-It, a wonderful North London based personalised invitation company. We knew from the start we wanted something different so opted for a gradient watercolour theme. We felt like this was apt for us as our wedding venue is based on the Thames and Bethany grew up by the water. It was so much fun being able to choose every aspect of our invitations and really make it personal to us. Linda at U-Name-It was also patient with us and extremely flexible and knowledgeable designing the invitations with us.
Hair + Makeup
I had the lovely Laura Lester assist on my makeup, my bridesmaids’ and my mum’s on the day. She is such a wonderful calming influence and made us all look so natural and feel so comfortable. We had a makeup trial a few months earlier and tried out different looks but I knew I wanted to look as natural as possible. Laura was the perfect person to create any look and for me she perfected the natural look. She was so great with my bridesmaids too who all wanted different looks!
I bought my dress from a boutique in Shropshire, I had gone back home for the weekend before my parents went off on a 3 month holiday and my mum persuaded me to pop in so she could see me in a dress in real life, as she knew I’d likely find one whilst she was away.
We managed to get an appointment and had the most wonderful experience, the dress I chose was actually the second dress I tried on and as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one. It felt perfect and so special. My mum was so happy to be there when I found the one, it all worked out well!! I loved that it has multiple layers of different types of lace giving it such dimension. I then decided once it came in that I wanted to make some alterations to it, I managed to source the same lace that was used one on of the layers and added a small sleeve onto it. I decided I wanted to not have a fixed strap, so my seamstress made it slightly loose so that one, it wouldn’t tear and two, I could then position it in different places throughout the day.
My veil was my sister’s who got married 3 months earlier, she had long beautiful ‘cathedral length’ veil and I knew that it would be so special for us to share something (something borrowed). The veil was from Pronovias and its simplicity worked perfectly with the detail on my dress.
My jewellery all came from Net-A-Porter, earrings were by 14/Quatorze – Baby Breath earrings, their intracity and delicacy worked perfectly with my dress. My necklace by Melissa Joy Manning was a 3 circle drop necklace, whenever I wear something which is a 3 I always do so as it represents myself and my two sisters.
I also bought hair accessories from Botias Accessories – I actually was flicking through Instagram and saw the most gorgeous hair style with opal pins popped in, I immediately purchased the pins and text my hairdresser to see if we could recreate the look.
Christian Louboutin – Naseebasse. I decided I wanted shoes that I would wear again but that were also super special, I love this shoe as it had a chunky gold heel then from the front it looked so classic. I had envisaged changing out of these at some point in the evening so had bought flip flops and some wedges just in case but I didn’t end up wearing either. I didn’t once think about my feet and it wasn’t until the end when everyone had gone, I finally took them off that I realised how much they hurt! Lets just say it wasn’t so easy to walk the next day…
The handsome groom
Gavin wore a made-to-measure Ted Baker suit with brand new Ted Baker shoes to match. He wore a dusty pink tie and pocket square, the groomsmen wore the same style of tie and square but in sky blue, it looked great!
I had 3 bridesmaids, both of my sisters and my now sister in law, we had 1 flower girl, my god daughter and my nephew as a page boy. The 3 bridesmaids all wore Vera Wang, they all had a different style which they chose themselves but all in the same colour (midnight blue), the flower girl wore a pale blue flowery dress from Monsoon and the page boy who was 2 wore a little pale blue and grey waistcoat suit from Marks and Spencer.
An Interfaith Ceremony
We had a mixed faith wedding, Gavin is Jewish but I was brought up Christian. We had a civil ceremony the civil ceremony first and then had a ceremony of celebration which was created in collaboration with Rabbi Hannah Kingston from Alyth synagogue. Alyth were extremely supportive and involved in the lead up to our wedding and we loved creating a religious blessing that reflected our values and beliefs.
We chose to have readings in the second part of our ceremony. Beth’s sister Kate read an extract from Les Miserables (a nod to our love of musicals), Gavin’s sister Susannah read some wise words from Friends character Joey Tribbiani (a TV show we love) and then Gavin read a poem by Leonard Cohen (an artist close to our hearts). It was the perfect ceremony for us and showed many different aspects to us and our relationship.
Our music choice
We decided to have a string quartet for the ceremony, the wonderful Carnaby Strings. It took a long time to decide what I wanted to walk down the aisle to, I knew I wanted a piece that incited excitement and built to a crescendo. My sister, Kate actually suggested the song I chose, ‘Spring 1’ recomposed by Max Richter, however I then decided to get it recomposed again for us and so it would work for the string quartet. This made it even more special as I knew nobody else would have had my song quite like ours!
As we had a mixed faith ceremony we then had a couple of songs whilst signing the registrar, one being ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, and I have to be honest I chose it because of my current obsession with the movie Crazy Rich Asians! We also chose ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen, my family are huge Leonard Cohen fans so I had to get one of his songs in somewhere! We then also had Carnaby Strings play during the reception, we gave them a mix of modern songs and good classic pop songs as there’s nothing I love more than hearing a string quartet suddenly crack out a tune you’d never thing you’d hear from them!
We then had the most amazing band lead us into Israeli dancing and then the most phenomenal set, The Talent Band. We knew from the get go that even though we were having a mixed faith wedding we wanted Israeli dancing, we both felt like its such an easy way to get everyone joining in and who doesn’t love it?! The Talent Band went above and beyond with creating the party atmosphere and they truly read the room. We’ve had SO many people raving about them and it was so nice using a band that none of our friends and family new! Our entrance song was ‘One Vision’…
Our first and last dance was ‘The One’– Kodaline, this was actually one of the first things we chose for our wedding, we were attending a gig of theirs and they started playing the song and we both just looked at each other and said this is it, this is our first dance and every time we’ve listened to it since we’ve cried!
We used the wonderful Gayle at Bloomingayles for our flowers. She is the most wonderful, bubbliest, calming and patient florist we could have wished for. We knew we wanted to use Proteas as Gavin’s family are South African so it felt right to give a small nod to such a special place. We then spoke through with Gayle how we wanted flowers to complement our theme, we wanted the wilder rustic look, as that’s a bit more us. We both loved eucalyptus leaves and as we were having olive trees dotted around the room and outside we also wanted to tie these in. We knew we didn’t want the traditional roses for the men’s boutonniere’s so we chose blushing bridal protea and thistles to give a gorgeous contrast.
We had many wonderful phone calls and meetings throwing around lots of ideas…I think the pictures speak for themselves, she really did excel herself. Gayle came up with the amazing idea to use glass cubes so the flowers would sit underneath the glass and then as our main meal was feasting style we could place the plates on top, so they became great space saves too, genius! We’ve already had a few people ask if they can use the idea, such a compliment!I also really loved that she put together bags of the flowers at the end of the night so our guests could easily take them away, one of my biggest needs was that these beautiful flowers wouldn’t be wasted, it gave me such joy to see so many happy guests choosing which flower bags they wanted.
Dwarf delphenium – flower of the July birthday’s which is Gavin’s and symbolising ardent attachment!
Dicentra – meaning a deep and passionate love between two people.
Phlox – Partnership, harmony and sweet dreams.
Our photographer was Voyteck. Very early on in our wedding planning process we decided we’d use a photographer Gavin’s cousin had at their wedding. She wasn’t available but right away recommended us Voyteck who photographed her wedding. That was enough of a recommendation for us and after having a look through his amazing photo slideshows and wedding photography we were absolutely sure he was the right person to document our day. We liked that he specialised in the more candid photography which we’re both big fans of. All his photos seemed to capture the essence and vibe of the party no matter how big or small. We had decided not to have a videographer, so someone that could capture the mood of our day was important. We were blown away with his finished product and can’t stop looking through the photos, it’s become a daily ritual!!
The lovely Adam Nathan did our catering, we had been to a few small parties which he had catered for previously and the minute we tasted his food we both looked at each other and knew we had to have Adam cater our wedding. Adam went above and beyond what I’d expect of a caterer, the thing we loved the most was no idea was too ridiculous and there was never a ‘I can’t do that.’
We had two separate tastings to make sure we got it spot on. One for a starter and main course and another for canapes and desert. We went on a bit of a journey with our menu for our wedding and Adam was constantly helping us out with what he thought would be best with our venue/timeline. A week before our wedding we changed the menu up a bit after advice from Adam as the weather (luckily for us) had been so warm that we wanted to serve less of a hearty three course meal. We had originally planned to have a salmon sashimi dish as a starter but a decision was made to cut that and turn it into another canapes instead. The main course and dessert were served ‘sharing style’ which is a style that Adam specialises in and worked really well with our table layout. All of our guests raved about the food at our wedding.
We also very last minute (just over 2 weeks to go) decided we wanted a cake! Adam put us in touch with the lovely Nadine who went above and beyond for us, she sent us lots of possibilities and like Adam, nothing was too crazy. We went for 2 tiers, one coffee and one Victoria sandwich, as our dessert was already lemon and chocolate.
We had a band called The Talent and they absolutely SMASHED it. We spent a long time looking for the right band. It was important for us to find a band that was a bit different but could also do the Israeli dancing live. We really lucked out with finding The Talent. After listening to a lot of their stuff on line and videos too we went to see them at another wedding in Essex. Advice we’d give other couples looking for band is to imagine them playing to your ‘crowd’. You will know if you’ll have a crowd that will be up on the dance floor the whole evening or if they’ll need a bit of encouragement. Craig from The Talent was really lovely to deal with and kept in constant communication with us in the lead up. They really listened to our likes and dislikes and fed off the crowd the whole evening. They even let Gavin indulge in a dream of his and let him lead the whole of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ backed by their awesome band. We’ve been trying to come up with reasons to use them again! One year wedding anniversary anyone?
We used mini succulents as place names that everyone was able to take home with them at the end of the day, we chose these as we both love plants and really wanted a little something that everyone could take home!
We created our own personalised paper cups for people to have drinks in before the ceremony, we thought it would be a bit more fun and unusual than having just the normal glasses or plastic bottles… we were trying to be as eco friendly as possible and not create unnecessary waste!
We also made our own beer called “How Amaze is this Porter” which incorporated our wedding hashtag and was also really good fun to go and make a few weeks before the wedding! We also made damson gin which was served with dessert, which we made using all homemade ingredients from Bethany’s parents home in Shropshire! We can safely say all went down extremely well. As we had so much alcohol on offer we also made “Hangover kits” for everyone, we just popped in paracetamol, vitamin C sachet and some sweet chocolatey treats!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Everyone said to us before the wedding to make sure you keep stopping during the day and taking it all in. It was something I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do but we did do it. We asked friends to tell us to do it and I was very conscious to look at everyone’s faces and take it all in as the day went a long. One of my favourite memories is during our last dance everyone congregated around us, hand in hand, we didn’t realise initially and then I looked away from Gav towards everyone else for a moment and saw all these happy smiley faces, it was the best feeling.
Bethany & Gavin’s little white book
Photography – Voyteck
Catering – Adam Nathan
Wedding planner – Utterly Wow
Venue – Trinity Buoy Wharf
Bride’s dress – Essense of Australia
Bride’s shoes – Christian Louboutin
Bride’s accessories – Pronovias, Net-A-Porter, 14/Quatorze, Melissa Joy Manning and Botias Accessories
Groom’s attire – Ted Baker
Bridesmaids – Vera Wang, Monsoon and Marks and Spencer
String Quartet – Carnaby Strings
Band – The Talent
Flowers – Bloomingayles
Stationery – U-Name-It