After the popularity of last week’s winter wedding, we’re thrilled to be sharing another incredible (and very different!) winter Jewish wedding that’s cooler than a polar bear’s toe nails (sorry couldn’t resist that!).
Despite getting married in February in Manchester — when daylight is at a minimum, and you can pretty much forget about sun — Danielle and Jason (who run the travel blog 52WeekendsNY) had the most stunningly gorgeous day.
Knowing what they were up against, the couple decided to play up the dark, wintry vibe. Their venue, Victoria Warehouse — a former Kellogg’s factory — is just the kind of cavernous warehouse space that lends itself to some serious cozying up. Danielle and Jason did such a fantastic job warming up the concrete floors and unfinished brick walls with florals in claret and dark green, a candle aisle (!), and the dreamiest chuppah (built by Danielle’s dad!): pared-down in keeping with the industrial vibe of the day, but with the poles still wrapped in greenery and purple flowers — plus some fairy lights for a super magical wintry look.
We just love how the couple created such a unique and beautiful aesthetic for their day — and photographer Liam Crawley of The Crawleys did the best job of capturing not only the lovely details of the day but also all the emotion, of which there was plenty to go around.
One other thing we loved about this wedding is that not only did the bride give a speech, so did both of the mothers! On our Facebook group lately, there’s been some discussion about the English tradition of only the groom, best man, and father of the bride speaking.
Understandably, a lot of today’s brides aren’t so comfortable with this all-male lineup, but it’s not always easy going against such a longstanding tradition. So we’re always excited when we see brides — and their female relatives and friends — standing up and speaking out on their big days. Now over to Danielle…
How we met
Danielle, the bride: We met at university and now live together in NYC.
A Warehouse Venue
Jason and I were married at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, UK. This was mainly because we live in New York and decided that it would be easier to have more of our favorite people together in a place with direct flights!
From there we knew we didn’t want to get married in a traditional wedding venue. We wanted a historic space with character and flexibility to make it our own. In the end we booked the venue after many phone calls, but without seeing it in real life first!
We didn’t want the wedding to be terribly thematic, but rather accentuate the beautiful character of the building, from the concrete floors replete with markings from the days as a Kellogg’s factory to the unfinished brick walls and heavy metal doors.
Getting married at 4pm in Manchester in February meant the venue was never going to be flooded with light, so we decided to make that our strength. We had a candle aisle (supplied by Spring Bank Flowers) and festoon lighting and uplighters supplied by Peter Lockwood. Peter was a great supplier; he knows the venue inside and out, and is very responsive and lovely to boot!
In terms of color scheme, we wanted to stay in keeping with the season, so had claret and dark green foliage. My aunt is a local florist, Fabulous Flowers, and I told her my color pallet and industrial ideas and from there she created garlands and table centers of potted plants and succulents, and our bouquets and corsages.
We didn’t use a wedding planner, which was certainly a challenge living in NYC, but we had an on the day coordinator, Becky of Inspire, who made the day seamless. Hiring her was one of the best decisions we made for the whole wedding.
We made our invitations ourselves on Vista Print and kept it super simple, playing on the dark and light of the event.
Hair + Makeup
Lynsey Tanner of The Northern Bride provided my hair and makeup as well as my mum’s, mother-in-law’s, and bridesmaid’s. Lynsey was amazing on the day and a treat to deal with. She really listened to each of us and was very accommodating to my geographic limitations for the bridal trial.
A Secondhand Dress
My dress was from Bridal Garden in New York, which is a not-for-profit bridal store, that donates proceeds to educational charities for disadvantaged children. I bought it off the rack, 3 sizes too big, but had it significantly altered by a tailor in Manchester.
I wore a headband from milliner Jennifer Ouelette and my aunt made a small birdcage veil that we attached on the day.
I also wore a vintage fur caplet purchased from a small vintage clothing store on a trip to Hudson in upstate New York a couple of years before.
Red and Gold Shoes
On my feet I wore a red and gold pair of heels with an ankle strap. I was determined that the shoes I bought I would wear again, and with a pair of cream or white heels I knew they would languish at the bottom of my closet — with these they remind me of the best day each time I wear them!
The handsome groom
J wore a three-piece suit in dark brown wool purchased from Yoox and a Chelsea boot from Russell and Bromley. He also bought a collarless shirt and old-fashioned paper collar that the tailor fitted. He wore a pocket watch from his mother and an antique double albert pocket watch chain.
I had one bridesmaid and a flower girl, my best friend and my cousin. C wore a floor length gown from Catherine Deane, in claret to match the flowers, while JB, my flower girl, wore a cream and gold dress from RenzRags on Etsy.
An Industrial Chuppah
We wanted a rustic chuppah that would be in keeping with the rest of our wedding, but everywhere we looked there was lots of fabric draping and flowers. My dad, however, rose to the occasion, building the frame from bamboo and making the canopy from voile while working with my aunt to decorate with deep purple flowers, greenery, fair lights, and hessian.
An Inclusive Ceremony
I converted before our wedding so while it was important to us that our wedding was Jewish, we also wanted to include both our families fully. To do this we had each of the Sheva Brachot read in Hebrew by one of J’s family or close friends and then read in English by the according relative from my family and friends.
We also wanted to be married by someone who knew us well, so our rabbi, who also led my conversion, came over from New York to marry us. He is a lovely orator and suggested J and I write letters to one another that we gave to him to read before the wedding. He then based the ceremony around those letters.
We also made ceremony guides so that those who were not familiar with a Jewish wedding would follow the order of service and understand the significance of each part.
A Personalized Ketubah
Our ketubah was created by Jerise from Etsy, who worked with J to create a personalized ketubah with the skylines of our university (where we met), London, Manchester (where each of us are from), and New York City (where we now live). It also featured quotes from poems and books that held significance for us. While we had the traditional Hebrew text, J also composed English text underneath this.
An Irish Klezmer Band
Bride Processional — Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah
The music performed during the ceremony and hora was by an Irish klezmer fusion band from Manchester, called L’Chaim Kapelye. I cannot speak highly enough of their professionalism and talent. They played a mix of traditional Irish folk, Hebrew, and klezmer songs, and even played klezmer versions of modern songs like Britney’s Toxic, which was a fun round up to the hora!
Our flowers, chuppah decoration, button holes, and table centers were provided by my aunt, who is an independent florist in Manchester. I discussed the color scheme and aesthetic we wanted and she did the rest. There were berries, thistles, deep purple calla lilies, succulents, and deep green foliage in the bouquets. Our table centers were glass terrariums with planted foliage, which guests then took home as pseudo favors at the end of the night.
Our fabulous photographer and videographer
Our photography was provided by Liam Crawley, who we were directed to by our videographers, The Lawsons. We wanted the photographs and video to capture the spirit of the day, as opposed to having a number of staged photos.
Liam and The Lawsons were truly fantastic! They gave us exactly what we wanted: candid and warm images. More practically, The Crawleys and The Lawsons know each other well and work together often, making them a great duo to work in sync. Liam, Laura, and Pete were unobtrusive, consummate professionals and so accommodating it made the process seamless.
A Surprise Cake
We were very lucky that my other aunt is quite the cake maker (referrals only I’m afraid!). Again, I told her what the aesthetic was, she asked our favorite flavors, and she set to work. We had no idea what it was going to look like until we got to the venue on the day. The cake had three tiers in four flavors: a traditional fruit cake base, red velvet, chocolate Guinness, and lemon drizzle.
Our catering was provided by Grape and Grain, who are affiliated with Victoria Warehouse, making it easier to coordinate. They really were remarkable, the food was timely, plentiful, and seasonal. We served all food family-style to encourage the mixing of guests who otherwise didn’t know one another, and we wrapped up with a desert bar.
All the Music
We had two bands and a DJ on the day: L’Chaim Kapelye to play the ceremony and hora and a 60s-style band to play the evening dancing, who later also DJ’d. We also had an acoustic singer to play the cocktail hour.
On the day both our mothers spoke, as opposed to the traditional speech by the father of the bride. Both J and I also made speeches, and friends from each part of our lives gave toasts to the Queen, State of Israel, and America.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
– If you’re planning your own wedding and you have the budget to, get an on the day coordinator.
– It’s cliched, but it really does go by so quickly. Stop, look round, and breath it in; it’s unlikely that same group of people will ever be in the same room again and they’re there to celebrate you. That’s more remarkable than any detail at your wedding.
Danielle & Jason’s little white book
Photography – The Crawleys
Videography – The Lawsons
Venue – Victoria Warehouse
Wedding coordinator – Inspire
Bride’s dress – purchased at Bridal Garden
Bride’s accessories – Jennifer Ouelette and Lionette
Groom’s attire – Yoox and Russell and Bromley
Bridesmaids – Catherine Deane and RenzRags
Hair + Makeup – The Northern Bride
Flowers – Fabulous Flowers
Band – L’Chaim Kapelye
Catering – Grape and Grain
Candles – Spring Bank Flowers
Lighting – Peter Lockwood
Invitation – Vistaprint
Ketubah – Jerise
Kippot – Hebrewear