Today’s couple, Monica, a surveyor, and Damon, an e-commerce manager, had a beautiful multicultural Jewish wedding smack bang in the center of London. Their glam day featured a champagne color scheme, stunning flower arrangements, and a super cool Perspex chuppah.
Bride Monica converted to Judaism, and it was important to the couple to incorporate traditions reflecting all of their families’ heritage into the day. They had musicians from Sweden, Germany, Israel, and London brought in to perform songs in Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, and English, and their singers even learned some Greek to make sure they really mastered the performance!
Keeping with the theme of family, they chose their venue, Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Belgravia, partly because it’s where Damon’s sister got married previously, and they loved having that connection. The couple got their mothers to team up on the welcome speech, Monica’s dad not being much for public speaking! And Damon’s touching speech, including a musical performance by the groom himself (!) made every guest in the room tear up.
Their amazing photographer, Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor David Morgan, was likewise chosen partly because he had worked on a previous family wedding – but also because when the couple met with him they just clicked. Monica sings his praises as not only a super calming influence on the day who “saw beauty in moments you wouldn’t expect,” but also a huge support in the lead-up to the wedding.
Lucky for you UK brides-to-be, David is also offering a 10% discount on any package to members of our VIB [Very Important Bride] Brides Club! He’s just one of many handpicked vendors offering discounts or free gifts to members of this very special group, which also features a private members-only Facebook group with around-the-clock support and advice from my team and me, plus all kinds of cool bridal extras and goodies. If you haven’t joined yet, don’t delay as we’ll be closing membership for this quarter shortly!
Monica and Damon were also delighted with their videographer, Jamie Horton at Yours Truly. Jamie had never worked on a Jewish wedding before, but he was excited to learn about a new set of wedding customs.
In the VIB Facebook community, we hear from a lot of brides who are unsure about using vendors new to Jewish weddings, and this just goes to show that so long as the vendor in question is willing to learn about new wedding traditions there’s really no reason to worry.
Here’s more from Monica, who was just gorgeous in her sparkly Oleg Cassini gown…
How we met
Monica, the bride: We met when I was 20 years old; he is my best friend’s brother.
A London Venue
We got married at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Belgravia. We had looked at over 30 venues but wanted to ensure we had a good balance of space and class. My husband’s sister got married at this venue 5 years ago too, so there was a sentimental connection.
A Multicultural Wedding
The color scheme was champagne, we did the planning ourselves, and we handpicked each song and incorporated all our cultures into the music. We had Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, and English songs. Our singers even learned Greek for us!
This was due to the fact that I am a converted Jew and so we wanted to pay tribute to all the traditions from mine and my husband’s families.
A Mysterious Invitation
We decided to go for an invitation that did not give away the color scheme so that the guests were surprised upon arrival. We chose a purple croc invitation.
A Sparkling Gown
My dress was from David’s Bridal and was designed by Oleg Cassini, who used to design for Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. I tried on a lot of fitted dresses, and then decided to try the dress I ended up choosing, “just for fun.” It had a fitted champagne strapless bodice and a white ruffled skirt. When I tried it on both my mother and mother-in-law burst into tears. I knew then it was “the one,” and I even added more sparkle to the bodice for the wow effect!
I wore a tiara by the same designer but kept all other jewelry to a minimum.
I wore stiletto white satin shoes with a mesh insert from Bionda Castana – but once the final speech was over I kicked them off and made my way to the dancefloor!
A Fab Makeup Artist
I had my makeup done by Mario Dionisi. He works at MAC, and when he had the trial I knew he was the one! We had a great time together; he made me laugh and listened to all my requests. He even ordered me eyelashes from America! He made me look amazing.
The handsome groom
Damon wore a tuxedo – he looked the best I have ever seen him. I will always remember the moment he walked into the badeken room.
Bridesmaids in Champagne
I had my 5 best friends as my bridesmaids. I wanted them to feel comfortable and at ease so I let each girl choose her dress. My only request was they were champagne colored.
A Perspex Chuppah
We wanted something different to all the other weddings we had been to, so we chose a Perspex design with draped champagne flower arrangements and floating candles.
An Emotional Speech
My husband made the most amazing speech. It literally made every person in the room cry. Every time I see any of the guests, it’s the first thing they mention to me!
We handpicked our ketubah and we took inspiration from our rabbi’s ketubah, which was so stunning. The colors are green and gold.
Mr & Mrs Jones
We chose classic Hebrew songs for the procession, and then as our first dance we chose the appropriately titled Me & Mrs Jones!
My husband incorporated Wishing On a Star by Rose Royce into his speech for me, as he proposed to me under the stars.
We had the most stunning flower arrangements – 3 varieties for the tables, 6 tree designs, 6 tall designs of flowers wrapped around an illumined vase, and 6 lower-level arrangements with gold tree branches, which showed off all the stunning flowers. Our florist, Craig White, even sprayed some of the flowers gold to keep to the theme. He had the most innovative designs, and the room and chuppah were breathtaking.
Our fabulous photographer…
Our photographer was amazing. His name is David Morgan, and he worked on a previous family wedding. We met with three photographers, but we knew David was the one as soon as we arranged to meet. He was the only photographer who wanted to meet at the venue; he wanted to see the space and show us how he could work with it.
He was also such a calming influence and really relaxed us on the day. He saw beauty in moments you wouldn’t expect and created special shots from normal angles. He was always there for me; I could call him at any time and he would answer. He was also great at getting all the family together for the perfect picture! And we have a lot of family to co-ordinate! We couldn’t be more pleased with the final pictures and the atmosphere they capture.
We used Jamie Horton at Yours Truly as our videographer. He had never worked on a Jewish wedding before but was excellent and really enjoyed the day with us too. There was so much emotion in the room that he is still editing the video to ensure he captures every moment!
Double the Dessert
We didn’t have a cake as we had a dessert AND a dessert buffet!
Musicians from around the World
We chose Levi Levin – he knows the family well and delivered the most amazing set! He was at our beck and call for a year in the lead-up to the main event! He designed the layout of the room, the lighting, the sound, and co-ordinated the band, where he brought musicians from all over the world – Sweden, Germany, Israel, and London – to create the sound we wanted!
Speeches by the Mothers
My mother and my husband’s mother made the welcome speech, which is a task usually undertaken by the father of the bride! However, my father is shy!
It was a nice touch to the wedding, and very comical as our mothers are very different characters. My husband’s speech to me was amazing; he sat me in the middle of the dancefloor and told the story of our love! He coupled with backing music – Wishing On A Star – as we fell in love under the starts on a holiday together and he proposed to me under the stars in Wales. I was scheduled to sing Etta James’ At Last for my husband on the day, but due to all the stress and lack of sleep I lost my voice – so I sung for him on our honeymoon in Thailand instead.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
It’s so hard to say, but do not worry – whatever is going to happen on the day is going to happen! Something will always go wrong but no one realizes apart from you so do not stress!
Monica & Damon’s little white book
Photography – David Morgan
Videography – Yours Truly
Venue – Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel
Bride’s dress and tiara – Oleg Cassini purchased at David’s Bridal
Bride’s shoes – Bionda Castana
Makeup – Mario Dionisi
Band – Levi Levin
Florist — Craig White