One of the best ‘how we met’ stories ever to have graced these pages is about to unfold before your very eyes. I’ll let the bride, Danielle, regale the full tale, but essentially the bride and groom’s parents were friends before these two were even born and their mothers fell pregnant at the same time. Born just six days apart, the bride and groom essentially knew each other from birth and what makes this Jewish wedding so very special is that so many of the guests had known both the bride and groom since the day they were born and had seen them grow up together — and apart (Danielle and her family moved to Florida when she was six) — and then together again!
No surprise then that this wonderful wedding is all about celebrating family with a closeness and an intimacy that I’m sure was felt intensely by every guest. So many wonderful touches, but one of my favourite is Danielle and Adam’s chuppah idea:
As the chuppah symbolises the four walls of a Jewish home, we wanted our family and friends to help us build this ‘home’. We asked all the ladies to pick out a rose and place it within the chuppah and hopefully while they did so they also made a wish for us and our marriage.”
I’m also very much liking Danielle’s Enzoani dress and those wonderful mismatched bridesmaids complete with baby’s breath flower crowns — the perfect accompaniment to that scenic backdrop of blue skies and the Great British countryside.
Everything about this beautifully designed wedding at the gorgeous Northbrook Park is like viewing canned happiness and fun! From the personalised ushers’ pants(!) to the abundance of floral prettiness provided by Fairynuff Flowers to the Marryaoke and the “family style” Mediterranean cuisine by Eat Me. It all made for a rustic, relaxed feel of a family Shabbat dinner with people chatting and sharing food as if they had known each other for years! Oh wait, many of the guests did!
Enjoy this one peeps — the day was photographed perfectly by Cotton Candy — a duo of fun, fabulous women who did a brilliant job of capturing all the love and details.
how we met
Danielle, the Bride: Believe it or not, our history dates back to the 1970’s! Our parents were friends before we were born and when our mums fell pregnant at the same time — they started going to antenatal classes together. Adam and I were then born in the same hospital only six days apart!
We were put together immediately and were fast friends — having birthday parties together, swimming lessons, and play dates! When I was six, my family and I moved to Florida and while we saw Adam and his family periodically over the years — the two of us lost in touch after we last saw each other at 14. Fast forward ten years when I was living in New York and came to London to stay with my grandparents for Rosh Hashanah. Adam’s cousin and I went out for sushi and stopped by his house to say a quick hello. This quick hello turned into a long evening of catching up and then we were inseparable for the rest of my visit.
At the end of the week I got back on my flight to Manhattan not sure what was going to happen next and two weeks later Adam came to New York! The rest as they say is history and we started flying back and forth every six weeks until two years ago when I moved to London to explore the next stage of our relationship.
Eight months later he proposed the night before our trip to Greece. We spent our engagement-moon in Mykonos and Santorini and a year later got married! Adam’s brother recreated this story in fairytale form in his best man’s speech at the wedding which was unforgettable! We know our family and friend history contributed to the beauty of our wedding … we have known many of the people there since the day we were born and they have seen us grow up — together and apart and then together again! It could truly not have been more special.
Choosing to get married at Northbrook Park
We chose Northbrook Park as our venue because it is the perfect space to blend our love of nature and greenery into a wedding and is seamlessly done at this gorgeous venue. As I am from America and knew my family and friends would be traveling over (some of whom were visiting England for the first time) we wanted them to have a glimpse of the rolling English countryside. Northbrook Park is so different to anywhere else we had seen in London (knowing we didn’t want a hotel wedding) and it incorporates the more formal gardens where we had the chuppah, and the exposed brick room covered in vines that felt so cozy and intimate for the party … we fell in love at first sight.
Building our personal style into the wedding
I think our mind-set when exploring decor was really just trying to incorporate our personal style into the wedding as much as possible. We really wanted guests to notice the details and think “this is so them”. We also wanted to emphasise the natural beauty of the venue such as the vines on the exposed brick in the main hall. When exploring this further we ended up with a rustic and elegant theme that incorporated pinks and neutrals with a touch of gold for a bit of sparkle!
We didn’t use a wedding planner but between Adam’s parents and my parents, we officially formed ‘team wedding’ and had a blast doing it together! One of the best parts of the wedding for me were the amount of people that came from all over the world — America, Europe, Australia. Especially America! About 30 friends travelled over to be there for us on our day which just made the atmosphere even more immeasurable. Due to the long distance nature of most of our relationship — Adam and I have never had all of our friends in one room and this was something we had been looking forward to for a very long time!
The importance of a ‘Day-Of’ Organiser
Whilst we did not have a wedding “planner” – we did have a “day-of organiser”, Hannah Manson, who was absolutely instrumental in making the day run smoothly. We have joked with her ever since that we should have put a Fitbit on her to track her steps throughout the day – she would have done over 50,000 easily the way she was running around the venue making sure everything was running perfectly. She seemed somehow to be in two places at once. From set up to clean up – Hannah was our rock. We rested easily on the days leading up to the wedding knowing she was going to be there on our day and we would recommend her capable hands to anyone!
Hair + make up
The hair and makeup was an absolute blast from the search on Pinterest for the perfect look to trials with the amazing Nicky and Sarah to the actual day of. Adam’s mum has been to Nicky’s salon for many years now and with her experience there was no doubt that we wanted her to be a part of the day. I almost always wear my hair down and curly in its natural state so Nicky kept it this way but even better — soft and romantic and then with the flowers gave the floaty look I was going for.
Sarah Catherall is a wonderful makeup artist I was introduced to through a friend and is just so talented. She not only has an amazing skill of bringing out the beauty in a person but she was a calming and very funny influence on the day itself! She gave me the natural romantic look I was going for with peaches and soft pinks.
Finding the perfect wedding dress for me by Enzoani
To me, wedding dress shopping was not as magical as somehow I thought it would be. I started in Florida with my parents, sister, and grandparents — on my grandma’s birthday in fact — which ended up being quite overwhelming although fun! When I came back to England, I went to quite a few shops with Adam’s mum and there are just so many gorgeous dresses out there that it becomes quite difficult to narrow it down.
When I tried on my dress by the American designer, Enzoani, I really felt “it” for the first time. I remember walking out of the dressing room with a huge smile on my face and couldn’t wait to get my mum on Facetime.. I feel as if the dress contributed to the romantic rustic feel of the day with the tulle and flowing train. Combined with the corset type top, it had everything I wanted to feel modern yet floaty. I ended up picking it up from New York on the trip we took for my best friend’s wedding and couldn’t wait to get it out of the box. My mum ended up loving the dress so much … she even tried it on! We were in fits of laughter when my dad walked in and saw her! I made a few alterations to it to make it my own and despite the weight of it (warning ladies!) I felt absolutely gorgeous in it and our little cousins could not stop playing in the layers as they thought I was a real princess!
My friends often tease me that I will use any excuse to wear something in my hair and our wedding day was no exception! Adam’s mum wore a gorgeous headband on her wedding day with white flowers so we repurposed the headband with some fresh roses added on the day and attached the veil. I could not have been happier! Passing down elements like this from family weddings was one of my favourite parts of this experience. Our family is of utmost importance to us so being able to incorporate this into every aspect was very special.
Kitten Heels… and changing into a pair of Toms
My shoes for the ceremony travelled from Nordstrom in America to be with me on the day … kitten heels in silver, but even better were the shoes I wore for the dancing! Adam of course knows how much I love to dance (and jump!) and surprised me with special white TOMS with silver sparkles to wear for the dinner and party. I danced all night long and could really be my silly self. Having worked in the non-profit sector I am passionate about giving back and love that with TOMS even a small purchase of shoes gives to someone in need.
The handsome groom
Adam was always going to go for a classic look but slim cut with a subtle satin finish. When I saw him I couldn’t help but think of James Bond! He wore a bow tie and got all of the groomsmen and dad’s knitted skinny ties so that he would stand out. My favourite part of his outfit though were the cufflinks I bought him as a present. We did long distance from New York to London for the first two years of our relationship so I bought him vintage map sterling silver cufflinks — one with a map of the Upper East Side for his left wrist and one of our neighbourhood in London for his right wrist.
Six fabulous bridesmaids in gorgeous ‘mismatched’ colours
My bridesmaids were one of the most important parts of the day! Six of my best friends stood by my side as we got married including my sister and my cousin. As between the seven of us we live in four different places (London, New York, Oregon, Florida), there unfortunately was not an opportunity to be together before the actual wedding weekend but I changed this into something positive! Each bridesmaid chose a long dress in either a neutral or pink color that suited their personal style to fit the theme of the day — I encouraged a floaty look! We tied the look together with the bouquets and the most gorgeous flower crowns made of a thick baby’s breath from our wonderful florist. They fit my vision for the day perfectly and were the most wonderful support for the months leading up to the wedding and they day of each in their own way.
The ceremony was fantastic – you can see in the pictures how our mothers are standing together on one side and our fathers on the other. To me, this is a great example of how close our families are. Our dads were giggling away! It was all very light hearted. We chose to have our chuppah in the middle of our guests rather than the end so that it was as inclusive as possible. Adam and I are very fond of Rabbi Epstein who married us — we got the opportunity to spend time with him and his wife in the months leading up to the wedding learning about our parsha.
Rabbi Epstein also married my cousin in the summer so we loved the family connection as well. Typically sheva brachot (seven blessings) are done by the Rabbi under the chuppah but we wanted to include and honour our families as much as possible throughout the whole day so we invited six of our family members to join us under the chuppah and give us blessings.
I am a huge Beatles fan which was incorporated subtly throughout the day so before the formal ceremony started — we had a string band who played a set of pure Beatles for 30 minutes! It may have been their rendition of Here Comes the Sun which kept the weather so perfectly for us all day!
chuppah design and ceremony decor
The gardens of Northbrook Park are so exquisite — during the ceremony you could see an apple tree in full bloom with autumnal colours bursting from the trees and we didn’t want to overdo our chuppah. We chose twisted willow branches with light pink and white roses. Again, in keeping with the intimacy of the day — we had buckets of roses at the end of the aisle before the ceremony began — we had a chalkboard sign that we had handwritten.
We asked the ladies attending the wedding to pick out a rose and place it in the chuppah and hopefully while they do so also make a wish for us and our marriage. As the chuppah symbolises the four walls of a Jewish home, we wanted our family and friends to help us to build this home which is why we asked them to essentially help us “build” our chuppah with the flowers.
Our fabulous florist
We are both in love with our florist — Steph of Fairy Nuff Flowers. I saw her work originally on the Northbrook Park website and knew immediately I wanted her style and then we met and hit it off immediately. Having incredible professional (and in this case hilarious!) vendors to make the wedding come to life is the best as they are the ones beside you and your family every step of the wedding planning process! The blooms I chose for my bouquet were tons of different roses — spray roses, piano roses, white o’hara roses … you get the picture! We also had greenbell and due to my love of growing herbs on the windowsill — some jasmine and rosemary. Which also gave off a lovely scent! The bridesmaids had mini version of my bouquet … all with a romantic trailing lace.
Wonderful photography by Cotton Candy
Choosing our photographers was again so easy after seeing their work. We picked Cotton Candy — a duo of fun fabulous women who take candid and alternative pictures (hope you agree after seeing our pics!) After meeting and sharing wine with Gemma, we knew we wanted her to be a part of our day! She has such an eye for detail and the small moments — a glance, a smile, a hug that permeates throughout all of her work.
Videography by Matthew Posner
We also had a few videographers — Adam’s brother and best man, Matthew Posner, shoots and produces music videos among other work so he recruited a few of his colleagues to shoot our day. As an addition to the typical wedding video – In the weeks leading up to the wedding we had our family and wedding party (bridesmaids and ushers) learn all of the words to Shut Up and Dance so that we could produce a Marryoke for the day.
‘family style’ Mediterranean food and quirky canapà©s
Our catering was done by the fabulous team at Eat Me. Instead of the traditional wedding meal — we had a “family style” Mediterranean main course. This included plates of shawarma, chicken, Israeli salad, etc. that were passed around the table in large platters. We wanted the rustic feel of a family (or Shabbat!) dinner with people chatting and sharing food! Eat Me also did an amazing job with the canapà©s — we had an American/English theme for the reception food which included American mini hot dogs, sliders, and popcorn chicken contrasted with traditional English fish and chip cones!
We chose The Function Band who were absolutely fantastic! We saw them at a showcase they held in London and wanted them right away! They rocked the whole party at our wedding — had people on stage, got involved with the crowd — could not recommend them more highly! Very communicative and easy to work with in this process, and then flawless on the day itself!
Danielle & Adam’s LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography — Cotton Candy
Videography — Matthew Posner
Venue — Northbrook Park
Catering — Eat Me
Flowers — Fairy Nuff Flowers
Musical entertainment — The Function Band
Day-Of Organiser — Hannah Manson
String Band — Bowfiddle
Bride’s dress — Enzoani
Bride’s shoes —Nordstrom and TOMS
Giant lights — The Word is Love
Hair — Nicky Jennings from Escape in Radlett Herts (assisted by Tash)
Make Up — Sarah Catherall