This wedding had me the moment I saw the chuppah. I just love the trickling white, yellow and orange Gerberas trailing down from the canopy. So very pretty, so very simple and so very effective.
It’s safe to say that Naomi and Adam’s wedding is also the first I’ve seen where the badeken takes place on a bridge in a Japanese garden. A badeken is the ritual where the groom veils the bride, and is often the most emotional moment of a Jewish wedding. It’s where the bride and groom see each other for the first time, a few minutes before the main ceremony begins under the chuppah. Badeken ceremonies often take place in a nondescript room next door to where the chuppah is taking place, but again, this wedding shows that you can be really creative with where you choose to hold it, and a bridge in a Japanese garden is as good a place as any (in fact probably the most original badeken location I’ve ever seen!)
Essentially I love the informal vibe of this relaxed affair, sunshine, smiles and brightly coloured blooms provide the perfect backdrop for what looks like an amazing party (check out the very final shot at the end of the post to see what I’m talking about).
This gorgeous set of images, as spirited and dynamic as the big day, produced by STG regular Blake Ezra, will ensure that all those fantastic memories stay fresh and vibrant for many years to come.
how we met
Naomi, the Bride: We actually met 10 years ago at a friend’s birthday party. I had always heard Adam’s name (through mutual friends) due to the fact we shared the same surname, but I had never met him. The night we first met, I told my friend ‘he will be mine one day’. We then became friends and I genuinely pursued him for 7 years! To make a very, very long story short, he finally asked me to be his girlfriend, and then he proposed on our 3 year anniversary!
A tudor barn venue
We were both set that we didn’t want a traditional hotel or something of a similar vein. We wanted a venue with a bit of character and something slightly different. In the end we went for a tudor barn in Cheshire that also allowed outside catering.
We used a planner on the day called Lisa Sheldon. She helped to organise the running of the day, dressing the room, and changing the room around. She sorted any issues that arose and dealt with everything to try and keep me calm on the day!
a purple and teal colour scheme
I had three bridesmaids – one wore a teal dress, one wore a purple dress, and my 10 year old niece wore a cream dress with a teal and purple sash.
Our fathers wore purple cravats with purple kippot (yamulkas), the ushers wore teal cravats with teal yamulkas and Adam (my husband), wore a cream cravat and cream yamulka
Natalie Silverman at Silvie Designs spent loads of time with us and was so patient with our many ideas. We had so many designs and thoughts.. we originally started with bright colours, then peacock colours and ended with a black and white silhouette design on vellum. We then asked Blake Ezra, our photographer, to take a picture of us to try and replicate the image onto a thank you card.
designing my own dress
I actually designed my own dress! I didn’t plan to, but I tried a few on and none of them were really me. I had a few ideas, put together all the best bits of previous dresses and came up with my own design. My dressmaker was a woman called Erica Stacey and I took a bit of a gamble with her.. I found her online and just took a chance!
I went to her with the ideas I had, and she drew exactly what I wanted. I just totally trusted her and felt very comfortable and we went from there. She was amazing and took so much time and effort to please me, Nothing was too much trouble. We had quite a few fittings and several adjustments were needed. She was so accommodating and lovely – I would definitely recommend her!
I had a veil and a flower that went in my hair that matched the dress, again all made by Erica. I knew I didn’t want too much fuss and with the dress having a lot of detail, I didn’t want to detract from it.
Would you believe it, I found them on eBay! They matched my dress perfectly. They were ivory with a little lace and a satin strap and were very comfy. I didn’t take them off once!
hair + make up
I used Tally Bookbinder and she’s amazing! I’ve known her for many years – shes a professional make up artist, and when I got engaged, I knew straight away that I wanted to work with her.
The handsome groom
Adam wore a grey Ted Baker morning suit – he looked gorgeous! It was a three piece suit with an ivory waistcoat and cravat.
I wanted something different and not a typical white chuppah, so I did a lot of googling looking for different ideas and I worked with the florist and was quite specific about what I wanted. I also planned for an outside chuppah, so wanted something to reflect this. In the end we created a chuppah made from sticks with Gerberas dropping down on a very fine wire in whites, yellows and oranges.
music for the ceremony
Adam and his parents walked down to the orchestral version of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day. My mum, nephew, and bridesmaids walked down to the slowed down and orchestral version of Neil Diamond’s Summer Love and I walked down with my dad to Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof.
flowers and food
Our florist was called Carl and he owns a shop called Flowers and Cards. I had a bouquet of white roses with diamantes in the middle, surrounded by calla lillies.
My bridesmaids had calla lillies, and the button holes for all the men (except Adam) were a rose. Adam wore a rose and a calla lilly.
The centre pieces on the tables were a tall wooden trellis structure with alternate orchids and calla lillies.
Our catering was done by a company called Ushy’s. Again, we didn’t want the standard soup and chicken, so we had a mini mezze to start with, and a lamb tagine for the main, with a chocolate fondue for dessert!
our fantastic photographer…
We used Blake Ezra. I met Blake a few years ago and followed his work and always loved what he did. I also wanted someone who I knew and felt comfortable with. Blake was our perfect choice.
Murray Ludwig at Ludwig Studios was an amazing videographer. He captured all the moments, and was so professional – we never even knew he was there, and the way he has created the whole DVD and highlights is perfect!
A Frank Sinatra impersonator
For the reception, we had a Sinatra impersonator called So Sinatra, He looked, sounded and acted just like Sinatra – he was absolutely awesome!
Later on we had an amazing band called Storm. I knew their work as my cousin used to manage them and they are one of the best bands in the business. We had a string trio for the ceremony and then an 11 piece band for the evening that played during dinner as well.
Our first dance was Stevie Wonder’s For Once in My Life. I also created all the playlists – all upbeat songs and tunes that have good memories.
a dance-off between the men and women
During the dancing, the music cut and two guys came on to the dance floor. They were 2 break dancers called the Urban Jokers, we didnt know anything about them – the band and my dad had sorted this as a surprise and we had a dance-off between the men and women!
We also had a caricaturist called The Mad Badger during the evening to entertain the guests that weren’t so into the dancing side of things. The main thing we wanted was to have a relaxed day, nothing too serious and for the guests to have fun and enjoy themselves.
I love bubbles, so as well as a bubble machine when the guests walked from the ceremony to the reception, I had mini bubbles on the table with coloured lids to match the colour scheme.
Also, instead of set place names, I had everyones names etched onto wooden hearts that were tied around the wine glasses so the guests could take them home as well.
advice to other brides and grooms
Enjoy every second as the day goes far too quickly…
Naomi & Adam’s LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Blake Ezra Photography
Videography – Murray Ludwig at Ludwig Studios
Venue – Tudor barn in Cheshire
On The Day Planner – Lisa Sheldon
Bride’s dress – Designed by the bride and made by Erica Stacey
Bride’s shoes – eBay
Groom’s suit – Ted Baker
Flowers – Flowers and Cards
Catering – Ushy’s
Hair + make up – Tally Bookbinder
Band – Storm
Entertainment – Urban Jokers
Sinatra Impersonator – So Sinatra
Caricaturist – The Mad Badger
Wedding stationery – Silvie Designs
Yarmulkes – Judaica World
Mens’ cravats and pocket squares – designed by the bride and made by Erica Stacey
Rabbi – Rabbi Walker from Heaton Park Synagogue