Happy New Year from all of us here at STG! We hope you enjoyed a gorgeous family-packed holiday season and congratulations to all our newly-engaged readers . Welcome to STG and the very special community we have created (you might also want to follow us on Instagram and Facebook and join the private Facebook group for STG Brides too!).
So onto today’s gorgeous real wedding… Hands up who loves colour! And creativity! And phenomenally floral wedding dresses! OK, I briefly have to put my hand down so I can write up this gorgeous real wedding for you, but it remains enthusiastically raised in spirit.
Adam and Amy met in shared halls at university and Amy’s mum immediately clocked him as a perfect match for her daughter, definitively proving the theory that mum knows best.
The pair got married at Chippenham Park, Cambridgeshire, with all the action and their contemporary monochrome and floral colour-pop theme captured beautifully by photographer Adam Cluer from SE3 Productions.
At Smashing the Glass, we see a lot of wedding dresses, all beautiful and unique in our own ways, and yet we say this with emphasis: Look. At. That. DRESS!
This detail-heavy day is bound to make you swoon. From the groom’s velvet blazer to the bridesmaids in matching monochrome, the collaborative homemade cake effort to the touching and special chuppah design (seriously, maybe grab a tissue before reading that bit), you won’t be able to stop staring.
Over to Amy to tell us all about her Jewish wedding day.
How we met
Amy, the bride: I met Adam on our first day of University, 12 years ago. In fact, I met Adam’s mum and sister first while unpacking my food into the communal fridge.
As soon as my mum met Adam she knew we’d get together; she just had a feeling about him, so when I told her we were going out a few months later, she asked what had taken us so long!
Beautiful gardens at Chippenham Park in Cambridgeshire
We got married at Chippenham Park, Cambridgeshire.
It was halfway between where I live now and where my family home is in Norfolk, it had beautiful gardens and we both wanted a venue which had plenty of light and space.
A monochrome striped and colour-pop floral theme
I wasn’t one of those women who had been thinking about her wedding day ever since she was a little girl. In fact, I wasn’t particularly fond of weddings, so deciding on a style of wedding didn’t come easily. I knew it would be colourful and bold, but, other than that, I didn’t have any ideas.
For several months, we didn’t really have any direction until we started to plan our invitations. Adam picked a black and white striped invitation with pink flowers, which we both loved.
By this time, I had chosen my wedding dress and the invitations matched it perfectly. The styling for the day all followed on from the invitations, with black and white stripes featuring on the bridesmaids’ dresses, table runners and cake. It was fun, bold and colourful; exactly what we wanted.
Contemporary hair creations
I initially struggled to find a hair and makeup artist, having had two questionable makeup trials. Just two weeks before the wedding, with nothing booked, I was beginning to panic. I ended up booking a wedding trial through Blow Ltd. This is where I met Jevdet Orgen.
We had so much fun at the trial and I was so pleased with the hair and makeup that I booked him for myself and my bridesmaids.
I had only ever had one idea for my hair, I wanted something modern as my dress was so flowery. When I showed Jevdet my one and only pin on Pinterest he panicked slightly, as he’d never created a hair style like it.
However, it only took him five minutes to create the look and it was amazing. The version he created on my wedding day was even better than I had hoped.
Daring to be different with a Sassi Holford floral dress
My dress was purchased from Miss Bush in Woking. I chose the Marilyn dress by Sassi Holford. I had tried on so many white/ivory dresses but they hadn’t felt right. Maybe I always knew I’d end up with something a bit different.
My first trip to try on dresses was back in November 2015. It was fun, but by the umpteenth bridal shop, I just found the whole thing tedious. One day I was reading a wedding magazine and I saw a picture of a patterned dress on an advert for Miss Bush. Woking wasn’t particularly convenient for me, but I decided to go and see the dress.
When I first tried it on, I liked it and my mum loved it, but it was so different, I wasn’t sure what everyone would think. Was it too “girly girl”? So I went home to think about it. I tried on a load more dresses and still wasn’t sure.
At a second fitting where I had initially changed my mind about the dress, Emma from Miss Bush did my hair in a very modern vintage style, pulling her flower display to pieces to add them to my hair. She then filmed me walking up and down in the dress.
I didn’t change my mind there and then, but over the next few days I kept watching the video and decided that I did want my dress to be different and that if I styled it carefully it could be a very cool dress. So in February I ordered the dress. Needless to say, that was a very difficult decision to make.
I’m so pleased that I chose this dress. It was perfect. There wasn’t any other dress that would have done; it was me through and through.
Gorgeously unique accessories
I had a custom-made short, sweeping veil, with a Mohawk-esk hair do, with pink orchids throughout. I’ve been dying my hair shades of red for years and when I first tried on the dress my hair was a coppery red, but I gradually changed the colour over the next few months, to go with the dress, until it was a true burgundy.
I had a large crescent-shaped bouquet, as I love flowers and apart from that, I kept everything else very plain and simple.
I wore a ruby bracelet which belonged to my grandma, a gold and diamond necklace which I wore as a bracelet which had belonged to Adam’s mum and a pair of pearl drop earrings, which my dad bought especially for the occasion.
Two beautifully impractical pairs of skyscraper heels
I had a very high pair of burgundy satin and suede open-toe shoes from Reiss, which matched my dress perfectly, although I knew I’d never last in them as they weren’t brilliantly comfortable.
I decided to get a second pair, but instead of finding anything more sensible, I ended up with a pair which were equally high! Gold snakeskin style Michael Kors open-toe shoes.
Luckily they had a slight platform, which meant they were slightly comfier. I lasted in the burgundy shoes until after dinner, when I switched to the gold shoes.
A velvet jacket for the handsome groom
After a scroll through Pinterest, I came across a picture of groomsmen in colourful velvet jackets, which I thought looked great. Adam agreed, so I went on a mission to find similar velvet jackets. Adam chose a burgundy one and we picked forest green for the ushers.
Adam wore his burgundy velvet jacket from ASOS with a white shirt, black trousers and black bowtie. The colour of Adam’s jacket was a perfect match with my dress and hair.
Bridesmaids in black and white stripes
I had four bridesmaids and they tied into the theme perfectly. Three of them wore black and white striped dresses from Warehouse. The other bridesmaid had just had a baby, so she wore the matching stripy skirt with a black top.
The girls wore gold shoes and a handmade belt, which featured flowers like the ones on my dress.
Our meaningful patchwork chuppah
A friend of my mums had been to a wedding, where the bride and groom had made their Chuppah from fabric collected from their guests. Adam and I loved the idea of this, with it being so personal and meant that we would be able to keep it forever, so I made the Chuppah myself.
We asked all our guests to send us a piece of material which meant something to them, or reminded them of us. This meant that were sent some wild and wonderful fabrics, everything from pieces of wedding dresses, items of clothing from people no longer with us, to a handkerchief with Elvis on and a tie worn to collect an MBE.
During the ceremony, I could see all those pieces of fabric, particularly the scarf which had belonged to Adam’s mum, who sadly passed away several years before. The light was shining through it, and it really felt like she was there with us.
Our Jewish ceremony
We asked a family friend of mine to sing the Sheva Brachot under the Chuppah, which was incredible. We also used a beautiful Kiddush cup which belonged to my great grandparents, who brought it across from Poland with them.
We knew we wanted a decorative and colourful ketubah, as we wanted to hang it on our wall, so that we could always see it. Luckily we found exactly what we were looking for on Ketubah.com.
Uplifting music choices
We wanted songs that we liked, were uplifting or had special meaning to us, so we chose:
Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root for Adam to walk down the aisle, played by Joel and Nathan Berger
Half The World Away by Oasis for me to walk down the aisle, played by Joel and Nathan Berger
Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson for us to leave after the ceremony, played by Joel and Nathan Berger
A crescent-shaped bouquet
Flowers were by Sam at Wild Poppies. I love flowers and was very particular in what the flowers looked like. I wanted very natural style flowers, with lots of foliage, so I went for a crescent shaped bouquet and hand tied bouquets for my bridesmaids, in burgundies and pale pinks.
Flowers included dahlias, baby pink pineapples, blushing bride and orchids. We then used the same flowers in the centrepieces, the two large displays at the ceremony, the button holes and the flowers in our hair.
Our fabulous photographer…
Adam Cluer from SE3 Productions was our incredible photographer. He is a family friend, so there was never any question on who we were going to us.
We also had Luke from TDH Media as our videographer. This was a last-minute decision and we are so pleased that went for it. The video messages were so much fun to watch.
A collaborative, homemade wedding cake
The cake was made by my mum, and designed by Adam. There were five layers, a fruit cake, coffee cake, Victoria sponge, chocolate cake and carrot cake. It tied in perfectly with our theme, with the black and white stripes, hints of gold and bold pink flowers.
The caterers were Crown Catering. They were helpful, attentive and open to ideas, which was exactly want we wanted, as we really wanted to offer latkes and salt beef bagels as evening food, something which the caterers had never done before. I even supplied the recipe for the latkes!
Our first dance…
We chose Mirrors by Justin Timberlake for our first dance, played by Adam’s brother, Joel Lindsey.
…and the last dance with my dad
Adam comes from a very musical upbringing, and would relish the opportunity to get up and perform, given most situations. Our wedding was no exception. He arranged to play our ‘Dad Dance’ — a touching tribute, where he and his brother, Joel, would sing and play guitar, to one of my favourite songs by Bryan Adams, Always Be Right There. This made for a nice moment in the night, for just me and my dad.
Adam then invited the rest of his family up to perform the Blues Brothers classic, Everybody Needs Somebody. This really got everyone up dancing and I loved watching Adam do what he loves doing best.
We had the fabulous Joel and Nathan Berger from The Lounge Crusade to perform an acoustic set during canapà©s and dinner, they also played for us during the ceremony.
For the Israeli dancing and evening music we had Dukebox City. They were both brilliant, we particularly loved it when Dukebox City’s brass section joined us on the dance floor.
Lovingly homemade favours
We really wanted to make the favours, so we decided on homemade apple chutney or raspberry and redcurrant jam.
We spent a whole weekend, up in Norfolk at my parents’ house, making the chutney and jam. Each jar was then topped with a black and white stripy cover and a handwritten label, which made the favours into place names for the tables as well.
Going out with a bang
We really wanted to have large, light-up letters as props for our wedding, so Adam and our friend Chris built them. They made two ‘A’s and a star. We were so pleased with them and they looked brilliant on the dance floor.
We also really wanted fireworks, as we love them, we used a company called Dynamic Fireworks, who created a display which worked perfectly against the backdrop of the lake at Chippenham park. While the fireworks went on, we provided everyone with sparklers for added fun.
I’d like to give special mention to our incredible Rabbi. Rabbi Jason Holtz, from the Bromley Reform Synagogue, was amazing. He helped guide us through all the details to make the ceremony exactly what we wanted, while making it very accessible to all our guests.
I’d also like to say Mazel Tov to the two sets of new parents who not only joined us on the day, but also had active roles in our wedding. Sian and Chris had baby Amalie 21 days before our wedding, with Sian being one of my bridesmaids and Chris one of Adam’s ushers and Simon and Kerrie, who had baby Arthur 11 days before the wedding. Simon was also one of Adam’s ushers. The babies were beautifully behaved and absolutely gorgeous, making the day extra special.
Advice to brides and grooms currently planning their wedding
Don’t be afraid to be different and make lots of lists, all the planning and time is worth the effort. Have fun and enjoy the experience as it goes so quickly. Our wedding exceeded all of my expectations in every way.
Amy & Adam’s little white book
Photographer – Adam Cluer from SE3 Productions
Videographer – TDH Media
Venue – Chippenham Park
Bride’s dress – Marilyn dress by Sassi Holford bought at Miss Bush
Bride’s shoes — Reiss
Groom’s attire – ASOS
Bridesmaids – Warehouse
Hair + Make-Up – Jevdet Orgen via Blow Ltd
Flowers – Wild Poppies
Fireworks – Dynamic Fireworks
Music – Joel and Nathan Berger from The Lounge Crusade and Dukebox City from Sound Generation
Ketubah – Ketubah.com
Rabbi – Rabbi Jason Holtz from the Bromley Reform Synagogue