I love Danya’s mum – she told her about Smashing The Glass and shared the blog with Danya a few months before her wedding. Danya told me how much of a help it was for her as she planned her interfaith Jewish wedding to Andrew, and that makes me one very happy smiley blogger.
Danya and Andrew are a really creative couple who blended their heritages (she’s Jewish, he’s not) and their hobbies to start a pop-up restaurant inspired by Jewish culture. Their pop-up supper club was a big inspiration for their wedding ceremony and celebration as they wanted their guests to feel at home and as if they were at a really intimate, delicious, fun dinner party.
The attention to detail, craft and care for everything at this wedding is so apparent — the couple mixed age-old traditions together with individuality effortlessly, with a gorgeous Autumnal colour palette and lots of personalised details.
I also love this: Danya and Andrew asked two of their friends to decorate their apartment so that when they came home to it after the wedding (it was only a few roads away from the venue) it would feel celebratory and special. Their friends strung paper decorations and placed beautiful flowers and candles throughout the apartment together with a late-night snack plate of crackers, cheese, and champagne. Just wonderful!
Danya and Andrew were married in October 2015 at The Green Building in Brooklyn, an incredible warehouse / loft-style venue in the heart of Brooklyn. All the stunning images are by Chris Gifford from Weddings by Two
The background to our wedding
Danya, the Bride: I’m an East Coast Jew who loves neutral colours and socialising to relax. My husband is a Christmas-loving, West Coast guy who’s never met an outdoor sport he didn’t like. We wanted to combine our backgrounds in a way that felt authentic to us and in a way that our families would recognise, and we lucked out big time with a brilliant and quirky rabbi who totally got what we needed (Rabbi Jim Ponet, a close family friend and Yale University’s rabbi for 30 years – his first ever intermarriage was Chelsea Clinton and her husband!). We spent a lot of time coming up with an original, explanatory, sometimes funny program.
A loft-style wedding venue in Brooklyn, New York City
The Green Building, where we got married, is at 10 minute walk from our apartment! We walk by it all the time, so it felt familiar and also special, since I’ve been secretly imagining getting married there since I moved to Brooklyn! It was the perfect combo of non-bridal and Brooklyn-y with its exposed brick and loft-y look, but the venue is also extremely professional and we knew we’d be in good hands.
a pop-up restaurant / supper club vibe
We worked with a day of coordinator whom we loved: Ashley Chamblin. She also helped us come up with an overall look and feel for the wedding. We wanted to evoke a pop-up restaurant or supper club vibe (since we run one called Pop-Up Shabbat!) and avoid anything overly formal or stuffy. We wanted quality over quantity, beautifully crafted details, and a laid back, fun mood. We had a neutral colour palette with pops of deep red and lots of branches and leafy greens. We relied on details like uniquely shaped wine glasses and bistro-esque silverware to spice things up.
letterpress invitations and wedding program
We had beautiful and simple letterpress invites from Minted that looked very similar to our program and the signage throughout our wedding day.
hair + make up
Danielle Hartnett did my makeup. I wanted to look natural and just like myself, plus some glow and killer eyelashes. I went with a really romantic rose-y lip colour, glowing cheeks, and extra long and full eyelashes.
A Johanna Johnson dress
My dress was designed by Johanna Johnson. I spent months looking for a wedding dress and was starting to get discouraged. I did Bergdorfs, Bloomingdales, and what felt like every wedding boutique in NYC. Everything felt too bridal or not original enough.
While I was browsing Pinterest, I came across Johanna Johnson, an Australian designer, and fell in love with her glamorous but extremely clean and simple gowns. The timing was perfect – they were just in the process of opening an NYC studio, which I visited the day after I called. I went alone and knew as soon as I found my dress that it was the one. It had absolutely no embellishment, it hugged me in all the right places, and the padded cap sleeves added just enough oomph to make it truly stylish.
A silk tulle veil… and a fur bomber!
I wore a really luxurious silk tulle veil that Johanna Johnson gifted to me along with my dress (great customer service!). It ended up being super windy on our wedding day, and the ceremony was outside, so I wrapped it around me to stay warm.
It was supposed to be 70 degrees, but instead it dropped below 50 – luckily, I had a fur bomber that I bought years ago at a thrift store…it ended up making the perfect complement to my dress.
I majorly splurged on a pair of champagne Jimmy Choo‘s which I’ve already worn again. Perfect for holiday parties 🙂
The handsome groom
Andrew wore a custom navy tuxedo by Martin Greenfield, a tailor with an incredible story. He’s a Holocaust survivor who started at the bottom and worked his way up to making suits for celebrities and presidents. He still works out of an old school studio deep in Bushwick, Wiliamsburg! What can I say? Andrew looked so so sharp in his gorgeous tux, but it was the fact that he just couldn’t stop smiling. That made my heart explode!
An interfaith Jewish wedding ceremony
We wanted to combine our backgrounds in a way that felt authentic to us and in a way that our families would recognize, and we lucked out big time with a brilliant and quirky rabbi who totally got what we needed. We hired Rabbi Jim Ponet, a close family friend and Yale University’s rabbi for 30 years – his first ever intermarriage was Chelsea Clinton and her husband! We spent a lot of time coming up with an original, explanatory, sometimes funny (letterpress, of course!) program.
Our chuppah was designed by Fox Fodder Farm – the tons of greenery were perfect for the Autumn, and we loved it. We incorporated my grandfather’s tallit into the ceremony, as well as an eclectic rug that reminds us of one we have in our own home. It was supposed to be 70 degrees, but instead it dropped below 50 – luckily, I had a fur bomber that I bought years ago at a thrift store…it ended up making the perfect complement to my dress.
Music for the ceremony
As I walked down the aisle, escorted by my parents, we played Love is Here to Stay written by Gershwin. There are lots of family connections to Gerswhin for me. My maternal grandmother, Arona, just adored his music, and my paternal great aunt, Fan, ran in the young Jewish Communist set along with the Gershwins themselves! My mother, an incredible musician, has been playing Gershwin on the piano since her teens and sang his songs as lullabies to me and my siblings. As Andrew walked down the aisle, La Vie en Rose by Louis Armstrong played. The lyrics say, “Give your heart and soul to me, and life will always be, la vie en rose.” Andrew’s father, Cliff, loved Louis and played his music often.
We played James Brown’s Good Good Loving for our recessional – it was cool, sexy, and true!
Fox Fodder Farm was our florist. They have a bohemian, clean look to their work that we loved. The palette for our wedding was seasonal yet subtle, lending towards dark textural greens and ochres, dusty rose, wine, and muted berry tones with accents of ivory and cream for the flowers. We used lots of eucalyptus and branches, too.
Our fabulous photographer
We picked Chris Gifford from Weddings by Two. Andrew was a photography major in college, and when he met Chris, they immediately started geeking out about cameras and film, so we knew it was a match. Chris shot a ton of digital photos, but he also brought along some really nice, vintage cameras – we’re planning on framing some of the negatives of those photos.
We had a friend, Gadi Rouache, who runs a creative agency, film the wedding.
A donut truck instead of cake!
Every time we go to a wedding, our cake gets put down at our places while we’re dancing and then it’s taken away before we have a chance to eat it! We went with a local cider donut truck instead.
supper club-like family-style food
For the rest of the meal and the bar, we worked with a farm-to-table restaurant, The Farm on Adderley, to curate a supper club-like family-style meal. We focused on seasonal items, like chicory salad with pumpkin seeds, raisins, butternut squash oil, & honey and grilled trout with salsa verde. We also went for a pescatarian menu, since my parents are kosher and we wanted to ensure they could enjoy the entire meal. We also worked with The Farm to come up with two custom cocktails and a selection of natural wines and specialty beer for the bar – we didn’t want any yucky vodka tonics being served with our well-crafted menu! One of the cocktails was a gin cocktail that featured Stonecutter Spirits‘ barrel aged gin, a spirits company started by my cousins.
We hired a klezmer band called Aaron Alexander to play a rousing 45-minute hora, and we had our favourite DJ, called Rabbi Darkside, a champion beatboxer and freestyle competition champ, play the rest of the evening.
Our first dance was Coming Home by Leon Bridges. It’s a new song with an old feel, and it was just the right tempo for our choreographed dance.
Advice to couples’ currently planning their wedding
Absolutely 100% LET IT GO on the day of. You’ve worked so hard to get to this point, now enjoy it! Don’t waste an incredibly special, memorable day by obsessing about what is or isn’t going right, just roll with it. Before our wedding, someone’s advice to me was that Andrew and I set the tone – if we’re stressed or uncomfortable, others will be, but if we’re truly happy and going with the flow, everyone else will, too.
Danya & Andrew’s Little White Book
Photography — Weddings by Two
Day-Of Co-ordinator — Ashley Chamblin
Venue — The Green Building
Catering — The Farm on Adderley
Flowers — Fox Fodder Farm
Make Up — Danielle Hartnett
Bride’s Dress — Johanna Johnson
Bride’s shoes — Jimmy Choo
Groom’s tuxedo — Martin Greenfield
Klezmer Band — Aaron Alexander
DJ — Rabbi Darkside
Printed materials — Lion in the Sun
Rabbi — Rabbi Jim Ponet
Invitations – Minted