There is so much luxe and personality in today’s delicious destination from Spain I don’t quite know where to begin, but I guess I should start with the Mira Zwillinger wedding dress because it’s quite literally a gown of dreams. A vision of delicate dazzling detail with a generous dose of modern-day princess, and there’s quite a story behind it too – read Emily’s report below to discover exactly what I’m talking about…
And what shoes might one choose to compliment such splendour? Well Swarovski encrusted Miu Miu’s of course, but an additional pair of customised Nike trainers emblazoned with the bride’s new surname are required too, right? And that’s exactly why I adore today’s Jewish wedding. It has it all. The glamour, the pretty, the chic and most definitely the unique.
There are so many things I love about this wedding weekend – from their very special ‘all-white’ Friday night dinner to their beautifully spiritual Jewish wedding ceremony full of emotion, to the wonderfully personalised welcome bags with individual notes for every guest, through to thoughtful touches like ballet slippers on the dance floor for guests to change into. Every decision is quite literally the ultimate in sophisticated elegance topped off with symbolism as well as lots of fun for good measure. See this excerpt from Emily’s report as an example!
Because we got married outdoors, we provided “fancy” portable toilets for everyone just next to the dance floor. Our mum’s surprised us and hung photos of us as babies “using the potty.” The photo of David hung outside the men’s room and mine hung outside the ladies.”
I adore this idea – so creative and fun! Enjoy all the fabulousness and get those pinning fingers ready – you’re in for such a treat with Jeremy Standley‘s breathtaking imagery and the entire event designed and planned to perfection by Caprichia. I’ve also got the wedding film full of heart and emotion for you too. As Aerosmith sang, you won’t want to miss a thing.
how we met
Emily, the Bride: Well, that’s a long story! We actually should go all the way back to the early 70’s for the full story.
David’s parents are both from Europe and when David’s father, George, was a young boy in Germany, he asked his parents to send them to a boarding school in England. As David’s dad was becoming “Head Boy” at the school, my mother, growing up in Teaneck, NJ, was sent to the same school. My mother became best friends with the girl who was George’s girlfriend. After they each graduated, George went on to study and work in Brussels and my mother left for Syracuse University.
After a few years, my mother went to do a semester abroad in London, where George was a frequent visitor. They reconnected and began dating. Years after they ended their relationship, they both found themselves (by chance) living in the same town in NJ, Englewood. David and I never came across each other even though we lived 8 houses from each other and attended all of the same schools. Until, Passover 2014. Both of our family’s were staying at a hotel in Tel Aviv (that a lot of families travel to for the Passover holiday). David’s parents invited my family and some other friends from NY/NJ to join for Shabbat dinner during the holiday. David and I met on the way into dinner (fewer than 100 paces from where David’s parents had met about 35 years earlier) and we have been together since.
Choosing to get married at a family home in Marbella, Spain
We got married at David’s aunt and uncle’s home on the Mediterranean in Marbella, Spain. Part of our first few months of dating was a whirlwind of travel, and along with many other amazing places that we visited, Marbella had a lasting effect on us. When we visited Marbella together for the first time, just a few months into dating, David’s uncle pulled him aside and told him “If you marry Emily, we would love it if you would do it here.” The warmth and hospitality that we felt from David’s family made us feel truly at home and we are so grateful that we were able to celebrate our wedding in such an extraordinary and meaningful place.
wonderfully personalised welcome bags
Upon arrival, we gave each of our guests a welcome bag designed for our wedding, which included some “Emily and David” themed chocolates, local chips and olives (we wanted to give guests some Marbella flavour), a map of Marbella, a converter to make sure people’s appliances worked, a recovery kit that included things like Advil and water (for all of the partying they were going to do over the weekend!) and a personalised note for each guest/couple.
A super cool Save The Date idea
Before the wedding, our save the date was a real luggage tag with our “E & D” wedding logo printed on it so that all guests could attach it to their luggage when they traveled for our wedding.
Then, for out invitations, in keeping with our ‘ethereal’ style, we had a calligrapher create a unique font that was elegant and formal, yet understated and simplistic.
Thursday and Friday night festivities
The wedding weekend began with a Thursday night welcome dinner for our guests who had traveled from as far as Los Angeles, New York, London, and Portland. That night the dinner tables were covered in rose petals and the table numbers were framed with childhood photos of David and myself. Our ages in each photo corresponded to the table number.
Friday night’s Shabbat dinner was held outdoors at a restaurant right on the beach. It was an all white night. We asked the women to wear white dresses and the men to wear white shirts and khaki trousers. Candle lighting was held on the beach so everyone was present to watch the sunset.
All of the decor was white – so masses of white candles at different heights, which were the only lighting, were on long tables. Our place cards were small votive candles with each guest’s name written in silver on the glass. I draped white pashmina scarves over the backs of the chairs for our female guests. Whoever wanted to speak was able to tell impromptu stories about us. It was an incredibly special night with the sound of the waves on the beach and everyone sharing this moment with us.
We really believe that it is the unique, personal, touches that added a tremendous amount to the feeling and experience (both for us and our guests). All of these unique and special touches were made possible by Lucia and her amazing team at Caprichia (especially Esti and Sofia) as well as our mum’s who were incredible about every detail of our wedding.
hair + make up
My maid of honour, who is a jewellery designer and also a talented artist, did my make up on Thursday and Friday night. For my wedding day, Lucia Fraga from Caprichia, our amazing wedding planner, recommended a fantastic team who did my hair and makeup. I had trials with each of them and we came up with my styles. I don’t wear a lot of makeup in my everyday life, so I wanted it to be very simple and light. My dress had pink hues to it, so I worked with that colour palette.
An exqusite Mira Zwillinger wedding dress
My dress was by an Israeli wedding dress designer named Mira Zwillinger. David and I met and got engaged in Tel Aviv however, I did not choose the dress solely based on the nationality of the designer. I went to several bridal stores both in New York and Miami and found some very strong contenders, but nothing that felt like “the one.”
My friend, Sarah, advised me to follow the #bridalweek Instagram hashtag as bridal week was coming up. While scrolling through the feeds of runway dresses, I came upon my dress. I told my mum that I did not even need to try it on, I knew that it was the dress that I wanted to wear for my wedding. My mother insisted that I continue searching as this dress was just being shown on the runway as part of the upcoming year’s collection and would not be going into production before my wedding date. Never mind the fact that I hadn’t even tried it on yet!
While in New York continuing my search, I received a text from David with Mira Zwillinger‘s cell phone number (it turn’s our that David knows Mira’s niece) and an offer from her to talk to me about it. Within a day, the sample (and the only version of the dress) was shipped to Miami from Tel Aviv (as David tracked the package, he noted that it did a stop in a town where my grandfather was from). I tried it on, had a ton of measurements taken, and my dress arrived within a week of our final departure to Spain to get married. Mira and her team were incredible to produce the dress for me before it was supposed to be available. It was my dream dress and I am so grateful that they made it for me.
Mira Zwillinger made me a veil to match my dress and my parents gave me some incredible vintage earrings on my wedding day.
Prior to walking down the aisle, I wore my engagement ring. According to the Jewish tradition, you do not wear any jewellery while walking down the aisle. Rather, you give it to your bridesmaids who are not yet married as good luck. My dress was kind of like jewellery, so I kept my accessories very simple.
Miu Miu heels… and Nike custom trainers
I wanted shoes that I could wear again in life (because no one can even see them during the wedding!). I wore “pink-ish” patent leather open toe Miu Miu Mary-Jane heels. They had large Swarovski crystals on the bridge of the toe and were about 4 inches (but very comfortable!).
For the after-party, David had a pair of custom white Nike wedge sneakers with an iridescent “swoosh” and ID tags on the laces in rose gold that read MRS. AARON.
I had six bridesmaids– David’s two sisters and two nieces as a part of my bridal party. I asked them all to wear a long gown in the blush, champagne, nude colour scheme. That is the only direction that I gave to them. I don’t like when things match too much and I wanted them to be comfortable in their dresses. I wanted everyone to look ethereal and natural.
the handsome groom
David wore a tuxedo from Martin “aka Maxie” Greenfield, a legendary tailor who has dressed Presidents, heads of state, and even Paul Newman. His boots (he only wears boots, no dress shoes) were a Chelsea boot from a brand that he would never let me mention, but let’s just say he had to have the soles dyed black…
Our ketubah was designed by an Israeli artist. It is a paper cut design in ivory and gold with several layers that have a flowing pattern. To us it has the feeling of waves of water, which feels symbolic of the seaside resort where we were married.
Thoughtful details for an outdoor ceremony in the sunshine.. and another *brilliant* idea!
We placed “Spanish fans” on every other chair to help the ladies cool down from the heat and we handed out bottles of water as people took their seats at the chuppah. We also gave heel protectors to all of the women so that they didn’t sink into the grass when they walked across.
Also, because we got married outside, we provided “fancy” portable toilets for everyone just next to the dance floor. Our mum’s surprised us and hung photos of us as babies “using the potty.” The photo of David hung outside the men’s room and mine hung outside the ladies.
Music handpicked by the groom
David is the music maven in our family. He spent the entire wedding planning time compiling a list of all of his favourite dance songs. We wanted people to be out of their seats and on the dance floor the entire time. David also included a strictly enforced “no play” playlist! Our processional songs were chosen very specifically for each person coming down the aisle. Every choice had personal significance. They were contemporary songs played by a string quartet and acoustic guitar. Our flower girls, David’s nieces, had such a good time walking and dancing down the aisle that they ran back to the start and did it all over again!
A very personal Jewish wedding ceremony
My maid of honour’s father, who is also a very close family friend and professional chazan, sang the traditional songs under the chuppah for us.
We put a lot of thought into all of the blessings and honours under the chuppah. Everyone who joined us at our wedding is very special to us and wanted them to be incorporated.
Our chuppah was a melding of design and tradition. I chose a floral design that I loved and I thought matched the overall ethereal aesthetic of the wedding. David and I had the talleisim of our deceased grandfathers draped over our heads in our chuppah. We felt that this was symbolic in bringing together our past, present, and future lives that we will share.
our fabulous photographer…
Finding a photographer was probably one of the hardest parts of wedding planning for us! We talked to a lot of photographers before we were lucky enough to find Jeremy Standley. When we saw Jeremy’s work, we knew that he would be able to capture all of the ceremony and religious elements that were so important to us, while also capturing the wild party that we were planning on throwing. We were also looking for someone who could capture some moments in a traditional way and other moments in a creative and modern way. Jeremy’s work had everything for us.
entertainment by a live band…
We decided to have a band, followed by a late night DJ. Finding an amazing band was incredibly important to us. You can’t have an amazing dance party without an amazing band! Lucia helped us to find the band and David’s friend from Paris, who lives in Miami, was instrumental in urging the band leader (a friend of his) to play our wedding over any other they were considering for that weekend. We were so glad to be able to have all of them join us from Paris.
We knew that people were going to be dancing their feet off, so we provided ballet slippers in a basket next to the dance floor for everyone to change into.
…and very special end to the groom’s speech
David spoke beautifully on our wedding night. As he finished, he and his Best Man, his uncle Richard, took to the stage. David played an acoustic guitar and Richard played lead electric guitar as David sang a personalized song that he had prepared for me.
David, his uncle, his cousin and several of his very close friends play in a band together called “Born Again Baldwins.” They put on a 4 or 5 song performance towards the end of the night that my brother guest starred in.
Our first dance was to Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night. Sinatra is one of David and my favourites to dance to and the song truly tells a big part of our story together.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Everyone says it, but don’t stress about the small things and be in the moment. It goes so fast! A cousin of David’s told me to try to take some “mental pictures,” and I thought that was great advice.
Watch Emily & David’s wedding film
Emily & David ‘S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Jeremy Standley
Wedding Planner – Caprichia
Videography – Michel Maraver
Venue – Private residence in Marbella
Bride’s Dress – Mira Zwillinger
Bride’s shoes – Miu Miu
Bride’s custom wedge sneakers – Nike
Groom’s tuxedo – Martin Greenfield
For all other vendor details, please contact the wedding planners, Caprichia