Today on the blog it’s the first post from our crop of gorgeous 2017 and 2018 Real Jewish Brides! Please give a warm welcome to Hayley who will be marrying Ashley on 17th September 2017 at El Cortijo De Los Caballos in Spain.
THREE FACTS: (1) Hayley & Ashley met on Tinder (2) Ashley proposed with a Haribo ring (after which he pulled out the actual engagement gem!) (3) Hayley is converting to Judaism to marry Ashley.
How We Met
Our love story is my favourite, I saw Ashley’s profile on my screen, his pictures yelled out “if you want a laugh, I’m your man, he was just what I was looking for. I swiped right on a dating website (I’m sure everyone knows which one this is…). My phone pinged back, we both matched!
I waited for all of about an hour being the impatient person I am and in the 21st century I decided to send the first message…. “My mum says you’ll be perfect son-in-law material” with obviously lots of laughing faces.
Suddenly I received a message straight back, this was the beginning of ‘US’
Our First Date
After messaging and numerous phone calls, we decided to meet in a bar in Chelmsford. As I was driving into a car park very nervous and a little early for our date I noticed a car driving into the ‘Exit’ of a car park…..yes I said Exit!
I drove past thinking really that’s super stupid, I hope that isn’t my date…Guess what it turned out it was! Thankfully we already had something to talk about, or more to the point something to laugh about.
We spent all night chatting away Ashley staring at me mostly, I’m not sure if that was because he was already in love or the fact that I had something stuck in my teeth (that I haven’t ever forgiven him for not telling me).
The next day Ashley jetted off to Thailand for 2 weeks to see some of his friends, he FaceTimed me every night! Smitten he was indeed, but I was also falling for this very humorous guy.
We dated for around a year and a half to some of the most beautiful restaurants in London, we went on the most amazing holidays to L.A., Vegas (including pool parties at the Encore), Venice and finally Spain, where I met Ashley’s parents for the first time before I asked him to move in.
This was so unexpected! After living together for around 6 months, I had gone to London shopping on 28th December 2015 with my mum, sister and two nephews.
My sister said she had booked tea and cake at ChoccyWoccyDooDah. This is my favourite place ever in London, I love Carnaby street and I very much love London — it’s the best city in world.
We finally got to ChoccyWoccyDooDah around 4pm after a long day of shopping, We were lead up the stairs and I turned around to see that no one was following me. I looked very confused at the lady, she smiled and said “you will want to keep following me, trust me”.
I was told to go into this room, feeling very anxious to what was going on… I walked in…. It was like a magical fairyland or Willy Wonka’s playground there was sweets and chocolate and ice creams everywhere.
Then I noticed that Ashley was on one knee with a Haribo ring, a green and clear one to be exact. Anyone that knows Haribo Starmix knows this is the most delicious flavour ever! Completely shell shocked and obviously answering “Yes”, Ashley then pulled out a ring he had picked for me… Wow he got it exactly right I can’t tell you, I am completely in love with it, luckily for us one of our dear friends is an amazing jewellery designer — Jayce Wong. Now the wedding plans start….
Wedding Plans so far…
After traipsing around countless venues from Surrey to Chelmsford. We knew that we would like a sunny day with a garden wedding and unfortunately with the UK you are not guaranteed the sunshine.
I had done a lot of research on Marbella, which is about 3 hours away from Ashley’s parents. I got in touch with a wedding planner called Rachel Rose in Marbella. Over email I was very impressed with the service that we were given and we decided to fly over to Marbella.
We were shown around two or three venues, We found the most perfect venue that offered everything it was a beautiful La Finca called El Cortijo De Los Caballos. We finally had found our venue and booked our date — Sunday 17th September 2017.
We are having to have two weddings, one that we are calling a practice run in the UK at our synagogue (real wedding) and one that we are flying our Rabbi out to in Marbella under the chuppah!
My life seems to have turned into a wedding frenzy having ordered the kippots finally from Hebrewear, our band we are also flying out to Spain was booked with Brett Warren from Totem. Brett has been amazing and we cannot wait to party the night away with the fabulous entertainment.
We were put in touch with a lot of our wedding suppliers through our lovely wedding planner Rebecca at Rachel Rose Weddings. We have our videographer Salvador at Evergreen. The videos that we have seen are breathtaking. Our photographer is Anna Gazda. Her photos are simply amazing and we cannot wait to work with her on our wedding day
We still have a few more vendors and bits to book but me being very relaxed and having 4 months left probably needs to get a move on with it….
Converting to Judaism
I went to my first ever beautiful Jewish wedding in December 2014, I knew this was what I wanted, the dancing on the chairs, the chuppah that just swallows you up and most of all the ceremony that holds every significance possible. The only problem was I wasn’t Jewish, and this was something that both Ashley and I had spoken about on a weekly basis and had decided this is something that we both wanted hopefully for our future children.
My conversion process started in April 2016 after finding our wedding venue, we had joined EL&ELS Synagogue now I am on my way on becoming Jewish with my Beit Din booked in July 2017.
Marriage and What It Means To Me
Marriage is a big decision and the signing of the Ketubah symbolizes that marriage is not only a physical-spiritual connection, but it is also a legal and moral commitment. The commitment that we are going to take means whatever it takes to make the marriage work, and I know that means at times I am possibly not going to get my own way and there will be sacrifices but as long as there is laughter, love, give and take our lives together will be filled with joy.
Click here to read all Hayley’s planning posts to date.
Hayley & Ashley’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:
Music — Totem
Kippot — Hebrewear
Wedding Planner — Rachel Rose Weddings
Photography — Anna Gazda Photography
Videography — Evergreen
Venue — El Cortijo De Los Caballos