Being my home city, I make no secret of how much I love a London Wedding. And Rochelle and Rich’s indoor/outdoor venue of Devonshire Terrace right in the heart of the City and in the shadow of the Gherkin, is just about as spectacular as a London venue gets!
Rochelle is a super beautiful bride, all glowing skin and curly, glossy locks, and her and Rich’s Jewish wedding is simple, elegant, relaxed, and perfectly executed in Rochelle’s easy-going, laid back manner (read her advice at the end if you want a stress-free wedding planning experience!).
Sit back with a cup of tea, peruse through her wedding report and enjoy all of the wonderful images taken by the rather talented Claudine Hartzel Photography, one of Smashing The Glass’s esteemed Smashing Suppliers.
choosing a venue and planning the wedding in 6 months
Rochelle, the Bride: My husband, Rich, wanted to get married in a hotel but I was desperate for somewhere a little more different. Both my sisters got married in Spain so I hunted down a venue that had an outside feel, but was actually inside (you can never guarantee the weather in London!).
The first few times we visited Devonshire Terrace, Rich couldn’t really see why I loved it – but you just needed a bit of vision. I knew it would be perfect and when Nina Slowther (the current events manager at Devonshire Terrace) said we could eat outside, my decision was made! We knew it had to be a warm-ish day as although it’s covered by a huge glass roof, there are tunnels there which can be breezy. The only Sunday they had left in the summer months was 21st September, 6 months away, but we went for it!
I didn’t pore over wedding magazines or go to any wedding fairs. I had a vision straight away that I just wanted everything to be clean, simple and elegant. In fact, the only colours we used were white and a dark silvery grey so it was very neutral.
Stationery… by Rich’s dad!
Fortunately, Rich’s dad Laurence runs a print and direct marketing company called Mint Production and he said he could pretty much make whatever we wanted. I saw an invite online, sent it to him and asked if he could make something similar and he said of course. He made all the invites, the maps, the reply cards, the menus… everything. He was amazing!
My dream dress
My dress was a Ronald Joyce design and was from a shop in Ongar called Amorae. I had been to two shops previously and found them ok, but my experience in Amorae was fantastic from start to finish. The shop has a very calming feel and you are allocated a whole hour so you never feel rushed.
You’re allowed to try on as many dresses as you like – we were even allowed to take pictures which I know isn’t the case in most shops. I tried about 7 or 8 dresses on, and they were all very different. In the last shops, I’d only tried on a fish tail as that’s what I’d always thought I’d go for.
In Amorae, Janis encouraged me to take different styles in and I’m so glad I did! My ‘one’ was about the 4th or 5th dress I tried – and I knew it was the one because I felt like a princess in it! It wasn’t anything like the fishtail I’d imagined. It was classic, lace shoulders into a v at the front and the back with a stunning detailed belt. I still tried on the last couple I’d taken into the fitting room, just to compare and I didn’t get that same feeling. I put my dress back on at the end, and I just didn’t want to take it off! I needed a different size and lots of alterations when the dress came in but Janis was fantastic. I couldn’t have been happier.
Veil and jewellery
The dress I chose came with a matching veil – it was stunning, and matched my dress perfectly. It was so long, I almost felt like it was a bit OTT but you only get married once, why not go for it! I didn’t have a tiara, just a small flower brooch in my hair.
Comfortable elegant Shoes
I didn’t want to spend a fortune on my shoes as I knew I would only wear them once and no one would see them! I wanted to be able to dance all night long and be comfortable. I went for a pair of satin cream pointy shoes with only about an inch of a heel from Rainbow Club. I put them on at 12 midday and didn’t take them off until 3am. They were so comfortable, I wish I could wear them again, but they’re not exactly my style!
hair + make up
My sister is my hairdresser – I have never used anyone else for a cut or highlights so I knew I’d always want her to do my hair, but it’s not the easiest head of hair though being thick and curly!
We had a couple of trials which I always loved (her, not so much) until we found the perfect style. She’s an amazing hairdresser – I would never trust anyone else. My make up was done by a girl called Nicole – she’s a MAC make up artist and my friend recommended her to me. She came to my house at 10am to do my make up, and I didn’t touch my face all day. I have a picture of me at 2am, and I still look the same! All I added was some lip gloss here and there – she was fantastic.
The handsome groom
Rich worked out how many days before he had to have a shave as I love him with a bit of stubble (much to his mum’s dismay!). He also had a hair cut a few days before so it could settle down, but that’s all the prep he did! His suit was a gorgeous three piece from Hugo Boss. His socks, pants and belt were also Hugo Boss and I know he felt great in it.
We had 4 small bridesmaids: my two nieces Rosie (9) and Ella (3) plus Rich’s two nieces Mya (4) and Freya (who was 2 the day after the wedding!). Rosie’s bouquet was a small version of mine and the three little ones had wands with a diamante heart at the end, decorated in roses – they kept the kids entertained before walking down the aisle! The bridesmaids all looked so beautiful. It was hard to find dresses to match them all as Rosie is 9 (very grown up!) but we managed to find one that suited them all. They were gorgeous and bought from Debenhams.
The ceremony was quite standard. Although I am Jewish, I don’t particularly follow the religion or know too much about it. I’m very proud to be Jewish but I would say it was more important for Rich to have the ‘whole jewish shebang’.
We had a badeken, which was amazing. I loved seeing Rich’s face when he came into the room and it was lovely for my family to be a part of that as well. We had a fantastic Rabbi who explained all the Jewish traditions and everything that was going on – my guests really appreciated that and he was very funny. In the end I was so happy we chose to have a religious ceremony.
Music for the ceremony
We had a pianist playing as people were arriving for the ceremony. He played the song for the procession, which was Van Morrison’s Someone Like You. For me and my dad to walk down, he played Christina Perry’s A Thousand Years. Once we were married, we had Signed Sealed Delivered playing by Stevie Wonder.
classic white flowers
I wanted everything to look simple and white, and I left it all down to my fantastic florist, Suzanne Berman, to choose what she thought was best. She’s one of my sisters oldest friends so I trusted her to ‘do her thing’ as I had no idea which flowers were which, I just knew I wanted roses!
For the chuppah, she made a beautiful, cascading arrangement which included phalenopsis orchids, singapore orchids, hydrangeas, roses, lisianthus, veronica and bouvardia. My bouquet had a mixture of those and for the table centres, again I didn’t want anything busy. I had large lantern vases with a large long burning candle inside, then 2 vases (one larger and one smaller) filled with a mixture of roses and orchids. It was simple, effective and elegant.
Our fantastic photographer
I had seen Claudine Hartzel at a wedding a couple of years earlier and I remember thinking how brilliant she was. Full of energy, enthusiasm and so happy. She’s a fantastic photographer so there was no doubt about booking her for our wedding. We had an engagement shoot a couple of months earlier which was really fun and helped us to relax a bit. Claudine captured the day perfectly and we couldn’t have been happier.
For entertainment we had a pianist playing as people arrived, a saxophonist playing during the reception and then during our wedding breakfast we had Andy Wilsher.
He did a Rat Pack set, and a Michael Buble set and he was FANTASTIC. I couldn’t recommend him highly enough. He was so amazing, that when he first started singing, people thought they were listening to a recording! It wasn’t until he started walking around the tables that they realised it was a live singer. He got everyone up and dancing on their chairs and he started the party off with a bang.
In the evening we had a band called The White Keys – they are all session singers (some have appeared on The Voice) and their voices were fantastic. They were a very talented band.
Rich’s dad (Laurence) also plays bass in a band called The Rumours so they played a quick set too. They are an amazing band and we’d have happily had them all night but that wouldn’t have been fair on my father-in-law!
Our first dance was Roses are Red by Mac Band. It’s an old 80’s tune but its ‘our song’ because when Rich would pick me up for a date in the first couple of months, this came on a few times on Rich’s iPod. He has about 3000 songs so it was strange that that song would play. He even said to me ‘this song comes on a lot when you’re in the car’ – so it became our song and the words are lovely.
creative table numbers and other inventive ideas
Instead of the usual table numbers, we came up with the idea of having years. So for example instead of table 1, it was table 1980 and each table had a picture of me & Rich in that specific year. Instead of having a guest book, we had a huge piece of card, with a picture of me & Rich inside, that everyone could sign. We are going to get it framed and hang it in our kitchen so we can always read our lovely messages. We also had a huge polaroid going around which people could put their heads inside and have funny pictures. Laurence made it all, he is extremely clever!
advice to other brides
Everyone told me how fast it goes and to enjoy every moment – and that’s so true – but I made sure to look around at so many points during the day – and I remember saying to Rich ‘this is a really great wedding isn’t it?’. I actually felt like I was a guest throughout the whole day because its too surreal to believe its your day.
I think the thing to remember during the lead up is that, in the scheme of life, this is just ONE DAY. It’s the rest of your life that is the most important. I really didn’t get bogged down with the finer details. If I saw a band I liked, I booked it. If I saw a flower I liked, I went with it. I found my wedding dress, I didn’t keep on looking. I didn’t second guess my every decision or pour over magazines every day.
Once you’ve made a decision, stick with it and roll with it. The most important thing is that all your loved ones are there, backing you and supporting you and willing your day to be a success. Everyone just wants to see their family and friends, have a nice meal, see how happy you are and get drunk! They don’t care that the wrong song was played at the ceremony, or that your bridesmaid isn’t wearing the right shoes, or that the band are running late. No one knows the schedule or plans you are working to, apart from you!
In the days leading up to the wedding, I made sure I enjoyed the build up. The morning of the wedding, I was calm and happy and took every moment in – from the glass of champagne I had with my mum, to changing the calendar page, to having my make up done – I relished in it all and that has given me such amazing memories of the day.
ROCHELLE + RICH’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photographer – Claudine Hartzel Photography
Venue – Devonshire Terrace, London
Bride’s Dress – Ronald Joyce from Amorae
Bride’s Shoes – Rainbow Club
Hair – Bride’s sister
Groom’s attire – Hugo Boss
Bridesmaids – Debenhams
Florals – Suzanne Berman
Entertainment –Andy Wilsher and The White Keys
Stationery – Mint Production