I’m so excited to share my latest Facebook Live from one of London’s very best Jewish wedding venues, the glorious Kimpton Fitzroy London, featuring favorite Jewish wedding songs performed by our friends from Sensation Band, the world-class wedding entertainment outfit beloved by so many Jewish couples in London and beyond.
We had such a fantastic team come together to make this event happen, including Adam Nathan Catering, who provided delicious canapes for our live audience of Smashing The Glass Brides Club members; Adrian Stone, who provided his videography services; Claudine Hartzel, who took all the gorgeous still shots of the event you’ll see here; LiT, who handled livestreaming and production; JF Styling, who styled the gorgeous chuppah under which Sensation performed; and Dimitria Jordan, who designed personalized stationery gifts for our wonderful Brides Club attendees!
Sensation Band have performed at hundreds of Jewish weddings of all kinds, and what they don’t know about Jewish wedding music isn’t worth knowing – plus, of course, they’re incredibly talented musicians! So it was really a treat to have them here with us, performing and sharing some of the wisdom they’ve gleaned from their many years of Jewish wedding experience. Sensation prepared a set list of classic songs you might consider incorporating into your Jewish ceremony – both traditional versions and some very contemporary twists! (Scroll to the foot of the post for all the names of the tracks and time stamps).
With Guy on vocals and Jason on keyboard, we started with a selection of songs that are popular choices for the groom’s processional. First, we heard “Vehi Sheamda,” featuring lyrics from the Passover Haggadah; then Omer Adam’s “Modeh Ani,” a popular Israeli track; next, “Yesimcha Elokim,” a more traditional choice, and finally, “Meheira,” which takes its lyrics from the Sheva Brachot.
Hebrew or English?
Then we took a break for some audience questions, and a really important one came up: Can you use English (or whatever language) music in your ceremony, or does it all need to be in Hebrew? Sensation and I agree, this one really depends so much on your officiant – so be sure you discuss it with them. Sensation mentioned that they often set traditional Hebrew lyrics to popular contemporary tunes, which can be a great option – especially if you’re required to use Hebrew music but have your heart set on something different.
Welcoming the Bride
Then Guy and Jason performed their next track, the traditional Israeli love song “Erev Shel Shoshanim.” They suggest it as an option for the grandparents’ processional, and it’s also a popular option for brides to walk down to!
Next up was Boi Kallah, sung to the tune of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” – taken from Lecha Dodi, the lyrics are all about welcoming the (Shabbat) bride, so it’s an awesome choice for welcoming a non-metaphorical bride, too!
Then, continuing the theme of setting traditional songs to modern tunes, Sensation performed another version of “Meheira,” this time set to the tune of “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman.
Wrapping Things Up
They followed that up with “Eishet Chayil,” traditionally sung on Friday nights, about the woman of valor. This track is often played during the circling. First, Guy and Jason did a traditional rendition; then they changed things up by performing it to the tune of Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”!
Then we were treated to “Mi Adir,” a blessing for the newly married couple, to the tune of “You Raise Me Up” by Westlife. Next was “Im Eshkachech,” traditionally sung just before the breaking of the glass, first sung to the tune of popular track “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav,” then the more traditional version.
Next it was time for “Siman Tov Mazal Tov,” the lively tune that’s usually sung right after the smashing of the glass!
Then we took a break for a quick venue tour with Jen, Kimpton Fitzroy London’s fabulous head of weddings and events (filmed earlier in the day)!
We chatted about the hotel’s super convenient Russell Square location (just moments away from the Tube), its illustrious history (suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst used to live on the property!), and the stunning £85 million refurbishment completed in 2018 when the hotel was rebranded as a Kimpton, combining original period details with the best of 21st-century luxury.
Then we took a stroll through the Palm Court, the stunning space where our performance took place! It’s perfect for cocktails or a small chuppah, and also includes a secluded area that’s perfect for a badeken (no worries, Kimpton Fitzroy London’s also got plenty of spots that work great for a tisch).
Next up was the breathtaking ballroom, featuring high ceilings and – unusually for a London ballroom – lots of windows and tons of natural light during the daytime (just think of the photos!). The ballroom, which can accommodate up to 180, is generally where the chuppah takes place.
Ivi and Ben‘s gorgeous Jewish wedding at the Kimpton Fitzroy London | Photo by Fire & Ice
We also chatted about Kimpton Fitzroy London’s fab options for catering: for those requiring a strictly kosher wedding, the venue partners with the wonderful Ben Tenenblat; if you’re looking for kosher-style, I can’t say enough wonderful things about Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Adam Nathan Catering, who provided the delicious canapes us lucky live attendees got to snack on!
Then we moved on to a tour of the hotel’s epic Fitzroy Suite! This is just one of the property’s corner suites, all featuring great views, natural light, and dreamy roll top bathtubs – perfect for getting ready! All wedding packages and dry hire options include a complimentary stay in a suite for you and your new spouse on your wedding night, and if you want to stay the night before too, you’re entitled to preferential rates.
Oh, and did I mention yet that Kimpton Fitzroy London is a pet-friendly hotel? If you want your furry friend(s) to be part of your big day, look no further!
Then we returned to our performance with one last track from Sensation, Salaam (Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu), ending things on the perfect uplifting note.
This was truly one of the very best Facebook Lives we’ve ever done, and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped make it happen. The setting, the music, the wonderful Brides Club members who came to see the show live – everything was just perfect, especially after such a long year + of lockdowns.
If you missed the live show, you can watch the replay below. Make sure you like the Smashing The Glass Facebook page to be notified of all future shows!
3:48 Vehi Sheamda
6:58 Modeh Ani
10:59 Yesimcha Elokim
18:32 Erev Shel Shoshanim
21:53 Boi Kallah (to the tune of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen)
27:02 Meheira (to the tune of “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman)
31:30 Eishet Chayil – traditional
39:01 Eishet Chayil (to the tune of “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel)
41:50 Mi Addir (to the tune of “You Raise Me Up” by Westlife)
47:28 Im Eshkachech (to the tune of “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav”)
49:14 Im Eshkachech – traditional
51:47 Siman Tov Mazal Tov
54:25 Kimpton Fitzroy Venue Tour!
1:10:43 Salaam (Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu)
Kimpton Fitzroy London | +44 (0)20 7123 5000 | email@example.com | www.kimptonfitzroylondon.com | Instagram | Facebook | Join our Brides Club and save 15% on Ballroom Hire (blackout dates apply)
HUGE THANKS TO:
Livestream and production: LiT
Catering: Adam Nathan Catering
Chuppah styling: JF Styling