Josh proposed on my birthday last April. He told me to take a day off and I thought we were going to Soho Farmhouse – especially when he said we had to drop off our dog at his mum’s house. But he insisted I come in to see them. His parents have a Juliette balcony which overlooks their garden and it had been turned into a huge floral wonderland. My friends and family were waiting below then he got down on one knee…
Josh proposed with a ring, which he’d designed with a jeweller friend and a bit of help from his mum. I’d had my heart set on a yellow diamond, and this one was set in a halo of diamonds on a diamond band. It was just what I’d wanted.
I’d always dreamt of getting married in either Israel or Italy, but while I looked for potential venues in both, the continued uncertainty around the pandemic forced us to book an English venue instead. A good while ago, I’d come across Euridge Manor. It had this romantic, slightly imperfect vibe, as well as a beautiful area near water for the ceremony. They only had one date left in 2021, which my rabbi couldn’t make. A last-minute cancellation helped everything fall into place.
We hired a planner three months in – no matter what people tell you, you don’t need two years to plan the perfect day. Susie Evans was a godsend. She liaised a lot with the venue and having her knowledge at our fingertips saved us a lot of time and energy.
I had six months to find a dress, which is quite a short amount of time if you go bespoke – I wanted to see the finished product before I paid for it – and Judaism also calls for a more modest look. I’d found an amazing pink dress at Browns but everyone said it was too ‘red carpet’. We went back and they showed me a Monique Lhuillier dress I’d never seen before – it had a blush pink underlay with white floral lace over the top and it was ideal for the venue. My mum was struggling to find a dress, which is why we later ended up at Elie Saab. There, I fell in love with another dress, which became my second look.
I wanted to wear a headband and we made one using some offcuts of fabric from my dress. In Jewish ceremonies, you don’t wear jewellery. Shoes were tricky – I’m small and a couple of past injuries have made it hard for me to walk in heels. In the end, I found a £60 pair from Unisa which were so comfortable I kept them on after I changed dresses.
When I asked five of my friends to be bridesmaids, I’d already bought their dresses! However I soon realised they weren’t right. Instead I went for white and found a US-based company called Jenny Yoo. In the UK, the only place that stocked the styles I liked was a place called NABBD – it had a huge selection of shapes, and they made the dresses made in any colour you wanted.
Josh worn a dark green velvet tux from Tom Ford. His groomsmen wore black, but we gave each of them a green velvet bow tie to co-ordinate.
One of our neighbours runs Blue Sky Flowers. There was a lot of greenery at our wedding – the venue had this very ‘undone’ quality to it and I wanted the flowers to echo that. The Secret Garden is one of my favourite films – so I took a lot of inspiration from that, too. The colour palette was mainly pink, ivory and green – lots of lovely moss and natural wood.
The Food & Drink
We used Jason Milan – a kosher caterer. He was also so helpful in organising and transporting all the little extras on the day – he really went the extra mile. Because of Covid, we couldn’t have the large, relaxed sharing platters I’d initially envisioned, but we stayed true to the Israeli flavours and combinations we loved. We had seared tuna with baharat and honey to start; then roast chicken with sumac, roasted cauliflower with tahini and sweet potato, and a veggie couscous. We also had a dessert buffet followed by mini sliders and churros as midnight snacks! We also came up with two original cocktails for the welcome drinks party, which was a fun addition.
Under the chuppah (a traditional canopy), we used a Jewish band called Sensation, who also accompanied the Jewish dancing at our reception. Music was hugely important to us. For the party, we found a band called The Arts Club House Band that specialised in Motown and soul through ALR Music. We also hired DJ Charles from the same company, and at midnight he was joined by three or four other live musicians. We also had live performers and dancers, many of whom came from the drama school I attended as a child.
The Day After
We threw a festival the day after the wedding – mainly for all the guests who had to be there. Susie was invaluable in helping us plan this part of the weekend, too. I love a bit of fancy dress and this time, I wore a short, feathered mini dress from The Attico with silver boots from Jimmy Choo. We used the same hair and make-up artists, and the DJ and saxophonist stayed on to do the music. A couple of the dancers came back, too, and we went a bit all out with photo booths, an aerial performer, a face painter and a magician. Food and drink-wise, there was a bloody mary station, a schnitzel station, taco, Japanese and pizza trucks, and a cookie station. Hire Love styled the day for us.
Advice For Other Couples
First and foremost, hire a planner who really knows their stuff and let them do their job. Susie made our day seamless from start to finish. Don’t let too many people’s opinions affect you either – stay true to your vision. The one thing I might have changed was the getting ready process. In hindsight, there were so many people in the room, I felt a bit rushed and flustered. Finally, use what we called ‘the f*** it fortnight’. With only a couple of weeks to go, you need to give in and just start saying ‘yes’.