A Caroline Castigliano Bride for a Whimsical English Countryside Jewish Wedding at Langley Park, Cotswolds, UK

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We couldn’t think of a better way to close out the year than with the fabulous English countryside Jewish wedding of Alice, who works in advertising, and Micael, founder and CEO of a licensed medical cannabis producer!

The pandemic forced these two to postpone four times, and to make a pretty drastic pivot in locale from Israel to the UK – but you’d never know it from how absolutely picture-perfect their big day turned out! While COVID meant a long-haul destination wedding wasn’t in the cards, Alice and Micael opted to keep that destination feel by booking Langley Park in the Cotswolds for an all-weekend bash.

Alice was a member of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club during her wedding planning, and we’re so touched by her kind words about the group:

The biggest thing in Brides Club was the support network. During the pandemic, it felt as though we would never have a wedding. It was very reassuring to be amongst people going through the same thing and there were lots of resources to help navigate through it the best way possible! We also got a discount with the brilliant Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Big Day Designs, who printed our invitations. It was the first Jewish wedding for the majority of our vendors and Smashing the Glass was great for giving them all the information they needed.

We’re absolutely obsessed with the glam photos by Elena Popa and second shooter Emily Rose Hamilton – can you believe it was their first time photographing a Jewish wedding?!

There’s so much else to say about this beautiful day – from the surprise South African touches Alice added for Micael, who had lots of guests from home who sadly weren’t able to attend in person due to the pandemic; to the incredible private badeken the pair shared after not seeing each other for a full week; to the sweet custom illustrations Alice and Micael commissioned from The Millustrator. But we’ll leave it to Alice to fill you in on all that…

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How we Met

Alice, the bride: We usually just say long story! But we met in 2009 at a party in London. He is South African and was visiting his cousins who live in London. He never actually spoke to me on the night but later messaged me on Facebook. We dated long distance for several years whilst he was at university in Israel. He finally moved to London and we had a few make ups and break ups before getting engaged in 2019.

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A Local Destination Wedding 

We had initially booked to get married in Israel where most of our love story played out but the pandemic had other ideas. 7 weeks before our 4th moved wedding date, we realised Israel wasn’t possible. We have quite an international family that we needed to get over to the UK, so we decided to keep the feel of it being a destination wedding by booking Langley Park in the Cotswolds. We were then able to put up a marquee and spend the rest of the weekend continuing the celebrations. The house was very ‘Downton Abbey’ and even had an old wine cellar converted into a nightclub for our after party.

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I always dreamed of getting married somewhere in nature with lots of trees which is why I decided to do an entirely clear span frame marquee to bring the outside in. We initially planned to do several parts of the wedding outdoors, but the weather wasn’t on our side. However, the ceremony was held next to a natural pond, you could hear the water running and it was an openside marquee with no floor, just the grass. It felt as outdoors as possible but with protection from the elements!

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What ‘Smashing The Glass Brides Club’ Did For Us

The biggest thing in Brides Club was the support network. During the pandemic, it felt as though we would never have a wedding. It was very reassuring to be amongst people going through the same thing and there were lots of resources to help navigate through it the best way possible! We also got a discount at Big Day Designs who printed our invitations. It was the first Jewish wedding for the majority of our vendors and Smashing the Glass was great for giving them all the information they needed. We also drew inspiration for our very spiritual order of service from examples.

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Downton Abbey Vibes

I had a very clear idea of what I wanted. Interestingly my brief was always an English countryside wedding but in Israel so it definitely felt like everything fell into place in the end. The theme was wild, whimsical fairytale. The colour scheme I wanted to match to the autumnal setting, we had fruits on the tables and around the bar such as figs, plums and blackberries and even whole artichokes. It ended up being green, pinks and pops of berry. We worked for those 7 weeks with planner Wonderlust Events. It was their first Jewish wedding and I loved how collaboratively they worked as I had a very clear vision of what we wanted. By the end of the 7 weeks it felt as though we had known each other forever!

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Invitations / stationery

I found Milly, The Millustrator, our illustrator and now a good friend, on Instagram in 2019 when she only had a couple of posts and was about to start a ski season. We were on the same page about everything all along and we had so much fun getting creative. We worked together on creating something really unique to Micael and I as a couple for the entire two years. We used flowers that represented grandparents, diamonds for Micael’s family who have been diamond dealers for generations, leopards inspired by South Africa, an evil eye to represent my Egyptian heritage. She is so talented and was so kind as we had to adapt things constantly due to changing plans. When we made the move from Summer in Israel to the UK in the Autumn, we switched out lemons and oranges for wild blackberries and figs.

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We had an illustrated bar menu and brought to life the florals and food menu on place mats which also served as name places. She sourced a berry coloured ink when she was in Italy and individually illustrated guests names at the top of their menu placemats in situ. We also created a table plan of growing florals where people picked their name out of flower pots.

We used illustrated luggage tags as reserved signs for the ceremony and she illustrated an order of service with detailed information on the meaning behind each element. She illustrated all of my crazy ideas from inside the kippot to our Zollmates logo for baseball caps, artwork for bookmarks and a welcome note for guests with further information.

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Our invitations were printed by Big Day Designs who were brilliant. We included an illustration of the venue, dress code and an after party invitation. We kept the actual invitation quite simple with just black calligraphy and embossed hebrew at the top with a pocket for the other elements and an illustrated crest on the cover. I wanted to illustrate the dress code and include the note about long dresses as I always struggle with knowing what to wear for a lounge suit dress code!

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Hair + Make-up

My hair and makeup team were an absolute dream. I have been going to my hair stylist Becky Lennon for years, I feel as though we have grown up together. I decided to go for a very simple up-do for the ceremony as the dress was high neck. For the party, she let my hair down in loose curls. She is so brilliant and she works so quickly, I don’t know how she does it. 

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Amalie Russell, who did my make-up, created a beautiful smokey eye and nude lip. My skin wasn’t great I think due to the stress of the quick turnaround but on the day she made it look flawless. She stayed late with Becky and added a bit more glam for the party. They were both not only brilliant at what they do but also they brought the most incredible calming energy. They were such an integral part of the day, I couldn’t imagine it without them.

Roisin Donaghy did the makeup and hair for my bridal party, they all went for a relaxed half-up and a natural smokey eye and glow. They looked beyond beautiful and very regal.

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A Caroline Castigliano Dress

My dress and veil were Caroline Castigliano. It was a bespoke version of a simple strapless dress but I had a high neck broderie top for the ceremony and a sparkly lace boat neck top for dinner. For the dancing I took this off and added a sparkly belt. I really felt like a princess not only on the day but also during the entire process. The team at Caroline and Caroline herself are unbelievably talented and meticulous at every stage.

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Accessories

My jewellery was very special to me as it was all made by my father in law. My earrings were simple drop diamonds which he designed for me as a gift for our wedding. My ring is also a repurposed stone which belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I also wore an aquamarine ring as my ‘something blue and something old’ which belonged to my great grandmother.

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Shoes

I had a pair of sparkly, princess Jimmy Choo‘s and changed into a simple ivory pair that were more comfortable for the dancing.

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The handsome groom

Micael had a suit made with Cad & The Dandy. He looked very handsome and it was beautifully cut! His groomsmen had liberty print pink ties which matched the colour of the bridesmaids and flower girls. We also had very simple floral liberty print cream and green kippot.

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Bridesmaids

My bridesmaids chose their own floral Needle & Thread dresses as did the flower girls. They were beautiful hues of pinks and florals. I thought they looked like woodland fairies, particularly the little ones with their very full flower crowns!

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Ceremony

We opted to have a private Badeken with immediate family only as we knew we would feel overwhelmed and we wanted to keep it about us two. It was the most emotionally charged moment of my life. We followed the tradition of not speaking or seeing each other for a week beforehand and it was the most electric feeling to see each other at the ceremony. Rabbi Yisroel Weisz asked our guests to be fully present and focus on our love before our ceremony and we really truly felt it. The entire ceremony felt like magic. At an important moment of the ceremony, the wind picked up and autumn leaves started spiralling- it didn’t feel real!

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We also decided to face away from our guests for the same reason which was really nice as we were able to focus on each other before celebrations with our guests started later! It was really important to us to include an order of service and note from us. We worked hard on bringing meaning to each of the elements so that our guests could understand what was happening during the ceremony. Not all of our guests had been to a Jewish wedding before and the feedback from them has been really touching.

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Ketubah

We just went with the United Synagogue ketubah but it was really beautiful with autumnal fruits and trees, I was so happy with how well it tied into our theme!

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Chuppah

For the Chuppah, my brief was natural and wild and to look as though it could just be growing there. Our talented and wonderful florist, Jen could not have nailed the brief more. I think I panicked her as I told her truthfully that I had never seen a chuppah before that felt very me even though I had scoured for inspiration! It was made up of four birch trees as the posts and a simple family tallis. It was adorned with long grasses and the most beautiful hydrangeas I have ever seen in my life. My favourite part was that it had a very dramatic, wild walkway up to the aisle which we later moved to the top table. Guests told us that they thought it had been planted or was always there until they spotted it being moved later!

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Our Music Choice

The Gatsby Band along with our chazzan, Guy, were an absolute highlight of the wedding. They had a really cool repertoire which was a great mix of songs from R&B to classics. They were also a little different to what we were used to at weddings we had been to before. For the ceremony we chose mostly traditional songs as I think they are beautiful and with such a strong voice we didn’t want too many frills. However, I walked down the aisle to Aishes Chayil to the tune of ‘A Thousand Years’. It was so beautiful! I was very nervous, my whole body was shaking but when I heard the song I was so focussed on his voice and spotting Micael that I didn’t even take in everyone watching.

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For our first dance, the band did a spectacular rendition of one of our favourite songs: ‘Magic’ by Coldplay. It sounds very cringe but it really felt like we were the only two in the room at that moment and I loved the finishing line that I asked then to keep in ‘If you were to ask me if after all that we’ve been through if you still believe in magic? Well yes I do, of course I do’. We had a DJ for the after party who was also brilliant, he also stayed very late for us as he said he was having a great time!

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Flowers

Jen at Liberty Lane Flowers made my every dream come true with our flowers. She took in every tiny detail of what I said I would like and then made it even better! She works seasonally and I loved how it was a very fresh version of autumn. She foraged dramatic branches and used urns and vessels (from her own Gaia Vessels range) to create very textured, beautiful arrangements for the tables surrounded by tumbling fruits.

My bouquet had a few more whites than the other bouquets and was more ethereal. The flower crowns, boutonnieres and the bridesmaid bouquets were more pinks. The flowers used were really special and very organic in style such as hydrangea paniculata in pink and mottled white, cafe latte spray roses, snowberry and elder. They were hues of greens, whites and pinks with pops of bright pink, berry and some bright red leaves.

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Photographer and videographer

Elena Popa did our photography, she has a really unique style, I love how she captures the energy of events. We also got really lucky as she brought the amazing Emily Rose Hamilton as the second photographer, who is amazing and does things in a similarly atmospheric style. It was her first Jewish wedding but they knew just what to capture and when! They are also such amazing people who I loved having around and just never ever intrusive or in the way.

Dan at Juno Wedding Films did our videography. Not only is he just the loveliest person who added so much to the day, he has such a good eye. His teaser made me sob hysterically! It is so classically beautiful too, very Jane Austen.

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Food

Our caterer was Dvash Catering, it was actually their first wedding and wow did they do a good job! The food was a big talking point at and after the day. I am a massive foodie and love cooking so it was really important to me and they delivered beyond all of our expectations. We worked hard to make the food match the magical style of the rest of the wedding.

I loved our cocktail menu with a wild herb mojito, lavender and lychee martini and berry champagne. The canapes were truly delicious: we had a bao bun station, chicken pastilla cigars with a cinnamon sugar, aubergine carpaccio with rose petals and raw tahini, pani puri shells filled with tomato confit, lamb arayes, arancini and salmon sashimi with little pipettes filled with yuzu and tiger’s milk dressing. At the wedding meal, the table had amazing Israeli style bread baskets and dips. The starter had a lot of wow-factor, it was seabass ceviche with a fan of torched avocado on top. The main course was chicken sous-vide, with sage oil and a seed crust and then black couscous and tershi.

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It looked earthy in natural ceramic bowls and was very juicy- I don’t know how you accomplish that for that many people. For dessert, we couldn’t choose as my husband and I have really different tastes so we decided to do two versions: his choice and my choice so that people could share the different elements. His version had raspberry macarons, oreo crumble and mine had a dark cocoa crumb, flower petals, tahini and cardamon. They both had chocolate truffle and Pandan bonbons and were the dreamiest desserts I have ever seen or eaten!  We then had fun shots on the dance floor such as sex on the beach and coffee patron. We finished the night with a shawarma and falafel station at the after party.

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Entertainment

Due to South Africa being on the red list, my South African husband was missing a lot of his nearest and dearest. I wanted to find a way to make them feel included and honoured. I asked his sister, Dina, to give the toast to South Africa. I kept saying to my husband and his family that I was worried the band would have the South African national anthem to play. Little did they know, I had arranged for the South African Culture Gospel Choir UK to do a special performance.

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Dina gave the speech and there was a slight pause before the band all came out drumming in traditional dress. They performed a few songs which went down brilliantly. Some of them were original cast members of The Lion King and they finished with a rendition of the Circle of Life which was very cool! I loved surprising them, it was a very fun and surreal moment of the day.  

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Favours

My husband is known for constantly wearing a baseball cap so I also surprised him with ‘Zollmates’ baseball caps for all of our guests during the party. Our napkins were tied with really pretty dusty pink bows which people put in their hair and took home. We also bought some little botanical hand sanitisers from Bramley that were nice enough to match our table and had a big basket of white umbrellas which were very well used unfortunately! 

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We also put together welcome baskets for our guests that were in their hotel rooms as well as gift boxes for our virtual guests in South Africa. Our mums were so brilliant at helping put these together! The South African boxes included our kippot, pistachio and vanilla macarons, an illustrated bookmark with virtual information and personalised match boxes with candles. For our welcome bags, these were done in jute bags and had the candles and matches, beeswax havdalah candles that I made, dried lavender posies for besamim, san pellegrino (the groom’s obsession) and some dried plums with monogrammed ribbon (by Frutta Dolce). Both were in sage, pinks and whites with personalised luggage tags.

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Honeymoon

We had very extravagant pre-pandemic plans to stay in a treehouse in the Amazon but we simplified our plans and landed on Marrakech where the cases were very low and the weather in October was magnificent. We stayed at a boutique hotel in the palm groves called Les Deux Tours which we would recommend to anyone, the grounds were stunning. They arranged a private dinner on our first night with hundreds of candles under a tree in their gardens. It was the perfect honeymoon.

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Advice to couples currently planning their wedding

I wish I could give the advice of not stressing but I definitely didn’t do that so I would feel like a hypocrite! But, after our wedding day one of my best friends said to me they had never been to a wedding before that felt so much like the couple- ‘it was just so you two’. This was the highest compliment she could possibly have given me because that was what we wanted. My top tip is just keep bringing everything back to you as a couple. Create the day of both of your dreams. For example, Micael loves chicken so we had chicken, I’m vegetarian so we had a delicious vegetarian option.

He hates wearing a tux so we did lounge suits but I wanted long dresses so we included that too. We both get overwhelmed and a little shy so we kept the emotional moments as private as possible. Make sure that you keep the focus on you as a couple and your love, that is the best tip I could possibly give anyone!

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ALICE & MICAEL’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK

Photographer – Elena Popa
Second Photographer – Emily Rose Hamilton
Videography – Juno Wedding Films
Stationery – Big Day Designs {offers 10% discount to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Illustrator – The Millustrator
Wedding planner – Wonderlust Events
Venue – Langley Park
Bride’s dress – Caroline Castigliano
Bride’s shoes – Jimmy Choo
Groom’s attire – Cad & The Dandy
Bridesmaids – Needle & Thread
Hair + Makeup – Becky Lennon , Amalie Russell,  Roisin Donaghy
Flowers – Liberty Lane Flowers  Gaia Vessels
Band – The Gatsby Band
Catering – Dvash Catering
Rabbi – Rabbi Yisroel Weisz
Entertainment – South African Culture Gospel Choir UK
Marquee – Mudway Workman
Deluxe toilet hire – Kington Deluxe Toilets 


If you’re a Jewish or Jew-ish bride-to-be, you’ll want to join Smashing The Glass’ Brides Club. Guided by the world’s number 1 Jewish wedding expert, Karen Cinnamon, Brides Club is the private community for Jewish and Jew-ish brides that removes wedstress and indecision and gives you what you need to plan with confidence during these uncertain times. Join our Brides Club here.


 

The post A Caroline Castigliano Bride for a Whimsical English Countryside Jewish Wedding at Langley Park, Cotswolds, UK appeared first on Smashing the Glass | Jewish Wedding Blog.

A Caroline Castigliano Bride for a Whimsical English Countryside Jewish Wedding at Langley Park, Cotswolds, UK