A David’s Bride for an Interfaith Jewish Wedding with Tons of Personal Touches at Swynford Manor, Newmarket, UK
We’re so thrilled to be sharing the beautiful wedding of our Brides Club member Charlotte to groom Adam! We so loved following Charlotte’s wedding planning journey in the group… and we’re so touched to hear she loved her time in the club just as much as we did!
In Charlotte’s words,
I loved being part of Brides Club. It is the most supportive community. There are so many resources, checklists and guides to read through to help you prioritise and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything major! There is support for the wins and when planning is difficult there is always someone in the group who completely understands what you are going through who can help you through it.
Awww! We’re so glad to hear it – and even gladder to see what an absolutely gorgeous wedding Charlotte and Adam planned! We love their focus on keeping the day relaxed and fun – for their guests, and for themselves. One of Charlotte’s coolest comfort-first moves has got to be her choice to wear her awesome bridal trainers for the whole day, rather than waiting til after the ceremony to change into them! Not that the trainers stopped her from looking totally glam, as you’ll see if you have a scroll through Point and Click Photography’s wonderful photos.
Charlotte, who’s Jewish, and Adam, who isn’t, also opted for modern English versions of the traditional Sheva Brachot, personalized to represent their love and hopes for their future life together – and they chose seven VIPs who read one blessing each.
We’re also crazy about the fact that these two had all kinds of fun touches like garden games (who doesn’t love a giant Connect 4?), and a doughnut wall (featuring flavors like Biscoff and pistachio!), and even a piñata – a surprise from Charlotte’s parents, designed to match the couple’s wedding cake!
How we Met
Charlotte, the bride: We met in October 2014 when a mutual friend brought Adam in to provide support in my workplace. Adam was living in Southampton, I was living in North London and long-distance dating was how our relationship started.
Swynford Manor, Newmarket was our venue. It is such a gorgeous venue and one that could cater for our number of guests. Finding what was in our minds, that suited our numbers and the budget wasn’t the easiest of tasks. I had a very specific vision for the day. We wanted something light, bright and modern and with the black and white backdrop of Swynford that’s exactly what we got.
What ‘Smashing The Glass Brides Club’ Did For Us
I loved being part of Brides Club. It is the most supportive community. There are so many resources, checklists and guides to read through to help you prioritise and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything major!
There is support for the wins and when planning is difficult there is always someone in the group who completely understands what you are going through who can help you through it.
The team at Swynford Manor alongside our Toastmaster, Mark Greatbatch made the day flow and made sure everything ran smoothly.
Our theme was a representation of our relationship and how Adam and I are together. Relaxed, fun and vibrant! These are the feelings we wanted to not just us but our guests to feel on the day. Our favourite colour is teal so this was our ‘flavour’ of choice.
Invitations / stationery
Our wedding invitations and all our wedding stationery were designed as a gift to us by one of my mums’ oldest friends. Liz was amazing and captured the vibe perfectly in all the stationery.
Hair + Make-up
Alex Mcevoy Beauty was recommended to by someone who lives near us to do our makeup. Alex slipped right in to our energy and felt like one of the girls. Alex was incredibly calming, especially on the day. I don’t normally wear makeup so I wanted a natural glam look. I wanted to still look and feel like me but a little elevated!
I love my naturally curly hair and follow the Curly Girl routine so I had my curl specialist hairdresser Clare from B Curly there with me on the day. I had my hair in a half up half down but with lots of texture and volume so my curls were still on show!
A David’s Bridal Dress
I found my dress at a Wedding Fair in London with my mum. As the fashion show started and the dresses started making the way down the runway my mum looked to me and said ‘That’s your dress’. Immediately after the show we found the dress at the fair, found out what store it was at and booked an appointment. By this point Adam and I had been engaged for 3 months and we were still 15 months away from our pre-covid postponed wedding.
Along with my mum, sister and bridesmaid we went to Davids Bridal with the express purposes of trying on THE dress. The dress was not what I had in my mind, not even close but, my mum was right. I put the dress on and completely fell in love with it, I felt beautiful, it fit perfectly and I could see myself marrying Adam.
I continued to try on dresses that matched the vision I had in my mind but none were right and I went back to dress one. All the things I didn’t think I wanted in a dress, I did. My mum was right! I didn’t want to take it off and made my bridesmaids (and my mum!) try on dresses just so I could stay in it a little longer!
The dress was a White by Vera Wang, strapless and simple, with a lot of skirt! A princess dress for the bride that loves Disney!
My wedding earrings were borrowed from my mum. Beautiful drop earrings with a pearl. My mum actually bought the earrings for my sister’s wedding so they were extra special.
My other jewellery was very unstated but very personal. I wore a horizontal bar necklace with the coordinates of where we got engaged and of where we stood to say our vows. This necklace means the world to me and now we’re married, I wear it all the time.
I had a bracelet to match that had the date of our wedding, my new surname and our couple name. Chadam. Both my necklace and my bracelet were from Lisa Angel. My hair accessories were from Etsy from a lovely owner called Amy at BellaMiaDesign. Beautiful teal pearl and diamond hair pins to go in amongst my curls for when the veil came off.
My veil was from Taylors Bridal Veils. As a gift, my mum designed my veil. We chose a fabric and colour that matched the dress and created it at the length to match the neckline of the dress and added pearls to match my earrings and pins in my hair. It was perfect.
The shoes have to be my favourite part of all the accessories! I was quite an untraditional bride in some respects and I was all about comfort! With this in mind I wore trainers for the whole day. My trainers were bridal trainers from Lace and Favour.
I made the trainers a little more ‘me’ by adding trainer tags with the date on one show and my new name on the other and add teal ribbon laces for my something blue and to link in nicely with my bridal party.
They were hit! Everyone loved them and a few who knew I was wearing trainers did the same thing too! Including my mum! The relaxed vibe of the wedding made it all the way down to footwear!
The handsome groom
The gorgeous Groom, along with his Best Men, Groomsmen, Father of the Bride and Father of the Groom all wore suits from Slaters. There were a beautiful brown tweed and Adam’s shoes, also from Slaters were two tone brown and grey with cream laces. I loved them! All the men wore teal patterned ties and pocket squares to have that ‘touch of colour’ we wanted.
Adam’s accessories were a gift from me. Another fantastic Etsy purchase from the Little Woodpecker. I wanted something a bit different and not very classic so I bought Adam copper and wood cufflinks and a tie clip. To match with me, one cufflink had the coordinates of our venue and one had our initials. His tie clip had our couple name and the date of the wedding. He loved them!
My beautiful Maid of Honour and beautiful Bridesmaid both wore teal dresses from Sexy Her. They both wore the same full-length dress and looked absolutely stunning! My lovely little flower girl wore a white dress with a fantastic bow at the back. She looked gorgeous!
Our ceremony was a legal civil ceremony immediately followed by a Jewish ceremony, of sorts. We chose not to have any readings during the civil ceremony as we decided to save those for the Jewish element of the ceremony. Whilst our ceremony didn’t have any readings at this point I really enjoyed this part of the wedding as we had personal vows that we read to each other.
Following the civil ceremony after we were pronounced husband and wife my dad took centre stage and after an explanation to our guests about what would happen next, he recited both in Hebrew and English the blessing that parents give to their children.
After the initial blessing made by my dad we took the tradition of the Sheva Brachot and made it more personal to us. Adam is not Jewish and so 7 blessing in Hebrew made no sense to him. Whilst I am Jewish, we felt that the direct translation of each blessing was not representative of our lives and what we hope our marriage will bring for us. We found more reform and more modern versions of the blessings and with a few tweaks, made them something that represented us, the love we have for each other and our families and what we hope to have together in life.
We chose 7 people, his brother and sister in law, my sister and brother in law, my father in law, the best man and my best friend and bridesmaid to each read a blessing. The blessing given to each person was relevant to the person speaking. As an example, my best friend spoke of friendship and my sister spoke of creating a loving home and having children.
Following our interpretation of the Sheva Brachot my dad recited Shehecheyanu just before, in our Smashing the Glass pouch, Adam smashed the glass. Mazel Tov!
Our Music Choice
For the processional I was slightly untraditional and I walked down the aisle to the same music as my bridesmaids. I just loved the music and as soon as I heard it I knew I wanted to walk down the aisle to Adam to it. It was so lovely I wanted as much as possible so we all went to down to it. The song I chose was ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ in a string quartet instrumental by the Vitamin String Quartet.
We wanted our personalities to shine through the whole day so while we signed the register we played songs we love to singalong to in the car together in instrumental string quartet versions. We played ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Duomo and ‘Dance Monkey’ by Vitamin String Quartet.
For our recessional we played ‘All You Need is Love’ by Stringspace.
The theme continued during the reception and the wedding breakfast as we played both modern and classic songs in string quartet covers. We wanted people to recognise the songs and it to add to the feeling of having fun.
Our top table was not classic and we sat with the 2 best men and their other halves and my bridesmaid and her other half. One of our favourite memories is during the wedding breakfast sitting with our top table we all burst out singing along with the instrumental versions of ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’ and ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. So impromptu but the exact feeling we wanted! Such a perfect moment!
Stacey at Designer Flowers Essex was our florist and she was just fabulous! She brought my vision to life. I wanted a classic look but a little rustic. I love natural looking flowers and with a teal accent I knew I didn’t want dyed flowers. We decided to have limited flowers and to have mainly foliage. Our table decorations were a combination of tall vases with foliage and smaller versions of this to give some depth to the space.
Adam and the boys had a small white tea rose with some greenery as the button homes and the bridesmaid had small posies with a few white tea roses and greenery.
My bouquet I wanted it to be quite large and messy but structured mess. I didn’t want neat looking flowers. I had white roses and iris’ in my bouquet matched with varieties of green foliage including ivy and eucalyptus which is my absolute favourite. Stacey listened to exactly what I wanted and I just loved them!
I loved them so much that I have sent them to Jessica at Bella Fiori UK to have them dried, pressed and turned in to coasters!
Photographer and videographer
Our photographers were Darren and Rosy from Point and Click Photography. When we met Darren and Rosy we got on with them really well. We felt that they had a relaxed and comfortable vibe which is just like me and Adam. Adam really doesn’t like the camera so we wanted our photos to be natural, in the moment photos. The idea of our photographs being overly staged wasn’t something that we wanted. We really wanted to just capture ‘the moments’.
Having 2 photographers allowed us to capture the day even more closely than if we had 1. Before the day we had an engagement photoshoot with them to help us feel more comfortable in front of the camera and to get to know Darren and Rosy better. On the day they were brilliant! We knew they were there if we needed them but they blended in to our friends and family and made everyone feel comfortable. We are so happy with our photographs. Just wow!!
Our videographer was Oliver Evans. We wanted to keep to the natural vibe and didn’t want anything to feel forced or out of place. Oliver listened to what we wanted and made sure to capture the moments without being in your face or feeling out of place. We can’t wait to receive our video!
Food and Cake
Our catering was done by the venue. We attended 2 food tastings and chose food that felt like us! The food was formally presented but with an informal style including family style served veg and gravy!
Heather from Keen for Cakes made our wedding cake and it was absolutely gorgeous! We went for a 3 tier round cake with a marble like effect on the icing in teal. Heather made beautiful sugar paste flowers that matched my bouquet and we chose 2 flavours. We chose Clementine Orange and Gin and Lime. We now have some in the freezer for anniversaries! On top of our cake we had a penguin cake topper as they are our favourite animal. A simple white acrylic cut out that we loved!
Garden games! For the reception post ceremony and pre-wedding breakfast we wanted there to be some entertainment for our guests. The reception was just under 2 hours so we wanted to give them something to do. Whilst Adam and I actually didn’t get a chance to play we had giant Jenga, giant Connect 4, giant Noughts, pick up sticks and Crosses and Croquet! We had a combination of hired games and some purchased. The company we hired from came on the day to set them up and came back to collect them the next day. Such an easy experience. Our friends and family loved them and they were a hit!
We also had a photobooth from our photographers in the evening which just added a little something extra for our guests to do!
Our favours were chocolate lollipops with sweets in them. Should guests want to the place names could be kept but the favours were all about keeping the vibe in the room relaxed and entertaining. We definitely over ordered and we have so many left that when people come over they get a coffee and a favour for dessert!
A lot of aspects of our wedding were from independent business on Etsy including the Order of the Board, the favours, the table numbers and place names, the seating chart, bar menu, doughnut sign, groomsmen gifts, dressing gowns, cards… the list goes on!
For the reception drink we wanted a little something extra so in each glass of bubbles was some blue candy floss to match our touch of teal!
For the children at the wedding we wanted a little entertainment during the meal so we bought kites that they could decorate, build and fly out on the grass! For their name place we had personalised crayons, another Etsy special, that were in the shape of their name for them to use to decorate the kite. Something to keep them entertained and something just a little bit different!
Our table numbers and place names were another touch of teal. Acrylic hexagons with calligraphy names. Simple, elegant and a little bit modern.
We split the speeches up between the courses of the meal and after the welcome speech from my father in law I started the speeches just after the main course. As I said at the beginning of my speech, me being me I couldn’t let the day pass without saying a few words.
A brides speech isn’t very traditional but I wasn’t a very traditional bride and I wanted our guests to know how I grateful was that they were there and an opportunity to share with our guests how happy I was and am to finally have married Adam. I am so pleased that I made a speech, it wasn’t too long but it said all I felt it needed to.
One of the best parts the day was a surprise from my mum and dad. As a young child I loved a piñata! It was just the best fun! So, as a surprise for us my mum and dad bought us a piñata in the shape of our wedding cake in while and teal for us to smash!
Just after my speech I gave it a whack (quite literally!) and tried to smash it. I wasn’t able to get in to it but Adam got up and gave it several huge smashes and it just exploded! It was awesome! The chocolates inside span across the room and everyone cheered. It was a fantastic moment that ended with my mum throwing chocolates to everyone around the room!
In the evening we had a doughnut wall! Adam and I love a doughnut and we used Prestige Doughnuts. Their doughnuts are incredible! White chocolate and Biscoff, Pistachio, Kinder Bueno and Lemon and Poppy seed. Wow! Such a treat and with some leftovers we have some in the freezer too.
Due to the uncertainty of the last year we haven’t booked our honeymoon yet but, we did go on a minimoon (of sorts!)
We went away for 2 nights to Stratford Upon Avon for a spa break with gorgeous dinners and afternoon teas before heading home to fill the rest of our week with activities. From indoor sky diving, to VR experiences, Go Ape and Horse Riding! The week was so much fun and gave us some much-needed time just the two of us, with no stress doing things we wanted to do together. A perfect week!
Whilst we aren’t sure where our honeymoon will take us yet I can be sure it’ll include gin and scuba diving, though not at the same time!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
The biggest piece of advice we got before the day was to make sure we took a step back throughout the day and take it in. We made time for this, just us, throughout the day to just watch what was happening and we are so glad we did. It has really helped to remember the smaller details.
Make sure you spend time together! There are so many people to see on your wedding day but the day is about you two so make sure you take those private moments to soak it all in. We had 4 times where we had moments just us and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Our toastmaster made sure we had some private time and we are so grateful to him for it. After the ceremony we had 10 minutes just us while our guests got ready for the group photo and confetti shot and it was perfect. 10 minutes of having a glass of bubbles and saying ‘Did that really just happen?!’ and just enjoying that feeling!
Our next moment was pre-wedding breakfast. We had another 10 minutes just us where we talked about the day so far, had a drink and lots of cuddles! Our next private moment was having our couple photos. Our photographers gave us some distance for some of it so we could be alone. They also captured some awesome shots here! The final moment was before the cake cutting and the first dance. We had a little final practice as Adam was very nervous and I remember the moment so well!
Whilst not everything went perfectly and there were a few little hiccups they were easily resolvable. Use your groomsmen and your bridesmaids! Delegation on the day is so important. I was so relaxed knowing I had my girls by my side.
So many people have commented on how they haven’t seen a couple enjoy their day as much as we did. We embraced every single second and totally went for it. If you needed us we were on the dance floor, the whole night! Whilst we had sore feet the next day it meant we go to dance the night away with all our guests and make some incredible memories.
It is your day, do what you want to do and don’t do things to please other people.
CHARLOTTE & ADAM’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Point and Click Photography
Videography – Oliver Evans
Venue – Swynford Manor
Bride’s dress – Vera Wang found at Davids Bridal
Bride’s shoes – Lace and Favour
Veil – Taylors Bridal Veils
Bride’s accessories – Lisa Angel
Groom’s attire – Slaters
Grooms accessories – Little Woodpecker
Bridesmaids – Sexy Her
Makeup – Alex Mcevoy Beauty
Bride Hair – B Curly
Flowers – Designer Flowers Essex
DJ – JW DJ Agency
Cake – Keen for Cakes
Doughnuts – Prestige Doughnuts
Toastmaster – Mark Greatbatch