A Jesus Peiro Bride for a Foodies’ Jewish Wedding Inspired by Italy at Offley Place Country House Hotel, Hitchin, UK


We are SO thrilled to be featuring the gorgeous Jewish wedding of our beloved Brides Club member Ella today! Ella just happens to be a food photographer – and she and Joel, a finance analyst, are huge foodies, so naturally delectable eats played a big role in the couple’s day.

They’re also avid travelers, and despite getting married close to home in the UK, Ella and Joel chose “Amalfi lemon grove” as their theme, inspired by a favorite holiday. The pair worked with a fabulous team, including a whole bunch of Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendors, to make their dream a reality… and did they ever succeed! We’re positively drooling over Matt Parry’s exquisite photos of the day.  

When it came to food, it had to be Italian – and only the best would do. Ella and Joel chose to work with Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Feast by Ed Shaerf, one of the most innovative names in the kosher food scene. Even though Feast is based in Manchester, in Ella’s words, “Their food is worth paying for their travel down south.” The menu included a sharing antipasti, orange polenta cake and lemon sorbet served in hollowed-out lemons for dessert, and even an Amalfi lemonade stand during the reception. No wonder guests are still raving about the food!

Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Alexandra’s Florist brought Ella and Joel’s lemon grove dreams to life, and we are OBSESSED with the results. Alex even incorporated large leafy lemons – the bride’s favorite – into the floral arrangements! And how gorgeous is the couple’s floral chuppah?!

Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Ambassador Band got everyone onto the dancefloor in their trademark style, and the couple loved working with Geoff in the leadup. Ella and Joel opted to work with Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Elegante by Michelle J as their on-the-day coordinator, and, in their words, “she basically came in as a guardian angel in the most stressful time.”

Now over to the bride, who looked super cool in her contemporary halter-top gown by Jesus Peiro

How we Met

Ella, the bride: We first met at a pre-meet dinner for an Aish trip to New York. It was this random pizza place in a really touristy area in Leicester square. Joel turned up an hour late wearing a bright blue Fred Flintstone t-shirt. My first thoughts…who is this haha. He has always been a bit of a joker, actually one of the things that makes me love him the most is that he always makes me laugh.

We then went on the Aish trip a few days later and he became the best friend I could have ever asked for. A few months after the trip Joel told me he loved me as more than a friend, on facebook messenger…I was scaredy cat and told him I wanted him to stay as my best friend. 9 months down the line I realised I was ready to take the leap and told him ‘I was all good’…and we were 🙂

All About the Details

Our venue was Offley Place. I wanted to find a place that had equal beauty on the inside as the outside. I knew I wanted lots of light and outdoor photos (if the weather held). And the absolute must for me was good flooring. Being a photographer all the details stick out to me in photos and one of my pet peeves is dodgy hotel carpet. Offley Place has the most beautiful wooden flooring throughout..so in the photos no one’s attention will be drawn away from the subject. 

Joel and I love going on country breaks at the weekends. One of our favourite hotels is the Pig Hotel (all locations!) We love the cute country house style of them and I felt like the rooms at Offley were an almost grander version of this, so that was special to us.

What ‘Smashing The Glass Brides Club’ Did For Us

I loved Brides Club, it kept me feeling fairly sane in a completely un-sane time. I felt really alone in the outside world leading up to my wedding, like there wasn’t anyone else that could understand what I was going through except for my fellow brides in Brides Club. Brides club also brought me super close to an old friend that I had lost touch with…we have rekindled the strongest friendship now and ended up going to each others weddings 🙂

On the Day Coordination

We used Michelle Jacobs from Elegante by Michelle J as our wedding coordinator. I had planned the entire wedding pretty much by myself and it was getting on top of me the closer we got and more uncertain we got to our date. So we hired Michelle for her ‘on the day and so much more package’, she basically came in as a guardian angel in the most stressful time. 

Our theme was ‘Amalfi lemon grove’ Joel and I had visited a lemon grove in Amalfi a few years ago and it was the most beautiful and romantic place I had ever been. I have an obsession with proper leafy lemons, straight off the trees and so we tried to recreate this for the wedding.

Our colours were yellow, green primarily and then I asked Alexandra to pop in some peachy tones too so it was super summery. All the arrangements were bright, rustic and all contained lemons! even our chuppah had lemons through it. My favourite flower is yellow mimosa and one of my favourite colours is sage green. So yellow and sage were a big part of the wedding. We also had a warm white neon light that said ‘the rankoffs’ on.

Invitations / stationery

We used Invite Press. We dealt with the designer Rebecca Davies and she was amazing. I found them at the wedding fair in London and they honoured the wedding fair discount for two whole years post lockdown 🙂 I sent Rebecca a photo of mimosa flowers and she designed our invites around that..I was instantly in love and impressed with her work.

Hair + Make-up

I went for Ellia White, from Leeds. Both my sisters were married in Leeds where we grew up and they had Ellia. She made me feel instantly comfortable at my sister’s wedding and at my trial. She did my hair and my make up. Ellia is not only a lovely person but super professional and insanely talented.

A Jesus Peiro Dress

When I first looked for dresses I came across the designer Jesus Peiro. I knew from the moment I discovered this designer that I was going to get one of their dresses. The pockets, the beautiful materials and timeless elegance of the silhouettes. As soon as I put my dress on at Morgan Davies Bridal in Islington I knew it was the one. I felt incredible in it, I am not someone that often feels that way, I don’t have huge confidence. I wanted to wear it immediately. The belt..the belt! it makes the whole dress. You’ll find me wearing it on my sofa one day, eating cheese puffs and watching tv.


The dress was perfect, it didn’t really need anything. As it was so high neck I didn’t want to wear any jewellery really. Joel bought me Maria Tash diamond hoop earrings, I haven’t taken them out since. He gave me them as a surprise on the morning of the wedding 🙂 THE headband. I wore the crystal and pearl headband from Six Stories It was the only crown I needed. In my pocket I had a hanky embroidered from a small designer on Etsy.

It was not only my something blue but also my something special. It was embroidered with all my grandparents names and It is something I will keep forever. Post ceremony I put a ring on my right hand which my Grandma Betty left me. We lost her a year before the wedding. She held on to see me and Joel engaged and one of the last things she said to me was that my engagement ring was perfect and exactly what she would have chosen. The ring she left me really stands out in some of the photos we have already received and that is really special to me.


THE shoes!! I wore Charlotte Mills ‘Henrietta Pearl’. These matched my headband perfectly and are just soooo beautiful.

The handsome groom

Joel chose a French Connection slim fit three piece grey suit. It was ‘dashing’ and suited him perfectly. We went shopping just the two of us for his tie, he wanted a different tie to his groomsmen. We selected a silk teal tie from Reiss, He wore black monk strap shoes.


I had x3 bridesmaids and x2 teeny tiny page boys. The bridesmaids wore sage green multi way dresses from Kates Dresses, which I had ties made in the same material for groomsmen and fathers of the bride and groom. The colours were perfect. The page boys wore tiny bow ties made from the same dress material too. Grey shorts to match the groomsmen grey suits and braces..just cos its cute.


I had a really private badeken. I wanted it to be an intimate moment that only a select few people would be part of.


We worked with Noam from Ketuba Home. We chose one of her existing designs..a ring of eucalyptus. We not only love this plant, but it reminds us of being in Australia which was one of favourite trips before all the crazy covid hit and we plan to have a huge honeymoon there when the boarders re-open. We worked with noam to get the perfect english words to sit alongside the hebrew. I could read it everyday 🙂


I always wanted an outdoor summer feeling so I knew I wanted it to have wooden legs to feel like trees. The flowers and the lemons..were an idea I had to make it look a bit like a lemon grove with natural flowers in the colour scheme flowing through it. I absolutely loved it.

Our Music Choice

So if I am honest by the time we got to deciding music we were in the thick of ‘will it happen won’t it happen’ so I decided to just focus on my aisle song which was a pianist version of ‘At Last’ by Etta James this song not only makes me melt but also was so so relevant, after 11 years of being together, at last we were sealing the deal, after of 18 months of panic, upset and not knowing if we were going to have the wedding…at last it happened and it was perfect. I left it up to the rabbi to discuss with the pianist from the band to choose the rest of the music for the ceremony. I knew as a musician he would pick perfect songs. I loved how perfect aishet chail sounded on the piano, it makes me want to cry thinking about it.

First dance..this is a funny one. Mine and Joel’s song is ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran we saw him play it live and it was unbelievable. He also pronounces words in it in a really southern accent which makes us laugh because I say those words so northern! However we decided this song was a bit intimate for us and slow and we didn’t want the pressured slow dance moment. So we went for ‘I love you baby’ I not only love 10 things I hate about you hah but both my sisters accidentally chose this song for their first dance without telling each other so it was a sort of joke.


We went with Alexandras Florist and events. Alex was amazing and brought my lemon grove to life. We couldn’t get mimosa which is my favourite flower, because of the season, so she sprayed gypsophelia yellow to make it look like it 🙂 Large leafy lemons were ordered from new covent garden fruit and veg market and Alex placed them perfectly within the floral arrangements. You will see from the photos what an incredible job she did.

Photographer and videographer

We went with Matt Parry for photography…I had seen that he had photographed other photographers weddings, which gave me confidence and his portfolio was like nothing I had ever seen. He really tells the story of your day, not just those static posed photos. I felt so comfortable and he was so good at his job that I remember at one point in the night I was like where is he? Because he is so good at melting into the party and not being ‘in the way’.

I had chosen a friend for videography originally but sadly he had to pull out due to personal reasons last minute. He did suggest someone he knew thought and luckily he was available! His name was Jack Corthine and he had also worked with Matt before, they worked so well together that people actually thought they were a team on the day. He was so kind and sweet and his portfolio was also beautiful! We should receive our video in November this year.

Food and Cake

We had Feast by Ed Shaerf from Manchester. Their food is worth paying for their travel down south. I am a food photographer so food is super important to me. I basically created a beautiful italian menu and sent it to Ed and he pretty much said yep I can do that. The tasting was really nice and everyone is still raving about the food. We had a sharing antipasti to start…courgette fritti, breads, oils, giant olives on ice ahhh, a giant chicken milanese with olive mash for mains, with sharing heritage tomato salads on the table. It was really important to me to have sharing be a part of the tables. And then pudding was orange polenta cake with lemon sorbet that was set into lemons. We also had an amalfi lemonade stand in the reception.

I didn’t want a traditional cake and also kosher wedding cakes are really quite extortionate in cost. Although against the theme one of Joel and I’s favourite things are chocolate rugalach. So we had a tower of them instead from Daniel’s Bakery.


We chose Ambassador Band. I had seen them be recommended on smash the glass group and they did not disappoint. Geoff was brilliant to deal with and completely put me at ease.


We had mini limoncello bottles with tags on. Just another cute nod to the lemon grove we went to in Italy where we had amazing limoncello.

Extra details

The limoncello, our neon light..the lemons everywhere!! The lemon sorbet being set into little lemons was such a nice touch. I can’t place something that happened that defined the day because our day was like a jigsaw, every tiny piece that had planned meticulously came together and fit perfectly on the day. I was in shock the whole day that it actually happened and it was all for us..it still feels like a weird floating feeling…did it actually happen and with no covid restrictions…I felt like all the luck was coming down on us.

I wanted an outdoor ceremony but the ground was too damp, so we ended up getting married in the ballroom..but it was perfect. The sun came out and shone brightly down through the glass roof, it was magical..you will see in the photos, the sun criss crossed down the aisle like a painting. I wanted to get my bridal party really special gifts. So for my dad who loves cleaning and loves his clothes and shoes I got him an old fashioned shoe shine kit, in an engraved box.

For my mum I had an illustration draw of the back of us in our wedding outfits..the details were perfect. For my bridesmaids I made individual boxes for them which contained a scented candle with a smell that made me think of them, a sparkly broach to add to their simple dress, a cocktail in a can which they each had chosen specifically for them and sweets, because who doesn’t love sweets. I also got them personalised silk dressing gowns and wrote them thank you notes.


We went on a mini moon to Somerset. We stayed at the Homewood Hotel in Bath. It was a gorgeous country escape and we ate a lot of cheese, drank a lot of wine and slept a lot! We would definitely recommend it. We are huge huge fans of the pig hotel but they were fully booked, the homewood is a fantastic alternative. With the risks at the moment we just can’t travel where we wanted to. We are planning a big honeymoon next year to Australia and New Zealand. We will most likely use Trail finders, they are a great travel agent for long hawl trips.

Advice to couples currently planning their wedding

If I had any advice for the day…. I would say try and get ready in one location, rather than moving from a hotel to your venue if your wedding is like mine and don’t get ready in your bridal suite, if the venue does not have a getting ready room then get ready in one of the bridal party members rooms then when you come back to the bridal suite at the end of the night it is pristine and special..instead of a mess.

Don’t feel pressured to make the people you have lost huge parts of your day. It is totally ok to find an intimate personal way of honouring them without a huge display or empty chair for them. My hanky is something I will keep forever.


Photography – Matt Parry Photography
Videography – Jack Corthine
Wedding planner – Elegante by Michelle J {offers 10% discount to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Catering – Feast by Ed Shaerf
Flowers – Alexandras Florist 
Band – Ambassador Band
Venue – Offley Place
Bride’s dress – Jesus Peiro found at Morgan Davies Bridal
Bride’s shoes – Charlotte Mills  
Bride’s accessories –Six StoriesMaria Tash
Groom’s attire – Moss, Reiss 
Bridesmaids – Kates Dresses
Hair + Makeup – Ellia White
Cake – Daniel’s Bakery
Ketubah – Ketuba Home
Stationery/Invitation – Invite Press
Rabbi – Rabbi Jason Kleiman and Rabbi Danni S

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 Jesus Peiro Bride for a Foodies’ Jewish Wedding Inspired by Italy at Offley Place Country House Hotel, Hitchin, UK appeared first on Smashing the Glass | Jewish Wedding Blog.

A Jesus Peiro Bride for a Foodies’ Jewish Wedding Inspired by Italy at Offley Place Country House Hotel, Hitchin, UK