Real Jewish Brides: Jos on the wedding journey

Jos will be marrying Daniel in March 2021 at Hackney Town Hall, London, UK. Click here to read all Jos’ planning posts to date.

THREE FACTS: (1) Before meeting Daniel, Jos was known for her torrid dating tales – so much so that her friends used to call her Bridget Jonestein! (2) Daniel proposed to Jos in the Greek island of Naxos! (3) Jos is a member of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club!

When we got engaged in June 2019, I was hit by the usual plethora of emotions. Feeling excited, and overwhelmed, emotional, happy, scared, it was quite the whirlwind. However, one emotion I didn’t talk about too much was a bit of relief. Why relief? Well, finding my guy didn’t come particularly easy for me. I spent my 20’s dating all the wrong ‘uns, watching as one by one, my friends found their partners and started to settle down. The day after I turned 30 I broke up with the archetypal bad boyfriend, and had a two month stint off work after complications with my endometriosis left me pretty sick in hospital for three weeks. I remember thinking on January 1st 2016.. where do I go from here?

So, I embarked on what every millennial who’s read Eat, Pray, Love, but still needs to work to pay the bills does and set about trying to ‘find myself’. I was determined that I would not meet another bad guy and waste more of my life walking down dead ends. I put my dating life on hiatus for 12 months, I went solo to Italy on a retreat to try and learn to care less (yes, really, it’s a thing), I met new people, I started more new hobbies than I care to remember and I tried to make sense of the impact my endometriosis may have had on my life until then, I had a lot of therapy! I got to the point that I was pretty content being single, albeit, I would have liked to have met someone. One of my best friends and bridesmaids Eli and I often talk about a conversation we had to this effect. We were ok, being in a relationship it didn’t define us, we were happy to wait to find the right guy.

Of course, I wasn’t totally zen, there were times, usually at weddings when I did feel lonely, or, to be frank, slightly panicked that it would never happen for me. But on the most part, I was ok. Eli met her now husband 4 months before I met Daniel, and Daniel came along on the 8th January 2017. A year and a week after I decided to look after myself first.

Which takes me back to that feeling of relief. That feeling of relief wasn’t because I finally have a ring, it was because the whole journey made sense. I know, if I’d had met someone in my 20’s, I would not have been in the headspace I was when I met Daniel, I would have been less sure of myself and clear about what I wanted and frankly, what I didn’t want, I would probably be with someone far lesser than Daniel is.

It would be remiss of me to not acknowledge I got a bit carried away with having a wedding. Afterall, I had watched so many of my friends get married, each one more beautiful and glowing than the next. I had attended and organised their hens, been the bridesmaids, the co-best woman, I’d bought them engagement gifts and wedding gifts and of course, gifts for their babies. No-one is perfect, but I did my best to celebrate and show up for each and every couple and, I’d being lying if I didn’t say that the feeling of joy for my friends wasn’t juxtaposed with a hint of worry for myself, even, at times, a little bit of loneliness.

I decided, long before I met Daniel, that when it became my turn, there were a few things that I really wanted to experience for myself, rather than watching someone else experience it. For example, I knew I really wanted a chuppah and a meaningful ceremony. I’ll admit that once we’d decided on our processional music, I became a bit obsessed with it, listening to it on the way home, and on occasion, getting choked up listening to it in anticipation of our special day. I’ll admit that I got a little bit excited that I’d be lucky enough to have two grandparents at my wedding and had asked them both to walk down the aisle, flanked by one of my brothers and their partners. And I’ll be honest in saying when my good friend Katie sang our first dance to us for the first time, I got emotional.  Those were the things I really cared about.

But I look back on all of those emotions now, and they feel totally alien to me. The above feels trite and frankly totally misaligned with the state of the world, immature pipe dreams from a person that had no idea that the concept of ‘planning’ was going to be shattered into tiny pieces at the beginning of the year. The truth is, I’m kind of over it. We’ve postponed twice, with a tiny secret bit of hope that we may be able to do something close to what we’d planned. That I may be able to see my grandma and papa walk down that aisle.

That I wouldn’t be the person watching the reaction of the groom when he sees his bride for the first time, but I’d be looking at my groom’s face when he saw me for the first time. I feel a little bit jealous of people that are getting engaged now, who are under no illusion as to what a wedding for them will look like, they do not need to face disappointment of telling people that the event is off, or the awkward conversations about who may or may not be invited to our wedding when it eventually does happen. 

Just as I was getting my head around a 30 person wedding, they made it 15. Not only does that not really cover our families, but I couldn’t even walk down the aisle with my parents as the law here denotes if you are not in the same household you cannot do that. It really is those things I cared about that this situation has stripped away from me, making it all feel very clinical, the very bare bones of what a wedding is, a legal document.

And really, when I think about the turmoil the events industry is in, the difficulties that all the amazing suppliers have had, the people that have spent their careers building other people’s special days, I really do have to think myself lucky. Afterall, I didn’t go through my ‘journey’ for one day, I found a guy that has the patience of a saint, and even through this most difficult of years, has been a stoic rock to me. It’s just, there is still a part of me, deep deep down, that hopes that I too will get to experience that little bit of magic, when the time is right.


Click here to read all Jos’ planning posts to date.

Jos & Daniel’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:

Venue – Hackney Town Hall
Videographer – Dreamcatchers {offers 10% discount to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Honeymoon – Abby Taubman of Colletts Travel {offers a travel guide to the chosen destination to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Hair and Make up – Camilla J Collins {offers 10% discount to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Events agency – WORK HARD / PLAY HARD
Flowers – Alice Vine
Singer – Katie Plus Juan
Caterer – Black Pot
Cake – Belsize Cake
Photographer – Rachel Takes Pictures
Band – Stylus Live
Stationery – Hart Creative Studio
Grooms suit – Drake’s

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Real Jewish Brides: Jos on the wedding journey