Reportage wedding photographer Mark Carey has shared some lovely weddings with us recently, and Becky and Joel’s day is one of his best: the atmosphere of this wedding really comes across in the pictures. From the excited chaos of the bridal preparations to the solemnity and grace of the orthodox Jewish ceremony and then onto the boat trip down the Thames… it’s a really memorable, individual and fun way to celebrate a marriage.
Becky is a really, really beautiful bride. Becky’s shared her story of the day – and there are some brilliant tips in there for all you brides- and grooms-to-be. So I’ll hand over to Becky to tell you about the day, and to reportage wedding photographer Mark Carey to share the wonderful pictures.
Shoes – simple lace kitten heel from Debenhams, it was important to me that I was comfy! Jewellery a present from the Groom – beautiful bracelet from Swarovski, invisible chain necklace with a single drop diamante – bought on E-bay
We both love London. My favourite view in the world is Tower Bridge from any angle. We wanted a wedding that represented everything we love about our city and something sophisticated and interesting, different from all the other weddings we’ve been to. We are both Jewish and whilst not especially observant, our culture, our heritage, our shared values and history is important to us and so we decided to marry in a synagogue.
I had a lace bolero made at The Wedding Dress Shop in Colchester, to cover my chest and shoulders during the religious wedding ceremony. I wanted to keep this traditional, due to the age of the Synagogue (Bevis Marks is the oldest in Britain) and it’s Orthodox practice. My bolero reminded me of Grace Kelly, with a high neck line. I had a veil with a cream trim, long enough to touch the floor. Also from The Wedding Dress Shop.
I had visited Bevis Marks for a jewish holiday and fell in love with it. It’s a spiritual place of great history. Tony Blair has once visited! We were married at Bevis Marks at 2.45pm in around 30 degrees of heat. It was the hottest day of the year so far and I was wearing the equivalent of a duvet…..whilst I LOVED my dress on reflection a summer wedding needs a summer dress….
The Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony is different from some other religions, since the bride is already married before she’s arrived! Joel had signed the “Ketubah”, the religious marriage contract (legally binding) before I entered. The Ketubah is his committment to me – he agrees to feed, clothe, provide for and respect me, in the presence of the Rabbi and the congregation. This becomes my property.
The service was fabulous once I arrived too, as Joel presented me with a ring (an unbroken band to represent eternity), Joel smashed the glass (representing the fragility of life and to keep Jerusalem in our minds) and we contemplated our lives together beneath the Torah (Old Testament).
After the wedding service Joel and I sneaked off for 10 minutes to have a few photos with our photographer Mark Carey. We chose Mark to document our wedding on recommendation – his reportage and artistic style complemented our vision for the day and we were not disappointed! The guests hopped on to a waiting coach and then on to a boat from St Katharine’s Dock, The Elizabethan, a paddle steamer. We took a leisurely cruise down the Thames.
Champagne was so welcome by this point! The cruise was a great addition to the day, those from out of town got to see some of the most beautiful parts of the city from a spacious and interesting boat (lots of place to go – loads of indoor and outdoor space).
We went under Tower Bridge, past Tower of London, the Mayors building, The Wheel, Big Ben chimed 6.00pm as we sailed past, MI5 (is it MI5 or 6?!) Building, and then we docked at the private dock at Westminster Boating Base in Pimlico.
We had some delicious canapes and (more) champagne and Pimms in the gardens. We had organised a caricaturist to draw cartoons of the guests at this point, which I think was a good idea as people started to need an activity.
Our most memorable moment of the day was looking out across the Thames from the boat, and listening to the chimes of Big Ben at 6pm. We were married, we’d done it and it was HOT WEATHER! That was a truly magical moment.
At 7.30pm we had a fabulous 3 course dinner, accompanied by a relaxing jazz band in the beautiful function rooms at the Boating Base (I strongly recommend background music during dinner). This room has almost panoramic views of the Thames, with decking and benches all around – people relaxed outside with their wine glasses throughout the courses.
Then the speeches….a few tears (me) a few bad jokes (the Best Men), a few embarraassing stories (The Best Men, my Mum, Joel…) and lots of laughter. We then enjoyed the DJ and drinks around the venue, looking out across Battersea Power Station and the MI5 Building towards Vauxhall. It was a balmy evening, with the water all around, gorgeous!
The evening ended somewhere in the morning with MORE drinks in the amazing Courtyard at the Crowne Plaza Buckingham Gate.
The one piece of wedding advice I’d give is to RELAX! I could kick myself for worrying so much. What will be will be, and with all your planning, nothing can really go that wrong! No one else notices anyway.
Becky and Joel’s recommended wedding suppliers
Wedding venue – Bevis Marks (Jewish Weddings don’t get any better)
Photography – Mark Carey (we would get divorced and re-married just for more of his amazing pics!)
Thames Luxury Charters for the boat hire (amazing, professional, efficient)
Westminster Boating Base for the reception (Pete Selby is a fine gentleman, very flexible and reasonably priced for dry hire or catered events
Toby Levy Catering (Kosher catering – Beverley Bersch at Toby Levy also made our wedding cake)
Just Miniatures – for individual single malt whisky favours with a brilliant caricature of us on the bottle! Perfect.
Lenora M – for engraved wooden hand fan wedding favours – all excellent quality.
DJ – provided by Westminster Boating Base as part of the hire charge
Transport – Thames Luxury Charters (the best on the Thames)
Stationary – Daniel Clark www.transformgraphics.co.uk (Dan and I have been friends 12 years and his work just gets better and better)
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Thank you to Becky and Joel – for a wonderful wedding report and for being on English Wedding Blog – and to reportage wedding photographer Mark Carey for sharing his fabulous images with us today.