Jewish Country House Weddings / Jewish Interfaith Weddings

Michelle & Richard | Jewish/Celtic Winter Wedding at Babington House, Somerset

Babington House Winter WeddingI have no words for Michelle and Richard’s wedding. Truly. I will run out of adjectives trying to describe how magnificent everything is. The details are quite astonishing, the setting is magical, and I love the embracing of both the Scottish and Jewish cultures. The mix of traditions meld surprisingly beautifully (think the Hora followed by the Ceilidh; haggis bites served alongside potato latkes.. you get the picture – and it works!).

Scroll down and you will see bagpipers playing in the snow, exquisite floral designs, a stunning balletic Mira Zwillinger wedding dress, the most awesome and thoughtful wedding favours, and an incredible video by Gorgeous Films that may very well have you shedding a tear or three with its sheer beauty and sensitivity.
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Now on top of that I admit that I whooped, hollered and clapped my hands with glee when I found out that with this wedding I’d be showcasing Especially Amy‘s sensational photography. She captures all the details of the day so emotively and she is a well-deserved Smashing Supplier.

So the lovely Michelle and Richard married back in January of this year (apparently the snowiest January on record) at one of my favourite places in the world, Babington House (part of the Soho House group) in Somerset. They chose this breathtaking venue, not only for its beauty, but because they could also take over the whole place and share the experience with friends and family over a couple of days.

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Michelle, The Bride: The theme of our wedding was to bring both of our cultures together, so essentially to have a Jewish/Celtic mix. Rich is Jewish, and I am half Irish, half Scottish, so it was important that all cultures were represented. So for instance we had a Ceilidh followed by the Hora; we had haggis and Irish soda bread, but equally we had Chanukah doughnuts; we had a rabbi, and we had our friend singing Ave Maria…  etc etc. In terms of a colour scheme, we based it loosely around Weathered Kennedy Tartan (which made my Dad very happy!)

Our chosen venue was Babington House because it’s so very beautiful and because we could take over the whole venue and have our friends and family stay with us overnight and continue the celebrations the following morning.
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We chose wedding stationery by Emily & Jo. Very classic and crisp in cream and gold. It was so beautiful that we used the same colours and style for our order of service, seating plan and thank you cards.
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I used the wonderful team at Josh Wood for both my hair and make-up. At my trial, Jenna, their make-up artist, understood right away that I didn’t want to be  ‘overdone’, but still wanted to look fabulous in  all the photos. I was delighted with the result, and best of all, the lipstick she recommended me to wear on the day has become my all time favourite!

The most important part for me though, was the hair. My hair is long, and straight and doesn’t hold a curl. I really wanted a natural wave, and I wanted my hair down, to still feel like me. Leigh Keates at Josh Wood did my hair at the trial, and I was in love immediately, it was natural, and glossy, and it held all day, in fact, the more the day went on, the better it looked. That’s how I knew he had to be the one to do it on the day! Not only did he do mine, but he did my mum’s and my bridesmaid’s too.
Jewish Wedding at Babington House MAKE UP
My dress was by Mira Zwillinger from Brown’s Bride. I was really nervous about finding a dress, basically because I didn’t know what I wanted, I didn’t know what would suit me, and I didn’t want to make the order, and then get dress envy if I found something else. Anyway, whilst looking for a dress for my best friend for her wedding, I stumbled across a dress I adored, and made a mental note to look it up if I ever got engaged. As soon as Richard popped the question, I knew I had to go and try it on immediately. When I got to Browns, my mum picked out the very same dress (of her own accord), and I knew then it was the one. I tried on others, just to be sure, but nothing else compared in terms of delicacy, colouring and fit. It was also quite balletic which I loved.
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The ceremony was the most important part of the wedding. We had an independent celebrant and a Rabbi conduct it, and we spent several months working with both of them to ensure that we captured as much as we could in terms of both of our cultures. As I am catholic, we spent a long time looking for a rabbi who would be supportive of an interfaith marriage. We were delighted to find Rabbi Paul Glantz  who was able to talk to us about all of our options and was fantastic at suggesting symbolism that we could incorporate, including the Ketubah and Sheva Brachot.

Bernadette French, our celebrant, was also fantastic at suggesting inclusions for my family. Our usher and one of Rich’s good friends sang Ave Maria whilst we were signing. That was incredible. I also was very clear that we should have the bagpipes included. I was piped into the chapel (with my Dad) to the Road to the Isles, and we left to Marie’s Wedding. The sound of the pipes was unbelievable. But of course, my favourite part of the ceremony, was walking down the aisle to see Rich at the end.

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I found it really hard to find a photographer whose work I resonated with. Every portfolio I looked at had the same type of photographs, and it didn’t appeal to me and Richard. I wanted  a very authentic and candid style, to capture the moments that you don’t even realise have occurred till you seem them encapsulated in the photos! I continued to research and eventually found Amy at Especially Amy and I knew this was it. The photos of people giggling, enjoying their wedding were exactly what I was looking for. I contacted her straight away, and once we met I knew immediately that she was perfect for us. We got on incredibly well, and she understood exactly what we wanted. Even on the day, when I had a wobble about getting my dress in the snow for a shot, she laughed, found a blanket for me to stand on, and some wellington boots, and took a gorgeous shot of us in the snow.
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Richard’s favourite chocolates are Rose & Violet creams, so I assembled small boxes of those for the female guests, and put together bottles of Guinness for the guys. We used these as name plates too so killed two birds with one stone in a nice creative way!

Additionally, it being winter, and knowing that our guests might find it tricky to walk back to their rooms in the dark after some hard partying (we didn’t stop dancing until 4.30am!), I bought lots of silver torches, and labelled them with “Show me the way to go home, I’m tired and I want to go to bed”.

And finally, for our guests that were staying at Babington House, we made up gift boxes – one for every room – that contained some sweets, a bottle of Kennedy Whisky, and, as I had asked people on the RSVP what song they’d like to hear on the dancefloor, a CD made up of all of the songs guests had requested.
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Flowers were one of the most important elements for me, and our awesome florist Flowers by Passion got it absolutely right. I met with them, showed them the tartan table runners I was planning to have, explained what I thought the place names would be like, and the colour scheme (including some samples of my dress) and left the rest to them.

My bouquet was made up of beautiful white thistles and beige and pink roses that matched my dress beautifully. They were then tied with a ribbon in the same colour as the bridesmaid dresses which worked beautifully. The bridesmaids themselves held the same bouquet as me, just in a smaller size.
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I had tartan table runners which I made, and a huge pick ‘n’ mix style sweetie table which  was must. I also had paper bags made to contain the sweets which matched the cream and gold of the menu. We created a magical winter atmosphere with candlelight everywhere which really made the whole room sparkle.
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Don’t sweat the small stuff and have the confidence to be as creative and true to yourself as you can be.

[Michelle + Richard's exquisite wedding video by Gorgeous Films]

Venue + catering – Babington House
Photography – Especially Amy
Videography – Gorgeous Films
Bride’s dress – Mira Zwillinger at Brown’s Bride
Bride’s Veil – Peter Langner at Brown’s Bride
Bride’s shoes – Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaid’s dresses – For Her and For Him
Groom’s attire – Lanvin suit and shoes & Dolce & Gabbana waistcoat
Hair – Leigh Keates at Josh Wood
Make-up - Jenna at Josh Wood
Florals – Flowers by Passion
Rabbi – Paul Glantz
Celebrant – Bernadette French
Stationery – Emily & Jo

Just perfect. Michelle and Richard smashed it! They pulled off an incredibly stylish, warm affair and by mixing, melding, and downright embracing both their cultures, and managed to achieve that very rare quality of pleasing everybody… mazal tov / comhghairdeas to you both!

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7 thoughts on “Michelle & Richard | Jewish/Celtic Winter Wedding at Babington House, Somerset

  1. This is definitely my favourite smashing the glass wedding so far…it’s gorgeous! I watched the video from beginning to end – she is so pretty – like one of The Corrs – and he looks like a lovely man…and all in the snow at Babington – amazing!

  2. Such a gorgeous bride. I love that they merged Catholic and Jewish symbolism – that must have been amazing. I’m Catholic myself and sometimes when I chat to my Jewish Orthodox friend it inspires me how rich both faiths are in symbolism and imagery. So great that they found a helpful rabbi. I also love the sparkly rings in the snow – great shot.

  3. @Fiona, you’re so right about how beautifully they merged the Catholic and Jewish symbolism. I love featuring weddings that combine cultures and this one does it with such fidelity and panache.. that’s the way to do it!

    @Dinedra, yes Amy Murrell is phenomenal. I really had a hard time editing down her gallery – every shot tells a story with such beauty and sensitivity.

  4. Looking at this took my breath away. Particularly at how obviously happy they both are!! I will wait for the right one to be that happy with, my second time around!!! Absolutely stunning and lovely wedding!!

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