A Suzanne Neville Bride for an Enchanted Forest Wedding that Brought the Outdoors In at Battersea Arts Centre, London, UK – Smashing the Glass



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK


Get ready to be wowed by today’s epic London Jewish wedding! Taryn and Louis – both newly qualified doctors who planned their big bash while finishing medical school (!) – put together the most incredible day meshing their two dreams of a chuppah with outdoor enchanted forest vibes and a good old fashioned formal seated dinner in an elegant ballroom.

With their chuppah taking place in a marquee in a family friend’s garden, followed by a reception at the Battersea Art Centre, Taryn and Louis kept their wedding aesthetic consistent throughout the day, bringing those magical woodland vibes to both segments of the day seamlessly – don’t miss the wonderful photos by Blake Ezra!

The pair wanted their wedding invitations to introduce people to the feel of the day, and Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Bigday Designs was the perfect partner in doing just that. In Taryn and Louis’s words, they “were a joy to work with – the process was so smooth and fast even though we wanted to see what felt like hundreds of proofs before print” – and incorporated a watercolor-inspired floral design drawn by Taryn’s sister into the invites too!

Taryn and Louis are self-identified foodies, so finding a kosher caterer who could craft a unique and delicious menu for their big day was a top priority. They found the perfect fit in Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Dvash, who sat down with the couple and planned the menu from start to finish, catering to their tastes and considering every detail. In the couple’s words, “They were so accommodating in creating dishes based on our experiences and preferences and we ended up with a menu that we were totally in love with.”

There’s so much more to say about this fabulous wedding – for instance, how stunning does Taryn look in her dress from Suzanne Neville?! – but we’ll let the couple take it from here…



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK







Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




How we Met

Taryn, the bride and Louis, the groom: We are Taryn and Louis. We have known each other for over ten years and have been together for the last seven! We met at secondary school and were great friends for several years, before we started dating in our final year of school.

We are now both doctors, we both attended medical school in London – at two different universities and we finished our final exams and graduated one month before our wedding. Finishing medical school and planning a wedding at the same time was a huge task but we are so pleased that everything ran smoothly, giving us the most magical day.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Change of Plans

We had initially planned to get married in Israel and loved the idea of having our chuppah outside in green space and a more formal seated dinner, but because of COVID this was not possible. We then set about looking for venues in London that matched our initial vision and whilst so many venues were amazing, none offered the complete package of an outdoor space for the ceremony and a ballroom that we loved.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




We were becoming quite disheartened at not being able to find anywhere that we felt was perfect, people kept asking us to explain what exactly it was we were looking for and our best response was always ‘we will know when we see it’. Our wedding planner, Jo Woolfe from ZEV events took us to see Battersea Art Centre and instantly we felt its magic and knew it was everything we had been looking for our wedding dinner and party. The space is full of character, it is so unique, it is airy yet warm and so beautiful.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




The only drawback was that there was no outdoor space for us to have our envisioned garden ceremony – and with all our florists promises that he would bring the garden to Battersea, we were not quite convinced. About a week later, whilst having lunch at a family friend’s house we jokingly commented that their absolutely magnificent garden would be the perfect place for a wedding ceremony – they agreed and our dream wedding day plan started to take shape. The chuppah took place in a marquee in the garden (on the road Taryn grew up on) and dinner and dancing followed at Battersea Arts Centre, it was the perfect combination!



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Theme and Planner

The wedding was black-tie as we wanted all our guests to feel their best and as excited as we were to celebrate the day. We didn’t want to be tied down to one particular colour scheme but we focused on a palate of silver, pastel pinks, blues and purples as those were the colours on our invitation (more on that below). The bridesmaids all wore silver and close family also dressed to match our chosen palate.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Our wedding planner was Jo Woolfe from ZEV events who was fantastic and managed to stay sane despite Louis’ attempts to drive her crazy. She really worked tirelessly to bring our vision to life and she was good fun to work with too. Thanks to her the day ran seamlessly and she managed to mitigate the complications of 300 guests, two venues, wet weather and injuring her hand. 



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Invitations / stationery

We both love the experience of opening a physical invitation rather than an e-invitation, we wanted something tangible to get guests excited about our day, to have around their house as a reminder of the upcoming event and also as something special to keep as a memory of our wedding. We designed our invitations with Bigday Designs, who were a joy to work with – the process was so smooth and fast even though we wanted to see what felt like hundreds of proofs before print.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




We wanted the invitation to be simple, whilst also introducing people to the feel of the day, so we opted to use a water-colour inspired floral design to accent each corner of the invitation. This was drawn by Taryn’s sister, Shira, and then printed onto each invitation which was a really special touch for both us and her, especially as she didn’t know we had used her design until she received her invitation!

We also embossed our wedding logo on the back of the invitations for a cohesive look. Shira’s design was then carried through to our escort cards, menus, table numbers and benchers. We love how it tied in with the décor at the event and that we can keep most of it for years to come.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




A Suzanne Neville Dress

My dress was from Suzanne Neville. In doing my research before going dress shopping, I loved so many of her designs and knew I wanted to try on her dresses. It was the first place I went to try on dresses. I didn’t have a very set idea of what I wanted my dress to look like so was open to trying as many as possible. I tried on my dress during that first appointment, I knew it was special – I loved the sparkle, the train, the fitted top and flowy skirt.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




I had several other appointments at several other boutiques but my dress was always the one I couldn’t stop thinking about, none of the other dresses quite matched up to how I felt in it. I went back to try it on for the second time and was instantly certain it was the one! The boutique was amazing in helping me totally re-design the bodice of the dress and add the sleeves that I wanted to make it my dream dress.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




My veil had silver diamantes throughout to match the silver beading on the dress. I felt so incredible throughout my wedding day and absolutely loved wearing my dress. I wore silver strappy heels from Gianvito Rossi to match the sequin details in my dress for the chuppah and all the photos and then changed in sparkly Alexander McQueen trainers to dance the night away!



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




The handsome groom

Louis had originally bought a suit from Suit Supply (Vigo St, London) for our wedding in Israel as we were on a slightly tighter time frame. However, once the date was moved and he had a bit more time he decided to go a bit more luxury.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




After trips to a few different tailors, he made his way to Casely-Hayford (Chiltern St, London) a small luxury boutique Tailor known for dressing clients from Benedict Cumberbatch to Lewis Hamilton. Charlie and Paul were incredible and went through the entire process from creating a concept to choosing fabrics to handmaking the most beautiful outfit.

In the end Louis chose to have a Black wool-hopsack and satin-shawl-lapel jacket with standard Tuxedo slacks for the ceremony before changing into a silver-grey velvet, black satin-shawl-lapel smoking jacket for the evening.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




He had initially planned to change out of the smoking jacket during the dancing and instead wear a double-breasted satin-shawl-lapel waistcoat but he left that at home by accident (much to his disappointment). His amazing outfit also included two handmade shirts from Frank Foster (Pall Mall, London) bought for him by his godfather, shoes from George Cleverly (The Royal Arcade, London) and a satin bowtie to complete the look.  He cannot talk highly enough of the team and experience at Casely-Hayford and would recommend them to every groom out there!



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Ceremony and Chuppah

The first major decision we had when it came to our chuppah was our rabbi. Our shul rabbi was leaving and wouldn’t be there to officiate our wedding so we had to decide on one for ourselves. We both had a prior relationship with Rabbi Marc Levene from his time as the community Rabbi at HGSS when we were younger so he was an obvious choice.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK


During our first official meeting with him he ran through the ceremony highlighting the most important parts of the day and pointing out the scope for personalisation within the formalised wedding rituals. Some particularly special touches included;



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




We both chose the music, exactly which songs we wanted to walk down the aisle to and which songs we wanted to have played under the chuppah too. The chuppah was made from the tallit of Taryn’s late grandfather. We included all of our grandparents as part of the procession down the aisle Each of us wrote a short paragraph about the other which Rabbi Levene read out under the chuppah. All the people that were asked to act as witnesses and those that read sheva brachot had a close relationship with members of our family.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




We wanted the design of our chuppah to be in keeping with the theme and colouring of the rest of the day. Following on from the idea of the forest/secret garden the chuppah was designed as a ‘long forgotten’ structure found overgrown in a forest – it was overflowing with flowers and greenery. It was impressive and very intimate (maybe slightly more snug than we imagined) and the perfect centrepiece to our garden ceremony.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




One thing we absolutely loved was that before the procession down the aisle, our MC requested that our guests not use their phones during the ceremony – this meant that as we walked down the aisle, we are able to see everyone’s’ faces, to connect and smile at our guests rather than just watching everyone watch us through their phone screen. We really felt that everyone was present with us, it was a choice we are so happy we made!





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK








Our Music Choice

Our music was a pick and mix… guests arrived to be serenaded by a string quartet before Yaakov Shwekey preformed at the chuppah with his band before he collaborated with Muzika at the party. The songs that we both picked to walk down the aisle to (‘mohera’ and ‘eishet Chayil’) were both written by Shwekey so we were so excited to have him perform them live. At the party Shwecky took the first two sets of dancing, finishing off by getting everyone to sit down on the dancefloor for a more intimate slow sing-along concert with some of his famous songs.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Muzika took over from there with a mix of Mizrachi, Israeli and English music that kept the dancefloor busy until 2am. Our first dance was an impromptu and very poorly choreographed dance to a violin only cover of ‘a million dreams’ performed by the most incredible violinist Bar Markovich (A MUST GET FOR ANY MUZIKA EVENT!). However, despite all this incredible music, by far the musical highlight of the night was a surprise parody duet cover of ‘sunrise sunset’ written and performed by both of our dads.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Flowers

Once we had established that the whimsical, outdoor aspect of our day was very important to us, we wanted the green/forest/magical feel to continue throughout. The heavy greenery was offset with pale pastel-coloured flowers at the chuppah and in the hall. Tall table centre pieces imitated dining beneath a forest canopy and candles and fairy lights added warmth and a magical touch.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Lower table centrepieces included and eclectic collection of vases and draped flowers against tablecloths of different colours – all within our chosen pastel range. The groomsmen and family members wore buttonhole flowers in a mix of colours that matched our palate.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Photographer and videographer

Our photographer was Blake Ezra. Initially he was recommended to us by our wedding planner – he was the very first vendor we actually booked! Going through his portfolio we loved the artistic nature of his photographs, they all look so glamorous! We arranged for a test shoot before the wedding day and we had the most fun afternoon with Blake, discussing our wedding and planning shots for the wedding day.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




We were very worried about how the photos would all work out with the event being spread across several different venues (and a separate pit-stop for our couple photos on the way), but meeting Blake and seeing his relaxed nature, helped put our worries to rest. We are so excited to have our photos as a memory of our special day that we will look back at for years to come!



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




We were very keen to have a videographer capture our wedding day and we are delighted with the results that Tete-a-Tete Films produced! We have a full-length movie to allow us to relive all the details of the day and a highlight video with all the special moments captured in an upbeat montage. We also had many people that lived abroad who were unable to travel to London to celebrate with us, but our videographers arranged a livestream of the full chuppah ceremony so they all felt included in our day.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Food and Cake

We are both HUGE foodies so we knew from the minute that we started planning our wedding that we wanted our food to be unique, exciting and absolutely delicious – it was by far the thing we were jointly most excited to plan! We were so lucky to have worked with Dvash at our engagement party and we were blown away by the food they produced. They sat down with us and planned the menu from start to finish, catering to our tastes and desires, every detail was considered and the food was a total hit! So using them for our wedding was the obvious choice.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Again, they very much understood that we wanted to create a wow-factor, we wanted to try new things and ultimately serve our guest excellent food. They were so accommodating in creating dishes based on our experiences and preferences and we ended up with a menu that we were totally in love with.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




A range of pass around canapes welcomed guests to Battersea, this was then followed by a three-course dinner of the most vibrant salmon boa buns, perfectly cooked lamb cutlets and finally a torched baked Alaska. As the party continued well into the morning, we then brought out a late-night snack of hotdogs, hamburgers and chips, we loved how excited our guests were by this casual twist it was such a fun end to the evening.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




As our day was split over the two venues, we also had a reception after our chuppah, before guests headed to the dinner and while we dealt with some of the wedding formalities. This was organised by Lilibet Cantor and wow, we were literally blown away. Not only was the food exceptional and laid out so nicely, she went to the extra trouble of providing personalised deserts, biscuits and décor, taking inspiration from our wedding stationery and colour theme.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




It made the event feel like it was truly made for us – it was such a highlight of the day. As this was still early in the afternoon, this reception was afternoon tea themed, something we both love and guests could feast on small, sweet treats until it was time to head to dinner.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Extra details

One unique aspect that we feel deserves a mention is our mechitza. This is not something that is usually hyped up at an event but we absolutely loved how ours turned out! Both of us knew that we wanted to honour our tradition and keep the dancing separate the whole way through dinner but we were both very unenthused with the idea of large, clunky wooden or cloth screens dividing up our venue.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK



 

Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




It was really difficult to find alternative ideas that sufficiently marked the separation but did not detract from the décor in the room and were also sufficiently portable so that they could be moved during dinner and speeches.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




But, our wedding planner came up with the idea of a floating mechitza – this was made up of hundreds of stringed glass beads that ended up creating a ‘glass curtain’ that was hung from the rigging of ceiling which could be raised and lowered as necessary. We absolutely loved how it looked in the room, the shimmering glass blended in perfectly with the twinkling candles and fairy lights and it became a feature rather than something we wanted to hide.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Advice to other couples planning their wedding

It may not work for all couples but we loved sitting at a sweetheart table, just the two of us. With all the business of the day and all the hundreds of people who all want a small amount of your time it can be quite overwhelming and difficult to feel like you are really celebrating the day with your brand-new spouse. Having the table to ourselves meant that sporadically throughout the evening we got a few moments to enjoy each other’s company and take a break from the rush of the day and we got to eat all 3 courses of our dinner!



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Looking back on the evening we really feel like we were able to spend quality time celebrating the day together and were truly able to enjoy it together so it is definitely something we recommend. Our parents each had their own separate top tables on either side of us, so they were still very much front and centre and able to interact with us throughout the evening.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




Our main takeaway from the planning process was that whatever it takes, don’t give up on your dream wedding! Your vision can work, you just need to find the perfect team of people who want to make sure everything is how you want it. Don’t be demoralised if at first nothing is going to plan just keep your vision strong, know where to have leniencies and what is non-negotiable and everything will come together.



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK





Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




On the day, just relax! Something will almost definitely go wrong, but it doesn’t matter it will be perfectly imperfect in years to come you’ll laugh about it… Louis forgot the rings and only realised 10 minutes before the chuppah and we are still married, so don’t worry it will all be fine!

Most of all, ENJOY!



Taryn & Louis, Battersea Art Centre, London, UK




TARYN & LOUIS’ LITTLE WHITE BOOK

Photography – Blake Ezra
Videography – Tete-a-Tete Films
Catering – Dvash
Stationery/Invitation – Bigday Designs {offers 10% discount to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Venue – Battersea Art Centre
Wedding Planner – ZEV events
Bride’s dress – Suzanne Neville
Bride’s shoes – Gianvito Rossi
Groom’s attire – Casely-Hayford
Flowers – Simon Lycett
Band – Muzika
Singer – Yaakov Shwekey
Rabbi – Rabbi Marc Levene
Smash The Glass Pouch –  Smashing The Glass Etsy Shop {or join Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club and get one for free!}


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.


 

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