Katie & Aaron

A Jadore Bride for a Sundrenched Destination Jewish Wedding in Santorini, Greece

In the five fabulous years since Smashing The Glass’s inception, having lovingly blogged hundreds of incredible real Jewish weddings, we have always wanted to blog a Jewish wedding from Santorini (surely one of the most magical places on earth) and today the day has finally come. and seriously guys… this wedding is everything.

It’s a destination Jewish wedding that has us absolutely picking our jaws off the floor. Australian couple Katie, who works in PR, and Aaron, a commercial airline pilot for Virgin Australia, wanted a spectacular backdrop for their once-in-a-lifetime day, and so they chose to marry on the sun-drenched Greek island of Santorini. And did it ever deliver! HannaMonika Wedding Photography’s images from the day are just beyond.

Every photo is its own little work of art – and a whole bunch of them could’ve easily been plucked from the pages of a super-glam travel magazine. Take a scroll through, and we guarantee you’ll be fighting the urge to book yourself a ticket on the next flight to Greece. And don’t even get us started on Orriss Films‘ Hollywood – perfect trailer – seriously, Katie and Aaron look like absolute movie stars, and every scene is shot so exquisitely. We just can’t get enough of photographers style: bright and crisp, romantic and modern. They could not have done a better job of capturing the amazing light and colors of Santorini. The blue skies, the whitewashed houses, the lush greenery of the chuppah… yep, we’re smitten with this one.

Oh, and did we mention that beautiful Katie – who looked so effortlessly summer chic in her Jadore dress – was an avid Smashing The Glass reader in the lead up to her wedding? She reports that she found the blog especially useful for Jewish music inspo for the horas and the procession. So glad we could help, Katie! Now over to the bride…

Peonies galore

The bouquets were white peonies. My favorite. Flowers on the chuppah and tables were a mixture of peonies, roses, and hydrangeas mixed in with lush greenery. Pietro and Fabio Zardi are responsible for our beautiful flowers.

A leafy chuppah

I wanted lots of greenery! With all of the white surroundings, I thought lush greenery would look fresh and pretty (and not too formal). Pietro from Fabio Zardi sent me ideas of what he could do that fit the brief, and it was spot-on. He did such an amazing job. We loved our chuppah.

Flower selection

Paeonia Duchesse De Nemours, Aconitum napellus Albus, Rosa Avalanche, Rosa tros White Lady, Hydrangea Lima, Hedera helix variegata, Asparagus medeola, Pittosporum tenuifolium variegatum, Hedera helix, Mitsumata branches.

katie-aaron

An accessible ceremony

A lot of our guests weren’t Jewish and some had never been to a Jewish wedding before, so it was a new experience to them. Everyone seemed interested in the traditions and customs, so it was nice to share that. We created custom programs outlining each stage of the ceremony so that it made a bit more sense. Everyone embraced it, which was very special!

We flew Rabbi Brad to Santorini to marry us, as he is not only a close friend but our mentor and means a lot to both of us. To be able to have him there to marry us was so important, and we wouldn’t have done it any other way. He played a huge role in making our ceremony so enjoyable for everyone.

A Jerusalem ketubah

Our ketubah was a laser cut design by Ray Michaels, and included in the design is a vision of Jerusalem. It’s so pretty, I love it. And looks beautiful framed! We visited Jerusalem just days before we got married, which makes it even more special.

Higher love

We played a beautiful song, a remake of an oldie, to walk down the aisle, called Higher Love by James Vincent McMorrow, followed by a lovely version of Lecha Dodi for the hakafot. We didn’t do a first dance; we went straight into horas upon our arrival at the reception.

I loved using Smashing the Glass when I was looking for song suggestions to play during the ‘Hora’ and procession. It’s great for inspiration as there are so many spectacular weddings featured on the site. Inspiration that can be used for non-Jewish weddings too.

How we met

Katie, the bride: We met at a pub in Sydney. Aaron saw me with a girlfriend sitting at a table and wanted to introduce himself without being sleazy, so he and a friend asked if we minded if they shared a table with us while they ate their dinner. We said fine, not realizing he had actually already had dinner but ordered a second meal so that he could sit at the table. Slowly they worked their way into our conversations, and soon after he was telling me about his friend that he thought I might like. He handed me a card for his friend if I was interested and that’s when I saw “Aaron” on the card and realized he was telling me about himself. Needless to say I ended up texting him later in the night after a couple of glasses of wine. It took us about a month to finally catch up after that initial meeting because I was being difficult (sorry hubby!), but the rest is history. I never would have thought that night I was going to meet my future husband.

A Jadore dress

My dress was by an Australian label, Jadore. It was actually a ball gown, not a wedding dress. I had seen a photo of it online and thought that the style would suit my body shape, so called them to find out where I could try it on. I tried all different styles and price points but felt the most like “me” in this one. It was simple but with details that made it a little bit more special, like the lace split at the back.

I was also mindful of what would suit the style and location of our wedding. It was going to be a hot summer day in Santorini, so I didn’t want anything long-sleeved or heavy and layered (as much as I love the look of them!), and the wedding wasn’t black tie so I didn’t want to go too glam.

Sophia Webster shoes

I went with white Sophia Webster heels with a high stiletto heel. Not skyscraper though! I knew I’d have to be wearing them for a while, and on uneven Santorini ground, so I was reasonably sensible. I did change into a pair of simple gold heels later on.

The handsome groom

He looked very handsome! How lucky I am! He wore white linen and pastel blue, with a pop of brighter blue and tan details. Mostly Hugo Boss and Australian brand Calibre. We really wanted to keep things feelings and looking light and summery, not too formal. The most special piece he wore was the 1972 Omega Moon Watch that was given to his father by his grandfather when he joined the airforce. Aaron had it restored, and it is one of his most cherished possessions because of the sentimental value.

Bridesmaids in lace

My sister Bonnie and Aaron’s sister Yvette were my bridesmaids. They wore beautiful lace dresses by Australian designer Thurley. I’m obsessed with the sleeve details on their dresses! Conveniently, the lace matched the lace on my dress.

 

Santorini

We got married on the Greek island of Santorini. We had both been there before and knew it would be a spectacular backdrop for our wedding, and not too many stops for our guests from Australia to get to. We were traveling to Israel prior to the wedding, so it was nice and close for us from there. Our rabbi also pointed out the connection between the two places, with the significance of the colors blue and white together, which made it even more special for us.

Luxe invitations

We had our invitations printed on an extra-thick textured stock, and they were each sent with the RSVP card tied on with black raw leather string. We sealed envelopes with custom gold wax seals that had our initials on them.

Hair and make-up

Luckily for me, my sister is a professional makeup artist in Australia, and she knows exactly what I like. Again, I kept things quite simple and I wore my hair down with loose curls. I was given some wise advice not too long before we got married that said why decide to do something dramatically different to your hair just because it’s your wedding day? Stick with something similar to how you normally wear your hair that you know suits you. So many brides end up looking back at their photos and hate their hair. So I stuck with what I know, and added some gold pins to the back.

Credits

Photography – HannaMonika Wedding Photography
Videography – Orriss Films
Flowers – Fabio Zardi
Reception venue – Pantelia Suites Rooftop
Bride’s dress – Jadore
Bride’s shoes – Sophia Webster
Groom’s attire – Hugo Boss, Calibre and Omega
Bridesmaids – Thurley
Calligraphy – Paige Tuzee
Ketubah – Ray Michaels

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