Award-winning wedding planners Linda Abrahams & Co are one of our luxury Guest List suppliers. Specialising in Jewish celebrations, we discover what made their service so special for this couple who yearned for a high-end, spectacular celebration…
Why did bride & groom choose you to plan their celebration with them?
I met with the groom initially as the bride worked between New York and London and was not in the UK at the time.
We had a great meeting over a coffee and just clicked. I totally understood what it was they were looking for and the frustrations they had been having up to that point with the plans they had already started to make. We got on really well and everything fell into place from there.
They were planning a transatlantic Jewish wedding over three days on a summer weekend, and there were many logistics to consider – hosting guests the night before, accommodating them during their stay, transporting them to and from the wedding, looking after their children while the ceremony took place – the list goes on.
Following my meeting with the groom, I had a very excited call with the bride and agreed I would pick up their planning requirements for their wedding weekend.
Both the bride and groom work very long hours, often out of the UK, and needed to be able to hand over the responsibility of organising their wedding to someone they could trust.
Talk us through the service you provided.
Our services are totally bespoke and tailored to each bride and groom.
Once I fully understood exactly what it was that was important to the bride and groom, I provided their full wedding planning.
We discussed how the venue should look, how the guests should be made to feel, the kind of celebration they wanted to put on, and so on.
The wedding itself took place over three rooms with an outside courtyard, so it was important for each space to be well thought through and decorated accordingly.
I hand-picked a décor specialist that I knew would be able to fulfil the brief, and, more importantly, connect with the bride and groom.
This was a wedding for almost 300 people and 30 centerpieces, so it was important the florist I suggested would be able to cope with the logistics of providing everything we required.
I arranged a site visit with Cristel from Shindig along with the bride and groom and you could instantly feel the creativity bursting between everyone. To this day, I still receive messages from the bride to thank me for introducing them and knowing how to make her vision reality.
With all my weddings I take into account the personalities of the bride and groom together with those of the suppliers. It is of the utmost importance that they will be able to deliver on the day, but also support and guide during the planning of the wedding.
After creating the plan and timeline of the day, I also sourced the perfect bespoke lighting, dancefloor and chairs to complete the look.
What were you able to source for this couple that made their wedding so unique?
We arranged a pre-wedding dinner for the huge amount of guests that had flown in from the USA and around the world, as well as a brunch the day after the wedding.
On arrival into their hotel rooms, each guest received a ‘goody bag’ of traditional English treats, like Yorkshire Tea and Harrogate Spa Water, sweets and other treats.
A specialist ‘Gin Den’ was set up alongside the main bar to acknowledge the grooms University friends and their own ‘in’ story. This included many different bottles of amazing gins, local Harrogate Slingsby variations and several botanicals and other accompaniments.
Did you suggest any key pieces/services that they loved but perhaps didn’t think of themselves to enhance their day?
As silly as it sounds, I always suggest that the groom of a Jewish wedding brings a spare shirt, small towel and toiletries.
The evening starts with very energetic Israeli dancing and lasts around 10–15 minutes, and because welcome speeches usually commence straight afterwards, I provide a room for the groom to sneak off and freshen up before the speeches begin.
I also suggest frozen facecloths to be brought around to guests as they come off the dancefloor to cool off and freshen up!
What was the most fabulous part of the day for you?
The whole day was filled with a high energy sense of love and excitement – it was all amazing.
For me, a really special moment is what’s called the ‘Bedeken’ (veiling) ceremony.
This is a religious ceremony that takes place just before the wedding itself, whereby the bride is seated in the middle of a room, usually surrounded by a small number of her immediate female family and best friends.
The groom is escorted by the Rabbi and his immediate male family to effectively double check it is the correct bride before lowering her veil and making their way to the Chuppah (wedding canopy) for the wedding ceremony.
It is a really emotional moment as it is the first time the groom sees his bride and similarly the father his daughter and so on.
What is your most important role on the big day?
To ensure that the bride and groom and their family get to be guests at their own wedding without having to worry about any of the timings, operational logistics and details or anything else behind the scenes.
I am the one point of contact for all suppliers and am there to check all of our pre-planning falls nicely into place.
I am also there to troubleshoot and buffer between any issues that may arise on the day, thinking ahead, and preventing the bride or groom being worried about anything that might need dealing with on their behalf.
To find out more about Linda Abrahams & Co and how they can take the reins on your special day, head to their exclusive space on our Guest List – the definitive luxe list of wedding suppliers.