When I first met Emma and Pete, they made it very clear that they would prefer that their wedding celebrations did not tick all of the traditional Jewish wedding boxes.  They were keen to add their own unique twist, to embrace bold colours, to choose an alternative style of venue and if possible to incorporate a theme. All of this was music to my ears. I love a unique brief, it proves a fun, creative challenge with its own logisitic issues.

The Chuppah

In contrast, the Jewish wedding ceremony itself was very traditional, taking place at the historic Bevis Marks Synagogue in the City of London.

With candlelight, dark wood and beautiful music from Chazan, Jonny Mosesson, the chuppah was a magical occasion, incorporating all of the traditions of a religious Jewish marriage ceremony.

Emma’s bouquet and the buttonholes were all created in paper by Laura Reed Designs. They added a really special and unique touch to the ceremony, particularly given that Emma was keen to not have flowers at her wedding.

London Wedding Railway Arch Reception Venue

Guests were transported from Bevis Marks via Traditional Travel in Routemaster buses on a short journey to Behind the Bike Shed in Shoreditch, where guests were treated to a reception, dinner, entertainment and dancing under two railway arches. Involving a wedding planner gave Emma and Pete the courage to choose such an alternative style of venue, which came with its own challenges, but ticked all of their boxes when it came to the style of venue they wanted for their wedding.


Food and drink were provided by innovative and talented caterer, Ziek of Shuka Catering, who handled all of the catering logistics including building an on-site kitchen on the day and delivering in all of the furniture, linens and tableware.

Mary Poppins Themed Wedding Styling

Emma and Pete were keen on a bold colour scheme and no flowers, breaking all traditional conventions, which you can see in the linens, table stationery and the amazing balloon installation from Balloonista.

You’ll see that we had umbrellas hanging from the balloon installation which tied into our Mary Poppins wedding theme, which Emma and Pete had decided not just because of the London setting but, more importantly, their joint love of the Mary Poppins movies.

This led us on to incorporating many different design and styling elements relating to the theme. Most of these were provide by Laura Reed Designs and included the kite tableplan, kite place name cards, and London lamp-post table numbers.

We also used Mary Poppins themed props for the photo booth.

We had actually introduced the theme right at the start of the day, at the Chuppah, with kippot (supplied by Hebrewear) which included the word “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.

Mary Poppins Themed Wedding Entertainment Ideas

DJ Fenton Gee provided the music both before, during and after dinner, but the main surprise of the evening was the arrival of a crew of four bottle dancers, whose act replicated that seen in Fiddler on the Roof. Guests were invited to watch their performance, during which Pete and his brother were also dressed up and asked to participate. It was a great start to the after dinner party, which moved on into Israeli dancing, Emma and Pete’s first dance and then dancing until the end. You might not be surprised to hear that all of their main music choices came from the Mary Poppins movie soundtracks.

And to conclude, at the end of the evening as guests were departing they were each handed a Mary Poppins “logo’d” umbrellas, printed with the phrase “Emma and Pete – practically perfect in every way”.

Emma and Pete, your wedding was absolutely supercalifragilisticexpialidocious to plan, thank you!

If you like the idea of an alternative Jewish wedding celebration, perhaps with a theme or a bold colour palette, I would love to help you to bring your vision to life. Do get in touch to discuss. You can reach me either here or via email at michelle@elegantebymichellej.com or by phone at + 44 20 3930 9459.

Photography Claudine Hartzel

Video: Marco Windham