Karen Cinnamon blogger

Karen Cinnamon offers online inspiration for couples about to tie the knot

Weddings have become an obsession for blogger Karen Cinnamon. Here’s why…

Ididn’t get married until I was 37, which – as you can imagine – gave me plenty of time to think about the kind of wedding I truly wanted. My husband and I knew that one thing we very much didn’t want was a party that followed the typical Jewish ‘wedding by numbers’ formula. We were determined to make decisions based on what made us happy, not on what others recommended or what was perceived to be sensible, suitable or the done thing.

We wanted to bring out the best of our traditions, but not bury ourselves in them, and I’ll admit that during our planning, we got sick of people saying ‘should’ – you should have this, you shouldn’t do that. At the end of the day, we didn’t incorporate any ‘shoulds’ – all we wanted was a wedding and ceremony that captured our heart, soul and style… colour co-ordinated or not.

As I started to piece together ideas for our big day, I realised there was a real lack of online inspiration for wonderfully individual Jewish weddings. I decided to start a blog dedicated to creative, original and downright super-cool wedspiration for Jewish (and while we’re at it, Jew-ish) W-days, and SmashingTheGlass.com was born.

It instantly became the UK’s only Jewish-wedding blog, and the only blog worldwide focussing on out-of-the ordinary Jewish ‘I-Do’s. The heart and soul of SmashingTheGlass.com are the ‘Real Jewish Weddings’. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I have a soft spot for the Wedstock-themed wedding featuring a bride who made her entire dress out of paper; the breathtaking ‘HinJew’ wedding at the Mandarin Oriental, where the bride and groom intertwined their Indian and Jewish heritages incredibly beautifully; the New Year’s Eve fancy-dress wedding held in an ArtHouse cinema; the ’surprise’ brunch wedding for just 20 guests with the ceremony held on a street corner… I could go on and on! The common thread is simply that these weddings are as unique as the couples that planned them.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in current trends, but my advice would be to try not to stray away from the usual distinctive ‘you’. If you find the abundance of theming and styling options overwhelming, simply tap into your everyday style, home decor, favourite songs, colours, movies, moments and quotes. Your day should unquestionably be a reflection of you and the things that you love, and if you can introduce one or two unexpected elements that will have your guests giggling about your wedding for years to come, all the better!

Some easy ideas are to incorporate your love story into the aisle runner to add personality to your ceremony, or ask your friends and family to contribute messages to be woven into your chuppah design. Serve both your favourite cocktails at your reception to add that personal touch and later on, for seriously cool photo ops, give out sparklers as favours. Oh, and never fear asking for help – everyone wants to get involved and it’s an honour for most. Being inclusive is the key to an unforgettable day.

Once you get married, be sure to send me a submission. It’s my readers who ultimately make my blog a must-read and I can’t wait to hear from you.