While there might be intentions to “spare no expense” when planning
a wedding, many can start to feel overwhelmed by the spiraling costs
of their simcha.
Step in Anne Djanogly and Hilary Cohen, from north-west London, who have made it their mission to make Jewish weddings that bit more affordable.
Their new endeavour, Elegant Weddings, is a non-profit enterprise that makes a traditional Jewish wedding much easier and more affordable for the mainstream Orthodox community.
“We’ve both made weddings for our children, and realised how high the cost of them can be,” says Anne.
“So much money gets swallowed up on the day, for just six or seven hours, then you wake up the next day and realise it’s all over.
“What we wanted to do was put together a package to create a lovely day for the bride and groom, but a realistic day for the parents.”
The “package” element of Elegant Weddings makes what can be a stressful process remarkably simple.
As easily as if you were doing your weekly shopping, you log onto the website (http://elegantweddinglondon.co.uk) and choose whether you want a gold package, for £17,000, or platinum package for £30,000, for a midweek function for 260 people.
Then simply select your choice of venue, caterer, photographer, flowers and musicians. The price, as well as including all these components, also considers VAT, kashrut fees and administration costs.
Anne and Hilary are not party planners; they simply wanted to make the process a bit less intimidating and more affordable for both parents and young couples, who may feel they are unable to keep up with their peers and who might prefer to use large sums of money as a down payment on a flat, rather than a one-day event.
Once the bride or groom has selected all the options, they are put in touch with the suppliers to discuss their particular preferences for their special day.
The founders make no money from the project, and have negotiated special prices with their suppliers.
“We are doing this as a service to the community. It’s non-profit, not means tested and it’s not being subsidised by anyone,” says Hilary.
“We’ve been discussing this for such a long time. We want the service to become the accepted norm, so that people aren’t under pressure to provide more lavish weddings than those before them.”
• For more details visit elegantweddingslondon.co.uk