Bliss Un­der the Chup­pah

Singapore Tatler Wedding - - CONTENTS -

Cherie Sassoon & Philippe Bera

Held over four days in Is­rael, the lav­ish union of CHERIE SASSOON and PHILIPPE BERA in­volved a henna party, seven bless­ings, candy throw­ing, bro­ken glass, feast­ing, danc­ing, and plenty of mean­ing­ful mo­ments

Cherie Sassoon met Philippe Bera when he crashed a party her sis­ter had hosted. Dur­ing their in­tro­duc­tion, the daugh­ter of The Cof­fee Bean & Tea Leaf heads Michelle and Vic­tor Sassoon learnt that he lived in Hong Kong, where he is the group devel­op­ment manager at Omtis Fine Wines. Coin­ci­den­tally, she was to visit Hong Kong the next day. From there, their love blos­somed.

While their first meet­ing was im­promptu, the pro­posal was quite the op­po­site. Cherie, who is now study­ing clin­i­cal psy­chol­ogy in Hong Kong, re­veals, “At the he­li­pad on the rooftop of The Penin­sula Hong Kong, Philippe got down on one knee and asked if I would make Hong Kong my home. Af­ter I hap­pily agreed, we took a scenic he­li­copter ride around Hong Kong. He then sur­prised me with a lav­ish din­ner where we were joined by both of our par­ents and my grand­mother.”


In an ode to their Jewish faith, the pair chose to marry in Jerusalem. It was also an op­por­tu­nity to give their friends from across the globe—270 of the 740 guests were from over­seas—a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence that in­cluded city tours. The four­day fes­tiv­ity be­gan with a henna party at Bait Al Hayam in Old Jaffa, Tel-Aviv on a Thurs­day. For the out-of-town­ers, it was a lovely in­tro­duc­tion to an over-5,000-year-old pre-wed­ding cus­tom said to bring the cou­ple good luck.

Over the next two days, guests were hosted first to a Shab­bat din­ner then a Shab­bat lun­cheon. In Jewish cul­ture, Shab­bat is a time of rest and cel­e­bra­tion when fam­ily and friends un­wind to­gether. Be­gin­ning with the light­ing of sa­cred can­dles be­fore sun­down on a Fri­day, a sy­n­a­gogue ser­vice, cock­tails and din­ner, the cel­e­bra­tion con­tin­ued the next morn­ing with the groom’s Shab­bat. Dur­ing the sy­n­a­gogue ser­vice, Philippe re­cited verses from the To­rah scroll be­fore the cus­tom­ary throw­ing of candy to shower the cou­ple with bless­ings for a sweet and fer­tile life to­gether.

Ol­maya, a popular event venue over­look­ing the city of Jerusalem, set the scene for the wed­ding cer­e­mony which was con­ducted be­neath a beau­ti­ful chup­pah or canopy

sym­bol­is­ing the home the new cou­ple will build to­gether. From the Kid­dush or bless­ing over the first cup of wine that the cou­ple shares to the groom plac­ing the ring onto the bride’s right in­dex fin­ger, the read­ing and sign­ing of the mar­riage con­tract in Ara­maic, the seven bless­ings and the fi­nal break­ing of glass by the groom, each seg­ment of the elab­o­rate cer­e­mony held deep sym­bolic mean­ing.

Cherie shares, “The sun­set cer­e­mony was very spe­cial for us. And be­cause we wanted to cre­ate a vin­tage feel for our cel­e­bra­tion, the place was dec­o­rated with baby’s breath while our page boys wore newsboy caps.”

The vin­tage theme con­tin­ued at the wed­ding re­cep­tion at the Wal­dorf As­to­ria Jerusalem, but this time, quirky el­e­ments like mir­ror ta­bles were in­cor­po­rated into the decor to hint at the mer­ry­mak­ing that would en­sue.


With the clas­sic white bow tie on his tuxedo re­placed by a spiffy red one, Philippe was ready to, well, paint the town red at the Wal­dorf As­to­ria. So that she too could party in com­fort and style, the bride traded her day­time bolero for a Romona Keveza belt and jew­ellery from her par­ents. She says, “This was in con­trast to the wed­ding cer­e­mony where I chose not wear any jew­ellery, to sym­bol­ise pu­rity and that Philippe was mar­ry­ing me for who I am.”

Ex­quis­ite win­ing and dining was matched with im­pres­sive en­ter­tain­ment, like a rous­ing drums per­for­mance by Cherie’s un­cle and her brother which quickly put guests in the mood for danc­ing. Very thought­fully, the new­ly­weds pro­vided flip-flops which ladies among the guests traded their stilet­tos for so they could groove to the mu­sic with ease.

While there are too many spe­cial mo­ments in the cel­e­bra­tion to list, one stands out. The bride shares, “Tra­di­tion­ally, a cou­ple isn’t al­lowed to see each other for 24 hours be­fore their wed­ding, so Philippe sent me this note on our wed­ding day: ‘Dear­est Cherie, I can’t wait to see you walk­ing down the aisle. I can’t wait to be yours for­ever. Love lots, Phil.’”

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