Grandmothers of distinction
With VIP grandmothers to consider, it had to be a very special London wedding. Anthea Gerrie finds out more
AF TER MEETING in the prosaic surroundings of Borehamwood Marks & Spencer — “it all started with smiling at each other in the queue” — Leonie Gold and Ricky Kennet dreamed of a somewhat more romantic wedding. “We thought about Italy, where Ricky’s parents’ friends have a lovely house — and about getting married in Israel too.”
But when they realised neither of Ricky’s boobas was up to travelling at the age of 90, the die was cast — it was not in the Tuscan hills or the shores of the Med where the couple gathered their 200 guests this summer, but the Langham Hotel in London.
“Ricky has two very special grandmas and we felt it was more important that we did everything to ensure they were with us under the chupah,” explains Leonie, who works in recruitment.
“One booba is Gena Turgel MBE, who continues to do so much to ensure that her story and that of millions of others who died in the Holocaust never gets forgotten. The other is Rachel Kennet, who worked as a part of the Haganah and continues to be the matriarch of the Kennet family. We love them both dearly and they looked resplendent on the day.”
The couple chose the Langham because it
gave them the option of an outside chupah without sacrificing a central location. “The hotel has a paved rose garden, right in the heart of London, which is approached via French doors from the ballroom. It was quite surreal to see a double-decker bus going by during the service!”
Carole Sobell provided the catering, with an elegant starter of duck salad and pancakes, echoing the oriental theme in a soy and honey sauce for chicken with pak choi. Lemon tart and sorbet were served for dessert.
The couple broke with tradition by not hiring a simchah band: “We have an eclectic taste in music and prefer the original version of our favourite songs, so we went for a new concept called DJ Live, with a DJ backed up by live singers.”
Leonie reflects that the wedding must have stirred poignant memories for Gena Tergel, whose own wedding dress is in the Imperial War Museum. “She married the Jewish soldier who helped liberate her camp and her dress was made out of parachute silk.”
Following a mini-moon in Tuscany, the couple are looking forward to a December honeymoon in the USA and Mexico.
Leonie and Ricky at the height of the celebrations in the Langham’s ballroom
A serene moment, amid the buzz of the London location
Rachel Kennet,the newlyweds
Dancing to DJ Live