Beau­ti­fully Bri­tish

Anthea Ger­rie meets an Amer­i­can cou­ple who had a Truly Bri­tish wed­ding

The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Contents -

EMILY AND Justin Man­del are both Amer­i­can — but they chose an idyl­lic English coun­try set­ting for their wed­ding.

“Af­ter set­tling here for a few years, we re­ally wanted to bring our fam­i­lies to­gether in the place which was our home and show them why we love it so much,” ex­plains Emily.

Coworth Park, part of the Dorch­ester Col­lec­tion, was a nat­u­ral choice for a late sum­mer wed­ding, says Justin, project man­ager for a group of strat­egy con­sul­tants. “We were look­ing for a venue that had beau­ti­ful grounds for an out­door cer­e­mony and a mar­quee re­cep­tion, but could also ac­com­mo­date ho­tel guests for a few days, since we had many visi­tors from the US.”

A Cal­i­for­nian by birth, Justin met Emily, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager for Knights­bridge Schools, when both were in the same study group at Columbia Busi­ness School, New York.

The cou­ple made the most of Coworth to show­case the ro­mance of an English sum­mer wed­ding to fam­ily who came from Amer­ica and friends who flew in from France, Switzer­land and Spain:

“We held the cer­e­mony in the field of wild­flow­ers, with a long pro­ces­sion through the mid­dle to the chu­pah at one end in a clear­ing,” says Justin.

“Cock­tails were held on the ter­race by the main house and we had the re­cep­tion in the mar­quee in the Lime Grove. We also held a re­hearsal din­ner on the Barn Ter­race.”

A whole weekend of fes­tiv­i­ties was planned, in or­der to make the most of the lo­ca­tion, Emily ex­plains.

“It started with af­ter­noon tea on Fri­day, fol­lowed by a pub din­ner, a tour of Wind­sor Cas­tle for guests next day and ended with a farewell brunch on Mon­day. More than 100 of the 125 guests stayed over, in­cluded us, and we took over the whole man­sion house.”

A string quar­tet dur­ing the cer­e­mony helped re­in­force the bu­colic idyll. This was fol­lowed by a jazz re­cep­tion and more tra­di­tional mu­sic by Gilev at din­ner.

Even the fa­mous Bri­tish weather did not let the cou­ple down: “It looked like it was about to pour and ruin the out­door plans, but it passed, and the sun came out just at the end of our cer­e­mony, light­ing up the flow­ers,” says Justin.

The cou­ple hon­ey­mooned in Viet­nam, Laos and Cambodia, ex­pect their first baby in Fe­bru­ary and are hop­ing to buy a home in Lon­don.

“We feel very at home with the cul­ture, es­pe­cially as we live right in the heart of the ac­tion in Not­ting Hill,” says Emily.

Emily and Justin in the grounds of Coworth Park

The week­end of cel­e­bra­tions al­lowed guests plenty of time to let their hair down

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