Kinloss Synagogue Wedding – Michelle and Jeff

I have photographed many Jewish weddings and a Kinloss synagogue wedding is always a very special event.

Michelle contacted me whilst I was is in Myanmar to book her Kinloss synagogue wedding photography, it took a couple of calls and emails but we eventually got chance to meet at my home office and we had an amazing engagement shot session at Cliveden House before the wedding day. Michelle and Jeff were so natural and relaxed in front of the camera, I just knew they were going to have a set of stunning documentary wedding photographs.



When and how did the two of you meet? How long have you been together?

It was suggested that we should go out by Jeff’s sister in law (his brother’s wife).  She’d been trying to set him up with various people for ages, and he kept “fobbing her off”.  He tried to do the same when she suggested he go out with me, but her persuasiveness paid off and Jeff gave me a call.  After a brief chatty phone conversation, we went on a date to the XO Bar in Belsize Park. It was a fun night which went by really quickly – we got on so well, and it was just a sample of the fun times to come. In total we were going out for 19 months by the wedding, and we got engaged after nearly 14 months of dating.

How did Jeff  propose – were you expecting it or was it a surprise? Did Jeff pick the ring?

I actually thought he was going to propose a couple of months earlier on our 1 year anniversary, but when that didn’t happen, I gave up waiting and figured he would do it when he was ready, and I wouldn’t stress about it!  So I didn’t really expect anything to happen on the day it did.  It was Boxing Day, and Jeff arranged for us to go see the Musical “Million Dollar Quartet” at the South Bank Centre.  The show was amazing and when we went outside after, he suggested we go for a walk along the south bank. It was freezing cold that night, negative figures, so I thought he was mad but I didn’t want to complain and sound “moany” despite not really fancying being out in the cold longer than necessary. But Jeff said we should just take a walk before heading back to the car. When we got to Waterloo Bridge, he said we should go take a closer view at Parliament and cross the bridge to get a good picture of us with Parliament in the background. When we got onto the bridge, he started talking to me as people walked past and told me there were just 4 words he wanted to say to me (in my head, all I could think was “I love you is only 3 words!”). As I tried to figure this out, he got down onto one knee, and pulled a ring out of his pocket and said “Will you Marry Me?”  It took me about 30 seconds to register this and notice the ring as I was so excited, but eventually after telling him “I can’t believe it” many times, he said: “Well, what’s your answer?” and of course I said “Yes”. He proposed with a beautiful Swarovski ring. But for the actual engagement ring, I chose the style I loved. We went together to choose the diamond and the ring, and it came out just perfectly.

A Kinloss synagogue wedding is a special venue is it your local synagogue?

Neither of us go to Kinloss synagogue, but we’d both been to weddings there in the past. They have a lovely spacious hall with room for a good number of people (we had 300 guests), and we liked that it was also possible to have both the ceremony and the wedding all in the same place. It was also local to ourselves and a lot of our friends, so we knew the convenience meant people would stay to party right until the end.


A Kinloss synagogue wedding tends to be a very traditional service so choosing a suitable dress which is beautiful must be tricky – did you have an idea before you chose it? – accessories, shoes, jewellery, veil?

I was very easy going about my dress… so much so that I didn’t even go to any wedding dress shops or try on a single dress before going to the dressmaker to get one made just 3 months before the wedding!  I knew I wanted something quite simple and understated, versus a big “puffy” dress.The dress was designed and made by Wendy Moss. I didn’t wear anything in my hair, apart from the veil for the day time and ceremony, but I took it out for the dinner and party.  My dangly diamante earrings I had from years ago (from New York).  I wore my wedding ring and beautiful diamond engagement ring, and also a very glam Swarovski cocktail ring on the other hand.  My shoes were Carvela, Kurt Geiger, which I found after trying on way too many pairs of Jimmy Choos with no luck!  I loved the ones I wore… they were just as stunning, a fraction of the price, and far more comfortable!  I lasted dancing in my 6 inch heels right till the end of the night.


Not forgeting the groom and his suit

Jeff got his suit made bespoke by Jon Kruger London. Jon was recommended to Jeff by his friend as he’d done an excellent job on his wedding suit. It was a gorgeous light grey suit, and I particularly love that he chose a pink satin lining to match our colour scheme, with the date of our wedding embroidered inside (so he can never forget our anniversary!)  He also wore a very smart ivory tie and waistcoat.

Other important people bridesmaids, flower girls, ushers, best man?. How did you pick the dresses / colour / ties ?

We had 15 little bridesmaids and page boys. The girls’ dresses were actually a winning find that I spotted in H&M kids – black sequin little party dresses, that I absolutely loved!  They weren’t typical “flower-girl” dresses, but I liked something less traditional, and more trendy. The little boys, all 10 of them, wore black trousers, a white shirt, black bowtie and braces and Converses!  That was my one insistence, and their outfits definitely stole the show.


Did you go with your mum to get her outfit?

No, I left her to her own devices and she looked absolutely stunning!  Much unlike her daughter, she insisted the only comfortable shoes she could find were Chanel! ;)


Makeup artist and hair stylist?

The absolutely amazing Sarah Field.  Not only did she do the most incredible job, she made me feel so happy and relaxed all day. Pnina Cohen – can’t recommend her more highly!


The flowers are an important part of planning your Kinloss synagogue wedding; who supplied them, did you pick the colours and design?

Flowers were supplied by Floral Design House in Muswell Hill, who were absolutely incredible and couldn’t have done a better job! I chose the colour scheme of bright pinks with a pop of red. Not only did they look magnificent on the day, but my bouquet is a real eye catcher in all the photos… I LOVE how it came out in all the pictures.


Caterer – the food was amazing, with being the ‘Food Effect Doctor’, did you plan the menu?

The caterer was Jason Milan. Being a real foodie, the menu was something I was very involved in choosing and it couldn’t have been better! Everything from the canapes, to the original duck starter, to main course, to dessert, was outstandingly delicious.  Jason was also so accommodating to cater to everyone’s dietary requirements and special requests. The food really received rave reviews!


The dancing one of my favourite parts at a Kinloss Synagogue wedding; which band did you have, did you have any special music played?

The Band we had was Creation Musical Services, or more specifically their “Simcha” band ‘Yachad’, fronted by Jonny Turgel. We had a meeting with Simon Cooper from Creation to discuss the type of music we wanted and he was amazing in providing suggestions for us as to the type of music and songs which would be good for the atmosphere we were looking for.  We had mostly Israeli music, but opted for a 30 minute set of English pop music towards the end, which was amazing and went down really well with all of our friends! People loved the music and the mix, and it really helped to create what was the most electric atmosphere!

Honeymoon – are you two off somewhere soon?

Honeymoon plans are yet to be made, but we do hope to have an extended break in March next year. Location is TBC, but Jeff is putting his researching skills into gear to find us somewhere exotic and sunny!


What was important to you about your wedding day?

The most important thing to both of us was to have all our friends and family present to celebrate with us, and help make it the most special day for us. We just wanted to have fun and party with all those we love. Everyone there really helped to make it the best day for us and the perfect way to celebrate our marriage.

What was important about your wedding photos?

To capture the story of our wedding day, from the getting ready, to the ceremony to the party. I knew from seeing Mark’s work, that he was the one to do this perfectly! We also wanted the photos to reflect our personalities and love for each other. We were both so happy and relaxed all day, and our chilled personalities and adoration of each other really shines through all the pictures. The only downside is having to choose from so many amazing ones which ones to frame!

You can find out more about Michelle at and follow her on Instagram @TheFoodEffectDR


I have many beautiful Jewish weddings in my portfolio include another traditional Kinloss synagogue wedding blog as well as other popular wedding venues.