Mel and Ronny’s Traditional Jewish Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Mel & Ronny

I love tradition and I love it when cultural elements play such an important role in a wedding day. Today’s wedding is heavy with it – from the groom’s special white coat, to the seclusion of the newlyweds after the ceremony. I love the story it tells and I love being able to tell the story to you.

Mel tells their story. “We met a few ways.  We went to the same synagogue, so we’d spotted each other there.  But we actually met properly a while later, after discovering we had mutual friends at a function.  Unbeknownst to us, these friends had decided we’d be perfect for each other.  One of the friends had a hiphop artist from the US staying at their house, and invited both of us (separately) to some after-gig drinks in at Opera Bar.  As everyone left, and was organising lifts, taxis etc, the friends said ‘Ronny can take Mel home’ and then left.  So he did.  Turns out we had a lot in common, and lived just around the corner from each other.  And here we are.”

Photographs today are by Matt Reed who has an innate ability to capture moments as they happen.

Mel wore a sleeved gown designed by Rhonda Hemmingway.

The floral arrangements for the day were styled by Samambaia – Flowers By Maria Claudia.

Of one of the surprises of the day, Mel remembers “There were the shoes and Ronny’s tie.  I don’t like wearing all ‘normal’ clothes, so while I made a concession and went for a traditional dress, I decided to wear bright pink shoes.  Ronny didn’t know this.  He also didn’t know what colour tie he’d be wearing, as I had organised for the tie to be made to match my shoes, and he had to pick the tie up just before the wedding!”

There was one minor hiccup on the day Mel remembers. “On the groom’s side, the drivers were given the wrong address and came late to the pickup location.  Then, when it was time to go, Murphy’s Law kicked in and the groom’s father misplaced a key part of the groom’s wedding outfit – a white robe traditionally worn by the groom in a Jewish wedding ceremony.  In the end we were probably the first wedding in history where the bride and her party arrived at the ceremony before the groom…  Luckily, I am pretty easy-going, and we had a lovely tour around the entirety of Centennial Park, waiting for the groom to arrive.”

Mel and Ronny chose Centennial Park for their wedding ceremony “We chose Centennial Park for the ceremony for many reasons.  I miss nature living in the east, so the park is a bit of a refuge.  Ronny grew up in the area, and it’s where he played and learnt to ride a bike.  We also wanted to choose a venue which would be around for years to come, which we could go back to over the years, and Mel really wanted to be married outside.  It was very easy to organise the wedding at the Park, which was also important to us..”

As is Jewish tradition, Mel and Ronny both walked down the aisle flanked by their parents. Mel remembers, “Ronny walked down the aisle to an old Yiddish song “Oif’n Pripichik” (“At the Fireplace”). I walked down the aisle to Bacarole, by Offenbach, her grandmother’s favourite piano piece from when I was little.
Both songs were played by a quartet organised by a dear family friend and Ronny’s childhood violin teacher, Sam Podjarski.”

Mel recalls “There is a tradition in the Jewish wedding ceremony to spend a few moments in seclusion together immediately after the ceremony.  Some people have a tradition to step over a silver spoon on the way out of this seclusion. Ronny & I  stepped over a spoon which was given to me on the day she was born by my Great-Great Grandmother, which was really special.”

Of their photographer, Mel says “Matt did the photography for a friend of ours, and when we saw their photos, we knew we had to ask Matt to do ours as well!  He was such a pleasure to work with.  The photos he took caught the day perfectly, and we didn’t even notice he was there a lot of the time!”

The newlyweds celebrated with their guests at Paddington Town Hall. Mel explains, “I wanted something that would be around for a while, and Ronny wanted a big dance floor.  I also love old buildings, and so when I stumbled over the website for Paddington Town Hall, I knew it was the right place!  Luckily when Ronny had a look, he agreed – we definitely had a very large dance floor!  The staff at Paddington Town Hall were an absolute pleasure to work with, and it was nice to have the venue for a large chunk of the day.”

Mel remembers, “The flowers and table-settings were phenomenal – every table was different, it was absolutely beautiful!”

BNT Management planned the entire day. Mel recalls “We were lucky enough to have an amazing wedding planner and caterer (BNT Management and L’Amour Catering) who took care of absolutely everything. Benita Kam and her team were absolutely wonderful, patient and thorough.  There was not a detail which was missed. We could not have managed without Benita and her team, as both of us work very long hours. L’Amour Catering came up with a fantastic, completely gluten-free menu (Mel can’t eat gluten) which was delicious and aesthetically beautiful .”

Concept Entertainment Group provided the lighting and sound equipment at Paddington Town Hall.  Mel remembers, “They were phenomenal and made the place really look terrific.”

Mel remarks “Finally, the highlight for me was playing with the band and with her bridesmaid, Nicola, playing ‘Play that funky music’ by Wild Cherry.  It was heaps of fun!”

For their first dance, Mel says “It was to Bob Marley, ‘Is this love’.  It was really lovely to have a moment together after such a wonderful but hectic day.  It was also really lovely because just before, Mel had a dance with her Dad, which was also really special.”

Congratulations Mel and Ronny! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Matt Reed for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: Matt Reed Photography / Wedding Planner: BNT Management / Cinematographer: Nathan Lewis / Bride's Dress: Rhomnda Hemmingway Couture / Bride's Shoes: Wittner / Flowers: Samambaia - Flowers By Maria Claudia / Ceremony Venue: The Lily Pond, Centenial Parklands Sydney / Reception Venue: Paddington Town Hall / Band: Glass / Groom's Attire: Rochefort / Bridesmaid Dresses: 176 Formal 02 96984074 / Invitations & Stationery: Print 35 / Wedding Cake: Delicious Treats / Bride's Jewellery: Rhomnda Hemmingway Couture / Catering: L'Amour Catering / Reception Lighting & Sound: Concept Entertainment Group

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  • Marcy@rosesandlace says:
    November 11, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Beautiful images full of love and laughter x

  • Australian Groom Style | Polka Dot Bride says:
    March 29, 2013 at 10:01 am

    […] quite lovely about the blending of tradition and individuality, and this was absolutely the case at Mel & Ronny’s Traditional Jewish Wedding.  Mel recalls the “surprise” she had in store for her […]



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