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An Elegant English Garden Party-Inspired Jewish Wedding in St. Louis

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Ashley Sawtelle

|Planning by 

Calluna Events

After the height of the pandemic, Leah Zucker and Drew Zucker safely attended a dozen weddings, so by the time he proposed at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Oconee, they knew they wanted their own wedding to have “amazing service, cocktails, and food” that Leah’s family’s country club in St. Louis provides. “We tented outside of the club to have the beautiful rolling green hills of the golf course as a perfect backdrop,” the bride shares. Aesthetically, she wanted to incorporate florals as much as possible with garden details like fluttering butterflies throughout.

“The idea of an English garden party felt like the perfect concept; it kept the overall vibe elevated but not too stuffy. It was beautiful, light and airy, which is exactly what we envisioned,” Leah shares. To help bring her vision to life, Heather Dwight of Calluna Events masterfully took the planning reins. And Knapp Design Co. set the tone with a beautiful invitation suite.

Flowers also flowed into the search for Leah’s wedding dress too; however, nothing in bridal boutiques wowed her. The bride-to-be had heard great things about Britt Wood of BW Designs Inc. and together they synced on Leah’s dream: an A-line gown with a vintage, elegant feel. Britt even sourced vintage silk ribbon flowers for the appliqués.

On the day-of, the bride got ready with makeup artist and hairstylist Savanah Summer, who made her look like the best version of herself. Leah paired her dress with the gold Mikel sandals from Loeffler Randall. “They were simple but had a subtle bow to add a unique quality,” she recalls.

To complete her ensemble, Leah’s parents gifted her a pair of diamond studs—the same ones both of her sisters got on their wedding days. And on her right hand, the bride donned her mom’s sapphire ring for a combined “something borrowed and blue.”

On September 10, 2022, guests gathered on the lawn for the Jewish ceremony, which incorporated both Leah and Drew’s childhood rabbis. The couple stood under a beautiful chuppah, decorated with flowers by Flora by Nora. During the service, the bride’s grandmother read a poem she wrote, inspired by the seven blessings—an elegant way to weave in Jewish tradition with a personal spin.

The reception began underneath a sprawling tent, where a delicious dinner was served. The newlyweds cut their marble wedding cake with chocolate frosting by Sarah’s Cake Shop for dessert. And after dinner, everyone moved to the dancing tent with the band FatPocket. A shot bar with a shotski kept the energy high all night.

After the hora—which was one of the bride’s favorite moments of the day—Leah quickly changed into a white minidress from Zara. “I had originally purchased this dress for the after-party, and at the last minute, I decided to change into it and put my hair into a high party ponytail to switch up my look and be ready to dance the night away,” she explains. Another memorable scene was when Leah and her family joined the band on stage.

To make their grand exit, the new Zuckers climbed into a white Rolls-Royce and headed back to The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, where most of their guests were staying to continue the party even further.