Lovebirds get better reception

Simone Jaffa and Jason Mittleman will tie the knot this weekend, after restrictions around wedding receptions were relaxed


The government’s announcement at the end of last week allowing wedding receptions for up to 30 people was a huge relief to Simone Jaffa and Jason Mittleman, who will be marrying at Pinner United Synagogue this Sunday.

Ms Jaffa told the JC that the couple wanted the earliest date so that her grandmother Milly Peters, who turned 100 in May, could attend.

“Her age was a big factor,” Ms Jaffa, 39, said.

The nursery school nurse is “very close” to her grandmother, who had been inquiring constantly about the date. “She’s been on at us for a while [asking]: ‘What’s the news? When’s it happening? Have you got anything to tell me?’

“No matter what, she said she would be at the chupah.”

With Ms Jaffa’s parents’ house down the road from the shul, those attending the ceremony will be invited back for a Covid-compliant tea in their back garden.

All food will be individually wrapped and instead of a wedding band — live music is currently prohibited — the couple will rely on a mix of their favourite songs.

It was also at Ms Jaffa’s parents’ home that Mr Mittleman, 45, proposed, after the couple returned from a weekend away in Brighton to pick up Ms Jaffa’s two children, Joshua and Chloe. It was then only four months since the two met on Jdate. But “we both knew”, Ms Jaffa said.

The groom, a hairdresser, also has two children from a previous marriage.

Choosing the guests had been challenging, given that they had originally anticipated having up to 100 people at the ceremony. Plans for an evening get-together at a hotel for friends have had to be postponed.

““It took us a very long time to try and work out who to invite,” Ms Jaffa admitted.

“Everyone understands. No one’s said: ‘I can’t believe they’re not inviting us’.” Those unable to attend the ceremony can tune in via Zoom.

Being able to marry in shul was important to the couple, something which would not have been possible on their original June 7 wedding date.

“My parents are regular shul-goers,” she added. “And for me it’s really special to get married in the shul that I grew up in.”

Ms Jaffa’s mother, Helen Kasin, told the JC she was “pleased that it’s something a bit different. We’ve just had a trial for our grandsons with their outfits so it’s sort of made it more real.”

Pinner United chair Jonathan Mindell said that “after the challenges that Covid-19 has presented, it is so wonderful to be able to celebrate this wedding in the community”.

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