Last week I was asked to photograph my first traditional Jewish Wedding. It was a great experience, full of tradition and realy good fun, these people truly know how to have a great time.
The ceremony takes place under a Chuppa which symbolises the home created and shared by the newlyweds.
Firstly is the Bedeken Ceremony which takes place privately in front of immediate family only, the groom places the veil over the brides face after checking he is marrying the right bride!
David and the Rabbi Pete Tobias share a joke whilst waiting for Olivia to arrive.
Following her entrance into the Chuppah the bride then circles the groom 7 times, known as Hakafot this indicates that their lives will be forever entwined.
The exchange of the rings is an important part of every wedding ceremony, in a Jewish ceremony the rings are placed on the right hand index finger.
The Ketubah is the beautiful handcrafted marriage contract which is written in both Hebrew and English and declares the equal commitment of both the husband and wife.
The Shevra Brachot are then recited over a shared goblet of wine which seals the marriage union. The end of the ceremony is marked by the breaking of a glass under the grooms foot which recalls the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans.
Following the blessings the whole party take to the dance floor for in this case 10 minutes of crazy Israeli dancing, as I say these people reaaly know how to have fun, this ends with the brides and groom being lifted on chairs by the guests.
This was an amazing experience for me as a Wedding Photographer and a real lesson in history and tradition.
I wish Olivia and David all the best in their married lives together with daughter Sophia (what a star she was too!)