My first Jewish Wedding.
This sounds like the title to a children’s book.
Obviously it’s not but I still felt like a child that day, taking everything in with amazement, while at the same time photographing everything in sight.
Tamara + Josh approached me to shoot their wedding and I was seriously stoked. I had never done a Jewish wedding before so this was going to be so exciting. Being an Asian migrant in Australia doesn’t naturally lend itself to moving around in Jewish social circles. I didn’t even have many Jewish friends. All I knew about Jewish weddings was the famous horah, where the bride and groom sit on chairs and are lifted into the air by their guests while they dance. My knowledge of Jewish customs was pathetic. So I made sure before the day to let Tamara + Josh brief me on everything that was going to happen.
Before the actual ceremony where they exchange vows in front of all their guests, a number of things had to happen, and at the same time. Everything was happening at the beautiful Sandalford Winery and it suited them perfectly, because Josh arrived and was ushered to the south side of the building with all the men, while Tamara and all the women waited on the north side of the building. They weren’t allowed to see each other before the veiling of the bride, or the badeken. Josh was then led to Tamara – with lots of singing and dancing – to meet Tamara, and there they are both prayed for and Josh then pulls the veil over Tamara for the actual ceremony.
The ceremony itself was conducted under a stunning chuppah, or canopy – which symbolizes the couple’s new home that they will build together when married, and ended with the breaking of the glass. We then headed off for photos on Sandalford’s grounds.
As the reception started, Jeff and I were treated to an unbelievable song and dance segment. This was the horah. This isn’t some chilled, whisky bar jazz shuffle. This was full-on spinning, jumping, crowd surfing stuff.
The energy was off the charts and people were dancing, jumping, being lifted in the air on chairs, and on huge white sheets. I lost track of the time and number of photos we took but we must have been on the dance floor for at least an hour. The men went so hard their shirts were soaked with sweat by the end of it.
By the end of the night, I was so exhausted, yet I went home with the biggest smile. I love experiencing new cultures and this is exactly that.
Now I can’t wait to shoot the next Jewish wedding! Mazel tov!
Big thanks to the following vendors who made the day possible:
Makeup – Elicia Rudd | Hair – Tryst for Hair |Bride’s Dress – Dion for Brides | Suits – MJ Bale | Ceremony & Reception Venue – Sandalford Winery | Celebrant – Rabbi Brad Kitay | Flowers – Alice and Rose | Cake – De La Rosa | Entertainment – The Baker Boys | Styling – Owl and Bear