Maya & Dan’s Jewish Wedding At Park Winters
The tables at Park Winters country estate are lined up and ready in the open air and I capture guests as they are just beginning to arrive. The bride, Maya, waits inside while musicians play and guests greet each other. They take photos for the guestbook and then, as is traditional in a Jewish wedding, separate to the simultaneous receptions: the Bedeken for the women and the Tisch for the men.
Maya sits on an ornate throne to greet well-wishers while surrounded by family and attendants. Her friends dance in front of her while musicians play.
Dan’s Tisch takes place at a long table surrounded by his father, the bride’s father, male relatives, friends, and rabbis. They toast and sing and deliver speeches.
The men travel in a group back to the women, guiding the groom between the two fathers, and delivering him to the dancing women. The dancers surround him and he must try to reach his bride through the waves of joyous people, and only then can he kiss her.
The Ketubah Ceremony
Next, a group of family, friends, and one wedding videographer gather for the Ketubah signing. All weddings are different but this is one tradition that every Jewish wedding includes. Maya, Dan, and the witnesses sign their Hebrew names to make the document kosher and legally binding. While the signing takes place, the guests find their seats and enjoy each other before the civil ceremony starts.
I capture the procession of the chuppah bearers, followed by Dan and his parents. The flower girls and ring bearer prepare everyone for the Maya’s arrival with a sign saying, “Here comes the love of your life”. And finally, the bride herself is led down the aisle by her parents.
I edited the words over the video of the ceremony, so that while Maya and Dan speak their vows to each other, they perform their circles and the rabbi does his blessings. The vows finish, Dan breaks the glass, and with a “Mazel tov!”, they kiss.
A Jewish Wedding Reception Done Right
With the ceremony finished, the recessional begins and the guests gather for the shtick, one of my favorite Jewish wedding traditions. The wedding party and the guests gather on the dance floor. They dance, dress up in costumes, performs skits or hold signs, juggle, and lift the bride, groom, and the parents into the air on chairs. I interlace the guests entertaining the new family with the speeches, intertwining the joy and pride of the day.
The party continues with dancing and music, and ends with shots of the couple at sunset. A kiss, a twirl, and the glow of the sun at the end of Maya and Dan’s wedding day.
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