Photographer for Jewish wedding in Minneapolis and Paris
Photographer for Jewish Wedding in Twin Cities
Let me share with you this traditional Jewish ceremony that I have captured with my camera, not in the Twin Cities, but in Paris!
After shooting their coordinated engagement pictures in Saint Paul, it was the big day.
He studied business, while she studied medicine. They were engaged for less than one year.
They have rent one of the most luxurious venues in town: The Westin (the equivalent of the Ritz Carlton). They had invited all their family, who was spread all over the world. There were a lot of guests from Minnesota, France, New York, Manhattan, Los Angeles and Israel. They had the best caterer, a huge band, and a very famous rabbi!
Table of Contents
All started with a phone call
I first met Laura & Gary in the cities. They wanted to hire more than a guy with a camera. They were looking for an experienced professional photographer, who can catch every single moment of their ceremony and their long day. In other words, they loved photography and aspired great photos.
I explained to them my way of working, and we quickly felt the connection.
We discuss their vision in detail. It would include a team with the best vendors: not only a sublime location (300 years old), but a videographer, a famous fashion designer and, of course, a good hair and makeup stylist.
A few weeks later, I captured their civil union.
Civil Union at the Courthouse
Before their religious ritual, they decided to become husband and wife at the City hall. For photographers it is always the opportunity to take portraits before the big wedding (it is like a rehearsal). All the close relatives were gathered, which gave me an idea of who were the most special couples!
It didn’t last very long, but enough to capture laughs and tears. The couple was excited, married and happy.
Late for her marriage preparation!
When the bride is late, I take pictures of the bouquet and the dress, so I don’t waste time.
Unfortunately, when a wedding takes place in such an amazing hotel, then it’s more complicated to have access to the rooms.
So, the videographer and I waited some time before she finally arrived, after she struggled to park her car. She was stressed and nervous, but who wouldn’t have been at her place?
Luckily, we designed a good timeline and used our extra time. After shooting the dress and shoes pictures, we went to take pictures of the groom. He dressed alone in a beautiful room with a nice view on the city. The groom was a pretty handsome gentleman as you can see in the photos.
I can testify how much in love he was, given he was asking after the bride all the time.
The perfect dress
The bride was stressed. Planning such a wedding, even with the best photographers to help you design your timeline, is not something easy. You have so many parameters to take in consideration.
After eating some sweat patisseries, having her face paint and her hair done, it was time for the bride to jump into her dress. That was clearly a funny situation to capture. Indeed, the fashion designer and two assistants surrounded her, adjusting what needed to be fixed. She really looked like a queen being dressed by her domestics.
Now that they were both ready, the real fun was about to begin…
Traditional Jewish Ritual
The couple didn’t see each other before the aisle. The groom was nervous, but the bride, hidden in the adjacent reception room, was even more stressed.
The couple didn’t choose the synagogue, but instead prefer to enjoy the luxurious and historical room, decorated with ceiling moldings and golden leaf. They installed a wedding canopy, called a chuppah in the middle of the room under a special chandelier. Men and women were sitting on a different side of the room.
The Rabbi (obviously super famous) was waiting for them.
The groom walked down the aisle with his mother, followed by a large part of the family.
Finally, the bride walked down with both of her parents to the middle of the aisle where the rabbi and the groom were waiting for her. She faced the Rabbi and he pronounced a few words (betaken). She had a light veil covering her face that the groom took off. The bride was very emotional and was crying a lot.
Then they walked all three together, the bride, the groom and the Rabbi until they reached the chuppah. The Rabbi covered the bride and the groom with a white tissue. He read some religious text in Hebrew (probably from the Talmud). The couple drank some wine. Then the groom showed the ring (betrothal), and put it on the bride’s finger, accomplishing the erosion. The bride did the same.
Then witnesses and Rabbi signed the Ketubah. And seven guests came to say a blessing to the newly married couple.
Finally, the groom broke a glass with his right foot and everyone said Mazel Tov! And all the guests came to contrast the newly married couple. The groom kissed every guy on the kippa, as a sign of affection.
Mostly Artificial Light
Artificial lights will give you an orange tint, whatever your makeup is. Check this engagement session at the Landmark Center, in Saint Paul, or other beautiful (but dark) venues in Minneapolis. In photography, the lack of natural light, and yellow walls, often result in some yellow colors on your photos.
That’s quite a boomer when you invest in a high budget to have the best locations! And as you can see in the photos, that was precisely the kind of lightning we had on this sublime location.
The Marriage of Two Families
Whether it is a Jewish, a Christian, or an LGBT wedding, as a photographer, I always observe one thing: love. When there is a true engagement from both sides, the party is always better!
And what makes Jewish parties appealing for me is precisely that the married couple and all their guests want to share their happiness. There is so much excitement all the time!
Cocktail Hour and Photo Session
After their religious union, the time of the cocktail hour came for the guests. On their side, the new husband and wife were ready for their photography session. We didn’t have to walk far. Actually, we just went outside of the hotel and enjoyed the special park featured by the city.
I loved their complicity and how strong their relationship looked. They quickly got used to the camera, and we had good portraits.
For the park pictures, I asked my seconder shooter to help me lighten the scene, so we could enjoy the blue sky and the fancy gate.
A grand celebration
It was now time to celebrate and dance. All the guests were waiting in the adjacent room until the bride and groom came back to open the dinner room.
A Magical Decoration Thanks to the Florists and the Planners
The decoration was magical, with reconstituted trees made from flowers and lightening. The center table bouquets were actually trees!
It was like in a dream.
Among other vendors, the DJ helped a lot to transform the location thanks to the lights he brought.
Such decoration could completely remodel your venue look. Of course you need an extraordinary florist and a consequent budget.
Dancing, Dancing and Dancing
As soon as we enter, the music started. They hired a large music band and quickly everybody was dancing!
It was an Ashkenazi wedding, and, as the tradition requires, they quickly denied the horah, with, of course, the traditional music such as the Hava Nagila.
They put the bride and the groom on chairs and threw them in the air.
After half an hour of very sportive dance, it was time for dinner.
Of course they said the Birkat Hamazon and the Sheva Brachot.
Then the dinner took place, with dancing between each dish.
At the end, they did a father-daughter and mother-son dance. It was a cute moment.
Last Artistic Picture
Finally, before all the guests started to leave, we went outside the venue to take a last artistic picture. Taking advantage of the location, I staged some flashes, and told the groom to carry the bride tenderly. I love how complementary they are in their relationship and how obvious is their love. They are like two best friends.
I can’t thank them enough to have trusted me and to love the quality of my pictures. It was great to work in such good conditions and be able to cover such wonderful moments!