Being a wedding photographer in a country where the overwhelming majority of couples opt for a Christian ceremony, it is always a treat to experience this special day from a different perspective.
Back in August I had the opportunity to document Emma and Steven’s Jewish wedding.
I had met Steven’s father at a wedding a few years previously at Knowsley Hall, where Ryan – Steven’s brother – was singing, and we kept in contact.
Emma’s day began with plenty of pampering at her parents’ home, joined by her bridesmaids. A pampered bride is a relaxed bride, after all…
Steven, meanwhile, began his 33rd birthday celebrations! Despite preparing for the biggest day of her life, the bride managed to spoil her groom from afar with thoughtful gifts.
Fully groomed, the bridal party headed to the South Manchester Synagogue. The Jewish wedding ceremony has many traditions; perhaps the most notable being the couple standing beneath the chuppah, a canopy to symbolise the home built by a husband and wife.
Assisting me with shooting the 200+ guests wedding was renowned photographer and my longtime friend Matt Warrington. Alongside us was Andy from Classic Video, who like me works from The Wedding House.
Another custom of Jewish weddings is for the groom, at the end of the ceremony, to crush a glass with his right foot. Though its origins are unknown, it is generally agreed that this represents how joy must always be tempered.
The great thing about Jewish weddings is that family and friends are situated nearer the couple during the ceremony, giving myself and Matt the opportunity to get some great shots. I practically managed to squeeze into the chuppah!
Another ancient custom is the signing of the ketubah, which spells out the obligations of the husband to his wife.
After the ceremony, I took the newlyweds for some shots around the Denzell Gardens, whilst guests headed to the Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester hotel for drinks.
As is custom in Jewish weddings, the couple undertook a special dance to entertain guests, who then danced with the couple above their shoulders!
The dress code for the evening was black tie, along with Venetian mask – a first for my documentary wedding photography! The Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester hotel provided plenty of space for loved ones to celebrate.
The HYPERLINK “https://www.stirlingaustin.com/” Stirling Austin Band got guests up on the dance floor, and of course Ryan also sang.
A huge congratulations to Emma and Steven. Thank you for choosing me to capture your day, and Matt for his help.
If you are in need of a Jewish wedding photographer in Manchester, please get in touch.