Jewish Wedding Photographer At The Hotel Russell
I was recommended to Charlotte and Ben by a previous Bride whose wedding I photographed earlier this year at the Victoria Park Plaza, thanks again Jen 🙂 I met the couple at their home and we talked over their wedding plans. This was to be the second time for me photographing as an honorary Jewish Wedding Photographer and in particular I was looking forward to the Israeli dancing.
For any Jewish family, a wedding is a truly symbolic day comprised of meaningful rituals that symbolise the relationship of husband (chatan) and wife (kallah).
We have just spent the last 2 hours looking through the photos….wow, we love them! You managed to capture every moment perfectly and it really has bought the whole day to life again – thank you so much!! We love all of the natural shots and the laughing, it reminds us how much fun we had.
Charlotte and Ben
The day itself is important not only to the family of the chatan and kallah, but also for the couple themselves as it is not only deemed to be the happiest and holiest day of their life, but also a personal Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). On this day, similar to any type of wedding, the chatan and kallah are forgiven for their past mistakes as they merge into a new, complete soul that is one.
A Jewish wedding is both a fascinating and magical thing to witness, and after experiencing it for myself again first hand I take great pleasure in sharing the steps that are taken on this holy day with you.
One of many Jewish traditions carried out during the proceedings of the wedding is for the chatan and kallah to separate from each other for one whole week. Not only is this tradition in place to enhance the anticipation and excitement of the event, it also allows the chatan and kallah to greet their guests separately.
This greeting ritual is named Kabbalat Panim and sees the couple treated as if they are king and queen. When the kallah first arrives at the wedding venue she is seated on a throne and it is from here that she will receive her guests.
Meanwhile, the chatan will stand encircled by his quests in what is called The Groom’s Tisch. Here he will receive an informational reception full of singing, dancing and toasting to the chatan.
The traditions quickly continue as at this point the mother of the kallah and the mother of the chatan will stand united together and break a plate to symbolise the seriousness of the commitment.
The plate symbolises the seriousness of commitment, as it cannot ever be fully repaired, similar to the way that a broken relationship can never be fully restored.
The next step is the badeken, which can also be described as the veiling of the kallah. The chatan, accompanied by his nearest and dearest, will proceed to where his kallah is seated and will place the veil over her face. This proceeding is in place to symbolise the idea of modesty and also communicates the all-important lesson that the soul and character are paramount and that beauty isn’t everything. In addition to this, it also publicly demonstrates the chatan’s pledge to always clothe and protect his wife.
The chuppah is the place where the wedding ceremony will take place and is very similar to a canopy. Open on all sides, this shelter represents unconditional hospitality and generosity.
Dancing is a chief feature of a Jewish wedding and following Jewish law and traditions, the guests must dance in front of the wedded couple in the hope to entertain them. There are a number of traditional dances that can take place at a Jewish wedding, including the Horah, the Mitzvah tantz, the Krenzl and the gladdening of the bride, all of which serve a different purpose. Charlotte and Bens wedding took place in London at the Hotel Russell. As a London wedding photographer I was delighted to photograph such a magnificent wedding in a place that has such historic charm and contemporary luxury about it.
Wedding photography is made easy when it comes to photographing one of London’s many architectural gems and I am glad I could be part of such a great day.
Here’s their story.