Mazel Tov Ilana and Paul!! We very much loved being part of this Jewish wedding between Ilana and Paul. The wedding was full of tradition and culture, fantastic people having so much fun at the amazing venue of the Regent Plaza Ballroom. The Regent Plaza Ballroom and the traditional Jewish settings were fantastic backdrops for Modern Wedding Photography.
Ilana and Paul went to high school together and it was on a beautiful Day Trip to the Top of the Eureka Tower that Paul proposed to Ilana, with the beautiful city of Melbourne beneath them. Ilana described it as amazing! Certainly a beautiful way to make someone feel on top of the world!
We started our day meeting Paul and his Groomsmen in Caulfield, whilst Ilana was getting ready at her parents house. We followed Paul as he made his way with all the men to Ilana. The men gathered in one room with Rabbi Helbruinn to sign the Ketubah, a Jewish legal document that confirms the religious bond of marriage. The men then made their way into Ilana. Ilana was sitting on an amazing, large cane chair with the company of all their guests. It was here that the traditional Bedeken ceremony took place.
Bedeken means “covering” in Yiddish. Traditionally, the groom will place the veil over the bride’s face. The custom begun in reference to a biblical account where Jacob was deceived and found himself married to veiled Leah instead of his intended bride Rachel. According to my studies some Modern Jewish couples choose to use the ritual of the lowering of the veil as a moment to look into each other’s eyes, allowing them to connect to one another and to reflect upon the love that has brought them to this moment.
Ilana finalised the Ketubah with Paul and Rabbi Helbruinn and we then moved on to The Kimberley Gardens in Stkilda. Ilana was accompanied by her parents as she walked down the aisle to the beautifully decorated Chuppah. The Chuppah represents the home they will build together and symbolises that family and friends are always welcome in the couple home.
A Beautiful traditional ceremony took place in the company of their friends and family. Some of the traditions that we captured were Hakafot and The Breaking of the Glass. Harafot “A woman shall go around a man” (Jeremiah 31:22) is a very old custom where the bride circles the groom prior to entering the Chuppah. One explanation is the bride’s circle may be seen as a way of binding the groom to her. Her circuits symbolically create a new family circle, demonstrating her primary allegiance has shifted from her parents to her husband and her husband is now bound more intimately to her and of course the most known of the traditions The Breaking of the Glass. The moment when the glass is broken the bride and groom’s separate lives end and their life as a married couple begins. The act is a reminder that relationships are fragile and must be treated with great care, love and mutual respect. As a photographer the timing of this photograph is crucial, I like to take the photograph just before the foot touches the glass, whilst the foot is still in the air, as a moment later it can look like the groom is just standing on a bag.
After more Wedding Photography in the Gardens with our newly weds and their bridal party (which just so happened to be all family which made it much easier to organize family photography) we moved to The Westin Hotel, Melbourne. Some of my favourite images were taken here and infact my photograph featuring the staircase won a place in The International Photography Award for ‘Framing The Subject’! Which I’m very proud of! We then went to the the amazing Regent Plaza Ballroom for the Reception.
The Plaza Ballroom is situated at the Regent Theatre on Collins Street. It is a beautifully restored, breathtaking Ballroom dating back to 1929. With its elaborate Spanish Rococo architecture, grand staircase entry, magnificent chandeliers and location right in the heart of Melbourne’s city centre, the Plaza Ballroom is an amazing venue for an unforgettable celebration on your perfect day. http://www.plaza-ballroom-event-venue.com.au. Having done a coporate and event photography at the Plaza Ballroom, it was my first time for wedding photography at the Plaza Ballroom, I’ve always loved the elegance and grandeur of the Plaza Ballroom, and so happy with the photos from their wedding here.
I love the images from the traditional dance called the ‘Hora.’ Ilana and Paul were lifted in chairs on the shoulders of their guests. It was a wonderful moment to document everyone looked as though they were having so much fun!
A moment with Ilana:-