Rachelle and Adam’s wedding celebration was so joyous and FUN! They had both ceremony and reception at the Hasten Hebrew Academy, founded by her family. When I did a site visit with her I could tell that she was different than a lot of my brides in that she wanted photographs in areas that held great memories for her and she wasn’t concerned about the photographic art of the pictures themselves, but more about the meaning of where they were taken. Even though it rained on their wedding day and they only had 10 minutes for pictures we had a blast running around the playground:)
The morning of their wedding Rachelle focused on becoming a wife, her love for Adam and the changes that were to come in her life. I have been fortunate enough to spend many joyous occasions with this particular family for bar and bat mitzvahs, a bris and I had very much looked forward to this wedding. Witnessing the maturity of the women in this family I was humbled watching Rachelle. I hesitated to click my shutter at times because I felt as if her reflections were so sacred they should remain undocumented. I have always admired the sacrifices my Jewish Orthodox friends make for their faith. Outward signs to the world of their commitment to God and to each other require more than just words.
Adam was happy, carefree and SO in the moment as the rituals of prayer began in the morning with the men. The parade of laughter and song down the hallways Rachelle once roamed as a child as her groom was carried in song to place a veil over his bride before the ceremony (bedecken). Ok, good thing I can take pictures and cry at the same time because I was tearful all day!! For thousands of years these traditions have been celebrated. The Chuppah Ceremony was amazing with EVERYONE engaged and paying close attention to every word. Then the party! If you have never been to a Jewish Orthodox wedding you need to make some Jewish friends because there is no other way to party! The dancing, the music and what I enjoy the most are the little performances that spontaneously pop up. This party was the best because there was a bus full of New Yorkers that came in especially for the day (and pastries and other NY treats came with them). The food was INCREDIBLE, as it always is when Dina Cohen cooks (Rachelle’s aunt is one of the only kosher caterers in town and her food is the BEST).
Venue: Hasten Hebrew Academy