Jewish Wedding Photographers: What to Consider When Looking for Someone to Capture Your Jewish Ceremony and Reception

Are you planning your wedding day and wondering if you need a photographer with experience in shooting Jewish weddings? Yes, you do. 

The Jewish wedding day is filled with so many unique and memorable moments, and it’s essential to have a photographer you can trust — a photographer who knows how to capture key moments. 

Using a photographer with experience in shooting Jewish weddings will make your big day much more relaxed and worry-free. 

In this article, you will learn: 

  • What can make Jewish wedding photos challenging to capture
  • Why an experienced photographer is valuable at a Jewish wedding
  • And more

Table of Contents

What Can Make Jewish Wedding Photos Difficult to Capture?

Being unfamiliar with Jewish wedding traditions and ceremonies is the biggest challenge when shooting Jewish wedding photos.

The Jewish wedding day is built on many traditions, and even within each branch of Judaism, these traditions vary. In addition, some Jewish weddings observe only one or two traditions out of respect for the families, while others observe several. 

As there are so many nuances and elements, wedding photographers must know when to capture the most significant moments.

When Searching for Jewish Wedding Photographers, Couples Should Find Someone Very Familiar With the Religious and Cultural Traditions and Proceedings

Everything from the Aufruf to the Walk to the Chuppah, you will want a photographer familiar with the Jewish religion and cultural traditions. 

At Julian Ribinik Photography, we have experience with shooting Jewish weddings. 

With our unique photography style, we show the full scope of the event and highlight the chemistry between the couple. We make sure that all the details of the day are captured.

Interested in learning more? Please contact us today. 

Does This Mean the Photographer Should Also Be Jewish?

No, it is not a requirement. 

While having a photographer who grew up attending Jewish weddings can be helpful, many photographers are not Jewish but have a lot of experience with Jewish weddings.

This is especially true for photographers who live in areas with a high Jewish population.

What Can Make a Photographer Valuable at a Jewish Wedding?

It’s essential to hire a trustworthy photographer who knows when to capture key moments.

The following are things you and your fiance should review with any photographer you are considering for your Jewish wedding ceremony.

Knowledge of Jewish Wedding Traditions

Jewish weddings are filled with rituals related to history and culture, and they place a heavy emphasis on meaning and community.

When it comes to shooting a Jewish wedding, some unique elements simply cannot be overlooked. 

When a wedding photographer understands the religious traditions of their brides and grooms, it assures them that their memories are in safe hands. 

Knowledge of Common Jewish Wedding Timelines

Typically, Jewish weddings begin mid-afternoon and end late at night, but they can also be longer or shorter. In addition, there is usually a seven-day celebration afterward.

The photographer must be familiar with the timeline because there may not be a lot of communication on the wedding day. Everyone expects the photographer to know what, when, and where everything will happen.

Knowledge of Languages Often Spoken in Jewish Communities

In a Jewish family, it is common to have extended family who may speak: 

  • Yiddish
  • Hebrew; or 
  • Russian

If your photographer can’t communicate with your family and friend for photos, they will often ignore them, and you may not be able to capture the best moments.

At Julian Ribinik Photography, we can speak all three languages mentioned above.  

As NYC is home to so many cultures, we have documented many cultural and religious events. We would be honored to apply our skills to your Jewish wedding and celebrations. 

What Should Every Couple Make Certain Their Jewish Wedding Photographer Is Aware Of?

The Jewish wedding day is filled with emotion and energy. Some parts of the day are very joyous, such as the Israeli dancing, and other components are solemn, like the signing of the Ketubah

As Jewish wedding photography and videography are full of emotion, it is essential to have a photographer who knows what to look for.

Outdoor Ceremony

It is very common for Jewish weddings to occur outdoors, underneath the Chuppah

Many other traditions and activities will likely occur inside, but the actual ceremony will probably happen outdoors. 

Photographers should be fully prepared with equipment for both environments.

All Traditions They Intend to Incorporate

It is essential for photographers to recognize the emotional significance of Judaism in a couple’s wedding story.

Photographers who are familiar with the religious traditions of their brides and grooms can assure them that their memories are in good hands.

Although experienced photographers should be familiar with Jewish wedding traditions, it will be helpful for the photographer to know which ones will be incorporated so they can prepare a second photographer if necessary and have the appropriate equipment on hand.

Let’s look at a few Jewish wedding traditions in the sections below.

Ceremony Traditions

Listed below are just a few of the common Jewish wedding ceremony traditions.

#1: Tisch

Tisch is a pre-wedding celebration in Jewish tradition. 

During a Tisch, the groom is in a separate room with the men as they drink together and congratulate him. 

The bride is also in a separate room with the women as she greets the guests, and they congratulate her.

#2: Badeken

Badeken is an ancient Jewish wedding custom in which the groom lifts the bride’s veil before the wedding. 

Tradition states that this is done to ensure that the groom is marrying the correct person.

#3: Plate Breaking

The mothers of the bride and groom break the plates in the men’s room.

During this ritual, the mothers must simultaneously break a plate with either a hammer or the end of the table.

Jewish lore holds that breaking a plate symbolizes commitment. According to tradition, it is impossible to restore the plate to its original appearance from broken pieces.

#4: Chuppah

Chuppahs are blanketed canopies with four poles and four open ends under which Jewish couples stand during their ceremony.

It is the room’s centerpiece and symbolizes the home that the couple will create after their marriage.

#5: Circling the Groom

When the bride arrives under the Chuppah, both mothers accompany her as she circles the groom.

This occurs seven times, representing the bride entering her lover’s seven spheres. As the bride circles, she creates a new “family circle” that arises from her marriage.

Reception Traditions

Reception traditions are also important to keep in mind. A few are listed below.

#1: Blessing the Challah

Challah, an elaborately braided bread, is blessed during the wedding meal.

Hamotzi, or blessing, can be made by the couple’s parents or another honored guest.

#2: The Hora

Hora, or chair dance, is integral to every Jewish wedding reception. 

The bride and groom are hoisted high above the crowd on chairs by a few strong and courageous guests. 

The crowd gathers and dances in ecstatic circles around the couple to the sounds of “Hava Nagila” while the elevated couple tries not to look (or fall) down.  

#3: Mitzvah Dances

It is not only a mitzvah (good deed) but also a duty to entertain the bride and groom on their wedding day.

The couple sits on chairs while their guests dance with masks, silly costumes, and props.

#4: Mezinke Tanz or Krenzel

Mezinke Tanz is one of the final dances of the night, honoring parents who have married off their last child.

The dance is also called Krenzel (Yiddish for “crown”). Its name refers to the flower crown often placed in the mother’s hair during the dance. 

Parents sit on chairs in the middle of the dance floor while friends and family dance around them, kissing them as they pass in front of them.

#5: Birkat Hamazon

Following a festive meal, it is traditional to end with the blessings of Birkat Hamazon.

A booklet of prayers, called a Bencher, can be distributed to guests. After the prayers, the seven wedding blessings are repeated, giving friends one more opportunity to participate.

Finally, the blessing over the wine is recited as two glasses of wine are poured together into a third, symbolizing the start of a new life together as a couple.

Beautifully Capture the Memories of Your Jewish Wedding: NYC Photographer Julian Ribinik Has the Knowledge and Experience

Are you planning a traditional Jewish wedding? Do you want a wedding photographer familiar with the traditions you want to include? It would be difficult to find a better fit for you than Julian Ribinik Photography.

We offer unparalleled customer service and pay meticulous attention to detail. It is our goal to make your wedding day as memorable as possible. 

Every moment of your wedding day will be captured with the perfect angle and lighting for a flawless presentation. 

Julian Ribinik Photography can help you preserve your memories for future generations.

Our packages are tailored to your budget and needs, so let’s talk about how we can make your day perfect.

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