Adam and Shulamit celebrated their amazing wedding at the Finchley United Synagogue with one of the most energetic, fun and exuberant set of friends I’ve ever photographed.
As always, my day started early at the bridal prep, photographing Shulamit getting ready in her parents’ home.
The advantage to getting ready in a place that’s personal to the bride is that I can find meaningful things to photograph that I may not otherwise have ever seen. So, for instance, when I saw Shulamit’s oldest teddy bear all tucked up nice and cosy in bed, you can bet I was going to snap a quick shot off.
Once Shulamit was dressed and ready to go, I was off to find Adam for a few quick family pictures, before making our way over the road from the hotel to the Finchley United Synagogue.
It was my first time at the synagogue, and very impressed was I. The main room is both huge and beautiful, with magnificent stained-glass windows all the way along one side. And the rest of the building is surprisingly huge too, comfortably accommodating a mighty impressive turnout for a weeknight!
The tish (a Jewish wedding custom where the men gather before the ceremony for a whiskey and sing-along) and the walk to the bedeken (where the bride awaits the groom, who pulls the veil over her face) are always the first real indications of what the atmosphere will really be like throughout the rest of day, and at Adam and Shulamits the singing and dancing that had already started really set the tone.
The ceremony itself was beautiful, with contributions from a wide range of people meaningful to the happy couple.
And then on to the pre-dinner reception, where it seemed the guests didn’t want to wait until the official music started during the actual dinner time, and spontaneously had an impromptu and thoroughly enthusiastic round of Israeli dancing right there and then. There’s no substituting great spirit.
For pictures of just the couple, there was no way I couldn’t use the main room for a few, before we headed out and got some very refreshing fresh air for a few quick natural light shots.
And then it was on to the mania of the dancefloor. I of course mean that in the best possible way, giving me so much action, and so many great, intense expressions to capture, I was positively in my element. Needless to say, I came off that dancefloor a touch sweatier than I had gone on to it. Mmmmm.
Not that I could rest for a moment, though, for before Shulamit’s father was allowed to say the first words of his speech, the entire top table had been surrounded by Adam and Shulamit’s friends, who apparently weren’t quite done with the singing and dancing (again, despite the lack of actual, official music).
I always say that a good atmosphere can elevate an event to something special, and so it was here, where nothing let up the entire night. Indeed, the scene at the end of the night was an awesome sight to behold, with both families sat together in the middle of an absolutely packed dancefloor, surrounded by friends who were all taking part in a truly heartfelt sing-along.
I can’t offer a big enough mazal tov to the newly weds!!
Here is but a selection of my images from the day: