Josh and Edie were referred to me by an awesome Knoxville client of mine. (Also, just as a reminder, I give HUGE referral gifts to people who spread my name!!) I just virtually met Edie when she decided to hire me but I knew we would be such good friends. We share the same necessity for organization, promptness and obsessive cleanness. She told me she was getting married at The Read House in downtown Chattanooga and I was so pumped! If you have ever needed a hotel in Chattanooga, you know this is easily the nicest one on Broad Street. They’re style is very victorian and classy, which goes so well with a wedding. But not only was it at The Read House but it was also a Jewish Wedding. You might be wondering why that excited me so much. I have not had the opportunity of photographing a Jewish wedding yet. Who ever thought I would photograph an Indian wedding before I photographed a Jewish wedding?!?! But getting this opportunity was amazing. One of the things that increases the value of a wedding photographer is experience and the more variety of experience you have, the more you are worth. In this case, I learned SO much about a Jewish wedding ceremony and I learned that everyone can dance, and everyone knows how to have fun!
Edie and Josh’s ceremony in particular held true to almost all of the traditional Jewish ceremonies from what I understand. So in case you were wondering what is the difference between a Baptist and Jewish ceremony, here are some of the key things:
- Before the official wedding ceremony the couple has a time they spend with the Rabbi called the Ketubah Signing Ceremony. A Ketubah is a Jewish prenuptial agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the bride and groom. They are usually very intricate works of art that are signed by the bride and groom as well as two witnesses and the Rabbi. The entire agreement is written in Hebrew and is read allowed by the Rabbi before the actual signatures take place. Usually before or after the Ketubah is signed, there is also a ritual where a veil is placed over the Bride’s face to symbolize Jacob’s first marriage to a heavily veiled Leah instead of the intended bride, Rachel.
- Both the bride and groom are escorted down the aisle by both their mother and father.
- Where most ceremonies will have an arbor, Jewish ceremonies have a Chuppah. A Chuppah represent the shelter and privacy of the home that the bride and groom will create after their marriage is final.
- At a point in the ceremony, the bride will walk a circle around the groom three times, the groom will walk a circle around the bride three times and then the’ll go arm in arm around each other once for a total of 7 circles. The circles represent a wall of love that the couple forms around their relationship and it’s done 7 times because 7 is the most holy number in the Jewish faith.
- The bride will stand on the right hand side while the groom will be on the left. They are also accompanied up front by their parents and bridal party.
- There are seven blessings performed during the ceremony as well:
- Blessing over the wine which is a symbol of joy
- Blessing praising God to whom all creation proclaims praise
- God is praised as the Creator of humanity
- God is praised for creating humanity in His divine image
- Hope for the messianic future
- Prayer for the happiness of the bride and groom
- Individual hope for the happiness for the couple is combined with a prayer for joy in the messianic future
- The exchange of rings (very similarly to a Baptist ceremony)
- The reading of the Ketubah.
- The breaking of the glass (which is probably the most famous of all the Jewish wedding ceremony traditions).
- The kiss (just like in a Baptist ceremony)!
The other most famous Jewish tradition is the Hora celebrated at the wedding reception. You may not know the name, but I’m sure you know the action… this is when the bride and groom are hoisted into the air while seated in a chair. They go up and down and up and down and are laughing and having the best time. Then once they get down all the guests hold hands and go in a circle around the dance floor. In the center of this circle, a couple of people will pair off and hold hands with each other and spin as fast as they can in a circle. It was AMAZING. Everything about Edie and Josh’s day was so meaningful and rich with emotion. I am so thankful that they chose to hire me as their wedding photographer! Cheers to a super fun wedding with a super fun couple!
At the end of this post, I have listed all the vendors that Josh and Edie used for their wedding day. So if you see something you loved, just scroll to the end to see where they got it!
Wedding Ceremony: Mizpah Congregation
Wedding Reception: The Read House
Wedding Coordinator (that TOTALLY rocked): Kristen Vaughn Event Planning
Florist: May Flowers (who also did AMAZING)
Cake Artist: Kimmee’s Cakes
Band (that killed it the whole night!!): The Malemen Showband
Makeup Artist: Elea Blake Cosmetic Studio
Hair Artist: The Strand Salon
Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way