The Grove in Cedar Grove, New Jersey was the scene for the Jewish modern Orthodox wedding of Ariela and Azi. This was my first time primary photographing this type of Jewish wedding, and let me tell you it was one of the most energetic and fun dance floor crowds ever! I absolutely loved documenting this day for them, witnessing the deep traditions and customs, and pretty much being treated like one of the family.
After Ariela and Azi’s first look and portraits, Ariela was led by her mother and Azi’s mother into a cocktail hour where lots of guests greeted her and shared their best wishes. After about an hour, Azi was led in by dozens of his friends and family where he “veiled” his bride, also called the bedeken, which indicates the beginning of the ceremony.
The ceremony was traditional, and immediately after the ceremony our newly married couple were paraded upstairs where they would finally be alone for a bit. When they were ready, Azi and Ariela entered the reception room where dancing immediately commenced. Ariela with the women, and Azi with the men. After a few hours of the reception, the men and women joined forces and danced together until the lights were practically turned off!
This was a great day indeed.
Meet Ariela and Azi, in their own words:
How did you meet? We met the oldest way in the book – Azi’s mom and Ariela’s aunt. They walk together every Monday, so while Azi would usually never go out with anyone his mother suggested to him, – he figured he would hear about Ariela EVERY MONDAY FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE if he said no.
The proposal: We went to a concert at the NY Philharmonic at Lincoln Center (which we went for our third date), and when it was over Azi proposed at the reflecting pool. Afterwards, we had champagne on a friend’s roof in midtown overlooking the city followed by some midnight sushi and doughnuts at home.
What’s next on your calendar as a couple? Taking things one day at a time…
How/why did you choose your venue? Not too far from either of us with a beautiful updated space. Historic house and garden on the property were a nice bonus.
What were some of your favorite moments from your wedding day? Seeing each other for the first time and dancing the night away with friends and family!
Any advice for future couples planning their weddings? Be patient with each other and don’t stress too much – things have a way of working out.
Thank you to Ariela and Azi for inviting me to photograph this amazing day for you and 300 guest! Congratulations. 🙂