Wendy and David were married on July 11th, with a ceremony and reception at the Museum of the Moving Image.
On the day of the wedding, I met up with Wendy as she got ready in the museum’s bridal suite. It was a great way to kick off the day, with my favorite image coming from that getting-ready session. Most of the time, for getting ready shots, I’m trying to paint a soft, romantic image of the bride before she goes to see her groom. That day, a small shaft of light was sneaking into the room, giving us a gorgeous contrast to show off Wendy’s personality that also echoed the style of her dress.
After Wendy was ready, we headed out for a first look and pictures outside. It was a bright mid-afternoon, but the punchy light added to the contemporary vibe and made all the architectural details pop. Wendy and David had met with me a year before the wedding and asked me for a wedding experience unencumbered by photography, so we carved out a concise block of time for formal portraits and family pictures to get those done without taking up the whole afternoon—that way we could keep the focus on the wedding itself and let them stay wrapped up in their day. Then, it was off to the ceremony at the museum.
Every time I go to Astoria Queens for a wedding at the Museum of the Moving Image, I’ve loved the way they utilize a contemporary mold to customize the location for each couple. In this case, they put pink colored gels over the lights to create an edgy space for dining. It really feels like a step outside New York and into another world, with whimsical, interactive exhibits for the guests. Usually, weddings take place in the museum’s theater, but this time around, I was excited about photographing the ceremony out in the courtyard between the museum and Kaufman-Astoria studios. It absolutely fit the feel of the wedding and the style of the couple!
Wendy and David had a separate Tisch where they greeted guests and had a prayer before David processed to Wendy for her veiling, or bedeken. After Wendy walked down the aisle, she circled David 7 times, signifying the commitment and unbreakable wall surrounding a bride and groom. In a Jewish ceremony, there is no kiss; instead, the groom steps on the glass, and the couple is immediately surrounded and escorted by singing and cheering guests off to a few private moments alone, while the rest of us went inside for dinner and dancing.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of klezmer bands. One, Shirim, is more traditional in nature and is led by a klezmer clarinet virtuoso. But this one, Golem, is a more unorthodox orthodox ensemble. It’s unforgettable for its over-the-top energy and a hora like literally no other. If you want a hora that not only has people joyfully circling the dance floor but also adds a jolt of electricity that everyone can only attempt to keep up with, Golem will do that and more.
Wearing a new dress, Wendy came out with David and entered the reception to cheers before the 45-minute (yes, 45!!) hora. Navigating all the moving people and jockeying for angles is one of the most challenging but most exciting parts of a Jewish wedding to photograph, and I love it!
Thank you, Wendy & David, for letting me photograph this unique and quintessentially native New Yorker wedding.
Events – Ashley Chamblin Events
Florist – Mindy Jacobowitz
Hair – Stacey Weinstein
Makeup – Jessica Rothschild
Officiant – Rabbi Simcha Krauss
Band – Golem
Videography – Well Spun Weddings
Wedding Dress – Tony Ward
Bride’s Shoes – Christian Louboutin
Rings – Erica Weiner