Botanical Gardens wedding with Leya and James

So finishing this years blogging with the first wedding of the season which I photographed back in March, March! Where did all that time go. 38 weddings later and with over a hundred thousand photos taken I’m fondly looking back at the marriage of Leya and James.

It was a bit of a rush job as I think it’s the custom for Jewish couples to get married within a month of the proposal. Leya contacted me only a few weeks before the ceremony date to sort out the booking and luckily I was available for their big day.

I started the day at James’ parents house where Leya and her bridesmaids were all getting ready. I love this part of the day, bit of tension, lots going on, all the anticipation of the day. From there I quickly went up to where the boys were getting ready which was just up the road before going back to Leya for her finishing touches.

The wedding ceremony was taking place at Birmingham synagogue. It was the first time I had ever covered a Jewish wedding and it was really interesting to see how different it was to the weddings I normally shoot. For one thing the bride and groom walk down the aisle together, the finger the wedding ring goes on is also different. There’s also a Breaking of the Glass ritual where a glass object is smashed by stamping on it. It’s an ancient tradition thought to symbolise the destroying of the temple in Jerusalem. Also, similar to the previous lives of the couple before the wedding, once the glass has been broken it’s not possible to put back together again so is seen as a sort of permanent change representing the irrevocable act of marriage.

After the ceremony we all headed off to the wedding reception at The Botanical Gardens. Now I must admit when I heard it was a Jewish wedding I thought it was going to be a very formal affair with lots of seriousness but wow was I wrong, these guys seriously know how to PARTY.

I hope you enjoy looking at this little snapshot into Leya and James’ day. If you would like to see all the photographs from their wedding you can check out their complete gallery here. There’s also a shortened mini version of their images set to music on my “Perfect Day” sample showreel page.

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