What makes wedding photography so challenging isn’t the control over your camera; it’s being able to compensate for elements you can’t control. In the case of Rachel and Ariel’s Shelter Rock Jewish Center wedding, the goal was to get as many photos in the can as possible before the sky opened up and engulfed us in rain. Luckily, these two were more than ready to rock and roll. Rachel continued this year’s trend of super-laid back brides and pretty much jumped into her dress before I could take out my camera. We did a first look and bridal portraits on the grounds surrounding the Jewish Center, which we capped off with a hilarious portrait session in the kid’s park behind the building. Thank you Rachel for having a great sense of humor.
Back inside, Ariel and Rachel signed their handmade ketubah before breaking from tradition and engaging in two tisches — one for the bride and one for the groom. In the library, Rachel’s friends and family toasted her with a series of eloquent speeches that caused the whole room to tear up. Over at Ariel’s tisch, the mood was a lot rowdier as friends broke into song as Ariel attempted to give a speech. With smiles all around, the couple were led to the bedeken where Ariel veiled his future bride and Rachel helped Ariel into his prayer shawl. More hugs, more tears and the wedding was well on its way.
Close to 300 friends and family members packed the Shelter Island Jewish Center’s sanctuary where Ariel and Rachel officially tied the knot. Wearing a stunning Wtoo gown, Rachel was escorted by her parents to Ariel who was all smiles as he embraced his gorgeous bride. Rabbi Yehuda Sarna did a brilliant job balancing solemn prayer and levity throughout the ceremony and prayers were cast upon the bride and groom by nearly a dozen friends and family members. After a flawless kiss, the two were whisked away for an afternoon of great food, celebration and non-stop dancing. The phrase “you complete me” is overused, but seeing Rachel and Ariel infectiously happy during their reception made me realize just how important it is to find a partner that is both your equal and someone that fills the gaps to, in essence, complete you. Mazel tov Rachel and Ariel, you guys are awesome.
Big thanks to Tom Wang for second shooting for me and putting up with my antics. Many of his images are peppered throughout the gallery.
Check out Rachel and Ariel’s Shelter Rock Jewish Center wedding photos:
Ceremony & Reception
Shelter Rock Jewish Center
Hank Lane Music – The Kenny Ford Band
Deluxe Caterers of Shelter Rock
True Love Wedding
Garden City, NY
Glam Me Makeup – Lizette Toro
Long Island, NY
Long Island, NY
Rabbi Yehuda Sarna
The Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at NYU