On Wednesday, Feb. 6, Atlanta Artistic Weddings had the honor of photographing Shoshana and Shachar’s traditional Orthodox Jewish wedding at Beth Jacob in Atlanta. One of AAW’s favorite aspects of this particular wedding was the copious amount of documentary style snapshots taken, particularly those highlighting the unique wedding traditions of the Jewish culture.
The wedding festivities kicked off with the Kabbalat Panim, or “the receiving of faces.” On their wedding day, Shoshana and Shachar were considered royalty, and like the duties of a queen and king, the couple received their wedding guests, but separately. The beautiful bride, Shoshana—wearing a gorgeous wedding gown in which her mother, Ruth, sewed many of the dress’ details—sat and received female wedding guests at the Hachnasat Kallah, or the bride’s reception. At the groom’s reception—the Chosen’s Tish or “groom’s table”—male wedding guests gathered around Shachar, who’s originally from Israel, and drank and gave many wonderful toasts while the rabbi wrote the wedding contract, or ketubah.
Once the ketubah was written and signed, Shachar and his male wedding guests made their way to Shoshana for the Bedeken, a small ceremony in which the groom approaches his bride and veils her. This was a special and quite emotional moment for the couple as this was their first look. The Bedeken is a time-honored tradition stemming from the Bible when Jacob was deceived into marrying Leah—the older sister of the woman he loved—because she was veiled. By unveiling Shoshana, Shachar confirmed he was, in fact, marrying the right woman before veiling her himself.
Shoshana and Shachar’s ceremony was held in the temple underneath a beautifully crafted and decorated huppah where the two were blessed by different rabbis. At the end of their ceremony, Shachar broke the glass and everyone erupted with a joyous “Mazel tov!”
Like the ceremony, the newlywed’s reception continued with long-standing Jewish customs. During the Horah, or chair dance, several wedding guests hoisted Shoshana and Shachar, who were seated in chairs, high as everyone sang and clapped along to “Hava Nagila”. Some wedding guests even showcased their extraordinary talents, including balancing a ladder under their chin, breathing fire and jumping rope.
AAW would like to congratulate Shoshana and Shachar and wish them a lifetime of happiness and love.