portrait of bride and groom at night on a bridge in rome

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Brilliant Jewish Wedding at Cavalieri Hilton | Giorgia & Manuel

A brilliant Jewish wedding, with fantastic realisation of design, lighting and happenings and a live music band playing

From a photographic point of view, a Jewish wedding in Rome is always a pleasure to see. The combination of ancient and exciting rites, the large and intense participation of all the guests make it a unique experience. 

A Jewish wedding in Rome is also enriched with local traditions and with the scenario of our beautiful city

Ceremony at Tempio Maggiore

The ceremony took place in the Rome Synagogue richly decorated for the event. The Synagogue of Rome, or even known as Tempio Maggiore, is an early twentieth century building where many of the Jewish weddings in Rome are traditionally celebrated. It has a Greek cross plan with the Tevà located in the arm opposite the entrance. The Aron is located on the Tevà. 

There are strict rules for us photographers to be able to participate in a Jewish wedding in Rome in the Synagogue, made necessary for safety reasons and the needs of the rite. One of these is the impossibility of getting on the Tevà to be able to photograph. This obviously limits our work, as bride, groom, their families and witnesses are on a not accessible raised floor with respect to us.

Having to face this big limitation, we have developed a particular shooting system which, thanks to an extendable rod on which we can position our camera and control it remotely, we can capture images on the Tevà without going upstairs. 

It is still complicated because we have limited useful trajectories to be able to capture the scenes, but with various experiments over the years, this system has given us some spectacular images that we otherwise could not have. The development of this technique has allowed us to create a genre of aerial photography (without a drone, but with a special pole) that we also use in other situations to allow us to shoot from a raised point of view. 

Giorgia, the bride, arrived in front of the Synagogue with her car. In the tradition of a Jewish wedding in Rome, the bride gets out of the car greeted by the groom and all the guests. Then the guests take their places in the main hall of the Temple and the wedding procession begins: first Manuel, the groom, with his mother and the other family members and then Giorgia with her father and the other family members. 

As usual, bride, groom, witnesses and families headed to a room adjacent to the Tevà for the celebration of the civil wedding. We as photographers are not allowed to follow this short civil ceremony. We remain in the main hall of the Temple and we have a few minutes to get everything ready for the start of the ceremony rith. Knowing in advance what the next steps will be, we have the opportunity to position ourselves on the most effective trajectories.

This is when the extendable rod comes into play. We place the camera on the top of the rod, connect it with our mobile devices so that we can remotely control it and we position ourselves to wait for the small procession that takes the bride and groom under the Chuppah.

The rite of the religious ceremony under the Chuppah

Once we reached Chuppah, the religious rite began. When the groom put the ring on the bride’s finger, Giorgia abandoned herself to the emotion, dropping a few tears. It was an emotional moment, also observing the emotional reactions of family members. 

The spouses, the celebrants, the parents of the spouses and the witnesses then approached the Aron, the sacred cabinet that contains the scrolls of the Torah. This is also a very exciting time. The ritual at the Aron, in a Jewish wedding in Rome, takes place on the small staircase in front of the Aron, which is located on the Tevà itself. 

Parents place their hands on the heads of the newlyweds to bless them. The Aron is opened and the Torah scrolls are taken out. At this point the Rabbi covers the head of the couple with a white mantle called Talleth (the prayer shawl) and the parents place their hands on the heads of the spouses and the witnesses and any grandparents do the same on the parents of the spouses. We understand how this is a crucial moment in the Jewish ceremony and how the wave of emotions rises rapidly. 

In these moments the extendable rod is very useful because it allows you to shoot the beautiful scene from a raised point of view and thus obtain meaningful images. The alternative of simply shooting from below can be valid but it depends on the position that the subjects take and on the friezes of the balustrade, through which you are forced to shoot. 

The rite of signatures

At the end, the ceremony included the traditional ritual of signatures. It was a wonderful occasion, full of traditional moments and atmospheres. The rite of signatures in a Jewish wedding in Rome always reserves beautiful surprises. The bride and groom sit in front of the triad of celebrants and sign, calling to them, from time to time, the witnesses for the signature. Everyone, parents, relatives, friends, are immediately behind the spouses observing and supporting them. 

In these moments special situations almost always arise: bride and groom easily get moved, a little cousin approaches or one of the parents lets a few tears fall. In short, for us photographers, it is a moment to which a great deal of attention must be paid. Here the spaces are limited and the wise use of the right photographic focal lengths allows you to capture the events. 

After the signatures Giorgia and Manuel abandoned themselves to liberating hugs with their loved ones. Happiness and emotion clearly showed on their faces and those of the guests. 

Meanwhile, the guests were preparing to leave the temple to welcome the couple’s exit. At this moment in a Jewish wedding in Rome there is a small deviation from the classical rite and the bride takes the opportunity to put the ring on the groom’s finger. In fact, in the Jewish ceremony only the groom gives the ring to the bride. 

Giorgia and Manuel left the temple greeted by the celebrations of all the guests. Usually in this situation the spouses like to take some photos with their families and friends. We also took group photos with Giorgia and Manuel. 

The guests began to leave to reach the reception venue and we had a few moments with Giorgia and Manuel to take some couple portrait photos. We captured some photos in the car and on the Ponte della Musica and then off straight to the reception. 

The Reception at the Hotel Cavalieri Hilton

The venue is perfect for a Jewish wedding in Rome as it has a large banquet hall to cater for the huge number of guests of traditional Jewish weddings. 

The great room was set up with round tables decorated with floral arrangements and candelabra. The lighting in the room was soft and gave a diffused warmth to the environment. At the opposite end of the entrance a large stage was mounted to accommodate the musical ensemble with distribution of mobile lighting systems and audio systems in profusion. 

The bride and groom arrived at the hotel and joined the guests to enjoy the aperitif with them. 

At this moment we split up: one of us followed the aperitif and the bride and groom and the other ran to take some pictures of the room and the set-up. 

The guests then entered the room and sat down waiting for the bride and groom to enter, which took place after a few minutes. 

The Mishmarà

Upon entering the room, the couple went to a large imperial table placed right in the center. The table cut the layout of the round tables in two, placing itself as the predominant axis in the room. Here, another important rite of the Jewish tradition began: the Mishmarà. 

It is not always celebrated during wedding day. Some prefer to celebrate it a few days earlier. In this case Giorgia and Manuel preferred to celebrate it on their wedding day. The bride and groom sat at the table and prayers and blessings began.

The dances

At the end of the Mishmarà in a flash the spouses jumped on the dance floor together with friends, parents, relatives. This is one of those wonderful things about a Jewish wedding in Rome: traditional dances with parents, between the spouses, with friends and girlfriends. The couple then split up, each accompanied by his friends and family. 

First there was the ritual of the chairs, in which the spouses are raised in the air sitting on chairs and accompanied to meet to give each other a flying kiss. And then the firs dance of bride and groom, romantic and passionate. All masterfully accompanied by the splendid notes of The Inspiration Band.

We were so lucky to work as wedding photographers in such an event. We danced madly thanks to live music and photographed lots of hugs, laughter and tears. 

Manuel and Giorgia are two special people with many affectionate friends and warm families. We shared with them the special emotions that made this wedding unique. 

Here is our selection of some of the best photos of the day. 

Jewish Wedding Photographer in Rome

Our style of documentary photography or wedding reportage adapts to any type of location and wedding. A Jewish wedding in Rome requires attention and experience. If you like our way of telling stories and want to know what we can offer you for your wedding, we would love to hear from you!

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