Your wedding day can be the most important and exciting day of your life, and potentially the most nerve-racking. There are so many vital things to take into consideration; the location, the dress, guests, style, time of year and of course the photographer.
Brides often ask me about my wedding. “How was your wedding? Who was your photographer?” I’ll tell you that being a professional photographer didn’t make these difficult decisions any easier! So, I decided to share the story of my wedding and give you a glimpse in to my own life and my wedding day.
Adam proposed to me after being together for six years. We met in Israel at a salsa club which is funny because I don’t even know how to dance. It just goes to show that you never know where you might find “the one.”
Adam proposed to me in Africa on a safari tour. He was hiding the ring in his money belt. I remember he kept nervously checking on it every few seconds all day because he was worried he might lose it. I started to get suspicious and asked him what he was doing, and he covered saying he was just making sure he didn’t lose the money. Halfway into our multi hour jungle safari, the jeep stopped for a short lunch break in the open fields. I jumped out excitedly to start shooting the open expanses, oblivious to anything Adam was doing. Suddenly he made an announcement that he needed everyone’s attention. At that moment, my heart fell to my stomach, like every girl who senses that the moment she has waited for her whole life is suddenly upon her. As my head started to make clearer sense of the emotions in my heart, I saw that a table was set up with fruits and champagne and Adam was beginning to get down on his knee. He proposed in a mix of Hebrew for myself and English, for himself as well as no doubt the understanding of our excited and surprised friends on the Safari. It was an incredible moment! He still insists that when he proposed a giraffe and all kinds of animals were on hand to celebrate. And who am I to dismiss this Disney-like fantasy if that is how he remembers it. Regardless, it was magic.
We were married three years ago. We decided to have the wedding in Israel, where I am originally from. My Israeli family is very large. He is from New York with a comparatively small family, so it didn’t make sense to fly a hundred people from Israel to New York! We wanted everyone to be present, and decided to search for a place in Israel. It took a very long time to decide on a venue. I wanted it to be in the North of the country, close to where I grew up. My mother suggested that we go and see a place called Megiddo. The minute we arrived I knew that it was the perfect place.
Megiddo is a very ancient site of historical and archaeological importance. It lies on a small hill with perfectly preserved ruins and a huge, open garden. I didn’t want to be married in a typical wedding hall, so it was nice to be in such a natural setting with beautiful scenery around us. The word “Armageddon” is actually derived from “Megiddo,” and so our shared life together was set to begin at the site in the Scriptures where the final epic battle at the end of time is set to take place. It’s ironic that our marriage began at the end of the world.
Now with the location out of the way, the next stage in planning was to choose the right dress. A traditional white dress was not appealing to me, I wanted something with a more vintage or antique feeling. The right dress is essential, and I really couldn’t make up my mind. I thought I had found the perfect one, but then after a few days changed my mind completely. I repeated this process a few times, unable to really decide on which one to wear. I was very confused and frustrated by then, so I brought my Mom with me to the salon.
She chose a vintage dress that I felt unsure about. Our tastes are very different. She begged me to try it on, insisting on her mother’s intuition. So I did and when I looked at myself in the mirror I knew that I had found the perfect one. Now I was starting to worry that Adam wouldn’t like the dress; I think every bride worries about that. My mother offered me some more advice, “First you need to love the dress, and I’m sure Adam will like it too.” I knew it was important that my decision wasn’t only based on his.
The first thing he said to me when he did see it was “What a stunning dress!”
Now it was time to consider how the makeup would compliment the style of the dress. I wanted a very natural look to match the scenery, with earth-toned colors and lots of browns and golds. I wanted the look to be something between natural and glamorous. My makeup artist agreed, we had similar taste in style and were on the same wavelength about the look I was going for.
Too many brides whom I photograph are reluctant to wear more makeup than they are accustomed to. My advice to future brides is to put more trust in the makeup artist. You are going to need to wear more cover than you are used to because the camera reveals more detail than the human eye. Many makeup artists work on fashion shoots and they know what the camera needs. It’s better because your photos will come out looking very natural and require less retouching.
Now, of course the most important part- the photography :)! How does a wedding photographer go about choosing a photographer for her own wedding? Adam jokingly expressed his concerns that I wouldn’t give the photographer his/her space- that I would be directing the shots or even snatching the camera out of their hands. Of course, that was not the case (well almost not- no one can be perfect and every chef sticks their nose in another’s kitchen). Nevertheless, I know the importance of trusting your photographer and giving them the space and artistic freedom to shoot.
I have to admit how interesting it was to be on the flip side of the equation. Rather than meeting clients and answering questions, I was meeting photographers and asking them. It certainly made me more appreciative of the indecisiveness that can grip a couple when wanting to capture and preserve the most important day of their life. From my experience, I found it helpful not to become overwhelmed with choice. I narrowed my field down to a few talented prospects (7 in my case, but not 20!) and went to sit and speak with them all. There is no doubt that besides the skill of the photographer, the meeting is absolutely essential. I wanted to feel absolutely comfortable with my photographer, and knew from my own experience shooting, that chemistry and rapport are so important to creating and easy going atmosphere and getting quality results. In fact, on the day of the my wedding, I felt especially close to my photographer, Galit Deutsh, as well as a sense of comfort that she acted like a friend.
Adam is the cornerstone of my business and my life. He has encouraged me to take hold of my passion and opened my eyes to the potential in me that I couldn’t see before. I’m so glad I listened to him because without his encouragement and support, I could never be where I am now. When I write this blog post, I am truly filled with emotion. I can’t believe eight years have passed since we met, but I am so happy that it feels still like the beginning of our relationship. I can also understand when my couples look back even just a few years later, as I do right now, how important the photography is. I see things again in those frozen moments that I did not recall in the whirlwind of the day. The inconsequential takes on added meaning with the passage of time. And while the little details have escaped my memory to some extent or been blurred by my imagination, when I see my husband lift the Kiddish cup to my lips, and my Mother holds back my veil in a touching way that I was not fully aware of at that time, it triggers all of the emotion I felt that day. It feels such a honor that my couples will also look back on shots that I have taken, and so too, in a glimpse here and a glimpse there, will have their love, like mine, instantly renewed.