Shooting a wedding a NY’s iconic Waldorf-Astoria is a special experience. Besides the quintessential NYC feeling, when you enter the suites, it is impossible not to feel inspired by the decor that reflects the famous former Waldorf residents. Nava got ready in the elegant Douglas McArthur suite, a man whose distinguished military career speaks to the virtues of commitment and honor. The room was tasteful, spacious and elegant. By contrast, Eitan’s preparation took place in the Cole Porter Suite, where the famous songwriter wrote some of his great hits and sassy tunes. Eitan’s suite was beautifully decorated with a piano, colorful fabrics, and some very inspiring Chinoiserie elements. This room was about lively, gracious living, romance and fun. Of course, it is the combination of the two essential qualities of those famous residents, the tenacity and resourcefulness of a great leader without neglecting the joy and spice of life of a great composer, that make for a successful marriage.
Oftentimes when I have entered the lobby of the Waldorf to admire the architecture and the art-deco elements, it has a relatively austere business-like atmosphere. What a difference a wedding makes! The Tish and Bedenkin were a true spectacle, with the lobby and Vanderbilt room completely overtaken with throngs of guests bursting with joy and happiness, who then momentarily tempered their excitement to allow for the ceremony to proceed in the Empire Room. The reception itself took place in the famous Grand Ballroom on the third floor. Barbara Esses, their wedding planner, flawlessly and subtly coordinated everything and allowed the families to enjoy the event without any concerns. As a photographer, who wants to capture emotion and moments without the distractions of the flow and logistics of a complicated affair, this was very helpful. And emotional it was! Both sides of the family, and all their friends, are incredibly warm and I particularly loved the sincerity of the speeches, that seemed far deeper and more heartfelt than tradition requires. The large band had boundless energy and was only matched by the endless dancing and celebration of the families and guests.