What can I say about being a Jewish wedding filmmaker, it’s a privilege to be a part of such a tremendous event, the days are full of joy, love and lots of awesome dancing and Zoe and Darren’s wedding was no different. It makes my job of capturing the event much easier when everywhere you turn there are smiling faces and people letting loose. You have to work hard though, matching the energy of the day and making sure you capture those key moments creatively. I look forward to the next one and going back to London again soon!
Trinity Buoy Wharf Wedding
Zoe & Darren live in New York and chose to come back to the UK to get married in London opposite the O2 at the lovely Trinity Buoy Wharf, a stunning venue with some spectacular views, especially with our drone, watch the film above to find out why!
The day started with for me with bride Zoe and her bridesmaids and mum at The Town Hall Hotel, London. We had some great light from some lovely big windows in the hotel room and got some great footage of hair and make up and Zoe putting on her wedding dress. Zoe hired a NYC styled taxi to take her across London to the venue and it definitely looked the part!
Zoe and Darren shared a traditional ceremony with a few twists, one being Darren, the groom, and all of his groomsmen and the father of the bride, wore traditional Scottish kilts. Decorated and exposed to the open air, the Chuppah is where the proceedings took place. The ceremony was conducted by a Jewish guest and friend who did an absolutely amazing job, the whole ceremony felt really special and unique to the couple. It began with a little reading about the couple and the distances they had travelled throughout their relationship and distance they travelled to get to London for their wedding, it was a lovely surprise. The Erusin followed, which is a traditional element where two blessings are said over the couple, followed by the ring ceremony and then the Ketubah, the marriage contract.
At the end of the ceremony (the Nissun), the bride and groom are finally married and we have the seven blessings. A modern interpretation of the Sheva Brachot was recited by the rabbi and some of Zoe and Darren’s chosen guests. The blessings represent love and joy and the coming together of the couple. Once this is completed, the bride and groom drink from the cup of wine again, and what happens next is arguably the most iconic moment of Jewish weddings, the smashing of the glass. It was at this point there was a little twist, both Zoe and Darren smashed a glass and everyone lept up and shouted ‘mazel tov’.
Time to celebrate!
It was an incredibly warm and sunny day London day, so holding the reception outside, overlooking the River Thames was perfect. I captured the guests having a good time, drinking, chatting and catching up with each other. I also captured the little details such as the canapés, the entertainment, the cool drinks ice bath they had going and also the scenery you get with being next to a river, it’s those details that really help set the tone of my films. I don’t pose anyone or ask anyone to do anything at this time, it’s important for me to remain discreet, capturing the guests candidly, which is what we want.
During the reception I also took a quick walk round the wedding breakfast room, capturing those details that will become really useful when editing. After the formal family photographs, the photographer and I took the couple for a walk round the very cool and industrial looking grounds of the venue. Zoe and Darren were awesome and were really happy just to walk round and enjoy themselves whilst we captured their laughter and emotion. Capturing the couple portraits is easily one of my favourite things to film, it’s a skill getting a couple to forget you are there pointing a camera at them but when everything clicks, those moments are so powerful and really help tell the couples story.
I can’t go any further without mentioning the overriding theme of the wedding reception, running! Both Zoe and Darren are dedicated runners, having completed countless marathons, and Zoe also runs a successful blog and Instagram documenting it all (you can see it here: www.instagram.com/milesfitter).
Zoe and Darren’s table places names were hand crafted running bib numbers embossed in golf foil, they looked super stylish. Their seating plan was made up of the routes of various marathons they had ran, I don’t even think I could name as many marathons as they’ve run in! Darren also proposed to Zoe after the New York marathon with a medal he’d designed himself, so it was fitting that their wedding favours were mini medals.
Crazy Israeli Dancing
Following the traditional British cake cutting we were straight into the first dance and shortly after the guests got up and joined in. After the band had played their set and gotten everyone warmed up, the special Israeli dancing began. There main two dances are the hora, which is a Jewish folk dance with traditional music and dance steps, where the guests dance in a circle around the couple. Shortly after the bride and groom are lifted on chairs which is about singling out the couple and generally having fun. The dancing on chairs has become iconic with Jewish weddings and rightly so, it looks amazing and Zoe and Darren loved it! Next up was the traditional Scottish dancing, lead by Darren and his best man, and everyone got involved and it was awesome to see two different cultures and styles coming together.
What I really loved about this wedding was Zoe and Darren did everything how they wanted, they incorporated elements that were important to them both and it worked really well. They have a wonderful bunch of family and friends and it was an absolute pleasure to capture their big day! It was great working alongside some wonderful suppliers on the day too, with photography by the wonderful Louise from Louise Anna Photography and the planning by KP Events. Huge thanks also goes to Will Selby from Will Selby Project for helping me out on the day with all drone filming, he captured some amazing aerial footage of the O2, the Thames and the Canary Wharf skyline!
If you’re looking for a Jewish wedding filmmaker, or a London wedding video, or anywhere in the UK and destination, I would love to hear from you.