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Bedeken Jewish Wedding Photos

This image, taken at the Crystal Tea Room, is one of my favorites. In traditional Jewish ceremonies, it's customary for the bride and groom to see one another for the first time during the "Bedeken."

The tradition of the Bedeken ceremony arose because of the confusion that occurred when the Biblical Jacob, about to marry his chosen bride, Rachel, was tricked by Rachel's father, Laban, into marrying Rachel's older sister, Leah. Laban concealed Leah's identity with an opaque veil. Therefore, as is the custom, the groom must personally lower the veil of his bride to cover her face prior to the ceremony.

Photos of the Bedeken at Jewish weddings are always quite emotional. That said, Jewish wedding photos always tend to provoke an emotion from those involved. Here, Shira and her closest female family and friends are seeing the groom, Jake, for the very first time on their wedding day.

if you've been reading my image of the week posts, you'll know that moments are first and foremost with me. This moment I've captured is truly one of my favorites. Each and every expression on the faces of these women tell the story so well that we don't even need to see Jake, although I did capture his expression as well, in a different photo.

There are certain images I capture that send goosebumps, literally, throughout my entire body. This was one of those moments.

The photo was taken with my Nikon D3, 24-70G, 1/320th @ 2.8. This image also took 2nd place at WPPI's awards of excellence competition in the Wedding Photojournalism category.

Location: 100 E Penn Square #9B, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

1/320; f/2.8; ISO 2500; 24.0 mm.