What I particularly enjoy as a wedding photographer is not only physically traveling across France (Paris region, Brittany, Occitanie, Côte d’Azur, etc.), but also discovering cultures and ways to do different. In addition, this job allows me to meet people with very distinct personalities. He makes me understand each time that the beauty of the world in which we live lies in its diversity…
The wedding in question here is a harmonious blend of chic, religion and tradition. It is that of two spouses of the Jewish faith: Mareva and Stéphane. But before talking about the participants, let’s start with a description of the place where this wonderful shooting took place. This took place in Paris in the 7th arrondissement in the gardens of Saint Dominique. This ideal setting for weddings is located south of the Seine, on the left bank of the Parisian capital.
It is actually a hotel that is located near the National Assembly, the Invalides and Saint Germain des Prés. Its 800 square meter garden is a veritable oasis of greenery away from the urban hustle and bustle of what is called “the most beautiful city in the world”. With their many meeting rooms, their auditorium and their vast event space, the gardens of Saint Dominique really constitute a privileged place for the organization of cocktails, professional meetings or large family events. I really appreciated this place whose Haussmann style, delicate, chic and aesthetic, lends itself perfectly to photography.
The getting ready
The day began with the preparations for the bride, Mareva. To immortalize them with my camera, I went to his apartment. Marble fireplace, plaster mouldings, solid wood flooring… As you will have understood, the style of the home of the future wife is similar to that of the Hôtel des Jardins de Saint Dominique: typically Haussmann. Mareva is sublime. She wears a long white dress adorned with lace. A hairstylist uses a curling iron to create beautiful waves in her hair. He also attaches a transparent veil to it. His father, his mother and his sister are present and help him in his various preparations.
Some time later, direction the gardens of Saint Dominique! Stéphane is in full preparation and his parents are helping him get dressed. He wears a black suit accompanied by a white shirt and shoes, a bow tie and a satin cummerbund all in black color. His head is covered with a white silk yarmulke, a color symbolizing purity in the Jewish tradition.
Cocktails that have been prepared especially for the bride and groom are offered to the guests. This allows them to wait in the courtyard of the hotel in a friendly atmosphere while waiting for the ceremony. These delicious drinks are served in a vintage caravan converted into a cocktail bar, a concept of Australian origin that has been very successful in France for several years.
While the guests eat and chat with each other, I discreetly take pictures of the sumptuous place where the wedding ceremony will soon take place. A path lined with pampas flowers and feather dusters leads to Houppa. This nuptial canopy represents the future family home of the spouses.
A few minutes later, the guests are seated. As is Jewish tradition, the men are seated on one side and the women on the other. The religious ceremony can then finally begin. The rabbi wears over his costume a tallit, a white prayer shawl with black stripes and fringes. He recites several prayers in Hebrew to bless the couple. For the occasion, the groom also wears a traditional shawl which, unlike the officiant, is completely white. To comply with the rules of the ceremony, Mareva meanwhile put on a second long-sleeved dress over the first.
Everything is going wonderfully. To conclude the ceremony, the groom breaks a glass. As tradition dictates, he breaks it with his right foot. This broken glass symbolizes the fragility of a relationship that should never be forgotten. It also means that after this marriage, the life of the two spouses will never be the same again. The guests applaud, then they come to warmly congratulate each of the spouses.
It’s time to party inside the Hotel des Jardins de Saint Dominique! Jewish weddings are always extremely festive and I love it! The music is in full swing, everyone is dancing and we party until the end of the night…