It's beginning to be a mini-trend here in Israel, Friday morning/afternoon weddings for religious couples. I won’t get involved in the never-ending list of reasons why you should never hold a wedding on a Friday: need to schedule makeup and hair for something like five in the morning (I am only slightly exaggerating), a very short set up time until the chuppah and oh so much more. My favorite pet peeve is the fact that your guests need to get there and get home within a strict time period, no matter how long the day is, Shabbat comes in the latest at around 7:30 in the evening. A Friday wedding needs to start on time, because you can be sure that folks will be leaving by two or three in the afternoon, especially if they live far from the simcha site.
Let me talk directly to the happy couple. If you are still committed to standing under the chuppah on a Friday, it's time to tackle one very important issue: the photography. Long after everyone has forgotten the food, your dress and how loud the music was played; the stills and video will be around to remind everyone of the big day.
I warmly recommend that, if you do not have a wedding planner on hand for the entire event, you should appoint someone who will ensure that the photographer captures all the moments you want to cherish. Of course, this particular recommendation is valid no matter when you hold your wedding. Your discussions with the photographer before the event are NOT enough. You need someone who will follow the photographer around making sure he/she photographs Grandma Esther kissing you; your two great-aunts, who haven't spoken in twenty years, sitting at the same table; all your friends from the army/sherut leumi/medrasha and all the cute nephews and nieces dancing together. [By the way, the same recommendation is valid when dealing with the band: no matter what song list you prepared before the event, you need someone to ensure that they're doing their job. The simcha hall representative is available only to ensure that the event keeps moving on schedule, they're not there to ensure your satisfaction with the other venders.]
Back to wedding photography on a Friday. Summer outdoor weddings in the heat of day are killers. The sun is relentless. Remember you can cook an egg on the sidewalk, now think of what that same sun is doing to your face, your makeup and not to mention the overall happiness of guests. Your makeup will fade if not altogether melt in the cruel noon heat. The makeup of nearly every other lady at the wedding will share an even crueler fate, as their makeup is usually not applied as fastidiously.
With all this in mind, I warmly recommend:
• Indoor photos: Make sure that at least half the posed photographs are taken indoors. Trust me, too many of the outside photographs will be over-exposed, will reveal cruel extreme light/dark shadows on the faces of your loved ones and squinting facial expressions due to the sun hitting you square between the eyes (not a pretty sight on film).
• Sunglasses: Ah, the beautiful sight of a bride in a crystal white gown, full length veil with hand-sewn pearls, full makeup and intricate hair styling and sunglasses. Get used to it. Make sure that you and the groom are suitably outfitted in sunglasses and have an extra pair hidden somewhere.
• Parasols: I never liked the 'parasol' bridal party look; young women parading around like a very poor version of antebellum southern belles, but a parasol could be a pleasing solution to the burning sun. Think about providing parasols in white or gentle pastel shades, for yourself, the mothers and grandmothers as they walk down the aisle and stand near the chuppah. Make sure there is someone to collect the parasols from everyone once the chuppah is over and folks go indoors for the meal and dancing. Be kind and allow everyone to eat and dance in an air conditioned hall.
• A good sunscreen: As nearly every good makeup/foundation contains a good sunscreen, you and usually the mothers are protected to some extent. Make sure the men of the wedding apply sun screen as well.
• Prepare the bridal party: Make sure your parents, grandparents and anyone you truly love is suitably protected with sunglasses, sunscreen, parasol and whatnot.
• Water: This goes without saying. Bottles of water should be at hand for all. Once again bottled water should be on the wedding planner's TO-DO list. We don't need grandma and grandpa fainting from heat prostration, not to mention your two pregnant cousins who will surely faint dead away before the ceremony is over.
Have any ideas of your own? Share your wedding experiences with us. Share your wedding pictures as well.
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