When the first quote came in for a photographer and it was three times more than what we had budgeted for, I started to panic. Had our dreams of a relaxed, fun Jewish wedding on a budget been just that…a dream? Was it possible to have what we wanted within the constraints of our budget? I started to doubt the whole process and realised that we were now going to have to go down another route in our quest to find the vendors that would be able to create the wedding we wanted.
Rather than using vendors I had heard of from other Jewish weddings I took a different approach to my search. Using a range of wedding blogs and ‘real wedding’ write ups I collated a list of vendors that people had used and loved. Vendors who hadn’t worked on a Jewish wedding but had had the style of wedding we were hoping to have.
Choosing a photographer without Jewish wedding experience
Photographs to me tell a story and should capture emotion and people in the moment. For my wedding photographs it was so important that this was the case. I was recommended Razia Jukes by my Mother in Law-to-be who had been at a wedding she was photographing. She said that she was really relaxed and the photos she had been beautiful — this all sounded perfect to me! I soon discovered that Razia features on loads of the blogs I read and I was able to see a big range of her photographs — which were exactly what I was looking for. They told a story with such emotion and love I had pretty much made up my mind before even meeting her!
Razia has never photographed a Jewish wedding and at first this did worry me. At a Jewish wedding there are those key moments you know you want included: The badeken, the breaking of the glass, up on chairs for the Hora; and for most people knowing that the photographer knows when these moments will happen is a reassurance people want on their wedding day. But hey, I love a challenge and when we went to meet Razia I realised that it wouldn’t be a problem. We spent a lot of the meeting talking in detail about the ceremony sharing and how the day would run. Her enthusiasm about the different components and their meaning was really reassuring and also made me even more excited about our wedding!
For Razia it isn’t ‘just another Jewish wedding’ and that makes it more special for me. I can’t wait for her to be a part of our day and to see the pictures she takes for us!
Choosing a wedding venue that has never hosted a Jewish wedding
This kind of set the ball rolling for Gid and I in our vendor search. After that initial panic we soon realised that with a bit more research, and a willingness to take risks, we could find the vendors we wanted that fitted with our theme, that were in budget and were a high quality.
I feel like now is a good time to mention that our venue, Lillibrooke Manor, has also never hosted a Jewish wedding and again they seem genuinely thrilled to be arranging what they see as a new venture for them into the world of Jewish weddings. Initially they had some ideas of how we could set up our ceremony to fit everyone into the space. The ideas were focused on getting in the most amount of people rather than creating the atmosphere we were looking for. When I sat down and went through the ceremony with them they came up with a completely unique idea that we hadn’t thought of before.
They had taken from my description the importance of everyone being involved in the ceremony and that it was about being able to see what was going on just as much as being able to hear what was going on. I am so excited to bring together our vison for the wedding in the most beautiful venue. I know it is going to be incredibly magical and the venue have been really flexible and open to all of our ideas in order to bring together our Jewish wedding with the quirky, rustic barn feel that we want to achieve.