All imagery by Blake Ezra Photography. This is part 3 of the 9-part Jewish Wedding Traditions Explained series.
The Tisch, traditionally, is a period of loud and atmospheric boy-time before the ceremony starts. In the more secular world, there are probably some parallels with going for a few drinks in the pub before the big match, but substitute beers for whiskey, football chants for symbolic Hebrew songs, and Barmaids for Rabbis. OK, I admit that may not have been a flawless comparison, but it can be loud and full of energy, whilst meaningfully building the anticipation for the events to come.
Some Grooms opt not to have a Tisch, and instead prefer to be elsewhere in the venue, welcoming guests as they arrive. It all depends on individual preference and also on how religious or spiritual that person is. For me, a wedding is great when it truly represents the couple, so there shouldn’t be pressure on a Groom to have a Tisch, or indeed not to.
The word ‘Tisch’ literally means ‘table’, and the common theme of every Tisch we’ve ever photographed is that there’s a table in the middle, laden with food and drink for the guests to enjoy before the ceremony.