When I was snorkeling in Mexico last winter, my guide enthusiastically practiced his English with me. I asked him how he was learning. “Little by little!” Como lo have todo. That’s how you do everything.
Little by little. This sentiment resonated has resonated with me, as 2016 has been full of both personal loss and major change. One of the things that I’ve realized recently is the importance of ritual. Big life events and rites of passage can be overwhelming. Many times our ritual to take us through rites of passage involve many steps. Little by little. Step by step. This is how we live in our lives. Things may happen all at once, but we come to process, understand and accept them bit by bit. Little by little.
This beautiful Jewish wedding ceremony included many steps, small but cumulatively significant. The ketubah signing was done before the service began. A ketubah is the marriage agreement - a signed and witnessed document that reflect a couple’s shared vision of their commitment, their life together and their aspirations.
Many moving pieces to the wedding day. Initially the clients didn’t plan for me to be at the ketubah signing. A smallish Sunday wedding, they wanted only the ceremony and the first part of the reception. But I’m so glad I arrived early and was able to document this part of the day.
The tissues on the table - one of the dads noted that they should be moved for the pictures. Not technically ideal for a portrait of the ketubah signing to have a box of tissues sitting there- but when a eye welled with tears - they were handy and I was able to get this image. Who cares if there’s a tissue box on the table? Or a stroller keeps a wide shot of the ceremony from being symmetrical? (shout out to Brian Ng for reminding me of this year ago in SF) No day is perfect. Wedding days happen, little by little, piece by piece. It’s not about perfection, it’s about emotion. It’s about expression. It’s about allowing yourself to be overcome with the significance and emotion of this ritual, this rite of passage.
Sometimes elements that day were out of our control. The hawk circling overhead as we take the family formals, the wind kicking up the veil, the ring bearer photo bombing the group portraits - yet these are the indelible moments. These are part of the man moments that mark this day as special, as unlike other days, unlike other weddings. The pleasure is in the unscripted moments.
application for show stealer received
whirling around the whole dance floor for their first dance, this couple knew how to move
The service was held at the Beth El Temple Center in Belmont. I recognized the Rabbi from a few other weddings. He is dynamic and gets everyone involved in singing, being exuberant and praise. A lovely way to begin a marriage.
another unscripted and beautiful moment, changing into comfortable shoes for the party
The reception was held at the Oakley Country Club a few minutes away. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon for a mid-afternoon reception and dance party.