Deborah and Sean were married in a beautiful Sephardic Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony on a blustery winter’s day at the stunning Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California. I love photographing Jewish weddings because there are so many wonderful traditions involved with each and every event. Deborah chose a stunning yellow decor motif for her flowers and chuppah, taking care to make sure that the yarmulkes were also a fun yellow hue. The end result with a beautiful complement to the azure blue waters of the Laguna Niguel coastline. One of my favorite parts of the wedding ceremony was when Sean danced down the aisle to meet his bride and her parents. All the guests and family members were clapping as Sean did his traditional dance with great theatrical effect. I just loved it. He then danced for her again right before we went to the beach to do some after-ceremony portraits.
The reception took place in the Ritz-Carlton Pacific Promenade Ballroom, which is a lovely room for a party as it provides privacy and some wonderful ocean views just outside the building. The reception was a lovely affair with a fabulous Horah followed by a wedding feast, more dancing and then benching (a set of Hebrew blessings). The Horah is traditionally danced to Hava Nagila and can go on for an hour or more. I’ve always thought the key was to completely exhaust the bride and groom, but the endless dancing is really just to celebrate the joy of the couple’s wedding. It’s every photographer for herself (or himself) while trying to photograph a Horah, and most experienced Jewish wedding photographers agree that a perch atop a ladder provides the best vantage point. I’ve included one of my favorite engagement photos of Deborah and Sean at the end of this post. Sadly, that beautiful painting of textbooks is now gone, having been replaced by a sad shade of solid gray paint.
With coordination by Lisa Simpson Weddings, florals by Events by Sammy, videography by Yoni at Timeline Cinema, rentals from Hollywood Event Rentals, and hair and makeup by Natalie at Beach Bridal Beauty. With second shooting by the wonderful Yoshi Morimoto.