The Caswell House wedding of Victoria & Simon was probably one of the most enjoyable weddings I have ever photographed. Caswell House is a beautiful Barn wedding venue in Oxfordshire with a unique high-end but relaxed feel. Whilst I have photographed a couple of Jewish weddings before this one seemed different to the rest and of course the Jewish dancing was a delight to photograph, just so much energy!
I had met Victoria & Simon for a pre-wedding shoot at Blenheim Palace a week before the wedding and so we got to know each other quite well so we had a good bit of banter on the day itself.
Hair & make-up duties were by my very good friend and talented hair & make-up artist Katie Reay-Scott and the amazing flowers you see here were by Oxfordshire’s’ finest and Caswell House regulars Fabulous Flowers. Also there on the day was the brilliant harpist Tori Handsley who I always bump into at a weeding 3 or 4 times a year at least. So everything felt familiar, everything was in one place and the couple were not only totally lovely but also super-relaxed. It was my first wedding at Caswell House since becoming one of their recommended photographers and on such a gorgeous sunny September Sunday afternoon I honestly couldn’t have wished to be anywhere else.
The bedecking ceremony take place before the actual ceremony and after the Jewish marriage contracts the ‘ketubah’ is signed, the groom visits the bride in her room with the family present and after seeing the bride lowers the veil over his bride’s face. This apparently recalls the biblical nuptial episode. Jacob’s father-in-law Laban put his daughter, Leah, in place of Jacob’s chosen bride, Rachel. The deception was possible because of the heavy veil brides wore. When the groom personally veils the bride, it’s a kind of insurance policy against bridal surprises.
As a groom lowers the veil over his bride’s face, he affects a lovely symbolism. Just as his bride’s face is enveloped by the veil, so will love envelope the couple. This covering is known as the bedeking (or bedecken or bedekung). This was a very emotional moment not only for the groom but for all of us in the room everyone was welling up including me!
A last word about the dancing, I decided to locate myself on a chair to get some elevation and was so glad I did after the bride and groom were lifted aloft on chairs perilously close to me veering crazily around the dance floor. The bride Vicky admitted being absolutely terrified at the time which you can see clearly in the pictures here but there is a unique energy in these images and the look on the guest’s faces which I totally love. I can’t wait to photograph my next wedding at Caswell House.
I love being an Oxfordshire wedding photographer the county has so many fabulous venues from stately homes, relaxed country houses, grand chapels in University buildings, 3 star Michelin restaurants, 5 star hotels and many more.
Here is my selection of images from this Jewish wedding at Caswell House in Oxford, if you like them please leave me a comment or easily share on Facebook & Twitter using the ‘Sharing is Sexy’ buttons at the bottom of the post.