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Heaton House Farm - Shiree & Zack

This was a day of many firsts for me - my first photo shoot at the stunning Heaton House Farm and my first Jewish wedding. Being obsessed with travel and cultures this was so interesting for me, to see the different customs and traditions that take place during a Jewish wedding. Shiree & Zack were absolutely wonderful to work with - please continue to read below for an insight into their special day.

The morning began with Shiree and her bridal party with their hair stylist and make up artists prepping for the ceremony. I used the morning to capture the emotion and interaction between them all, whilst flitting to the main barn area where Zack and the Groomsmen had gathered, suited and booted for the pre-ceremony traditions.

The gents took part in the Tisch ceremony - this is where "the men sit around the table (the “tisch”) that has been laid with food and drink and the Groom enjoys some time with the gents before the ceremony. Amongst the singing, chanting, and a bit of fun, the Groom prepares himself for the Bedeken and the commitment he's about to make to his bride". The Bedeken was to follow before the ceremony could commence.

Meanwhile Shiree, with her Mum and bridal party, was being fitted into her dress. As soon as Shiree was ready to marry, the Bedeken would take place - The bride would usually wait in a side room of the synagogue (in this case the wedding prep room at Heaton House Farm) with her bridal entourage and the Groom will enter with the Rabbi, his Father & Father-in-law. In this case, all the groomsmen joined. It was a beautiful moment - The Rabbi will check with the Groom that this is indeed the lady he would like to marry and then the Groom covers his Bride’s face with the veil. The Rabbi will then bless the Bride and the men will leave the room. Once the Badeken has taken place, the main Jewish Wedding Ceremony can begin. (

The ceremony could now commence with the main wedding party making their way towards the focal point of the ceremony – a canopy held up by four poles known as the the chuppah. Both Zack & Shiree enter the room separately, with their parents.

I loved the customs of the Jewish wedding ceremony from Shiree walking around Zack seven times; the Kiddushin - the serving (and drinking) of wine; the fact that the bride and groom are accompanied by their parents at the chuppah; lots of laughter and lightheartedness; the giving of the ring; the reading of the Ketubah and much more.

The conclusion of the ceremony is marked by the groom stamping on a glass and smashing it underfoot. It is the official signal to cheer, dance, shout “Mazal Tov!” and start partying!

I used this time during the drinks reception for a couples shoot with the newly weds, accompanied by the amazing 'Marry Me Films' who were shooting video on the day. This was also an opportunity for group photo's and to capture those natural candid shots of guests enjoying themselves

The detail at Heaton House Farm was stunning, both for the wedding ceremony and the wedding breakfast. It really is a great place to photograph. The grounds outside are pristine and together with the iconic sycamore tree make for some awesome photography opportunities.

It was time for the wedding breakfast, followed by the speeches, which is one of my favourite times of the day. By now guests have usually enjoyed a few drinks, the best man and in the case, the maid of honour, get the chance to give the bride and groom some awkward moments.... which makes for some great reactions :-)

Once food was devoured (which was outstanding) and the traditions of cutting the cake and the confetti walk were done, Shiree & Zack requested something unique. They wanted to set up an area for them to sit so guests could randomly join the shot for a quick photo, before the next ones jump in. Its a fun way to include the bulk of guests whilst working fast and way less formal.

Before I could leave, there was one last tradition - the chaos on the dance floor. Not just your typical first dance, a Jewish dance floor involves a lot more mayhem with the Bride and Groom lifted by their seats for the Hora, or the chair dance. It was a great ending to what was an amazing day.

I’d like to wish Shiree & Zack a lifetime of happiness. Congratulations to you both and thanks so much for booking Nathan Roberts Photography to capture your special day. I had a lovely day celebrating and capturing your day with wonderful family and friends.


Shiree & Zack's Suppliers:

Wedding Reception - Heaton House Farm

Video - Marry Me Films Hair & Makeup - Tally Bookbinder