I’ve photographed weddings in Toronto for years and somehow this is my first experience with The Eglinton Grand. I need more weddings like this. This wedding was Vintage Old Hollywood mixed with modern bustling city. Our can’t-stop-smiling bride got glammed up at a nearby hotel with her family and bridal party.
Then comes the vintage “First Look” scenes in the Rosewater Room. Their designer rustic fireplace and golden wallpaper were perfect for this couple’s time period. We immediately followed this by bridal party photos and family portraits as they arrived.
Finally, the remainder of the evening happened at The Eglinton Grand. We took advantage of the vintage old-film ticket booth for that timeless cultured themed look. The fluorescent mini lights and the gold/red palette of this venue were absolutely divine. Even the film plaque was customized with their names. It was absolutely a magical schene when all of it lit up after dark. I definitely want to photograph more weddings at this location.
Like a cake, the basic ingredients of a Jewish wedding stay the same. But everyone has their own personal take on the recipe. The foundations include the Ketubah, ring exchange and the seven blessings. The Ketubah is a signed and witnessed marriage contract. The ring represents an exchange of something of value. And the seven blessings each thank God in a different way.
There are so many variations to this structure. For example, when I work more conservative Jewish Orthodox weddings, they have a Tisches. This is a separate pre-party before the ceremony where the men and women celebrate separately. This couple had a private bedecken. It’s a veiling ceremony where the groom veils his bride before the ceremony begins. The ceremony itself happens in a chuppah. Traditionally family members hold up the Chuppah, however in this case the family was too big. And an equally big chuppah would be too heavy to hold up.
While the first kiss would normally be the highlight of most western ceremonies, with Jewish weddings it is the breaking of the glass. The breaking of the glass serves as a reminder of all the struggles Jewish people have faced in the past. It’s loud noise also serves to scare away any demons who may be lingering over the wedding day. This is very similar to Greeks breaking plates, or Muslims making their war cry.
The reception is often kicked up with a group dance called a hora. However the uniqueness of the Eglinton Grand called for something different. The couple organized a dance routine that they performed on the ground floor of the main hall with a single spotlight on them. All their guests remained on the balcony gazing down on the performance. Instead of a slideshow featuring old photos of the couple growing up, they featured scenes from famous black and white love stories. So even though the ceremony had religious elements, the reception had the full Hollywood vibe.
The second shooter for this wedding was Azita Ziaei.
I also did this couple’s family session when their first baby arrived.