Terrace Banquet Centre
I photograph so many weddings at Terrace Banquet Centre. This venue seems to be the go-to for a conservative Jewish Orthodox community in the area. However, occasionally I’ll get to photograph a completely different style of wedding. This one happened to be a modern take on Jewish wedding traditions but with a Russian flair.
They had a tradional ceremony in Herbrew with all the trimmings. But when the reception started it was full party mode. The grand entrance kicked off with a hora and chairlift for the couple and their key family members. The live band played four rounds of music so there was dancing after each course. Gorko was converted into the reception’s kissing game. In Russian weddings, the first toast is made to the newlyweds and after the first shot the guests begin to shout Gorko, Gorko, Gorko (Gorko means “bitter”). At this point the couple must kiss for a long time to take out the bitter taste of the champagne. Only in this case, Gorko was chanted whenever the guests wanted the couple to kiss.
I don’t usually get nervous before a wedding. However with me offering new services each year, I do find myself pushing the limit on what I can handle. This was one of those weddings. It had a huge guest count and just me doing both photography for the day and video for the ceremony/reception. Even the wedding planners and dj thought I was crazy. Not to mention, it was raining all day and throughout our portrait session at Richmond Green. The video coverage of this event is at the bottom of the page. It includes a full runthrough of the wedding ceremony and the scheduled highlights of the evening wedding reception. All speeches and vows are uncut so you remember every word and every vodka shot.