I don’t even know how to describe Aleeza and Benj, or their wedding. Words fail me because there really is no adequate way to sum up the day.
They are Jewish and come from an absolutely incredible community. I’ve never seen such a (large) tight knit group of people. This was one of those days that makes one think there really is something to the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The amount of friends and family who are genuinely invested in Aleeza and Benj’s happiness is just mind-blowing.
The wedding day was INTENSE because of how high emotions were running, but intense in a beautiful, holy way. From the minute I walked in the door there were tears flowing — Aleeza is lucky enough to have a close knit family and her mom and three sisters had a hard time keeping it together as she got ready. Benj is also from a close knit group and in that family they’re so relaxed and such happy people, it’s just amazing. This is the third wedding in the past twelve months — Benj’s two brother’s just got married as well, mazel tov! Yet, they all somehow managed to stay cool, calm and collected.
So during getting ready, when Aleeza put on her dress and her mom then placed a bracelet of her great-Grandma’s (I could be getting the details wrong) that had been recovered after the Holocaust, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I include myself amongst that.
After that, along with my second photographer, the ever-fabulous, always talented Alex Bee, we photographed the men’s tisch and the women’s tisch. Apparently the men’s tisch was a rowdy affair with drinking and dancing and lots of being merry. The women’s tisch was amazingly beautiful, Aleeza and her female family members and friends, singing these unbelievable songs — I should also mention that Aleeza’s family is musical, as is Benj, so their group of loved ones are obviously a little more melodic than the norm. The mood was so heartachingly happy, everybody was singing and holding hands and swaying to the beat and feeling the love. There was no way even the hardest of hearts wouldn’t have been moved.
I thought things couldn’t get more intense…and then we got to the ceremony. It touched me in a way that amazed me — they did a traditional Jewish ceremony but in an egalitarian way that was so cool. For example, instead of Aleeza walking around Benj 7 times, she walked around him 3 times, then he walked around her 3 times and then they walked together once.
I could not have loved that more if I tried.
It was the truest and purest of wedding days. Genuine joy and unconditional love, everywhere. I felt so, so blessed to have been a part of this magical day.
I LOVE this moody portrait of the two of them.
And I LOVE this fun one! Couldn’t decide so I put them both in.
Here we are at the women’s tisch.
Signing the ketubah…
Ruthie Rosenberg, I love you forever.
Benj sings in a band. THEY ARE SO GOOD!